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Consumer Research


Global trends for marcomms professionals

Global trends for marcomms professionals

Supplied by the leadership team at Universal McCann’s Global Digital Communications Practice.

Ad Revenue Tied to Streams Rises

Advertising from streaming video and audio totaled about $1.37 billion last year, up 38% from 2006, according to a new report. AccuStream iMedia Research estimated that there were about 2.1 billion to 2.7 billion views of streaming or progressive-download content a month at ad-supported or free content areas on the Web in 2007, excluding user-generated videos.

Last word: While the volume of streaming media opportunities on the Internet still is nowhere near the volume on network and cable television, it does represent an increasingly viable alternative.  In light of the ongoing writers strike, streaming online is becoming more and more of an attractive option to reach consumers with rich emotive sight, sound and motion messaging.

Athletes’ New Game: Their Own Web Ads

Basketball star Chris Bosh, known for his power and finesse around the basket, is trying out a new off-court move.  Mr. Bosh, with help from his girlfriend and brother, recently wrote and shot his own Web commercial.

The ad, in which Mr. Bosh takes on the persona of a Texas-fried used-car salesman to ask fans to vote him into the National Basketball Association's All-Star Game, has become something of an underground hit, racking up more than 420,000 viewings on YouTube.

Last word: With the rise of high end video cameras and editing software, everyone is a content producer.  Athletes, looking to take control of their own “Brand” are getting in the action and shooting their very own ads, often with endorsers.  When it works, it’s magical – when it doesn’t, it’s forgettable.

Yahoo Throws Its Weight Behind Open ID Standard

In one of the most significant moves yet in the growing push toward service interoperability on the Web, tech giant Yahoo announced Thursday that it is supporting the OpenID 2.0 standard for a universal Internet log-in.

OpenID is designed to facilitate single log-ins for multiple unaffiliated Web sites. Gradually, large sites like AOL and Plaxo have begun supporting the standard, but it remains a tool for the Web's early-adopter set rather than the online community at large.

Last Word: Imagine the simplicity that a single sign on would mean for your web experience.  Then take that jubilation and add a healthy dose of hesitation as you begin to think about your privacy and personal security on the web.  This is a red hot area, and sure to be heating up in the next six to twelve months.  Stay tuned.

Slide: The $500 Million Widget

When Max Levchin started Slide, the popular tool that lets users create slide shows and other bling for social network pages, it wasn't because he felt passionately that photos needed to be surrounded by animated hearts and glitter.

It was because Levchin, who co-founded and later sold PayPal, wanted to prove he could do it again—this time, generating more than the $1.5 billion PayPal fetched from eBay (EBAY) in 2002. As of Jan. 14, Levchin was about one-third of his way to his goal—at least on paper.

Last Word: Widgets, those fantastic self-contained applications are sprouting up all over the web, and are giving marketers new opportunities to connect with consumers.  Branded widgets can be a powerful tool with meaningful scale, when executed properly. is one good example of what is to be an area of explosive growth in 2008.

The Video Game May Be Free, But To Be A Winner Can Cost Money

Ever since John Riccitiello took over last year as chief executive of Electronic Arts, the video game industry bellwether, he has promised to revitalize the company with new games and new ways of reaching consumers. Now, that may be happening.

In a major departure from its traditional business model, E.A. plans to announce Monday that it is developing a new installment in its hit Battlefield series that will be distributed on the Internet as a free download.

Rather than being sold at retail, the game is meant to generate revenue through advertising and small in-game transactions that allow players to spend a few dollars on new outfits, weapons and other virtual gear.

Last Word: Gaming, a business larger than the motion picture industry, still represents a largely untapped potential for advertisers.  EA is moving in a direction that can change that with advertising paying the freight for some of its up and coming titles.  Looking to connect with highly engaged gamers?  Look no further.

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