Digital Is Dead – Long Live TV and The Web!

Nigel Walley –  July 2009

I received a flyer in the post from the Institute of Direct Marketing (IDM) the other day, outlining the curriculum of their ‘Complete Digital Marketing Course’.  What was remarkable about this flyer and its grandiose claim, was just how incomplete the course was.  In a week when AudiTV launched an on-demand service on Virgin cable’s Showcase, and Honda’s webTV service moved to the front page of the BT Vision EPG, there was nothing about breakthrough digital TV marketing in it at all.  With Sky launching green button advertising on the satellite platforms, there was nothing about interactive television formats; and with both Sky and Virgin developing targeted broadcast and targeted on-demand mechanisms, there was nothing about converged marketing principles, bringing together internet techniques with broadcast content.  And it wasn’t just TV that was ignored.

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Whose Shares Wins? ITV vs Google

See Decipher discuss the Susan Boyle case on Channel 4 news here

Much was made in the press about ITV not earning any revenue from all the people watching the clip of Susan Boyle on Britain’s Got Talent on YouTube.  This has been described by various commentators as a missed revenue opportunity, and a commercial failure for ITV.  This completely misses the point.  Over 50 million people tuned into watch the Susan Boyle clip on YouTube.  It was the best two minute ad for a TV programme that has ever been distributed and ITV didn’t pay a penny for the privilege.  You have to ask how many posters a TV company would have to buy to get an equivalent, media impact.  The only statistic of interest should have been the uplift in audience, from the episode before to the episode after the YouTube explosion of Miss Boyles version of Les Miserables. There was a 2 million uplift.

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Overhead Projectors, Broadcast Channels and Other Redundant Technologies

Nigel Walley – Feb 2009

I used an overhead projector for a presentation at a conference the other day.  It was great.  You get to write on a sheet of acetate, like your teachers used to, and it shines up on the wall.  Joking aside, there was something immediate and human about presenting ideas with an overhead that is completely lost with Powerpoint.  I know that I sound like a music nut comparing vinyl to the CD, but in the rush to move into the digital age, we can sometimes throw the baby out with the bath water.   Before we got rid of overheads, someone should have stopped and questioned whether there was anything great about them that needed preserving.  In fact I think they may make a comeback

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The BBC Is A Pay TV Operation

Nigel Walley – February 2009

I opened my bank statement the other day to see how much I paid Sky.  What I found interesting wasn’t the Sky number, but the line underneath. By some quirk, the direct debit that I pay to TV licencing was listed underneath. I pay just over £11 a month to the BBC for TV and radio.  Now, as a middle class middle Englander, I understand how much value I squeeze out of the BBC for that money.  I probably use way over the average amount of BBC output, and don’t begrudge it.  What I find odd is that the industry still lumps the BBC together with ITV, C4 and Five in our discussions about free to air television.

The BBC is quite clearly not a free to air broadcaster.  I pay a subscription every month to access the content and it is quite clearly a Pay-TV operator in terms of the way it is financed.  The only differences between the BBC and the other Pay-TV operators are that it is a compulsory subscription and that they have a variety of public service obligations in return.

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