The finance sector needs to get wise to the demand for information on demand says Jim Sterne, producer of the Emetrics Summit
CBS recently announced the launch of a 24-hour digital news network as part of a major expansion of CBSNews.com. Welcome to Immedia - the shape of things to come.
People want their news right now. News organizations around the world published mobile phone photos from the London Tube after the bombings. Live video online is a forgone conclusion and news is where it makes sense to have it first. This is going to put serious pressure on the news agencies to verify their sources or to lable breaking reports as 'Unverified' just so they can publish immediately.
TV takes too long to do much more than, "We interrupt this programme to tell you that we have no details but reports are coming in that Michael Jackson has been launched and will collide with an asteroid soon. Now back to Coronation Street."
Radio has traditionally been the place for breaking news but they don't go deep. The Web can go fast and deep at the same time due to the lower cost of production. The CBS press release said the new CBSNews.com would include:
- an on-demand, 24-hour news network in the digital broadband space;
- a blog to be called "Public Eye" designed to provide greater openness and transparency into the news gathering process;
- a newly-configured homepage including The EyeBox, an on-page video player showcasing the free broadband video of CBSNews.com including over 25,000 clips - and video yet to be broadcast on the network;
- a commitment by CBS News fully to integrate its personnel and other global newsgathering resources to provide exclusive, original reporting and commentary around the clock.
Calling it a 'news blog' gives the impression that reporters can publish immediately. Interesting and inevitable, but not the end of the story. This isn't just about breaking news.
You can search the Internet for online video through Blinkx.tv, a UK site that is creating an index for keyword and conceptual searches.
This also isn't about just the news. Enid Burns recently reported for ClickZ on Nick at Night's exclusive video content and VH1's VSpot. It won't be long until new shows and old shows are available 24/7. And how about movies?
In a UK first, ISP Tiscali has teamed up with film production company Dogwoof Digital to launch the new film EMR simultaneously in cinemas, on the Internet and on DVD. Can you spell convergence?
I've avoided uttering the convergence word until now. Finally, it seems, the Internet Protocol Network of Networks is going to be the delivery medium of choice. How and where you consume it is up to you. Big screen for movies, medium screen for email and surfing, small screen for snap-shots and phone calls and calendars and no screens for music and audio.
Yes, audio - let's not forget podcasting. USA Today recently reported that, "Podcasts from ESPN, CNN, ABC News and the TV show Queer Eye are among the most popular this week on iTunes, Apple's download site." Podcasts are also working well for radio stations across the UK.
So now that broadband has finally hit the tipping point, we're going to see immediate news and permanent archived entertainment for anytime consumption. Immedia and Permedia.
What does this mean to the world of finance and financial institutions? Two things - both complex and resource intensive. First, your marketing had better become multi-media quickly. The consumer (be it the 'great unwashed' or business-to-business) is going to expect access to information in print, online and via video and there will be no difference between them. I want to see customer testimonials, product reviews, investment news, demonstrations, etc., in video that I can access from your Website.
Second, your marketing had better come with clear expiration dates. Information is no longer tossed out. Yesterday's news you say? Only good for chip paper? That's the paper. The news lives on in online archives. Your client testimonial video is still on a prospective customer's hard drive even though you and the client have had a falling out and they're moving their money.
I’ll be addressing these issues at the London Emetrics Summit in May 2006. My point is, we will have to manage the public information about our products and services in a different way from now on. Instantly (Immedia) and for the long haul (Permedia). Once again, times have changed. Jim Sterne is a consultant and speaker who focuses on measuring the value of the Web as a medium for creating and strengthening customer relationships. Sterne has written eight books on using the Internet for marketing, produces the Emetrics Summit (London 3-5 May 06) emetrics.org and is a founding director of the Web Analytics Association.