Articles of Interest

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Pheedo Bows Self-Service RSS Ad Product

Pheedo Bows Self-Service RSS Ad Product
by Shankar Gupta, Wednesday, Apr 26, 2006 6:00 AM EST
RSS MARKETING FIRM PHEEDO IS expected to unveil a new product that allows Web site publishers to insert and track advertisements in their RSS feeds.

Pheedo founder Bill Flitter said the product, dubbed "Ads for Feeds," will simplify the process of inserting ads into syndicated feeds. "What we've created is a way to make RSS advertising and analytics available to everyone," said Pheedo Founder Bill Flitter. "Before, publishers were a little bit in the dark. What this product does is shed some light onto some of the problems with RSS. We created this product really to be easy, almost to the point of cutting and pasting code into their template."

With Ads for Feeds, publishers host a piece of Pheedo code on their own Web sites, and that code inserts ads and tracks the advertisements. The more extensive, expensive version, now called "Ads For Feeds+," redirects the feed through Pheedo's own servers, allowing for more data to be collected.

The product currently works with the major blog content management systems, including Wordpress, Moveable Type, and Typepad. According to Flitter, Pheedo can write custom code for proprietary content management systems, as well.

Flitter said the company hoped the new service would allow it to capture more of the widening marketplace. "A real motivation behind this particular product was to appeal to the market. The market is changing quite a bit over a year ago, and more and more people are becoming aware of RSS, and they're RSS enabling their sites," he said.

Monday, May 01, 2006

Engagement Panel: No Currency, No Clarity

Engagement Panel: No Currency, No Clarity
by Erik Sass, Friday, Apr 28, 2006 8:19 AM EST

ENGAGEMENT IS REAL AND MEANINGFUL, but its usefulness is limited by the lack of a single measurement currency, speakers on the "Engagement" panel agreed during Media Magazine's "Outfront Conference" on Thursday. During the course of the panel, it became obvious that in large part that's due to the fact that the meaning of engagement itself is still up for debate.

According to Deborah Reichig, senior vice president of sales strategy for CourtTV, "We're talking to one agency who thinks that loyalty is an important factor, and they measure that by the number of people who have watched three out of four episodes. Another thinks it's persistence, and that's measured by numbers of minutes watched per show. And there's others who want to look at 'persuasiveness.' We actually did a literature review and there are 85 different words and phrases that people have used to get at this concept."

The reality and importance of engagement were established early on by Paul Iaffaldano, executive vice-president and general manager of the Weather Channel's media solutions group, who noted statistics on the disparity between viewer attention to programming and ads: "There can be a 25 percent drop-off between ratings in program and ratings in minutes where commercials run. That is a very significant drop-off, and that is worth measuring."

By the same token, minute-by-minute data is not always reliable, according to Sandy Eubank, director of U.S. research and communications insight for OMD: "We don't think that the minute-by-minute ratings are engagement, and we don't think that they are commercial ratings... sets tuned doesn't necessarily indicate engagement... we prefer a measure of engagement where we actually ask something of the consumer."

Eubank went on to explain that it would be a mistake to use simple statistics like the number of sets tuned to measure a more complicated phenomenon like engagement: "Engagement occurs on a continuum... and if you just look at that tuning data you're missing a richness in data that is very important to advertisers. Having minute-by-minute data is far from a commercial rating." Above all, Eubank suggested a metric "where someone has asked the consumer something that suggests that they're involved with the program."

Although the means and object of measurement remained ambiguous, the other panelists seemed to agree with David Marans, executive vice president of IAG, when he summed it up: "Ratings are currency for transactions, and Nielsen does them well... but if you're building a house, they're the foundation, not the whole house."

And where might media execs find other sources of data? Deborah Reichig, senior vice president of sales strategy for CourtTV, noted: "There is a wealth of data hidden in those syndicated services we all use every day. There are ways to get at loyalty, and length of tune, and audience retention... you can use a combination of syndicated data and proprietary data to get a much better feel for what's going on."

Of course, proprietary methods for measuring engagement also allow competing research and media firms to distinguish themselves--a fact that seems to suggest a single measurement currency may still be a long way off. But it's worth noting that the basic ratings currency provided by Nielsen was at one time a proprietary service too. If "engagement" is to become a meaningful metric, it too must be standardized.

"They're probably all different," Eubank said of media deals that focus on engagement. "What's hard is to get other people around the table to accept your measure of engagement... What we would like to see is that everyone accepts one measure--and there's a currency, and a level playing field. But it may be ten years before that actually happens."

Wired News: Movie Mashups Take on Trailers

Wired News: Movie Mashups Take on Trailers
Movie Mashups Take on Trailers

By Niall McKay| Also by this reporter
02:00 AM May, 01, 2006

Hollywood has drafted a British VJ outfit to produce the first official movie mashup.

New Line Cinema commissioned Addictive TV, a British VJ duo, to mashup the new Antonio Banderas blockbuster Take The Lead to market to the iPod generation.

Watch the mashup here:

The Brit duo, known for bootleg movie remixes of titles like the Italian Job and James Bond were commissioned by New Line in a VJ faceoff with DJ 2nd Nature and Electric Method.

"It's the first time that a Hollywood studio has included a mix as part of its (marketing) package," said Graham Daniels, who runs Addictive TV with DJ Trolly.

The pair are no newcomers to mixing and mashing video. As a live act, they've been on the road VJing since 1992. Performing live, they blend film footage, video and audio clips using video and audio mixers, DVD turntables, laptop computers and video projectors. But the recent upswing in mashup culture is giving them a new lease of life.

The pair have also been hired by EMI to create a Doors versus Blondie mix that will feature live Doors concerts mixed with snippets of Blondie's '80s videos.

"EMI liked our Queen vs. Tarantino bootleg mashup so they asked to create one for Blondie," Daniels said.

The pair will be performing a VJ "symphony" on Monday night at the San Francisco International Film Festival called "The Eye of the Pilot."

The audiovisual symphony will feature a collection of color 8-mm film from the '50s shot by French commercial airline pilot Raymond Lamy, mixed live with guitar playing, ambient music and images drawn from Addictive TVs archive.

"We like to perform special mixes for our concerts," said Daniels. "We did a Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon mix for our Shanghai concert and the crowd went mad on the dance floor."