Royal Wedding a 2 screen event from mashable

Producers are working around the clock ahead of the Royal Wedding live broadcast, which is set to begin at 4 a.m. ET on most stations. But they aren’t just prepping TV coverage; they’re also working to extend their broadcasts and engage users across as many channels as possible.

With the proliferation of devices for media consumption — think laptops, tablets and smartphones, in addition to TV sets — viewers are no longer consuming media on a single platform. Instead, they’re tweeting on their smartphones while viewing on a TV program, or a watching a second show on their tablets during a commercial.

It’s these viewers — the ones that Mark Ghuneim, the founder and CEO of marketing agency Wireset and social media monitoring tool Trendrr, calls the “hyperactives” — that network producers and digital strategists are pursuing ahead of tomorrow morning’s broadcast.
The Importance of “Hyperactives”

Unlike “massive passives,” which make up the majority of the television-viewing audience, hyperactives are actively discussing, endorsing and engaging with TV content on different networks in real time, and encouraging their friends to do so as well.

“If someone you trust says, ‘Oh my god, that’s really cool, I’m watching this,’ in real time, you want to go check it out,” says Ghuneim. “Because your social graph is made up of people you trust, when they recommend something, you’re more likely to take a look. The social web thus acts as a funnel in which friend recommendations are prompting tune-ins on TV and online in real time.”

Given that 2 billion viewers are expected to tune in for the Royal Wedding, networks are going all-out to create more engaging and more accessible experiences by streaming their coverage on as many devices as possible, as well as maintaining an active presence on Facebook and Twitter.
ABC News: A Cross-Channel Strategy

Of all the networks we spoke to, ABC News is pursuing the most aggressive cross-channel strategy. The network will be livestreaming on ABCNews.com, its apps for iPhone and iPad devices, Hulu, Yahoo and on Facebook.

ABC News correspondent David Muir will be interacting directly with followers on Twitter and Facebook throughout the day. The network will also keep track of trending conversations in order to bridge online and on-air discussions, ABC News Digital executive producer of innovation Andrew Morse tells us.

ABC is also asking Twitter users to tweet in comments throughout the day using hashtags #ROYALMESS and #ROYALSUCCESS, and to the big moment with #ROYALKISS, a strategy Ghuneim says is especially effective for increasing Twitter conversation about a broadcast.

“What we’ve come to realize more and more through major events — elections, major celebrations, breaking news events and tragedies — is that the two-screen experience is becoming more and more ubiquitous,” says Morse. “More people are interacting, watching while using their tablets and their iPhones, and we want to create the richest two-screen experience we can.”
CNN: Uniting TV, Mobile & Social

CNN will be monitoring Twitter commentary tagged with #CNNtv during the live broadcast, and display selected tweets in a “slow stream” alongside video coverage. Tweets and Facebook status updates from so-called “relevant influentials,” such as celebrities and friends of the Royal Family, will appear in the lower-third banner of the broadcast. Viewers are also encouraged to check in on GetGlue to unlock a series of Royal-Wedding themed stickers.

Most unusually, two-dimensional barcodes will appear on-screen throughout the day, prompting viewers with smartphones to scan the code to load additional CNN coverage on their smartphones.

In addition, CNN will be tweeting live updates from @royalweddingCNN, as well as from the accounts of individual presenters Anderson Cooper, Piers Morgan, Richard Quest, Kiran Chetry and Cat Deeley throughout the event.

AP Live, CBS News, ET TheInsider.com and the UK Press Association will all be hosting live broadcasts on Livestream, whilst the BBC will host its own livestream and live blog. Royal correspondent Peter Hunt will be taking questions on Twitter leading up to and on the big day.
Why Now & What’s Next?

We have seen heavy multimedia and cross-channel coverage during past global events, but never on this scale before.

The reason, Ghuneim says, is because many networks are beginning to understand the importance of an engaged audience across multiple channels, and have had the advantage of months of planning ahead of the broadcast.

The challenges involve understanding how consumers use different kinds of devices, and how to optimize the experience for each device.

For more information about how to follow the Royal Wedding online, please see our comprehensive guide.

Disclosure: CNN and ABC News are Mashable content partners. click on image for full article

US Ad industry bounces back. Digital leads revenue growth

According to Ad Age’s Agency Report 2011, the advertising industry recorded revenue growth of 7.7% in 2010 to $30.4 billion, in what it said was US (domestic) led recovery of the worldwide advertising market.

However, it also correctly tempers the growth results, or rebound, with the following statement:

WPP Chief Executive Martin Sorrell has called a “dead cat bounce”: The ad business fell so sharply that it wasn’t surprising to see decent percentage gains when the economy began to recover after the longest recession (December 2007 through June 2009) since the Great Depression.

Ie. We’re only just making up for 2009 and still have lost ground to catch up to.

But making up for lost ground is better than continuing to lose ground. And given that the industry went from a 4 year average annual growth rate of 8.3% (2004-07) to just 3.7% growth in 2008 and a -7.5% decline in 2009, the +7.7% result for 2010 is definitely a good sign of things to come in the future and will spark increased confidence in the industry and beyond.

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Latest Nielsen survey says people prefer Android OS to Apple’s iOS

If 2010 was the year of “Android equalling iOS” predictions, then 2011 is certainly the year when this predictions come through. But it doesn’t just stop at being equal.

In fact, Nielsen’s latest Jan-Mar11 survey for people intending to buy a smartphone says that 31% of these consumers now prefer the Android OS, followed by Apple with 30%.

Now the 1% difference may not be much, but consider the fact that compared to Jul-Sept last year, Apple has actually seen a 1% reduction while Android has seen a 5% increase from 26%. And that’s all only in the last half a year.

Nielsen posits that this isn’t just mere consumer preference statements anymore, as half the people they surveyed have purchased an Android device in the past 6 months, giving Android a 37% market share in the smartphone OS market, which is 10% more than Apple.

While some people might question the exact accuracy of those numbers, I don’t think anyone will argue that Android has become a dominant force in the smartphone market. It’s become sort of an expected outcome.

What I do want to know though (and what I think these surveys also lack), are the reasons WHY people are choosing Android over the iOS. Is it because of technical superiority, features, brand perception, device features or choices or price or what???

I think every research vendor or analyst out there have been telling us the same “what” for the last 12 months now and I think it’s time to move on to the “why”.

So if you belong to a research vendor or analyst firm, and have the answers to the “why”, I’d be very keen to hear from you.

Follow me on Twitter (@feibiangoh)

Google challenges people to make tax data exciting

And they’ve just announced their winner! Click on the image to go through to the winning site.

Google obviously has an interest in getting more people interested in data of all types. However, the thing about data is it can be difficult to make it exciting for most people.

Personally, I’ve found that visualising that data in the form of a story is often the best way to get it across or understood.

This challenge really brings home that point and its especially great because the subject matter, which is how the government is spending your tax money (for US citizens), should really be something that concerns and interest all taxpayers.

You can check out all the other winning entries here http://datavizchallenge.org/.

Pretty damn cool.

UK Set for Social Royal Wedding – from mediaweek UK

The UK set for a very social Royal Wedding – click image for article link

Live television coverage of The Royal Wedding from the BBC and ITV will be supplemented by a range of online platforms around next week’s gala event, including live streaming on Google’s YouTube.
The Royal Wedding: UK channels are predicted to achieve record figures
The Royal Wedding: UK channels are predicted to achieve record figures

Live video, updates and other unique content around the wedding of Prince William and Kate (Catherine) Middleton will ensure it becomes the most digital and interactive royal wedding to date.

On 29 April, in addition to dedicated coverage on BBC One from 8am, and ITV1 from 8:30am, broadcast footage of a royal wedding will be available live to stream for the first time on YouTube, running from 10am to 2pm.

The website will host the video on its already established Royal Channel. Coverage will include the couple’s journey to and from Westminster Abbey, the wedding service, balcony appearance and the fly past.

Footage will be taken from the BBC without the broadcaster’s commentary and will be accompanied by a live multi-media blog by St. James’s Palace.

Other social media activity around the event will include the Official Royal Wedding website, the British Monarchy Flickr account, Twitter (@ClarenceHouse), and a British Monarchy Facebook page.

The Facebook page will be updated hourly on the day and includes a Facebook “event” open to all. Users who click the “I’m attending” button on ‘The Royal Wedding’ event will become part of a community that is expected to span into the millions across the world.

A ‘Stories’ app is also expected to launch tomorrow (21 April). It asks people to describe how they are preparing for the event and, on the day itself, how they are celebrating.

The unprecedented media coverage is said to be “in line with the couple’s wishes to make the wedding as accessible as possible for as many people as want to participate”.

Some analysts expect the traditional TV coverage alone to achieve record highs not seen since the turn of the century.

TNS Omnibus believes 26.2 million people are set to watch the Royal Wedding on traditional TV, which would make it the UK’s most watched event of the century.

Unfortunately, the last time TV audiences were that large in the UK was for the combined BBC and ITV coverage of Princess Diana’s funeral on 6 September, 1997, watched by 32 million viewers.

Outside the UK, Germany and the US are expected to follow the event closely, with 44% and 42% of these nations planning to watch at home, according to TNS Omnibus.

TNS Omnibus’s Sue Homeyard, who analysed responses to its Royal Wedding study of over 6,600 people, said: “Major Royal and sporting events, season finales and soap specials are the ones which consistently attract top viewing figures, but even by those standards this looks set to be very special.

“This figure shows what a momentous event this wedding will be for the UK – not to mention food and drink retailers, which will see an average spend of £30 on snacks and drinks for the show.”

Evolution of Web Design

Found via Mashable.

Al Jazeera’s “The Stream” begins life

A while back Al Jazeera announced its new innovation;  an open newsroom, fuelled by social media but curated by professional editors.

Welcome to “The Stream”. It starts today.

Social media and news isn’t a new combination. Most news organisations worldwide have already woken up to the fact that social media networks have become a rich source of news content and tips, as well as acting as a check and balance to the news outlets themselves.

However, Al Jazeera is taking this further, believing in fact that you can make these social conversations the centre of the news content itself, instead of just being window dressing around the news content which is largely what it’s been up until now.

It’ll be interesting to see how this works out and whether or not it is an idea that can be uniquely executed by Al Jazeera alone, or if can be copied across all news outlets.

I’m certainly keeping this on my personal watchin brief.

(Picture from Fastcompany)

Blogging for free is like writing Open Source software

As some of you may already know there’s a class action lawsuit against Arianna Huffington and AOL underway, filed by a group of HuffPost bloggers who think they’re owed up to $100 million for the money that Mrs Huffington made after selling the Huffington Post to AOL.

The merits and basis of the case are shaky at best but it’s an interesting situation nonetheless.

In any case, I liked how GigaOm compared writing Open Source software with blogging for free, and I think that it’s a relevant comparison, even if not perfect.

The analogy with writing for outlets like Huffington Post isn’t perfect, but it has a lot of similarities. As founder Arianna Huffington noted in her response to the Tasini lawsuit, writers for the site maintain the rights to their content; in other words, they can post it wherever they like, and make money from it in other ways if they wish. The site also doesn’t collect money from those who read this freely-submitted content, although it does make money from the ads that run alongside the content.

In a similar way, there are companies such as MySQL — which was acquired by Sun Microsystems for $1 billion in 2008 — that are corporate entities, even though much of what they sell is based on open-source software. Red Hat has built a billion-dollar business on support and other services related to open-source software. One could argue that The Huffington Post does something similar: it produces its own content, but it also aggregates and distributes free content, and that is a value-added service.

And there will always be people who are willing to write for free — whether they are doing it on their own blogs, for Wikipedia, or for a site like The Huffington Post — just as there will always be people who are willing to create open-source software. Would it nice if everyone could get paid a handsome salary for everything they do? Sure. But one of the strengths of the web is that it allows other methods of compensation to flourish, and the HuffPo is just another example of that in action.

Paywalls and your social strategy

Mashable discusses how paywalls impact on social strategies for online news media with editors from Dallas News, The Economist and Honolulu Civil Beat.

The main concern across the board is the accessibility of stories behind the paywall affects how much an editor (or social media editor) can share. With straightforward “subscribe or see nothing” paywalls the editor at least knows that sharing is off the table, but when you have metered or “snapshot” strategies, it becomes more difficult to tell if a user will successfully be able to view all the stories that they’re clicking through to.

The flipside to that is that any unsuccessful experiences to read shared links will quickly become known to the site’s editors, especially in the social media world.

It definitely changes the way one can go about creating awareness and conversations about the topic or brand. However, somewhat surprisingly, none of these editors seem to be anywhere near the “crying about how paywall will kill social sharing” whinge that many may have thought they would.

They’ve all found different ways to cope and manage the impact of paywalls on their social strategies without placing social in the “less important” bucket, so to speak.

At the end of the day, it’s all about adapting. Paywalls for mainstream media is in its infancy yet and as these strategies and business models develop, so will understanding, experience and specialised skillsets that will enable media sites to maintain reach and relevance even in a paid-content environment.

A huge part of the media business has always been about distribution of its core product (content) to as many eyeballs as possible, within its business and social environment (ie geographic coverage), and it’s always managed to achieve this somehow.

Aust local newspaper study

Australian study shows that community newspapers strongly influence local consumers, in particular, families.

The study also measures of reader engagement into how local newspapers are used when making purchasing decisions.

Key findings

How readers perceive local newspapers

Locals think their Local Newspaper is:

  • Honest – 58% 
  • Trustworthy – 57% 
  • Friendly or caring – 63% 
  • Down to Earth – 72% 
  • Informative – 72% 
  • Relevant – 74%

Reader engagement

Local papers have strong engagement measures with 79% of readers saying they read most issues or every issue and for an average time spent reading of 28.5 minutes.

Advertising effectiveness

Readers indicated that as a result of reading an ad in their local newspaper, they have:

  • Picked up new ideas on things to buy – 57% 
  • Gone online and looked at a website –  51% 
  • Added something to their shopping list –  47% 
  • Talked about the ad with friends or family – 50%

This gave a net score for raised consideration (using the above four actions) of 82%.

A net score of 74% was recorded for purchase influence, based on people who did any of the following as a result of reading an ad in their local newspaper:

  • Bought a product – 52% 
  • Went out and got a bargain – 41% 
  • Purchased from a store they didn’t normally go to – 48% 
  • Tried a new brand – 33%

Source: http://www.thenewspaperworks.com.au/go/news/-get-in-with-the-locals-study

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