5 Ways Television Changed Dramatically in 2014

December 17, 2014  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Television advertising has been a pretty conservative marketplace: You buy Nielsen ratings, you make 30-second advertisements and sometimes you buy product placement. But the sudden ascent of non-Nielsen-rated content has created a gaping void in the measurement world. And popular genres like horror, with shows such as The Walking Dead, Game of Thrones and American Horror Story, aren't super friendly to adjacencies and product placement. Who wants to see consecutive bites taken out of a leg and a cheeseburger? (Game of Thrones, of course, isn't even ad-supported). So here are a few ways the industry is changing, and what it means for 2015. 1. Ratings went crazy. What happened? The measurement world's lack of visibility into the mobile and tablet spaces generated shrugs until fairly recently. It's become spectacularly—maybe horribly—easy to spy on computer users' surfing habits (no, "incognito mode" does not hide you from anybody except your mom). But your cell phone and your iPad are still difficult to track, mostly because in-browser viewing isn't the norm. Video apps like Hulu are much harder to track with cookies because you aren't in your browser. And that's where a huge, valuable chunk of viewing takes place. So Nielsen (which suffered a serious black eye at the beginning of the season by spilling coffee on the keyboard or something on a bunch of its Live+SD figures, resulting in some major corrections) is racing to make its gross ratings point tool, the one advertisers pay for in non-theoretical money, the standard across not just linear cable and broadcast, but new media, as well. It's not there yet, partly because there's still significant dispute over whether or not an ad delivered on a smartphone is worth the same amount of money as an ad delivered on a 50-inch plasma screen

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These Films, Books and TV Shows Ruled Tumblr’s Sponsored Entertainment Posts in 2014

December 17, 2014  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

It's the end of the year, and Tumblr is recapping its top branded entertainment posts of 2014. With the average desktop user spending 14 minutes per visit in October, according to comScore, it's clear why leading entertainment companies are advertising on the Yahoo-owned microblogging site.

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These Films, Books and TV Shows Ruled Tumblr’s Sponsored Entertainment Posts in 2014

December 17, 2014  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

It's the end of the year, and Tumblr is recapping its top branded entertainment posts of 2014. With the average desktop user spending 14 minutes per visit in October, according to comScore, it's clear why leading entertainment companies are advertising on the Yahoo-owned microblogging site.

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Will a Wide Audience Tune In to Hockey’s Most Rugged Game of the Year?

December 16, 2014  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Every New Year, the National Hockey League takes one of its regular-season games outdoors—an old-school showdown in the freezing-cold elements. And this time, it's looking for innovative ways to draw fans to the Winter Classic. The promotion begins at 10 tonight with the first of a four-part reality series called 2015 Road to the Winter Classic. In the past, the special aired on HBO, available only to subscribers. But after negotiations broke down with HBO over that point, the NHL decided to take its show to Epix—and a wider audience. Viewers will get a fly-on-the-wall look at the Chicago Blackhawks and Washington Capitals as they work their way toward a New Year's Day game at Washington, D.C.'s Nationals Park. In addition to airing on Epix, a relative newcomer that stands to benefit from hockey's 60 million U.S. fans, the series will be available to stream on the teams' websites, Epix.com, and NHL.com. Fans can also easily find the show through both company's Facebook pages; the NHL App for Android and iPhone; and the Epix App for Xbox 360, PS3, PS4, Roku and Windows 8

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As Coke Exits American Idol After 13 Seasons, an Iconic Show’s Future Looks Grim

December 16, 2014  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

If American Idol was in rough shape before (which it was), it's looking at an even bleaker future now that Coca-Cola has publicly said it won't be running ads in the reality show's 14th season. Yes, that means no more red-and-white cups in front of the judges on what was once the biggest competition series on television. American Idol returns to Fox on Jan. 7. "After 13 years, we feel it is the right time for the Coca-Cola brand to venture into new spaces and pursue other opportunities to connect with teens and leverage music as a passion point," the beverage company told Variety , and the statement's existence in itself is saying something: it's very rare for advertisers to publicly cut ties to a show that hasn't offended somebody. Fox quickly followed up Adweek's request for comment with a statement signed by both companies:"Coca-Cola and Fox have mutually decided to end their 13-year American Idol partnership. We look forward to working together on new collaborations in the future." For their part, viewers are more or less boycotting American Idol out of boredom these days; the show's Wednesday ratings were down 31.6 percent among 18-49 year-olds last season. On Thursdays, it was off by more than a third.

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The 10 Best New TV Shows of the Year

December 14, 2014  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

At the end of every great TV series—The Sopranos, Breaking Bad, The Wire, 30 Rock—somebody usually jumps to declare the Golden Age of Television at an end, and somehow that prediction never manages to be right. There's a ton of great TV around these days, from off-kilter comedies like Brooklyn Nine-Nine to unexpected dramas like Masters of Sex. More so than ever in the history of TV, the onus is on creators to be surprising, to be impressive and, most of all, to hold our attention. A lot of this is a direct result of the stuff that (very reasonably) terrifies the people who run TV: the advent of streaming video on demand, the wars of attrition with cable providers, the mass exodus of young people to YouTube and gaming. All that stuff means that it's imperative for television content to be compelling enough to drag a potential viewer back from the new Uncharted game, or to motivate the writing of an angry letter when cable drops his or her favorite network. And that means that this was a hard list to write, because so much new TV in 2014 was so good.

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The Interview’s Randall Park on How Vice Prepared Him to Play Kim Jong-Un

December 8, 2014  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Specs Age: 40 Claim to fame: Portrays Kim Jong-un in The Interview (in theaters Dec. 25); guest stars on HBO’s Veep as Minnesota Governor Danny Chung; will star in the upcoming ABC series Fresh Off the Boat (premiering 2015) Base: Los Angeles Twitter:

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Winners of Adweek’s 2014 Hot List Are Revealed

December 8, 2014  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

What a year in media. Prime-time's drama queen Shonda Rhimes—plus literally anything HBO did—kept us from cutting the cord. Netflix, Instagram and Minecraft continued to dominate our digital lives, while apps like Uber, Tinder and Kik achieved must-have status. Jack Ma—who led his e-commerce behemoth, China's Alibaba, to a $25 billion IPO—earned his place as our Media Visionary for 2014. Print, yet again, proved that it is as relevant as ever, with a nearly 150-year-old magazine, fashion icon Harper’s Bazaar, trucking out its fattest issue ever and earning the title Magazine of the Year. This, as the inescapable Kim Kardashian broke the Internet not once but twice after appearing on the covers of Vogue, then Paper.

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Presenting the Winners of the Television Hot List

December 8, 2014  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Michael Lombardo President of Programming, HBO HBO’s Lombardo continues to win the cable programming game in an age of intense competition for every single promising script, often by exploring uncharted territory. True, we’d seen serial killer shows before, but rarely as atmospheric as Nic Pizzolatto’s True Detective, and never as simultaneously perverse and otherworldly as Game of Thrones. That willingness to experiment—whether bringing back cult favorite The Comeback or robbing The Daily Show of John Oliver for Last Week Tonight—ensures Lombardo will remain every writer’s dream meeting (assuming his agent can get one).

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Presenting the Winners of the Television Hot List

December 8, 2014  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Michael Lombardo President of Programming, HBO HBO’s Lombardo continues to win the cable programming game in an age of intense competition for every single promising script, often by exploring uncharted territory. True, we’d seen serial killer shows before, but rarely as atmospheric as Nic Pizzolatto’s True Detective, and never as simultaneously perverse and otherworldly as Game of Thrones. That willingness to experiment—whether bringing back cult favorite The Comeback or robbing The Daily Show of John Oliver for Last Week Tonight—ensures Lombardo will remain every writer’s dream meeting (assuming his agent can get one).

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