Welcome to Market Revolution's blog

Thank you for visiting Market Revolution's blog.

We live and work in exciting times - revolutionary times. Technology continues to recast the media industry.

The extraordinary advance of affordable personal digital technology and the stellar rise of social networks are both distrupting and transforming the media market making this a unique moment to be involved in the convergence sectors we focus on.

This is also our place to ruminate and comment on the world as we see it, we hope you enjoy and please join in.

Wednesday, 27 February 2008

Desperate Housewives or just desperate?

From well-regarded television industry journalist and future blogger Bill Carter:

Looking to strike a blow against the proliferation of digital video recorders, the ABC network, its affiliated broadcast stations, and Cox Communications’ cable systems are establishing an on-demand video service that would allow viewers to watch ABC shows like “Lost” and “Desperate Housewives” any time they choose.

The catch: It uses a new technology that disables the viewers’ ability to fast-forward through commercials...

Several executives involved in the project, which ABC plans to offer to other cable systems around the country, said the move was an overt attempt to staunch the use of DVRs like TiVo, which viewers often use to avoid commercials. That activity is increasingly seen as threat to broadcast television, which depends on ad revenue to pay for programs.

“This does counter the DVR,” said Anne Sweeney, the president of the Disney-ABC television group. “You don’t need TiVo if you have fast-forward-disabled video on demand..."

Ray Cole, president of Citadel Communications, which owns three local ABC stations, who is also the chairman of the board of affiliated ABC stations, was even more direct about the goal of the new service.

“As network and affiliates, we both have an interest in slowing down the explosive growth of DVRs,” Mr. Cole said. “This is about combating DVRs. As we developed this at every stage, there was an agreement that however we put this together, disabling the fast-forward function was key.”

A pictorial representation of ABC's view of you, the viewer:

Monday, 25 February 2008


NEW YORK: A majority of US marketers believe that television advertising has become less effective over the past two years, spurring interest in exploring new ad and video commercial formats.

That's the conclusion of the fourth biennial TV & Technology survey conducted by the Association of National Advertisers and Forrester Research.

Among the study's main findings ...

  • Sixty-two percent of marketers believe TV advertising has become less effective in the past two years, but close to half of the advertisers surveyed have already started to experiment with new ad types to work with DVRs and VOD programs.
  • Eighty-seven percent of advertisers believe branded entertainment will play a stronger role in TV advertising in the coming year.
  • Advertisers are eager to try new ad formats, including ads in online TV shows (65 percent), ads embedded in VOD (55 percent), interactive television ads (43 percent), and ads within the set top box menu (32 percent).
  • Over 50 percent of marketers reported that when half of all TV households use DVRs, they will cut spending on TV advertising by 12 percent.
  • Eighty-seven percent of respondents said they intend to spend more on Web advertising this year.
  • Seventy-two percent of marketers are very interested in having individual commercial ratings rather than average commercial ratings.
"As marketers embrace the richness of new advertising avenues outside of the traditional TV format, the TV industry is working to address marketer's issues related to ratings and the changing TV landscape,”"said ANA president/ceo Bob Liodice.

"Marketers, in collaboration with the TV industry, will continue to find the most effective and innovative ways to reach their customers through the TV medium, utilizing the emerging technologies available to them."


Newspaper-Laptop.jpgLONDON: In its first-ever release of combined ABC print and online monthly circulation figures, the UK Audit Bureau of Circulations flags Associated Newspapers' middle-class clarion Daily Mail as the nation's leading newspaper brand.

But - and its a big 'but' - the new Multi-Platform Monthly Report, based on the ABC's January audit, covers only five national newspaper publishers. It is hoped more will follow suit in the near future.

Among those included in the new survey, the Daily and Sunday Mail lead the field with print circulation and web unique users totalling 22.55 million, comfortably outpacing The Guardian/The Observer's 20.5m and The Sun's 16.6m.

However, it's a different story when it comes to overall reach by individual newspaper groups. In this sector, NewsCorp unit News International has put a massive stretch of clear blue water between itself and its nearest competitor Telegraph Media Group.

News International, which comprises daily title The Sun and its Sunday equivalent, News of the World, is also preeminent at the opposite end of the socio-economic scale with The Times and The Sunday Times.

Clan Murdoch's combined newspaper portfolio, both offline and on, accounts for no fewer than 36.7m. Leaving runner-up TMG (13.9m) trailing by 22.8m

Among the major names yet to commit to the multi-platform audit are Mirror Group, Independent Newspapers, Financial Times and Express Newspapers.

It is not known when (or if) they will follow suit.

Data sourced from mad.co.uk; additional content by WARC staff , 25 February 2008

Monday, 18 February 2008

Deja Vu? or 2nd time lucky?

What I had'nt realised when I blogged last Friday 'Best form of defence is offence' is that the four newspaper companies were also all part of the New Century Network in the late 1990s...

Source: New York Times.

March 1998:

[W]hen New Century Network was kicked off last April by nine giants teaming up to conquer electronic competition, even the launch party bombed...

In a ballroom at the Newspaper Association of America convention in Chicago, a thousand bottles of champagne emblazoned with ''New Century Network: The Collective Intelligence of America's Newspapers'' awaited the hordes expected to come to toast the watershed new-media joint venture. When fewer than 100 people showed up, Chief Executive Lee de Boer made an abbreviated speech before retreating...

The reception was the first public humiliation for New Century Network, but only one in a series of blunders that culminated in the company's abrupt shutdown on Mar. 10. Created in 1995 to unite newspapers against Microsoft Corp. and other competitors girding to woo electronically advertisers and readers, New Century Network came to embody everything that could go wrong when old-line newspapers converge with new media...

Started with $1 million each from Knight-Ridder, Tribune, Times Mirror, Advance Publications, Cox Enterprises, Gannett, Hearst, Washington Post, and New York Times, New Century seemed an entrepreneurial dream. The Internet had just opened to the world, creating vast new competition for readers--and for the advertisers that pump $40 billion into newspapers. But it also gave newspapers a chance to capture national accounts that favored the one-stop-shopping convenience of TV and national magazines...

[T]he [newspaper] companies had wildly diverging philosophies about how newspapers should make the electronic leap and what role the new venture should play. ''You had private companies and public companies and companies that were risk-averse and those that were risk-tolerant,'' says Harry Chandler, head of new media for Los Angeles Times. ''You had big-city papers and small chains. We shared a need. But it was frustrating trying to come together.''

While the wired world moved at warp speed, New Century spent 18 months hiring a permanent ceo and two years creating an electronic doorway to 140 newspapers... ''This [Internet] thing is really racing,'' says Al Sikes, the former Federal Communications Commissioner who is president of Hearst New Media. ''Organizations of a number of co-equals can't turn on a dime.''...

The partners ultimately invested more than $25 million in the virtual venture... The board decided... to pull the plug, coming to a remarkably quick agreement--for the first and final time...

Friday, 15 February 2008

Best form of defence is offence.....

Four leading US newspaper companies are to announce a new joint company today to sell targeted local online advertising on their respective sites.

The Tribune Company, the Gannett Company, the Hearst Corporation and The New York Times Company will jointly own quadrantONE, with a base in Chicago that will employ 17 people.

According to the NY Times, advertising space will be sold in papers including The Los Angeles Times, The Des Moines Register, The Houston Chronicle and The Boston Globe. However titles considered to be not local will not be included in the deal, including USA Today, The New York Times and The International Herald Tribune.

The new company is said to be focused on offering advertisers scale in ad buys, with the newspaper companies themselves maintaining control. The move comes as Google, Yahoo and Microsoft all target online mainstream media news sites, and it would appear that in part the move is also a reaction to that, with Lincoln Millstein from Hearst Newspapers saying simply “We want to control our own destiny.”

The combined reach of quadrantONE’s partner sites will be 50 million unique visitors a month.

Thursday, 14 February 2008

Truth is stranger than fiction (funny)


1) Commenting on a complaint from a Mr. Arthur Purdey about a large gas bill, a spokesman for North West Gas said, "We agree it was rather high for the time of year. It's possible Mr. Purdey has been charged for the gas used up during the explosion that destroyed his house."
(The Daily Telegraph)
2) Police reveal that a woman arrested for shoplifting had a whole salami in her underwear. When asked why, she said it was because she was missing her Italian boyfriend. (The Manchester Evening News)
3) Irish police are being handicapped in a search for a stolen van, because they cannot issue a description. It's a Special Branch vehicle and they don't want the public to know what it looks like. (The Guardian)
4) A young girl who was blown out to sea on a set of inflatable teeth was rescued by a man on an inflatable lobster. A coast guard spokesman commented, "This sort of thing is all too common". (The Times)
5) At the height of the gale, the harbourmaster radioed a coastguard and asked him to estimate the wind speed. He replied he was sorry, but he didn't have a gauge. However, if it was any help, the wind had just blown his Land Rover off the cliff. (Aberdeen Evening Express)
6) Mrs. Irene Graham of Thorpe Avenue, Boscombe, delighted the audience with her reminiscence of the German prisoner of war who was sent each week to do her garden. He was repatriated at the end of 1945, she recalled.
"He'd always seemed a nice friendly chap, but when the crocuses came up in the middle of our lawn in February 1946, they spelt out 'Heil Hitler.' "(Bournemouth Evening Echo)

Sly old fox enters the henhouse

Seems like yesterday rumours (reported here) were in fact true! Rupert Murdoch has opened talks with Yahoo in an attempt to thwart Microsoft and grab more of the web for himself.

The proposal is a little complicated to say the least and is all about combining Yahoo and News Corp digital assets that include MySpace and Fox Interactive and lots of other consumer facing digital stuff. Murdoch would end up being a significant shareholder in the combined Co and would - surprise, surprise - have control.

We wondered last week about the practical difficulties inherent in the Microsoft/Yahoo tie-up but they are tiny in comparison to this proposal.

Media and technology - we love it

Wednesday, 13 February 2008

News Corp in the Yahoo race

Despite lots of denials it seems that News Corp remains a possible partner for Yahoo.

Have a read of this Techcrunch piece.

Is Murdoch serious? or is he pushing up the price

Monday, 4 February 2008

Google looks to block Yahoo bid

No great surprise that Google is going all out to ruin the Microsoft/Yahoo party. They dont seem to be the kind of guys that would sit idly by and watch the number 2 and 3 in the search market join forces.

Its rumoured that Google have even offered Yahoo its help in defending themselves from Microsoft - wow whats Jerry Yang to do?

We think its little rich however for Google to bleat on about the deal harming consumer choice and services. Yeah yeah.

Have a read of NY Times piece to see what they moves they are rumoured to be making to rain on Microsoft parade!

What ever happens it sure is exciting........................

Friday, 1 February 2008

its all getting really really interesting

Microsoft offers $44.6bn for Yahoo

Feb 01, 2008 12:13:00 GMT

Microsoft offered to buy search engine group Yahoo for $44.6bn, or $31 a share, as the software giant seeks to catch up with arch-rival Google.

We can see the strategic sense in this deal for Microsoft as they need to expand their armory to battle Google.

But Yahoo are a basket case.

we cant help thinking that by the time Microsoft have gotten them fit for purpose Google will be even further ahead and Microsoft will be $40bn+ down!

Tempting but we say dont do it!