Month: March 2015

This is a REALLY big deal: Real Measurement of TV Ad Views | Adweek

Google is testing the ability to measure how many TVs actually showed an ad. Photo: Google Fiber
Want to know exactly how many people saw your ad on TV? Want dynamic insertion? The answer has long been “tough luck.” But now it’s possible … in Kansas City.

Adweek has learned that Google will be rolling out a TV ad-tracking system similar to the technology used to measure ad views online, giving the company a more accurate idea of how many people are watching the ad inventory it sells in Kansas City than traditional panel measurement ever could.


“Many of us think about millennials a lot, but this is the generation we’re actually preparing the path for,” said Victor Bayata, head of mobile solutions at Ikea, speaking at the New York Mobile Marketing Association forum yesterday. Generation Z, according to Bayata’s definition, spans anyone born in the years 1992 to 2010. That would seem to overlap with many common definitions of millennials (like Goldman Sach’s, which defines the millennial generation as anyone born between 1980 and 2000). However they’re defined, younger millennials and anyone born around the turn of the century are “digital native,” and trendsetters when it comes to digital behaviors. 

Generation Z has already shown itself to be extremely web- and mobile-focused when it comes to shopping. Although this age group, given its youth, doesn’t have a great deal of spending power yet —  earning an average $13,000 annually in income, in the US —  it spends a significantly higher share of income online at 9% than any other age cohort (see chart, below, in which Generation Z is defined as anyone born between 1990 and 1996). 


DIGITAL MEDIA COMPANIES ARE EXPERIMENTING WITH VR: New virtual-reality software and content will fuel strong demand for virtual-reality devices. VR headset shipments will top 26 million by the end of 2020 (see chart, below). That represents a compound annual growth rate or CAGR of 99% between 2015 and 2020, according to BI Intelligence estimates.

Here’s a rundown of some of VR’s biggest announcements:

YouTube is paving the way for mainstream VR content distribution by adding support for 360-degree videos. Viewers can orient the direction of view as the camera moves through the scene. Playback is only supported on desktop (via Chrome) and on Android’s YouTube app at the moment, but it’s easy to imagine playback being extended to consumer VR headsets once these devices launch. Transmitting 360-degree video over the internet is quite challenging. 360-degree videos demand as much as five times the bandwidth of standard YouTube videos, Gizmodo points out, but YouTube’s expertise in video compression and delivery will go a long way to solve this problem.Screen Shot 2015 03 19 at 1.50.40 PM (2)
Google is developing a VR-device version of the Android operating system, the The Wall Street Journal reports. Just like Android for tablets and smartphones, Google will allow hardware VR-headset-makers to use the operating system for free. “Android VR” could serve as the foundation for a new class of VR games, applications, and content.
Facebook-owned Oculus debuted its first VR movie from its VR-film studio Story Studio at the Sundance Film Festival, according to the Guardian. The film demonstrates how filmmakers can use VR as a canvas for interactive movies.
VR was the standout trend at this years Mobile World Congress, as reported in our MWC highlights.  Several hardware makers announced new VR headsets, including HTC and Samsung. Content producers touted VR as a major platform for media distribution. “The most exciting evolution in the content space is going to be VR,” 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment executive Brendan Handler said while speaking at the conference.

YouTube launches cards for linking viewers to other videos, playlists, merchandise, fundraising, and websites | VentureBeat | Media | by Emil Protalinski

At any other time during the video, viewers will see just the “i” icon appear when they hover over the player on desktop or whenever the player controls are showing on mobile. They can click or tap this icon to browse all of the cards included in the video.

When Will the Internet of Things Come of Age?

Will consumers take smart mowers with lawn data lying down?

Technologists are holding court at South by Southwest this weekend on the so-called Internet of Things, a future reality where data will be gathered and used for everything from cars and lawn mowers to refrigerators and toothbrushes. Many of these connected products are already available, but when will they become so ubiquitous that marketers must change course—as when smartphones became part of non-techies’ lives half a decade ago?

The truth of the matter is there’s still infrastructure work to be done. Telecoms and governments have to create digital avenues that would let all software-powered items talk to one another. And we need super-techie advances with microprocessors and batteries that will last for years. But South by Southwest goers generally agree with Samsung’s prediction that products will be routinely connected within the next five years.

“As microprocessors and bandwidth become greater and less expensive, converging with nanotechnology as wearables with sensors, the Internet of Things is already here but will gain exponential acceleration and become more utilitarian as we move into the future,” said Richard Hollis, CEO of digital commerce player Holonis. “That simply means that everything that is captured by these devices can used as purposeful information and meaningful data.”

OK, but will consumers buy enough “smart” products to make marketers rethink how their brands advertise in the coming years?

“There are a lot of smart appliances for the kitchen already, with more launching every day—just checking [digital fundraising platform] Kickstarter shows you where the industry is headed,” commented Kevin Yu, CEO of SideChef, a social-cooking mobile app.

Digital agencies are on board with the notion.

“In our own work, we’re focused on bringing digital and physical experiences together, and hiring a lot more designers with industrial design backgrounds to help us to that,” said Derek Fridman, group creative director at Huge. “We’re also creating dedicated workspaces in our offices in order to let us experiment with this kind of work.”

360i technologists Layne Harris and Fitz Maro recently wrote a thesis actually predicting big Internet of Things afoot this year, much less 2020. Here is one part of their rationalization: “In 2015, marketers can expect to see broad adoption of more affordable technologies that are inspiring consumers’ lives and lifestyles by offering seamless integration between the digital and physical worlds. The resulting evolution of consumer behavior will require brands across every category to be more digitally centric in how they develop their marketing and brand experiences.”

But let’s take the perspective of someone who often analyzes how digital meshes with everyday people.

Erica Dhawan, CEO of Cotential, has researched how marketers, grandmothers and even homeless people either are affected or can be impacted by an increasingly interactive world economy. She spoke at SXSW this morning, plugging her book: Get Big Things Done: The Power of Connectional Intelligence.

“I am not sure we’ll all be ready [in five years] to embrace the Internet of Things,” Dhawan told Adweek off stage. “But with the generational shift that we are experiencing in today’s world, there will be people that will be ready. And like any force or new capacity, there will be those that will struggle.”

She added, “Those who understand how to engage with these new tools and technologies—it will be like the printing press and the steam engine, where people will look to use them as a force for good.”

Let’s hope so.