Sunday, November 11, 2007

The WGA Strike- A Perspective

I find it hard to understand the rationale in striking against the studios and television networks at this point in time. With the proliferation of cheaper to produce reality television programs, newscasts and game show/competitions, it defies all logic why the WGA thought this was the right approach. The studios and networks will have a very profitable Q4 and Q1 in '08, while the hard-working and underpaid writers teeter on financial ruin. It's obvious that the writers have historically gotten the short end of the stick, however, there had to have been better ways to obtain more money for their work. What adds insult to injury is that the money that they are fighting over (royalties for the web, new media, DVD's, etc) are in as yet to be defined areas of profitability for the networks and studios. The only company that is making money selling video content on the web is Apple and I-Tunes. Everyone else in the space is simply fumbling around trying to stake a claim on quicksand.

My first job out of college was at the ICM talent agency in the literary department for one of the top lit agents in Hollywood. I saw first hand that the role of the writer in a film or television show is the least appreciated and most important.

My advice to all of my former colleagues is to use this work stoppage opportunity to create compelling new content for the web. Channel your efforts into building online serials, youtube broadcasts and independent web films. The one thing that the web lacks is really well done professional content. Hollywood writers are the people with the talent to pull real human emotions out of entertainment. They need to bring this type of magic to the web. Sites like funnyordie are a good start, however, if the real creative forces in Hollywood (i.e. the talent) got behind the web as an independent medium, the studios could have a real run for their money. The web is an open platform for entertainment, and despite the power that large Internet companies may appear to have over the platform, there is always room for a new upstart to rock the system to its core.

Hollywood Digital Divide- Repost From the Silicon Alley Insider

Hollywood Digital Divide: $124 M in 2011

Silicon Alley Insider

by Michael Learmonth
Yesterday we gave our best-guess estimate on the chasm between the Hollywood writers and the studios on digital media. Given the tiny size of the digital pot in 2007, it's a pittance -- about $7.8 million.

But the writers aren't worried about today's dollars. They're worried about missing out on an Internet boom, much as they missed out on the DVD boom of the last 10 years. Four years from now, for instance, we estimate about the gap between what the writers want and what the studios are offering could grow to $124 million.
We got those numbers based on projections from Adams Research, which estimates that downloads of TV and film will grow to $4.1 billion by 2011*, and Hollywood's share of the online video advertising market will grow to $1.7 billion.

Again, the estimates do not include many pieces of the digital pie for which the writers would like to be paid, including banner ads, subscription fees, or any digital revenue derived from guild-produced TV and film -- that is, video created solely for the Web, and not related to existing TV shows or movies. If the writers get their way on all of those streams as well, the gap would grow even further.

The math:

Studio proposal:
Downloads: $8.1m (0.03% of 2011 est. download wholesale market of $ 2.7 million, using DVD residuals formula.)
Streaming video advertising: $20.4 million (1.2% of Hollywood-related streaming ad revenue est $1.7 billion for 2007)
$21.4 million

Writer's Proposal:
Downloads: $102.5 million (2.5% of digital download wholesale)
Streaming video advertising: $42.5 million (2.5$ of Hollywood-related streaming ad revenue est $1.7 billion for 2007)
$145 million

Total gap: $123.6 million

* Adams says it will revise its projections for the video download market, knocking them down somewhat to account for the boom in ad-supported business models. We'll update accordingly.

ITV- The Businessweek Article

This week's issue of Businessweek has a profile on ITV.  It is a fairly insightful analysis on the state of interactive television.  Here is a link to the article:


NOVEMBER 19, 2007


I Want My iTV
But I won't be getting it soon. While the technology is mostly in place, the players—from cable companies to film studios—can't agree on how to make it happen

It all started when my TiVo let me down. For years this little device has been like an old friend. It sat next to my big-screen TV to record shows and movies when I wanted, without a lot of questions, and with no judgments on what I wanted to see. But on a lazy late summer day, I came to view TiVo in a whole new light.

There's a collision, you see, between the boob tube and the Internet. TV is all about instant gratification. The Net is about me having control. Put the two together, and the result should be personalized TV, or iTV, which lets me watch what I want, when I want it. That sounds a lot like TiVo. The recorders, which the company claims deliver "television your way," also allow you to connect to the Net and do things like check freeway traffic before your daily commute, buy movie tickets from your couch, and listen to Web radio, all on your TV. In July, TiVo even became the first device that lets you search easily for programs from cable outfits along with movies and other content delivered off the Web from Amazon's (AMZN ) Unbox video service.

So when my editors asked me to explain how TV and the Internet were intersecting, my first thought was to grab TiVo's peanut-shaped remote control. I had a hankering to see 1949's White Heat, the Jimmy Cagney flick where he plays gangster Cody Jarrett. Cornered by cops on top of a burning oil tank, he laughs maniacally and shouts: "Made it, Ma! Top of the world!" just before being obliterated. Calling up a neat bit of TiVo search software, I typed in the movie's name.

No luck. It offered me White Men Can't Jump on cable, or Single White Female off the Web. I tried typing in "gangster" to let TiVo troll program descriptions that might fit. There was the Gangsta Girls documentary or 1944's Gangsters of the Frontier to rent at Amazon. No... White... Heat.

Experiences like this just make it painfully clear how far we still are from having truly personal TV. All the technology to do this is basically in place: fast broadband connections, personal media recorders, instant Web-searching software, high-definition sets. So why can't I press a button or two and see whether the tribe has spoken, root for the next top chef, pull up a YouTube (GOOG ) clip of Ellen DeGeneres breaking down in tears over a dog—or even watch Cagney rise from small-time hood to the top of the world? I want to listen to music, have a box pop up on my screen telling me who's phoning my home, or watch a vacation-themed slide show before forwarding it on to bore my friends on Facebook—all while sitting in front of the set in my living room. No one has yet put this wish list together in one nice, easy-to-use package.

To find out why so many have tried and failed to deliver my TV nirvana, I got up off the couch and hit the road to talk to technology wizards and top industry executives. I discovered that Hollywood, cable, satellite, phone, and consumer-electronics companies are all screaming "Go! Go! Go!" as they lay out ambitious plans to conquer the market.

But what's holding up the transition from network TV to networked TV is that any company with a little piece of control in the way things work today is unwilling to jeopardize its power and revenues until it becomes clear how the new model will pay. Every time you hear about some product that sounds great but just has one strange limitation, follow the money to understand why. Hollywood worries digital downloads could lead consumers to stop buying $24 billion of DVDs annually, and broadcasters are nervous about the fate of the $185 billion-per-year TV advertising kitty. So studios and networks alike limit how long programs are available on Web sites or restrict the shows that play on various devices.

Cable and satellite providers worry that they will lose customer loyalty to the Web, so they impose tight controls on what content you see and have moved painfully slowly to offer advanced TV services. The people who make electronics gear fret that if they don't lock up agreements for exclusive music or videos, consumers won't pay top price. "You've got device manufacturers, content providers, service providers, networks, software makers, security providers all trying to sort out how big their piece of the pie should be," says former Comcast (CMCSA ) executive Kip Compton. He is now senior director and general manager of video and content networking at Cisco Systems (CSCO ), which is trying to merge TV and the Web.

Granted, I'm far more obsessed with this topic than the average couch potato. I've been testing electronics gear for nearly 10 years and have enough boxes and wires in my place to open a store. Comcast cables connect one room, Dish Network's wires snake through another, and DirecTV's are in two more. There are six digital videorecorders, four stereo receivers, an HD DVD player, a Blu-ray player, a half-dozen PCs and just as many Macs. So many high-definition TVs arrive during the peak holiday testing period that at one point a few years ago I had to shove one under a bed.

Most regular people still haven't viewed their first TV clip on a computer screen. But a survey by the Conference Board-TNS shows that 16% of American households with Web access now watch full TV broadcasts online, double the number from a year ago. And visitors to parts of Europe and Asia can see how far behind we are in personalizing our TV experience. Speedy, reliable broadband access in those regions can deliver richer video service, and because providers face real competition, they have to add Webby services to television as a selling point. Today, some 60% of all households in Hong Kong watch programming delivered over the Internet to the TV, says researcher Parks Associates. From a hotel in Seoul, I can click to do my banking on TV. A couple of friends I know live on the frozen tundra of Canada; even there, I can play games or get onscreen score alerts of favorite sports teams.

The electronics industry has churned out dozens of clever workarounds to bridge the Web-TV divide: A device called Slingbox lets you take recorded or live TV shows off a box at home and "sling" them miles away on a laptop, smartphone, or other mobile devices. Apple TV indirectly feeds (we'll come back to this) a show you bought on the iTunes Web store into your TV. Kids are rigging their Xbox video game consoles to do a similar trick. Or, you can schlep the shows by hand with TakeTV, a pocket-sized memory stick from SanDisk. (SNDK )

Each of these solves one or two pieces of the puzzle, while never quite completing the picture. It's like we're at that junction in the early 20th century when you had your pick of electric, steam, or gasoline-powered cars, and the steering wheel might be on the right or left side.

The first stop on my journey was just a short drive down the road from my San Francisco home to the offices of SRI International, the former Stanford University tech shop that helped create the precursor to Wi-Fi networks and high-definition TV. There, CEO Curt Carlson, the co-author of Innovation: The Five Disciplines for Creating What Customers Want, assured me that the trick for companies facing tough choices in this period of transition is to look beyond the customer they have today and anticipate the needs of an even larger audience a few years down the road. In short, focus on what's truly important to people and be the first to deliver that. Simple in concept, but extremely difficult if you're constantly thinking of short-term profits, he says. "I'm a big fan of [Apple CEO] Steve Jobs," Carlson says. "The people who connect needs and ideas the best and fastest win, and that's where he stands out."

Ah, Steve Jobs, the patron saint of gearheads. He is everyone's first (and often only) example of someone who's managed to make sense of a fractious market like this and turn it into a money machine. Jobs and Apple reinvigorated consumer interest in music with the elegant combination of a device (the iPod) and experience (the iTunes Web store). He put the pieces together so that you don't have to.

But Jobs is also the bogeyman that has forced fearful media bosses to change their approach to Webified TV. In music, Apple turned the traditional model upside down by charging a premium for gear while setting a flat, low price of 99 cents per song download. Now Apple has amassed a cash horde of $15.4 billion, while the music industry is awash in red ink. No wonder Hollywood studios and broadcasters are hell-bent not to hand similar power to anyone else—and particularly not Jobs. "We know that Apple has destroyed the music business, in terms of pricing, and if we don't take control they'll do the same thing on the video side," NBC Universal (GE ) chief Jeff Zucker told an audience at Syracuse University's S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications on Oct. 29.

Jobs actually did try the same thing with Apple TV. Amid all the hoopla over Apple's iPod, iPhone, and Mac, Apple TV is the one product that even Jobs concedes isn't a smash hit. It's a neat idea, a box that lets you buy videos off the Web and play them on a TV. But the business model is flawed: You can only buy what's on iTunes, 1,050 titles in all, vs. the 85,000 offered by Netflix. My whizzy $299 white, gray, and silver Apple TV box sits largely unused next to a big-screen television in my bedroom. The process is like running a Rube Goldberg contraption. Start with a Mac, where you download videos; wait for them to be transferred by wire or Wi-Fi to the somewhat limited storage on the Apple TV box. By then, you might as well have just watched the stuff on the computer screen.

As I visited technology workshops in Germany and Silicon Valley, I was struck by how many of these program-shifting products suffer from a simple but fatal flaw: set-top box fatigue. No one wants to take a science test in their living room, crawling into tight spaces behind the media center to run wires and spending hours on the phone with tech support pressing "1 for new customers, 2 for current customers." That's why cable and satellite companies typically roll a truck to the curb for installations, despite a cost estimated at $50 to $100 a home. Small companies have no such luxury. Many device makers are forced to partner with cable and satellite providers, incorporating their technology into the boxes those companies already have in customers' homes.

Box fatigue basically led Sling Media to sell out to satellite company EchoStar (DISH ) in September. The plan is eventually to build Sling's technology into Echostar's Dish Network boxes. The Slingbox has gained modest traction with professionals who are constantly on the go, for whom there's a certain attraction to a device that forwards TV programs to their laptop or smartphone via the Web. But here again you have that extra box to worry about, and one that's devilishly complex to set up—at one point you have to deal with opening ports on a wireless router to let the shows travel out. Company founder Blake Krikorian acknowledges most folks may be confused by the concept of shifting the time and place of media consumption. "People didn't understand where we were going when we started out as a standalone company. I'm doubly sure they have no idea where we're going to go with Echostar," he says.

Similar concerns led TiVo to explore how it can embed its features on Comcast and other cable boxes. My best guess is this fate awaits many products that offer halfway solutions—and this could be a turning point in resolving the TV-Web stalemate. Because cable companies are wired into nearly every home, they have a good chance over the next couple of years to incorporate innovative Webby technologies in their equipment, speed up broadband connections, and set standards that force others to line up behind them. They'll need to sign content deal with various partners and overcome a reluctance to spend more money to upgrade equipment. And they'll have to cede some control to the TiVos of the world.

That leaves the challenge of getting media companies comfortable about setting programming free. Google's (GOOG ) YouTube terrified them by showing how an independent site could usurp their gatekeeper role and siphon ad revenues. But it's possible that as Google methodically extends its Web-search expertise to all manner of screens—computer, TV, phones—it could help media companies adjust to the new world.

The media giants recently took a step in that direction with Hulu, a Web site launched by NBC Universal and News Corp. (NWS ) Hulu is the networks' attempt to monetize their shows on the Internet. It offers TV shows and movies for free, with commercials online. The companies get their money, and I, the consumer, get control, or some of it. Much of Hulu's programs ultimately will wind up on sites such as Yahoo! (YHOO ) and MySpace. But to protect their DVD income, the networks have placed a big limitation on the service: You can't watch it on TV, only a computer.And you can't record the shows. They are streamed off Hulu servers each time you watch and can't be stripped of ads unless you buy a copy. Prime-time hits disappear from that season's selection after five weeks.

Will it work? I completed my journey fittingly, testing Hulu on my home computer screen. I was skeptical. Techies like me assume that anything put together by a committee of desperate Old Media dinosaurs is doomed (Hulu is derided on tech blogs as "Clown Co."). I'll admit, though, that after spending some time on the beta site I was impressed. The morning after the latest episode of The Office was broadcast on NBC TV, it was on Hulu, with a quarter of the ads. The site offers the biggest collection of premium content on the Web so far and is adding older titles daily. You can e-mail a clip to a friend or upload it to a Facebook or MySpace page. After watching one Office episode from a previous season, I clicked on a link that took me to Amazon to buy it for $1.99—a download that I could even send to my TiVo to watch on the big screen. "What works for consumers is that which removes the most friction," says Hulu CEO Jason Kilar. "The technology needs to be so good that it blends into the background, and nobody notices it."

All well and good, but let's cut to the chase: Can I get White Heat? Alas, there is no happy ending. Only few movies are available on Hulu, and you probably can guess why: The Cagney flick is distributed by Warner Bros., one of the studios that has not struck a content deal with Hulu. Of course, even if it did, I would have to watch Jimmy's big exit on my laptop.

Foiled again. Looks like my search for iTV continues.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007


Television tale

Title Annotation:
Jun 12, 2006
Los Angeles Business Journal
ISSN:0194-2603 100 - 731

Like its brick and mortar retail counterparts often do, luxury television shopping company USN Corp. is mixing up its assortment to draw customers. It's looking for eyeballs, not foot traffic, however. The company, which broadcasts Ultimate Shopping Network to 30 million households on DirecTV, the Dish Network and other outlets, is adding to its core of jewelry, collectibles and watches. USN has tried out women's accessories--it has sold 20,000 Channel sunglasses at $149--and is expecting to strengthen its health and beauty offerings. Michael Reinstein, co-founder of the Century City-based company, said such a product mix could help the network broaden its audience from upscale luxury shoppers to the masses. The company is also encouraging this shift by lowering prices; its average ticket now is around $400, down from $1,100 in its early days. The company was established three years ago and began to be publicly traded on the Over-The-Counter Bulletin Board last year. But television shoppers aren't the only customers USN has to attract. Reinstein said cable companies are scanning its products to see if they're suitable material for broadcasts. Since its founding, the company has gone from broadcasting nine hours on the weekends to providing live feeds all day, everyday. "Certain cable companies want to see that you have a lot of depth of product in order to get carriage on their platforms," he said. "The more variety that we have, the more appeal we have to cable companies."

Staff reporter Rachel Brown can be reached at or by phone at (323) 549-5225, ext. 224.

Copyright 2006, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

Monday, April 9, 2007

Interactive Televison- MultiChannel News April 2005

Cable’s Shopping Frenzy
TV Marketing Outlets Cater to Shopoholics In a Variety of Ways
By Michael Grebb 4/25/2005

Sidebars:Can ITV Add Gold to TV’s Shopping Binge?
In 1977, broadcast pioneer Lowell “Bud” Paxson was chasing down a few advertisers who hadn’t paid for spots they purchased on his small Clearwater, Fla., radio station. One debtor offered 112 electric can openers in lieu of cash. Paxson accepted and promptly sold them all over the air for $10 a pop. But it turns out the gadgets opened a whole lot more than cans; they uncovered a new industry.
Paxson started selling products on the radio every week, and in 1985 he debuted a national TV service, the Home Shopping Network. In 2004, the network, now known as HSN, posted $2.4 billion in revenues and boasts a core audience of about 5 million viewers. Its largest rival, QVC, which launched in 1986, reels in annual revenues of $5.7 billion, eclipsing even some broadcast networks.
Those two answers to shopoholic dreams have been joined by a bevy of other services such as ShopAtHome, ShopNBC, Ultimate Shopping Network and Worldwide Shopping Source. Specialty channels like Jewelry Television and Gem Shopping Network have added sparkle to the mix. EchoStar Communications Corp.’s Dish Network in February struck a deal with The Sharper Image retail chain to bring an interactive home-shopping channel to its lineup using OpenTV middleware.
The increasingly crowded home-shopping field hasn’t exactly struck fear into the hearts of HSN and QVC. But the competition has pushed them to improve their presentations in recent years. “It’s not the same production it was five years ago,” says John McDevitt, HSN vice president of finance. “It’s a sharp, good viewer experience.” From his point of view, “Whether you have two viewers or 2 million viewers, you still have the same production costs.”
But you certainly don’t have the same degree of customer-service logistics. In 2004, QVC shipped about 106 million items to more than 7 million Americans. It processed 160 million phone calls. Al Ulozas, QVC’s senior vice president of affiliate sales and marketing, says 93% of QVC’s business comes from repeat customers.
Despite the market power of HSN and QVC, other home-shopping channels continue to gain carriage and assert themselves. E.W. Scripps Co.-owned ShopAtHome, for example, targets a younger demographic. “While the other networks are very successful, [their] audiences tend to skew old, and they’re not attracting new audiences,” claims the network’s president Judy Girard. Adam Rockmore, ShopAtHome senior vice president of marketing and interactive commerce, says a younger audience also allows the channel to integrate Web offerings with more success. Says Girard: “We have an audience already engaged in the category.”
But even with the Internet’s prevalence, most home-shopping networks report that 80% to 90% of their customers still use the phone to place orders. Online orders, however, are increasing, and the ratio between Web and phone transactions is likely to even out in coming years, says ShopAtHome’s Rockmore.
As that happens, home-shopping channels may find themselves in even greater competition with online retailers ranging from to tiny mom-and-pop outlets. “It is a peril for the industry,” says Michael Reinstein, co-founder of Ultimate Shopping Network, which launched in May 2003 to target high-end customers (some of whom spend more than $100,000 per year buying products on USN). He says many branded products are readily available through multiple Web retailers — often at bargain-basement prices. So as more home-shopping sales migrate to the Web, consumers will demand lower prices that can only be satisfied by retailers able to handle large volumes. “It’s going to squeeze out the little guys,” he says.
Some Web retailers are adding video presentations to sell products, which could eventually put them in direct competition with the shopping networks. “As soon as you get into video production, then you’re in our business,” says Shop- NBC president and CEO Will Lansing. “But you need the skills to present those products. It’s not something that comes easy.” Lansing says the Web will continue growing in importance for home-shopping networks. “The No. 1 biggest change is the Web,” he says. “Besides the convenience of ordering and increasing the relationship building, it frees the customer from the serial nature of television.”
To be sure, some home-shopping channels are more focused on the Web and new technologies than others. The Internet age hasn’t slowed down Jewelry Television (formerly America’s Collectible Network). Its revenues have exploded from $5.3 million in 1997 to $327 million in 2004 — even though only 10% of its mostly 45-and-older audience buys anything through its Web site.
Harris Bagley, Jewelry Television’s executive vice president of distribution, says older audiences can be “a little fearful of new technologies.” Just the same, Bagley says he’s watching closely the industry’s forays into Web integration and even interactive TV.
One recent example of new technology at play is HSN’s deal with interactive software firm GoldPocket Interactive (see story below). In March, HSN agreed to use GoldPocket’s software to allow any viewer with an addressable digital set-top box to buy the item being displayed live on HSN (as well as the two items immediately preceding it) through their remote control.
HSN hopes to offer more than just a TV version of the Web. “You have to build the application for the medium it’s in,” says McDevitt. “We have a great Web site, but I wouldn’t want to shop on it with my remote control from 10 feet away.”
HSN demonstrated the new system at the National Show and hopes consumers will appreciate its simplicity and ease of use (all credit-card and address information is pre-cached). “It’s got to be that instant gratification,” says HSN director of technology Gerard Johnson. Says McDevitt: “We think it’s a training thing for interactive TV. You can really get people educated about it.”
QVC, meanwhile, has enjoyed “strong acceptance” with its proprietary buy-button technology, dubbed “QVC Active,” in the United Kingdom, says QVC’s Ulozas. “In the U.S., we’re just beginning to explore what the digital future will look like,” he says. Though the network hasn’t revealed its specific interactive plans, Ulozas says they will leverage the network’s strengths. “While QVC’s business is built on technology, our culture and brand identity is very human,” he says.
Of course, that human element can also present potential conundrums that have been on the minds of home-shopping executives since talk of ITV became all the rage a decade ago.
“There’s a danger of making this too easy, where people can just click, click and click and then have buyer’s remorse, and they send a lot of things back,” says Philip Swann, president and CEO of research firm TVPredictions. “It’s something these guys have to be mindful of. They’re giddy with the prospect of the potential, but they understand if they go too far with this stuff, people are liable to say, 'Oh, I’ve had enough.’ ” But Swann says the home-shopping industry is well positioned. “With the shopping channels, it’s the perfect meeting of the minds,” he says. “It’s a natural. It’s a very interesting test case for ITV.”
Of course, interactive home shopping could actually take many forms that go beyond the simple migration of customer orders from the phone to the remote control. “The biggest trend in this area is the merging of traditional home shopping and entertainment,” says Scott Stawski, vice president of the media and telecommunications practice at consulting firm Inforte Corp. “Product placement embedded in broadcasts is already becoming very important. In the age of interactivity, that product placement is going to turn into e-commerce.”
Indeed, object-tracking technology could allow viewers to buy any product present in the shot. As a result, Stawski says traditional TV shows “will start infringing on 24-hour home shopping, but somewhere down the road, those trends are going to merge.”
Adds Reinstein: “People like us are going to partner with entertainment companies to embed commerce in entertainment.”
The biggest wildcard may be consumers themselves. “The technology is not the hard part,” says ShopNBC’s Lansing. Rather, it’s getting people to use it.

Can ITV Add Gold to TV’s Shopping Binge?
Scott Newnam is manic and loving it. As he speaks, his arms gesture in controlled but slightly wild bursts that convey a giddy sense of passion. Or perhaps urgency. The CEO of GoldPocket Interactive has little time to relax these days, even as he tries to catch a breather in a conference room on the floor of the National Show. In March, home-shopping network HSN inked a deal with GoldPocket to bring its interactive software to millions of homes.
Not only is home shopping a seemingly logical fit for interactive TV, but Newnam hopes that HSN, along with the more than dozen other cable networks that already use GoldPocket’s software, will explode exponentially. Newnam is so sure, he has spent the last few years acquiring other interactive software companies in an effort to create one cohesive product. With cable operators finishing digital upgrades, he insists that the window of opportunity has arrived. “It’s finally happening after all of these years,” he says, leaning back in his seat confidently.
It’s fitting that GoldPocket is based in Los Angeles, the undisputed entertainment and pitch-meeting capital of the world. To be sure, Newnam sells GoldPocket’s software suite as if he were pitching the next big Hollywood blockbuster. And while ITV has a checkered history of flops, he projects optimism that 2005 is the year interactivity becomes a runaway hit — even if it gets its sea legs in the home-shopping space.
But while some in the advertising community express concern about the ad-skipping features of digital video recorders, Newnam says fear not: Technology will provide. “The advertising side is very hot,” he says. “It’s not going away. It’s just moving. You’ve got billions of dollars floating around trying to find a home.”
Home can be a strange place. In the fall, GoldPocket plans to introduce object-tracking technology that will allow TV production houses to encode portions of any video so that viewers can tag an object — say, that must-have sweater on Jennifer Aniston — and then let people buy it using their remote controls.
Such ideas have been bouncing around for years with plenty of skeptics rolling their eyes. But Newnam just seems to … believe. “We’re going to shock the market when we unveil it,” he says. “Everyone who says TV is lean-back doesn’t have kids and doesn’t know what’s going on in the world.” Ironically enough, Newnam makes this point as he leans back in his chair. Confidently.

Michael Reinstein, Managing Director of The Archetype Group joins the board of Global Sourcing Firm TTI

Los Angeles, California, April 9, 2007 (PrimeWire) --

Michael Reinstein, the Managing Director of Los Angeles based private equity firm The Archetype Group, and an internationally recognized expert on new media and technology, has recently joined the Board of Directors of closely held global sourcing and distribution company TTI.
“I am honored to have been asked to join the board of TTI at this crucial time in its history. The company has been a real innovator in leveraging relationships with manufacturers and suppliers in developing countries to bring affordable quality products to its retail partners”. Michael Reinstein said.
Mr. Reinstein will serve on the board for a three year term beginning on April 15, 2007.
About TTI
TTI is one of the leading vertically integrated global sourcing companies in the world. The Company was established in 1985 and has been a dominant force in bringing innovative consumer products to the world’s top retailers. TTI has offices in Los Angeles, Hong Kong and the Netherlands.
About The Archetype Group
The Archetype Group, founded by Los Angeles based media entrepreneurs Michael Reinstein and Brian Kelly is a private equity firm dedicated to investing in technology, media and consumer oriented businesses around the globe. The firm has offices in Los Angeles and London.

Sunday, April 1, 2007

Charity Brief- USA for UNHCR

I have been really impressed by the work done by USA for UNHCR, a charity established by concerned American citizens. USA for UNHCR builds support in the United States for the humanitarian work of the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR). Their mission is to inform Americans about the plight of refugees and advocate for their protection. The charity wants to give individual Americans, frustrated by the growing refugee crisis and their own inability to do something to help, a way to put action behind their words. UNHCR provides protection, shelter, emergency food, water, medical care and other life-saving assistance to over 19 million people worldwide, who have been forced to flee their homes due to war and persecution. Since its formation in 1950, UNHCR has helped an estimated 50 million refugees restart their lives.

1775 K Street, NW
Suite 290
Washington, DC 20006
tel: (800) 770-1100
fax: (202) 296-1081

Contact Email
Visit Web Site

Charity Brief- Volunteers of America

Founded in 1896 by social reformers Ballington and Maud Booth, Volunteers of America is a national, spiritually based organization providing local human service programs and opportunities for individual and community involvement. From rural America to inner-city neighborhoods, Volunteers of America provides outreach programs that deal with today's most pressing social needs. Volunteers of America helps youths at risk, frail elderly, abused and neglected children, people with disabilities, homeless individuals and many others. Now in its second century of service, Volunteers of America is one of the nation's largest and most comprehensive human services organizations, touching the lives of nearly 1.8 million people each year in communities across the United States.

Volunteers of America
National Office
1660 Duke Street
Alexandria, VA 22314
tel: (800) 899-0089
fax: (703) 341-7000

Contact Email
Visit Web Site

Internet Protocol Television- A New Paradigm

Internet protocol television, or IPTV, uses a two-way digital broadcast signal that is sent through a switched telephone or cable network by way of a broadband connection, along with a set top box programmed with software that can handle viewer requests to access media sources. A television is connected to the set top box that handles the task of decoding the IP video and converts it into standard television signals. The Switched Video Service (SVS) system allows viewers to access broadcast network channels, subscription services, and movies on demand. *

* [Source: IPTV News]