It's that time of year again, boys and girls, when all the major TV networks and all the big ad agencies come together for their annual "upfront" festouche in NYC to take a look at the new shows for the fall season and decide which ones to bet billions of ad dollars on in advance.
New York Times' advertising columnist Stuart Elliott suggests this morning that the traditional media times they are a changing, with companies like ABC slated to describe in its own upfront that TV is "just one medium among many."
ABC executive Michael Benson is quoted as saying of viewers: "They have control...and we're not going to fight that. We want to make it easy for them to get what they want, where they want, when they want."
That's what I like to hear. You'll have to pry my Time-Warner DVR remote control out of my cold, dead, commercial-skipping fingers.
But just like last year's upfront defections of major advertisers Coca-Cola and Johnson and Johnson, keep a close eye on consumer staples giant Unilever, whose annual media budget is "a half-billion-dollar-plus."
AdAge reports Unilever is "weighing options" about the upfront, sending Madison Avenue Blackberry e-mail servers into an irregular digital arrythmia with the suggestion that this year they may be a no show.
Almost Free and Open Source
Meanwhile, back at the GPL ranch, free- and open-source software is now under attack by Microsoft, according to a Fortune article published overnight. Now, as in just?
According to the account, Microsoft is now claiming that the Linux kernel violates 42 Microsoft patents, the Linux GUI 65, Open Office 45, Linux e-mail programs 15, and other various and sundry 68. 235 in all.
I won't even begin to try and summarize the long-play piece here, but if you have any interest in intellectual property issues generally and Linux in particular, read the article.
The Sound of Cubicles
And finally, before I kick my Monday workday off into full gear, if you're a telecommuter like myself and you're tired of listening to the crickets and chirping birds and whatever other nature sounds may accompany your suburban "lone eagle" telecommuting bliss, help is on its way.
TechCrunch discovered "Thriving Office," a recording of background office noises that can help you feel as though you're back squarely in the middle of cubicle-land. Either CD ($12.95) or MP3 ($5.95) are available at "Busy" and "Very Busy" levels, and are filled with "the sounds of voices, phones, computers, drawers, and more."
The Thriving Office Web site offers up its own version of the 15-second elevator pitch: "This valuable CD is filled with the sounds people expect to hear from an established company, providing instant credibility. It's fast, easy, and effective!"
Hey mom, check it out, I'm a newly-founded S Corp. with my own sound track of office noises and everything!
Sorry, really horrific Dilbert cartoon impressions by annoying colleagues and irate bosses yelling down the hall for revised PowerPoint presentations are not included.
Some restrictions may apply, including indemnification for devious thoughts of office rage and despondence after being subjected to hearing the same pencil sharpener sequence over and over and over and over and over again.