Category Archives: Tech

SocialTV and Emerging Platforms Overview

SocialTV-the return of the family room?I was invited to speak to Hollywood marketing executives on June 26, 2012 at the iMedia Entertainment Summit by Brad Berens and Nancy Galanty of DMG Events. The initial request was for an overview of up and coming along with more established companies in the SocialTV space. I’m far more interested in emerging platforms than the individual companies, although I admire and enjoy the entrepreneurship, vision and camaraderie of their leaders. As an angel investor or strategic partner I might invest capital or resources in the individual company, but in my agency role I’m infinitely more interested in the convergence of technologies and consumer trends that launch new behaviors and platforms into popular culture. As a result, I framed the presentation this way:

  • Overview/Intro/Definition
  • Underlying influences and market dynamics that make SocialTV compelling
  • Proposed a spectrum of engagement models for nascent, volatile and emerging platforms like SocialTV
Some key take aways:
  • SocialTV may become the new normal for consuming video versus a discrete space–the term “SocialTV” may go away
  • Almost 90% Tablet & Smartphone Owners Use Devices While Watching TVAccording to Nielsen’s Q1 2012 report almost 90% of Smartphone and Tablet owners use their devices while watching TV; about 40% do so daily and over 60% do so several times a week. Conclusion: you can’t talk about SocialTV without the context of mobile which is where the greatest innovation will happen outside of the box
  • SocialTV is currently comprised of content discovery and companion apps–think a better remote control or check-in and chatter–as well as analytics applied around TV content
  • There are dozens if not hundreds of companies chipping away at pieces of this space but only a few are top-of-mind brands–Miso, Get Glue, IntoNow, Viggle, TrendRR, Bluefin and a few network offerings were like USA Chatter and HBOGo–mentioned at the conference of Hollywood insiders and Execs
  • There’s a lot of interest in this space as it represents massive potential shifts in consumer and advertising revenues for Hollywood, marketers, SocialMedia companies along with emerging players able to capitalize on the expanding ecosystem
  • For consumers, the opportunity to engage with families, friends and networks may unlock the social aspects of SocialTV and usher in the return from our Entertainment or TV room to the Family Room
Below is the slideware prepared for the presentation, followed by the video which has much more nuance and information with some reference links to close this post:

Slides with voiceover:

Curated links in preparation for the presentation:

http://delicious.com/marksilva/socialtv

Special thanks to Nielsen along with Adam Broitman, Adam Burg, Mark Ghuneim, Jeff Minsky and Lori Schwartz for their input and advice informing the presentation.

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Weekly Round-Up 6/13/2011

Most of the attention was about WWDC and Apple’s announcements although we should probably mention something about Groupon’s IPO Announcment:

And now a little bit about Groupon IPO plans to raise $750mm. Some highlights from filing:

  • 7,000 employees and 83 million subscribers in 43 countries
  • $714 mm in revenue up from $30mm the year before
  • With claims of a frothy valuation, not surprising to see All Things D report on the Groupon reporting “Smack-down” following the IPO announcement
Closing with a fun little conceptual hack worthy of a big Apple announcement week. This “invisible phone” uses hand gestures and a depth-aware camera to interface with your smartphone–essentially allowing it to sit in your pocket or purse.

Weekly Recaps 5/30/2011

Google Wallet by far the biggest announcement to date this year with potential impact to create massive disruption due to:

  1. Android platform integration and influence on handset manufacturers–could be fairly easy for Google to make an Operating System specification require NFC on all future phones for common functionality and it’s 50% of all the world’s smartphones or 1/3+ of all sets globally running Google Wallet by end of 2013
  2. Trusted partners–they’re taking an ecosystem approach which will invite in more “wallet” use cases, partners, etc.–it won’t be just about giving Apple 1-click access for content, which has proven to be compelling enough for 200-million people so far. This will be about speed, content, access, etc. and will be marketed by some serious players in Telco, Payments, retail and more.
  3. NFC+a number of other Google innovations like Goggles, Voice Search, Voice, etc. will make the current state-of-the-art being talked into happening, QR Codes, look as dated as dial-up modem. Nostalgic but useless because they ask too much of users to really be great.
  4. Probably the biggest part of this announcement is how further enables the co-opetition between Google and Amazon to move from online to offline ubiquity–something I’m calling Googlezon. Keep an eye on all the way these two are exploiting the strengths of their combined platforms to win back share, utility and time with consumers from Apple. It’s really amazongle.
Here are the announcements and some related links:
Related: “Why would you buy an Android phone anywhere but Amazon?” Includes HTC Inspire for $30 w/contract.

Will Apps Disrupt Every Trad Media While Establishing a New One?

Perhaps the title question is too narrow and should focus on industries Apps will disrupt beyond Media, and my prediction is that Apps will disrupt nearly everything from the way we consume and engage with brands and media to how we transact, visualize, congregate and curate our daily lives and loves. With that thunderous prediction let me offer a couple of windows into the Apps EcoSystem which Gartner predicts will become $58 Billion in a few years and conclude with some thoughts informing these predictions:

  • AppNation Conference in San Francisco this Wednesday and Thursday, April 27-28, promises to deliver the “State of the Art” view of the EcoSystem. Register to attend in person and catch full-benefit of networking with founders and leaders in this emerging space or follow the hashtag on twitter: #appnationconf 
  • Spend an hour with Drew Ianni, AppNation Chairman and Founder, presenting his view from the top of the Apps Ecosystem. Former Wall Street and Jupiter Analyst as well as top guy at ad:tech, Drew created AppNation to provide the best and biggest conference for the space. You can catch his Briefing at Anthem San Francisco here:


  • And, here are the companion slides to the video:

Some additional thoughts to complement my prediction that Apps will disrupt nearly every business and consumer interaction:

As Drew points out the value chain is shifting from the hardware–although the most elegant hardware can win massive share as we’ve seen with the iPad and iPhone–to the software or Apps on these devices. This content spans devices and channels jumping from Social/Web to Mobile and PC/Tablets and eventually connected TVs. This shift has been swift and taken the most immediately associated/impacted industries by storm and surprise. PC veteran, Michael Dell, admitted yesterday that he didn’t see Tablets coming and PC-maker Acer reported 24% drop in sales as a result of tablet disruption.  The primary utility for Tablets? Apps.

As a result of this consumer draw, we can anticipate new, creative business models and entertainment forms to emerge and become as large a part of popular culture as anything Hollywood has ever produced. And, of course, Hollywood may spawn and will appropriate these new entertain forms.

As we’ve seen with Social Media, consumer adoption and new behaviors will inspire enterprise adoption as well. So, my prediction started in the title with Media, the most obvious place for disruption as we see media transformed with superior features, connectivity and transaction abilities to change how we think about distribution and engagement with Print, Radio, TV and even the Internet media that came before Apps. In establishing a new medium and channel it’s important to emphasize this is about disruption not replacing or destroying. Incombent business models will have to evolve and embrace the new medium to survive and thrive in the disruption.

Will Apps have their own mass-events like the Oscars, Grammy’s, Cannes or Tony’s? They already have their own conference. Hope to catch you at AppNation this week and every year going forward. Cheers!

Change Everything

This post presents the content and discusses the process in my journey to create the “This Can Change Everything” presentation for iMedia Breakthrough Summit on March 21, 2011. It was a 30-45 minute discussion where I covered So|Lo|Mo, Gamification, Maker-movement and Social CRM/Caring after a hat-tip to Moore’s & Metcalfe’s laws combined with the “People” coefficient. With an extra 15-minutes allowance, I may have added connected TVs as a potential “return to the Family Room” theme. Regardless, these themes are ones that I believe can change everything in the coming years.
Continue reading

Bubble or Bubbly Panel Recap

We had a great visit to Austin for SXSWi 2011 and will dedicate the next few posts to recaps. Here is the video from our “Bubble or Bubbly” panel, where we put Angels/VCs and an Analyst on the spot about the nature of our current early-stage, venture, talent and potentially market froth.

There was lively and thoughtful debate about where we are, some notable differences from the dot-com bubble–low cost to start, ease of marketing and launching, real revenues, etc.–as well as about how to approach a frothy market. Please comment below or on YouTube with your reactions.

Special thanks to all the panelists for their generosity of time, knowledge, humor and spirit:

Jason Calacanis Calacanis.com

Tony Conrad True Ventures

Kent Goldman First Round Capital

Charles Hudson SoftTech VC

Enchantment Going Up

Guy Kawasaki Garage Ventures

@loukerner

Lou Kerner Wedbush Securities

Here It Comes-Android’s Undeniable Growth

Lots of theories buzzing around about Android’s growth, from carrier advertising to economic realities in developing countries, but the data is undeniable: mobile is a two-horse race and Android is just getting started. You can see the numbers (chart to the left) but there’s nothing as powerful as watching through time-lapsed visualization. Here’s a video Google released visualizing phone activations around the world. In fact, some of the spikes you’ll see in traffic come from Motorola’s Droid release in November of 2009 to support the first argument driving adoption.

FWIW, I have nearly all iOS (Apple) devices from ipods and ipads to laptops and desktops around our house. But I keep my mobile Android to keep a close eye on how the OS is driving parity in many areas with iOS and exceeding it in many other areas you’d imagine Google would win in, like visual/speech-to-text/barcode/text/you-name-it search & navigation. As you prioritize market entry in mobile you can’t count out Android. I’ll go as far to preduct that in 6-12 the platform will lead development conversations. What do you think?

How are you planning your SXSW calendar? (Work in Progress)

Working on card-sorting SXSW interactive events is a bit of an art. In attempt to put some more science as well as to crowd-source some of the places I should be, I’ve turned to a couple of cloud-based tools. Plancast is a great social event tool that will likely be a breakout at SXSW this year in part due to its relevance for event-goers. It’s incredibly useful and plays nice with all your desktop, enterprise and mobile calendars. You can subscribe to my plans and see what plans my friends have as a way of prioritizing and planning connections. It’s discovery, serendipity and choice-meets-chance in an app.

I’ve also married plans that seem interesting with a Google calendar to see how over committed I am along with what events I’ll prioritize when I bounce from one to another. Here’s a handy peek at that Google calendar which should link to a live version of my plans:

 

Google Calendar of Plancast Schedule

Google Calendar of SXSW Plans, Agenda Format

Are you going or have had to organize similar complexity at an event with overlapping tracks. Have you found a better way to organize, prioritize and curate?

Look forward to your thoughts in the comments below.

Great Panel for SXSW–“Bubble or Bubbly”

Illustration by Gregory Nemec

Illustrator: Gregory Nemec

I’m looking forward to hosting a great panel on Saturday, March 12 from 3-4pm at South By Southwest (SXSW) Interactive on the PepsiCo Plugged-In Stage in the Austin Convention Center called “Bubble or Bubbly” exploring the topic of froth in Tech valuations from a number of perspectives. We’ll look at root causes, lessons learned, success and horror stories, adaptive behaviors and some thoughts about how to navigate going forward. For marketers, these same questions have to be asked to evaluate bets in emerging platforms with an eye towards leveraging the innovators advantage and disrupting early and often. The panelists are some of the best in the world to address this subject:

Jason Calacanis Calacanis.com

Tony Conrad True Ventures

Kent Goldman First Round Capital

Charles Hudson SoftTech VC

Enchantment Going Up

Guy Kawasaki Garage Ventures

@loukerner

Lou Kerner Wedbush Securities

 

 

You can RSVP for this panel on Plancast and Like it on Facebook. Ask questions for this panel here or on Facebook. The most liked question by the crowd and by me will be asked on stage. Also, follow this post for updates and links.

Let’s get this party started!

Google Plays Most Valuable Real Estate

Most Valued Placement

To support the new Android smartphone, the Nexus S, Google is deploying a number of winning tactics from its release of NexusOne. Most evident is the homepage placement below the Google one-bar–what many call the most valuable real estate online due to its reach, frequency and scarcity in use. Other support includes a new marketing campaign and in-store push at Best Buy (where I’ll probably be picking up mine) and bundling it with a new OS code-named “Gingerbread.” We can assume the new push comes with a robust push on Search and YouTube. For low cost-recruitment over owned media, it’s good to be Google.