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    This is the personal blog of Simon Kendrick and covers my interests in media, technology and popular culture. All opinions expressed are my own and may not be representative of past or present employers
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Links – 23rd December 2008

Part 2 of the link update for December, and my final post of 2008 (barring unforeseen events).

Media channels

Scott Karp at publishing 2.0 channels Seth Godin with his call to arms for the print industry. The market and the internet don’t care if you make money, and the industry needs to adapt if it is to survive.

Futurescape have shared three of their excellent reports on web series, while the Observer looks at the successes of several of them. Check out my twelve shows to check out here

Grant McCracken wonders why TV revenues are holding while viewing declines. I haven’t seen the data he is quoting, but in the UK overall viewing is actually pretty robust (it is just fragmenting). I would also argue that TV is better suited to adapt to the new media landscape than radio or press, though I’m sure people from those respective industries would vehemently disagree.

The New York Times’ 8th annual Year in Ideas (some better than others)

A 25 point manifesto for the music industry

Music Ally has a load of predictions for digital music in 2009

Marketing and business

Apathy Sketchbook has accumulated a magnificently comprehensive list of all the terrible PR formulae masked as science. Harks back to my Bad Research post.

With ROI discussions threatening to jump the shark (if they haven’t already), everyone should read Lewis Green’s reminder of what ROI actually is, and how it differs from value.

Seth Godin asks when you create a new product or brand, are you making a new market or taking from an old one?

I’ve already linked to Gareth Kay’s excellent slideshare presentation, but this summary contains some great comments on the problems of planning.

Tom Peters has 27 practical ideas to transform your organisation

The Ad Freak awards for 2008.

Le’Nise Brothers has some great advice on digital media planning

The Advertising Lab has published 19 tips for in-game advertising

Brand Strategy has 9 tips for businesses in 2009

A MetaFilter thread on products where it is better to spend more on quality – can this advice still be adhered to in the current climate?

In a nice piece of bricks and mortar experiential marketing, P&G opened a store for its coupons on Black Friday.

Miscellaneous

The Big Picture is one of THE great web innovations by traditional media, and their year in pictures is a must

Foreign Policy again publish the ten stories you would have probably missed over the past year – which is shocking, given the importance of them

Malcolm Gladwell uses quarterbacks and teachers to ask why we hire people when we don’t know if they will succeed

12 fascinating and mysterious criminal cases does exactly what it says on the tin – includes Abe Lincoln and Lizzie Borden among others

The life of Carl Ponzi – after whom Ponzi Schemes (a form of pyramid selling) take their name

Hitotoki brings together literary tales of visits to specific parts of London.

Particular commendation goes to The market and the internet don’t care if you make money, Year in Ideas, terrible PR formulae masked as science, what ROI actually is, The Big Picture and ten stories you would have probably missed over the past year

That is me well and truly spent for the year. It’s been a blast. I hope everyone has a wonderful Christmas, and I’ll be back in 2009.

sk

Why original video content doesn’t perform as well as TV show webisodes

uglybettyNewteevee have reported that ABC are finding that their original online video content does not perform nearly as well as webisodes of shows such as Ugly Betty.

This isn’t a fair comparison. Ugly Betty is one of the biggest shows on ABC; how does traffic for smaller programmes compare to original web content?

A clear distinction should also be drawn between original content and additional content. Additional content has a clear advantage in having a ready-made audience.

The article concentrates on short-form content. It is worth pointing out that long-form catch-up content behaves differently – Ugly Betty’s catch-up performance may not be as strong. This makes sense as not all shows necessarily have repeat value – if lots of people are viewing it on TV then there will be fewer wanting to watch it online.

Though, Ugly Betty has two characteristics that make it more likely to be viewed in catch-up. The first is demography – younger people are likely to be more active and more in need of a catch-up service. Hence shows targeted at 16-34s will find they have a greater percentage of their total audience viewing after the event. The second is genre. Comedies aren’t as critical to be viewed live as sport or reality content (and personally, I prefer to “series-stack”).

But, ultimately, live viewing has the lure of being able to watch new content immediately, and being able to participate in watercooler chat the other day. This is why we find there is a skew in top shows online compared to top shows on TV – check out these stats for single episodes views from the BBC and ITV. They are quite different to top TV episodes.

Short-form content, on the other hand, is additional content. Viewers of this are therefore going to be very closely tied with programme viewers. Passionate advocates of a programme are going to be those that watch live and those that consume the additional content. Using the Coronation Street example (as I repeatedly do), the viewing figures for alternative versions of a character’s death were huge.

I’ve already posted on how TV and online video are complementary rather than contradictory. But it is worth repeating that web traffic to TV channel websites (at least in the UK) is closely correlated to viewing audiences. Big event shows bring in mass audiences viewing live. In pure scale, there are going to be more advocates who want to consume additional content. But these types of show also have very high levels of engagement. If people are talking about a show, they will want additional content to fuel their chat.

This isn’t meant to do original broadband content a disservice. I am a big fan of made for broadband shows – as this list of twelve web series to check out should indicate. They have many benefits, particularly to brands that can explore ways to interact with consumers in a creative and entertaining manner. This article from Broadcast magazine explores this concept, and includes some of the great research done by the people at Futurescape.

Merely, it is simply to highlight the unfair comparison. People visit the websites of TV channels with specific content in mind – they rarely go to browse. TV programmes have much greater visibility and consumption than web-only shows, and it is only natural that they contribute the majority of traffic

sk