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CES 2011: Tablets, A New Era of Mobile Computing

"iPad's" by Ultmost
“iPad’s” by Ultmost

My last session of the weekend was the “Tables: A New Era of Mobile Computing” from Ben Bajarin (Director Consumer Technology, Creative Strategies). Ben had done some research and was essentially reporting his market view of tablets and things to focus on to be successful.

Ben is estimating 46-48 million tablet sales in 2011 and falling into the Lean Backward category (tablets used to consumer media & browse the internet) compared to the Lean Forward category (PCs used to producer content & perform work). When developing a tablet manufacturers must take into account shared and personal experiences; multi-user abilities to login and have secure access as well as personal access to your own apps, content and media. A good example of a multi-purpose device are Apple’s iPad, Motorola’s Xoom and RIM’s Playbook. An example of a use-case specific tablet are the Nook Color and Galaxy Tab.>

The “Apple model” is used by Apple, RIM and Palm and is part of a proprietary ecosystem. Content is a sunk cost, services drive loyalty, and all devices in the ecosystem work together as well as separately.

The “Android model” is open, customizable, and using the Android ecosystem. There are less hardware-loyal consumers, but they use Google services. Manufacturers need to figure out how to add value on top of Google/Android. The Motorola Atrix is a good example of added value and differentiation and the HTC Sense UI is another good differentiation to the Android ecosystem.

Success in the tablet market depends on hardware innovation, differentiation, software ecosystem & developers, services, personal cloud among other aspects. You need to know your consumer, integrate value added experiences, invest in differentiation, and integrate & develop services. Tablet vendors want to get back to owning the consumer instead of the mobile operator (e.g., “pay as you go” model).

Microsoft is desperate to get across this ecosystem. They need to find holes in Android and exploit there. It sounds like Windows 8 will be fully integrated across all devices (PC, phone, tablet) which begs the question, is Windows 7 considered Windows Me part 2?

Ethnographic research started with Age groups, but moved to Use Cases (Navigation, Media, etc.). Prices will follow netbook pricing, $199 price point will do very well, but prices will come down. The bulk of sales will be in the US, then UK with some in Korea & China (aka, developed markets). Early evidence shows consumer demand for magazine experiences, but consumer and business (including education) should be viewed as two niches of users.

Many thanks to NBCU for the opportunity to be here in Vegas, I hope to post again this weekend with some additional company & product reviews.

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CES 2011: Gadgets Everywhere and the Role of Wireless

Gadgets Everywhere SuperSession
Gadgets Everywhere SuperSession

The last panel session that I sat through on Friday (my brain sponge was absorbent, but damn today was a lot) was one titled “Consumer 360 – Gadgets Everywhere and the Role of Wireless” and moderated by Rajeev Chand (Managing Director and Senior Equity Research Analyst, Wireless, Rutberg & Company). The panelists included Anand Chandrasekher (SVP Intel, GM Ultra Mobility Group, Intel), John Donovan (Chief Technology Officer, AT&T), Bill Ogle (Chief Marketing Officer, Motorola Mobility), and the sparkplug of the group Robert Stephens (CTO, Best Buy).

The panelists that 2011 will go down as the year of tablets with the main question being what is the N number of devices that the populace will support; sounds like it will be 3-4 and eventually whittle down to 1-2. From a cell carrier perspective we’re no longer an enterprise Blackberry voice & data users, but now you can pick up a tablet at a friends house, authenticate and get billed for it on your bill. Users appear to be willing to give up some data & privacy to access services that benefit or help them. Netflix and the Kindle are good examples of seamless experiences. Devices will adapt because of apps, but not likely because of the app being the main use.

As a side note, a great comment was let loose: “A user manual is a list of design failures”. I just LOVE that, it’ll certainly make its way into my cliches at work!

Since I was so engrossed in the panel discussion and didn’t take great notes, I recommend you check out the video from the session and enjoy it yourself:

http://player.stickam.com/stickamPlayer/mp/190631502

Many thanks to NBCU for the opportunity to be here in Vegas, I hope to post again this weekend with some additional company & product reviews.

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CES 2011: NBC Digital Model

NBC circa 1956
NBC circa 1956

As part of the Media Money Makers program track, I sat in on a quick presentation from some familiar faces: the NBC.com executive team. The “From Broadband to Big Time: The NBC Digital Model” presentation from Vivi Zigler (President, NBCU Digital Entertainment), Steve Andrade (GM and SVP, Digital Development, NBC.com), and Nick Johnson (VP, Digital Media Sales, NBCU) touched on several popular campaigns with shows & sponsors in 2010.

The Microsoft sponsorship of the School Pride webisodes let people nominate local schools to win a computer lab makeover with Windows 7. The HP sponsorship of The Office social challenge had fans display a show-themed posted in their office to earn Fan It points (which can then be redeemed for physical & virtual goods). The Bud Light sponsorship of Late Night With Jimmy Fallon centered on the world premiere telecast of “Stones in Exile” documentary and exclusive Rolling Stones content on the Fallon website. The Turbo Tax sponsorship was a cross-platform social media play that has occurred for three straight years and included on-air vignettes, custom expert guides, sweepstakes and a live treasure hunt. The Dove sponsorship of the Good2Go mobile campaign reached across several NBCUniversal sites, generates awareness of the Dove “go fresh” brand message and creates engagement with busy moms on the go with continually updated content.

They keep content and sponsorships relevant and meaningful to their users by reading show scripts in advance to identify potential integrations, they work with digital agencies outside of the Upfront to see what they’d like to see included. NBC.com owns the content created for advertisers (eg. webisodes), all NBCU brands have significant digital teams, and some brands come to them while others they search out highlighting the solutions NBC.com offers. All in all, a quick and interesting insight into how they interact with major advertisers and how that affects their planning and strategies for their year. Let’s see what they come back with at CES 2012 in terms of success in 2011!

Many thanks to NBCU for the opportunity to be here in Vegas, I hope to post again this weekend with some additional company & product reviews.

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CES 2011: Innovation Power Panel

CES Innovation Power Panel
CES Innovation Power Panel

Day two started by stumbling into the press line for the Innovation Power Panel when all I was really looking for was the breakfast buffet line (how’s that for luck?). The panel was moderated by CEA President & CEO Gary Shapiro and included the following blue chip heavyweights as panelists: Ursula Burns (chairman & CEO of Xerox Corporation), John Chambers (chairman & CEO of Cisco), and Jeffrey Immelt (chairman & CEO of GE). While I’ve seen Jeff in person a couple of times and online and via webcasts many times doing GE/NBCU town halls, this was a much different perspective. It wasn’t Jeff as troop leader, it was Jeff as business luminary dispensing with a wealth of knowledge on the business landscape domestically and internationally.

The main topic was that the economy was down, Washington DC is a mess, and that innovators and entrepreneurs need to lead the charge back. Gary asked each panelist to quickly summarize how they felt; Ursula went with optimistic & nervous, John noted that we’re at an inflection point in regard to education & infrastructure, and Jeff talked about how the rest of the world was moving faster than the US. Jeff continued noting that China isn’t standing still, Germany came out of the recession stronger by focusing on exports “morning to night” as well as a R&D and job creation. He feels that the US needs to focus on technology & innovation in education.

Ursula graded our K-12 school system at D-, but the university level received an A- and as “probably the best in the world”. K-12 isn’t in the top 20, meanwhile India & China are improving by leaps and bounds. John added his concern that some state institutions might lose their edge because of state funding issues. Jeff continued that we need to set ambitious goals and got wonky with Six Sigma and mentioning the need to pick five X’s to move the Y. There are 1.5 million graduates in China a year while the US graduates more sports therapists then engineers (with a quip that there’s nothing wrong with a good sports massage).

Ursula mentioned that its not a fight with China, India, & Germany, but a focus on improving the US. The economic downturn made it easier to demonize non-US entities (especially on top of 9/11) but we need to do a better job coordinating between the business & government communities. Immigration use to encourage people to come and start companies in the US, but that’s no longer the case and that needs to change. Government policies discourage hiring Americans, but there’s progress and its moving towards encouragement. The main concerns focused on the US tax, immigration, & export policies.

The US is only one out of five countries (with the other four being small countries) double tax via overseas & local taxes. The unfortunate reality is that jobs go where the markets are and based on the US policies its not wise to hire heavily in the US. Jeff noted, however, that the days of labor arbitrage are over; it takes two hours to make a fridge, so he’ll do it in the US instead of Mexico; there’s only a 10% increase for US-based call centers so we’ll do that in the future now. John finished with admitting the government has a complex equation with about six variables, but if we address each variable logically then we’ll make a drastic improvement across the board.

As a summary, they stated that we used to have around eighteen of the top twenty companies in the US, but that we’re now at five and going to zero. In order to truly create wealth again in the US, we need to focus on technology & innovation.

The full video of the panel is available here.

As a side note, just about every (no, scratch that, EVERY) panel discussion or keynote used Taio Cruz’s Dynamite as an intro. And while it’s a great song, it gets old pretty quick when you see it mashed up against CEA graphics multiple times a day. Here’s hoping next year shows CEA branching out into multiple artists or at least multiple songs from one artist. Spread the royalty love guys!

Many thanks to NBCU for the opportunity to be here in Vegas, I hope to post again this weekend with some additional company & product reviews.

UPDATE: Interestingly enough, thirteen days later President Obama named Jeff Immelt to chair his new President’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness.

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Asides

CES 2011: Social TV

CES 2011
CES 2011

Friday’s day-long panel discussion track continued with the Social Television – The Merger of Content, Social Interaction and the Video Platforms panel. The panel was moderated by Richard Sussman (VP of Digital Entertainment, The Nielsen Company) and included
Michael Kernan (Chief Executive Officer, NuMedia Studios), Greg March (Director of Digital Media, Weiden + Kennedy), Raviv Moore (VP Business Development, Eyecon Technologies), Marty Roberts (Vice President of Sales and Marketing, ThePlatform), Christy Tanner (General Manager, TVGuide.com), Matt Wasserlauf (CEO, BBE), and Gayle Weiswasser (VP, Social Media Communications, Discovery Communications) as panelists.

We’re seeing the formation of telecommunities with viewers chatting while watching and even seeing some networks work it into their broadcast with Fox’s Fringe as a prime example. One in ten watched the 2010 Oscars while on the internet, but there are issues if you have to pause to take care of the kids and then jump to live to get caught up with the group instead of watching linearly.

Discovery saw 14,000 users for a live chat during an east coast airing and 5,000 during a west coast airing of Captain Phil’s farewell from Deadliest Catch. Along with the viewer participation, they saw 135,000 page views and 15,000 comments during the live chats while the live broadcast of the episode on July 13th, 2010 garnered 8.5 million viewers and was the #1 show on cable that night for men & women aged 25-54. In terms of the differential between east & west Coast, they felt that many west coasters tuned in to the east coast broadcast.

In October 2010 Discovery added GetGlue stickers and saw 1,400 get the MythBusters premiere sticker with a potential social media reach of 1 million users. If viewers continued to view the live episodes on Wednesday, they were able to unlock additional stickers. In under three months of check-ins, there were 38,000 for MythBusters 12,000 for Sarah Palin and 10,000 for Storm Chasers. Discovery Super Fans get a discount code to use at the Discovery Store online by checking into a show five or more times. They’ve also added the check-in widget to select fan sites to help spread the word about the program.

Eyecon provides software to allow consumers to discover media more efficiently. thePlatform is a video management system that allows publishers to take their content to different destinations. They can work with content providers and video sites to build in ads to roll on embeded clips as well as ensure specific hashtags appear when something is retweeted.

NuMedia Studios partners with advertisers and talent to create content for web and TV. Recently they launched AssCastles.com with FunnyOrDie.com and sold the show to VH1 as a smart comedy tv show. It had 57,000 views and 2,000 comments in four days after launch.

Specific Media acquired BBE to bring together display and video. Their video is targetable and more than 10 billion US impressions and 1.9 billion video streams monthly. Mom Life was a 2010 Webby winner with 52 million unique users for season one & two, 100 million web streams with the twenty five episodes integrating 40+ brands.

TV Guide focuses on original content, linear TV listings grid, and full episodes from networks, cablers and web outfits. They have 23 million unique users, iPad/iPhone/Android apps, 300,000 fans of their pages (tv shows, movies, celebs), syndicate to mobile/YahooTV/OMG, and launched check-ins for tv shows on their site in October under the moniker of “I’ll Watch”. They’ve noticed that their top twenty checkin shows don’t match the top shows according to Nielsen or fan page counts. The Glee Christmas episode was #1, but #7 was It’s A Wonderful Life and Sons of Anarchy was in the top twenty.

In general in social TV and online video the advertisers set the KPIs while on TV its GRP. Any way to record fans is beneficial (eg., unlocking special content). Vindico provides an ad serving system that can help with this. Measurement online as a whole is a disaster, meanwhile TV has a digestible metric in GRP. Online doesn’t have a common vocabulary for metrics. Across both platforms (TV & online) we need to measure live, DVR, on demand & online to get a true idea of ratings. Comcast wants to allow subscribers to watch their on demand library online and then take the ability to watch to mobile devices as well.

Many thanks to NBCU for the opportunity to be here in Vegas, I hope to keep posting this weekend with additional company & product reviews as well as panel session updates.