News Articles

The Multiplatform Buzz

Cable networks tout new media for content and advertising 3/31/2006 07:00:00 PM Eastern

Now Streaming

Now Streaming

Viral Alliance

E! Networks is pairing with viral video site YouTube to launch Cybersmack, a new site on E!’s broadband channel, The Vine @ E! Online. Cybersmack, originally a segment from E! series The Soup, kicked off last week with videos satirizing entertainment and pop culture. YouTube will promote the site with a link on its home page and by featuring clips from Cybersmack and other E! shows. The venture comes as networks struggle with how to handle viral distribution; while NBC and CBS have ordered YouTube to remove the networks’ content, MTV2 has forged content partnerships with the site. E! invited viewers to submit videos to compete for a $25,000 prize to be awarded March 31.

News from NBC U

NBC Universal will offer episodes of series from NBC, USA Network, Sci Fi Channel and Bravo on Comcast’s video-on-demand service. NBC’s prime time and late-night series will be available only in Comcast markets with NBC owned-and-operated stations. Comcast will charge 99¢ for the prime time episodes.

Separately, NBC U tapped America Online veteran Thomas Hjelm for a new post. As senior director of online content for the NBC U Television Stations, Hjelm will conceive and produce original online content for the broadband sites of its 14 owned-and-operated television stations, and oversee news, entertainment and lifestyle programming.

CBS Streams Masters’ “Corner”

CBS SportsLine will stream live video from the 2006 Masters Tournament, the golf championship to be held in Augusta, Ga., this April 6-9. SportsLine, a subsidiary of CBS Digital Media, will work with Masters.org, CBS Sports and Augusta National Golf Club to stream 22 hours of coverage from the “Amen Corner,” the course’s critical holes — 11, 12 and 13. Amen Corner Live will be hosted by Masters veterans Mike Hulbert and Phil Blackmar.

An iTunes First

NBC’s comedy Scrubs is now available through the NBC storefront at iTunes, the first time a network will offer a show from a studio not affiliated with it (in this case, Disney-ABC Television Group’s Touchstone Television).

Study: Online Video Viewers

Twenty-four percent of Internet users access video at least once a week, and 46% watch video at least once a month, says a new study from the trade group Online Publishers Association and consulting/research firm Frank N. Magid Associates. The study surveyed 1,241 Internet users ages 12 to 64 in February to ascertain how the U.S. online population perceives video and video ads. The study found that news is the leading genre in online video, with 27% of online video viewers saying they watched news online once a week. Sixty-six percent said they watched video ads; 44% of those said they acted on what they saw.

Package Deals

Disney-ABC is offering Lost and Desperate Housewives on iTunes’ Season Pass, a new feature that, for $34.99, sends viewers episodes from an entire current season the day after the network airs them. Comedy Central launched a similar iTunes feature, Multi-Pass, for The Daily ShowWith Jon Stewart and The Colbert Report; viewers can buy 16 shows (a month’s worth) for $9.99.

If there’s one word that networks are hoping to drill into the heads of ad buyers at this season’s cable upfronts, it’s “multiplatform.”

Networks like Nick, Court TV and Lifetime unleashed a torrent of buzzwords to tout their use of digital platforms as new venues for content and new opportunities for advertising.

Some ad buyers see the tech talk as an effort by networks to reassure an advertising industry clamoring for greater accountability (a current mantra among advertisers) and threatening to shift dollars from TV to the Web. At last year’s upfronts, broadcast networks generated just 1% growth to $9 billion, while cable networks grew 3% to $6.8 billion. Online spending, however, grew 28% last year to $12.4 billion, according to Forrester Research.

“If this year is a repeat of last year’s market, they need to be selling something new to bring more money in the door,” says Magna Global Worldwide Chairman/CEO Bill Cella.

In its “Mix It Up” presentation, The Disney Channel boasted about its mix of platforms, which currently includes downloads on iTunes and deals with mobile and video-on-demand (VOD) providers. With plans to stream episodes on broadband, Disney will offer non-ad-supported content on ad-supported digital space.

Nickelodeon, whose content is available through VOD, wireless, broadband and iTunes, announced plans for podcasts and a “multimillion-dollar development slate for nonlinear productions” that includes developing TV series from the Web and videogames.

Court TV riffed on its “Seriously Entertaining” slogan, promising to be “seriously everywhere” by adding broadband to its current satellite radio, mobile and VOD presence.

Lifetime President/CEO Betty Cohen says the network will be “the top multiplatform media brand for women and the premiere destination for advertisers who want to engage 52% of the population.”

Lifetime just launched a broadband site, for Lifetime Movie Network, and plans to add new mobile deals but has yet to offer VOD content.

Spike TV promoted its broadband component, Spike 2, with a testosterone-infused clip reel that wove snippets of the network’s action-based programming with shots of digital devices.

MTV focused almost entirely on its digital venues in its presentation, noting that it offered 142 “touchpoints” from this season’s Real World, including ringtones and extra programming on the Overdrive broadband site.

MTV President Christina Norman called multiplatform positioning the engine that drives the network’s strategy.

“For us, multiplatform is more than the buzzword of the day,” Norman says. “It is the way this audience lives.”

Indeed, MTV’s young audience is the one most likely to use alternative sources like Overdrive, which clocked 13 million streams in 30 days for the online version of the Video Music Awards. But for networks without MTV’s proven digital record, how much of their commitment to a multiplatform universe is more than catchy jargon?

Several executives at their own upfronts acknowledged in off-the-record conversations that they did not know how much ad money would actually go to multiplatform content or whether their networks were touting their digital space simply because it’s in vogue.

Starcom New York senior VP Doug Seay doesn’t blame the networks for trying to assuage advertisers’ concerns. “It’s legitimate posturing, but it’s a little bit like pushing the options on a car,” he says. “They’ll say whatever it is that will help them sell the car.”

But Seay is skeptical about much of the networks’ digital bluster. “Everyone sees the classic model isn’t working, and everyone wants a new model to replace it,” he says. “It’s not that simple.”

Top 5 Network Sites
Source: Hitwise US, ranked by visit
1 The Weather Channel-US
2 MSNBC
3 ESPN
4 CNN
5 Disney Channel

Now Streaming

Now Streaming

Viral Alliance

E! Networks is pairing with viral video site YouTube to launch Cybersmack, a new site on E!’s broadband channel, The Vine @ E! Online. Cybersmack, originally a segment from E! series The Soup, kicked off last week with videos satirizing entertainment and pop culture. YouTube will promote the site with a link on its home page and by featuring clips from Cybersmack and other E! shows. The venture comes as networks struggle with how to handle viral distribution; while NBC and CBS have ordered YouTube to remove the networks’ content, MTV2 has forged content partnerships with the site. E! invited viewers to submit videos to compete for a $25,000 prize to be awarded March 31.

News from NBC U

NBC Universal will offer episodes of series from NBC, USA Network, Sci Fi Channel and Bravo on Comcast’s video-on-demand service. NBC’s prime time and late-night series will be available only in Comcast markets with NBC owned-and-operated stations. Comcast will charge 99¢ for the prime time episodes.

Separately, NBC U tapped America Online veteran Thomas Hjelm for a new post. As senior director of online content for the NBC U Television Stations, Hjelm will conceive and produce original online content for the broadband sites of its 14 owned-and-operated television stations, and oversee news, entertainment and lifestyle programming.

CBS Streams Masters’ “Corner”

CBS SportsLine will stream live video from the 2006 Masters Tournament, the golf championship to be held in Augusta, Ga., this April 6-9. SportsLine, a subsidiary of CBS Digital Media, will work with Masters.org, CBS Sports and Augusta National Golf Club to stream 22 hours of coverage from the “Amen Corner,” the course’s critical holes — 11, 12 and 13. Amen Corner Live will be hosted by Masters veterans Mike Hulbert and Phil Blackmar.

An iTunes First

NBC’s comedy Scrubs is now available through the NBC storefront at iTunes, the first time a network will offer a show from a studio not affiliated with it (in this case, Disney-ABC Television Group’s Touchstone Television).

Study: Online Video Viewers

Twenty-four percent of Internet users access video at least once a week, and 46% watch video at least once a month, says a new study from the trade group Online Publishers Association and consulting/research firm Frank N. Magid Associates. The study surveyed 1,241 Internet users ages 12 to 64 in February to ascertain how the U.S. online population perceives video and video ads. The study found that news is the leading genre in online video, with 27% of online video viewers saying they watched news online once a week. Sixty-six percent said they watched video ads; 44% of those said they acted on what they saw.

Package Deals

Disney-ABC is offering Lost and Desperate Housewives on iTunes’ Season Pass, a new feature that, for $34.99, sends viewers episodes from an entire current season the day after the network airs them. Comedy Central launched a similar iTunes feature, Multi-Pass, for The Daily ShowWith Jon Stewart and The Colbert Report; viewers can buy 16 shows (a month’s worth) for $9.99.

 

Alert to All Users of the Disqus commenting system:
Because of a recent global security issue, the Disqus website recommends that all users change their Disqus passwords. Here's a URL about the issue:
http://engineering.disqus.com/2014/04/10/heartbleed.html

 

April
May