Frame Rate 124

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Frame Rate
Episode 124

Frame Rate 124:


Intro Video

The Big Story

Another Big Story

Yet Another Big Story

Slip Stream

Tube Tops

Film Falm

Summer Movie Draft

What We're Watching


I recently got ""gamed"" into a Netflix UK subscription after watching House of Cards and realising the rest of the service is actually really good.

Now my 8 year old son has discovered the benefits of Netflix and I've enabled the parental controls. But Netflix, as with so many services aimed at multiple age groups, we have a half-hearted solution that inconveniences the adult enough to turn off the parental controls.

First off, my recently watched list and suggestion are now full of kids shows, even though I'm not in the Just For Kids view.

Second, the setting means that I can't watch anything aimed at adults without logging onto my account via the website and turning off the parental controls! This means if I'm watching House of Cards on the iPad, my son can watch anything unsuitable on the PS3.

Finally, if I happen to pause a horror film at a gross moment and exit the app, then my son could see this freeze framed in the recently watched list, even when parental controls are turned on again.

So my question is, why can't companies like Apple, Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo get parental controls right? They're always an after thought and almost always a pain in the arse.

What companies do parental controls right?

Great show!


I wanted to throw in a few thoughts in regards to your discussions about the NewFronts. I made it to a few of them myself. Personally, I found them to be more about the glitz and glamour than actual substance. There wasn't anything there that couldn't have easily been conveyed in a press release or a standard rep meeting (with digital, we regularly have publishers come in to talk about their offerings as opposed to TV's once a year star-studded galas). As you had mentioned, NewFronts is more about trying to look (and speak) like TV.

I think it's important to understand that not all video is equal. While Hulu, YouTube, AOL, Yahoo, Alloy, etc. all focused on their video content and video advertising opportunities, they all represented very different products and approaches to video. It's not that each of these properties is looking to position itself as a ""HBO"" or ""Lifetime,"" but given their varied roots and current market positions, the video products that are coming out will naturally branch out in very different shapes and directions.

Hulu follows the traditional television approach the closest, which, being run by the TV networks, makes complete sense. Their pitch followed the standard TV-like big show pitches and the bells and whistles of celebrity guests. Offerings include standard spots as well as bigger ""sponsorships"" for pretty much every demo. Hulu made it clear: Hulu is the next step in the television experience. The big question is, are the new shows enough to warrant the high CPMs or is Hulu still an afterthought, especially with TV advertisers?

YouTube, on the other hand, took a step back from its previous position. Last year it came in with guns blazing. With so much hype and the undisputed top destination for online video, YouTube had thought itself as the next stage of evolution in video. From the looks of it though, things might not have panned out as planned. Some content partners took off while others faltered. Even for those who did, they still haven't broken through the wall with traditional (or less digital-savvy) advertisers (I still had several digital advertisers still asking me to explain what Machinima was). Furthermore, several ad products didn't perform to expectations or were found to be too pricey. So while this year YouTube led with its reach numbers, it also took to the point that it was not television. YouTube felt more like a digital platform again, primed for efficient and massive reach. Past the big headline items were improvements and updates across all their products (in pricing, reach, availability across devices, etc.) that were just as important to advertisers.

Yahoo and AOL are in a trickier spot. While Hulu and YouTube are known as video destinations, Yahoo and AOL come in first as portals and ad-networks - vehicles to provide high reach (usually against a slightly older demographic) with efficient CPMs. Unless they're planning to make a massive shift in their identity, their video products strike me more as an added offering for additional digital dollars in a standard buy, especially since ""premium video"" is now the new black. I don't see it necessarily taking away from TV dollars as it is rounding itself out for the standard digital buy.

It is a bit funny to see how these digital publishers are all trying to replicate a TV upfront-like pitch with the same formula - invite tons of advertisers to a big hall, hire a celebrity host, headline top show with major A/B-list talent, mention additional shows that cover other demos. In all seriousness though, we're seeing moves to video across all digital properties, not just with the big names on top. Whether it's a response to banner ad fatigue (dropping CTRs/IRs), a way to charge higher CPMs, or just the natural evolution of online advertising, traditional websites are all looking to develop video content that allows for both standard pre-roll as well as in-video integration and sponsorships. Distribution is still being worked out as well - do sites put their own videos on their own site, on YouTube, or on mobile and console (Xbox) apps? Will there ever be a way to measure or hold standards across so many different platforms? We talk a lot about how much television needs to change, but there's just as much pressure for traditional web as well. We're at the start of some major changes across all media, but there's still a long way to go.



Spoiler Zone


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