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August 30 2012


Mobile Web Use Spikes When Prime Time TV Ads Air

By now it’s not surprising that huge numbers of people use their smartphones while watching TV in primetime. But when exactly? A new study finds that “people put their phones down at the top of the hour, when new shows start. And as soon as ads come on, they pick up their gadgets again.”

via AllThingsD.

August 10 2012


Celebrities and athletes drive Olympics social media chatter

Bluefin Labs has been tracking social-media response to ads running during the Olympics and found that the brands that resonated the most had a lot in common. ”With the exception of Nike,” says Bluefin’s Mike Guigli, “there is one similarity among the Top 10 gainers: They all use celebrities or popular Olympic athletes to deliver their messages. For example, the top two, Budweiser and Visa, have two very well-known celebrities narrate their commercials — Jay-Z and Morgan Freeman, respectively.”

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February 04 2012


Make Every Ad Perform Like a Super Bowl Ad

If you are curious how social media analytics firms are helping brands, Networked Insights, a social media analytics and marketing start-up, has published a free report, tied to the Super Bowl, on how you can use  real-time social data to understand your audiences and deliver them relevant content....

June 14 2011


What the next New York Times editor learned about the Web

Incoming New York Times Executive Editor Jill Abramson spent six months recently focusing on the online operations. During that time, she tells AdAge, she learned a number of things — such as the Web staff was not as integrated as it should be, the online competitive landscape is greater than she realized, and The Times needs to be more competitive online in the early mornings.

She said:

One thing I tried during the six months was to only read online. As I read more and more early in the morning I felt like everyone else was playing to win the morning, and we weren’t enough. Many sites, whether Politico or Bloomberg or another site, by like 6:30 in the morning were full of fresh stories. If breaking news had happened overnight, we covered it, but basically early in the morning we were an echo on the web of the six stories that were on the front of the print paper.

I think that in order to have an integrated newsroom, all the people who work on the news report have to feel that they have a real career track here. I think for our digital employees, especially web producers and some of the web editors, they felt like they loved their work but where were they going to go? They’d never covered cops for metro, that sort of thing. In the end my plan for the newsroom was that we dispersed the web producers and web editors and put them on the desks, so web producers that were working on business news now work for Larry Ingrassia, the business editor, after they had worked for a web editor.

Part of what I did was I went and visited a lot. Bill Keller came up with a great word — neo-competitors. That’s what he thinks sites like Politico and Huffington Post are. I went and spent a day at some of those. I guess it shouldn’t have been surprising but the largeness of the competitive field came to surprise me.

Our night note, the competition report which has been put out forever, would only mention what was on the front page of the Washington Post, maybe something from the Journal’s website, but never any mention of a Politico or a HuffPost or a Bloomberg. That has changed.


May 05 2011


What media sites can learn from the airline industry

What if media organizations could upsell their audience on a better customer experience, the same way airlines charge more for Business class? Oliver Reichenstein, from the design agency Information Architects, proposes that news sites should do just that, rather than focus primarily on pay walls and charging for information. In other words, what he means is that they should try upsell their readers to a better experience, not to more or better information.

Reading news online feels like flying Economy. Loud distracting banners, cheap stock picture material, sloppy typography, a lot of useless comment noise, machine generated reading tips, no human service, and a claustrophobic information design make the reading experience a torture….

To be clear: content pay walls are not what we are suggesting. Remember, whether you fly Economy or Business: the result is the same (you travel from a to b), and only the experience differs. And likewise Business Class and Economy class seats on news sites should deliver the same content.

The idea of creating a business class for online news where is not about buying information, but buying better experience, it’s about service and customer experience.


May 02 2011


SB Nation’s ambitious plans go beyond sports

CEO Jim Bankoff says SB Nation is aiming to be a “great media company” in various content verticals, he tells Beet.TV in this interview. The site has made its first big content move outside of sports with the hiring of several former Engadget staffers to launch a new technology vertical, and is setting up a new office in NYC.

February 15 2011


Just how valuable is the first result in Google?

A study by by Daniel Ruby of Chitika, an online advertising network of 100,000 sites, found that, on average, 34 percent of Google’s traffic went to the No. 1 result, about twice the percentage that went to No. 2., The New York Times reports.

September 27 2010


New Ad Tech Ecosystem Map

Terence Kawaja of LUMA Partners has published a revised version of his ubiquitous display ad tech landscape chart. You can download it here.

He tells AdExchanger.com:

A few things to bear in mind. This chart is far from perfect. Organization of such a fragmented and dynamic industry is flawed by its very nature. Many companies operate across several categories and there are distinctions within categories. This chart does not include many of the search players which are increasingly overlapping with display nor does it reflect whole categories such as lead generation and ecommerce which likewise utilize display advertising in their funnel, not to mention international companies which are barely reflected. At some point in the future I may construct an uber landscape which captures these and other players.

June 18 2010


Mobile search growing faster than ad spending

Some good and bad news on the mobile search front: Mobile search traffic is growing substantially, but so far mobile ad spending is remaining a small slice of the overall search ad market, according to a new report by RBC Capital Markets.

The study by RBC Capital Markets says mobile searches represent 8% to 10% of overall search queries in 2010 but less than 2% of paid search spend, MediaPost reports. RBC Capital says mobile searches will quadruple in the next three years, but the mobile ad market will remain rather small for Google, only reaching $2-$3 billion in the next few years.

One promising sign is that mobile search ads drive three to five times higher click-through rates. Still, because of the smaller screen real estate, the average mobile search shows only 1.1 paid search result, compared to 9.2 search ads per query on a desktop screen. That indicates mobile search might never fully close the gap between mobile’s share of overall search queries and its share of search advertising.

TechCrunch believes the report is a bit optimistic on the ad revenue front, and has more detailed analysis of the report.

June 11 2010


Digital-first strategy helps drive Atlantic’s turnaround

A multi-platform overhaul of The Atlantic starting in 2007 has put the brand back on track to profitability, says Atlantic Media president Justin Smith. In part, he credits a digital-first strategy, reports Folio.

He stressed that print is not dead, but taking this approach allowed the company to unlock its grip on traditional revenue sources. Importantly, the Web site’s overhaul was set up as an insurgency on the print brand. “If our mission was to kill the magazine, what would we do?” said Smith, who added that a digital competitor was going to do that anyway, so they did it themselves.

For the year 2010, Smith is projecting that digital will account for 39 percent of the brand’s revenue.

June 10 2010


How Americans use web for community news

Americans are increasingly using internet tools to keep informed about what is happening in their communities, according to a new report from the Pew Internet and American Life Project.

Among the findings:

  • 22% of all adults (representing 28% of internet users) signed up to receive alerts about local issues (such as traffic, school events, weather warnings or crime alerts) via email or text messaging.
  • 20% of all adults (27% of internet users) used digital tools to talk to their neighbors and keep informed about community issues.
  • Fourteen percent (14%) of internet users – or 11% of all American adults –  read a blog dealing with community issues in the twelve months preceding the survey
  • Nearly one in ten social network users (8%) joined an online group focused on community issues in the preceding twelve months—that works out to 5% of all internet users and 4% of all American adults.
  • Among adults who use Twitter or other status update services, 14% use these sites to follow their neighbors—that works out to 3% of all internet users and 2% of all American adults.

May 25 2010


Startup to launch Associated Press competitor

Publish2 today announced the launch of the Publish2 News Exchange, “a platform aimed at disrupting the Associated Press monopoly over content distribution to newspapers.”

The News Exchange enables newspapers to create a comprehensive, customized newswire for print, combining content sharing networks with free and paid news sources.

“With Publish2 News Exchange, newspapers can replace the AP’s obsolete cooperative with direct content sharing and replace the AP’s commodity content with both free, high-quality content from the Web and content from any paid source,” Publish2’s blog says.

TechCrunch says Publish2 is basically trying to “Craigslist” the AP by killing the AP’s main income stream by offering an open, efficient alternative.

April 16 2010


TV stations: Using social media more, streaming newscasts less

TV newsrooms are using social media more and increasingly becoming profitable, but fewer stations are streaming entire newscasts online now, according to the new RTDNA/Hoftra University study of television, radio and online.

Some highlights from the study related to online, via Poynter’s Al Tompkins:

Use of social media

It is no surprise that TV newsrooms are covering and using social media more. But the study found that only 20 percent of TV newsrooms have a Facebook page.

The study found that newsrooms with bigger staffs are more likely to be involved with Twitter. Here’s the breakdown of how actively TV newsrooms use Twitter:

Constantly — 36 percent
Daily — 35 percent
Periodically — 16 percent
Not at all — 13 percent

TV station Web sites

Papper’s study says that while TV stations are increasingly including audio and video on their Web sites, many are cutting online features that have not proven to be attractions. For example, far fewer stations are streaming entire newscasts online now.

“It’s maturing and not growing,” Papper said. “Every year we have seen TV Web sites get more and more complex, but this year that’s changed. It looks to me like a maturing. Stations have settled in on what they are doing. This may be that the stations are saying this does not work for me, it is not worth the effort.”

The most common online elements for TV Web sites are, according to the study:

Text, stills and video — 90 percent
Blogs, live cameras and audio — 60 percent
Streaming audio, recorded newscasts — more than 30 percent

Who works on TV stations’ Web sites

Overall, 2.8 full-time staffers and 4.5 part-time staffers work on TV Web sites. This does not vary much from market to market.

An estimated 71 percent of stations surveyed say newsroom staffers help with Web-related work. This percentage has gone up every year since the survey started tracking this data, and it increased by 10 percent in the last year alone.

Nearly half of all news directors don’t know what their Web site traffic is. “You’ve got to know the metrics of what you are doing,” Papper said.

TV Web site profitability

35 percent are profitable (This number has been rising even in the Great Recession.)
7 percent are breaking even.
14 percent are losing money.
43 percent don’t know.

Papper: Radio news does not make much use of social media

Only 1 percent of radio newsrooms have a Facebook page, while 37 percent say neither the station nor the newsroom has a Facebook page.

The study also found that 73 percent of radio newsrooms do nothing on Twitter. “This is all about staff size,” Papper said. “If you had a staff of three or more, you were involved in a number of social networking things. If you did not hit that magic number you were not involved.”

Almost all radio stations have a Web site that includes news, but a surprising number do not include newscasts or news story audio on their sites. The study found that 60 percent of sites include text, 20 percent include recorded newscasts and podcasts, and just under 10 percent include news video.

April 08 2010


Internet ad revenues hit records quarterly high

The fourth quarter of 2009 hit a record quarterly high of $6.3 billion, a 2.6% increase year-over-year and a 14% increase over the third quarter of 2009, according to the IAB Internet Advertising Revenue Report for 2009.

These latest revenue figures underscore the significant share shift taking place from traditional media to digital. Based on industry data from PwC from 2005 to 2009 in five key U.S. ad-supported media (television, radio, newspapers, consumers magazines and Internet), the Internet’s share of combined ad revenue grew from 8% to 17%.

March 25 2010


Advertisers show great interest in news iPad apps

Media companies are having great luck selling their iPad applications to advertisers prelaunch, The New York Times reports.

FedEx has bought advertising space on the iPad applications from Reuters, The Wall Street Journal and Newsweek. Chase Sapphire, a credit card for the high-end market, has bought out The New York Times’s iPad advertising units for 60 days after the introduction. Advertisers including Unilever, Toyota, Korean Air and Fidelity have booked space on Time’s iPad application. In a draft press release, The Journal said a subscription to its app would cost $17.99 per month, and the first advertisers included Capital One, Buick, iShares and FedEx.

March 18 2010


Internet ad spending increased in 2009

Internet display advertising expenditures increased 7.3 percent in 2009, aided by sharply higher spending from the telecom, factory auto and travel categories, according to data released today by Kantar Media, the leading provider of strategic advertising and marketing information. Total advertising expenditures fell 12.3 percent in 2009 to $125.3 billion as compared to 2008

February 24 2010


Miami Herald ends Tip Jar progam

The Miami Herald has stopped asking for readers to donate money through its website to help support its journalism.

The paper reports: “In December 2009, the media company began providing a link for voluntary payment at the end of each online story. ‘After evaluating two months of response, we’ve decided to end the program,’ said Elissa Vanaver, a company vice president and assistant to the publisher. She would not say how much money the effort had raised.”

February 23 2010


AOL Moves to Build Tech ‘Newsroom of the Future’

While many news organizations cut, AOL is expanding its journalism. AOL has hired more than 500 full-time journalists, and uses more than 3,000 freelance contributors.

“We really want to enhance journalism with technology,” AOL CEO Tim Armstrong tells BusinessWeek in an interview. “We feel like we have a strategic window to invest in quality content.”

January 29 2010


Why the iPad could be bad for publishers

IAB’s Randall Rothenberg argues that the iPad could be bad for publishers because the proliferation of device-based walled gardens risks fragmenting audiences and “a company’s opportunity to create, sell and use advertising effectively and profitably will depend on its ability to deliver it seamlessly across multiple devices.”

“Without continuing, concerted, cross-industry commitment to managing transactional complexity in the marketing-media supply chain, the iPad and its ilk might only make publishers’ problems worse,” he says.

He offers two suggestions if ad-supported media are to survive:

  1. Device manufacturers and the proprietors of other walled gardens should work collaboratively to adopt consistent standards to allow the advertising and marketing economies to flourish.
  2. To the degree that the walled gardens create impediments to scale, publishers need to find other sources of revenue. Media companies must redouble their efforts to add marketing services to their sets of offerings.

January 17 2010


New York Times gets ready to charge online readers

The New York Times is close to announcing that the paper will begin charging for access to its website, according to New York Magazine.

After a year of sometimes fraught debate inside the paper, the choice for some time has been between a Wall Street Journal-type pay wall and the metered system adopted by the Financial Times, in which readers can sample a certain number of free articles before being asked to subscribe. The Times seems to have settled on the metered system.

One personal friend of Sulzberger said a final decision could come within days, and a senior newsroom source agreed, adding that the plan could be announced in a matter of weeks. (Apple’s tablet computer is rumored to launch on January 27, and sources speculate that Sulzberger will strike a content partnership for the new device, which could dovetail with the paid strategy.)

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