Thursday, June 21, 2007

Applications & Content for the Digital Lifestyle

Summary information from Day 1: CONNECTIONS™ May 2007, hosted in Santa Clara, CA.

As digital media distribution evolves, business models must evolve to account for convergence between pure consumer-paid services and those supported by advertising revenues. This panel includes industry luminaries on the cutting edge of new media who will discuss its impact on the digital lifestyle.

Brad Davis, Vice President, Advertising Sales, Disney Online, Walt Disney Internet Group
Christine Heckart, General Manager, Microsoft TV, Microsoft Corp.
Yoav Tzruya, COO, Exent Technologies
Moderator: Stuart Sikes, President, Parks Associates

This panel took up the debate surrounding Sokola’s contention that current TV advertising dollars are wasteful and inefficient. The panelists agreed that today’s television advertising is not very good at being targeted and measured. Brad Davis acknowledged that Google’s purchase of DoubleClick keeps him up at night since it gives Google a leg up in display ads. Whether gaming or IPTV services would be the savior of advertising was certainly debatable during the panel. Yoav Tzruya is certainly optimistic, but it’s not a panacea. Christine Heckart acknowledged that the IP properties of IPTV make it a compelling application for targeted and measurable advertising but the footprint of IPTV subscribers is currently so small that advertisers aren’t ready to make the move yet.

More than anything, the panel laid out questions in need of answers. For example, Heckart indicated that most implementations of next-gen advertising are a “science experiment” and some determinations need to be made as to who will be responsible for measuring and reporting advertising results. Will it be today’s well-known companies such as Nielsen, or will it be other parties? In the end, one looming question that the industry needs to answer, according to all of the panelists, is how does money flow from a small core of beneficiaries (content owners) to other players?

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