The Sensidea blog has been retired. Be sure to check out Jaafer Haidar’s blog at DigitalHello.com!
Google is working hard on the Chrome Web Store where, if promises are kept, will be an app store filled with amazing web/mobile applications – that’s applications that work in the browser on your computer and mobile device. Google is planning to launch the Web Store this Fall and looks like they’ll be taking a mere 5% of the revenue from sales of apps (plus $5 just to keep out the crap). That’s right, developers get 95% of the take. After months of deliberating as to whether or not mobile apps will spell the end of native apps long-term I’m starting to be convinced.
1. YouTube proved it to me; showing that their HTML5 mobile web app performed better than the native iPhone app. Wow.
2. Google will make it easy to get apps that work across any smartphone with a browser (HTML5 supported)
3. The mobile web app market is larger than the native app market (i.e. it’s any phone with a supported browser)
4. Developers can make money across all platforms
6. Developing for the browser is more open, and innovation will continue by the development community not reliant on a company
7. Companies can develop once and hit all smartphones, cutting down the development and support costs associated with multiple native apps
8. Consumers can take their apps with them to any smartphone and tablets
Of course, today mobile web apps might run slower than native apps due to their life in the cloud, and some device capabilities are not available to be applied to the browser but this is changing. Smartphones are increasing in horsepower with dual core smartphones not far off, and new development toolkits are allowing access to device-centric capabilities. Aside from the most ambitious of applications requiring deep device integration, as mobile web apps start to rival the features and functionality of native apps it makes sense that the benefits to developers, companies, and consumers will spell the beginning of the end for mobile walled gardens that we call app stores.
Seems like once a week a recruiter finds me on LinkedIn and calls me up asking if I’d be interested in a VP/Director/Whatever of Digital Media Strategy position at <insert big brand or interactive agency here>. My response:
“I’m flattered but I’m happy at Sensidea helping companies like your client get real value from digital media strategy and solutions. By the way, I don’t think your client needs to hire someone to be in charge of Digital Media strategy, they just need to pick the brain of someone who lives and breathes this stuff. By the time they find someone everything has probably changed anyway. Can you give me their name and number and I’ll call them to chat?”
They’re undoubtedly a little caught off guard, give a nervous laugh, and ask “what do you mean?”
I’ve been through the conversation enough times that it’s time I write this post to answer the recruiter’s question and give a little help to companies wondering payroll should take a Digital Media Strategist hit.
Full disclosure: I make my living helping great companies be digital stars. Yup, I’d love the business so get in touch if you’d like, but more-so I’d love it if every company got value from their digital efforts and not simply wasted money on double-talking gurus or half-baked efforts because it would mean more amazing web/mobile stuff for us all to enjoy.
So, here’s the list of the top 5 things to consider before putting a Digital Media Executive on your payroll…
By definition a Digital Media Strategist is someone that should be able to tell you what’s going on in digital media and what it could mean to your business close to anytime you ask. They read tech and media blogs at night because they love it. If something major happens and they’re not one of the first to know they get really pissed off. They take being on top of the digital world personal.
You don’t need to hire a VP Digital Media Strategy. You need a Digital Media Guru On-Demand:
So there you have it. There are lots of fast talkers out there because it’s cool to be a digital media dude these days, but test them out and challenge their knowledge (if all they talk about is Twitter and Facebook they’re not who you’re looking for!). Follow these guidelines to be on the right track to digital success with the right digital media strategist helping your team get there.
A lot is being written recently about TVEverywhere, the initiative being led by Comcast and Time Warner Inc. to provide the same great programming we enjoy on our TV sets online, but on a subscriber basis; if you’re a cable/telco subscriber than you can get the same programming online through the respective company portals. If you’ve never heard of TVEverywhere check out NewTeeVee’s write-up. Comcast is actually calling their effort OnDemand Online and along with TW have begun trails.
This is a big initiative. Real BIG. It’s difficult enough for a large complex company (like a cable or telco) to implement their own authentication, single sign-on, or video asset management and supply chain system (trust me, we’ve done it), but to do it in conjunction with another big industry player? Summon the rabbit foot. I’m not saying it won’t happen; on the contrary I believe it definitely will. It’s the last stand.
It started with torrents, then pirated video on YouTube, then legitimization through Hulu – but the operators are still left out in the cold. All efforts to provide the programs and movies we know and love over the web, have been what are called ‘over the top services’; content and services provided on the web running on the network we call the internet. The network (read web) is provided to us by the Internet Service Provider; usually your local cable or telco provider. We pay them for access but they don’t get a cent from what we actually buy or watch online. It’s the same thing as paying for utilities; you power company doesn’t get a cut of the light bulb you buy at the store. You power company is the ‘dumb pipe’. Today’s cable/telco are fighting not to become a utility. TVEverywhere (or similar efforts by Verizon and AT&T) will either make the pipe smart or dumb.
The promise of TVEverywhere is that you get online what you already pay to watch on TV. But will it work? Whether legal or not, the fact is you can find almost any TV show or movie online or on a P2P network. The number of people canceling their cable service and simply watching online grows daily. With the ability to simply connect your computer to your TV, or stream directly to your TV, it’s a great way to save $50-$100 a month. If I want to go all legal then I can go to the ever-increasing content catalog at Hulu, licensed content on YouTube, or even directly to network or cable channel websites (I can watch a lot of Seinfeld on TBS.com) – all ‘over the top’ services where studios publish direct to consumer, bypassing network providers. People are canceling their cable/satellite services; they can get content without them. But, it’s a pain.
People are inherently lazy. Some of us actually like working, some go to the gym regularly, and some climb mountains; but the vast majority want things nice and easy (it’s the reason the drive-thru was invented). We don’t want to search the web for our shows; we want to turn on our TV and get everything easily.
The promise of TVEverywhere is that Advertiser and programmers will maintain their existing business models, and for consumers get what we want online. It’s a bet that:
(a) The vast majority of people are not all web savvy, connect my computer or stream directly to my TV geeks
(b) Studios won’t all flock to Hulu
(c) Advertisers will continue to value the 30 sec TV spot more than anything online (which is the reason for (a))
(d) The basic paradigm of new content fueled on advertising dollars will stay the norm (because of (c))
Can you imagine a world where all content we have is paid for with money generated by online ads? I don’t think that $25 CPM is going to pay for the new season of 24. Hulu is doing a great job of monetizing content but I submit that the reason studios can afford to monetize on Hulu is because they’re making the real money on TV. Without TV, Hulu can’t survive.
TVEverywhere is a good bet by the ISPs to drive traffic to their own online portals instead of other services. The promise is that there won’t be a cost to existing subscribers; idea being that with more traffic, the portals will become a cash cow of advertising dollars. Provided they can get through the operational and tech hurdles to can make it happen, there are two opportunities to really realize success:
1. Lower subscriber fees so that people will be less incented to go ‘over the top’ for content
2. Offer an online-only subscription. Even in the event that the paradigm changes and the majority start going online to watch, the big ad dollars will follow
The wild card is still the cost of bandwidth, and the ability for ISPs to make costs viable. Net neutrality concerns aside, ISPs could hamper competing ‘over the top’ services by requesting they pay to have their service streamed on the good part of the pipe (i.e DOCSIS 3.0). You want to use our pipe and take our customers? Pay me.
How things shake out will depend on the same group that always has the last say: Us. Where, how, and when we get our video will shape the future of the industry. You’ll be able to get your movies everywhere, so keep the popcorn hot and take your pick.
Gary Stein at ClickZ has given SocialSeek some love in his post The Five Biggest Mistakes in Measuring Social Media. We’re obviously excited that SocialSeek was mentioned as a must-have app, especially in such an industry leading publication. Definitely some great advice in the article, and if you haven’t got SocialSeek yet…um…why not? It’s free, fun, and packed with value!
We’re very excited to announce that Sensidea has partnered with Grab Networks, the leader in video management and delivery online and on-demand. Grab Networks truly has an amazing end-to-end platform for the capture, production, management, and delivery of video; powering a lot of the content we all love to enjoy on our favorite TV networks, online, and mobile.
We look forward to continuing to work with the team at Grab Networks, helping our clients understand their wide range of video solutions and how they might represent value, innovation, and leadership in achieving the best fit video solution.
About Grab Networks
Grab Networks uniquely combines technology, distribution, and strong advertiser relationships to solve a core problem for media companies: how to maximize the value of their video content.
Formed by the merger of Anystream and Voxant in September 2008, Grab Networks is powering multi-platform video syndication for content on three screens by allowing media companies to efficiently re-purpose and index their content for multiple outlets and devices, syndicate their content across their own properties and 3rd party destinations, and better capitalize on the $20 billion online advertising market. Learn more at GrabNetworks.com.
Sensidea is a digital media consulting and products company focused on helping our clients understand the ever-changing digital world, and separate the value from the hype to get the digital media strategies and solutions they need to be digital stars. Learn more at Sensidea.com.
Great Partners + Neutral Stance = You Win.
As with all solutions we cover, we always remain neutral in helping our clients determine their best fit solution. By partnering with industry solution providers we gain the advantage of forging strong relationships and deeper levels of solution knowledge benefiting in our clients making the best decision to meet their needs. The more we do our homework and make friends with everyone, the more you win!
Yesterday we launched SocialSeek, a cool little social media monitor that lets you track all the social goodness for free. With some great coverage on Techcrunch the news spread quickly and by the end of day one we’re at 700+ downloads and some great feedback! Just wanted to extend a HUGE thanks to everyone for the feedback, tweets, and spreading the word. We hope you enjoy SocialSeek and look out for some great new stuff coming soon!
What people are saying…
“The ability to crawl social media sites and websites for a brand can be valuable, but what I find useful about Socialseek is the ability to track an item over image sites like Flickr and even event sites. And it’s also interesting to be able to limit chatter over the web about a particular topic to a geographical region or city.”
“Socialseek a blessing for brand marketers, lets users search for a brand across the web”
“This is the innovation social marketing gurus have been waiting for, I must admit that the tracking of an image over the blogosphere and social networks is a great piece of work”
“This is great, very helpful!”