Broadband – Your Estimates May Vary

I've been watching as the predictions for broadband go higher and higher, and now this….Jupiter claims broadband home penetration in the 35% range in 2004. And for high income households, it soars way above that, to nearly 50%. PS – My ISP went down today, till now. Sorry for the…

I’ve been watching as the predictions for broadband go higher and higher, and now this….Jupiter claims broadband home penetration in the 35% range in 2004. And for high income households, it soars way above that, to nearly 50%.

PS – My ISP went down today, till now. Sorry for the light posting day…

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How Superbowl Ad Prices Prove Old Media Is Splintering

Advertising Age has a headline today that sounds familiar: "Superbowl Ad Prices Set New Record." On first blush, it'd be easy to say that the $2.25 million marketers are paying for one 30-second spot proves how robust broadcast television is as a medium. In fact, I'd argue it proves quite…

Advertising Age has a headline today that sounds familiar: “Superbowl Ad Prices Set New Record.” On first blush, it’d be easy to say that the $2.25 million marketers are paying for one 30-second spot proves how robust broadcast television is as a medium. In fact, I’d argue it proves quite the opposite. Broadcast television continues to bleed out as niche cable, the internet, and gaming take hold, creating a a significant shortage of Major Marketing Moments. Back when Laugh In or the Texaco Theater was king, average ratings hovered above 50 for hit shows. Now a show is a hit if it cracks the teens. Hence, when something like the Superbowl creates a mass marketing opportunity (a rarity today), marketers naturally bid it up. So here’s a new law: The price of a 30-second Superbowl spot is inversely correlated to overall network television revenues. I’d wager Major Marketing Moment revenues won’t make up the overall network decline year to year. I’d love to do the stats on this, but I’m supposed to be writing a book, so I’ll leave it at that.

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Exactly…

Dan Gillmor nails it when he says: The post-broadcast culture is a democratization of media, and it comes at things from the opposite stance. It says that anyone also can be a creator, not just a consumer. There's a world of difference. This evolution hit the print world in the…

Dan Gillmor nails it when he says:

The post-broadcast culture is a democratization of media, and it comes at things from the opposite stance. It says that anyone also can be a creator, not just a consumer. There’s a world of difference.

This evolution hit the print world in the mid-1980s, when desktop publishing spurred an array of new magazines, newsletters and other print publications. Then the Web arrived, spurring even more variety in what remained essentially a modern version of printed news and information.

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The SCO Suit Spills Into Search

Google is well known as a poster child for Linux – it's got clusters of some 10,000 Linux machines happily cranking out hundreds of millions of searches a day. SCO is well known to be a sore loser in the Unix OS wars – it's suing IBM, claiming Linux…

Google is well known as a poster child for Linux – it’s got clusters of some 10,000 Linux machines happily cranking out hundreds of millions of searches a day. SCO is well known to be a sore loser in the Unix OS wars – it’s suing IBM, claiming Linux (which IBM is pushing hard) violates their intellectual property rights. Folks have speculate for weeks that perhaps SCO would go after Google, given its high profile and imminent IPO. Google would capitulate, the reasoning went, since they’d prefer to pay off SCO and insure a big IPO payday, rather than screw up an offering with a messy legal battle over some of the most important technology they use.

Well, Rueters is reporting that the other shoe has dropped, if somewhat softly. In the story, which has been commented on widely in the Linux/blog world, a company representative says that “SCO has had ‘intermittent, low-level discussions’ with Google, which is well-known for harnessing Linux technology to run its popular search service.” Some wags say that means SCO called Google, asked the receptionist for money, and were hung up on.

Now, I am no expert on the SCO suit – it smells wrong to me – but I’d count on the opinions of Larry Lessig. He says the suit is crap. If and how Google responds will be important. I’d wager they’ll simply ignore it as long as the suit is only against IBM. If SCO sues Google, I imagine the company will join IBM and fight hard. That feels like the right thing to do.

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TiVo Tries To Give Us What We Want…

Over at Boing Boing Cory's got a good rant on TiVo's attempt to free video from the opaque prison most commercial PVRs have become. But he finds the DRM TiVo has imposed too limiting. From his post: What's funny about this is that it's the exact opposite of the traditional…

Over at Boing Boing Cory’s got a good rant on TiVo’s attempt to free video from the opaque prison most commercial PVRs have become. But he finds the DRM TiVo has imposed too limiting.

From his post: What’s funny about this is that it’s the exact opposite of the traditional way of running a disruptive technology business: no one crippled the piano roll to make sure it didn’t upset the music publishers, Marconi didn’t cripple the radio to appease the Vaudeville players — hell, railroad barons never slowed their steam-engines down to speeds guaranteed to please the teamsters.

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NYT on MSFT

As a curtain raiser for CES, John Markoff gives the ever morphing MSFT strategy w/r/t search/MSN a good once over in light of recent video/access/search biz model shifts. From the piece: The Microsoft executive who heads the MSN service, Yusuf Mehdi, said that Microsoft generated $1 billion annually in online…

As a curtain raiser for CES, John Markoff gives the ever morphing MSFT strategy w/r/t search/MSN a good once over in light of recent video/access/search biz model shifts.

From the piece: The Microsoft executive who heads the MSN service, Yusuf Mehdi, said that Microsoft generated $1 billion annually in online advertising revenue and saw growth opportunities in creating a Yahoo-style Web portal and Google-style search-based advertising.

For more context, here are columns I wrote on both MSFT’s search strategies and video/advertising strategies

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Stats and Trends in Online Media

A busy day in marketing land, with loads of stats and trends. First, a study shows that "cross-channelers" – folks who use both a website and a second medium to interact with a brand, do it more with television brands than with magazines. Does this mean magazines are doomed? No,…

A busy day in marketing land, with loads of stats and trends. First, a study shows that “cross-channelers” – folks who use both a website and a second medium to interact with a brand, do it more with television brands than with magazines. Does this mean magazines are doomed? No, it means magazines are deeply lame when it comes to the web, IMHO.
Marketing Wonk also notes more proof of a strong, search driven Holiday season, and the increasing trend of media buys favoring online and cable over network and magazines….

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Regulate TiVo? Come on.

Media analyst Tom Wolzein has made this statement in the past, but I thought he caught a clue and stopped spreading the meme. But he's back with it: "The protection of commercial-financed television is both a logical, and an essential place for near-term government legislation," Wolzien says in a Broadcast…

plinkMedia analyst Tom Wolzein has made this statement in the past, but I thought he caught a clue and stopped spreading the meme. But he’s back with it: “The protection of commercial-financed television is both a logical, and an essential place for near-term government legislation,” Wolzien says in a Broadcast and Cable article.

From the piece: Wolzien has a plan: Regulate the DVR so consumers have to watch the commercials. It’s the only way to prevent the technology from destroying a $60 billion business. The government mandates all sorts of things in TV sets, after all—from UHF tuners to closed-captioning to HDTV. He sees networks feeding their signals with codes that tell DVRs whether the commercial can be skipped, giving “control of playback parameters to the content provider who sells the bulk of the revenue-producing advertising that funds that content.”

This is just the most blinkered piece of reasoning I’ve heard in many a moon. If you want to really kill “broadcast” television, force consumers to watch commercials when they have other options – and they will have other options, like HBO and scores of other channels that will have gotten with the PVR program and figured out other ways to bring advertising into television beyond the lame, dead-end 30 second spot format. (Not to mention internet video, for more on that read this). Harrumph.

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Is Apple Going TiVo?

No, more like a home video/entertainment server with some TiVo-like capabilities, according to rumors reported at this Mac news site. Thanks to Scoble for the tip off. Maybe one of my dreams (see #10) will in fact come true…….

plinkNo, more like a home video/entertainment server with some TiVo-like capabilities, according to rumors reported at this Mac news site. Thanks to Scoble for the tip off. Maybe one of my dreams (see #10) will in fact come true….

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Watch This Space: Comcast

There's been a lot of noise over Comcast lately, most of it about the company's rather restrictive terms of service for their broadband product. (It boils down to this: They make it hard to do anything but take a high bandwidth feed from them. Thus they are approaching the internet,…

There’s been a lot of noise over Comcast lately, most of it about the company’s rather restrictive terms of service for their broadband product. (It boils down to this: They make it hard to do anything but take a high bandwidth feed from them. Thus they are approaching the internet, predictably, the way they approach cable – a dumb system with intelligence, such that it is, embedded in the servers, rather than at the nodes). So watch this space: Comcast is continuing to flex its programming muscle. This means that Comcast the ISP will act more and more in the interests of Comcast the owner of entertainment programming. Which net net, isn’t going to be good for the net, at least in the short term.

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