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MEDIACOM Marketing Digest 17 November 2004

MEDIACOM Marketing Digest 17 November 2004

17 November 2004

TVNZ Q1 Ratecard Television New Zealand have followed up their new programme launch with the release of their new ratecard for Q1 2005 - well, actually, for February, March & April, but Q1 will serve as a short and snappy descriptor.

TV2 increases have been reasonably moderate this time around, in the context of declining audience levels and an expectation of slowly diminishing demand. Increases on One ? Judge for yourself.

Television One peaktime increases:

* February +9% * March +11% * April +11%

TV2 peaktime increases:

* February +2% * March +1% * April +2%

Weekday afternoon offpeak (Noon-3pm) rates have stayed at 2004 levels for Television One, and have actually declined 12% for TV2. Increases for TV2 afternoon kids' time have been remarkably restrained at just 5%, especially when compared with TV3's 50% increases for their kids' zone.

We noted last week that TVNZ's programming for 2005 should help them hold the line ratings-wise, at least up against the current competitive set. That still means continuing escalation of the dollars required to deliver the same audience, encouraging an ongoing effort to find cost-effective alternatives. Competitive media rejoice, your 15 minutes of fame are on the way.

Deadlines for Q1 TV Buying for TVNZ, for those with the urge to spend:

* February 5pm this Friday * March & April 5pm next Friday.

What Does She Want For Christmas? Wondering what's on her wishlist this year? Try these:

1. Victoria's Secret Lingerie 2. Apple iPod Mini 3. Diamond Stud Earrings 4. Kitchen-Aid Mixers 5. Cashmere Sweaters 6. Designer Fragrances 7. CD Boxed Sets 8. Vintage Brooches 9. Designer Handbags 10. Italian Art Glass

These Top Ten items are drawn from eBay's latest tool, revealed last week, which demonstrates what's most sought-after in the American consumer marketplace.

To help buyers and sellers more easily track those elusive consumer tastes, eBay Pulse ( compiles data on consumer searches and other site activity, and features top ten lists based on buyers' interest each day in key categories like entertainment, fashion and electronics.

This new tool reveals what the site's 125 million registered users are buying - real-world information, updated daily, now available for the first time.

Unveiled in the run-up to the holiday shopping season, eBay Pulse features the most popular searches, stores and products, as well as highest priced items and most watched items on the eBay marketplace.

Through the new Pulse service you can find out information by:

* Product Category * Most Popular Searches * Most Popular Stores * Most Popular Products * Highest priced items * Most watched items

This sort of data-mining could be undertaken by any retailer, and no doubt those with effective computer systems do exactly that, in an effort to understand their customers better. What makes the eBay data so interesting - apart from our vicarious interest in how other folks live - is the sheer scale of the marketplace, and the instant insight into what people are wanting - and buying - right now. An invaluable tool for most anybody operating in the consumer arena.

The Critical 48 Hours There's something special about the first 48 hours in a crime case - that's when the most vital information needs to be unearthed. If no viable leads are forthcoming during that critical time, the odds of solving the crime drop dramatically.

Turns out that the first 48 hours are essential in more than just forensics. The Email Marketing Use and Trends Report: H1 2004 discloses that over 80% of all emails which will be opened, are opened during the first 48 hours after delivery. The report goes on to note that by the sixth day, 95% of all emails that would be opened were opened.

The average unique open rate for all industries was 26.65%. The industries with the greatest open rates were:

* Government 53.74% (too much time on their hands?) * Telecommunications 47.86% (too wired) * and Banking 44.78% (perhaps indicative of the extent to which financial services have embraced the internet).

Emails sent on Mondays had the highest open rates followed closely by emails sent on Tuesdays.

Emails with personalized subject lines were opened more often (32.49% as compared to 26.65%) and received higher click rates (8.45% as compared to 4.27%) than emails with personalized messages only or no personalization.

We could go on and bore you with detail after detail, but we think you get the idea. Email marketing is about working the numbers, so if you're in that business you'll be hungry to see the full Email Marketing Use and Trends Report. Yes, you can get a free copy. We could share ours with you, but that would be defeating the list-gathering purpose of the company behind the data. Instead, you'll need (inevitably) to sign up for the email service at:

Mobile TV The hit TV series 24 is going mobile, with the first original dramatic series produced exclusively for transmission on personal cellphones as part of a unique deal between Fox Entertainment Group and Vodafone.

Fox has licensed to Vodafone the rights to distribute 24: Conspiracy, an original live-action thriller inspired by the original series (but with a different cast). 24: Conspiracy launches via Vodafone in January 2005, in up to 23 countries, offering twenty-four serialized mobisodes (a neologistic abomination), each approximately 60-seconds in length.

The cellphone-based series will premiere in each territory in tandem with the local premiere of 24's fourth TV season, and will be available every week exclusively to Vodafone live! with 3G customers.

All twenty-four instalments of 24: Conspiracy will run sixty seconds, each with a cliffhanger ending leading directly into the next instalment, culminating in a final episode in which all questions will be answered (except the most important one: why do mobile calls cost so much in New Zealand?).

Early 2005 also sees the debut of another mobile-related entertainment product. The BBC, no strangers to early adoption, have commissioned a new interactive drama called Jamie Kane, which will play out online and on mobile phones, attempting to draw teenagers into the world of a fictional missing popstar.

The Jamie Kane drama will encourage audiences to solve the mystery of the character's disappearance using clues left on fictional websites and received via email and messages to their mobile phones.

The Fox and BBC projects are the earliest answers to the other key question "why should we switch to 3G?", as mobile network operators team up with the world's entertainment creators in an effort to sell more bandwidth to jaded consumers.

ABOUT MEDIACOM MEDIACOM, with offices in 80 countries (and now part of the WPP Group of companies), is one of the world's largest and most respected media service companies.

We create media solutions that build business for a wide range of local, regional and worldwide clients.

With $13 billion in global billings, a commitment to strategic insight, total communications planning, tactical media brilliance and tough but creative media negotiating, MEDIACOM provides unsurpassed value in today's chaotic media marketplace.

Open Holmes Always wanted to own your own Holmes? Prime have opted for a tendering process for those keen to sponsor the cheeky whitey in his new, um, holme. On offering is a year's worth of Name Association, including the usual top and tail credits, plus two personal appearances at a venue of your choice. Other elements are negotiable and will be taken into consideration as part of the process of evaluating the best offer.

Tender documents have already been sent out to all those who have previously expressed interest in the musings of the great man; if you'd like to join in the fun, you can do so through us or directly with Julie Andrewes at Prime. Tenders close at 5 pm next Monday, the 22nd, and Prime expects to announce the successful tender on Wednesday November 24. This auction you probably won't see on TradeMe.

Minute By Minute TV Research Following years of pleading from Madison Avenue, Nielsen Media Research in the US has advised that, beginning in October 2005 it will "incorporate minute-by-minute respondent level viewing for all national TV programming sources and will include flags for minutes of programs with commercials." Translation: the data will allow advertisers, agencies, and networks to easily identify the exact rating for any television minute, including those that have TV commercials inside.

As you might imagine, this news has been greeted with delight by the advertising industry, although broadcasters are noticeably quiet on the subject. We applaud this initiative by Nielsen USA, and challenge all other Nielsen offices to do the same!

Television audience research is under threat from TiVo and other Personal Video Recorder offerings which maintain an interactive relationship with a far larger collection of black boxes in the home. TiVo revealed some of its monitoring capabilities (and ruffled the feathers of a few privacy advocates) earlier this year, when it gave a second-by-second review of how 20,000 viewers used their TiVo units during the Super Bowl - including Janet Jackson's "wardrobe malfunction", which was the most replayed moment not only of the Super Bowl but of all TV moments the still relatively young TiVo has ever measured.

Sky, with their two-way connection to Kiwi digital homes, and with hard-drive-equipped black boxes scheduled for release late next year, are reportedly planning to implement ongoing monitoring through their own collection of set-top units, which would give the advertising industry comprehensive data on the currently under-reported Sky channels - whilst rendering the miserly sample of 440 Peoplemeters somewhat redundant, at least in terms of the viewing behaviour of the TV set.

Might we also hope for Nielsen Media Research New Zealand to start providing minute-by-minute respondent-level viewing figures in response to such competitive pressure?

AP Admits Future of News Is Online The future of news is online, and traditional media outlets must learn to tailor their products for consumers who demand instant, personalised information, the head of The Associated Press has admitted.

The growth of high-speed broadband connections is leading to a future in which computers are always on "and so are the users", Tom Curley, CEO of the world's largest news organisation, told the Online News Association conference in Hollywood last week.

The internet was picking up the readers and viewers that newspapers and TV news shows had been losing, according to Curley - an admission which is surprising only because of its source.

In the world of personalised news: "the content comes to you; you don't have to come to the content," Curley said. "So, get ready for everything to be 'Googled', 'deep-linked' or 'Tivo-ised'.

"You have to let the content flow where the users want to go, and attach your brand - and maybe advertising and e-commerce - to those free-flowing 'atoms'," proposed Curley.

That already is leading to changes in how news is covered. For example, AP is furnishing its US offices with cameras to provide video for multimedia use and is increasing coverage of news of interest to young audiences.

And we are also seeing changes in how news is gathered. Twice in a single month the biggest Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf published front-page pictures shot by amateur photographers using their mobile phones, showing how advances in technology can assist traditional media in gathering news.

Similarly, the upsurge in sales of digital cameras, which can quickly transmit and distribute images internationally, was highlighted in the Abu Ghraib prison scandal in Iraq when digital pictures of humiliated Iraqi prisoners shocked the world.

Curley also touched on internet users who disseminate news and ideas through web logs, citing one recent estimate that there are four million "bloggers" making 400,000 posts per day.

"That works out to roughly 16,000 posts an hour, or about as many stories as the AP sends out in an entire day," he said. "It will get even tougher to be heard above the roar of the internet crowd, and the business bets will have to be for greater stakes."

Surprising? No. Frightening? Yes. Exciting? Absolutely.

Podcasting Is Here Had your fill of techno-jargon? Here's a new one: Podcasting.

What is it? The term podcasting was coined by Dannie J. Gregoire all the way back in September, and describes the technology used to pull digital audio, especially MP3, files from websites down to computers and devices such as iPods, where the audio can be played back at a listener's convenience. The effect: audio on demand, compiled automatically on your behalf - all you have to do is listen, at your convenience.

The technology has led to the online debut of an ever-growing number of special-interest 'virtual radio' shows, with a slight bias toward technology channels at present. But Podcasting threatens to destabilise the radio industry in just the same way that TiVo has upset television.

How so? At the moment podcasts are predominantly audio files created by would-be broadcasters and posted online in search of an audience. But it won't be long, if it hasn't happened already, until an enterprising radio station decides it can extend the audiences (and ad revenues) of its shows by making them available for podcasting. The Paul Holmes Radio Show - listen to him live at breakfast time on Newstalk ZB, or whenever you want via podcast.

Always fancied you had a good voice for radio? Set yourself up in podcasting. The radio star that video killed? Now back on top, thanks to the power of the pod! Paradigms shifted here.

UK Fast Food Ad Ban

UK Government Ministers will apparently order television companies this week to come up with a new set of rules to stop children being exposed to advertisements encouraging them to fill their stomachs with unhealthy food or drink, or face an outright ban.

Ofcom, the broadcasting regulator, will be given the task of negotiating a new agreement that will affect all television advertising shown outside school hours and before 9pm.

There is no agreed definition of what junk food means, but the Food Standards Agency has issued guidelines on the sort of levels of fat, sugar and salt that are good for a child's health. Manufacturers will either have to change the nutritional content of what they are selling, or stop advertising on television deemed accessible to children.

Nervous about the prospect of legislation, the big food and drink producers have already been cutting back on television advertising, according to Nielsen Media Research UK, which counted 34,703 advertisements for fast food in the past year, compared with 44,336 the previous year.

The proposed regulations fly in the face of research which indicates that such restrictions will have little effect on levels of child obesity. In ten years' time, will we look back at these regulations and condemn them as draconian, short-sighted and completely out of step with common sense and consumer behaviour? Or will we wish they'd been introduced much earlier? Your thoughts welcomed.


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