Monday, June 26, 2006

Arab world's the Hotspot.....

(VIA: International Herald Tribune)

A media battle for hearts and market share in the Middle East "is evolving into a teeming crowd of Western news organizations poised to deliver headlines--and geopolitical views--in the language of the Koran," reports the International Herald Tribune. With government backing, Germany's Deutsche Welle plans to air as much as 24 hours of news programming in Arabic this autumn, while a French CNN-style Arabic channel is in development. Even the state-owned Russia Today is eying the region, with plans for a Web site and Arabic television. Only CNN is holding back for now--sticking with its Arabic Web site, currently getting more than 300,000 unique visitors per month. "I'm losing track," says Jerry Timmins, head of the BBC World Service's operations in Africa and the Middle East. "There's pretty much of an announcement a week, and it seems to be part of the fashion industry." His operation is already in the fray, spending $35 million to roll out an Arabic news broadcast in the fall, starting with 12 hours a day and moving to round-the-clock coverage. "People will have a look" at the new channels, predicts Nasib Bitar, a Dubai-based producer and media consultant. "It all depends on content and how they run it. I believe if any broadcaster showed compassion through its programming, people would watch." - Read the whole story...

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Traits of successful bloggers

(VIA Micropersuasion)

Blogging is gaining a lot of traction as a social medium of communication
over here steve rubel, a leading blog and CGC evangelist tracks a fascinating study on the traits of successful bloggers.more down here ....

A fascinating new UMass study penned by Dr. Nora Ganim Barnes, Chancellor Professor of Marketing, interviewed 74 different business bloggers to identify what makes some stand out more than others. The paper (PDF) is chock full of really interesting information. Among other things, the study tracks the time commitment required to make a business blog a regular read. Dr. Barnes extracted the following "truths" from her research:

1. Blogs Take Time and Commitment
2. Blogs Must Be Part of A Plan
3. A Blog is a Conversation
4. Transparency, Authenticity, and Focus are good. Bland is Bad

PwC: Internet Sector To Lead Global Media Growth

The Hollywood Reporter
Global entertainment and media is expected to grow by $500 billion over the next five years, thanks to online media, says PricewaterhouseCoopers, topping off at $1.83 trillion in 2010--up from an estimated $1.33 trillion in 2005. The financial services firm says media spending will grow at a compound annual growth rate of 6.6 percent; advertising growth is expected at 6.2 percent, again, increases will be largely driven by Internet ad spending, which the firm expects to grow at a compound annual rate of 12.9 percent. The other major growth driver for media overall will be video games, PwC said, estimating an 11.4 percent annual gain. Analysts said increased adoption of digital media delivery will help ramp up consumer spending. "Virtually every segment of the entertainment and media industry is shifting from physical distribution to digital distribution of content," said Wayne Jackson, global leader of PwC's entertainment and media practice. He added that the digital revolution will remain a key theme in the U.S. in particular, where video games and the Internet sector--including Internet advertising--will see the strongest five-year gains, 8.9 and 8.4 percent, respectively. Globally, advertising is set to grow from $383 billion last year to $521 billion in 2010; not surprisingly, PwC expects Internet advertising to see the largest increase--growing 18.1 percent per year to $51.6 billion worldwide, and $25.5 billion in the United States. - Read the whole story...

Online Ad Exchanges Sprout Up...

(Via Clickz)

Finding the most value for available ad inventory has always been a problem for publishers, and advertisers are of course interested in getting the best deal when they make a buy. Several companies, including Right Media and AdECN, have begun to address this problem by creating auction-style exchanges to facilitate transactions between advertisers and media buyers.
"We're seeing lots of new inventory being created, and a lot more money flowing in once the pockets of inefficiency are removed," Right Media CEO Michael Walrath told ClickZ.
The Right Media Exchange (RMX) auctions every ad in real-time to the highest bidder. Online ad networks participate in the exchange by putting their publishers' remnant inventory up for sale, and by buying relevant inventory on behalf of their advertisers. Publishers and advertisers don't participate directly in RMX, but are instead represented by ad networks.
Without an ad exchange, unsold inventory today is sometimes passed through multiple ad networks to find avails, with each network along the path taking a cut. RMX is designed to keep that from happening by identifying the inventory that offers the most efficient path, providing the highest ROI, and otherwise delivering the most value to the advertiser and publisher, Walrath said.
Right Media's Yield Manager product is the interface for ad networks to buy and sell inventory on the exchange. The company also offers tools for publishers to create a private exchange and link it to RMX, or to sell their ad inventory on RMX as well as manage inventory sold elsewhere. It also has a similar tool for buyers to manage all of their campaigns, both on and off the exchange, in one place.
More than 50 ad networks representing 2,900 advertisers and 7,900 publishers are using the exchange already; numbers that have been growing steadily for the past 15 months, according to Walrath.
Online advertising exchange AdECN is not quite as far along. It's currently running with only one ad network, Experclick, in which it holds a controlling interest. It was necessary to create Experclick as a proof of concept for AdECN, according to CEO Bill Urschel, but the company is examining ownership options for Experclick once AdECN invites other networks to the exchange next month.
"It's important that we keep the two separate in order to avoid any conflicts and remain neutral," he said. "I expect we'll spin it off soon."
Another key to maintaining neutrality is its pricing model, Urschel said. AdECN charges participants a flat fee per transaction, so it remains a disinterested party in the deal, and has no incentive to favor one ad network over another.
Like Right Media, AdECN does not do business directly with advertisers or publishers; it works instead with ad networks, ad brokers, and a few ad agencies that maintain relationships with buyers and sellers, acting as a network themselves. Urschel likens it to a stock exchange, where buyers and sellers work through a broker.
AdECN, through Experclick's network, currently supports five IAB-standard in-page units and a pop-under format. It does not allow ads with adult content, and publishers working with a participating network are able to exclude ads by category.
The AdECN model lets advertisers decide up-front how much they're willing to pay and only delivers ads when those requirements are met. AdECN also monitors individual placements on publisher sites, and will adjust an advertiser's bid downward if it determines that a given position is worth less than others, such as being at the bottom of a page or surrounded by other ads.
"It's one thing to create a liquid market, but it still needs to be a fair market," Urschel said. "The spot where the ad appears needs to be up to par, so we keep a history of every spot and compare it with its peers before allowing the ad to go through."
Publishers benefit because they are assured of getting the highest price an advertiser is willing to pay at the time for their inventory, and can even end up selling more inventory in smaller chunks than they would ordinarily, Urschel said. Publishers also have a safety net, in that they can choose a back-up provider of ads if their requirements are not met at a given time by an AdECN-brokered ad.
The exchange model will not cut out ad networks, as long as they are providing value, both Walrath and Urschel insist.
"It holds networks accountable to a value standard. If they're taking more margin than they're providing in value, they'll get disintermediated," Walrath said. "If the ad network is creating value, they'll get more business from the exchange."
"We're not going to change the way good ad networks do business," Urschel said. "Extraneous middlemen will suffer. If there's no value-add, and they're just brokering a deal, that's not bringing anything to the table."
Ad networks can provide value and benefit by participating in RMX in many ways, Walrath said, including offering advanced targeting, reporting and optimization; or packaging inventory creatively to improve revenue optimization for publishers.
Support for creating these kinds of exchanges for ads has been growing. Walmart, HP, Microsoft and several others are reportedly exploring an online marketplace for TV ads through eBay.

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Ecko 1, Pentagon 0

Yeah that weird is what we got here ;-)

It used to be that the benchmark for a successful viral campaign was whether it came back to you in an email forward. Now, thanks to the combined efforts of David Droga and Smuggler Films, it's whether you can rouse the attention of the White House.

If you haven't yet seen the handheld film of a graffiti artist breaking into Andrews Air Force Base and tagging Air Force One, chances are you've heard about it in the news. So convincing and pervasive is the three-minute film that the mainstream media has taken to it like bloggers to a Bushism. In addition to "Did They Or Didn't They?"-type sequences on CNN, MSNBC and ABC, the story has been picked up by a reputed 17,000 individual news outlets. But the coup de grace for everyone involved has come in the form of not one but three official denials from none other than the Pentagon. "The level of media attention shocked us," says Droga. "Once it got to the White House, it took on a new life."

The first project to come out of Droga's brand new endeavor, Droga5, the video made for an ideal extension of the Ecko brand. According to director Randy Krallman, the spot posed some pretty major logistical challenges, the largest of which involved finding an old plane to repaint. "Getting a 747 that has engines on it is a big deal - they're either out of commission or [really expensive]," he says. Fortunately, luck was on their side, and within days, the crew found an old plane to scrub up. "It looked like Latvia Air or something, it was just this real Third World-looking jet," says Krallman. "You never would've stepped on this jet. But after a $150,000 paint job, it looked dead-on."

The next hurdle involved finding a way to make San Bernadino, California look like Andrews AFB, Maryland. For that, Krallman turned to the great oracle Google. "If you go on Google Earth you can see the whole layout of the base," he says. "I wanted the level of detail to hold up for someone who'd been there, and that was the high watermark we prepared for." According to the pundits at CNBC, he did a solid job. "One of their Pentagon correspondents was like, 'At least one of the shots in this is real because if you've been there as much as I have, you recognize that hangar'," laughs Krallman. "I was like, 'Fucking sweet!'"

For Droga, the success pales in comparison to what might have happened had the spot somehow gone wrong. "The lawyers made us put a disclaimer on the end, just so we didn't end up in Guantanamo Bay... I was nervous, to be absolutely honest. I thought, 'Holy crap, I'll be so annoyed if the first piece I do gets me in trouble'."

The Video

Dude, The Future is out of the tube.....

Mark Tutssel, worldwide CEO of the ad agency Leo Burnett, told marketers they need to learn to reach consumers on user-generated content sites like YouTube, which the Financial Times points out now has greater reach than MTV. Tutssel said TV-like commercials would be effective on a site like YouTube, but savvy marketers would create videos with the intention of having them distributed virally like the other viral content on the site. Consumer interaction, allowing consumers to create their own commercials and content, and trusting that they want to interact with your brand would also be key to the future of video advertising. "Once consumers have interacted with brands, they will not go back to being shouted at by marketers," he said. Tutssel, speaking at the annual Cannes Lions International Advertising Festival, delivered his speech prior to handing out an award to a campaign that was designed to look like a homemade video. Viral video was a hot topic in Cannes this year, FT said--not only because of its enormous potential reach, but also because it sometimes doesn't involve any spend on media at all. Last year's Chevy-Tahoe campaign, which invited consumers to create their own ads using TV commercial footage, is a good example: it drew 5.5 million consumers to a Web site and produced 22,000 entries--just 16 percent were negative. - Read the whole story...

Friday, June 16, 2006

Yallah ..lets get going huh ?

hey ...
Jus been over a month since u have shifted from delhi to dubai...

Some of the key indicators out here made me believe that the Digital media space here is gonna be exciting in the coming days.

A relatively untapped market,high penetration of access devices,high consumption of traditional media,relatively big youth segment in the population,and ofcourse a very dynamic government.All these factors make the middle east and interesting flagpost on the World Digital Media Space

I will be jotting down my observations here...