TelevisionWeek contributing writer Daisy Whitney is blogging about the pinnacles and pitfalls facing viewers who want to consume television in new ways. Check in frequently as Daisy kicks the tires on the new media juggernaut and dishes on which services do -- and don’t -- make the cut.


Trial and Error

Ad:Tech Defies Downward Attendance Trend

April 24, 2009 11:00 AM

This year the media conference business has been witnessing a 20% drop in attendance across the board. That’s about what the NAB Show, the Consumer Electronics Show and the Cable Show all saw.

So when I heard from Ad:Tech that its just-concluded Ad:Tech San Francisco conference defied that trend and saw only a 10% dip in attendance, I was delighted. I also wanted to know the reasons why.

The show, held earlier this week in San Francisco, featured keynoters such as Jason Kilar of Hulu, Kevin Rose of Diggnation and Jimmy Wales, the founder of Wikipedia. (And me as a moderator, but we know I’m not the reason for the good turnout!)

“We certainly did some discounting, which was necessary and, I think it’s fair to say, helped stimulate the demand. I would also say that our content was as strong as ever,” said Drew Ianni, the chair of programming for Ad:Tech.

Big discounts can shave the revenue more than the drop in attendance does. Even so, you need to be innovative in these tougher times and find creative ways to win customers, clients and attendees, even if that means lowering your prices. Who isn’t offering a recession special these days? And if by offering lowering rates, you can beat the market—with a 10% rather than a 20% dip—that’s all the better.

“In addition to six strong keynotes, including keynotes from Jimmy Wales, Hulu CEO Jason Kilar, Digg founder Kevin Rose and Ogilvy Vice Chairman Steve Hayden, we really packed it in over the three days,” Ianni said. “We partnered with Danny Sullivan for our Search content and launched two new mini-shows within Ad:Tech San Francisco, including ADSPACE, which focused on SME publishers and sellers, and Mobile Mix which consolidated our mobile programming to focus exclusively on mobile. We think all of this combined contributed to the strong turnout.”

Did you make it to the show? If so, what did you think?

Looking for a Few Good Books?

April 23, 2009 2:30 PM

Longtime television network publicity guru Gary Morgenstein is flexing his writing muscles.

He just released two novels on Amazon, one about a nutty Brooklyn man who falls for a beautiful rabbi, called “Loving Rabbi Thalia Kleinman,” and the other a story about a father trying to find his missing son, “Jesse’s Girl.”

If you’re looking for a good book, or two, check them out.

Win a Guided Tour of the NAB Show Floor

April 14, 2009 10:51 AM

I’ll be heading to NAB next week and hosting a tour of the show floor on behalf of Promax|BDA.

The VIP tour and lunch will take place April 21 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. It will include visits with Sony, Adobe, Autodesk, thePlatform, the Foundry, Avid and Red Giant.

Promax|BDA has been kind enough to offer this tour to a TVWeek.com reader for free, so if you want to join me, you can enter to win by sending an email to press@promaxbda.org on why you deserve it by Wednesday. See you in Vegas!

'Goodnight Burbank' Discovers the Internet

April 6, 2009 1:36 PM

What happens when you tick off a Hollywood publicist?

Well, if you’re hosting a Hollywood insider report, that means you’re going to need to cover “cewebrities.” You know, Internet stars who haven’t quite hit the mainstream, instead of big-time actors.

Which means you’ll also need to work with me, as “Goodnight Burbank” supposedly does in this report on Web stars. Check it out here when I get “name-checked” in “Goodnight Burbank.”

Obama Girl Is Singing a New Tune

April 1, 2009 7:00 AM

Now that her main squeeze is in the White House, what’s a Web star to do?

Well, Obama Girl is crooning about fuel efficiency. And it’s kind of sexy.

Streamy Awards Have Strong Debut

March 31, 2009 7:00 AM

The first annual Streamy Awards drew about 1,200 attendees to its red-carpet awards show in Los Angeles this weekend. I’d say that’s a pretty impressive turnout for a Web awards show.

The Streamy Awards honor the best in Web programming, and “Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog” and “The Guild” won a lot of Streamy gold.

What I like about the Streamys is that they awards are voted on by members of the recently formed International Academy of Web Television, and I think that gives some credibility to the awards. They’re not just a popularity contest or an exercise in how many votes you can drive via Twitter. Here’s a video that the Fine Bros. made about how to win a Streamy Award.

HealthGuru Has Healthy Viewership Stats

March 25, 2009 11:24 AM

Online video health network HealthGuru.com is the fastest-growing health site on the Web for the last three months, according to comScore data shared with TelevisionWeek by HealthGuru.

The site also delivered more video views than unique visitors over the same time period, a healthy—ha ha, pun—stat for a site focusing on health videos. In February, HealthGuru.com drew more than 1.3 million unique visitors who watched more than 2 million videos on its site.

Online Chaos Is Creating Opportunity

March 23, 2009 10:46 AM

Here’s the problem with the online business: “Time has been diverted to social media pursuits that aren’t very monetizable,” said Ken Fadner, the publisher of MediaPost, during today’s OMMA Hollywood conference.

It’s one of the most insightful things I’ve heard at a conference recently.

Mr. Fadner added, “The Internet is chewing up everything in its path and not necessarily benefiting all sectors of the online world.”

Indeed, chaos is upon us.

But with chaos comes opportunity, said Cory Treffiletti, president and managing partner for media advisory firm Catalyst:SF, also at the conference. “We do our best work when the economy sucks,” he said. “The fact is we are in the biggest economic crisis and it is the biggest challenge and the biggest opportunity to reinvent ourselves as we come out of the recession and are poised for growth.”

Exclusive Online Content Makes Sense for Creators

March 17, 2009 2:21 PM

In the age of digital distribution of media, content creators might want to consider offering some exclusive content online. That was the advice shared by musician Jonathan Coulton, who has become something of a Web star for releasing his music online without copyright protection on his own site, during a panel at the South by Southwest Festival in Austin, Texas.

 South by Southwest Festival in Austin

NETWORKING Where business gets done at South by Southwest—in the halls.

“The idea of exclusive content is not crazy,” he said. “It makes a lot of sense where if you are a member of the fan club, you get the CD. But be prepared for a lot of leakage and don’t worry about it, because there’s not a lot you can do about it.”

(Leakage doesn’t sound so pretty!)

But seriously, while Mr. Coulton’s advice was largely for musicians, I want to know if you think there is applicability to video content. What can video producers offer on an exclusive basis? Can anything even be exclusive anymore?

Music, Film Fans Invade SXSW

March 17, 2009 1:29 PM

The changing of the guard: it's the final day of the SXSW interactive festival, which means the music and film fans are showing up for their portion of the festival....

'Changing of the Guard'