Look At This Social Media Advertising Done Right – Vertical Advertising Is The Model

For those who follow my blog know that I’ve been a big proponent of social media, but the problem is results and measurement.  Airforce is doing something innovative with their agency and Volomedia.  I really like this announcement from G4 and Volomedia.  Volomedia has signed up a big publisher and a big advertiser to insert ads in portable media and video.  The best part is that it work on ITunes and the Iphone.  I’ve talked about this before around how iTunes (and IPhone) now has a business (revenue) model.

Comcast’s G4 cable television network and Web site G4tv.com have begun working with VoloMedia to insert ads into the 300 podcast videos distributed monthly through about 23 feeds. The ad network began placing ads for the media giant last month, targeting young gamers.The U.S. Air Force placed the first ads in G4’s podcasts: Attack of the Show, X-Play, and Game Trailers. Sunnyvale, Calif.-based VoloMedia’s new vertical business, Video Game Podcast, supported the ad campaign created by GSD&M Idea City, the advertising agency for the Air Force.

What Does This Mean?  Why is this important?

Vertical media works.  The trend is away from individual sites or blogs but instead to ‘blanket the vertical’  with brand messaging.  In turn effective reach in a vertical hits enough critical mass that brand equity translates.  Said another way the most effective way to leverage things like blogs and podcasts is to ‘buy’ the vertical.  The dynamics of social networking and social media create an opportunity to hit alot of people in the affinity group.  What’s even cooler about this announcement is not only reach but measurement. This is a good move by the Airforce to get a vertical – here it’s gaming as the ‘contextual’ proxy for audience affinity.  It’s a no brainer that gamers are their target audience, but instead of going for silo’d conversion, Airforce is going for blanket coverage in the vertical or affinity group.

I predict this is the way the world will go very quickly.  Vertical media advertising.  This is a great program for brand advertising, and it has measurement.  I am sure it will be a success.

Measurement for ITunes Validated By Big Publisher on ITuns – Plug-In Model by Volomedia Is Working

VoloMedia, which provides advertising and reporting solutions for portable video and audio from the PC to devices such as iPods and iPhones, today announced Ringtales as the latest content partner to adopt the VoloMedia iTunes plug-in, extending the value of their popular podcasts by measuring ad consumption in their content wherever it is downloaded.

Ringtales is the publisher of “Dilbert,” recently selected by iTunes as one of the best video podcasts for 2008, and other popular podcasts such as “The New Yorker Animated Cartoons.” In addition to adopting the VoloMedia iTunes plug-in, Ringtales is driving consumer subscription and showcasing the “Dilbert” podcast to advertisers through a microsite located at http://www.volomedia.com/volocast/landing/dilbert. By integrating VoloMedia’s iTunes plug-in, Ringtales enhances the audience reach, tracking, measurement, monetization, and reporting of their podcasts whether consumed on PCs or iPods and iPhones.

Plug-in for iTunes is the best way to measure success on anything from ITunes or the web. What’s interesting to me is that plug-ins are being validated by big publishers/broadcasters. This is an indictment of the state of the online video metrics market. No one really has a great solution on podcasts and video in the market unless they have a plug-in or deploy a flash client.

I think that we’ll see plug-ins become more standard as publishers/broadcasters look to monetize their content and more importantly for advertisers to pay higher CPMs for targeted conversion.

Future of Mobile Media – It’s The IPhone and Podcasting

I’ve been seeing a massive awareness around Mobile Media. The obvious example driving this is the iPhone. Apple saw the iPhone’s market share triple over the past year, capturing 12.9 percent of the worldwide smartphone market, according to a new Gartner analysis.  For the quarter ending September 30, iPhones accounted for 3.4 percent of the market in 2007. That figure was more than 3x higher on the same day in 2008. The future of Mobile Media is now upon us.

Nokia is the leader worldwide in smartphone sales, with 42.4 percent of the market. BlackBerry maker Research in Motion comes in second with 15.9 percent. In North America, Apple is in second place behind RIM, with iPhones accounting for over a quarter of all smartphones.  Gartner analyst Roberta Cozza also noted that this quarter marked the first time iPhone sales exceeded those of Windows Mobile devices; that’s pretty astonishing when you consider how many flavors of WM handsets are out there.

I recently sat down with the core management team at Volomedia to talk about to the Apple revolution, online media and advertising – mobile media. Brian Steel and Murgesh Navar shed some light on what’s going on. There are a slew of interviews here (enjoy).

I do want to highlight my talk with the Founder of Volomedia Murgesh Navar who talks about the current situation and the vision of how all of this plays out.

Click Here To Play Podcast with Murgesh Navar Founder of Volomedia

Techcrunch Reporting Innovation from 2005 – Blip.TV Finally Gets With Video Ad Insertion

I love Blip.tv, but the latest Techcrunch post should be titled – Blip.tv catches up with the rest of the pack in video insertion.

This isn’t innovation but a necessity for Blip.tv who has been behind the curve in innovation on the adverstising side. This is a me-too announcement. One thing that is true about the story is that iTunes throws off tons of traffic. ITunes and podcasts are mainstream – call it portable media or downloadable media (whatever) – it’s big numbers. Blip.tv isn’t the only solution and it is far from the best.

This isn’t a big story because others have this technology like Castfire, Wizzard.TV, and Volomedia. In fact Volomedia has the most advanced solution in that it can insert and track ads from when you’re not connected. For that most sought after and most advanced solution it does require a plug-in.

Blip.tv isn’t really doing anything new here but it does give them a needed revenue stream. Blip.tv has done a great job in hosting videos for the “long tail” sector of online video of independent video bloggers. Now they can make money for their long tail providers.

What is interesting is that you have companies, like Volomedia, Wizzard, and now Blip, who can provide reach for advertisers.

Metrics: Lets hope the metrics can be there. That is the biggest challenge from Blip is the metrics. The ad insertion is trivial.

I will ask around to get a feel for the reaction among Blip content creators and update this post…

Update: Peter Kafka was looking for the Cypus video of Mike Hudack (it was taken down) but I found this version and remix that was no doubt posted on Techcrunch using Blip.tv – remixed to music by Internet star, comedian, and celebrity Loren Feldman of 1938media.com. He changed the music to Highway to Hell – very fitting.

Update: NewTeeVee has a story and clarifies that the solution only works on the computer version of iTunes. There is no portable or mobile metric. That makes sense now.

Update: In the comments below a virtual discussion is going on between me and Mike Hudack who is being very transparent (like they always have been in the past – kudos to Mike).  I would like to turn this into a ‘virual panel discussion’ on the topic because of the quality of the comments.  I will ping Volomedia and Kiptronic to respond.

Downloadable media or portable media is a very small group of companies so maybe we could get some collaboration and information – we need metrics because it’s clear that the market for downloadable media, podcasts, portable media is mainstream (no one debates that just look at iTunes and overall web video performance lately).  We do need to get a solution that works for users and advertisers so that the funding for more content can be realized.  Thanks Mike for commenting.

Apple ITunes Gets An Upgrade – iTunes Now Has Business Model for Podcasting or Downloadable Media – The Holy Grail for Downloadable Advertising and ROI

Update: Just emailed Jeff Karnes VP Marketing and Products at Volomedia and he says a press release will be out shortly. He confirmed the story that was broke by adweek and mediaweek.

Update 2: Here is a screenshot of ITunes having Sharing functionality – very flash like – I wonder if this is a direction that Quicktime will go…Hmmm
Notice the share features on this screenshot from Volomedia’s new plug in. The site to view the plug in is here.

Podcasting or Downloadable Media is mainstream no debate there, but how do you make money? That has been the question from day one.

“Follow the money?” Not on Apple ITunes. It’s more like “follow the metrics” which until today didn’t exist on ITunes.

Content and applications are in demand for portable devices just look at the success of ITunes Store and the App Store. People are downloading more stuff day in and day out.

Apple ITunes has hundreds of millions of downloads and yet the only business model is for the premium content. Apple ITunes which gave independent content developers massive distribution also led to its less than stellar monetization capabilities. Podcasting now called downloadable media has been very successful. Yet advertising uptake has been slow. Metrics on the user consumption has been lacking.

The ITunes benefits which made Podcastings mainstream is also contributing to it’s lack of money making capability. Said another way there is no online advertising business model for podcasting on iTunes. Why?

ITunes has been hampered by two major problems: 1) user interactivity and 2) advertising friendly capabilities and metrics. Outside of ITunes subscription model for music, movies, and TV shows, ITunes has no business model for podcasting content developers. Until now.

Volomedia announces a new platform features that upgrades Apple ITunes user experience and gives advertisers a solution for metrics and ROI.

On the users side Volomedia is bringing sharing and recommedations to the ITunes (iphone) platform. On the advertising side Volomedia has the metrics that enable budgets to be set with ROI in mind.

These two major advances that enable a business model in ITunes for podcasting and downloadable media. Volomedia is announcing that they are providing the solution for advertisers that can give deep metrics on when downloadable media has been downloaded and more importantly played.

The biggest requests that every content developer is asked from advertisers are “how do you know when something was listened online and offline (portable ipod or iphone)?” and “how do advertisers get the right advertisement in context to the programs that are consumed?”. Volomedia solves this problem.

Volomedia announces that they are offering a plug-in for ITunes that offers advertisers the ability to get the right metrics and serve the right ad to users.

New Trend – Download Something For Good Content

Volomedia will be riding a new trend of late that shows that users will download a utility to get access to good content. We are seeing that today as users download a client app or small plug-in to get access to either higher quality (HD) content or mainstream content. Users want good content and will download something like a plug in. If you look at the success of new players like Hulu and some P2P networks they all have plug-ins or user apps. More evidence that we are in a downloadable society look at the success of the Apple App Store.

Money talks: Online advertisers want to get access to this mainstream downloadable media market, and they are demanding metrics. Volomedia’s plug-in will generate more dollars to content developers because it closes the loop on the “right” metric – a user subscribed to content actually watched or listened to it. This benefit alone will create a boom for content developers.

The fact is plug-ins works especially in tough economic times. Money (online advertising) funds content and more money will enable more content development and unlock the premium content from the big producers. Look at the recent Saturday Night Live success of the Palin skit. The recent success has carried over to their entire program lineup. One skit designed for being portable and pervasive has created a big business benefit for the entire NBC SNL site and content base.

Apple ITunes never innovated on a business model for podcasting. Today Apple ITunes and downloadable media is getting a major upgrade from Volomedia. I predicet that Volomedia’s solution will be welcomed with open arms by advertisers.

The old saying goes follow the money… and the money (aka online advertising) has been demanding metrics.. So maybe we should say “follow the metrics”.