October 20, 2008
We, the people in the traditional media businesses, are strange creatures. Having been on top of 90% of the media revenues for years and years our beliefs are strong, we are dangerously naive, and our vision increasingly myopic. We still see the development and “digitisation” of media a phenonmenon similar to our young children wanting to hook their play stations to the TV, while we want to watch our afternoon comedy. Nothing to pay attention to here, the children will eventually get over it.
This is exactly the same attitude I came across in a recent discussion on IPTV, hosted by Alumni of a prestigious business school in France. This discussion took place last week in London and the panel consisted of speakers from two of the key broadcast organisations in the UK, and of some high energy start-ups in the area of internet video. One member of the panel, from a prestigious TV distribution platform in the UK, dismissed Google TV ads as something “just in the US, and not delivering on core fundamentals”. Crap!
Do we believe it “does not deliver on core fundamentals” because we have become the fundamentalists of the TV world ourselves? Google TV Ads is important, not because Google will take over the world one day, but because they are laying the grounds to change the rules of the game for traditional TV. This is how:
– It redefines the way TV is targetted- hence how it is measured, hence how it is traded. Their approach would deliver in the age of digital TV, and the traditional approach does not.
– It challenges the decades long incestual relationship of the research agencies and media owners. Google’s data is more transparent, more real time, and offers more analytics. If there is one thing you can trust Google to do, it is number crunching.
– It helps media owners maximise revenues and advertisers reach, in the age of fragmented on-demand platforms. Traditional models can not even cope with PVR/DVRs.
– Most of the big players in the media and research industry are likely to term Google’s work as something that has a limited scope but would then go and do something similar to Google TV Ads and use their scale to make it sound better. They will.
And if we still do not get it (and I have a feeling we perhaps would but not in the short-term), we deserve to live in a world where most of people still like to be told when they should watch something that they do not want to watch to begin with. We might as well.
September 22, 2008
We based personalisation technology to deliver an experience unique to each user is not new. Amazon has been doing it for quite some time, and even some basic movie rental sites have tried it. Most of these personalisation software rely on your behavioral pattern to make recommendations.
Come to think of it, why has this persoanlisation not come to the TV sets as yet? Afterall, in the age of on-demand, or even scheduled digital viewership, this is but a painless task… and seemingly simple that too.
Well an Italian company seems to have finally delivered it. Bee TV, a startup being run by some acclaimed industry professionals, with the ownership of a Ducth BV holding company seems to be making in-roads into this area.
Their technology works at an upstream level. They work with platforms and broadcasters to deliver the experience and interface as opposed to selling it directly to the consumers. One can see an obvious business model advantage in their approach, as platforms are the lowest hanging fruits- you go with a few, you would reach million of homes automatically.
However, in my opinion, there is such an opportunity for this type of personalisation to be delivered to the consumers, independant of the platforms- via either a media centre platform, or via a PVR platform. Even a device like Apple TV should be able to do it. For all you know, the new Genius function in ITunes might just deliver this experience on Apple TV for audio-visual content. Alhough it can not be fully beneficial untill Apple TV becomes a PVR.
It is at least a step towards a new direction. Also, can you begin to think how the Google TV Ad serving would work in conjunction with something like this…? Beautifully!
You can watch a demo of the Bee TV service at: