Category Archives: Media & Entertainment

The Next Generation…

I think it is only fitting tonight that I write a blog about the next generation of consoles hitting the shelves starting tomorrow. If you have been living under a rock or choose to ignore pop-culture, the Microsoft XBOX 360 is hitting the shelves at the electronics store near you.


The next generation of consoles is going to push the limits of connectivity and collaboration. Whilst the 360 has 3 processors at 3.2ghz each, the real next generation experience happens with its connection with the XBOX Live network – allowing for a formerly solitude experience to transition into a communal gaming experience.


As someone in the gaming and advertising industry, I look at this launch as both good and bad. Whilst most brands we talk to want to be on the XBOX 360, the actual reach of the machine is just not there. With only 1 million units expected to be sold by December 31, 2005, the reach for any potential advertiser who is looking for a broad campaign will disappoint. However, you just can’t ignore the coolness factor.


XBOX has previously sold 13.5 million units in the


since 2001 (as of October 2005). Just over 10% of XBOX players currently are playing online. As of July 2005, they hit the 2,000,000 XBOX Live registration mark. Microsoft needs its XBOX users to utilize the Live platform (which enables online game play and other collaborative elements) in order to really win the console war. By having users plug-in to the Live platform, Microsoft now has the ability to track users, download/upload data, patches, as well, as connect with users in real-time. There are a slew of other opportunities that Microsoft has (VOIP, Instant Messaging, etc) but these are the crucial ones.


I’m really looking forward to the XBOX 360. Don’t know when I’ll get one – they are sold out in each store I have checked, but I’m sure that I’ll find a way to get one relatively quickly. Excited for the next generation, this will surely be a breakthrough in console development and the way games are designed.

Monthly Trends and Stats Weekend

About once per month, I immerse myself in a full 2 days of re-reading all of the blogs, research, reports, and interviews that I accumulate over the month. This month, it took place at the Soy Luck Club in the West Village of NYC, as well, as a new found coffee place, thanks to Mr. Andrew Sispoidis, Jacks (West Village, NYC).Â

I have conversed with Joseph Jaffe, the famous author of, “Life After the 30 Second Spot,” as well, as immersed myself with documentation from Malcom Gladwell, Josh Rubin, Steve Jobs, Steve Ballmer, the folks at Jupiter Research, Forrestor, Nielsen, Fishtank Brand Advertising, and many others. Coming out of this weekend, I am seeing that collaboration is a major aspect to any new technology/consumer play within the marketplace moving forward and the future of games is multi-platform, something that I’ve been proactive about for a long time.

Lots of the research and reports I came across are different variations of last month’s news, as well, as duplicated postings from blogs – but all in all, it’s been a great 48 hours. I’m starting to favor Joseph Jaffe’s GetTheJuice located at He’s putting some good ideas down on his blog – certainly check it out.

Family Guy Anyone?

For those of us who can only watch maybe 30minutes to 1hr of television per week, we need to be very selective of the shows we choose to watch. There is one show, Family Guy, that I try not to miss. I find it extremely hilarious and usually get a good laugh based on the jokes and product placements within. I have found a hiarious clip online that should put a smile on your face:

Volvo Advergame – AAA Advergame

I’m sure you’ve heard of the new Volvo advergame for XBOX which has been featured in the NY Times. Volvo Drive For Life is being released at tradeshows and at car dealerships for prospective Volvo buyers – however, only 100,000 copies are being made.

This game solidifies my thoughts on the AAA-Advergame, or, a blockbuster game developed around a particular brand. We have seen Volvo hint at such a game in the making with their ‘video game car commercials’ which depict the S40 in a video game like situation. Are there going to be more AAA advergames? Yes, of course. Why? The brands who could afford to pay for a AAA-Advergame (this game was no less than six figures or possibly into the sevens, I’d imagine) also generally have POP distribution….it’s hard to download a AAA-Advergame offline currently due to bandwidth constraints, but with retail presence, you can give them away easily.

Looks like a new arena in the advergame sector is coming out…looking forward to seeing the next game.

Media Consumption: 18-34 Year Olds

We’ve heard so much about the 18-34 year old male demographic over the past year that it’s hard to imagine any other demographics exist. What about females ages 25-49? This article won’t deviate from talking about the 18-34’s, but will shed some light on them in a different way than most analysts are writing about.

I’m going to preface this by saying that I’m smack in the middle of the 18-34 year old demographic. Heck, I’m in my early 20’s. Alright, fine, you win. I’m 23. But I’ll be 24 soon. Why is this important? Because I can add more insight into our demographic from a marketing and technology standpoint that an outsider can…even one who is paid $65,000 a year to sit in a hot agency of the week and extrapolate insights into our demographic.

It’s my belief that males, ages 18-34 haven’t stopped watching TV because it’s a poor medium. I’m going to argue that there are a lot more media choices and opportunities available to 18-34’s which in turn devalues television in our daily lives as the main center of information and entertainment. Back in the 80s, my main method of receiving ‘content’ and ‘media’ was through television… I couldn’t read the newspaper *yet*, alright, maybe the USA Today, but the Wall Street Journal was gibberish to me.

Television had the monopoly over any 18-34 year old’s time back before the Internet became the new black, well today, for fall, isn’t the new black, brown? Television ratings were through the roof due to the lack of other available media channels.

Today, if I want the news, I have my sources:

Primary: Internet (PC), mobile
Secondary: television, radio (internet, satellite, and AM/FM)
Tertiary: podcasting/timeshifting

Now, if we look at the order of how things are listed, we’ll see that the primary ways of getting news are the most direct…they take the shortest amount of time to find the news I’m looking for. Thanks to Google, Yahoo!, MSN, Technorati, etc – we can find information much faster than any other medium. If you look at the secondary way of getting information (television/radio), you’ll note that you would have to listen to an entire show possibly to get your bit of information you want…which is a lot of wastage. In media, wastage is unwanted clutter that dilutes your media message. Usually, CPM’s rise heavily for this… which could turn a $50CPM on untargeted media (television) to an eCPM of $5000 (potentially) for low-wastage targeted media.

Television isn’t out though. 18-34 year olds still watch TV. I’m a huge hockey fan, and in order for me to watch my favorite team, the New Jersey Devils (even though I grew up in New York), I have no other place to watch other than at Continental Airlines Arena. iTV is starting to ramp up with different players emerging, but it’s going to be a while before ITV overtakes
broadcast/cable television as the ‘new’ TV. I also love Family Guy, Will & Grace, and Entourage….those are all television programs. Yes, I can watch them on my PC, but my laptop screen is 15â€?, and my LCD is only 20â€?. I don’t know many people who will sit at their computer and watch television with friends over…after-all, television is a social medium in terms of watching it with more than one person.

So, my argument here is that to reach the 18-34 year old, tweens, pimple-poopers, huggies generation, etc, and from now on, any age demographic that’s coming up through the ranks, reaching them on multiple media platforms is going to be essential. There are too many choices with too little time for us to just devote to 1 medium. Technology to the 18-34’s and
to any other younger generation is second nature to us…we expect to use it to find information. We consume media on multiple platforms and I am seeing different companies emerging that understand this and start utilizing these platforms to reach us…platforms could include video games, podcasting, Internet, mobile, in-flight, event sponsorship, blogworking, and many others.

At Digital Hollywood this past week, a panelist on one of the advertising topics mentioned that targeted media and emerging media didn’t have the reach of television or radio as of yet…however, a rebuttal emerged from the audience stating that targeted emerging media may offer lower numbers of reach, but their qualification to the marketing message is exponentially higher that the wastage factor is an order of magnitude lower. It makes sense. Before marketers write off platforms because they only reach 5 million users whereas television channels could potentially reach 100 million viewers, look at the wastage. Sometimes we overlook this.

Also, frequency is important…how much is too much? Is frequency across multiple media platforms in the same campaign counted? If you see an ad for Starbucks (sitting in Starbucks in San Diego currently) in a video game, then on a website, then on your mobile phone…do those 3 advertisements add up to the frequency cap or does each one act independently of one another?

A few questions are raised in all of this and there are no answers. The post has gone a bit off topic and I’ve rambled a bit, but at the end of the day, 18-34 year olds are consuming multiple media channels and platforms much more than before, and with constant availability and always on access, we see no end in consumption in sight. Television is still alive, but the value of television in today’s media budget’s are diminishing…take the dollars and apply it elsewhere…emerging media has some amazing prices right now that will get you into your target consumers much faster, efficient and at a lower eCPM that makes sense for both your agency and/or your brand.

As for the 18-34 year olds, we’re still here and we’re consuming more than ever. We still watch our television programs but we also split time with streaming concerts and video games, amongst many other things. Can’t forget MySpace and Instant Messenger… much time is wasted, oh, wait, I mean absorbed there?

Also, be a leader. Think different (thanks Apple).

Kermit: Miss Piggy, you look beautiful!
Miss Piggy: Thank you!
Kermit: [aside] Hollywood talk.

ContentNext: Rafat Ali

I had a chance to meet Rafat Ali, Editor & Publisher of,, and at Digital Hollywood on Tuesday. For those of you who do not know, is an amazing site that delivers insightful news and rumors around media and content. I will admit, it is my homepage and check back every few hours to refresh and see what changed in the content world.

Ali runs the sites with a few other content specialists and connected folks. His business model is through advertising dollars and seems to be picking up some good traction in the marketplace. According to,‘s traffic rank is 14,475 which is pretty solid.Â

Certainly check out his sites, but I also keep,,,,,,, and as bookmarks that I check frequently each day.

Digital Hollywood Comments

Spent the last 3 days at Digital Hollywood Conference in Santa Monica, California. Stayed in Beverly Hills and the 5 mile mapquested journey took 45 minutes each morning and afternoon. Met some wonderful people including folks from THQ, Yahoo! Mobile, General Catalyst, GameDAILY, THQ Wireless, InfoSpace, MusicMatch, Universal, and many others.Â

Some interesting quotes and take-aways from the conference:

Mobile Entertainment Panel (9/19/2005)

  • Carriers control 90% of sales (on mobile)
  • Name of game is the marketing campaign (Yahoo! Mobile)
  • 60% of content sold is out of carrier deck in Europe
  • Yahoo is moving into connected games (Web2Mobile)
  • Flat rate data-models for phones are needed…and coming
  • Web/console/mobile games will have no boundaries to one another
  • Jeff Nuzzi, THQ Wireless:Â Screen size is a non-issue with the new generation of consumers [kids] as they grew up with a 3″ LCD screen
  • Mobile usage peaks at evening (night)

Branded Media Marketing Panel (9/20/05)

  • “Tweens bypassing computers & going straight to handhelds,” Neil McGinnis, National Lampoon
  • “Every movie release we do utilizes all media platforms,” Liz Jones (20th Century Fox)

MusicIndustry Innovates Panel (9/20/05)

  • For the music industry, the advertising model works, but the jury is still out on subscription (Yahoo! Music)
  • “It’s about the business model, consumers don’t care,” Yahoo! David Goldberg
  • Publishing is a ginormous gating factor for music services
  • Music is migrating off radio at a rate of 1 station/week. Turning into hispanic or talk (Yahoo!)
  • Mobile phone is a billing platform, thus it works for kids

VC Investment Space (9/20/2005)

  • Cautiously optimism (David Higley, UBS Global Head of Digital Media)
  • Sarbanes Oxley takes away luster from IPO
  • Develop own IP, keep innovating
  • “Killer app for broadband = voice,” says John Simon (General Catalyst Partners)