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Jan 11 2006
Cable Ad Buying for Local Business
Spot Runner launched today. It presents itself as an ad agency, but it�s really an Internet-based TV ad buying network. It�s totally local, and it�s potentially revolutionary (yes, that�s what I said), offering spot cable buying for small businesses.

It�s a self-service platform where SMEs can choose markets, vertically specific creative (pre-produced TV commercials that can be customized), and then the desired distribution and scheduling (based on algorithm-driven recommendations). They gave me a demo last Friday, and it was very impressive. It sounds complex, but it�s not that complicated in actual practice.

Started by the founders of Firefly and PeoplePC, it�s something Google or Yahoo! will probably look at and say, �Damn! I wish we�d done that; maybe we should.� And it�s something people should take a serious look at.

These guys will be at Drilling Down �06. We�ll have more to say later.

Here�s a brief interview with the company�s cofounder Nick Grouf.

Here�s the press release.

More from SiliconBeat.

Blog: Local Media Blog
posted by  Greg Sterling at  12:51 | permalink | comments [1] | trackbacks [0]

Jan 11 2006
News Survey
There are a number of interesting things I ran across today. Given my schedule this morning, here�s an abbreviated roundup:

  • Fast Search & Transfer�s Stephen Baker points me to a results page on the Denver Post site to show FAST�s aggregation of content from disparate sources in a single page�my search was for �Home Improvement.� FAST doesn�t do UI design (they should). This is getting there ...

  • New mapping and transit site Hopstop (per MediaPost) takes geotargeting down to the block level (using Yahoo! Maps).

  • A new report argues that consumers don�t want to pay for content (iTunes notwithstanding) but would rather have ad-supported video. (There will undoutedly be both in the marketplace going forward.)

  • Local TV Web sites want to be taken seriously as ad vehicles and so commissioned a Borrell report to validate and promote that opportunity to the larger marketplace. (PremierGuide is providing local search and directory content to many of those local TV sites.) The bottom line for local TV sites is that they need to be part of a network (one way or another) to realize this ad revenue potential.

  • EU search engine and Google/Yahoo! challenger Quaero is announced. Billing itself as a next-generation multimedia search provider, it will have to be good and won�t be able to rely on anti-American hostility or pan-EU nationalism for traffic. We�ll see ...
Blog: Local Media Blog
posted by  Greg Sterling at  10:18 | permalink | comments [0] | trackbacks [0]

Jan 11 2006
MySpace Plans to Get More Interactive
Rupert Murdoch has announced the integration of downloadable video, VoIP and IM to MySpace, which News Corp. acquired for $580 million in July. These moves are intended to drive use of the wildly popular social networking site and boost ad revenues (its main revenue stream).

Murdoch announced the new services Monday at a Citigroup media conference in Phoenix. He also outlined plans to offer wireless broadband Internet service through News Corp.-owned DirecTV. The company�s push into online media is evident through the launch of Fox Interactive Media (FIM) in July, not to mention Murdoch�s outspoken opinion on the maturation of newspaper and other brick-and-mortar media businesses.

Free video, IM and voice are hoped to create more stickiness among MySpace users, in addition to increasing traffic and driving ad revenues. The site has a total of 47 million users and is adding about a million per week. Its average user age is 20, a demographic projected to be heavy users of video, IM and voice. Indeed, MySpace users already have a proven interest in music content and social networking, which these new offerings will each address in some way.

The video content will likely come from News Corp. content assets including the Fox TV network, Fox News Channel and Twentieth Century Fox movie studio. Fox News Channel might not �speak� to the MySpace generation as much as the others. But we�ll have to wait and see.

In fact, since News Corp. acquired MySpace, I�ve been waiting to see what it will do to screw up the site. In other words, an arguably anticorporate MySpace generation could quickly sniff out any commercialization strategies put in front of them. FIM seems to be doing OK so far, and these new offerings, if they aren�t perceived as an advertising Trojan horse, should be well-accepted by the MySpace crowd.

But don�t forget the site�s name. Users have developed a strong and widespread affinity that it is their space. So if Murdoch & Co. wish to keep these users around, they should be careful what they do with it.

Blog: Local Media Blog
posted by  Mike Boland at  08:00 | permalink | comments [1] | trackbacks [0]

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