Turbotodd

Ruminations on tech, the digital media, and some golf thrown in for good measure.

Archive for the ‘television’ Category

Recasting My TV

leave a comment »

I’ve recast my TV situation with a new Amazon Recast.

I cut the cord on regular cable about six years ago, and in that six years my TiVo Premiere box and an RCA indoor digital antenne did a fine job of providing me plenty of free content to watch.

Only it wasn’t free, because I was paying $15.99/month to TiVo every month for the past six years.

So now I’ve cut yet another cord with my purchase of an Amazon Recast.

What is that, you ask?  It’s like a TiVo, only I don’t pay $15.99 a month. Once I bought the Recast box, the OTA content is as it should be, free.

Recast is basically an OTA DVR, but it’s beauty is it’s also tied into the Amazon ecosystem, so I’m able to control the programming both with an Amazon Fire Stick and an Amazon Tap speaker.

It also didn’t require anything to hook up to my older (2014 model) Samsung Smart TV, as everything works through the Fire Stick and the Recast via wifi (as long as they’re both on the same network).

In terms of the interface, it’s not unlike a TiVo (or any other programming guide), and the synergy with the Amazon Echo ecosystem is pretty seamless so far (although I’m still figuring out all the different commands).

I’ll know more in another week or two.

Speaking of tying up ecosystems, Walmart has announced that it will let customers order groceries by voice through Google’s smart-home assistant, “an attempt to counter Amazon.com Inc.’s growing clout in e-commerce, reports Bloomberg.

Beginning this month, Walmart shoppers can add items directly to their online shopping carts by saying “Hey Google, talk to Walmart.” Information from prior purchases will help identify the correct brand and size — like whether you drink 1 percent or skim milk without having to specify, according to Tom Ward, Walmart’s senior vice president of digital operations. In a blog post Tuesday, he said customers can tweak their orders at home or from their smartphone while on the go.

As a loyal Walmart customer, I guess I’ll starve for now when it comes to ordering with my Amazon Tap.

But at least I can make my TV go!

Written by turbotodd

April 2, 2019 at 9:53 am

Posted in 2019, hollywood, television

Tagged with , ,

Live @ Information On Demand 2012: A Q&A With Nate Silver On The Promise Of Prediction

with 2 comments

Day 3 at Information On Demand 2012.

The suggestion to “Think Big” continued, so Scott Laningham and I sat down very early this morning with Nate Silver, blogger and author of the now New York Times bestseller, “The Signal and the Noise” (You can read the review of the book in the Times here).

Nate, who is a youngish 34, has become our leading statistician through his innovative analyses of political polling, but made his original name by building a widely acclaimed baseball statistical analysis system called “PECOTA.”

Today, Nate runs the award-winning political website FiveThirtyEight.com, which is now published in The New York Times and which has made Nate the public face of statistical analysis and political forecasting.

In his book, the full title of which is “The Signal and The Noise: Why Most Predictions Fail — But Some Don’t,” Silver explores how data-based predictions underpin a growing sector of critical fields, from political polling to weather forecasting to the stock market to chess to the war on terror.

In the book, Nate poses some key questions, including what kind of predictions can we trust, and are the “predicters” using reliable methods? Also, what sorts of things can, and cannot, be predicted?

In our conversation in the greenroom just prior to his keynote at Information On Demand 2012 earlier today, Scott and I probed along a number of these vectors, asking Nate about the importance of prediction in Big Data, statistical influence on sports and player predictions (a la “Moneyball”), how large organizations can improve their predictive capabilities, and much more.

It was a refreshing and eye-opening interview, and I hope you enjoy watching it as much as Scott and I enjoyed conducting it!

Breaking Bad Habits

with 3 comments

I recently gave up my HBO habit.

I was tired of paying the premium through my AT&T U-Verse subscription, and I’d been putting off for far too long giving some money to The New York Times digital edition, content from which I consume daily.

So far, it’s been a mostly fair trade.

Though I’m going to miss shows like “Game of Thrones” and “The Newsroom” and “True Blood,” as well as Bill Maher (especially during the political season), I figured being able to get all of the Times’ content on any of my digital devices (and I have many!) at any time was easy math: The digital paywall became more forbidding than the bundle became enticing.

No sooner do I make this move, than I read in Variety this morning that HBO is going to give the Nordic countries the opportunity to cut the chord by allowing folks to subscribe to HBO without having to have an HBO pay-TV subscription.

The Variety story dug deeper into the Nordic permafrost, indicating this was a competitive matching move, an announcement short on the heels of Netflix announcing its move into Sweden, Norway, Finland and Denmark.

I laugh at this — I don’t live in a Nordic country, what good does this do me??!!

I did visit Stockholm once — could that qualify me for a subscription???

It’s no wonder more and more people are cutting the cord on cable TV.

Cable has a business model for offering content that is completely antiquated, and entirely out of line with the direction of more a la carte offerings in a digital world.

I only cut a small piece of the cord…this time around…but unless I’m giving more choices and flexibility in content soon, as opposed to their traditional bundling…well, HBO isn’t the only habit I can break.

Written by turbotodd

August 31, 2012 at 2:18 pm

Sewing Up The London Olympic Games

with one comment

The new Ralph Lauren-designed uniforms for U.S. Olympics athletes at the coming London Olympics games may look spiffy, but a number of U.S. politicians have come out recently to complain they were manufactured in China. Let the games begin!

Well, it seems that the London Olympic Games are only a couple of short weeks away now.

As we get closer and closer to the lighting of the London 2012 Olympic torch, we will also start to see lines get drawn in the digital and social sand, as this will likely be the most “social” Olympic Games ever.

There will be lots to juxtapose in this year’s games in London with those of Beijing in 2008.

Most notably, the fact that we won’t have a 12 hour delay by the broadcast networks. Instead, NBC has already indicated that they will show many of the events live.  American GDP could swoon to a new low in these London Olympic summer games!

If you’re looking for a place to follow the games, there will be no shortage of television and digital opportunities. Just this week, Facebook and NBC announced a collaboration for “transmedia” coverage of the London Olympic Games.

In that deal, data from Facebook will inform TV coverage on NBC and other channels that will carry portions of the Summer Games starting on July 27, according to The New York Times. The specific uses will vary, says the Times, but there will be a “Facebook Talk Meter”  occasionally shown on TV to reflect what is being said online.

Conversely, on Facebook the NBC Olympics page will get frequent updates with what the companies call “exclusive content” for fans only. Fans will then be able to share what videos and articles they’re perusing on the network’s Olympics website.

It’s hard to believe that in only 4 short years, Facebook has grown from 100 million users, the number they were at during the Beijing Olympic Games, to over 900 million.  There’s no question this will be a much more social Olympics, but let’s also not forget the projected TV audience is 4 billion (In Beijing, the global TV audience was estimated at 4.4 billion.)

Speaking of China, U.S. Senator Harry Reid (D-NV) castigated the U.S. Olympic Committee for its decision to have the U.S. Olympics team dressed in Ralph Lauren-designed berets, blazers and pants that were manufactured in China even as the U.S. textile industry struggles to keep U.S. workers at their sewing machines.

Maybe they should introduce sewing into the Olympics as an official sport and we can have ourselves a “sew-off?”

I recently did some Olympic scouting of my own, looking for Websites and mobile apps to help make sure I keep up with the Virtual Joneses during the London sports festouche.  Here’s a few of them I unearthed:

I also found an interesting app for the iPad, the “Ultimate Olympic Guide,” which cost me a whopping $.99 and provided some nice background and overviews of each of the Olympic sports.

Feel free to add any other useful London Olympics resources in the comments section below.

Live @ IBM Smarter Commerce Global Summit Madrid: OgilvyOne Chairman & CEO Brian Fetherstonhaugh Speaks About The CMO Hotseat

with 2 comments

Brian Fetherstonhaugh, as the chairman and CEO of OgilvyOne Worldwide, has a unique vantage point on how brands are built, how corporate cultures are created, and what happens as the world goes digital. In the course of the past 25 years, Brian has worked hands-on with many of the world’s leading brands including, IBM, American Express, Cisco, Coca-Cola, Motorola, Unilever, Nestlé, Kodak, and Yahoo! Today, Brian leads OgilvyOne Worldwide, the interactive marketing and consulting arm of the Ogilvy Group. With more than 4,000 staff in 50 countries, OgilvyOne is at the forefront of the digital revolution. In 2007 and 2009, the Forrester Report ranked Ogilvy as a leading U.S. interactive agency.

OgilvyOne Worldwide Chairman and CEO Brian Fetherstonhaugh started our Q&A today here at the IBM Smarter Commerce Global Summit in Madrid by revealing who his favorite character on the 1960s-era AMC show about advertising, “Mad Men,” was.  Drum roll, please….It’s…JOAN.

Mainly, Brian explained, because Joan “gets things done.”

We then turned our discussion to the vast evolution IBM’s own marketing culture has endured the past two decades, and the opportunities and challenges presented by the changing marketing landscape for CMOs, whose tenures these days last an average 27 months.

Brian also discussed other key issues facing chief marketing officers during this time of great change, including the need for CMOs to focus on new talents and skills development. Before he jetted off to another city somewhere in the world, Brian left the IBM Smarter Commerce Global Summit, and you, with some valuable marketing advice.

And when you watch the video, never mind the Spanish waiter who entered the frame for just a moment: He was simply doing what we wish to see companies everywhere do best, servicing their customers!

Facebook Up Front

with one comment

There’s nothing like the looming shadow of the largest Internet-related IPO in history to bring out all the Debbie Downers.

Mind you, I’m in a two-day meeting in Raleigh with my teammates, so I’m supposed to be paying attention to what’s going on inside these four walls.  And I mostly am.

But, I simply could not ignore this headline sent to me via email by a fellow colleague (just to demonstrate the continued critical importance of personal word-of-mouth recommendations…I can’t find out everything from watching “The View”, now, can I?): GM To Stop Advertising On Facebook.

This on the first scroll of The Wall Street Journal this afternoon.

It would be easy enough to dismiss this headline considering the source, News Corporation, which owns the Journal, which is competing for essentially the same advertising dollars never mind that they also own that little used social network, MySpace, which once-upon-a-time was the bell of the social networking ball — but, it’s General Motors, the U.S.’ third largest advertiser in a critical category for advertising (automobiles).

According to the story, GM has spent some $40 million on its Facebook presence and plans to stop advertising there “after the company’s marketing executives determined their paid ads had little impact on consumers.” However, it also points out GM will continue to expand its use of marketing through Facebook’s pages, which is essentially free real estate.

In this case, it seems that the “owned” media is outpacing the “paid.”

On the other side of Madison Avenue, AP-CNBC recently conducted a poll that indicated more than half (57 percent) of Facebook users polled said they never click on ads or other sponsored content when they use the site. Only 4 percent say they often click on ads.

This isn’t exactly a canary in Facebook’s coal mine, however.

As I’ve tried to point out to my own troops, the shift in attention to the Facebook platform cannot be denied — U.S. Internet users now spend 20% of their surfing time there, and as Facebook creates more intersections between entertainment, retail, and commerce, I would expect that number to go up, not down!

So what if people don’t click on an ad for the new Escalade — there’s a pretty good chance a few millions of the right people saw those ads, and quite frankly, if folks’ attention is moving from the big screen to the small (and, via mobile, to the smaller), then the attention deficit economy must eventually witness the transition of ad dollars in some semblance of parity, which heretofore hasn’t happened.

It doesn’t escape my notice that this news emerges the very same week that the big broadcasters are holding their “upfronts,” where they try to sell their $60 billion of inventory as much in advance as possible for the next year to advertisers, their agencies, etc.

The New York Times’ Amy Chozick penned a piece today explaining some of the festivities at this year’s upfronts. An excerpt: “At the Fox Party on Monday, the judges for the show ‘MasterChef,’ Gordon Ramsay, Graham Elliot, and Joe Bastianich, will personally serve a menu that includes organic salmon ceviche and a deconstructed Caesar salad accompanied by brioche Twinkies.”

Fox will be serving “veal meatballs with black truffles” along with “Manhattan mules,” a combination of vodka, ginger beer, and lime.

Traditional advertising’s Rome is burning, so why not throw a cocktail party and drink mint juleps as the last vestiges of appointment programming disappear into the Nielsen viewer diary of history?

The dirty little secret is this: We’re entering into a world where the absence of data is going to be replace by an abundance of data.  Moving forward, Facebook’s problem with advertisers will not be whether or not they can share information about the platform’s advertising performance, but more importantly, which data, about which demographic, on what platform, etc.?

There will be more information than most advertisers can consume effectively, particularly those more schooled in Nielsen “set meters” than A/B splits and multivariate testing.

Yeah, sure, go ahead and pile on the new kid on the block.  Mark Zuckerberg’s about to take away those truffles and Manhattan mules and your annual party is moving from up front to out back.  I’d be mad, too.

But that doesn’t change the fact that the advertising world is changing, and the big screen is about to be replaced by one that will get smaller and smaller, but one that will be more and more valuable to marketers.

%d bloggers like this: