Information Is…..Sexy

In today’s world, tons of information is being generated every second. 

A lot of people hate finding it.

They think it’s boring sifting through the data.  To find the good stuff. 

Me? I love it.

Boolean searches? Swoon. 

Using online databases? Google? Duckduckgo? Bring it.

Reading the papers/magazines/email newsletters every day? And storing the information (either in a folder in my inbox or somewhere in my brain)? You might as well leave me alone. I won’t be paying attention to you for awhile. 

Using social media? Absolutely. It’s amazing what kind of results you get when you use hashtags on Twitter, do a search on Facebook (thank you open individual profiles! For goodness sake, secure your profiles people) or Instagram (Pinterest? What’s that? Are they still around?). Wait until I find a way to datamine Periscope, Snapchat and Meerkat feeds. Then I’ll be in heaven!

See?

Not only is information a set of facts and figures, but if you package this properly, someone (clients, friends etc) will be amazed.

Need proof? 

Here’s two personal examples:

I remember my former running group. Former because as a group leader, it became increasingly boring for me to follow the “plan” (by the way, I love breaking them. Knowing that there’s a more efficient way of doing things. Thank you CNBC, GE and Neutron (Jack) Welsh). We were sitting at the coffee house after the run on a winter’s day. One of them was going to be laid off. And he was trying to find a way to change careers. As I was listening, I was sifting through my mental folders. I know I had the solution (I read a lot). The information somewhere in my brain. All I had to do was access it. As I was doing this, someone else was observing me and say “wait a sec. I can see Nick’s thinking about it. He’ll have the answer for you in 3,2,1.” Yep. I had an answer for him. It blew his mind. 

Finally, I’m a director for a non-profit. We wanted to donate money. At first, the other directors wanted to target organizations but they found out that there was no transparency. Why not schools I asked? Underperforming elementary schools that could use the money to buy tech items? To improve their students marks. And the schools test scores. Prove it the directors said. It was easy to find the information. Unfortunately,  it was scattered all over the place. School data from one organization. Neighborhood data from another. Combining it into a report to get the complete picture? Priceless. Needless to say, the others were convinced. The money is flowing. The schools are pleasantly surprised that an organization is giving them money. Out of the blue. I’m positive some of them are wondering how we found out about their situation. 

These examples show the affect information has on a person or an organization. It prompts them to act.  

Remember, information isn’t boring. It’s sexy.

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Sports Broadcasting – Broadcasting via the Net, not TV

Sports is essential in the broadcasting world.

Where else would you pay a lot of money for an event that is broadcasted live, captures a certain demographic and, when recorded, diminishes it’s impact? 

On the other hand, leagues like the NFL realize that the audience is increasingly viewing their product online or via mobile devices.

Which makes this decision brave (and curious):

https://www.bostonglobe.com/sports/2015/06/06/yahoo-deal-with-nfl-sign-things-come/y5SFp0TTL36DWdspVvM5nK/story.html

Signing with Yahoo (who paid a pittance of $20 million to the NFL IMHO) while gaining a potential audience of 1 billion (Yahoo) is a great sign that the NFL gets it. And that they want to exploit this audience. On the other hand, it’ll be interesting to see two things:

a) whether or not the vertically integrated telcos/cable (content and pipes) will start bidding even more to keep these rights or

b) if Yahoo et al combine with ‘a’ as a supplement  (eg: broadcasting games on a certain day/period).

Personally, I’d like to see another route -> an Internet company grabbing the entire rights. Then having the telcos/cable companies bid for certain parts. 

Not only will you get the best of both worlds (mobile audience) and linear TV/cable, but everyone would be happy (niche advertising, audience demographics).

The future – sooner, rather than later.

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Who’s the broadcaster now?

Picture this.

You’re at a fight. Ring side seats. You paid a lot of money. Nothing will ruin your mood.

Until you see people filming the fight via their smartphones. Transmitting short clips using Periscope or Meerkat. The picture? Grainy. Uneven. Short. But the idea is there – paid people “thinking” that they’re helping others by transmitting clips of the fight to others via social media.

How do would you feel? Some would feel that they were ripped off. Others, would feel good that they’re sharing the fight with others (free).

Now, pretend you’re HBO. A part of you would be peeved. You paid big money. Even though you got record PPV views, you want to monetize all the content (the live sporting events generates the biggest audience). Even though your social media team is monitoring Twitter (and notifying them and Meerkat) to shut down the feeds, it’s not enough. For every one that is caught, more pop up.

And that’s the problem:

Not only is everyone is becoming a broadcaster but the sticky issue of broadcasting rights comes into play, especially in the sports field (http://www.bostonglobe.com/business/2015/05/18/periscope-meerkat-threaten-teams-hold-video-feeds-sports-arenas/W9qIdrhi5A5DhhAwjkMIKK/story.html). 

That’s the dilemma facing everyone. As a content creator (sports etc), you want to engage your fan in their medium. Not only to encourage interaction but to drive the eyeballs/sales to your product. As a fan, you’re showing your “love” of the product by sharing this with the world.

Is there a solution that will satisfy everyone? 

Probably not. 

The joys of M&E (media and entertainment) -> nothing stands still. And it’s constantly changing. 
P.S. I’d like to argue that before Meerkat and Periscope arrived, people were already broadcasting concerts etc via their smartphones or uploading them to YouTube a day later to share with everyone.

P.P.S. Even from a payments perspective, would it be hard to monetize the content (eg: smartphone user transmitting clips to his or her friend)? I don’t know. And that’s why I love this sector. So many challenges. Tons of solutions.

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Pipes? Without them, no content

I love reading this article. It proves that the pipes (cable, fibre optic) aren’t important. The content is. While the author has a point, some would argue that you need both to succeed in the marketplace (eg: Comcast-NBC Universal, BCE-Bell Media).  Or the deep pockets (i.e. money) you need to buy the content (an excellent example? Telus in Canada. It avoided becoming an integrated content and pipe company and focused on the thing it did best -> building the infrastructure (pipes)). 

Personally? I’ve always favored the companies who built the pipes (cable, fibre). And refrained from buying any studios. It showed discipline. Guts. They knew their clients will always find the content they need on the Internet. If they decided to buy a bundle from them (studios need to find outlets for their content) for convenience sake, even better. 

Pipes. The keys to delivering your content. Without them, there’s no content to see in the first place.
http://variety.com/2015/tv/news/tv-power-shifts-from-network-biz-to-content-ownership-1201499840/

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Why doesn’t TV Everywhere work?

Here’s the deal:

You’re a broadcasting or cable network trying to monetize the second screen experience.

Unfortunately, no-one’s buying as you haven’t promoted the product, even though it’s the younger demo who are interested (see link number 1).

The solution?

You could market the product a lot better but do you think people will be interested?

That’s the big question.

1) http://www.lightreading.com/mobile-tv/is-tv-everywhere-going-nowhere/240156643?f_src=lrcabledailynewsletter&elq=1d61335ebdfe46fc9acf4e90ccbb007a&elqCampaignId=

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Facebook and TV

First, if you want a very cool infographic on how Facebook makes money, click here (Aldo Baker did an excellent job on this. An excellent read):

http://www.business-management-degree.net/facebook/

TV shows use Facebook and Twitter to reach out to their audience and keep them engaged before, during and after the show.

The only problem from an ROI POV:
a) does this engagement boost the program’s ratings?
b) how much money could a network gain from this?

Fortunately, these questions could be answered once Neilsen and Facebook start tracking this; interesting times indeed:
http://time.com/2990409/nielsen-partners-up-with-facebook-to-track-television-viewing-habits/

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Everything is Changing

I love the media and entertainment industry. Often times, I’ll tweet about non-business/entertainment items so I can inspire everyone or make a difference in someone’s life, even it’s a tiny difference. Today, I want you to THINK BIG. DREAM BIG. Life’s not a dress rehersal. You only have one life. MAKE IT COUNT.  For me, it means shifting from being a marketing generalist to a specialist in M&E (media and entertainment) issues. My dream job? Becoming a research analyst/CI/product specialist/consultant to help them succeed in the marketplace. It could be helping them improve their back end processes (supply chain, customer service etc) or analyze how a new technology like Meerkat can help content creators or M&E market their product. What started all this? When I congratulated my best friend via social media who got a new job in the Big Easy. She indirectly demonstrated that by thinking big, following your passion and keeping your options open, anything can happen (it’s amazing how the Universe pays attention).

Are there going to be challenges? I won’t lie, of course there will be. What’s going to keep me going? Everytime I read an interesting social TV/technology/other article – I’ll keep thinking “how will this affect M&E?”

Plus these words from Dr.Seuss (thanks for the inspiring tweet @Lauralives20)

“You have brains in your head and feet in your shoes, you can steer yourself in any direction you choose!”

Carpe diem.