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Analysis for 'Toyota'

  • LG Smart TVs With Integrated YuMe Ad Platform Are a Significant Milestone

    The adage that a "journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step" comes to mind when thinking about the significance of news that LG Electronics is integrating YuMe's advertising technology in its "Smart TVs."

    Why? Because while the norm will eventually be for high-quality video, apps and interactive ads to be delivered to connected TVs through broadband IP connections, the reality is that it's still very early days in achieving this grand vision. However, the LG-YuMe partnership provides tangible evidence that the foundation is indeed being laid, which portends exciting things for everyone in the ecosystem.

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  • Disney/ABC's Stage 9 Launches, With YouTube

    Disney/ABC Television Group's official announcement this morning of Stage 9 Digital Media, an experimental new media content studio, is another key milestone in the fast-moving broadband video industry.

    I got a short briefing about Stage 9 late yesterday from Disney/ABC because it asked me to provide some analyst context to the LA Times' Dawn Chmielewski, who's done a great piece here. Stage 9 is Disney/ABC's key initiative to reach the coveted 18-34 audience in synch with this audience's unique media consumption patterns. Programming will be short, funny, well-produced, episodic, and widely distributed through popular broadband sites, social networks, mobile and download services.

    I interpret Disney/ABC's move, when coupled with recent initiatives by other big media companies into original broadband video production, as further evidence of two key trends: that broadband video has come of age as a key priority for the largest media companies and that it is impossible to appeal to today's younger audiences simply by hewing to the traditional rules of the media game.

     

    Also of significance is that Disney/ABC announced that "Squeegees," which is Stage 9's first release, will be co-exclusively premiered on ABC.com and YouTube starting today and sponsored by Toyota. Yes, you read that right. YouTube! The scruffy user-generated phenom that big media was threatening to sue out existence not so long ago, and which of course is now owned by Google, big media's most anxiety-inducing "frenemy," has been elevated to launch partner status for Stage 9's first program.

    The "Squeegees" co-premiere is quite an accomplishment for YouTube. It shows that YouTube's methodical efforts to gain legitimacy (and a business model!) by establishing partner channels with media companies are beginning to pay off. David Eun, Google's VP of Content Partnerships has repeatedly explained this game plan to me, and others over the last year. The Stage 9 launch partnership should certainly be regarded as a major win for the young company. It is also another data point I'd use to support my contention that in the broadband age, traditional conceptions about copyright monetization need to be radically re-thought (Viacom, are you listening?).

    I'm enthusiastic about the Stage 9 initiative, as I believe it holds lots of potential for Disney/ABC. It gives the company inroads to the elusive 18-34 set, offers the prospect of innumerable and invaluable insights about how to effectively program in the broadband age, provides a whole new internal breeding ground for developing new on-air programming (a possible double win, as this might help fix the broken and expensive traditional pilot process, though my enthusiasm on this point is tempered by news today of Quarterlife's NBC ratings fiasco) and creates new and exciting multi-platform sponsorship opportunities.

    In short, the strategy is sound and the upside significant. Now for the hard part: Stage 9 needs to execute and actually deliver on all this potential.

    What do you think? Post a comment now!

     
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  • Brand Marketers Jumping on Broadband Video Bandwagon

    Question: What do Frito-Lay, Unilever, Neiman Marcus, Heinz, Toyota, Smirnoff and MGM have in common?

    Answer: In just the last month each of these companies has announced plans to launch some type of broadband video marketing program. Beginning of a trend? You betcha.

    Premier brands from one industry to another are recognizing the importance of using video to reach out to and engage better with their customers. Yet I read with interest this piece in yesterday'sWSJ, discussing a big marketers' conference that sold out for the first time ever this year. Adapting to the digital world is a top concern. A Booz Allen survey found that most marketers allocate only 5-10% of their ad budgets to digital media, while online usage continues to soar.

    So kudos to the companies mentioned above and the others which are taking their first steps into the broadband world, trying to figure out what tactics work in this new era. Their efforts are varied and reflect the sense of experimentation pervading the market. Consider - Frito, Heinz and MGM are all using some type of content to incent UGC activity. Unilever's Dove soap and Smirnoff are posting original video on YouTube, trying to catch a viral wave. Meanwhile Toyota has devised a new Xbox game called "Yaris" after one of its cars.

    As the Super Bowl season approaches, we can expect a lot more broadband video activity from the marketers. Almost 2 years ago I wrote, "The $10 Million Super Bowl Ad". It's worth a peek, I think we're heading in that direction as marketers realize how broadband tie-ins can breathe huge additional life into 30 second Super Bowl spots.

     
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