It’s July. It’s hot. It must be time for CTAM Summit. But wait! The marketing association took mercy on us and moved its big conference to Nov 9-11 in Boston. Still, some may feel like something’s missing. July with no Summit? So, CTAM held a free Webcast Tues to tease us with new research. On the HD front, it was good to see that 45% of those surveyed in CTAM’s Co-Op study said they make it a point to watch HD programs most of the time. The bad news? Of the 35% of respondents with HDTVs, only 41% subscribed to HD programming. CTAM also looked at how VOD usage has increased, with viewing of paid content climbing to 55% last year from 46% in ’05. Viewing of free content jumped to 71% from 49% during that period. During the Webcast, CTAM chief Char Beales asked the panel of marketers/Summit speakers present if the VOD numbers were high enough. Consultant Lee Hunt said the much needed answer is improved search navigation, while Discovery vp, digital media distribution Rebecca Glashow talked up the importance of combining VOD with linear and doing it consistently so viewers will return to both platforms. One especially startling finding from the study: 68% of adults say they’d rather have a TV than the Internet, but only 34% of kids made the same choice. That stat led Hunt to muse that he worries about the day when kids want to get all their programming from video game consoles. "How does a Cablevision box or a Time Warner box compete with the coolness of an Xbox or Playstation?" he asked. But Glashow said the fragmented environment of the Internet would make it hard for someone using a game console to figure out what they want to watch. The CTAM study found that DVR ownership was up 11% to 33% in ’07 from ’05, leading to yet another discussion on how advertisers cope with the device. Hunt pointed to research suggesting that people who fast-forward through commercial breaks can actually recall a lot of the commercials. "It sort of makes sense. When you’re fast-forwarding through a break, you’re leaning in and paying a lot of attention," he said. Another DVR solution is to make your spots creative and entertaining, said Jonathan Hargis, Cablevision svp, marketing & advertising, pointing to a CVC triple-play commercial that’s netted thousands of views on YouTube. — Meanwhile, CTAM on Tues announced that Cammie Dunaway, evp, sales & marketing at Nintendo, will be a keynote at the Summit.

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