Birth of the Three Screen Bean Counter

Viewers are no longer just couch potatoes ten feet away from the screen, picking up occasionally during commercial breaks.  This is not a news flash.  Digital Video Recorders (DVR) and video capable mobile phones have been around for some time.  While they continue to gain in popularity, they have seen new competition thanks to the the transition to digital television (DTV).  The end result being that broadcaster not longer have the level of satisfaction that their product is being properly tracked, nor, more importantly, valued by their advertising customers.

“Our goal is to publish (the results) for the whole industry to see and not to set anything proprietary,” said CBS Corp. research chief David Poltrack.

Wurtzel and others stressed that the coalition is in no way looking to devise a ratings system to compete with the TV ratings supplied by Nielsen Media Research, which are the bread and butter of the TV biz.

But it’s also no secret that the coalition was formed in part to put pressure on Nielsen because of what many media execs see as the company’s slow reaction to the seismic shifts in TV viewing of the past few years.

Showbiz execs are looking to develop an omnibus “three screen” rating that would track viewership of TV content across the old-fashioned tube as well as through online on-demand services and mobile devices. Mobile viewing is poised to become a factor in the U.S. by next year, when local stations begin transmitting program packages tailored for viewing on cell phones and other devices.

Majors team up to fund initiatives – Entertainment News, TV News, Media – Variety

Digital is now the native format for all broadcasted content.  It can be easily trans-coded to meet the requirements of different form factors.  Viewers may seamlessly move from one screen to another.  TV Anywhere, anytime, any screen.  The job of tracking viewers just multiplied.

For those new to the game, the three screens are:

  • television
  • computer
  • mobile phone

The article mentions the CIMM’s active search for a Managing Director.  How about this guy?

If you could make out what he’s saying over the noise from all the traffic on the showroom floor, he has a pretty good understanding of the three screens and the possibilities hyper-connectivity offers.

It is very refreshing to see the open standards approach being taken by CIMMIPTV, as well as social networking should get some recognition here.  These two, who have openly embraced each other,  both promote open standards as the key to success.

In terms of online viewing, it is straight forward enough to track streams served, clicks, downloads, etc.  By bringing in the element of social networking, behavior tracking offers numerous advantages to the advertising clients in terms of target demographics and product campaigns.

Sure, having this technology in Cable MSO’s set top boxes (STB) is great , but what about the bevy of other retail and custom installed appliances?

or add on software?

An open standard will expedite it, especially when the pay structure incentivizes the third party vendors appropriately.  After all, why should they go to the trouble of including a Big Brother widget, so someone else gets paid?  They have bean counter to, you know.


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