Mobile video ad spend has spiked 196 percent year-on-year to reach GBP64m in the UK — making it the fastest-growing digital ad format, according to the Internet Advertising Bureau (IAB) and
PricewaterhouseCoopers’ latest UK Digital Adspend report. Total digital ad spend rose 16.6 percent to GBP3.5bn in the first half of 2014, driven largely by the UK public’s increasing demand for video
content on computers, tablets and smartphones. Online and mobile video advertising saw a combined rise of 59 percent to hit GBP202m.
A pilot scheme to introduce age ratings to online music videos is to begin on Friday as part of moves to bring the industry into line with film and television. Sony, Universal and Warner Bros have all
signed up to the initiative with YouTube and Vevo also getting on board, although the scheme will only affect artists signed to UK labels for now. The new system is being overseen by the British Board
of Film Classification, which will dole out the PG, 12, 12A, 15 and 18 certificates familiar to movie buffs.
Instagram has launched its much-anticipated advertising service in the UK through an initial partnership with Omnicom Media Group. Seven brands managed by Omnicom Media Group agencies Manning Gottlieb
OMD, OMD, and PHD have become the first to roll out ads in users’ Instagram feeds: Starbucks, Cadbury, Channel 4, Rimmel, Estee Lauder and Waitrose. Sponsored photos and videos now appear in
Instagram’s main feed, identified with a sponsored label.
A fascinating piece in Techcrunch this week, titled Big Data Analytics vs The Gut Check raises the most important question in today’s data-heavy world: can we really turn a stunning amount of statistics into something useful?
For a successful digital video provider, the sheer quantity of data can be literally dizzying. For every play’ selected by a viewer, there’s the basic information, like when it was loaded, when an ad ran, when the video itself started and what quality it was running at. But then there’s the moment-to-moment tracking, which helps us see which elements of a particular asset were captivating, and which got scanned right past. One play can deliver dozens of data points; multiply that by a few hundred (or a few thousand, or a few million) plays, and pretty soon it can get hard to see the forest for the trees.
This is why, when it comes to Big Data, the genius is not really in getting answers to questions – it’s in formulating the questions in the first place. In the Techcrunch piece, they identify a situation where a real, live person saw a pattern among some bank customers which led her to ask: are these really individuals, or are they small businesses who aren’t getting the best possible service because they’re using the wrong products?
When we’re looking at video, there are often way more variables than we can work out by just looking at reports. Sure, we can see which videos are playing most frequently, and which elements within them go viral. But to build a differentiated business, with a sustainable business model, there is no substitute for the human brain and the creativity it hauls along with it. “OK,” we say, “this video seems light on viewers, but we feel like we get a lot of positive anecdotal feedback – how do those things reconcile?”
With so many potential perspectives, the winners are going to be those who take a pile of data and ask the right questions. If an anecdotally-popular show doesn’t seem to have the view, let’s ask: is it more of a niche, where we can identify that, say, iPhone viewers in the UK really love it? If so, it’s way more valuable than we thought: although it won’t have the raw volume of views, its demographic is well-defined and can command a higher CPM from advertisers.
For Big Data and human intuition to come together, we’re going to need the tools that allow us to combine all the perspectives and build tangible answers to complex, multi-dimensional questions. It’s the meeting of left brain, right brain, and silicon brain, and it’s the future.
HD Voice technology isn’t particularly new — in fact, some UK operators have supported it since as far back as 2010. Very few devices were HD-capable back then, though, but lots of modern smartphones are now suitably equipped, leading other carriers to get their acts together. Today, Vodafone announced it’s joining the party, letting anyone with a supported handset make HD calls to others on the same network. HD Voice, if you weren’t aware, widens the frequency range of your call, ensuring conversations almost sound like you’re talking to someone face-to-face. Today’s launch means O2 is now the only major UK carrier not offering the feature, and it says it has no official plans to either. Given most smartphone usage is dedicated to messaging and photo apps these days, today’s launch might not excite Vodafone customers all that much. The difference in quality is noticeable though, so prepare to feel like someone’s living inside your head the first time a call connects in HD.
Source: Vodafone Blog0
AMSTERDAM — The job of running a broadcast network today, David Abraham, CEO of U.K. broadcaster Ch. 4 told an audience at IBC2014, hinges on innovation.
And the pubic broadcaster is backing up those words with a big move in 2015: Merging its live linear and on-demand programming into a single entity: All 4.
For decade, broadcasters have applied technology gradually he said. Today, technology innovation is continual and pervasive. It has to be as central a concern as the creation of great content.
Technology, he said, is no longer just invisible plumbing. And, he said, broadcasters that don’t take advantage of it are missing a big opportunity, especially if they put linear and online into different silos.
Broadcasters are at a disadvantage if they separate their online brands from their channel brand, he said. We think its about blending the two and using the strengths of both, putting the entire channel and digital estate into one universe at the same time.
The result, he said, are that linear brands are seamlessly reinforced.
We believe All 4 will deliver the most advanced broadcaster response to the changing viewer landscape.
All in one place, designed from the ground up.
Abraham said multiplatform delivery has become integral to our creative process.
He also pointed out that the connected environment gives broadcasters new ways to connect with audiences, something Ch. 4 has taken advantage of.
The broadcaster has offered users the opportunity to register for its online product and get access to additional content, and to receive personalized recommendations, among other perks.
It’s paid off to the tune of more than 11 million registered users, a number increasing by 10,000 new users daily.
It has created a new viewer relationship platform, he said, one that has been well received by advertisers who can use data from users to create targeted ad packages.
The dynamic elasticity of the cloud, he said, is allowing Ch. 4 to scale, while at the same time keeping costs under control.
Follow me on Twitter @JimONeillMedia
Amazon’s Fire TV box is now available for pre-order in the United Kingdom and Germany with delivery scheduled to begin next month.
Consumers who order today in Germany will be able to get their hands on the digital streaming device starting Sept. 25; for those in the U.K., delivery won’t start until Oct. 23.
The box, about the size of a deck of cards, allows users to access Amazon Prime Instant Video, as well as a range of other Internet video services, will cost 99 euros in Germany and £79 in the U.K., where it also will be available at retailers Argos, Dixons, Sainsbury’s and Tesco. Existing Amazon prime members in both countries can get the box for 49 euros and £49 for the next five days.
The early release date in Germany likely is a response to Netflix’s planned rollout there later this month.
Amazon already is in Germany with Amazon Instant Video and Prime Instant Video and has announced several new content deals there in an effort to blunt Netflix’s roll out.
Amazon Fire TV in Germany also includes access to catch-up and on-demand services from ZDF, ARD, Sport 1, Bild, Spiegel TV, Zattoo, Arte, Servus TV, and more. International content partners include Dailymotion, Vevo, Bloomberg, MUBI, Red Bull and others.
Unlike the U.K., German Fire TV users won’t at the moment have access through the device to Netflix, but that’s likely to change once Netflix is deployed.
In the U.K., Fire TV will support Amazon Instant Video, Prime Instant Video, and a range of other services including Netflix, YouTube, Demand 5, Sky News, Twitch, Spotify, Vevo and several others. It doesn’t currently list the BBC’s iPlayer as one of the services available; Amazon says more content services will be coming soon, including Demand 5, Curzon Home Cinema, STV Player, and more.
The Fire TV box launched in the U.S. market earlier this year into a crowded field that included devices from Apple, Google and Roku, among others.
Like Apple and Google, Amazon is offering an inexpensive device that gives consumers access to an near-endless array of content; a new take on the classic razor-razor blade business model.
But this model also includes a wild card: Netflix.
Follow me on Twitter @JimONeillMedia
Photo by Chaira Meattelli and Dominic Lee
Post-punk greats the Pop Group have announced a reissue of We Are Time, a 1980 collection of early live and studio recordings. They’re also putting out Cabinet of Curiosities, a new compilation of rarities. Both are out October 21 via Freaks R Us (an imprint of Kartel/Amped). More reissues of the group’s back catalogue will follow in the future.
The band are also offering a limited supply of exclusive memorabilia via Pledge Music with surplus proceeds going to Campaign Against Arms Trade. Info will be available on the Pop Group’s Facebook and Twitter.
Frontman Mark Stewart and guitarist Gareth Sager discussed We Are Time in a press release.
Stewart: The Pop Group was mutating so fast right from the start that it was crucial to document those first experiments with this compilation. We Are Time is really the’ teenage Pop Group album. It’s full of defiance and the material demonstrates the band’s staunch independence and our really early DIY ethic before the studio became another instrument.
Sager: [We were] trying in an inexplicably naive manner to combine Patti Smith’s Rimbaud ramblings, James Brown, the Stooges, Roxy Music, T. Rex and classical aleatoric music. You can hear the results of this on tracks Genius Or Lunatic,’ Colour Blind,’ Trap,’ Sense Of Purpose,’ Kiss The Book’ and We Are Time. … Soon after this the band were bringing in other influences, Ornette Coleman, King Tubby, Funkadelic, Debussy, Jacques Brel, Fela Kuti, Steve Reich and then you get Thief of Fire.’
Cabinet of Curiosities features a version of “She Is Beyond Good and Evil” produced by Roxy Music’s Andy Mackay. It also features BBC John Peel session tracks and a few unreleased songs.
This fall, the Pop Group will embark on a UK tour, performing We Are Time in full. Dates below.
St. Vincent has been known to cover “She Is Beyond Good and Evil” at her shows.
We Are Time
02 Thief of Fire
03 Genius Or Lunatic
04 Colour Blind
05 Spanish Inquisition
06 Kiss The Book
07 Amnesty Report
09 Sense of Purpose
10 We Are Time
Cabinet of Curiosities
01 Where There’s A Will
02 She Is Beyond Good And Evil
03 Colour Blind
04 Words Disobey Me
05 Don’t Sell Your Dreams
06 We Are Time
07 Abstract Heart
08 Amnesty Report III
09 Karen’s Car
The Pop Group:
10-20 Edinburgh, Scotland – The Voodoo Rooms
10-21 Nottingham, England – The Bodega Social Club
10-22 Manchester, England – Gorilla
10-23 Bristol, England – Anson Rooms
10-24 Leeds, England – Brudenell Social Club
10-25 Brighton, England – Sticky Mike’s Frog Bar
10-26 London, England- Islington Assembly Hall
Video distribution and monetisation solutions provider Rightster has struck a deal with Summer in the City (SitC), the largest independent UK YouTube …
A Sunny Day in Glasgow have shared a new song called “Almost Like Emotion (The Drop)”. The song comes from an EP called NO DEATH, which is being released at select UK record stores (Norman, Rough Trade, Piccadilly, Rise, Recordstore) as a limited edition bonus to their recently-released album, Sea When Absent. Listen to it above.
The EP also features a remix of “Bye Bye, Big Ocean (The End)” by Ice Choir, aka Kurt Feldman of the Pains of Being Pure at Heart. Listen to the remix below, and check out the EP’s tracklist.
NO DEATH EP:
01 Almost Like Emotion (The Drop)
02 I’ll Be Signal (Sad Songs)
03 Bye Bye, Big Ocean (The End) – Ice Choir Remix
04 Boys Turn Into Girls (Initiation Rites) – The Buddy System Remix
05 In Love With Useless (The Timeless Geometry in the Tradition of Passing) – Fang Island Remix
Britain’s New Forest National Park wants to take away your cellphone, your tablet, and your car keys. The park, in southern England, has started a new scheme in which visitors can deposit their electronic devices at a dedicated “Tech Creche.” Smartphones and iPads are kept in device daycare while their owners roam the park, supposedly freed from the tyranny of screens, push notifications, and GPS directions.
Participating people can print off vouchers that promise they’ll “swap screen time for family time.” The park also suggests visitors leave their cars at the visitor center, travelling instead on foot or by open top bus to lessen the environmental impact on the park. The scheme is designed to reconnect children and parents on family…0