Saturday, January 26, 2008

Zune digital sponsor of 2008 Winter X Games

Following on from my post about Experimental Zune commercials. In another attempt to catch the cool part of the music player market ... Zune announced it will be the exclusive Digital Media Sponsor at 2008 Winter X Games. This is the way
Microsoft will connect with consumers/action sports fans through interactive Zune experience.

Zune announced that it will be the exclusive digital media sponsor of the 2008 Winter X Games, the world's premier action sports event taking place January 24-27 in Aspen/Snowmass, Colorado. The sponsorship will give Zune a significant and visible onsite presence at the event and will include TV, online, and print advertising. Attendees will be able to visit the Zune village booth, where they can try new Zune wireless media players and take part in special giveaways and promotions.

Apparently, there will be 10 customised Burton snowboards featuring Zune original artwork. These have been created exclusively for the Winter X Games. Zune Originals gives individuals the option to customize their own Zune player with laser-engraved designs and personal text via an online store, where they can choose from a collection of artwork designed exclusively for Zune by 18 internationally recognised artists.

Zune’s presence will be further extended through integration into activities at the Burton/Monster house, which will serve as a venue for athlete product seeding along with photo and video opportunities.

M&C have made some comments here.

Commentary of Australian Media Convergence

Following on from my post on the convergence of media a number of Australian players and analyst have made some signficant comments.

Harold Mitchell of Media & Partners recently commented on the acquisition by Lachlan Murdhochs company Illyria launched a bid to buy half the 93rd biggest company listed in Australia Consolidated Media Holdings. Harold Mitchell said
this is a very clever move by both families - especially when the share price of CMH has gone down.

There is an announcement on the Illyria web site. It includes the following comment ...
Illyria's unique combination of experience in pay TV, broadcast and print media will provide the privatised Consolidated Media Holdings with new growth opportunities over the long term.

How times change, in 2006 Peter Cox in an interview on the ABC was talking about media ownership said
And the problem for the Government, says Peter Cox, is that Murdoch's News Limited and Packer's PBL have opposing objectives ... News Limited's now decided, gee, we actually want to do things that are not exactly the same as what Packer wants, and therefore they have a stalemate.

Lahclan Murdoch speaking to BusinessDay said
I'm only interested in running businesses I can add value to, so in order to pay the sort of premium we're paying for CMH — which is a 30% premium once you take the Seek shares out — I've got to be confident I can add value to justify that premium, and obviously I can add value most around the media assets.
He continued to say "This is going to be my focus over the years to come if we're successful."

A number of key players in the media market own the majority of new media in australia including realestate, jobs, car markets. One thing that can be said for worldwide media is that it is evolving very quickly at the moment.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Australian Media - Packer, Murdoch deal confirmed

Following up from my previous post on The Convergence of Media (Internet, Television, Press, Cinema, Outdoor), Lachlan Murdoch and James Packer have announced a $3.3 billion takeover of the media company, Consolidated Media Holdings. This would give each media baron a 50% stake.

The interesting thing not reported is the additional internet assets that come with this deal. It has been reported that Mr Murdoch would become the executive chairman of the new company. Lachlan Murdoch is poised to make a stunning return to the media industry in a $2 billion-plus deal to privatise James Packer's Consolidated Media Holdings.

Media Spy reports ...
The deal is worth $3.3 billion, made up of an offer of $4.06 in cash for each share, as well as a percentage of shares in the recruitment firm Seek, taking the total offer to $4.80.

CMH currently owns a 25% stake in Foxtel, the Nine Network and in ACP magazines. Other media assets include:

  • Ticketek

  • nineMSN

  • carsales

  • myHome

  • skyNews

TechCrunch have also covered this story today.

Off Topic: My dad worked with Lachlan Murdoch for a couple of weeks at News Corp while he did his tour of duty around the business.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

The Convergence of Media (Internet, Television, Press, Cinema, Outdoor)

I have spent my entire career in Media (IT related of course)

Some of these companies include:

  • No. 1 broadcast television network in Australia

  • Advertising agencies in Australia, Asia, South Africa

  • Magazine publication company in Australia

  • No. 1 newspaper publisher in the world

  • Cinema companies in Australia and Asia

  • No. 1 Outdoor advertising company in Australia and New Zealand

Working with a large cross section of media and advertising has given me the opportunity to see media change from both a business perspective aswell as a technology perspective.

There is a lot of discussion about the future of television and its convergance with the internet. We have already seen all the major television networks convert to digital.

(Michael Arrington, TechCrunch) says “I’ve been paying a lot of attention to the signals NBC is giving to the market around their IPTV and social networking plans. Most of the other players have fallen into place - Fox with MySpace, CBS is in bed with YouTube, Viacom looks to be partnering with Tagworld, etc. Everyone except NBC is at least experimenting with online TV in other ways, too."

Even the largest Magazine Publication Group (ACP - part of the PBL Media Group) in Australia continue to acquire or develop new magazines and with each comes a new website.

Wikipedia says ...

Convergence of media occurs when multiple products come together to form one product with the advantages of all of them.

In Australia Network Seven (Television Network) has acquired a number of companies including Engin a VOIP company and more recently Unwired the largest unwired ISP and apart from their deal with Yahoo to create a new portal Yahoo7 they are working on a deal with Tivo.

My observation is:
As media companies (Google included) continue to acquire other media and internet companies - their very nature they will continue to forge new synergies between disparate organisations thereby fast tracking the convergence of this industry.

Monday, January 07, 2008

Internet Explorer 8 milestone

Dean Hachamovitch reported
I’m delighted to tell you that on Wednesday, December 12, Internet Explorer correctly rendered the Acid2 page in IE8 standards mode.
Acid2 Test

Briefly: Acid2 is one test of how modern browsers work with some specific features across several different web standards.

Now that is excellent news.

You will laugh at the success of browsers have rendering Acid2.

This is a good attempt by Mozilla Firefox

Note: Acid2 is a test case designed by the Web Standards Project to identify web page rendering flaws in browsers and authoring tools.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

The benefits of Business Intelligence

The Benefits of Business Intelligence

I am often asked what can Business Intelligence do for my business. So my response is ... Business Intelligence (BI) is both a management process as well as a collection of software applications and underlying technology that enables organisations to make better business decisions by exposing key metrics that drive the organisation.

Business Intelligence is sometimes confused with Competitive Intelligence but they are not the same concepts. This is true even though BI technology does give management a methodology for getting a better grasp on the internal and external forces that are driving their organisation as well as a way to measure their organisation’s performance against the performance of their competitors.

Properly used, BI systems assist management in developing a data-based decision making model that provides more consistent results when compared to non-BI methods. Organisations that have successfully implemented BI systems have better and timelier access to customer activities, marketplace trends, supply chain issues and a host of other key performance indicators (KPIs) that are not able to be easily measured in a non-BI environment.

The Technology Behind The Business Intelligence Process

All of the data that BI systems access comes from the organisation’s data warehouse which is a specially-designed database that stores integrated data from various sources from within the organisation.

Business intelligence analysts perform data mining, which is the process of analyzing the data in the data warehouse to uncover patterns and relationships, using specialised BI tools such as Microsoft BI, Oracle BI and Business Objects BI.

Because BI needs vary among business sectors, many BI tools are highly industry-specific. Even so, most BI tools provide a similar core suite of capabilities which include executive reporting tools and a management dashboard that aggregates data and provides a high-level view of the organisation from a BI perspective.

Many organisations employ BI strategies in order to support the Balanced Scorecard (BSC) success measurement program. Unlike traditional measurements which are solely financial-based, the BSC approach measures both the financial lagging indicators as well as well as a variety of future performance indicators which are called leading measures. The BSC approach works so well because it not only provides a means for analyzing financial indicators, it also provides a way to quantify an organisation's other value drivers including its learning and growth perspective, business process perspective and its customer perspective.

Companies such as Exxon/Mobile and Cigna Insurance credit their profitability and explosive growth to implementing a BI/BSC strategy that enabled them to precisely gauge their market opportunities and position their companies to become financial and performance leaders in their market niches.

Business Intelligence is a process that works for any size organisation that is dedicated to gaining a competitive edge and raise their visibility in a crowded marketplace.