Kangaroo court

Following the ruling, a few analysts (Arash @ Screen Digest, Nick Thomas @ Forrester/Jupiter) have come out and criticized the competition commission for a lack of foresight – Pirates must be delighted (Nick Thomas, Forrester).

And while the collaboration may be denied,  the constituent players are still able to throttle competition: “Between ITV.com, Channel 4.com and Kangaroo’s core site, there will be little space left in the nascent online TV advertising market for the likes of Five, BSkyB (NYSE: BSY) and MTV. We believe the provisional findings suggest a lack of familiarity with online content markets.”

Arash at Screen Digest lamented the demise of the service that Didn’t know what it was

Was it a subscription archive service? Was it an ad-supported archive service? Was it a catch-up service? Was it both but in different windows? Was it free or paid? Would it feature US hit shows or not? 

At some point during the 20 months of its short life, Project Kangaroo was one or all of these things. In many respects, it was the brainchild of a confused pre-“iPlayer 2.0” era…

…Kangaroo was a waste of time and effort on the part of both ITV and Channel 4. As the dust settles, the focus will rightly shift towards ITV Player and 4oD which, if the BBC iPlayer and Demand Five are anything to be measured by, will have to make up for lost time if they don’t want to get lost in the noise. “

It’s certainly set the major broadcasters over here back a few steps, but opened a window of opportunity for others and all agree the market will continue to become more competitive.

We thought there was also an interesting – if slightly xenophobic – assertion in the ruling that UK viewers particularly valued programmes produced and originally shown in the UK!

Research is always an interesting beast –  ask the man on the street what his favourite programme is and you can be confident it’ll be most recent show he’s seen and enjoyed; with the most popular content still found on the (dominant) terrestrial channels, of course UK viewers will seem to value UK produced shows.

The real reason this hooker our interest is because the ruling came out the day after The Culture Show ran a brilliant piece by Greg Dyke on the success of HBO. The raft of high-quality, challenging shows coming out of HBO (the Wire, Sopranos, Six Feet Under, Desperate House Wives) is increasingly recognized and lauded over here, at stark comparison to the home-grown dirge of reality eye-wash and mediocre ‘safe’ material – It’s all chewing gum for the eyes! (unable to access iPlayer? check accompanying Guardian piece here).

Ultimately, the consumer demand for high-quality, coupled with the increasing awareness of online video, means that regardless of Kangeroo cancellations market growth is a certainty here.



It’s been a long 8 years.

Bush’s time in the Oval Office aside, the last 8 years has seen a boom online (termed clumsily as 2.0). Truly though, the internet has really come alive in terms of social networks and new media services since Bush made himself comfortable in the White House.

Rory at the BBC has posted a really interesting blog, looking at how the landscape today differs from Bush’s inauguration all those years ago.

Coolest of all?  CNN following up their election night hologram, by asking people in DC to take a photo at 12pm (EST), and email their photos in.  Then they’re going to use “Microsoft Photosynth to create what could be an extraordinary 3D image.” This is a fantastic citizen journalist stunt, where ‘old’ media mobilises people on the ground to create something totally awesome.

More info on CNN here.

More info on Photosynth here.

*Disclaimer* Microsoft is an Edelman client.

EMI.com Beta goes live

Ok, this isn’t really news hot off the press but I was in Copenhagen and missed it until I got back today.  So EMi.com launched on Wednesday 17th with Doug Merrill penning his own welcome email:

For all of you who love music, we are happy to introduce you to EMI.com.It’s a website designed for you to discover new music, rediscover your favourite classics and find information about EMI artists.

EMI.com will allow you to listen to your favourite songs, watch videos, discover music based on your tastes, create playlists and search for content about EMI artists – all for FREE. In the future, you’ll be able to buy downloads from the site.

What you’ll discover at EMI.com:

  • 500,000 tracks from 11,000 artists and bands, with loads of new content being added regularly.
  • A media playerthat streams both audio and video from EMI artists.
  • A discover feature that lets you search for music according to your taste.
  • The ability to create an unlimited number of playlists.
  • Special video and audio features, including live sessions and behind-the-scenes footage from our biggest and our breaking artists.
  • And that’s just for starters! We’ve designed EMI.com to be what we call a “learning lab” – a place to experiment with new ways to connect you with music. Over the coming months, we’ll be adding new features and content, and we want to hear what you think of the music, the site and anything else.

Visit EMI.com today and sign up to access loads of great content and music!

Best Wishes

Douglas Merrill

Having visited the site, I’m underwhelmed.  But as Doug says its an experiment.  EMI.com is in Beta, more features’ll be added and the site will get better, promise.    Lets hope so.

Making money from the free economy

Anyone contemplating how to make money on the Internet out of things that consumers now consider free (i.e. digital music and films) should read Kevin Kelly’s ‘Better than Free” manifesto.  The “senior maverick” from Wired doesn’t believe that advertising is the only business model, but that generosity, accompanied by the cultivation and nurturing of qualities “that can’t be replicated with a click of the mouse” is the new business model. 

This brilliant manifesto “Better than Free”  looks at the eight things that are, well, better than free.  He starts off by setting the scene with:

When copies are super abundant, they become worthless

When copies are super abundant, stuff that can’t be copied becomes scare and valuable

When copies are free, you need to sell things that can not be copied

Well what can’t be copied?

Read it!

DERTy Link #5: Photosynth (stunning)

Presented at TED in March 2007, Photosynth is one of the most incredible demonstrations we’ve seen, not just for the visual capabilities but the innovative use of photo social networks like flickr.

Seadragon is compelling enough, but using the catalogued images from photo sites to build a composite of a famous landmark (they use Notre Dame here) is utter genius. It’s a great example of how meta-tagging can be used to enormous success; the possibilities a pretty infinate

Watch it all, it’s well worth it.

You’re Rank!


 Edel’ AR man, Jonny Bentwood must’ve been shirking his 9-5 duties because he’s come up with a pretty significant ranking system for the blogosphere!

His Social Media Index attempts to rank blogs not by the basic number of subscribers, hits and links, but by their impact and relevance within a broader range of social media – Facebook, Twitter, del.i.cio.us, etc. His thoughts….

Traditionally, an individual’s web influence was measured by the success of their blog. In its simplest form this was done by counting how many people subscribed and linked to it. However, in today’s Web 2.0 world, this is no longer a credible metric as people are currently using a variety of different social media tools to inform and hold conversations with their audience.

FACT: There is a definitive need to assess any social media publisher’s influence on the market as a whole.

What is becoming increasingly clear is that the more engaged an individual is within the different channels available, the broader influence that person has.

I have developed a model, which recognises and attempts to quantify the impact and influence of multiple social media tools.

FACT: This methodology is not the standard.
The standard is a long way down the road. I have selected one way (of many) to analyse different individuals and I would like this post to provoke debate so that together the community can create a standard. This could include what social media tools to analyse (e.g. Facebook or MySpace or both?) and what weighting should be given to each category (e.g. is Twitter just as important as blogging?).

I admit that I am comparing apples and pears, adding them together and giving a total. I am sure that this would make any statistician have a coronary – but without any other scale to work on I have created my own index and hope that it can act as a catalyst to create something better.

 Tables, methodology and results on the Social Media Index after the jump 

Foil Hat Alert!!!


I’m always up for listening to a good conspiracy story; David Icke‘s lizard wonderland, Roswell, JFK, they’re all good ‘shady-wink-complicated-handshake-knowing-nod’ fodder. But some are a little more rational than others, and a little bit closer to home.

We saw this earlier today – FaceBook is the latest in a long line of ‘digital conspiracy’ targets and Commongroundcommonsense has produced a pretty exhaustive investigation in to the connections between the site, a group of shadowy benefactors and the US government. Questions are asked about the security of the site, access to the information and the future use of that information.

This is nothing new – last year, AOL opened it’s vaults and published details of over 650,000 US search terms, while  Google has come under cynical fire in the past for warehousing personal information via Google DeskTop. This knee-jerk reaction is nothing new and as long as we are offered increasingly prevalent online services like internet banking, consumers will be torn between the desire for convenience and and the fear of poor security (it’s something Edelman has quite a bit of experience with through our client Get Safe Online [GSOL])

But the social networking phenomenon brings a slightly expanded issue – notions of security no longer just concern the financially critical information in our daily lives; they involve tastes and beliefs and desires, the declaration of intricate personal detail, available to the increasingly opinionated masses. 

The social implications of Web 2.0 and its burgeoning role within cultural constructs are a constant discussion round our way.  Social networks are encouraging the ‘narcissistic voyuer’ to impart as much of themselves as possible to anyone who cares to look, but little consideration is given to that information once posted. Base motivation for many comes from having the most friends, membership to the most groups and social validation from as many varied groups and individuals as possible. It may seem fairly innocuous when you add it but the volume of information posted gives rich pickings to anyone who wants it, to the point that the public domain has been amplified to an incredible level. The promotion of personal information encourages the attention, but are we declaring too much? And once declared, are we offering ourselves to be used by the highest paying customer?

You tell me.

Check out the video after the jump….