Dishing Out Television!

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It’s almost the beginning of July 2006. The Direct to Home (DTH) scene in India is getting ready for the mother-of-all battles. The Subhash Chandra owned Dish TV is going to have a competitor in the Rupert Murdoch backed TATASKY DTH platform soon. Though TATA owns seventy odd percent in the venture we all know where the technical expertise is going to come from.

Newscorp via STAR TV will no doubt be building a strong product for Indian households. Let us not forget that they own and operate BSKYB in the United Kingdom where they are almost considered untouchable in both quality of service and reach. DISH TV too is not sitting still. Only a few months from their launch, they started offering services like Movie On Demand and of course the more recent announcement of the inclusion of extra channels including SONY on their DTH platform.

STAR having stayed off the DISH TV platform with only STAR UTSAV making a token appearance, have made their intentions clear. This year promises to be an all out exciting one for television viewers in the country. Both the players are known to be aggressive. They are not going to pull any punches and surely aren’t taking any prisoners. When BSKYB launched to a lukewarm reception in the UK, SKY started giving the set top boxes free, they also bought all the exclusive football rights for an astronomical amount to bring in the viewers. Free set top boxes plus the only place to watch their football the Brits bought into BSKYB big time making it a thundering success. ZEE on the other hand back home is constantly updating their services portfolio. The latest addition to their list is Mobile DISH TV. Yes, that’s right you will be able to watch all their channels on the move in a car or a bus. They have a year’s head start over TATASKY and are looking to consolidate their lead.

TATASKY on the other hand has deep pockets and a vast library of content to dish out on their platform. It’s too early to tell who will win this fight but signals are out there that the fight will be long and fought hard. Especially now since SONY has joined DISH TV the lines are drawn. Like I mentioned some time back, people do want all the goodies that a DTH service brings but how many will want two different boxes at home is the question? Maybe it will lead to the mother-of-all mergers…the TATASKYDISH TV Network!

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Characteristics of Modern Media Technology

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Media has evolved a lot. Modern media depends on Technology to send information or gather them at a faster speed. The following are the characteristics:  

Speed: The information reaches at a faster speed.     

Reach: The information must have mass reach.  

Preventing Calamities: Modern media broadcasts 24 hours. So high technology is used to beat natural calamities.     

Constant Transmission: Technology is used for constant transmission.  

The following tools of technology is used to achieve the aforesaid targets:  

 

Use of Satellites: Satellite Technology is used to ensure constant transmission. A satellite hardly  gets affected by climatic conditions.     

Use of Video Conferencing: It is used to get live and personalized feedback without physical presence.  

Use of Television Conferencing: It is used to get audio inputs from far off places.  

Use of Internet: Internet is being relied upon for information.  

Use of high end Computer Technology: Computing and high speed processors are used for fast and able data processing.  

Use of Mobile Satellite Vans for News Coverage: Satellite vans are used for high mobility and anytime coverage.    

Use of high end Audio visual equipments: Use of high end audio visual equipments have emerged that leads to clear sound and picture. Tape recorders and high end video cameras are used by media persons to take interviews fast and transmit news ina proper and efficient manner.    

Thus these are the characteristics of Modern Media Technology that has made media more fast, accurate and improved and has made it an indispensable tool for protecting the  largest democracy of the world named India by making it more transparent and accountable to people. Hence these are the characteristics of modern media technology.  

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What Satellite TV Programming Do I Need?

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Because there are typically a number of package choices it may be a good idea to have a good guesstimate of what a person is looking for before making the decision. There are so many combinations that customers can purchase and even add on additional channels to their likening. Programming generally depends on the amount of monthly costs that a subscriber is willing to pay. The more the package the larger number of channels, even additional movie, adult and sports channels. These may include premium packages that are not a part of the regular or lower package deals provided by the satellite company.

The type of programming that is needed is solely dependent on a couple of factors. First, the types of shows, movies and events that are desired will help the consumer make the determination of which to pick from. There are the most basic packages that simply give subscribers channels such as local, regular programming and the bare necessities. Then there are those that have premium channels and allow the ordering of movie events, NFL Sunday tickets and much more. The nice thing about the choices is the fact that there are so many different needs and desires when it comes to television programming. These vast packages allow everyone from single individuals to families with children to decide the type of package that they will have.

Members can also choose between the different pay-per-view and subscription features that are offered by most satellite providers. The pay-per-view is generally those that are ordered on a one time basis. It may be a particular movie or sporting event that the viewer wishes to see, but there is just the onetime fee, not an ongoing one. This pay as you go is very popular because it doesn’t lock the viewer into any recurring monthly charges and gives them the freedom to choose which programs that they want to see for additional costs. If there is a particular channel or programming that the subscriber watches often, then they may consider a monthly subscription. This allows them to watch that channel on an ongoing basis without incurring any additional costs. Sports channels, adult channels and movie channels are all examples of this type of subscription services.

For most satellite providers there is some necessary equipment that allows their customers to choose the type of programming that they receive. Just like the ordering of movies or other paid events must have a box or other equipment to send the signal and purchase the event. It is important for the member to ensure that they have a package that allows for the viewing or paid services so that they can order when they wish. Nothing is more aggravating than preparing to watch an event or movie and find out that it is not allowed because the appropriate programming or equipment doesn’t exist. Prepare early to ensure that the best programming and services are available before being disappointed. There are many programming choices to view and sign up for, the best way to determine the best for you is to review the choices and find the best fit!

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Increase Online Video Marketing Reach Through Social Media

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Online video marketing is increasingly the chosen option of businesses to establish their online presence. One of the most effective video marketing strategies is the use of social media to widen and diversify audience reach. There are many ways to create a social media presence but statistics show that the use of video is the most popular way. There is no question about video’s popularity by now as its claim to popularity is fully backed by impressive statistics.

Another important thing to remember about videos is that it can work well with various forms of social media. For example, a YouTube video that viewer like can be shared with other Facebook accounts, blogs as well as other social media sites. It will be the viewers themselves who will make the video go viral for the following reasons:

1. Easy to Share

If you have a fun, exciting and informative video, viewers will not only ‘like” or click a thumbs sign, they will share it with other people so that they can talk about it later. It’s a natural tendency to share something that makes one excited, sad, happy or inspired. The same thing will happen to those who were affected by the shared video because it only takes a click to share.

Even news videos now have links to share with various social media platforms. Viewers usually want to share videos with controversial topics. Eventually, if more sharing recipients like the video, it will go viral. Videos are not only easy to share, they are the type of content people would like to share. Generally, videos are easier to understand than text.

2. Billions of Potential Video Viewers

You can’t share if there’s nobody to share with, right? But there are hundreds of millions of users in the top social media sites. Facebook alone has over 1 billion users. In 2013, eMarketer forecasts social networking users to reach 1.43 billion, an increase of 19.2% from 2012.

Targeting social media users is like targeting a captive audience for your videos. That’s why it’s one of the most considered video marketing tactics to promote brand awareness.

3. Extended Accessibility

TV commercials are played only based on how much air time you bought. It’s not something that’s available if you want to see it. For example, a friend can only tell you about an impressive TV commercial. You have to watch TV and hope it will be shown. On the other hand, online videos are continuously available unless you delete them.

For instance, Justin Bieber’s music video “Baby” with over 756.4 million views has been continuously available at YouTube since April 25 2010. Until now there are still viewers without the need to buy more air time. It’s the same with the popular Volkswagen advertisement with over 53 million hits and counting. If the Justin Beiber video was shown only on a music site like MTV, it would have been taken off after a few months to give way to newer releases. It couldn’t have been viewed at least 756.4 million times.

If you are not using online video marketing strategies to establish your social media presence, you could be limiting the reach of your online marketing efforts.

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7 Questions To Ask Yourself Before Starting A Social Media Campaign

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Starting a social media campaign for your business is like entering into a relationship. For it to succeed over the long term you must be committed to it and have realistic expectations as to what you’ll get out of it.

Current statistics show that that 73% of Twitter registrants have posted fewer than 10 messages and one third have posted none at all.

The majority of Facebook fan pages give visitors no incentive to “like” the page. As well, they rarely develop ongoing communication campaigns catered to their fans.

These trends are a clear indication that both people and businesses are participating in social media with either no plan, no goals, or no idea why.

So before you make your first tweet, create a Facebook fan page, or start searching for Linked In connections, ask yourself these questions. The answers may help you better focus your time, resources, and better understand how to include social media into your company’s marketing program.

Why do I want to participate in social media?

With social media “experts” declaring that any business not tweeting or without a Facebook fan page is losing business to competitors, many entrepreneurs feel compelled to participate out of fear. This just leads to frustration when time and money is spent on setting up accounts and custom pages, only to not see any measurable results. The fact is that social media is like any other marketing tool and may not be right for every business. Even so, it must still be used effectively, perhaps as part of a bigger campaign, for any benefits to be seen.

Do I have the time and resources?

Unlike conventional marketing such as ads in a newspaper, direct mail, or even a web site, social media requires continuous attention. Depending on your business, this could range from a few minutes a day to over an hour. Do you have the time, desire and patience to make regular and relevant tweets or update your Facebook page? And while you could have a staff member or virtual assistant do this for you, that means allocating resources and money that you may or may not be able to afford, or could better be used elsewhere.

Can I continuously come up with great content?

Unlike a blog where you can post content on your own schedule, making social media work means posting interesting and relevant content on an ongoing basis. Depending on which guru you listen to, this can mean a few tweets a day to more than 10 per hour. Can you keep up this pace? And do you really have enough to say? Even sharing a mix of personal anecdotes, relevant links, retweets, and business information can only go so far before you start getting mentally exhausted – and frustrated.

What are my goals?

Unless you’re involved in social media for purely social purposes, it’s likely that you are hoping to get some form of financial return out of it. The goals of attracting more clients and more sales is what drives most businesses to social media in the first place. So let’s be realistic – from a business perspective, followers, friends, fans and connections are really nothing more than lists. And if the names on those lists are not the kinds of clients you would like to attract, then you may be preaching to the wrong crowd. The best thing to do is decide what your goals are from the start. For many businesses, clients can come from any geographic area or be any demographic, so social media may be ideal. Think about if you’re trying to create awareness for your company, product, or just you

What are my alternatives?

Social media is just one of hundreds of ways to reach people. Depending on your goals you may find some old fashioned methods produce better results with less resources. Trade shows, direct mail, email, seminars, networking events, newspaper ads, or publicity stunts can still garner the kinds of result you may be looking for. Many companies have successfully used social media to build word-of-mouth “momentum” that originally started from a conventional marketing campaign. Remember the old spice guy? That campaign started as just a television commercial and went on to become the most successful social media campaign ever.

Do people really care?

The open forum concept of Twitter, Facebook and Linked In groups allows for huge numbers of people to talk about common interests. But let’s be honest here. Is your business worthy of discussion? A client of mine who is a self employed dental hygienist was disappointed when her tweets and Facebook postings garnered little response. While they were quality posts, it seemed teeth cleaning was just not a big draw for online discussion. It can be tough to hear, but sometimes the world does not share your passion about your product or service.

How do I measure success?

While many web designers and consultants will point to Google Analytics when asked about return on investment, the fact is that ROI can only be measured in dollars and cents. Your time and resources are worth something, so you must put a value to them and factor that in when developing your social media campaign. If you make $80.00 an hour doing what your core service is, then investing 10 hours in social media will cost you $800.00. If you don’t make that money back in a reasonable period of time, then you will have a negative return. Factor in other costs such as a graphic designer or marketing consultant, and your costs will be even higher. Success should be defined by a set of criteria before you begin your campaign – social media or otherwise.

Think of social media as just one tool in your marketing toolbox. And the most effective marketing campaigns come from knowing what tools to use and when to use them, either alone or in combination.

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Web 2.0 And Demolition of Print Media

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Web 2.0 is an open source for all netizens to exercise their democratic rights without misuse. To me, the constitution of web 2.0 reads, ‘We, the people of e-space, having solemnly resolved to constitute the cyber world into sovereign, secular, democratic, republic, and to secure to all its netizens”

In plain, web 2.0 is a netizens/Internet users driven world. It has following features:

Network as platform

User driven/controlled contents

A rich, interactive, user-friendly interface based on AJAX technology

Social networking Aspects

1:1 Connection Between Mobile and Website

Any website based on web 2.0 concept has lots of scope for users. In short, democracy is the main feature of web 2.0. Thus, Web 2.0 is ‘For the People, Of the People, and By the People’.

Web 2.0 implies Netizen journalism. As web 2.0 popularizes Neitizen journalism and more people are becoming ‘public writers’, there is a fear that journalism as a distinct profession is becoming harder and harder to sustain. The boundaries between ‘professional’ and ‘amateur’ performance are breaking down

Until web 1.0, Internet was more or less treated like print media in digital form. But the technological advancement has made it possible to unleash the full potential of the Internet. Today, Internet is recognized as the most powerful medium, even more powerful than newspapers and TVs. According to a study, majority of youngsters surf Internet for a long time than sitting silently in front of the ‘Idiot Box’. Why?

  • Internet is one stop place for both motion pictures (TV) and literary texts (Newspapers)
  • Internet offers a place for 1:1 interactions
  • Internet Today offers lots of spaces for users’ to participate (web 2.0)

In short, Internet serves everything you wish for! Under these circumstances, one can never undermine the scope of Internet at time when the wave of web 2.0 is floating across. It’s high time to recognize the potential of Internet as important media, which seems to be dominating print and visual media (TVs). While TVs continue to grow at their own pace, print media (newspapers, magazines, etc.) may likely to face a tougher challenge from Internet.

I cannot predict how long newspapers will remain. But I do feel confident in predicting that the Internet will continue to demolish the printed world. And with the advent of new technologies (WEB 2.0 AJAX), creating multimedia advertisements inside web pages will make online marketing closer to the highly effective television and radio market strategy. Flash and JavaScript have added visual interactivity–and scripted database functions fill the web with more possibilities than even TV and radio.

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UK Media Advertising

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ADVERTISING ON UK MEDIA

There are many options for advertising your brand, product or service within the UK advertising marketplace.
Below is a list of the various media options available to you.

Television
Radio
National Press
Local and Regional Press
Magazines
Cinema
Posters

Within each of the above media there are even more options available to you.
However within this article I wanted to take this opportunity to take you through these various traditional media services, and impart my knowledge.
The reason behind this is I am in the process of building a new client portfolio and would like to offer my services to those of you who are interested in promoting your products or services in the Uk, but are not sure of where to start.
Let me also state that I do not intend to make this too technical, and intend only to make available to you the topline information to give you an outline understanding of what can be achieved.

Television

I have written an article on the early days of planning and buying Uk TV advertising which you can read by clicking here.
One of the most important and interesting changes in Uk TV advertising in the past decade, is the launch of Satellite and Digital TV channels in the UK. Which at the end of the day has basically reduced the entry cost level onto TV for many advertisers, it has also created many more viewing and buying options.
The choice and selection of TV channels are now in the region of 200+, but what does this mean?
Basically it means no matter how big or small your budget is, there will be an opportunity to promote your brand or service on TV.
Let me take you through the various options available.

ITV
Can be purchased on a regional basis, and within various regions this can even be broken down into macro regions, making ITV more affordable than you may of envisaged.
Also ITV has a number of national satellite channels ie ITV2,3,4.
Within the ITV1 natoinal and even the satellite channels airtime can be purchased across a number of time bands:

Coffee Time (early morning pre-noon)
Daytime (1200-16.30)
Pre-Peak (16.30-18.00)
Peak (18.00-22.00)
Late off Peak (22.00-)

NB:These time bands are a rough guide for all stations.
So as an example if you have a brand that is targeted against adults 50+, they can be reached by promoting your product or service during pre-noon and 16.30-18.00 (which is a prime time slot for this age group).
Of course dependent on your target market there will be various different time bands and options for reaching your potential customers.

BREAKFAST TV

Is generally between 06.00-09.30 and is operated on a national and macro regional basis by GMTV, also CH4 operate a breakfast service.
Here again dependent on your target market these are ideal for reaching houswives and houswives with kids.
You will note that GMTV carries quite a large number of toy advertisers.

CH4

Similar to ITV though tends to be younger, however is available nationally and by macro regions.
CH4 also operate their own satellite stations +4 etc, which again offer a wide range of opportunities for reaching your target market (or as I say potential customers).

CH5
Available on a national basis.

Satelite/Digital Tv

The options available to you on these stations are huge, so rather than go into too much detail I will be brief. There are channels covering virtually every subject you can think off, from holidays, history, sport etc.
It should be noted though that satellite tv channels can only be purchased on a national basis, though the entry levels will be lower than launching an ITV1 campaign.
I should also make you aware though that ITV1 audience levels will also be higher than the satellite channels.

COMMENTS
It was my intention to keep the above information brief and just to give you a feel of what is available. The skill in understanding this marketplace background is where I come in with over 30 years of background and direct contacts with the media owners.
The research audience data in the UK is highly sophisticated and this can be discussed, should you be interested in advertising on TV,
Before I move on here is a list of the TV comercial sizes that can be purchased:
10′, 20′, 30′, 40′ and 60′ seconds. (the average Uk TV commercial is 30 seconds).

RADIO

‘The theatre of the mind’ as I call it or as known in the industry.
Commercial radio in the Uk can be purchased locally or on a national basis. The flexibility of radio is the benefit of immediate call to action and can be used in any combination with other media or stand alone.
Local radio can be very cheap and a great way to promote any product or service, and add frequency to any campaign.

NATIONAL PRESS
Who said national press was dead, national press still attracts millions of readers day in day out.
The main uk titles are:

Sun and News of the world
Daily/ Sunday Mirror
Daily/ Sunday Mail
Daily/ Sunday Express
Daily/ Sunday Telegraph
Daily/ Sunday Times
Daily/ Independont on Sunday
Daily/ Sunday Star
FT
(there are other titles)

The various titles above reach a wide range of demographics, and can be planned to reach your target market using an array of sizes in colour or black and white. Lets not forget they also carry a wide variety of supplements which cover many topics ie Fashion, Food and Drink, Motoring etc.

LOCAL and REGIONAL PRESS

You will find thousands of these titles throughout the Uk, from free sheets to paid for titles.
They cover virtually every town and city in the UK.
They tend to cover just local news and events, and carry local classified advertising.
A great combination with local radio.
However if you are launching a product or service nationally and using local/regional press, you should compare the cost of a local/regional press campaign with national press. As sometimes you will find the national press option more cost-effective.

MAGAZINES

There are too many glossy magazines to list here, however there are many available within the Uk. Covering every topic and lifestyle you can think of.
From ‘Cosmopolitan’, ‘Homes and Garden’ to ‘Fish friers Gazette’ yes really.
The opportunities for reaching your potential customers (target market) can certainly be achieved with good planning and buying.
Within the glossy titles you can purchase (as an example) 1/4pages, 1/2pages, pages and double page spreads etc.
The key to getting it right is knowing your budget level and creative treatment and finally your target market.
Once this is set it’s just a matter of good planning and negotiating on your behalf.
It should also be noted that many of these titles also carry classified advertising.

CINEMA

Cinema is an excellent media opportunity for exposing your brand or service to the younger end of the market ie 15-25 year olds. Using longer commercials which add great impact.
Cinema can be purchased in many packages from a particular genre to locations throughout the UK.

POSTERS
Or outdoor as we like to call it in the media.
This covers a wide range of media options:
Static posters
Buses
Taxis
Mobile posters
London underground
Railway advertising
Bus stop advertising
Store advertising
Airports
Ferry ports
It varies quite a lot and the opportunities are vast.
The key to any outdoor poster advertising in creative copy. By this I mean if you are placing a static poster wherever it may be, the copy must be short and concise, as your creative message has to be seen and understood quickly and easily, as passers by only have a shorttime frame to take onboard your message.

With locations such as bus stops railway stations and inparticular the underground stations it is possible to impart more copy as your potential viewer has more time to read your advertising copy.

The larger outdoor static sites are an excellent way for promoting your branding proposition.
Wi
th store posters being ideal to reach your potential customers at their point of purchase
Outdoor media opportunities can be found throughout the Uk, from high streets to airports.

COMMENTS

I have tried to give a rough guide to the various media opportunities available to you throughout this blog for promoting your brand, product or services. I will update this article from time to time and hope you have found some of this information useful.

If you are considering advertising within the Uk and need further help you can contact me by e-mail harrymedia@aol.com

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History of the Media, Radio, and Television

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When were the forms of media created? When did advertising first show up? Who owns the media?

Creation of the various forms of media

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Newspapers & Magazines ~ 1880

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Movies ~ 1910

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Television ~ 1945

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Cable Television ~ 1980’s

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Satellite Television, Internet, Digital Communication ~ End of the 20th century

In 1920, radio was first developed, primarily for use by the military, strictly for sendingHistory of the Media – Old Radios messages from one location to another. David Sternoff, the then-president of RCA, first had the idea to sell radio sets to consumers, or what were then called radio receivers. However, consumers needed a reason to buy radios, so RCA was the first to set up radio stations all over the country. Between 1920 and 1922, 400 radio stations were set up, starting with KBKA in Pittsburgh. Stations were also set up by universities, newspapers, police departments, hotels, and labor unions.

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By 1923, there were 600 radio stations across the United States, and $83 million worth of sets had been sold.

The biggest difference in radio before and after 1923 was that the first advertising was not heard on the radio until 1923. RCA at the time was made up of four companies:

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AT&T

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General Electric

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United Fruit

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Westinghouse

United Fruit was one of the first global corporations, and one of the first to advertise on the radio. The AT&T division of RCA first thought about selling time on the air to companies, which marked the start of “toll broadcasting.” WEAF was the first station to operate this way, causing widespread outrage, and accusation of “polluting the airwaves.”

Because of this controversy, the practice of selling advertising time was called “trade name publicity.” Sponsors linked their name with a program on the air, rather than advertising a specific product in a 30 second “commercial” as we know it today.

Why did AT&T decide to experiment with charging companies for air time?

AT&T was not making any money from broadcasting at the time since they only made transmitters, not receivers. They only made money when new radio stations bought the equipment required to broadcast. They did not make money from consumers buying radios.

AT&T also started the practice of paying performers for their time on the air, rather than only volunteers, which was standard practice for radio content up until that point.

The first radio network

In 1926, RCA set up the first radio network, NBC. They decided it was more effective and efficient to produce shows in New York City, and then link the main radio station with stations all across the country, connected by AT&T (another RCA company) phone lines. (Now television networks are linked by satellite to their affiliates).

This was the beginning of the network affiliates system. The ideal network makes sure everyone in the country is capable of listening to their signal. NBC at the time had two philosophies:

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Radio content was a “public service,” whose function was to sell radios.

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Radio content was designed to generate income from advertising.

History of the Media In 1927, the second network was formed. It was CBS, started by William Paley. Paley was the first to think that networks could make money strictly from advertising, not even getting involved in the sales of radios. Like AT&T, CBS did not make radios. From the start, they made their money from selling advertising.

The rising of radio networks caused the Radio Act of 1927 to be passed, which established the FRC, or what is now known as the FCC, to allocate broadcast licenses. The need for such an organization was brought on by the fact that airwaves are limited resources, and broadcasting itself is a scarce public resource. By the 1930’s, the structure of radio have been set by the commercial format, although advertising never dominated radio like it would television later on.

In the 1920’s and ’30’s, radio programs were divided into two groups. Sponsored shows, which had advertisers, and unsponsored shows, which did not. The radio station paid for the unsponsored shows. The sponsored shows, on the other hand, were created entirely by the company sponsoring the show; advertisers were totally in charge of the radio station’s content. The content became advertising. Radio set the precedent for television, in that the same companies that controlled radio early on went on to control television.

Soon thereafter, television inherited the structure of radio. In the ’40’s, during the rise of television, RCA also held a monopoly on all television sets sold. By 1945-1955, advertising had taken over all of television. Television was organized around the premise of selling things. The entire television industry was creating a political atmosphere of suspicion and fear. Senator Joseph McCarthy, the founder of McCarthyism, which was based on the fear of Communism, and the HUAC (House Un-American Activities Committee, began to question people involved in television about their beliefs and associations.

What affected television in its early stages?

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Politics (McCarthyism / HUAC).

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Blacklists: From almost the inception of television, many writers, directors, and actors were considered to be pro-Communist and/or un-American.

Certain topics were totally off-limits at the time for television, particularly issues of race relations in the 1960’s. Overall, networks were not happy with the political situation for television in the 1960’s, both in terms of the blacklists, and of the fact that when every show had one sponsor, that sponsor controlled the entire program. Networks preferred to control the program, by way of moving to multiple sponsors/advertisers, where networks would retain control of the show, and advertisers would buy time in between the programming.

In the 1950’s, networks decided to eliminate the practice of sponsors controlling the shows with a move to spot selling, or advertisements between programs, as we know it today. What caused the move to spot selling?

1.

Discovery of fraud in the quiz shows on television. Quiz shows were extremely popular at the time, and were liked by the networks, the sponsors, and the viewers alike. It turned out, however, that quiz shows were largely fixed. Charles Van Doren on “21” became a huge star due to his repeated wins, until it came out that the whole thing had been fixed. In the case of “The $64,000 Question,” the owner of Revlon was personally hand-selecting the winners and losers on the show.

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It was becoming financially difficult for just one advertiser to support an entire show.

Around this same time came the inception of ratings to measure a show’s popularity. Ratings, quite simply, measure the number of people watching a show. To understand why ratings are so important, it’s crucial to understand how the television industry works, through three questions, and their respective answers:

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Who owns television? [The networks]

2.

What is sold on television? [Viewer’s time, not television shows]

3.

Who are the customers of television? [Advertisers, not viewers]

This might be a counterintuitive concept for some. The networks, which own television, areHistory of the Media – Old Television the buyers of shows, not the sellers. On the other hand, they sell our eyeballs, so to speak, to advertisers. Networks want the maximum possible profit from buying and selling time, both viewers’ time, and advertisers’ time.

The primary measure of television ratings, which determine the price of that time being bought and sold, is AC Nielsen, an independent company which provides information as to who watches what on television. Currently, about 4,000 households are used to represent the national viewing of television. In the 1980’s, only 1,200 households were used. Some households have an electronic device installed on th
eir television which tracks what they watch, while others keep a diary of viewing habits.

There are two measures for determining a show’s audience. One is the rating, and the other is the share.

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Rating: Percentage of total homes with televisions tuned into a particular show.

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Share: Percentage of those watching television at a particular time who are tuned into a particular show.

The share is always greater than the rating. Ratings are more important for advertisers, and share is more important to the networks.

Example:

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Total households with televisions: 150 million

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Total households watching television at 8pm on Monday nights: 90 million

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Total households watching American Idol at 8pm on Monday nights: 45 million

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Therefore: Rating: 30, Share: 50

It’s important to note how many factors can skew the results. Shows cost producers much more than the networks typically pay them for those shows. The way for producers to make money is by getting the networks to renew the show, in order to have a shot at making money from syndication on other channels, also knows as reruns. That is the case when individual stations (say for example, the Miami affiliate of ABC wants to carry Seinfeld), buy the rights to a show from the producers of that show. Shows that last only one season, for the most part, lose millions of dollars. One of the most important factors in whether shows will be renewed or not is their rating.

This brings us to how ratings can be skewed. For example, if a show has a 20 share, and it needs a 25 share to be renewed for another season, what might the producers do? In principle, they need to convince another 5% of the people watching television when their show is on to watch their show; this is no simple task, as that involves convincing millions of people. However, since the ratings are based on those 4,000 Nielsen households, that means that they could convince just 200 Nielsen households to watch their show, which would increase the share from 20 to 25. This is why Nielsen households must be kept totally secret from the networks. When the Nielsen households have leaked to the networks, one way which they got people to watch their show was by offering viewers a small sum of money for filling out a survey about a commercial which they were told would play only during a particular show. Since they had to watch that channel while their show was on, this would boost the share.

Once ratings are determined, advertising prices are set by two factors:

* The size of the audience.

* The demographics (income, age, gender, occupation, etc) of the audience.

In short, the job of television programs is to collect our time as a product, which they then sell to advertisers. Programs have to support the advertising, delivering viewers in the best possible state of mind for buying when the time for the commercials comes, which brings us to the Golden Age of Television.

The 1950’s are considered the “Golden Age of Television.” During this time, something called the “Anthology Series,” where different actors each week took part in a show gained History of the Media – I Love Lucypopularity across the board…that is, with everyone except for advertisers. The anthology series format was not right for advertisers, as it covered topics which involved psychological confrontations which did not leave the viewers in the proper state of mind for buying the products shown to them between program segments. The subject matter of the anthology series was of the type that undermined the ads, almost making them seem fraudulent.

This brought up the question of what to network executives actually want shows to do? The answer is not to watch a program that makes them feel good, makes them laugh, or excites them, but rather to watch the television for a set amount of time. With so many new shows being proposed, standards began to be intentionally, or unintentionally, laid out for what shows could and couldn’t do. Risks could only be taken at the beginning and/or end of shows. Laugh tracks were conceived to tell the audience when to laugh. Programs began being tested with audiences prior to being put on television and/or radio. Show writers now had to write shows that would test well.

Naturally, this caused many of the same elements and themes to appear in all shows. This was the beginning of recombinant television culture, where the same elements are endlessly repeated, recombined, and mixed.

This same culture is what perpetuated the idea that people watch television, not specific shows. While people certainly choose to watch certain shows instead of others, people less commonly choose to watch television instead of other things. People watch television. Regardless of what was on, television viewing rates were extremely stable.

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Latest Trends in Smart TV – Could Apple Win?

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Smart TVs are television sets that can retrieve content from the Internet and offer built-in applications for streaming music and movies, apps for social networking, apps for news, weather, sports, games, YouTube and more. In addition to using apps, one of the most appealing factors for tech-savvy consumers is voice activation technology to control TV sets.

According to DisplaySearch, a leading provider of reliable information about the display-related industries, connected TVs are forecast to grow to over 123 million shipments in 2014 (at a 30% compound annual growth rate). The market is now developing beyond mature regions like Western Europe and Japan. Emerging markets play a major role in this growth. With the improvements in the broadband infrastructure, the adoption of connected TVs is a natural next step in TV feature innovation. Eastern Europe is expected to grow from 2.5 million connected TVs shipped in 2010 to over 10 million in 2014. In addition to that, 33% of flat panel TVs sold in China in 2013 will have the Internet capability.

DisplaySearch also forecasts that the connected TV market will become fragmented and increase in complexity. One group of TV sets is supposed to feature basic video on demand and appeal to consumers who expect television to remain a passive experience. Those who want something more substantial will find interesting other TV sets offering configurable apps, sophisticated search and navigation engines, as well as advanced user interfaces.

The main contemporary connected TV platforms include Samsung Smart TV, LG Smart TV, Mitsubishi Stream TV, Panasonic Viera Connect, Sony Bravia, Toshiba NetTV, Apple TV, Google TV, TiVo, Liberty Global’s Horizon and Yahoo! Connected TV. Samsung, with around 20 million apps downloaded by the end of January 2012, is the segment leader, followed by Panasonic and LG.

However, the biggest shake-up in the television industry is going to cause Apple’s much-talked-of TV set. It promises to revolutionize television like once the iPad hit the market. Steve Jobs was quoted in his official biography saying that he “finally cracked the case” of an integrated TV. The new iTV (alleged name) is expected to be completely easy to use, seamlessly synced with other Apple’s devices and with the iCloud. At the moment Apple with its $99 set-top box Apple TV seems to be doing very well, with 2.8 million units sold in 2011.

We are constantly hearing rumors related to the expected Apple’s product, its features, price, and release date. CLSA Group views Apple TV hardware as a 2013 event. According to the estimations of ITG Industry Investment Research, the new iTV set could increase the company’s market cap by 10%, or $60 billion. Apple, already the world’s most valuable company, has recently hit the $600 billion level.

Analyst Peter Misek from Jefferies, a global securities and investment banking group, doesn’t expect the device to be called iTV. He suggests the new television could be called “iPanel” which can reflect its potential as a hub for gaming, media and more. The iPanel name also follows the “iP” format of other Aplle’s products, like the iPod, iPhone and the iPad. However, it is just a guess from the analyst. Misek expects that an Apple television will have a $1,250 average selling price.

The success of Apple’s products, like the iPod, the iPhone, and iPad, are much about the design. The iTV (let’s take this name) is supposed to have superior quality and excellent design. The list of possible features includes the following ones:

  • An aluminum construction;
  • FaceTime video calling;
  • Siri-based remote voice control;
  • 42-inch HD screen;
  • iOS operating system;
  • iCloud support;
  • Control from the iPhone or the iPad;
  • Access to Netflix, YouTube, Flickr, etc. (same as on the existing Apple TV);
  • Content sharing and media streaming from Apple’s devices.

Obviously, we’ll soon witness the appearance of a new smart TV from Apple that is going to bring new changes to the TV market. And, yes, Apple may win!

Industries and Technology Areas:

Industries: mass media, television

Technology Areas: Smart TV, connected TV, Smart TV applications, TV application development, software development

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Promotional Items Vs TV Advertising

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With daily news updates about the credit crunch it is no surprise that you might be worried about the upcoming year and considering abandoning plans to use promotional items; instead looking to focus your marketing budget on other initiatives. However, before allocating your budget give some thought to the power of promotional items…

One of the Strongest Performing Marketing Tools

Promotional items are one of the strongest performing marketing tools, with a recent study showing that 84% of respondents recalled a company after receiving a promotional item from them. Part of the reason promotional items can be more effective is that they work in a slightly different way than TV or radio campaigns.

While TV may bombard us with information every advert break, many people are too busy making a cup of tea to notice. And when they make their tea, your customers could be using a promotional mug, branded with your name and logo, which promotes constantly…not just for a couple of minutes in between a program.

Better Market Segmentation

It is true that TV advertising can reach a lot more people, but this can also be a negative point. Many of the people who see your campaign may not be the people who would ever buy your products, or even consider them. This means that you are wasting some of your hard-earned budget on targeting completely the wrong people. Using promotional items puts the power in your hands, either to ensure that regular customers are sent a gift, or that you send a mailer containing a gift such as a pen to build recognition before your follow up calls.

Cost vs. Return

TV advertising is a very costly approach for any company to take – effective creative comes at a high cost and that’s without media buying. In contrast to this, buying and sending promotional gifts is extremely cost effective and targeted. In fact, if you are seen to be sending gifts to customers and potential customers while other companies are cutting back on this type of activity, it helps differentiate your business as a company who cares about its customers and rewards them for their loyalty. They will remember your name and feel special…rather than a one-way message delivered to everyone on a TV screen.

TV advertising is also short-term, you may only see a brand / brand message a handful of times. However, a promotional gift such as a pen or calculator will keep a company’s brand / brand message in front of someone constantly for a long period of time.

Put yourself in your customers’ shoes…would you prefer a generic message delivered over a mass medium (such as TV) or would you prefer a more personalized approach, such as a letter and gift?

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