Friday, August 31, 2007

TV, Radio, Newspapers = 0 Internet= 3 My how the times have changed!

If you’ve been following the COS MySpace blogs you won’t be shocked by any of this. Internet is THE place to be if you’re advertising. More and more people are turning to the internet for news, weather, sports and entertainment than ever before.

In this article on Media Daily News they discuss the statistics and reasons behind the phenomenon that isn’t just revolutionizing communication and entertainment delivery systems, but establishing it as the newly accepted “norm”. Media Daily News also reported that Newspapers have gotten the “Red Alert” with realizations that, “"the proliferation of emerging media" is giving "advertisers many new alternatives for reaching their fragmenting audience bases."

Is TV next to feel the bite of a very hungry internet appetite? According to a recent study done by IBM the answer is yes. Another recent article looks closely into the trend and talks about exactly who is or isn’t watching TV now . This article asked a very interesting question about whether or not traditional TV viewers are really your target audience. Therein lies the part of the reason that eventually internet will become more popular than TV for advertisers. People may still watch TV, but you don’t know who is watching. The measurements are hard, or perhaps faulty, in gleaning a real life look at who is watching. But, with internet you can be more target specific and you can interact with the audience, thus giving you more insight to not only the “who” but the “why” someone is interested in a subject, show or game online.

Reader’s Entertainment TV is a perfect example of target-specific audience. Because the site specializes in books, authors, literacy, reading and shows that include those themes, you can bet that people who purchase books go there. So, why aren’t more authors or publishers rushing to purchase ad space there? Why is it that more non-industry companies are interested in this site?

Part of it has to do with the fact that the publishing industry is notoriously slow in responding to new trends and technology. Instead of getting in on the ground floor to help grow a site that brings book buyers to one place, publishers sit back and watch to see if enough people will come on their own and make it worth their while to be there. It’s this kind of passive non-support that is hurting the overall industry. Unless someone in the industry steps up to the plate, the site will start to show ads for cold cream and sanitary napkins since the site is primarily visited by women. And a chance to promote to book buyers will go to other types of products.

Some publishers are trying to start their own version of REC TV. They then play videos and discuss books that are specific to their company. It gives them control of the content. But, because it is the company’s products, it comes across as very commercial and people know they’re being sold something. People aren’t going to go there for entertainment when it is really just cleverly disguised ads.

REC TV promotes itself as an entertainment portal. Like MTV, you’re given video meant to entertain that also happens to help sell books. But, it’s the original shows that are brining in viewers that aren’t traditionally readers. These are the people the book industry should be romancing. These are potential readers who are looking at books in a new light. REC TVs The Lonesome Losers has been hot on the internet. It has been featured on major social sites, comedy sites and featured in talk shows. Yet, publishers aren’t interested in sponsoring the show and REC TV producers are now turning to non-industry companies to get the $5000 it will take to make the next season of The Lonesome Losers. And with equally popular online original shows raking in more than $50,000 for sponsorship, there’s no doubt that The Lonesome Losers will get picked up. It’s just a shame that the publishing industry isn’t willing to support shows that bring in new readers.

Where The Lonesome Losers are bringing in a younger crowd due to its SNL-like brand of humor as well as bringing in men ages 18-34, the book trailers and author interviews appeal more to women of all ages. The site is primed to show people that reading is an exciting form of entertainment, but the support from the industry is sad to say the least.

New shows and new sponsor opportunities are coming to REC TV, but whether or not the publishing industry will support it is yet to be seen.

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Publishers following COS trends

Without a doubt Circle of Seven Productions is the trend setter for book video creation and marketing. COS has been making book trailers since 2002, but started to revolutionize the trend in 2004 when they made a deal with a major movie theater chain and started showing book video in movie theaters.
A year later Harlequin decided to give it a try with a video by Heather Graham. And, today HarperCollins is determined to see if they can utilize movie theaters with the same effectiveness COS has experieneced. You can see the video HarperCollins made - HERE.

The COS Newsletter has many publishers, booksellers and competitors subscribed to it. Often, information newly released by COS is found later in blogs, competitor newsletters or as publisher's press releases as they utilize COS marketing ideas.

So, the question is - What's next?

After COS announced an online tv station for readers last year others found the idea to have merit. Simon and Schuster announced recently that they have started their own online site for book video called

Not only have publishers found book videos to be a great way to engage readers and entice them to buy, but booksellers have embraced the new age of video with Borders now offering book video in their newsletters, on their main Borders Media site and a special page just for romance. Barnes and Noble have their Meet The Writers program and are also taking book trailers to enhance their reader's buying experince as seen on these pages-

Safe Harbor
Lord of the Fading Lands
And many, many more.

Authors are creating their own tv players for their site like Douglas Clegg and Cheryl Holt

Reader's Entertainment TV has lead the way into a new trend to bring readers more dynamic material online. But, there's more!

In 2006 COS worked with author Christine Feehan to start offering online games associated with books. The FOG (Feehan Online Game) attracted over 10,000 people who played the video game all the way through and received a screensaver as a prize!

The future of online marketing both with video and with other opportunities continues to be a main focus for COS Productions. Leading an industry into a new era of opportunity using video and online endeavors, new ideas and creative media is a staple for COS, and having industry giants follow that lead is a sure sign of success.