The use of digital and social media in the 2008 Presidential Election has forever changed the United States' election landscape. But how will it impact elections abroad? The U.K.'s Sky News examines the candidates' use of the Web and how it might affect campaigns across the pond.
Davis Brand Capital today released the 2012 Davis Brand Capital 25 ranking, which evaluates brand management and performance comprehensively. It is the only annual ranking of companies that demonstrate overall, balanced approaches to managing the full spectrum of brand and related intangible assets, providing an indicator of total business strength and effectiveness.
There is certainly humor to be had watching, sprawled out in the comfort of another century, the way previous generations handled – or didn’t – destabilizing changes that we now take for granted. We are now obligated to live in a culture of conversation with its simultaneous flattening of things like expert culture and its ever-expanding choice of content providers and options.
It always stops me in my tracks when a television anchor utters a phrase that somehow references the real world as separate from the world of television journalism. As in: "Well, I guess out there in the real world...." Say what? As if they forget, for a second, that the sets aren't real and the stories are. So it's probably not surprising that, in the latest CNN Opinion Research poll, 70% of the respondents answered "yes" to the question "Are the media out of touch with average Americans?"
If the Internet did not exist, would Barack Obama be President? Not according to Arianna Huffington. Here, at the Web 2.0 Summit '08, John Heilemann of New York Magazine, Arianna Huffington of The Huffington Post, Gavin Newsom, mayor of San Francisco, and Joe Trippi of Trippi and Associates talk about the current state of politics and the role the Web has played.
Last week, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg spoke at the Web 2.0 Summit '08 about Facebook Connect, the newest developments in social networking, monetizing social networking and the future of Facebook.
Tony Hsieh, CEO of Zappos.com, dishes about the Zappos brand, its number one priority (company culture), its investment in the customer experience and its plan for the future at the Web 2.0 Summit '08.
While most marketers know by now that earned is the most powerful media and they have programs in place to drive it, many have yet to realize that all earned is not created equal.
Media Guy Sees The Future and It Ain't Pretty
The proliferation of media-able devices in our households (PCs, smartphones, tablets) is leading to a division of our attention when it comes to traditional television viewing and programming.
If your company hasn’t learned to harness the power of the social media world yet, here’s one reason you should: According to Google, nearly 60 percent of people talk more online than they do in real life.
The Media Behavior Institute conducted a study last year that illustrated the great disparity in media consumption patterns between those who are in the ad industry and the general population. The differences were dramatic, particularly with respect to broadcast radio usage.
A growing number of agency media executives who grew up in digital are finding themselves overseeing the buying and planning of all media.
The YouTube One Channel, as it's called, gives users the ability to slap a big header (called Channel Art) on the top of their channels and to have a video trailer which starts playing for all visitors who aren't yet subscribed to the channel.
A new accelerator is looking for how we’re going to create and view content. What’s the future going to bring?
Digital may be the future when it comes to publishing, but the problem today is that online publishing — and advertising specifically — doesn't make enough money.
Instant feedback is confirmation that the program IS listening to their viewers. Viewers matter. Social matters -- and it’s enabling deeper, richer relationships.
Do you follow a brand in social media? Are you glad you did?
The most common question B-to-B marketers ask me is: “How do I use social media to get more leads?” And the answer is:...
Barnes & Noble has been looking to its Nook business to generate greater demand in the face of lower sales from its retail chains. But product development and marketing costs have risen, taking a bite out of the Nook's contributions.
Over the next few months, all of Hearst Digital Media‘s titles are getting a new look. The new responsive design is the more obvious change. It’s an increasingly popular strategy for companies to adapt to mobile by creating websites that rearrange themselves based on the size of the screen.
With nothing more than carefully selected images and a few poignant words the mysterious man known as Steve Okyln has the fashion world chatting, clicking, gawking, laughing and fuming. Maybe if the world knew who he was people would have a place to direct their anger, but his anonymity is clearly one of his strongest weapons.
The New York Times is opening up its office space and expertise to media startups through timeSpace. The scheme is opening up office space at the newspaper’s headquarters at 620 8th Avenue, New York City, to provide fledgling businesses with a four-month program.
Although few are talking about it, the new video app could be a perfect tool for citizen journalists, and news organizations that want access to real-time news.
With media consumption shifting to mobile platforms in an increasingly fragmented environment, media companies face the uncomfortable prospect of trading dollars for dimes, while marketers and agencies are challenged with greater complexity in reaching desired audiences. But what may appear as a dark cloud is actually full of silver linings, and those who get ahead of the curve in embracing this change can not only survive but thrive in the post-PC paradigm.
Buffeted by declining advertising, which accounted for about 75% of their revenue historically, magazines are turning to tablet computers and digital editions to boost circulation revenue. In doing so, they are hoping to reset decades of subscription discounting so deep that a year's supply of magazines like Esquire currently costs just $8.
Following The New York Times' recent success, online paywalls (particularly the metered-access kind) have been popping up on newspaper websites across the globe. In the U.S. alone, nearly half of all newspapers now have some sort of online paywall.
Much like Michael Jackson, Whitney Houston and other newsmakers before him, Lance Armstrong opted to tell his story to Oprah Winfrey. In the wake of Armstrong’s tell-all, there are three crystallized marketing insights that we can all learn from.
When Instagram joined Facebook last April, a race to crown a “Instagram for Video” revved into full throttle. With Instagram's $1 billion price tag fresh in their minds, investors rushed to fund or acquire a piece of what seemed to be the next step in the evolution of social media.
While the digital era has led to many difficulties, challenges and changes for the music industry, it also has opened opportunities for music fans to interact with their favorite acts in ways that were not possible before.
Amazon is announcing “AutoRip,” a new service that will give anyone who has ever purchased a CD on Amazon over the past 15 years a free digital copy of that album.
How can the banks seize on ongoing events – legal, economic, political – to energize recovery in a strict business sense and to reverse the inexorable tide of public acrimony?
A new TV network targeting millennials is coming next summer. The new channel comes from Participant Media, a producer of 'An Inconvenient Truth.' Participant Media, which finances and produces socially relevant films and documentaries, said Monday that is has acquired The Documentary Channel and entered into an agreement to buy the distribution assets of Halogen TV from The Inspiration Networks.
Nielsen, a leading global provider of information and insights into what consumers watch and buy, and Twitter today announced an exclusive multi-year agreement to create the “Nielsen Twitter TV Rating” for the US market.
Many publishers are finding clever ways to use social media to expand the reach of their ad programs or to make their paid products more appealing.
644 million people worldwide accessed online newspaper sites in October 2012, making up 42.6% of the total internet population. Mail Online was the most popular online newspaper, attracting more than 50 million unique visitors during the month.
As social newsfeeds become ever more cluttered, the attention span of the social audience is becoming shorter, prompting brands to enact new strategies to effectively engage their audiences in meaningful ways that will keep attention.
Sixty-three percent of video streaming on mobile phones happens when folks are in their homes, per research from the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB). And according to the IAB, mobile videos are watched during primetime television hours more than any other time of the day.
Lots of companies have committed, recasting stories through platforms that look more like digital magazines than traditional websites, and more. While all the attention may give it the luster of a fad today, brand content is nothing new.
Rick Marazzani believes readers should be able to share and discover e-books through their friends' personal libraries just like they do with print books. That's why he built Ownshelf. Ownshelf, a free web service that launched in beta Friday, provides readers with a cloud storage platform to share e-books with friends and family.
Most other newspapers in the country, including the New York Times and Gannett Co.'s local papers, have introduced paywalls in the past year or so, generating increased circulation revenues that offset print advertising losses. But among major newspapers, the Post has stood almost alone in its decision to keep its website free.
NDN has grown because online publishers can’t get enough video content (and the ad dollars that come with it). The company's selling point is that it provides the platform and video content and sells the advertising at no cost to its partner publishers—while giving content creators wider distribution for their video content.
They’ve hit a market ‘reach’ of 180 million users a month across mobile and web platforms and re-vamped the site with the ‘Next’ version after testing out their open Beta for several months.
News Corp. is shutting down The Daily, its ambitious daily newspaper for the tablet market, after two years.
We are creating a new market and ecosystem of personal preferences and patterns of influence. We are creating an exponential amount of data – 3.2bn likes and comments per day, over 400m tweets per day, and rapidly being joined by Pins and Cinema.grams.
With the newsroom housed 24 floors below, the seven-year-old R&D Lab acts as a tech startup of sorts inside the New York Times Co., home of the 161-year-old, self-styled newspaper of record. With 20 staffers, the lab’s mix of crazy smart technologists, programmers, designers and business brains are charged with the Sisyphean task of developing tech innovations and new business models to help the struggling Times weather an uncertain future following five consecutive years of falling revenue and net losses totaling more than $300 million over seven years.
Forget about the clicks and check-ins so commonly associated with what many marketers call the "second screen" experience, which typically involves use of a tablet or smartphone while the user watches anything from "The Voice" to "Hoarders." Marketers are starting to use the medium with more in mind than just sparking idle talk.
Social media allow like-minded people to coalesce, and have increased the ability of companies to tap into their customers’ humanity. But there’s a twist: while companies want to use social media to tap into this and because it does a lot of their outreach for them, it also requires something more of the companies that enter the social space.
Boston.com has begun offering advertisers the chance to write their own blog posts, joining a growing list of web publishers pinning at least some of their hopes on a tactic variously known as native advertising, custom content or branded content.
What's going to kill the TV business, or at least challenge it, isn't Apple designing the perfect remote or Microsoft designing a superior guide. It's two things.
Ahead of today's Halo 4 release The Verge has revealed that plans are underfoot at Redmond to develop a gaming tablet, the Xbox Surface. It's a seven-incher and its production has so far been kept apart from existing Xbox lines.
For now, trending topics are a feature buried within a temporary feature at the corner of the Stitcher app. But the technology behind them reveals the potential for discovery to impact talk radio the way it has music, video, and written news.
D'Aloisio's company released a news reading app today that summarizes news articles, creating a sort of Cliff Notes for the news, for the iPhone. It'll be the second time the London-based teenager has repackaged his product, and this time he did it because he feels like the consumption of news on mobile devices hasn't been properly addressed.
We continuously hear of the ever-changing digital age and predictions now and then, of doom and gloom within the newspaper, magazine, radio and outdoor media marketplaces, among others. Forward-thinking marketers and media executives, however, continually find ways to adapt, evolve and reinvent traditional communication platforms.
"Hyperlocal" news sites that focus their coverage on small towns and city neighborhoods are reporting big traffic surges from Sandy, with local residents keen to find out about their towns' storm preparedness yesterday and about property damage and when power will be restored today, with much of it driven by search.
Penguin, the most famous name in British publishing, has confirmed its merger with the German-owned Random House, creating the biggest book publisher seen, accounting for about one in four of all books sold.
The New York Times suspended the paywall on its site and apps Sunday afternoon, as people turn to online news outlets to get more information about Hurricane Sandy. The storm is scheduled to make landfall in New Jersey Monday night.
8tracks is a streaming, not on-demand, music service. Its some 600,000 mixes are uploaded by a small portion (less than 1%) of the app’s users, known as DJs. There are no restrictions on the type of tracks these DJs can choose, beyond a couple of requirements that help keep 8tracks legal.
Time had social media users high on its mind when it decided to move to responsive design. Social media now accounts for at least 12 percent of referrals to Time.com, and most people who click on Time links from Facebook, Twitter and the like are doing so on a mobile.
Why do some advertisers and agencies look at the world one silo at a time when, in fact, our media world is cross-referenced but brand messages across them are not completely integrated?
Newspapers in Brazil have uncoupled themselves from Google News, claiming that their presence on the search engine is preventing their online operations from growing. It's a pre-emptive strike on the firm, involving all 154 members of the Associacao Nacional de Journais--that's 90% of the country's circulation of dailies.
After almost a decade of self-imposed corporate exile, Mr. Pittman is back in the corporate saddle and on a mission. In his new role heading Clear Channel, the MTV founder and high-profile AOL alum has a grandiose goal: to reinvent radio, a business many have left for dead.
The sports highlight is extremely predictable by now: an amazing play, sequence or moment is replayed from one or more angles, while a news anchor or announcer recaps what happened. Sometimes the video runs along with its original play-by-play audio, or maybe with the live radio call. But, in the age of social media permeation and mobile video proliferation, this is no longer enough, according to UNITE.
Throughout the succinct two-year history of social television, successes and failures have taught practitioners three valuable lessons. In fact, these lessons apply to practitioners in any major medium (radio, film, television, journalism).
Reed Elsevier is selling the 107-year-old magazine as the company refocuses on electronic data services and research offerings, the two companies said in a statement today.
Are New Devices Adding to News Consumption? What does the growing expansion of mobile mean for news consumption overall? Are people who own mobile technology getting more news now that they have more ready access to it? Or are they merely replacing one platform with another? Here, the findings are as strong as in 2011, and in some cases even stronger, in suggesting that mobile technology is increasing news consumption.
The headline conclusion of Pew's latest monster survey of the media landscape was the demise of TV news. "There are now signs that television news is increasingly vulnerable," the authors wrote, "as it may be losing its hold on the next generation of news consumers." But the larger story is the rise of the Web, which has surpassed newspapers and radio to become the second most popular source of news for Americans, after TV
The New York Times this morning announced a new HTML5 web app for iPad, rounding out their lineup of web and tablet products for digital subscribers. The Times is soliciting feedback from its users about the app and its features, which suggests that it’s looking at this as a way to experiment with a non-native delivery method, but isn’t quite sure about how consumers will respond.
It’s Advertising Week, which means it’s time for a barrage of panels full of questions like “Are banners dead?” and “Native advertising: the wave of the future?” And while some will dismiss this chattering as manufactured drama, the proliferation of these existential questions is a solid indicator that the digital publishing industry needs to change.
There’s no question about it—mobile traffic is booming as people spend more time hunched over their little screens. For magazines, it represents an opportunity to capture more readers and try to convert them to paying ones.
News Corp. Backs Down On Anti-Google Stance, Plans Searchable Article Previews, Keeps Paywall Intact
Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp. is planning once again to let stories from its paywalled UK newspaper The Times get indexed by the search giant Google. This reverses a two-year-old policy in which News Corp.’s UK newspaper division, News International, dramatically yanked stories from Google as it prepared a paywall to better monetize that content and do away with low-value single-story visitors from sites like Google.
What do Harvard Business Publishing and Harlequin – the publisher of a gazillion romance novels – have in common? More than you might think. I’ve blogged before about Harvard’s efforts to create a community of readers, thinkers, and kibitzers. It turns out that Harlequin has been doing the same for nearly 15 years – long before the Internet made it easy, or at least easier.
To its groaning shelf of National Magazine Awards and bulging portfolio of stories extolling its business success, New York magazine can add one more credit: It's having its best year in a decade. Both profits and revenue are the highest they've been since financier Bruce Wasserstein bought the barely profitable publication.
The lifeblood of college football fandom is changing. The painted faces crammed into the student section of stadiums nationwide have turned away from newspapers and talk radio toward social media to get stats, scores and even messages from coaches and players in real time. As social media infiltrates stadiums and clubhouses, teams are scrambling on and off the field to reach students and young alumni
Publications like WIRED and Popular Science were quick out of the gate with sophisticated iPad apps, and while they did offer some compelling multimedia experiences that couldn’t be done in print, the apps lacked the ease of use that’s central to enjoying a magazine.
In a bold first-day speech, the BBC’s new boss says the corporation must stop thinking that online innovation means repurposing broadcast content and instead ‘create genuinely digital content for the first time’.
USA Today, with its colorful omnipresence on airport newsstands and outside the doors of hotel rooms, is showing off its new look on Friday. And the makeover for the newspaper, based just outside the Washington Beltway, comes straight from Silicon Valley.
The technology surrounding today’s retail landscape has changed, and with this change comes a myriad of innovative opportunities that extend beyond our conventional way of thinking. Viewing these opportunities as “distractions” rather than opportunities risks losing ground to the competition.
Did you know one comment on Forbes is worth 472 views of an article? And a +1 on Google Plus is worth 169 views, while a Share on Facebook is worth 31 views? Ken Krogue shares his analysis of the currency exchange of digital and social media.
Author and interaction design researcher Richard Banks shares his thoughts on the interaction between storing memories digitally and physically. Richard is the Principal Interaction Designer at Microsoft Research‘s Socio-Digital Systems group, a team analyzing how families use digital and analog media and building technological objects in response.
A WEEKLY trade publication covering Madison Avenue since the Hoover administration will soon introduce its most significant redesign in years, as part of efforts to further redirect its editorial focus in a digital world toward analysis from breaking news.
Two years after launch, Bloomberg Sports is rapidly expanding its offering of data-driven technology tools, signaling the growing demand for advanced analytics by fans and teams alike as the digital capability to deliver such content matures.
"I am not here dreaming of (or worrying about) a world in which computers have displaced the printed word, and us too. I could find no one at this conference who would predict the demise of the newspaper. No one. All saw an important place for us."
A great new way for you and your Facebook friends to share your favorite articles.
In the late 1990s the dot-com boom made every organization look at the potential for online presence and examine its business model. But the pace has been heating up with emerging social (Facebook), mobile (smart phones and iPads), "cloud," and "big data" technologies that are creating new ways to compete, and, along with them, new ways of working.
If there's any sign that the media ecosystem is on the verge of dramatic change, then these four digital trends bubbling to the surface are the latest proof points of that. These aren't random trends but are illustrative of tectonic shifts that will change the media business dramatically.
Marketers' Obsession With Audience Data Could Teach Media a Thing or Two. Brand marketers research their audiences exhaustively until they understand them instinctively. So it's strange to remember how magazines I've known kept their editorial and advertising sides operating not just separately, as they should, but entirely divorced from each other, with each side in near-denial of the other's existence.
Pulse, the popular news reading app for iOS and Android, is finally available on the web. The service, which launched two years ago and now has over 15 million users, only focused on mobile platforms until now.
With the network releasing footage of Olympic events hours after they’ve already happened, major news networks are learning they can’t pretend that social media doesn’t exist.
Nielsen’s been fairly busy attempting to connect the dots between TV and online advertising. Today, the research firm is announcing Nielsen Online Audience Segments—TV Viewing, a program that’s designed to let a brand target online consumers based on their television and Web-viewing habits.
Turner Broadcasting said today that it acquired Bleacher Report to broaden the scope of sports coverage it can offer advertisers as well as bolster its scale, which has significantly decreased in recent months.
Viacom, owner of the Paramount film studio and cable networks such as Nickelodeon and MTV, has reported quarterly profit that missed analysts' estimates after advertising sales dropped the most in more than two years.
With ever-increasing YouTube lunch breaks and Vimeo dinner dates, online video is becoming a constant companion--one that every brand is rushing to take advantage of. Follow these five tips so you don't turn off would-be viewers.
Those "Will It Blend?" videos of some guy throwing an iPhone in a blender and the instantly viral Shakeweight ads have millions and millions of views. Your company's new "viral" spot has 500. Here's what separates great branded video content from the flops.
A milestone reached as the world of old media continues its push in a digital direction: the storied, pink-sheeted daily newspaper the Financial Times, read by 2.1 million readers daily, today said digital subscribers now outnumber those in print, and that digital revenues now account for half of all sales in the FT Group.
On the heels of a deal with Facebook to promote Olympic conversations on NBC’s Facebook page, the broadcast network today is taking one more step to improve its social standing during the big sports event. It is linking up with Storify, the social-media “story creator”, to put streams of real-time Olympic content, curated by NBC journalists, across Today.com as well as NBC’s 10 owned TV station websites.
One daring digital news operation seems to be failing; simultaneously, another expands and appears to march forward, recruiting more journalists as it goes. And there’s an awkward question that links these swings and roundabouts. Simply: has the typical general newspaper, conventionally conceived and structured, had its day? Is it, as a concept, what evolving news online is about?
Jeremy Lin has just made the news again, as he leaves New York for Houston. Personally, as a New Yorker, I am terribly saddened, because he is not only a compelling player, who set a great tone for the Knicks…but he is also a savvy professional, who has pulled some interesting moves off the court, as well as on it. In fact, Jeremy Lin has taken personal branding to the next level – by trade marking his personal brand of mass hysteria – “Linsanity.”
The connected TV, sometimes called the smart TV (and even branded as such by Samsung) is a growing phenomenon: TV makers are adding limited apps, Net connectivity, and even streaming media powers to their newer TVs in the hope they'll persuade you to upgrade your newish LCD for a flatter, smarter unit. They're desperate to, given how flat this market is. But according to new research from Pew, the future of TV may actually be a little more closely aligned with the notion of a "connected TV viewer," an important distinction
A member of my wife's family and a few of her friends told me recently that they are enamored with Twitter. They love its rapid-fire updates, and the sense Twitter provides of being right in the moment. Over a weekend they were constantly checking and posting updates on their smartphones, and when it came to socializing with friends, she and her peers simply preferred Twitter to Facebook. This isn't earth-shattering news, but here's the catch – all were in high school.
The 2012 Olympics in London are being touted by some as the world’s “first social Games.” While some question just how social they’ll actually be, there’s no doubt that networks such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube will play an unprecedented role in how information is disseminated from London, and how the global sports conversation is driven during July and August. Why the big shift? It’s simple: Four years is an eternity in Internet time and since the last Summer Olympics in 2008, social media has exploded.
Texas Ranger outfielder Josh Hamilton got there because he deserves it. But please, three San Francisco Giants were voted onto the All Star team? In what election process is that fair? Buster Posey and Melky Cabrera maybe, but when you consider the perpetually injured Pablo Sandoval there is clearly something else at play when it comes to the All Star voting. For the Giants, and even the Rangers, it’s all about All Star tech savvy.
Today’s fast, furious and instantaneous news cycles allow leaders the opportunity to become active in media conversations and get discovered on a moment’s notice. As such, you must become more informed about the news that impacts your voice both directly and indirectly. Whether it’s a Twitter hashtag discussion, LinkedIn or Facebook group conversation, your local news, blog or national news story, you must be prepared to address the issues in a succinct and objective manner.
When it comes to learning about food, nearly half of consumers use social networking sites, and 40% use Web sites, apps or blogs, according to a new study from The Hartman Group and Publicis Consultants USA. Read more: http://www.mediapost.com/publications/article/177904/leveraging-social-media-in-food-marketing.html#ixzz1zE5w9Vb4
As Wall Street embraces the inevitable tide of social media, fiduciary responsibility is taking on new parameters. In a different kind of security risk as Morgan Stanley Smith Barney is stepping up its social media reach, granting its 17,000 financial advisers partial access to Twitter and LinkedIn over the next several months. The move expands a year-long experiment with 600 employees to test whether social media would be a helpful tool for its employees.
Social agency 1000heads have set up a social machine in the Mall of the Emirates in Dubai that gives gifts in exchange for Foursquare check-ins and NFC interactions. Prizes include candies, Nokia devices, movie tickets and other goodies that drop out the bottom of the machine when a user shares their check-in.
The Sunday New York Times reported one more brick removed from traditional media’s wall, as the Huff Post introduced an online weekly, available for the tablet via the Apple Store. As the article’s writer, David Carr, points out, a few years ago this wouldn’t have even been called a magazine. Ah, but how that has changed, with Arianna Huffington a powerful general leading the charge into the digital future.
Eager to define itself as a major entertainment player, YouTube is exploring charging subscriptions for cable content as it has already pledged $100 million to create a slew of premium channels.
There will be plenty of bits spilled over the next few days about whether Apple is going extinct, whether Jobs’ touch was integral to the Apple experience, and whether this was “The.Worst.Keynote.Ever.” I posit, however, that Apple still has a few good years left and this keynote – a precise and well-orchestrated experience dedicated mostly to software – is proof that the Apple vision runs far deeper than the efforts of a figurehead CEO.
Twitter made its most aggressive grab for TV marketing dollars, with the release of a TV ad during the Pocono 400 and the launch of the corresponding Twitter.com/#NASCAR hashtag page. See Twitter, like AOL before it, wants to be the destination for users who wish to engage with a certain brand. It wants to own the URL that runs at the end of an ad. Actually, scratch that — it wants to own the hashtag that appears during the ad or TV show, to become synonymous with where the conversation happens.
Pepsi’s celebrity-infused “Live for Now” global ad campaign, which launched May 7, will get digital boost this summer from media conglomerate Viacom. Viacom’s Twitter accounts for MTV, VH1, CMT and Comedy Central will aid in the campaign’s mission of “inviting and inspiring” people to live in the moment — and sharing those moments on social networks with relevant hashtags.
Which new media platform has rocketed to hundreds of millions of unique visitors, provides both utility and entertainment for the masses, and has become the destination of choice for its generation? If this were 1999, Yahoo! would be your answer. Today, that torch has been handed to Facebook. And with good reason, since they have embedded their ubiquitous social network of nearly 1 billion members into a large part of people’s lives and the digital ecosystem. But Yahoo!’s challenges tell a cautionary tale for Facebook.
Travel is an experience people like to discuss with their friends as they share the details of where they’re going and how they’ll get there. Hertz knew customers’ social activity and conversations were impacting purchase decisions but the company didn’t know how much until now.
Back in April you may have tweeted how much you hate doing taxes. Sometime later you may have been browsing the Web and noticed ads for TurboTax popping up. That probably wasn't an accident.
Target was already announced as a shopkick partner, but until now, it was limited to testing integration in seven cities. Now, thanks to what the company says were “rave reviews,” it’s expanding its shopkick integration to all of its 1,764 stores in the United States, making it the largest shopkick retailer.
McDonald’s UK has launched a new social media-integrated content portal that offers a different approach to sharing and listening to its consumers called 'What Makes McDonald's?'
House Beautiful is letting users post photos from its print edition directly to Pinterest using smartphone apps, the latest effort by a magazine to make print more interactive.
Publishers are bleeding themselves dry, giving up the very customer data that hold the promise of their continued relevance in the digital age. They struggle to monetize online users, as the dimes from digital will never replace the analog dollars they no longer receive from print. They see social sharing as a way to drive page views on their traffic-starved websites. But many of these social-sharing tools are data vampires.
We sat with Shapiro and asked him why he feels television isn’t dead and to explain how marketers can attain the most value from this evolving medium.
The future of media on mobile devices isn't with applications but with the Web. For publishers whose businesses evolved during the long day of print newspapers and magazines, the expansion of the Internet was tremendously disorienting. The Internet taught readers they might read stories whenever they liked without charge, and it offered companies more efficient ways to advertise. Both parties spent less.
'The Guardian' huffed and puffed and made one of the year's best ads. Did it sell papers? Newspapers aren't known for their compelling self-promotion. Yet in the grip of their existential crisis, that's what they need—a riveting argument for their own value, evolution and place in the cultural conversation. In late February, London ad agency Bartle Bogle Hegarty delivered just that for The Guardian.
What do you get when you combine a photo-sharing mobile platform like Instagram with more geo-location awareness and a Reddit-style voting system for stories breaking all over the world? Answer: Signal, the app citizen journalism may well have been been waiting for.
In adjusting its style guide to use calendar days instead of “yesterday,” “today,” or “tomorrow,” the Globe is trying to adapt to the pace of online news.
Hulu could soon start requiring its users to prove that they also have a cable or satellite subscription. This would obviously turn Hulu’s current business model on its head. It’s not clear how many of the service’s 31 million users currently don’t subscribe to cable TV, but chances are that the service’s audience would shrink after this move.
Google, Apple and Amazon are vying to become literature's new gatekeepers. But good publishing is about more than market share.
From Jeff Zucker, NBC Universal’s former CEO. In talking about digital video, he said: “Our challenge with all these ventures is to effectively monetize them so that we do not end up trading analog dollars for digital pennies.”
NPR is taking another stab at creating new programming, but the approach looks quite different. What’s different this time? The network seems to be taking a page from agile software development, the philosophy that products should be released early and iterated often.
The publishing industry has a problem. The old guard haven't innovated. And neither their business models nor their products embrace the digital books revolution.
Innovative digital journalism played a starring role in the wake of a massive document release during an inquiry into British media ethics. Three major news organizations sifted through the information and collaboratively covered the investigation stemming from British journalism’s biggest scandal in recent memory.
The New York Times company's latest quarterly numbers contain a rich trove of data regarding the health of the digital news industry. Today, we'll focus on the transition from traditional advertising to paywall strategies being implemented across the world. Paywalls appear as a credible way to offset – alas too partially – the declining revenue from print operations.
Recently, PSFK launched our inaugural print magazine: the first offline publication that we hope to release every quarter. Some reasoning why a new media entity like PSFK.com decided to trial the analog.
It can be a bit comical when tech companies inch their way into media. They usually do so after decrying ad models and living off venture capital. But everyone grows up, even tech platforms. Tumblr is the latest tech service to travel this road, announcing that it would allow advertisers to buy a “Radar” placement on the dashboard where Tumblr users aggregate their feeds.
Two-thirds of advertising spending is brand advertising, but online only one quarter is. In fact, if brand advertising dollars moved online in the same proportion that sales advertising has, it would almost exactly close the famous gap between time spent online and ad dollars spent online.
Every day, more and more brands are creating compelling, original content, and the medium of choice for these initiatives is Web video. The latest example is Ford Motor Company’s collaboration with eco-focused media company SHFT.com, “The Big SHFT: 10 Innovators Changing Our World”, a documentary series profiling industry professionals who are trying to transform their industries with eco-friendly sustainability solutions.
More than ever, people are using Twitter, Facebook and other social media sources to learn about what’s happening in the world as traditional news outlets become increasingly less relevant to the digital generation.
Nearly three quarters (72%) of adults are quite attached to following local news and information, and local newspapers are by far the source they rely on for much of the local information they need. In fact, local news enthusiasts are substantially more wedded to their local newspapers than others.
One of the first clues to Tumblr's future as a business came in February with the launch of "highlighted posts," which allow Tumblr users to pay $1 to gain more visibility for their work. In 2010, Tumblr CEO David Karp told the Los Angeles Times that the thought of ads "turns our stomachs." But can it be a business without them?
While so many eyes have been on magazine and newspaper media and their desperate embrace of mobile technology, one of the most interesting sectors of old media on new platforms is the comics. Long before Apple instituted its newsstand, for instance, DC, Marvel, Image, Dark Horse and others like powerhouse distributor Comixology were demonstrating how mobile or tablet apps could make superb periodical merchandising machine and reader/library.
New research from analytics firm Nielsen confirms what most have suspected about the symbiotic relationship between tablets and television, and offers some hope for a growing crop of startups looking to capitalize on the second screen experience.
Coca-Cola is looking at restructuring and expanding its in-house content creation team as it experiments with longform branded content. The soft drink giant’s VP of global advertising strategy and creative excellence Jonathan Mildenhall told C21 recent campaigns around the Olympics and Coke Zero, which both included longform video, had prompted him to look at how it manages this type of content from its Atlanta headquarters.
When Longreads, the acclaimed source for exceptional long form journalism and short fiction, launched its spinoff service Travelreads in late March, it went from being a Twitter feed and blog favored by the literati to an appealing springboard for brands wanting to reach engaged consumers through content. Sponsored by Virgin Atlantic, Travelreads curates compelling in-depth stories about far-flung places--perfect plane fare.
Remember Next Issue Media, the “Hulu for Digital Magazines” consortium made up of the biggest names in publishing? It has finally delivered something worth talking about: Call it Netflix for Magazines. The pitch is simple and intuitive: All the magazines you want, delivered digitally to your tablet, for a flat fee of either $10 or $15 a month.
You might not be willing to fork over a monthly subscription fee to read some of your favorite news sites, but would you answer a survey question? That’s what Google and a handful of well-known online publishers are aiming to find out.
Magazines more than doubled their paid digital circulation in the most recent reporting period, but print remains the overwhelming majority of their business, according to a new analysis by the Audit Bureau of Circulations. Digital circulation soared to an estimated 3.29 million in the second half of 2012 from 1.46 million in the year-earlier period, a 125% increase, according to publishers' reports with the Audit Bureau.
Local TV stations are using social media to extend their coverage and conversations with viewers. They're also working to create more integration with advertisers and device companies, according to panelists at the Socializing Local TV session during the 4A's Transformation Conference in L.A.
Brand mascots are rebounding as marketers redeploy old characters in new ways, create fresh ones from scratch and use digital media to spin out rich storylines not possible in the past, when critters and cartoon characters were pretty much confined to TV. While it might be too early to declare a full-fledged mascot revival, brand characters are undoubtedly regaining attention.
200 million connected TV devices will cumulatively ship in the next 18 months, and combined with Xbox (23 million+ Live customers), PS3, Wii, and devices like Apple TV and Roku, about 300 million Connected TVs will be in living rooms in the next 18 months. That’s as many TVs connected to the Internet as Android devices in the market today.
Conde Nast, the publisher of magazines such as Glamour and Wired, recently gave advertisers metrics concerning tablet editions of its January issues. It now plans to give advertisers data on each new issue about 10 weeks after it comes out.
Encyclopaedia Britannica will stop publishing print editions and go digital-only — a huge step for the encyclopedia which has been in print since 1768. The sales of Britannica print editions has been on the decline since 1990, when 120,000 32-volume sets were sold.
LinkedIn and the Council of Economic Advisors mapped the fastest-growing and fastest-shrinking industries since 2007, the year the Great Recession started. Renewables are at the top and newspapers are at the bottom.
The New York Times' Facebook Timeline goes all the way back to 1851, and it's filled with some choice photos and milestones from the paper's history. It also tells the story of how technology changed the business of keeping you informed.
MTV has introduced a mobile app in Europe that fits somewhere on between HBO Go and social-TV platforms, letting users watch the network's shows on demand and invite friends to chat. Don't Expect a U.S. Version Anytime Soon.
Pinterest hasn’t just become a significant source of referral traffic for retailers; it’s also becoming a top traffic driver for women’s lifestyle, home decor and cooking magazines, some of which are seeing bigger referral numbers from the image-collecting service than from major portals like Facebook and Yahoo.
why is it that consumers are still paying through the nose for e-book titles that ought to cost a fraction of the price charged for the used hardcover version?
If you’re tired of seeing the same news as everyone else, The Washington Post is now experimenting with personalized headlines. That experiment is called Personal Post, and it’s available at personal.washingtonpost.com, where you’ll see a river of content that you can customize.
People seem really intent these days on fusing television with the Internet. On one level this makes no sense. Television technology works just fine and we all understand how to use it. We’re also in the midst of a golden age when it comes to programming; I can’t remember another time when there were this many good shows on. Also, television advertising rates are enormous compared to the Internet. There are people on YouTube who have more subscribers than top network sitcoms have viewers, yet they earn a minuscule fraction of the revenue. Television, as an industry, is strong. So there is the scent of blood in the water, and out of the resulting frenzy a few lessons have appeared. Here are four of them.
ON a Sunday in early December, Marcus Brauchli, the executive editor of The Washington Post, summoned some of the newspaper’s most celebrated journalists to a lunch at his home, a red brick arts-and-crafts style in the suburb of Bethesda, Md. The Post faces the same problems as other daily newspapers, whose revenues have sunk as the Web and the tough economy have sapped advertising. But in some ways, its situation is even more daunting.
In the summer of 1991, Paul Ginsparg, a researcher at the Los Alamos nuclear laboratory, set up an email system for about 200 string theorists to exchange papers they had written. The World Wide Web was a mere infant—it had been opened to the public on Aug. 6 of that year. The string theorists weren’t particularly interested in making their research widely available (outsiders would have a tough time following the conversation anyhow). Ginsparg’s archive was a way for the theorists to communicate with one another.
The BBC, Sky News and CNN are trying to figure out how to make Twitter play nicely with traditional newsrooms. Sky News and the BBC released new social media guidelines this week, while CNN has suspended an analyst for controversial tweets.
Of course, in the wrap up of every Super Bowl, the people want to get a taste of which commercials were the most popular. This morning Hulu released its list of winners, and it looks like nostalgia took the blue ribbon. Of the ads that ran during game time, Honda’s “Matthew’s Day Off” (a Ferris Bueller tribute) just narrowly edged out Volkswagen’s “The Dog Strikes Back,” with the “most liked” ad on Hulu AdZone being Volkswagen’s “The Bark Side” preview ad.
At first glance, it would seem that the new generation of product-bookmarking sites such as Pinterest and Svpply are nothing more than new tools to feed the consumer machine, driving us to buy more stuff. But, counterintuitively, my experience with these services is that they actually help me cut my consumption and to direct my money at goods that more closely align with my values.
When Ridley Scott created Apple's iconic "1984," the company's board didn't want it to air. Newly hired CEO John Sculley, veteran of many a Super Bowl ad as CEO of Pepsi-Cola Co., agreed with the consensus: It's a waste to run an ad that doesn't even show the product. Apple ended up selling off some of its planned Super Bowl ad time and ran "1984" in the 60-second slot it couldn't unload. The rest, as they say, is history. The Macintosh did change the world as Steve Jobs said it would, and Apple is the most valuable company on the planet.
IF the future of media is digital, who would want to buy a newspaper? Many people, it turns out. The notion of newspaper pages whipping through printing presses, then being bundled with twine and tossed onto street corners might be considered romantic by some while others view it as bad business. But while newspaper companies can be bought on the cheap these days, some investors seem persuaded they can turn a quick profit while others may view owning a paper as a civic duty.
Esquire magazine, a monument to male vitality, seemed about to keel over in 2009. Famous for laying down a much-followed literary track with an article in 1966 by Gay Talese titled “Frank Sinatra Has a Cold,” the magazine found itself gasping for breath and fighting for survival. Amid the plague that hit the magazine industry back then, Esquire was worse off than most. Beaten up by a crop of lad magazines like Maxim, then hammered by the flight of advertisers and readers to the Web, Esquire suffered a 24.3 percent loss in advertising pages compared with 2008, which was almost as bad, by the way. A Web site for investors, 24/7 Wall Street, predicted in 2009 that Esquire would be one of “Twelve Major Brands that Will Disappear” the following year.
“Active fiction” publisher Coliloquy launched this week with four young adult ebooks that create a rich, interactive experience for the reader. This development in customizable fiction takes advantage of the digital format to push expectations of “choose-your-own-adventure” stories to new levels. The four new titles from Coliloquy are Heidi R. Kling’s Witch’s Brew (The Spellspinners of Melas County), Kira Snyder’s Dead Letter Office (Parish Mail), Liz Maverick’s Arcania, Trial by Fire #1 (Arcania), and Tawna Fenske’s Getting Dumped. These series, available exclusively in the Amazon Kindle store, reinvent the way authors and their readers interact with books. Coliloquy’s new publishing format enables multiple storylines, serial and episodic story-telling, personalized content, and in-book engagement mechanics, which create a more immersive experience.
Barnes & Noble lowered guidance and its stock is getting crushed. It's thinking about spinning off its Nook business--both hardware and digital ecosystem. That won't save it.
The New York Times raised its daily price to $2.50 today. I thought back to the penny press at the turn of the last century and wondered what such a paper would cost today, inflation adjusted. Answer: a quarter. So, in inflation-adjusted current pennies, The New York Times today costs 10 times more than a newspaper in 1890. Granted, Today’s Times is better than a product of the penny press. But is it worth 10x? Should it cost 10x?
The internet is taking the news industry back to the conversational culture of the era before mass media.
Thinking back, I've always considered news as a dialogue rather than a monologue. I've preferred conversations to speeches. That said, I don't often hang out on street corners or in neighborhood bars partaking in random conversations about the weather or the Mets. I like my conversations curated.
39% of people surveyed said they would feel no impact if their local newspapers shut down. 30% said it would have a minor impact, but only 28% said the impact would be major, according to the Pew Research Center's Project for Excellence in Journalism. About three-quarters of respondents to the survey of 2,251 U.S. adults said they wouldn't be willing to pay anything for online news if their newspapers failed to survive.
The frustration that the country’s magazine and newspaper publishers feel toward Apple can sound a lot like a variation on the old relationship gripe, “can’t live with ’em, may get left behind without ’em.”
The country's biggest newspapers are taking different tacks on social media. The New York Times recently dissolved its social media editor post after less than two years, while USA Today simultaneously appointed its first social media editor and The Wall Street Journal continues to plug ahead with an outreach editor who's been in place for a year. All three are trying to answer the same questions facing newsrooms everywhere: Should social media belong to a designated editor, to the whole staff or both?
As Rupert Murdoch’s News International prepares to launch the second part of its paywall project in the UK this month, there are signs that apps might be a better way to get people to pay for their news. The Guardian reports today that the Financial Times’ iPad app has generated over £1m in advertising revenue since its launch in May. Also today, the Press Gazette reports that News International’s The Sun is launching a dedicated celebrity news app costing £1.19 for a 30 day subscription, something it wouldn’t try if it didn’t think there was a market for it.
If you were going to pick an epicenter for mainstream media, The Washington Post’s Howard Kurtz would not be a bad place to land. With his running scorecard on Beltway journalists, his interviews of other scorekeepers on his “Reliable Sources” show on CNN, and his ceaseless fascination with network news, Mr. Kurtz embodied the folkways of the traditional press. Until last week, when he announced he was leaving his privileged perch to become the Washington bureau chief for The Daily Beast, a two-year-old toddler of the new digital press conceived by Tina Brown and owned by IAC, run by Barry Diller. Mr. Kurtz’s lane change evinced gasps reminiscent of when Dylan went electric at the Newport Folk Festival in 1965.
Social media and the power of peer-to-peer recommendation can boost revenue streams and brand loyalty, according to a new survey from CNN. The results of a CNN inaugural study into the power of news and recommendation (POWNAR), showed a "halo effect,” with substantially higher engagement around recommended content compared with randomly consumed content, said Didier Mormesse, senior VP of R&D and audience insight at CNN International.
In May, Google announced its interactive TV platform that brings a search box, internet browser and apps to TV viewing, though it has kept quiet on what we can expect from the device. Now, weeks before it ships, Google has launched a website to outline the new features and its media partnerships. Here's what you need to know about Google TV.
Facebook's Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg said in New York today that in the next three to five years, a website that isn't tailored to a specific user's interest will be an anachronism, according to coverage from media industry blog PaidContent. "People don't want something targeted to the whole world--they want something that reflects what they want to see and know," Sandberg said at publisher Arianna Huffington's Advertising Week event today. So much for all the news that's fit to print - Sandberg's vision of the future sounds more like all the news that's relevant to your taste profile and social graph. Is that emphasis on personalization, which Facebook is better suited to power than any other company in history, a good or bad thing for media and the democracy it ought to fuel?
AOL CEO Tim Armstrong told Ad Age today that he wants a "build-first" culture at his company, in which the growth is sparked internally, like the world's oldest startup. So why did he also just pay a reported $30 million, including incentives, to buy TechCrunch, the tech and startup news blog founded by former attorney and impresario Michael Arrington?
Influence is bliss… The socialization of media is as transformative as it is empowering. As individuals, we’re tweeting, updating, blogging, commenting, curating, liking and friending our way toward varying levels of stature within our social graphs. With every response and action that results from our engagement, we are slowly introduced to the laws of social physics: for every action there is a reaction – even if that reaction is silence. And, the extent of this resulting activity is measured by levels of influence and other factors such as the size and shape of nicheworks as well as attention aperture and time.
When you consider popular media properties, the natural tendency is to think about those venues that usually draw consumers in throngs: a particular TV show, magazine or even a website. You might be surprised to find that consumers aren't as old-school as all that. The most engaging media outlets -- the ones that draw the most involved users -- happen to be such things as Google's search engine, AOL's email, Google's YouTube video-sharing service and the Facebook social-networking service. The rankings were compiled by NewMediaMetrics, a Jericho, N.Y., company that studies consumers' emotional attachment to media venues and advertisers' products.
Plus: magazines are making a comeback and VCs might be getting desperate.
Twitter unveiled a new Web site on Tuesday that it hopes will be user friendly. The redesigned site, which will be available to all users in the next few weeks, makes it simpler to see information about the authors of Twitter posts, conversations among Twitter users, and the photos and videos that posts link to. “It’s going to increase the value that people are getting out of Twitter, so in less time you can get more information and value,” Evan Williams, Twitter’s co-founder and chief executive, said in an interview.
While major fashion brands unveil their latest styles this week in New York as part of Fashion Week, Twitter yesterday unveiled a new look that is as eye-catching as some of the fashions you'll see on display on the runway. The goal: provide "an easier, faster, and richer experience". The plan: role out some major changes to portions of the Twitter userbase over the next several weeks. The reaction? With most redesigns, there's the good, bad, and sometimes the ugly. Unlike, say, Digg, which was pummeled by users following its recent redesign, Twitter's new design is unlikely to spark revolt. But that doesn't mean that it isn't bold. It is, albeit in more subtle ways that reflect Twitter's belief that it provides a "consumption environment". Here's a breakdown of the good, the bad, and the ugly.
There are many more ways to get the news these days, and as a consequence Americans are spending more time with the news than over much of the past decade. Digital platforms are playing a larger role in news consumption, and they seem to be more than making up for modest declines in the audience for traditional platforms. As a result, the average time Americans spend with the news on a given day is as high as it was in the mid-1990s, when audiences for traditional news sources were much larger.
If you pull out your smartphone and click the button that says “locate me” on your mapping application, you will see a small dot appear in the middle of your screen. That’s you. If you start walking down the street in any direction, the whole screen will move right along with you, no matter where you go. This is a dramatic change from the print-on-paper world, where maps and locations are based around places and landmarks, not on you or your location. In the print world people don’t go to the store and say, “Oh, excuse me, can I buy a map of me?” Instead, they ask for a map of New York, or Amsterdam, or the subway system. You and I aren’t anywhere to be seen on these maps. The maps are locations that we fit into.
At a recent conference, The New York Times‘ publisher and chairman Arthur Sulzberger, Jr., stated that he eventually expects the “Gray Lady” will no longer be a physical newspaper. “We will stop printing the New York Times sometime in the future, date TBD,” he said to attendees of the International Newsroom Summit. This type of statement is sure to cause alarmist reactions in some and will strike others as a completely obvious conclusion to the ongoing struggles of traditional media.
Google gave a live demonstration of Google TV at Berlin’s IFA Tuesday, and CEO Eric Schmidt promised it would be a couch potato’s dream come true. “Once you have Google television, you’re going to be very busy,” Schmidt said. “It’s going to ruin your evening.” Google TV is the search giant’s bid to bring the web to the biggest screen in the house in a big way, something TV viewers and web surfers (often the same person) have tended to resist as distinctly different experiences. But as the internet becomes a more viable delivery system for the kind of content we associate with the Barcaloungers and TV sets, Google, Apple and others are trying to get a piece of that action as well.
In most businesses, not knowing how well a particular product is performing would be almost unthinkable. But newspapers have always been a peculiar business, one that has stubbornly, proudly clung to a sense that focusing too much on the bottom line can lead nowhere good. Now, because of technology that can pinpoint what people online are viewing and commenting on, how much time they spend with an article and even how much money an article makes in advertising revenue, newspapers can make more scientific decisions about allocating their ever scarcer resources.
In the age of connected TV, “don’t touch that dial!” has become “don’t change that input!”. Whereas broadcasters were once concerned over viewers changing channels during ad breaks, they are now worried that the public will desert regular television altogether for internet-based content. About a quarter of TVs sold in the US this year will be able to connect to the internet and bypass regular programming, according to research by Parks Associates, while WiFi and Ethernet connections are becoming standard on set-top boxes.
There's a memorable scene in the movie Minority Report where a man reads a futuristic newspaper with rich embedded multimedia updating live with breaking news. While we are a long way seeing anything like this in the hands of the general public, a German newspaper has taken a small step in that direction with the release of a special augmented reality (AR) edition of its Friday magazine.
With such highly fragmented consumer behavior, how can we have domain-specific experts setting our strategies? As the Nielsen study shows, it simply isn't sufficient to have mastery over one area. The new media strategist will have to acquire knowledge across multiple disciplines, so as to be able to have a unified strategy across a TV commercial, its online teaser, the mobile call to action, and the messaging elements that will spark the next big thing on Facebook. This multi-disciplinary approach is also good for creativity. In a recent article in The New York Times, Thomas Friedman quoted Marc Tucker, the president of the National Center on Education and the Economy, as saying: "One thing we know about creativity is that it typically occurs when people who have mastered two or more quite different fields use the framework in one to think afresh about the other."
The media is something that for most, if not all, of our adult lives, we have taken for granted. Media giants form the terra firma of the marketing industry, both its paid and earned disciplines. They provide the lifeblood of services and bring us the audiences we need to do our jobs. However, underneath it all, the harsh reality is that there's a new digital dynamic present today. This will mean that many media companies divide themselves into dozens of smaller independent operating companies if they wish to survive. Many won't.
Is there a future for high-quality publications at a time when print advertising is disappearing? That’s the question many in media are wrestling with these days, one that’s become more pressing with the recession and emergence of electronic reading devices. Mark Edmiston was pondering the same when he retired last year after a long career in magazine publishing (including a run as president/CEO of Newsweek) and media investment banking. “I saw the decline of traditional media,” Edmiston explained. “The business model for newspapers and magazines is irrevocably broken.” As anyone who’s ever paid $12 for an annual magazine subscription knows, though, flipping the model to a consumer-driven one isn’t easy, given the vast amount of free material already available. Edmiston came up with what a model that he thinks will fly, though, and convinced friends and family to fork over $600,000 to get it off the ground. The result is a new company he’s announcing this week called Nomad Editions. He describes it as a marketplace for low-cost, high-quality special-interest weeklies that are designed for tablets and smartphones.
Two Hearst newspapers' websites have gone live with new sections from Demand Media, one of the content-generation companies that tap thousands of freelancers to generate countless articles. Some observers argue that content farms are winning web traffic and ad revenue away from traditional publishers without matching the quality that traditional newsrooms provide. But Demand has been providing a travel tips section for USA Today since April, and BNET reported in April that Demand had signed a deal with two Hearst papers, the San Francisco Chronicle and the Houston Chronicle.
For this latest edition of Dumenco's Media People -- an ongoing series of conversations with media grandees -- I interviewed longtime print guy Keith Blanchard, most famous for being one of the founding editors, and then editor in chief, of the U.S. edition of Maxim. Blanchard was hired by puckish publishing legend Felix Dennis, whose original Maxim in the U.K. had already rocked the glossy world by popularizing the cheeky "lad mag" sensibility. Today Blanchard is North American executive creative director at Story Worldwide. I spoke to him about leaving a career in edit for life on the agency side. The interview took place at Story headquarters in Midtown Manhattan and was continued over lunch and supplemented by e-mail. What follows is a condensed version of a much longer conversation.
You see, businesses, brands and organizations are truly struggling with the disruptive nature of social technologies. In fact, the term "social technologies" is part of the problem—we are all fixated on the technologies and meanwhile the real action lies in harnessing the change brought about by human behavior enabled by technology. I used the simple story of how a colleague shared a book with me. The book itself (media) is not social—the interactions, communications, stories and conversations that involve the book are.
Websites from Fox Sports, the New York Daily News, the San Antonio Express-News, the Houston Chronicle, the San Francisco Chronicle and others are trying a new system to fight, or rather accommodate, web surfers' fleeting attention spans. The sites are using a platform from Brand Affinity Technologies called NetBat, which overlays editorial photos of celebrities and athletes with apps that summon content from Twitter, Google, YouTube and other parts of the web without making users leave the site. Many sites have already incorporated modules that bring up tweets about the subject at hand, but this platform seems to offer more options at once.
Pulse is teaming up with Posterous to create a simple way for users to create their own “Pulses.” What this means is that they can with one tap add any article to their own Pulse — thus making any user an aggregator of news. Posterous comes in because each of these Pulse items are transfered to a free blog which is automatically created for you. “This blog will post the articles you have picked, hence enabling you to share this even with friends who don’t have Pulse,” Alphonso Labs co-founder Akshay Kothari says. But if your friends are using Pulse, there will be an easy way for them to subscribe to your Pulses, simply by searching for their name or username.
While 2009 was arguably the year brands embraced the iPhone, developing apps left and right, the iPad doesn't seem to have inspired the same enthusiasm. Magazines have embraced the iPad, but despite the product's hype, larger screen and dual-touch technology, brands haven't followed suit.
More than an analog vs. digital debate (we doubt anyone will trade their smartphone for one of the earliest brick-sized mobile phones), it may simply be driven by a desire to recreate the feeling of a memory, vs. such a perfect, shiningly new image. Will that yearning replace the desire for the highest technical features? We doubt it.
The Miami-based founders of The Source and Hip Hop Weekly are betting that LeBron James and his new team, the Miami Heat, will be so popular nationally that 20 or more pages of Heat coverage every issue will attract readers from all over the country.
A brand crisis can take many forms, which can linger differing lengths of time, depending on the survivability of the brand. Every corporate brand crisis is unique; each has a starting point when the CEO becomes responsible for the survival of the company. BP's bumbling management of its Gulf crisis, its seemingly endless decision-making process, not to mention post-crisis effects that will last decades, make this crisis unprecedented. Tyco, Texaco, Dynegy, IBM, Enron, Worldcom and Citigroup are a few of the crises we've studied. Some companies survived not only intact but emerged stronger than ever. Others were destroyed, or forced to merge. A handful limped on, weakened but not ruined.
The stealthy Kleiner Perkins-backed startup called Flipboard has now been revealed to be, as some suspected, a social application for the iPad. The new Flipboard iPad app bills itself as a "social magazine" - that is, one which aggregates status updates, tweets, photos and articles from those you're connected to on social networking sites, like Twitter and Facebook. These updates are beautifully laid out into an easily digestible view which you can flip through with your fingers. But Flipboard isn't just another "Twitter magazine," - it also just acquired semantic technology startup Ellerdale, whose intelligent data-parsing algorithms have previously been used to create a real-time search engine and trends tracker (still available here, at least for the moment). Now that same powerful technology will be used to design a more personalized real-time experience: determining what social updates are important to you and presenting them in an attractive, magazine-like format.
BBC.com originally forwarded visitors to BBC.co.uk, but before long, the British news service will have a home away from home in the U.S. Launching soon, BBC.com is aimed at expanding its American audience, and will feature "U.S.-focused articles on politics and general news," according to AdAge. Is this now the time for American journalism to follow suit and start its own publicly-supported press service?
It wasn't a multi-million dollar television campaign for a Fortune 50 company, nor was it a digital media program for some new-age service. Instead, the Grand Effie award was given to the Detroit Public Schools (DPS) for a very simple, and cost-efficient word-of-mouth program to encourage student enrollment. Here's what they did.
Whether they were enthralled or appalled by Thursday night's telecast of basketball star LeBron James's announcement about his future, few people, it turns out, could turn away. The hour-long ESPN special, dubbed "The Decision," drew 9.95 million viewers or 6.96 million households, the equivalent of a 7.0 national rating, according to preliminary figures provided by ESPN over the weekend.
Did ESPN just get "mediajacked"? Come Thursday, in prime time no less, ESPN gets the exclusive. But to do it, the Disney sports network appears to have sacrificed revenue -- and even some journalistic control by letting Mr. James choose one of his interviewers -- in exchange for the ratings and buzz the event is likely to provide. Commercial revenue from the special program -- which is being called "The Decision" -- will be donated to Boys & Girls Club of America, a charity that ESPN and Disney also support.
The speed of media fragmentation and innovation means that our jobs, never easy, are more complex every day. I get flop sweat every time I'm reminded that Twitter was launched at SXSW in 2007. Repent! The end is near! So is this not an original idea? One helpful distinction currently being discussed by people such as Brenda Zimmerman at the Schulich School of Business in Ontario is the difference between the complicated and the complex.
Sometimes Google takes a break from its mission of organizing all the world's information and decides to embark upon an artsy project that encapsulates...organizing all the world's information. Late on Tuesday, the search giant posted an entry to the Official Google Blog announcing the creation of "Life In A Day," a film project that solicits video submissions from YouTube users around the world--the criteria is that they must capture some kind of moment filmed on July 24.
HBO, Showtime and Starz, consider this a warning. Netflix and Relativity have just announced a deal that will see all first-run theatrical releases from the production company available via streaming to Netflix subscribers, just months after their release on DVD. It's a bit of a coup for the mail order 'n' mobile-streaming service, as it will give its 13 million subscribers access to new(ish) films before they're viewed on pay TV.
In search of new business models, some media and retail companies are treading on each other's turf online. One of the latest examples is Lockerz Inc., a youth-targeted media website that doles out points to members for watching videos with ads, taking surveys, signing up other friends, and completing other social-networking tasks. This week, Lockerz—which says it has amassed 16 million registered users—is launching a shopping component that lets users redeem those points, dubbed PTZ, for discounts from its own online mall from brands including Sony Corp., Ben Sherman Group Ltd. and Nintendo Co.
In all my years in online analytics, I have been waiting to see an online media placement that is so strong, the consumer converts directly from one exposure (either click or view), without a path of influence. I think most people reading this would agree that it's nearly impossible (because if we all knew the secret formula, wouldn't we all be using it?!). But why then is the last click/view attribution the standard model?
Hulu LLC announced a new paid subscription service for watching TV shows on computers, mobile devices and televisions, potentially creating a battle with cable-television operators that are planning similar services. Called Hulu Plus, the offering will initially be available only to invited subscribers for $9.99 a month. The paid service comes on top of the TV episodes that remain free to watch on Hulu.com.
We love awards in advertising and awards motivate agency behavior and recommendations. Perhaps it is time for Cannes to have a new award. An award for the most accurate, careful and ethical use of advertising. Not PSA’s, but an award for consumer brands that have decided to take into consideration all the potential effects of their marketing and have built a plan that carefully avoids abusing the power of advertising. This would need to be the pinnacle of achievement. So what is nicer than titanium? Unobtainium? Kryptonite? Crystal? I sort of like that. Crystal clear. No blemishes. And here is what I’d like to see entered next year.
General Mills said it has signed a deal making its Wheaties Fuel the official cereal of the Ironman Triathlon. Financial terms were not disclosed. Wheaties Fuel will support its role with the Ironman Triathlon with national TV, print and online advertising. The brand will also have such onsite activation at upcoming Ironman and Ironman 70.3 events as signage, sampling stations and a presence at the finish line "to help loved ones encourage their winners through the finish."
You've seen him in those commercials for BP. An unassuming man wearing an orange polo and wire-frame glasses approaches the camera as he walks along a generic dock and says, "I'm Darryl Willis. I oversee BP's claims process on the Gulf Coast. BP has got to make things right, and that's why we're here." Mr. Willis has been setting up and overseeing BP's claims offices in the affected Gulf Coast states -- a juxtaposition that some commentors on black-focused blogs said has undertones of racial perfidy. Nonetheless, Mr. Willis, a married father of two children, has become the most visible face of BP. Ad Age spoke to Mr. Willis via phone as he was en route from Florida to New Orleans.
Publish2 has unveiled its first big play — a news content bartering system intended to make major online news sources capable of achieving scale, to let a network of news providers compete with syndication monopolies like the Associated Press and others, and to allow trusted brands to leverage quality content across media, including print. Karp’s premise is that there is a latent “content graph,” analogous to the social graph being leveraged by Facebook and Twitter.
Edward Cullen will return to his Volvo XC60 in the upcoming Twilight Saga: Eclipse, and Volvo, in turn, will once again market the tie-in with an online promotion. To promote the film, which premieres June 30, Volvo and agency Euro 4D are launching "Lost in Forks," a contest offering a chance to win the car. A TV spot, set to break this week from Arnold Worldwide, links the safety aspect of a Volvo with the twists and turns of the series’ plot. “There’s more to life than a Volvo. There’s what you can expect: Being kissed, desired, loved, missed,” reads a voiceover as scenes from the movie roll by. “Then there’s everything you can’t expect. So be ready for it. That’s why you drive one.”
The era of eight-figure funding deals for ad networks isn't over -- at least not yet. Brand.net, a San Mateo, Calif., network found by former Yahoo execs, just closed a $14 million funding round led by Focus Ventures. The ad-network space is saturated and the competition for ad dollars and margins is cutthroat. But while most networks are chasing the latest hot sector -- real-time buying and selling of audience and ad impressions -- Brand.net has taken a page from the TV market and created a futures market for online display and video.
The executives at Allstate, known, after their familiar slogan, as “the ‘good hands’ people,” are adding a bad cop to their car advertising good cop. The actor Dean Winters, who plays dark characters in series like “Oz,” “Rescue Me” and “30 Rock,” will appear in an Allstate campaign as Mayhem, personifying the pitfalls, like collisions and storm damage, that can befall drivers. Teaser commercials that began on Friday are intended to pique curiosity for the campaign, which is likely to start in early July.
UPCs, those bar codes featured on packaged goods, are turning into an unlikely new media opportunity as Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, Kraft, Campbell Soup, Procter & Gamble and others link with mobile technology providers. Proponents of the technology say it provides a new stream of consumer communication, but critics say it will be of limited interest. At the moment, many major packaged-goods marketers are dipping their toes in the water with low-key pilot programs.
There’s no doubt that BP’s brand value has been affected by the explosion of its Deepwater Horizon drilling rig in the Gulf of Mexico in April. And as the damaged rig has been dumping thousands of barrels of oil into the Gulf each day and causing massive environmental casualties, BP has been on a social media and advertising campaign to repair some of the damage.
At the Center for Future Storytelling, researchers envision how technology can give people more control over TV programs they encounter and stories they follow.
What is the end of the world? For some, it would be dedicating your life to appear on a TV game show. For others, it would be creating a machine that can prove itself better than anyone who dedicates their life to appear on a TV game show. For myself, it seems clear that IBM has created something that will be the apogee of appointment television by honing a supercomputer to compete with the finest mailmen, insurance brokers, and nurses to prove that it can, well, find the question in the answer.
NBC Universal's new Dial Star, a 10-episode Web series sponsored by AT&T, is the latest proof of the media giant's growing commitment to branded entertainment. It also follows on rival moves, such as Orbit’s new DumbDumb campaign from former NBCU entertainment head Ben Silverman and actors Jason Bateman and Will Arnett. Starring Annalynne McCord (above, of 90210 and Nip/Tuck fame), Dial Star aims to build an online following and viral buzz with its mix of Hollywood glitz and glamour, deception and identity theft.
Struggling social network MySpace is gearing up for a relaunch of the site later this year, and as part of that it has begun canvassing adland for an agency to devise a major branding campaign. Industry executives say the News Corp.-owned company recently put out a request for proposals to several creative shops, asking them to help MySpace get the word out about the relaunch, which will include new features to be introduced in stages starting this summer and a revamped site and logo in the fall.
People worldwide will be looking toward digital technology -- particularly that which uses the Internet -- to serve their entertainment and media needs, proving once again the future is indeed digital. According to PricewaterhouseCoopers' most recent "Global Entertainment and Media Outlook," expenditures in those categories are expected to increase to $1.7 trillion from by 2014 (from $1.3 trillion), with a compound annual growth rate of 5%. In the U.S., such expenditures will increase about 4% annually to $517 billion by 2014 (from $425 billion).
In one sense, the public has never been more informed. This is the first spill that has been covered in real time, with streaming high-definition video on desktops and televisions everywhere, network anchors racking up miles flying back and forth, and throbbing info-graphics that track the mess. We can all see the video for ourselves: an angry plume that looks like hell has been breached and is sending a dark, massive emissary to the surface. But to look for clarity amid the murk is a daily riddle. The size of the spill has been a moving target, with estimates recently doubled to 25,000 or 30,000 barrels a day, even after BP stanched some of the flow.
BusinessWeek, a weekly periodical catering to the business community (go figure), was recently acquired by Bloomberg Media from their previous owner, McGraw-Hill. Financial pundits saw this as a quick route for Bloomberg, the successful, finance-oriented media outlet started by the mayor of New York, to a strong presence in print. More to the point, it was viewed as an opportunity to make Bloomberg, the unseen hand behind so many news feeds and stock tickers, more of a household name. And so it came to be. Their name now graces the living rooms and reception areas of millions of homes and businesses across the world, announcing its debut by turning a new page in BusinessWeek’s 80-year history.
Many media properties have started to license their own brands in addition to their programs and franchises. This trend has been gaining traction over the past several years as media companies have come to the realization that consumers can and do associate their favorite TV and magazine brands with certain lifestyle or product categories.
AOL is planning to hire hundreds of journalists, editors and videographers in the coming year as it builds out its content-first business model. David Eun, president of AOL's media and studios division, is expected to announce the push in an all-hands meeting of the group in New York today when he lays out his strategy for the unit that will include grouping all the sites into 17 "super-networks."
If you're trolling the web and hit upon an Examiner.com story, you might think you're reading the San Francisco Examiner. But you're not. Instead, Examiner.com is a crowd-sourced content play with the backing of billionaire investor Philip Anschutz. With over 40,000 freelancers in more than 240 neighborhoods, the Denver-based start-up aims to dominate every province of local news, bringing marketers and advertising along with it.
The upfront market, the annual mating dance in which ad buyers and major broadcast networks haggle over ad time for the new TV season, is heating up, and could be sold out in a matter of weeks, ad buyers and marketers say. It's a major reversal from last year when talks dragged on through much of the summer in a harsh economic climate.
This year, Social Media marketing will gain significant support in resources and investment across businesses of all shapes and sizes. So what’s new? Now, a line is being drawn between edglings and underlings. Where we choose to stand affects the presence of our brand and value in new markets and our ability to capture attention where and how it is focused – both online and in the real world.
Google has made its triumphant entrance in the entertainment war with Google TV. Will users embrace it over the likes of Apple TV, though? That’s the question we’re asking you in this week’s Web Faceoff, where we poll the Mashable readership on which web apps and products they care about most. Apple was one of the first to move into the web TV market with Apple TV, first announced in 2006. However, the product never gained the success of other Apple products such as the iPhone, the iPod and even the iPad. Still, Apple TV has a loyal niche customer base.
Media and production budgets continue to shrink while expectation of results does not. We are challenged daily to figure out how to make more happen with less, and this is never truer than when trying to determine how to both brand and sell our clients' product. Gone are the days where most advertisers can afford both the big, broad anthemic brand campaign as well as the more "hard sell," retail version. We've morphed into a space where ads are expected to both brand and sell, but cracking the code on how to accomplish both effectively has proven challenging for many.
Third-party ad networks have been officially banned from Twitter, according to a post on the Twitter blog on Monday from Chief Operating Officer Dick Costolo. It's a move that could drive some of the advertising start-ups that have built around Twitter out of business. "We will not allow any third party to inject paid tweets into a timeline on any service that leverages the Twitter API," the post read, explaining that the exception will be Twitter's own "promoted tweets" program that it announced earlier this year.
Few doubt that branding messages can be powerful, but new research shows that even when consumers don’t recall the specific message, their preferences can be shaped to the point where they reject new information that conflicts with their stored brand association. Melanie Dempsey (Ryerson University) and Andrew A. Mitchell (University of Toronto) set out to test the power of branding messages by conditioning consumers to like or dislike fictitious brand names. They exposed consumers to hundreds of images which included 20 pairing a fictitious brand with positive words or images. 20 other images paired another brand with negative sentiments. At the end of the process, the subjects were unable to recall which brands had been associated with positive or negative messages, but DID express a preference for the positively-matched brand. The researchers called this an, ‘I like it, but I don’t know why’ effect.
Plummeting newspaper circulation, disappearing classified ads, “unbundling” of content—the list of what’s killing journalism is long. But high on that list, many would say, is Google, the biggest unbundler of them all. Now, having helped break the news business, the company wants to fix it—for commercial as well as civic reasons: if news organizations stop producing great journalism, says one Google executive, the search engine will no longer have interesting content to link to. So some of the smartest minds at the company are thinking about this, and working with publishers, and peering ahead to see what the future of journalism looks like. Guess what? It’s bright.
How can businesses engage interactively with their customers in a way that will cement brand affinity and drive behavior, such as changing how a brand is experienced, shifting existing customer perceptions, or engaging new audiences? In the design industry, "interactive" is often a misnomer for "digital" or "Web," but the most fundamental interactive experience is a dialog.
As much as Madison Avenue looks back to the 1970s and 1980s when trying to evoke nostalgic feelings in consumers, there are still nothing like the trappings of the 1960s to seek to make those emotional connections. That is evident again in a campaign scheduled to get under way on Monday from a new brand under the Sprint Nextel banner, Common Cents.
Bill Cosby is bringing the giggles back to jiggling desserts. The comedian is reteaming with Jell-O after a decade-long break as its pitchman, only this time around he's not in front of the camera, as he was from 1974 to 1999. Cosby is executive producing its new "Hello Jell-O" campaign which kicks off today with a new logo and series of spots, a multimillion-dollar effort that's the gelatin and pudding brand's biggest marketing effort today
After several years of lying in the weeds, mobile advertising has significantly picked up steam. It finally makes sense to understand how to effectively use and deploy mobile paid search marketing campaigns. In this article, I’ll provide some basic tips related to paid search mobile marketing. In my next article, I’ll suggest several ad copy and landing pages strategies for mobile paid search campaigns.
Chris Perry has just been named VP marketing at Hyundai Motor America, replacing Joel Ewanick, who departed in March, first to lead U.S. marketing at Nissan, and then to GM, where he is overseeing marketing for the automaker's four brands. Perry, now reporting to CEO John Krafcik, has helped develop the automaker's award-winning marketing strategy that includes big-exposure media buys and an aspirational position that makes the Hyundai of a decade ago seem like a brand from another era.
Television set makers are forecasting a dramatic increase in shipments this year as the global economy recovers, 3D sets go on sale, and flat-panel TVs become cheap enough for the mass market in emerging countries. Six top Japanese and South Korean brands – Sony, Panasonic, Toshiba, Sharp, Samsung and LG – are targeting a combined 42 per cent increase in unit sales this year, from about 100m to more than 140m. The four Japanese makers are also hoping to claw back some market share, forecasting a 47 per cent rise in shipments, compared with 36 per cent for the two largest South Korean companies.
If there’s one thing we’ve learned from the Internet it is that if a middleman doesn’t add enough value, their days are numbered. Media companies may not have thought of themselves as middlemen—but that’s what they have been for marketers. When I used to buy advertising a decade or so ago, I felt it was my job to do what I could to get the media provider out of the middle between my company and the customers we desired. For example, we did a lot to drive a direct relationship including encouraging them to register with us so we could communicate with them directly later—first through e-mail, now it would be via a Facebook page or Twitter.
A few years ago, there was a persistent debate going on in the halls of Newsweek magazine. For decades Newsweek, with 3.2 million readers, had been the number-two newsmagazine in a three-player field: Time had about a million more subscribers, while U.S. News & World Reports lagged with about a million fewer. U.S. News had been losing money for years, and even before the Great Recession hit, it seemed vulnerable. Inside Newsweek, where I was a reporter, some of us wondered: Would it be good or bad for Newsweek if U.S. News disappeared?
In a move that will stoke a battle over the future of the Internet, the federal government plans to propose regulating broadband lines under decades-old rules designed for traditional phone networks. The decision, by Federal Communications Commission Chairman Julius Genachowski, is likely to trigger a vigorous lobbying battle, arraying big phone and cable companies and their allies on Capitol Hill against Silicon Valley giants and consumer advocates.
Google is making some very noticeable changes to its familiar search results pages, rolling out the changes gradually on Tuesday and Wednesday. The search giant is adding a new left-handed navigation panel to most results pages, adding some visual clutter at the expense of offering users tools to help more narrowly focus their query. What will show up on this new left panel depends what a person is looking for.
The news is in the news yet again. People familiar with the situation are throwing cold water on an online report from New York magazine that suggests CNN and CBS News are once again on the cusp of a partnership -- although there are plenty of reasons why a deal could make sense for either side.
If you want to know what paid content on the web can do for newspapers' paid circulation, keep your eye on places such as Lima, Ohio and Bend, Ore. If pay walls can't make it in these environments, they probably can't make it anywhere else.
Sony is taking a subtle marketing approach for the launch of its WiFi-enabled portable Internet viewer, the Dash. While announcing the device's availability on Thursday, Sony downplayed marketing plans, saying the device would be highlighted on shows such as "The Dr. Oz Show" and "The Martha Stewart Show" and on CNBC programming and make appearances in music videos from Sony Music artists.
Over the last month I have given a presentation entitled "Marketing in the Moment" at several different interactive conferences, including the SMX Toronto personalization panel, the PubCon Dallas real-time and social panel, and at Search Insider Summit Marketing Strategy panel in Captiva (click here to view the presentation on Slideshare). Today I want to elaborate on this presentation, and discuss how search and social are becoming imperative elements of a holistic marketing strategy, and how organizations must embrace the concept of marketing as an "in the moment" medium.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg doesn't shy away from grand promises. At the release of Facebook's ill-fated Beacon content-sharing platform in November 2007, he called it a once-in-a-century shift in media. Last week, he made another grand pronouncement, this time when introducing Open Graph, Facebook's audacious plan to serve as the de facto social operating system for the Internet. The new system, he said, is "the most transformative thing we've ever done for the Web."
Foursquare’s bread-and-butter is the partnerships that seed the location-based social network with curated content. Now, that includes editorial tips and badges from the renowned business publication The Wall Street Journal.
At a time when marketing executives are under pressure to measure the performance of and prove the effectiveness of their ads, Starcom USA, a media buying and planning company, says understanding emotional motivations for media choices may help consumer product companies deliver ads that motivate readers to consider their products.
With their ability to cheaply reach eyeballs, online ad networks have commanded more money and attention from marketers in the past few years, thus edging out content sites in the conversation for ad dollars. A recent study, however, claims content is back. A survey of agencies and marketers revealed that 52% of them plan to spend more on content sites this year, whereas only 35% said they were likely to increase budgets for ad networks. As examples of content destinations, the study cited ESPN and WebMD.
Here's a new twist in the world of product placement. Most of the time it's a movie or a TV character, say, opening up a laptop with a clean shot of the Apple logo right there on it. The twist today is product placement during the ads where the product is the programming. CNN has been trying it out with one of its new shows. The camera keeps on rolling right through the commercial breaks.
Once upon a time, Schwinn pretty much owned the American bicycle market and, with models like Varsity, Continental, and of course, the Paramount, defined American-made bicycling dominance. But that was back when a carbon frame was something you made with a pencil, and brands like Trek, Specialized, Cannondale and Giant had not climbed onto retail bike racks.
Last week, neuromarketing firm Neurofocus released summary results of a study that compared the performance of the same ad when run on television and on two Internet websites, Facebook and a website controlled by the advertiser. The commercial tested was “Trip For Life,” part of VISA’s multimedia campaign built around the 2010 Winter Olympics.
There was a time when media companies--and by that I mean magazine and newspaper publishers--employed entire "reader services" departments for each publication. There, dedicated operators would answer readers’ questions via a 1-800 number about products seen in the magazine. Just as advertisements today would never forgo mentioning their Web site addresses, years ago advertisers would always identify their 1-800 numbers in campaigns. How else could consumers get in touch or know who to ask? Now there are electronic robots scrolling Twitter and other social networking sites searching for brand mentions and customer concerns. Once a brand mention is found, a dedicated team of community managers is instantaneously alerted and go to work answering consumer questions or rewarding consumers for positive brand references via Twitter, e-mail, Facebook or other forms of social media. The distance between the seller and the buyer today is short.
ESPN's "One Game Changes Everything" platform for promoting its coverage of the FIFA World Cup includes a raft of specials, films on soccer and South Africa, and ads featuring the likes of U2 (featured in a TV spot with lead singer Bono), actor Djimon Hounsou and jazz legend South African Hugh Masekela and his son, an American. John Skipper, EVP at ESPN, said at a press conference in New York on Wednesday that it is the largest promotional campaign behind a single event ESPN has ever done.
A dozen broadcasters have joined forces to create a new service for delivering mobile TV. With more and more people watching video on smartphones and other portable gadgets, the newly created venture will let member companies cook up digital TV content including live and on-demand video, news from both print and electronic outlets, and an array of sports and entertainment shows. Potentially, it could also provide U.S. mobile users with information on emergencies and natural disasters.
Slowly but surely things are getting better, and I have decided that it is time to get back to investing in the future rather than just trying to survive. Advertising is one expense that is really an investment. Like all investments, advertising can produce results that range from great to disastrous. It requires understanding who your best prospects are, how to reach them, and what the message should be. Because most small-business owners are busy, if not overwhelmed, it can be tempting to let advertising salespeople drive the process. That can be a mistake. You don’t want to choose your advertising based on which salesperson happens to call on you.
Joel Ewanick became VP marketing, Nissan Division, on March 22. Literally. Ewanick, who replaces Christian Meunier (tapped as president, Nissan Brazil) went right to work, attending agency strategy sessions and dealer meetings. The former VP marketing at Hyundai Motor American since early 2007 now orchestrates the whole marching band, from marketing communications to incentives to pricing and product management.
The first time I noticed the word "Content" had changed, I was being ushered into the inner sanctum of Zappos by a woman answering phones in an Elvis Costume. Why is there a content department at Zappos? Don't they sell shoes and other nifty stuff? Well, it turns out, at Zappos the folks who make images, text and product information for the Web site are working with Zappos "Content." Makes sense, in a Zappos kind of way, I thought at the time. But in the eight months since that visit, the world has changed. All of us, it now appears, are in the Content business.
In a headline grabbing move, Conan O’Brien is jumping the network ship and moving to TBS. Beginning in November, his new show will air Monday through Thursday at 11pm, bumping George Lopez to a midnight start, and locking up a solid two hours of comedy for the network whose tagline is “Very Funny."
Twitter has just launched a new site called Twitter Media, where it’s offering media organizations and journalists some case studies and guidelines to better connect with their Twitter fans. Alongside the new portal, Twitter has also launched an official Twitter Media account. The site has the description, “Knowledge and tools to help you use Twitter to transform media, entertainment, and journalism.” at the top, then gets right down to business with a series of blog posts.
Journalists are, by nature, crafty folk who are wonderfully adept at stalking — I mean, finding sources and relevant information for various and sundry stories. Well, the advent of social media has made the process of reporting all the more nuanced, and has served as a vital channel for everything from finding leads to contacting sources to sharing and furthering one’s brand.
Oprah Winfrey, arguably the best-known personal brand in media, now OWN’s even more of the cultural pie. Yesterday, the queen of daytime announced she will be going prime time next year. OWN, her own cable channel, is backed by Harpo Productions and Discovery Communications, and fittingly “Oprah’s Next Chapter” will be her next on-air gig. This time, however, she’ll be out of the studio, trotting the globe with friends and celebrities to... well, anywhere she pleases. And the new show will only air two or three days a week, as Oprah forgoes her rigorous daily programming routine.
ZenithOptimedia has upgraded its global ad-spending forecast again, now predicting 2.2% growth in 2010, up from the 0.9% increase it had projected four months ago, which was itself a slightly more optimistic projection than the 0.5% gain anticipated before that. "Confidence in the global economic recovery, while tentative, continues to grow, and this improvement has been apparent in ad markets across the world," ZenithOptimedia said in a report Wednesday morning. "Ad expenditure is accelerating in bullish developing markets, while in the developing world the downturn is coming to an end more quickly than expected."
Microsoft-owned MSN is going after traditional brand dollars with a new magazine-like content site called Glo, a women's lifestyle venue produced in conjunction with Hachette Filipacchi Media U.S and BermanBraun. The site, which focuses on beauty, style, relationships and other classic women's magazine topics, takes a page from the previous MSN/BermanBraun's collaboration Wonderwall, which is heavy on celebrity photography and employs a vertical navigation interface.
Despite a laggard economy and tepid ratings for the sport in 2009, advertisers are returning to Major League Baseball telecasts for the coming season, which begins this week, and baseball’s TV rights holders are close to selling out commercial time on their first few months of games, both at the national and local levels. Buoyed by a doubling in automotive ad dollars and a 75 percent hike in financial advertising compared to this time last season for its Saturday afternoon games and two prime-time contests, Fox is virtually sold out for April and May. Turner has taken in 15 percent to 20 percent more ad dollars than it did last year for its Sunday afternoon MLB games.
I gave a talk in Edinburgh last year to a group of TV executives gathered for an annual conference. From the Q&A after, it was clear that for them, the question wasn’t whether the internet was going to alter their business, it was about the mode and tempo of that alteration. Against that background, though, they were worried about a much more practical matter: When, they asked, would online video generate enough money to cover their current costs? That kind of question comes up a lot. It’s a tough one to answer, not just because the answer is unlikely to make anybody happy, but because the premise is more important than the question itself. There are two essential bits of background here. The first is that most TV is made by for-profit companies, and there are two ways to generate a profit: raise revenues above expenses, or cut expenses below revenues. The other is that, for many media business, that second option is unreachable. Here’s why.
Hulu is everyone's favorite provider of TV on the web, but it's facing an ideological battle over its future. On one side are its network backers, which would like Hulu to become a paid service. On the other is the advertising community, which would like to keep Hulu free as a test-bed for new targeted-ad formats that can't be skipped. It's an important issue, because any debate about Hulu is a debate about the future of purely ad-supported TV, which is increasingly becoming an endangered species.
I attend a lot of marketing conferences where I hear over-excited pitch people telling me all about The New Thing that will Change Every Paradigm Forever. So much over-enthusiasm can jade just about anyone, so it was with relief that I joined a much more sober group for their conference. I spent the last few days at the Advertising Research Federation’s (ARF) re:Think 2010 conference taking place in New York City. I found, however, that even here among the stodgiest of marketing researchers, there’s talk of … a paradigm shift.
Should we be surprised that the biggest fight over freedom of expression in years involves Google, a company that produces algorithms rather than articles? Probably not. Google executives struck a blow for free speech in China last week when they announced they were moving their service to Hong Kong after a series of mounting conflicts with the government over the privacy of its users and the free flow of information. That would seem to put Google in league with newspapers, television news divisions and other outlets that look to protect information from government control. But no, Google insists, it is definitely not a media company.
Behavioral targeting may keep advertisers front-and-center with their target audiences. It may also keep some publishers in business. The practice, which involves tracking consumers' Web surfing and shopping habits so marketers can deliver ads to audiences who are most interested in them, is paying off for the companies that are dabbling in this space, according to a survey the Network Advertising Initiative (NAI).
The Apple iPad, hitting stores April 3, is one of the most-hyped products in technology history. There is talk that it could revolutionize computing and media. But when it comes to new products, great expectations can doom products that don't measure up to them.
Six years ago I had the opportunity to work on an ambitious social project that set out to socialize the living room. Keep in mind, this was before the popularization of social networking as it exists today. In almost every way, this system predicted what would ultimately transform your experience on PCs as well as everything else. It was rooted in the realization that the Web was an isolated and lonely experience and that in order for online and terrestrial content to connect with audiences in the future, a new hybrid was required – one that fused social, consumption, and participation in the overall experience.
Public broadcasting, specifically PBS, is making a historic move, premiering “Earth Day” on Facebook. The full-length documentary, chronicling the growth of the environmental movement in the United States, will air April 11th on Facebook, and be broadcast on PBS eight days later. The reason? A Facebook debut will hopefully generate viral buzz and reach a younger audience attracted to the content but not necessarily devotees of PBS or appointment-viewing television. According to Mark Samels, executive producer of the “American Experience” series, "It's an opportunity, we think, to engage with a new audience, an audience that we may not be bringing to PBS Monday nights at 9 o'clock."
I’ve been trying to organize my thoughts about the iPad and the direction that Apple is taking computing along with it. It’s really an extension of the way they look at the iPhone, which I found unsettling at the time but with the iPad, we’re all finally coming around to the idea that they really, really mean it.
Toyota has announced three major recalls covering a total of eight million vehicles globally since October 2009. The recalls are for defects that have been associated with 52 fatalities and 38 injuries so far. Not surprisingly, the business media and notable Toyota experts are starkly pessimistic. We looked at 108 Wall Street Journal articles discussing Toyota during February, 2010, and found that 106 were negative to Toyota. In a recent column by Dennis Seid, Jeffrey Liker, an economist and author of The Toyota Way observed that the hearings and the resultant lawsuits could severely damage the company in many ways.
Wow. Just wow. Yesterday of all days, ABC (via it's parent, Disney) decides to play hard ball with Cablevision and pull its programming from 3,000,000+ New York based customers and countless more tri-state (New Jersey and Connecticut) customers as well (CT customers could watch on their local CT affiliate station, but I'd suspect the average viewer within 50 miles of New York doesn't even know this exists) And all of this on the DAY of the Academy Awards.
This Sunday, the film industry's good and great will adorn the red carpet with their Gucci gowns and Cartier jewelry for Hollywood's biggest night, as the 82nd Annual Academy Awards celebrate the best in the business. But who would win our Oscar for "Best Use of Media to Promote a Film"? We nominated "The Blind Side" from Alcon Entertainment and Warner Bros. and Paramount's "Up in the Air."
Some big marketers have begun shifting to value-based compensation instead of paying agencies a fee for labor hours. Value-based compensation aligns remuneration more closely with results, such as sales, share of market or brand awareness. This seems like a more reasonable way to compensate agencies, because there is no relationship between labor hours and results. It also aligns clients' and agencies' interests more closely, as both are measured by the same performance metric; however, it also compels agencies to have "skin in the game" by agreeing to forgo some upfront income for a chance at greater profits later.
Yahoo!, which will celebrate its 15th year in business on Tuesday, is pitching the "science, art and scale" of its enterprise to advertisers. Carol Bartz, company CEO, is working with marketers, including Wal-Mart and TurboTax, to develop advertising and content tailored to specific audiences they want to reach. "We need ads to engage an audience because we want that audience to stick around," Bartz on Monday told a group of advertising and media executives assembled for an American Association of Advertising Agencies (aka the 4A's) conference in San Francisco.
Magazine executives spent much of last year telling anyone who would listen that they were taking their brands digital. Their message this year: Print rules. Five leading magazine publishers have pitched in on a multimillion-dollar ad campaign touting the "power of print." They say nearly 1,400 pages of the ads will be sprinkled through magazines including People, Vogue and Ladies' Home Journal this year.
Speaking as a card-carrying member of the old media, it has been my observation that virtually every magazine (old media) now has a Web site (new media, a.k.a. digital media), and that the proprietors of these sites don’t, for the most part, know what one another are doing; that there are no generally accepted standards and practices; that each magazine’s Web site is making it up as it goes along; that, as CJR put it in our proposal to the MacArthur foundation (which funded this survey), it is like the Wild West out there. For example, who makes the final decisions about what goes on the site, the editor of the magazine or, if there is one, the Web editor? Are Web sites fact-checked and copy-edited, if at all, with the same care as their parent magazines? On the business side, how much material is free, and how much is behind a paywall? What about archives—are they marketed, monetized, and curated in ways that differ from current content?
Back in the day, a decade (to 50 decades) ago, we discovered media — news, information, or service — through brands: We went and bought the newspaper or magazine or turned on a channel on its schedule. That behavior and expectation was brought to the internet: Brands built sites and expected us to come to them. Now there are other spheres of discovery — new spheres that are shifting in importance, effectiveness, and share. I believe they will overlap more and more to provide better — that is, more relevant, timely, and authoritative — means of discovery. These evolving spheres also change the relationships of creators and customers and the fundamental economics of media.
Executives at ICOM, a global network of independent ad agencies, were surveyed by Ad Age about the top digital trends and issues facing their markets in 2010. Among the findings: Facebook and Twitter rule the world (except in China and Spain), but digital budgets are still small and, in some countries, mostly reserved for the bravest of marketers. Oh, and don't insult the monarch in Malaysia.
Let us put aside for a moment the rah-rah, "Go Team USA" focus of the NBC coverage that often bugs viewers who would like a more global view of the Olympics. Let us also set aside sport-specific beefs, like the way Scott Hamilton's groaning has gotten completely out of hand when he's calling figure skating, or the way the curling announcers make it sound like only a three-year-old wouldn't know precisely how to win every single game with ease, because they certainly could. The mere structure of the NBC coverage has left a great deal to be desired this time around, and it came to a head last night when they shuffled the much-anticipated USA-Canada hockey game off to MSNBC, in part to use NBC as a showcase for probably the least anticipated of the figure skating events: ice dancing.
NBC Universal’s television coverage of the Winter Olympics in Vancouver this month is exhaustive, as viewers have come to expect. But its Web coverage, at least when compared with the Summer Games in Beijing 18 months ago, is limited. NBC’s Web site is live-streaming fewer sports than it did in Beijing, marking a step backward in online access to marquee events. The company is making no secret that it would prefer for viewers to watch the Olympics on television, especially in prime time, even though a growing number of people are accustomed to watching TV on the Internet.
Imagine a young Karl Marx alive today: a radical-minded, straggle-bearded intellectual who wanted to make the world a better, more just place. He blogs, presumably. He's among the millions fed up with the party knockabout. What might Karl seize on as the great issue in economics and politics? I'm beginning to think it might be advertising.
The Advertising Research Foundation (ARF) recently produced a playbook that contains more than 35 case studies of putting listening to work, written by Steve Rappaport, the Advertising Research Foundation’s Knowledge Solutions Director. The playbook is about listening to customer conversations and seeks to answer four questions that ARF members and many industry folks are asking:
The Association of National Advertisers' annual TV & Everything Video Forum is supposed to be a place where marketers gather to figure out where the business of TV advertising is going. That quest has yet to be completed. But this year, advertisers had no trouble showing us where TV has already gone. Speaker after speaker lined up example after example of shockingly intrusive pacts that placed -- nay, shoved -- commercial messages deep into programming.
One of the greatest challenges I encounter today is not the willingness of a brand to engage, but its ability to create. When blueprinting a social media strategy, enthusiasm and support typically derails when examining the resources and commitment required to produce regular content. Indeed, we are programing the social web around our brand hub, which requires a consistent flow of engaging and relevant social objects. Social objects are the catalysts for conversations — online and in real life — and they affect behavior within their respective societies.
At a recent client presentation, colleague Steve Rubel said something which I found to be very insightful. Essentially, we are all media. We act like the media, espousing opinions—reporting from the field (Iran etc.) and in turn media has begun to act like us (blogging, tweeting and becoming more opinionated vs. hard news oriented).
Sometimes a big brand's family of products can be so overwhelming that consumers forget they're all made by the same company. That's why Hormel's new ad campaign is pitching "its whole Hormel-branded portfolio" – to educate consumers about the brand's various offerings and encourage them to buy more than just a few favorite products.
Hello, Hollywood. On the heels of the Foursquare-Bravo TV deal, news of several additional major media partnerships involving the location-based social networking app have dropped this evening. According to various reports, Zagat, Warner Bros., HBO, the History Channel and ExploreChicago have all been added to Foursquare’s media and entertainment mix. Here are the partnerships that appear to be live or coming very soon:
It used to be that a basic $25-a-month phone bill was your main telecommunications expense. But by 2004, the average American spent $770.95 annually on services like cable television, Internet connectivity and video games, according to data from the Census Bureau. By 2008, that number rose to $903, outstripping inflation. By the end of this year, it is expected to have grown to $997.07. Add another $1,000 or more for cellphone service and the average family is spending as much on entertainment over devices as they are on dining out or buying gasoline.
House Democrats challenged executives from the cable television company Comcast and the television network NBC Universal on Thursday to show that Comcast’s plan to take control of the NBC media empire would not hurt consumers and rivals. In a hearing, members of a House Energy and Commerce subcommittee expressed concerns that the transaction could lead to a range of competitive harms, including higher cable TV rates and fewer video programming choices.
It's been three years since radio advertising last posted quarterly revenue growth, back in the first quarter of 2007 -- three years that most recently saw Citadel Broadcasting, owner and operator of 224 stations, file for bankruptcy protection in December and long-struggling Air America shut down entirely in January. It's hard not to dread the full-year figures for 2009, due out from the Radio Advertising Bureau later this month, after the third quarter alone delivered a 21% plunge.
Ask any marketer who has been around for a while what the greatest form of marketing is in the mom market, and he or she will undoubtedly answer "word of mouth." Some may even cleverly call it word of mom. A decade ago, a marketer's dream was to have a mom tell other mothers about their brand or product on the playground. We jumped for joy if moms sitting in focus groups told us that they heard about our product from another mom at a play date. It was difficult to quantify this "word of mouth," but we knew in our guts it was either building brand awareness or driving sales. Then, almost miraculously, the mom blogger was born and suddenly marketers could see and track word of mom in comments, tweets and blog posts
Fueled by the music industry's ongoing turmoils and, finally, books going digital at a very rapid pace, there is a lot of debate on how to deal with the fact that many people habitually share i.e. redistribute digital content without any of the upstream users making their own payment. How can you monetize content when the copy is free? This question is a key issue across the board, whether it's in music, eBooks, news, publishing, TV or movies. The fear is, of course, that once a digital item has been purchased by one person it can be easily forwarded to anyone else if it is in an open format, thus seriously reducing the possibility that someone else will actually pay real $ for it, as well (of course, the same is true for supposedly locked or protected digital content as well - it just takes a bit longer). No more control over distribution = no more money. Right?
Who would have thought we'd ever miss the days of the Budweiser talking frogs? The main advertising buzz around this year's Super Bowl has been CBS' inability to sell discounted time and the controversial advertisers who are taking advantage of the cheap rates. In the good old days of, say, five years ago, the Super Bowl meant three things to its 90 million viewers: football, partying and ads. At 44, the Game is beginning to show its middle-age paunch, with the media focusing on its problems, not its successes. Sounds more AARP than MTV!
Media companies have predicted a bounce back in their advertising revenue. Now, investors say, they have to come through for shares to resume their run. The economic downturn led companies to slash advertising on TV, radio, newspapers and magazines. In recent months, slower declines in ad spending fueled stock prices for U.S. media companies, including the Big Five conglomerates. Investors will get a good read this week on advertising activity. News Corp., owner of The Wall Street Journal, is expected on Tuesday afternoon to post fiscal second-quarter earnings of 20 cents a share, according to Thomson Reuters, higher than the 12 cents a share from a year earlier. Before Wednesday's opening bell, Time Warner is expected to pull in fourth-quarter profit of 51 cents a share, up from 23 cents a share. The rest of the Big Five—Walt Disney, Viacom and CBS—will report earnings later this month.
The great and good from the world of social media met Wednesday at Davos and agreed their medium still hasn't reached its full potential, with one speaker joking that the really cool stuff wouldn't happen "until we're dead." This is a frightening prospect when one considers how much our digital and real lives have blurred already. Seven of the 15 most trafficked Web sites in the world are social sites, according to George Colony of Forrester Research, a technology specialist.
You have to give it to Apple. The company has an uncanny knack for seizing the moment and whipping journalists and consumers into a frenzy. The latest wave comes from today's launch of the iPad tablet with iBookstore content store. As always, there's a lot to like about Apple's device. The user interface looks great, the bookstore seems intuitive, and Apple set a price point (at least for the entry level iPad) that positions the device well in the marketplace. The hype bar was set so high that inevitably some people were disappointed - Dan Frommer from Silicon Alley Insider called it a big "yawn" that won't define publishing the way many experts projected.
A campaign for CoverGirl Natural Hue Compact was the most effective magazine ad campaign of 2009, according to reader reaction research by Affinity's Vista service. After measuring reader responses to more than 30,000 magazine ads last year, Affinity ranked the ads on an index of reader scores for ad recall, brand association and actions taken. Check out the winners in a variety of major advertising categories, starting with the grand prize honoree.
Some advice for media companies trying to sell ads: Promising your senior staff's full attention might not charm potential advertisers as much as you think. Ad results, understanding a marketer's business, aggressive deals on price and customer service are the real top priorities, according to a new Advertiser Perceptions survey of more than 1,500 digital, TV and print media decision-makers at both clients and agencies. Each of those four criteria were rated "very important" by at least 75% of respondents.
The average young American now spends practically every waking minute — except for the time in school — using a smart phone, computer, television or other electronic device, according to a new study from the Kaiser Family Foundation. Those ages 8 to 18 spend more than seven and a half hours a day with such devices, compared with less than six and a half hours five years ago, when the study was last conducted. And that does not count the hour and a half that youths spend texting, or the half-hour they talk on their cellphones. And because so many of them are multitasking — say, surfing the Internet while listening to music — they pack on average nearly 11 hours of media content into that seven and a half hours.
What would you do if you surveyed your customers and they all said you suck? It may seem like a worst case scenario, but companies are faced with this challenge more often than you would think. It is not easy to hear, and in part it is the reason many companies simply don't survey their customers that often. It is easier to look just at metrics like sales or growth and use those to measure success. After all, why bother to ask customers what they really think if you are making money? The problem with this logic is that it doesn't help you to spot threats to your business and plan for the future. Making money is a temporary state ... and one that can be more fragile than you realize.
Conan O'Brien is close to signing a nearly $40 million deal to walk away from his dream job hosting NBC's "The Tonight Show," bringing down the curtain on one of the entertainment industry's biggest debacles in years. The comedian's exit agreement, which could be completed as early as Tuesday, bars Mr. O'Brien from bad-mouthing his former NBC bosses, according to people familiar with the matter, but paves the way for him to land another television gig within a year.
After years of bidding up fees for the rights to televise sports, U.S. media companies are putting on the brakes. Richard Carrion, a member of the International Olympic Committee's executive board, said the organization is seriously considering delaying until next year the bidding for the U.S. media rights for the 2014 and 2016 Olympics because of the ongoing struggles of broadcasters hurt by a rocky advertising market.
We're not even a month into 2010 and The Economist has already declared it to be "The year of the pay wall." "There are plenty of examples of paid content thriving even when free alternatives are available," according to the magazine. "Punters are happy to pay for multichannel television even though commercial broadcast television is free. Such alternatives thrive because they offer desirable content. One considerable advantage to building a pay wall is that it forces newspapers to think hard about what their customers (as opposed to their advertisers) might really want."
Someone on Twitter recently defined himself as a "word herder." "Clever," I thought, "but wrong." Bloggers and twitterers are not herding words. We are choosing words and combining them. And in a more perfect world, we would take inspiration from those who are good at this very difficult task. I have two candidates for our admiration. Leah Greenblatt offers this review of Contra by Vampire Weekend in a recent Entertainment Weekly. Notice the "slaphappy dazzle" of her prose.
Procter & Gamble is going out of its way to get more people involved in its 36-year-old People's Choice Awards, a sign of how TV producers are quickly tweaking the way they make their shows to cater to emerging viewer habits. This year, P&G is trying to rework the program's tried-and-true formula. The consumer-products giant, which maintains a TV-production arm, has enlisted reality-TV impresario Mark Burnett to helm this year's broadcast, loosened up and broadened the voting process, restructured the flow of the awards program itself and worked diligently to fan enthusiasm for the program well before it hits CBS Wednesday evening.
Ralph Kramden can finally buy a television. It was more than half a century ago, in a 1955 episode of “The Honeymooners,” that Kramden, the parsimonious bus driver played by Jackie Gleason, told his wife, Alice, that he had not yet bought a new television because “I’m waiting for 3-D.” The wait will soon be over. A full-fledged 3-D television turf war is brewing in the United States, as manufacturers unveil sets capable of 3-D and cable programmers rush to create new channels for them.
The first ten years of the new century may go down as the decade to forget. Terrorists attacks, devastating natural disasters, scary increases in CO2emissions, Wall Street scandals and two market crashes. The stock market is down 26% since 2000, median household income is also down, and unemployment is up. The price of oil has more than tripled, health care costs have spiraled out of control and there appears to be no end in sight to corporate bankruptcies and the mass exodus of loyal employees.
News Corp has unveiled its biggest restructuring of Dow Jones since its $5.6bn takeover of the financial information business in 2007, merging its consumer and enterprise divisions. The reorganisation will see the departure of Clare Hart, president of the enterprise business, who had driven a more web-based strategy for a business dependent on distributing its newswires content over the terminals sold by Thomson Reuters and Bloomberg.
The cable network is adding reality series and more-recent events to its coverage of the past. History channel President Nancy Dubuc knows what she's up against running a cable television network devoted to events from long ago in an age of real-time tweets and quirky videos that go viral instantaneously.
The performances on “American Idol” may be erratic and the plot twists on “Lost” may be unpredictable, but one facet of television is certain: the costs just keep going up. On New Year’s Day, the News Corporation, the media empire controlled by Rupert Murdoch, wrangled new payments from Time Warner Cable, including subscriber fees for the Fox Broadcasting network, which is free for viewers with over-the-air antennas.
Facebook, the popular networking site, has 350 million members worldwide who, collectively, spend 10 billion minutes there every day, checking in with friends, writing on people’s electronic walls, clicking through photos and generally keeping pace with the drift of their social world. Make that 9.9 billion and change.
American men have a naughty little secret. Sometimes, they like to relax with a little Céline Dion. Professed classical music fans have one, too: as it turns out, they don’t tune into classical radio nearly as much as they claim. These are two of many findings shaking up the radio industry as it converts from measuring ratings through surveys to monitoring listeners electronically using so-called Portable People Meters.
In a sign of the tough times, Americans -- trading down in their restaurant choices or indulging in comfort food -- had more memorable encounters with new fast-food products than any other category this year. QSR entries filled five of the top 10 slots in 2009's Most Memorable New Product Launch Survey, which was conducted by Schneider Associates, IRI and Sentient Decision Science. The results were based on an online October poll of 1,125 consumers age 18 and over. For the last two years, technology products dominated the list.
Jason Reitman's "Up in the Air" prominently features the film's star, George Clooney, in its marketing materials, while Vera Farmiga and Anna Kendrick have been getting a lot of awards buzz for their roles in the new Paramount drama. But two other unique co-stars are getting just as much screen time and attention.
Weighed down by lackluster programming and declining ratings, NBC has been a problem for many different people: programming honchos Kevin Reilly and Ben Silverman; NBC Universal CEO Jeff Zucker; GE chief Jeff Immelt; and even one-time top-rated late-night comic Jay Leno. Now the hot potato is soon to be passed to Comcast -- which, oddly enough, doesn't see the broadcast network as a burden at all.
At November's "Media & Money" conference, I presented on "The Seismic Shift in Targeted Advertising & Media." For all of its negative press and terrible operating results, the airline industry has produced a brilliant success that has the potential to turn the advertising and media business upside down: yield management.
Nielsen Co. agreed to sell eight brands, including the Hollywood Reporter and Billboard, to a newly formed company while announcing it will close two other titles, including Editor & Publisher. The buyer is e5 Global Media, created by Pluribus Capital Management and Guggenheim Partners. Under the plan, e5 Global Media will also acquire Adweek, Brandweek, Mediaweek, the Clio Awards, Backstage and Film Journal International, along with the Film Expo trade show business.
AOL began its life anew as independent company on Thursday, when Time Warner completed the spin-off of the Internet company nearly a decade after it merged with it in one of the most disastrous combinations in corporate history. Investors and the media seemed to greet the event with little more than a collective “ho-hum.” Tim Armstrong, who became chief executive of AOL in March, rang the opening bell on the New York Stock Exchange. He then headed for a press conference, as AOL’s shares dipped around 2.5 percent in morning trading.
The average American consumes about 34 gigabytes of data and information each day — an increase of about 350 percent over nearly three decades — according to a report published Wednesday by researchers at the University of California, San Diego. According to calculations in the report, that daily information diet includes about 100,000 words, both those read in print and on the Web as well as those heard on television and the radio. By comparison, Tolstoy’s “War and Peace” contains about 460,000 words.
Zappos.com, the formidable online brand recently acquired by Amazon, is moving into the print magazine category. That’s right: print. The e-shop plans to mail 750,000 copies of its printed catalog named “Zappos Life” directly to consumers, and the publication is scheduled to arrive in time for the holiday shopping blitz. The catalog will have a fashion and design focus, highlighting products such as handbags, jewelry, clothing, and fragrances in addition to Zappos’ most notable product: footwear. Among the featured brands are Cole Haan, Guess, Calvin Klein, Lucky, Stila, True Religion, and Stuart Weitzman.
It amazes me how many sports marketers remain addicted to a product rather than a consumer focus when positioning their properties. The typical sell for event sponsorships, or advertising buys, often begins and ends with the reach, efficiency and demographic attractiveness of the audience, sprinkled in with the quality of the property and often poorly executed attempts at creating added value through sampling opportunities, impact units, events within the event or cross media activation.
CNN.com is investing in Outside.In, a start-up that feeds neighborhood blogs and other local news and information to the Web sites of newspapers, TV stations and other media. The investment, whose size the Time Warner Inc. Web site declined to disclose, comes as news organizations seek more local information about high school sports, eateries and social events, in which they see an untapped market.
Are video-game makers Hollywood’s next takeover bait? With their business models under threat and shares in the doldrums, Electronic Arts and its rivals look ripe for the picking by media groups like Walt Disney. But much as shareholders of game firms might hope for a nice exit, they shouldn’t bank on a quick acquisition payday. The combination is compelling. Publishing video games is a lot like making movies: Invest millions in development and pray for blockbusters. As in Hollywood, the trick is to establish successful franchises and ride them to riches. Studios look for the next Harry Potter, while game publishers need the next Call of Duty.
Today we’re not at all surprised to hear names like Chris Matthews and Lou Dobbs tossed around as candidates for higher office. And while it used to be that only political aides of notable talent, people like Bill Moyers and Pat Buchanan and George Stephanopoulos (and, well, Chris Matthews), could make the tricky transition from politics to TV news, now it’s the politicians themselves — Joe Scarborough, Mike Huckabee — who find themselves ensconced as hosts on a cable-TV set. The door between politics and television news now isn’t merely revolving; it spins so fast and so continuously that a fair number of people no longer seem to belong neatly on one side or the other. Is Sarah Palin, at this point, a politician, or is she the star of some “frontier family” reality show? In fact, she seems to realize that the changed environment allows her to be both at the same time.
JC Penney is still continuing to revamp with its many collaborations, this time with European fast-fashion chain Mango. Penney has weathered the recession well, recently reporting stronger-than-expected Q3 earnings, despite a comparable-store sales decrease of 4.6%, and raised its financial forecast for the full year. The new line will be called MNG By Mango, and is set to debut next fall in 75 stores, ramping up rapidly with 600 more by Fall 2011. It is set to be Penney's largest contemporary brand, and the largest launch ever of any fast-fashion concept.
The Nielsen Company said Tuesday that its television measurement homes would soon be Internet measurement homes too, bringing the company a step closer toward providing the integrated ratings that media companies are demanding. Starting now and going through August, Nielsen will install Internet meters in 7,500 of its television panel homes, where viewership is extrapolated to produce national TV ratings. Eventually — Nielsen has not said when — data from those homes will be used to calculate combined ratings for TV and Internet viewing.
Governments can best help the news industry save itself by getting out of its way, Rupert Murdoch said on Tuesday, as he used a Washington podium to call for a relaxation of US media ownership rules. Unsuccessful publishers should be allowed to fail just as “a carmaker who makes cars no one wants to buy should fail,” the News Corp chairman and chief executive said, adding that government assistance “subsidises the failures and penalises the successes”.
News Corp. Chairman Rupert Murdoch says media organizations need to persuade consumers to pay for news content online in order to thrive in the digital age. Speaking at a two-day Federal Trade Commission workshop on the state of journalism, Mr. Murdoch said the future is promising for publishers that can adapt as audiences migrate to the Web.
Great branding and marketing happened all the time in 2009, only it often occurred in some less noticed and most unlikely places. In fact, I'm not sure we possess the right criteria or language to agree on what "great" even means. So many things have changed − from our channels to our expectations − that much of what was celebrated in the media (and promptly resold to other clients) just left me flat. I had this sneaking suspicion that we were missing something all year long.
In the discussion about news, there’s always a divide – because news loves divides. The splits have been old v. new, MSM v. blogs, professional v. amateur, institutional v. entrepreneurial, and lately paid v. free. But I fear another divide we’re beginning to see develop is walled v. open. The legacy players – in what I believe is their last-ditch effort to save their old ways, models, and empires — are threatening to put up walls. News Corp. is forever rumored to be putting up both pay walls and more walls to keep Google’s hordes of Huns (aka us useless asshats) out. Some say: Fine, digital suicide couldn’t happen to a better mogul. But I say we should fear the precedent, the balkanization of the web into isolated worlds. It’s true that all the data on the web is not today available via search — content trapped in data bases, in Flash, in comments, in video — though I see continuing efforts to bring that content into the tent. The momentum is toward including ever more data. But now come Murdoch and Microsoft, threatening to take their balls and go home. It’s their right to do so; as Google always points out, it’s also easy to do so.
When a media industry insider last week floated the idea of an exclusive deal to list News Corp. content on Microsoft’s Bing search engine, stiffing Google in the process, it drew some predictable responses. Bloggers and technology analysts crowed that Rupert Murdoch, News Corp.’s septuagenarian chief executive, had conclusively proved that he just didn’t understand the Internet. Some people in the newspaper business said hooray for Uncle Rupert, standing up for the value of old-fashioned content and telling the geeks with their algorithms to get lost. Google, meanwhile, made the reassuring noises it does anytime anyone raises the possibility that its goals, and those of the media companies whose content it indexes, might not be 100 percent aligned. Google said it provided news organizations’ Web sites with 100,000 clicks a minute, every one of which “offers a business opportunity for the publishers to show ads, win loyal readers and sell subscriptions.”
As you likely know, Tiger Woods was in an accident under apparently mysterious circumstances early Friday morning. Predictably, the reports and reactions thereto pertaining varied somewhat in quality and timeliness, and predictably, this has led to paroxysms of futurist glee in some and sullen condemnation by others. Now that the smoke has cleared, we can examine the event, which is certainly worth a little inspection despite its obvious triviality, with a little perspective. I’m not going to speculate on Woods’ injuries, the cause of the crash, or rumors of fights and affairs. I don’t care, personally. But how the information proliferated makes for interesting dissection. And the fun part is that there’s something for everybody’s agenda! Many will choose to ignore or emphasize unduly one party’s role in this drama, but the fact is that it very neatly exposes both the strengths and weaknesses of both traditional and so-called new media. I hope you’re sitting comfortably.
Historically, young women and men who sought to thrive in publishing made their way to Manhattan. Once there, they were told, they would work in marginal jobs for indifferent bosses doing mundane tasks and then one day, if they did all of that without whimper or complaint, they would magically be granted access to a gilded community, the large heaving engine of books, magazines and newspapers. Beyond that, all it took to find a place to stand on a very crowded island, as E. B. White suggested, was a willingness to be lucky. Once inside that velvet rope, they would find the escalator that would take them through the various tiers of the business and eventually, they would be the ones deciding who would be allowed to come in. As even casual readers of media news know, those assumptions now sound precious, preposterous even. Calvinistic ideals are no match for macromedia economics that have vaporized significant components of the business model that drives traditional publishing.
It's always strange when a company that's become synonymous with its market—like Kleenex to tissues, or Xerox to copiers—starts fading. And that's exactly what happening to TiVo, whose subscriber level has dropped to where it was in 2004. This from TiVo's SEC filing for last quarter, which shows the company losing 314,000 subscribers in the period, capping more than year an a half of fairly steady decline. They lay claim to just 8% of the roughly 38m active DVRs in the US right now. This is not great.
When it started four years ago, Futures of Entertainment (FoE) was grappling with wild problems. Everything seemed hard to think. What was social media? What was trans-media? What was blogging and (later) tweeting? It wasn't just that we didn't have the answers. It was hard to prosecute the argument. Every so often, we (or at least me) would have to go back and ask, "Ok, what's the formal definition of that term again." It was like learning to ride a bicycle. You would make a little progress and then suddenly forget even the fundamentals and come crashing down. They were very wild problems indeed. Four years later these are tame problems.
Google has signed a license agreement with DVR company TiVo that enables the Internet search provider to integrate TiVo set-top box viewing data into its measurement of audiences for inventory sold through the Google TV Ads platform. The deal adds approximately 1.6 million subscribers to the universe of set-top boxes that Google TV Ads has to draw on to analyze the second-by-second TV viewing behavior of audiences. Google also has a deal with Dish Network and access to more than 13 million set-top boxes via the satellite carrier.
When you look at Oprah Winfrey’s multidecade run through daytime talk — most of it at No. 1 — it’s easy to be impressed by what she did to make it happen. But her longevity and success (Forbes estimated her net worth at over $2.3 billion) probably has more to do with what she did not do.
Here's something I've been thinking about for some time now. You see, there is this company. It publishes over a hundred RSS feeds and several email newsletters, but not a single blog. The only conversations this company entertains are the ones it starts itself or is subpoenaed into. Conversations it doesn't like, it tries to silence.
How much longer will marketers accept "just a little down" as the new "up?" While many of us understand why this maxim provided comfort in the emerging days of the recession, we can't lose sight that "up" is good and any amount of "down" is bad. Perhaps a better question for all of us to consider is "how do we achieve 'up'?" For many retailers and the companies whose goods they are selling, December can make or break the year from a profitability perspective. That's why the Friday after Thanksgiving is called Black Friday, an indicator of when profitability begins. In fact, the National Retail Federation recently identified six categories -- clothing/accessories stores, department stores, discount stores, jewelry stores, sporting goods/book/hobby/ music stores and electronics/appliance stores -- where holiday shopping represents nearly a quarter of their annual sales.
Ms. Winfrey, the billionaire queen of daytime television, is planning to announce on Friday that she will step down from her daily pulpit, “The Oprah Winfrey Show,” in two years in order to concentrate on the forthcoming cable channel that will bear her name. “The sun will set on the Oprah show as its 25th season draws to a close on Sept. 9, 2011,” Tim Bennett, the president of Ms. Winfrey’s production company, Harpo, said in a letter to her 214 local TV stations on Thursday evening. She will appear on her cable channel, called OWN: the Oprah Winfrey Network, in some form. But “The Oprah Winfrey Show” will no longer be.
As 2009 draws to a close, with Twitter undoubtedly this year's media darling and Facebook continuing on its path to global domination, you may wonder which social-media service will become tech's poster boy in 2010. Among the Web's early adopter set, the answer is nearly unanimous: Foursquare. While the technology landscape is ever-changing, I'd argue that Foursquare already has aligned itself to become next year's mainstream hit.
A growing number of big marketers have circumvented the middleman and launched their own mainstream media and entertainment properties. The revolutionary development has moved them into direct competition for audiences with traditional media companies. But are these projects just novel anomalies, as some suggest, or a powerful trend that will ultimately reshape the media business? Ad Age editor Jonah Bloom addresses the issue in his talk at the ANA annual conference in Phoenix.
There is an almost overwhelming number of options on the social web for businesses to create and participate in communities. You hear a lot about Facebook Fan Pages, Twitter (Twitter) communities, and even LinkedIn Groups; but businesses have another option when looking to build a community online that’s often overlooked despite having nearly 40 million users: Ning. Ning allows businesses to create their own off-site social network for their brand’s community, and participate in existing conversations with the communities they are looking to engage. Here are 6 ways businesses can put Ning to work.
Ericsson, the world’s largest provider of telecommunications infrastructure, announced its first deal with a television broadcaster in a move that highlights the accelerating pace of convergence between the media and telecommunications industries. The 10-year contract to provide television transmission services to TV4, one of the biggest broadcasters in the Nordic region, opens a new potential market for Ericsson as the Swedish company faces increasing competition in its core wireless network business. “Telecoms and media are coming much closer together so this was a natural step,” Hans Vestberg, Ericsson’s chief financial officer and incoming chief executive, told the Financial Times on Tuesday. “We see broadcast providers being our next customers.”
YouTube has signed up NPR, Politico, The Huffington Post and The San Francisco Chronicle for YouTube Direct, a new method for managing video submissions from readers. The new feature, to be formally introduced on Tuesday, is a tool to make it easy for YouTube users to submit clips that news media companies can choose to highlight. The site plans to sign up other media partners. “We’re trying to connect media organizations with citizen reporters on YouTube,” said Steve Grove, the Web site’s head of news and politics. With the tool, YouTube, a unit of Google, seeks to further portray itself as an ally of media companies and other news gatherers.
In the ongoing saga of paid content on the Web, Rupert Murdoch is once again threatening to pull his Web sites from Google's search results. In a Sky News interview posted online this week, he said "There's not enough advertising in the world to make all the Web sites profitable. We'd rather have fewer people coming to our Web sites, but paying." Meanwhile, social game maker Playfish, with estimated revenues of up to $75 million from selling virtual goods in its games on Facebook and other platforms, has been acquired by Electronic Arts in a deal worth up to $400 million. The company is not alone in turning virtual goods into gold: Playfish rival Zynga reportedly brings in over $100 million in revenue (a proportion of which, admittedly, is driven by schemes in which users receive virtual currency when signing up for questionable special offers). Even The New York Times is heralding the "real paydays" being delivered by virtual goods on Facebook; such stories run counter to the common wisdom that social networking sites are difficult to monetize.
Last week, I said that the future of news is entrepreneurial (not institutional). Today, a sequel: The future of business is in ecosystems (not conglomerates or industries). At the Foursquare conference last week, I was struck by the miss-by-a-mile worldviews held by the chiefs of big, old conglomerates and the entrepreneurs starting new, nimble companies. The conference is off the record, so I won’t quote anyone by name. And in truth, these are the same conversations I hear often elsewhere. Having these different tribes conveniently in the same room merely focused the contrast for me.
Today our social rules seem to have been overloaded by our always on, always connected culture. Behaviours developed for the industrial age simply cannot cope with the new possibilities for information sharing.
What if the magazine article of the future, the album of the future, and the novel of the future are all the same thing? And what if they’re all events? Start here: TED is one of the surprise media successes of the last few years, but not by chance. Their insight was that a conference can be a machine for making media—media that can build a big audience on the web. They invested in media production, and it paid off. But TED is just a starting point. They’ve done a remarkable job, but—this always happens—it’s almost too big at this point. Too homogenizing. You could squint your eyes and recognize a TED talk by its red-blue glow. And—snark aside—it has a real weakness.
A year ago, 1,200 executives in marketing, advertising and the media attended an annual conference that by coincidence took place a month after the financial crisis began. Together, they stared into the abyss, wondering what conditions would be when — or if — they met again. The sky has not fallen, at least so far, and most of those executives are now gathering for the 2009 conference. Many of them are saying, “What a difference a year makes.” Others, however, are wondering, “What difference does a year make?”
National news outlets' battle to provide local news and win local advertisers is suddenly heating up fast. The Wall Street Journal's new weekly San Francisco Bay Area edition will appear for the first time tomorrow, confronting a similar Fridays-and-Sundays push from The New York Times that began there on Oct. 16. The Journal is simultaneously planning to hire new reporters for metro coverage of the New York area, according to insiders who confirmed a New York Times report breaking that news yesterday. And The Times plans to introduce a Chicago edition in the next few weeks, fed by a deal with the new Chicago News Cooperative.
Kellogg Co. bested industry expectations with third-quarter earnings released this morning, thanks in part to higher ad spending. Sales slipped slightly on currency conversion, to $3.3 billion, but the company's earnings per share grew 5% during the quarter, as it also boosted advertising by a whopping 17%. The company also forecast another double-digit increase for ad spending for the fourth quarter. "Our commitment to investing in advertising continues to be a key to our business model and to achieving our goals," Kellogg Chief Financial Officer John Bryant said during the call. "Rather than take advantage of lower rates to reduce the cost of our advertising investment, we see this as a great opportunity to increase our investment and build even stronger brands in the future. Higher spend combined with media deflation and a push on efficiency is driving a significant increase in advertising pressure."
It has become a popular game, even among investors who should know better, to dismiss Twitter based on lack of a business model. But there is a difference between not generating income and lack of a business model. I believe that, in just a few short months, Twitter will show the world that not only do they have a business model, but that theirs is the most sophisticated around. As the founders have admitted, they did not necessarily plan out their success. But the result of their outside funding and considerable valuation is that they have been free to watch and learn what might be possible. Most publishers talk about the two common monetization streams — advertising and subscribers — as though there are no other options. As many have seen over the last year, dependence upon advertising is a slippery slope in a downturn.
I wrote about Stern as a pioneer in my book. He rethought radio networks and built his own. He brought satellite radio to critical mass. But satellite radio was always a transitional technology, waiting for ubiquitous connectivity that would enable on-demand programming anywhere. Now our phones can give us radio and soon Stern will be ready for them; they will make him portable. There’s a larger trend at work here: Entertainers (radio, music, comedy, books, columnists, even filmmakers) will have direct relationships with their audiences. Like Stern, they won’t have to work for companies or go through them for distribution.
The Wall Street Journal reports that the Walt Disney Company is close to unveiling new technology to allow entertainment companies to distribute media to consumers using computers and cell phones, rather than on DVD and television. The technology is code-named Keychest and sounds like its the for-pay web service that Disney CEO Bob Iger announced back in July. The service would basically let consumers pay one price for permanent access to content from a number of different devices — like set-top boxes and mobile phones.
Fees from telecoms bills or internet service providers should be diverted to a fund for local news akin to the National Endowment for the Arts, according to a new study of future models for ensuring the survival of “accountability journalism” in the US. The report by Len Downie Jr, who spent 17 years as executive editor of The Washington Post, and Michael Schudson, professor of communication at the University of California, was commissioned by Columbia University. “American society must now take some collective responsibility for supporting news reporting,: the authors argued, calling for support in the form of tax breaks, philanthropic donations, university partnership and funds diverted from other areas.
Even for Hollywood, where long odds and high stakes are staples of storytelling, the plotline is a doozy: A couple of old business rivals facing the threat of a lifetime agree to put aside their differences and join forces on a half-baked experiment that makes them laughingstocks. (We're thinking Jack Nicholson and Warren Beatty.) And who do they put in charge? A young guy, a newbie to the biz. He promptly cleans house and hires an even younger guy who's halfway around the globe. These renegades throw out the rule book -- and they pull it off. Their idea kills. The naysayers feast on crow. This pitch meeting would not end well. Cue Ari Gold: Nobody'll believe it, not in a million years. Are you nuts? Get the %*#$ out of my office! Yet this is the tale of Jason Kilar and a company called Hulu, costarring the heads of NBC and Fox, with guest appearances by Andy Samberg, Tina Fey, Jeff Bezos, and Walt Disney.
Balloon Boy, Kanye West and Lady Gaga Walk into a bar. Bartender says, "Hey, wait a second -- how old is that kid? You can't bring a kid in here!" Lady Gaga says nothing and just tries to keep a poker face, but you can tell she's pissed that the kid is getting all the attention. Kanye West says, "Yo Bartender, Imma let you finish, but ..." -- but then the bartender, fumbling with his cellphone, says, "Actually, hold that thought, I've gotta get a TwitPic of this!" First, though, he starts to tweet "Balloon Boy, Kanye West and La" -- but before he can finish, I grab the phone out of his hands and smash it to the ground while screaming, "Stop it!! For the love of God, just STOP IT!!" On Monday, I published a column about how the rapid dissemination of misinformation through Twitter and other real-time social media is increasingly causing a "general derangement of reality" that's "becoming more and more endemic to the way we consume information and communicate -- and think -- now." And that that social-media-enabled nonsense filtered back "through the prism of the worst of the old media -- particularly cable news channels and talk radio" -- is making us all a little bit nuts.
Every traditional marketing campaign is a customer purchase, that is no revelation: ROI and CPC, CPM, CPA are all standards. But I suggest there is something wrong with that mindset. In fact, with the uncertainty of the future of media, everything might be wrong with that mindset.
Honestly, categorizing human behavior and activities in social networks by financial status appears incomplete and almost insular. If we are learning anything in the study of and participation in social networks, it’s that individuals are forming networks that traverse across multiple social networks – and, they will continue to do so, forming one larger, expansive human network in the process. We’re bound by context and interests and it’s why psychographic data overcomes demographics when assessing how to best reach, engage, and galvanize the people who define our communities online.
With Halloween upon us, I thought I would partake in the festivities by channeling Washington Irving. This is a scary, yet realistic, story called "The Tale of the Headless Media Company." Once upon a time, we would browse from site to site, visiting each online media palace one at a time. But suddenly, the supply of information outstripped demand. The "destination web" died, and in ushered an age of "media brand agnosticism." No longer could media brands hope that if they build it, we will come. The next great media company will need to be all spokes and no hub. Yes, I am saying that media companies can exist without having their own website, or head.
This week, I moderated a session at SMX about real-time search. Personally, I find the convergence of social and search to be perhaps the most significant trend of 2009. Social adds an entirely new dimension to search. Traditionally search has been used to find "what" you wanted to know more about. Social adds the dimension of time. Suddenly, relevance isn't the only measure. Search now needs a "stale date," a measure of the freshness of the results.
In case you haven't heard, teenagers have officially abandoned all means of traditional media. Television? Done. Radio? Forget it. Newspapers? Who reads? OK, maybe that's a bit of an exaggeration. In fact, a Nielsen report published just this past summer suggests that TV watching is actually up with teens and Internet use is actually lower in teens compared to adults. Hmmm ... so does that mean that, as rEvolution's VP of digital marketing and youth culture, I should start looking for a new job? I don't think so.
Our Culture (high and popular) is usually created by people who are happy with the systems the world has given them. Magazine editors don't spend a lot of time wishing for better technology. Opera singers focus more on their singing than on microphone technologies. Novelists proudly use typewriters. Sure, there are exceptions like Les Paul (who developed the electric guitar) and Mitch Miller (who invented reverb) but these exceptions prove the rule: often, culture is invented by people who are too busy to seek out new technology.
When we think about media, we think about reach and volume - how many people will (potentially) see your message at any one time. The message could be relevant to them directly, and to their friends and neighbors indirectly. Unless they see it though, they won't be able to find it. Mainstream media still manages to capture the lion share of distribution and ubiquity. It was curious to see that the Wikipedia definition of mass media now includes the Internet - blogs, message boards, podcasts - because individuals have now the potential to a means to exposure that is comparable in scale to that previously restricted to a select group of mass media producers.
Leo Laporte, creator of This Week in Tech and the TWiT network of podcasts, spoke before the Online News Association this week and presented the very model of the new media company: small, highly targeted, serving a highly engaged public, and profitable.
When it comes to touting music, movies, books or TV shows I really really really like, I tend to cross the line between enthusiastic advocacy and combative over-promotion. I sent so many copies of "American Tabloid" and "I Love You, Beth Cooper" to friends that I found myself on the receiving end of a U.S. Postal Service restraining order. My inability to comprehend the li'l sister's decision not to re-up her HBO subscription for season four of "The Wire" eventually boiled over into a hostage situation. I am capable of great feats of annoyance. Well, the roommate/Missus-To-Be better gird herself for a Larry-generated hype tsunami, because I've latched onto a series that threatens to enthrall me through 2010: ESPN's "30 for 30" sports documentary series, which is as ambitious an undertaking as anything the network has ever attempted. Hell, it might be one of the most ambitious projects in the history of TV.
Although a bit late to the party, CNN has made a decisive entry into the mobile news space with a well-designed iPhone app with that costs $2 to download, nothing to use and makes it easier for citizen journalists to file their own video news reports from the field. And in choosing a middle ground in the free/fee debate CNN is carving out a niche that extends their free online offerings to the fast-growing mobile platform while charging something for the work that goes in to developing for the iPhone platform — and there are ads too.
I was watching Stephanopoulos yesterday morning and I saw this IBM ad. And I thought, "hey, I've seen that guy somewhere before." And sure enough, he's in a Castrol Motor Oil ad. I think it's the same guy, right down to the wrinkles in his forehead. Does this matter? Maybe what happens in an ad for Castrol Oil stays in an ad for Castrol Oil. Or do actors have "transmedia" properties? Do they carry anything with them between ads? Here's what the "meaning transfer" theory says.
The rivalry between AOL and Yahoo is on prominent display this week, as the two struggling Internet companies compete for advertising dollars on Madison Avenue. They are pouring on the glitz as they vie for the attention of thousands of ad-industry professionals at the Advertising Week conference in New York. Marketers typically don't negotiate specific deals to buy ad space or time during the annual event. But media companies use it to tout themselves to the many ad agencies and advertisers in attendance, including Coca-Cola, Procter & Gamble, Verizon Communications, Bank of America and MasterCard Worldwide. The aim is to establish relationships and secure business down the road.
PSFK recently covered what the internet is killing, and this video we came across shows through various statistics how the internet is changing our lives. For example, the average American teenager sends an average of 2,272 text messages every month and more video was uploaded to YouTube in the last 2 months than if ABC, NBC and CBS had been airing new content 24/7/365 since 1948, when ABC first starting broadcasting. The cleanly presented video runs through some shocking statistics about technology and the dramatic shift of our society.
In the five months following Tim Armstrong's appointment as chief executive of AOL, the former Google executive has announced his plan to turn the subscription-based Internet provider into an online media and advertising giant. The first order of business was building content. Then he worked on creating a more powerful advertising network. Now the focus is marketing the company, which is trying to shed its image as a tired, unfocused Internet behemoth.
CNBC's Advertising Week summit on how marketers connect to consumers could have been called "No, really, we love TV!" The discussion was intended to be a free-roaming exploration about consumer passion, authenticity, and marketing challenges in a world that has little trust for business. But the gravitational pull of Facebook (whose COO Sheryl Sandberg was, appropriately enough, seated dead center) kept the conversation on social media. The apparent subtext that TV might need to get its affairs in order wasn't lost on host Becky Quick, co-host of CNBC's "Squawk Box" show, who rhetorically asked more than once whether she would have a job next year.
Journalists are truth-tellers. But I think most of us have been lying to ourselves. Our profession is crumbling and we blame the Web for killing our business model. Yet it’s not the business model that changed on us. It’s the culture. Mainstream media were doing fine when information was hard to get and even harder to distribute. The public expected journalists to report the important stories, pull together information from sports scores to stock market results, and then deliver it all to our doorsteps, radios and TVs. People trusted journalists and, on our side, we delivered news that was relevant—it helped people connect with neighbors, be active citizens, and lead richer lives. Advertisers, of course, footed the bill for newsgathering. They wanted exposure and paid because people, lots of people, were reading our newspapers or listening to and watching our news programs. But things started to change well before the Web became popular.
"Wise men talk because they have something to say; fools, because they have to say something." -- Plato That may have been true 2,400 years ago, but it may not be so true today. In fact, in our always on, desperately seeking stimulation media environment, you have to say something -- and something meaningful and arresting, or at least communicated in an engaging way -- to keep the hungry masses satiated. Else, they'll go somewhere else. Sometimes it takes smart people a long time to catch on to this new reality (many never do). Sure, they understand that Ali became "The Greatest," Elvis "The King," Gandhi "The Mahatma" et al. through a combination of endowment, passion, and hard work. But they also know, intellectually, that manufactured spectacle played a supremely important role in their progress; spectacle, by the way, that at times both engaged and enraged the masses.
Without any fanfare, Google has launched a new resource called "Google Internet Stats" which brings together industry facts and insights from across five different industries. Using a number of third party vendors as sources, the stats tool parses through online data to reveal Twitter-sized snippets and factoids like: "Over 90% of online merchants are planning to add rich media and social networking functions in 2009 -Internet Retailing" or "Runners have collectively logged over 93 million miles on nikeplus.com - BusinessWeek." While the stat center is an excellent new resource, there is one odd thing about it - it's hosted on the google.co.uk domain even though many of the sources used for stats have a global focus. The collection of statistics is broken down into five main areas of focus: Technology, Macro Economic Trends, Media Landscape, Media Consumption, and Consumer Trends.
"Mayo doesn't have friends, he only has customers." -- Lou Gosset Jr. in An Officer and a Gentleman Target has a personality all its own. And, for a multitude of reasons, Target attracts guests just as unique as its stores. --From Target.com's press room There are many parts in every ecosystem. A natural ecosystem has six main components: soil, atmosphere, heat and light from the sun, water and living organisms. In a media ecosystem, we have content creators, publishers/media owners, networks, agencies, advertisers and of course the audience. If the ecosystem is healthy, the audience eventually gets transformed into happy customers. This last sentence warrants repeating. If a media ecosystem is healthy, audiences eventually are transformed into customers. With the exception of holistic thinkers like Bob Garfield and my friend Jeff Einstein, much of what we read comes from "experts" who specialize in only one aspect of the ecosystem. This results in advice that is overly compartmentalized and which generally misses the mark.
In the barrage of back-to-school ads, get ready to see a lot for the University of Phoenix. The school heaps more than $100 million a year into measured media alone and is a highly efficient marketing machine that spends more each year than Cheerios or Tide. In a field where most old-line universities spend a few million a year at best, the University of Phoenix is an anomaly for its approach to both education and marketing. It's the country's largest private university, with more than 400,000 students and 230 campus and learning-center locations. Its parent, Apollo Group, posted more than $3.1 billion in revenue during fiscal 2008 (Phoenix represents about 95% of Apollo's net revenue).
The cover story of the most recent issue of Wired addresses how Craigslist rose to dominate classified listings, in spite of (or perhaps because of) how little it has changed, and the quirkiness of the business. The real customer experience lesson though, can be found in a follow-on blog post written by the story's author, Gary Wolf. In it, he muses, "Why, given the site's notorious shortcomings, has nobody ever succeeded in taking business away from it?" He writes about how many local newspapers have tried to embrace local listings, such as the Bakersfield Californian. When you look at their apartment-for-rent page, you immediately see the problem — the classified listings are sandwiched between giant banner ads and overwhelming navigation options. And this speaks to the fundamental issue facing the mass media today — it doesn't know who its customer is.
It WAS bold of marketing directors to invest in digital and social media campaigns a year ago. In revisionist marketing thinking, if you hadn’t done it, you’d be crazy. If you’re the least bit curious about how digital and social media is impacting your brand, I’ll call your attention to a weeklong series about media growth in the F.T.. I’m also trying to demonstrate one of the biggest changes happening in the world of media. Namely that friends are shaping culture more than editors, by doing exactly what I am doing for you: Directing you to an interesting series of articles in the F.T.
Matthieu Coppet has a word of hope for the world’s beleaguered media companies, reeling from the deepest advertising slump in memory. All signs point to a relatively robust recovery in ad spending, beginning next year, Mr. Coppet, an analyst at UBS, said in a recent report. His enthusiasm is far from universal. Gerhard Zeiler, chief executive of the RTL Group, the biggest commercial television broadcaster in Europe, reflects another view in the industry: the good times will not return anytime soon.
I hear versions of the same conversations almost weekly. While they're not necessarily new conversations, the tenor of them has grown considerably tenser as a result of the struggling global economy. The conversations run something like this: The chief financial officer says: "Before I spend any money in this environment, I need to know the impact of this investment. I need to see an ROI." The CMO responds with: "It's not about ROI; it's about creating awareness. Having people understand our brand will create engagement, which will lead to revenue."
If you want to understand how ESPN went from a two-story building surrounded by satellites in 1979 to the world's largest sports-media brand, spend a day at the company's campus in Bristol, Conn. On the eve of ESPN's 30th anniversary, MediaWorks took a trip up north to the company's Media Workshop, where dozens of sports-media reporters and bloggers convened for a detailed tour of what makes the Walt Disney Co.'s top-grossing cable property tick. Here are some highlights from the day's sessions.
Like cloud computing less than a year ago and social networking two years ago, the real-time Web is the new black on the tech circuit. The trend has been publicly bandied about this summer, starting with a few industry get-togethers, followed by several enthusiastic testimonials from investors (notably angel investor Ron Conway's widely posted list of ways for Twitter to monetize). It was then capped by a glowing report in BusinessWeek in early August. That a serious trend is on the rise would not be doubted by those watching Twitter's rise in usage and media popularity. In fact, the debate this summer has centered not on whether something is afoot but rather on what to call it. Ron Conway favors "now media" in the belief that it's a media phenomenon. But most commenters, led by several bloggers and lead investors, prefer to call it "real-time Web".
The other day, we highlighted some of the ways that magazines are diversifying their business models to remain both relevant and solvent as more and more of their audience moves online. We suspect (and hope) that print and by extension, traditional storytelling will always have its place, but there is clearly a shift towards multimedia narratives - combining video, audio and other interactive features - taking place as more publications bolster their reporting with additional content available online.
If you haven’t yet heard about Augmented Reality or Web Squared, allow me to make a quick introduction. This is the next iteration of the Web and also desktop and mobile applications and is indicative of the future hybrid Web and device experience. And no, it’s not called Web 3.0.
Eduardo Hauser, a former media executive, sat in his Hollywood, Fla., office last year, trying to figure out what was wrong with DailyMe, the news aggregation service he launched in 2005. The business relied on Internet readers to tell DailyMe what kinds of articles they liked reading, and based on the answers DailyMe served up related articles for them to read and relevant ads to accompany them. The problem? Most readers were too lazy. To ramp up business, Hauser, the CEO and former founder of AOL Latin America, has created a behavioral tracking software he hopes will not only change the face of his company, but also news outlets across the country.
The marketing media was buzzing last week with news that CBS will promote its fall program lineup via a teeny-weeny video player inserted in an issue of Entertainment Weekly magazine. I know the ad industry is in dire need of some good news, but doesn't anybody else think this is utterly stupid?
Fun, but futile. That's my response to the news this week that technology heretofore seen only in Harry Potter films will soon grace a mainstream magazine's pages. Some copies of Entertainment Weekly's September issue will contain a video page advertising CBS's fall programming and PepsiMax, using a pliant and super-thin LCD screen powered by battery.
Ask Gina Bianchini about the future of traditional media on the Web and she'll point you to a recent experiment by the home-and-garden-focused publishing giant Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia. Working with Bianchini's social networking outfit, Ning, Martha Stewart developed an online meeting place for female entrepreneurs on the Ning network called "Dreamers into Doers." Women can post tips about running a small business, share videos about their companies and meet other women grappling with the challenges of building a company from scratch while raising families.
As the recession continues to put pressure on ad spending across most media, word of mouth marketing is one notable sector that has bucked the trend and continued to grow. And agencies are devoting more resources to meet client demand.
These days most companies have no choice but to cut their marketing budgets. And that's a good thing. You read that right -- it's a good thing. The reason it's a good thing is that most marketing bucks are spent on depreciating messaging. Either the medium is failing to deliver the numbers it used to or the creative is ignored by the target audience. Think about it. Most marketing teams are investing in a product that has gone down in value for the past 30 years, that product being network television.
Many publishers will refer to advertisers as business partners. Tyler Brûlé, the founder of Wallpaper magazine and editor in chief of Monocle, calls them “patrons of Monocle’s approach.” And he means it, too. In the United States, magazines abide by the rules of the American Society of Magazine Editors, which call for clear bright lines between advertising and editorial. But for Monocle, a globe-trotting magazine for what Mr. Brûlé calls the “Lufthansa audience,” the only bright line is the one separating lively from dull.
Erik Beck, a 27-year-old Californian, has some 3 million fans who tune in monthly to his Web-based show, IndyMogul. The special effects video guide teaches aspiring film makers how to create car crash scenes without actually destroying their vehicles. The longtime amateur video maker has become the go-to guy for the 18- to 34 year-old crowd and, more recently, the marketers trying to woo them.
Sending and receiving at breakneck speed can make life queasy; a manifesto for slow communication.
Picture this: it's the year 2062 and Mark Zuckerberg, having recently celebrated his 78th birthday, is still, against all odds, running Facebook. The once-invincible social-networking behemoth has seen better days, and financially it's coasting on fumes -- Facebook's 38th round of venture-capital funding is about to run dry -- but no matter. Zuckerberg's still large and in charge, even as competitors eat away at his market share. The problem, of course, is that he never took TCOL -- total consciousness osmotic lifestreaming -- seriously, and now upstarts are using the device-free technology to run circles around Facebook.
By now, we’re all pretty familiar with how digital music works: People get sued, content gets deleted, and start-ups go bankrupt. YouTube’s ContentID marks a welcome change from that routine by freeing people to infringe copyright while generally keeping copyright holders happy. In an area known for bitter lawsuits and hastily issued “take down” notices, this is that rarest of birds: a feel-good digital music story.
For a time, Internet advertising was a rising tide lifting all boats. But as ad spending ebbs, there are more arguments about where on the Web advertising is the most fruitful. The fight over shrinking Internet ad dollars pits online publishers that offer premium content against major Web portals such as AOL, MSN and Yahoo. Portals and publishers, meanwhile, also have to compete with the ad brokers that sell often cut-rate leftover ad space on Web pages with less visibility.
There's an interesting article over at The Baltimore Sun, suggesting that real-time reviews from movie-goers after seeing a new film have really got movie studios worried, thanks to the knock-on effect they can have on box office stats. But is it true?
Google Inc., which has struggled for nearly three years to turn YouTube into an advertising platform, is aggressively pushing new ad formats and ramping up deals with media companies for the online video site.
Detroit Mayor Dave Bing thinks he has a jump-shot for his troubled city: He is in talks with Time Inc. executives to work together on a year-long flood of stories about the re-invention of Detroit, says an ad industry insider. Edward Cardenas, a spokesman for Bing, won't reveal details but confirmed the discussions. "We have to explore the best ways of telling our story."
An interesting thing happened in the past 24 hours or so: two major news stories were broken on Twitter. By itself, that’s not very remarkable; news breaks on Twitter all the time. But usually, when news first appears on social media channels such as Twitter, it’s the type of broad-reaching story that affects a lot of people on the ground.
Barack Obama’s ubiquitous appearances as professor-in-chief, preacher-in-chief, father-in-chief, may turn out to be the most salient feature of his presidency.
Ask around and you'll find that most marketers believe there is something fundamentally wrong with their media and advertising today. They will complain they are not getting truly media-neutral solutions that are grounded in consumer insights and are ownable by their brands.
Nokia already owns the global cell-phone market. Now Tero Ojanperä is launching the world's biggest delivery system for services, apps, and entertainment.
Ben Huh is the first to admit his company could easily have wound up on FAIL Blog. For the uninitiated, that's his wildly popular website to which users submit photos and videos documenting such colossally stupid moves as writing a billboard partly in Braille and using a trash can as a bike helmet. Like the rest of the 20-odd websites Huh owns, FAIL Blog was added to his empire for no more specific reason, he says, than "Dude, I think it's funny."
Two years ago, when other media executives were convinced that the only way to succeed on the Web was to give away their content, “we were regarded as slightly freakish,” says John Ridding, chief executive of The Financial Times. The FT, which had charged readers for access to its Web site since 2002, stuck with that strategy, merely tweaking its system to try to draw in more readers. Now, with advertising showing few signs of rebounding from a deep slump and other publishers moving to imitate FT.com by erecting so-called pay walls, Mr. Ridding feels vindicated.
Sure, 2009 has been tough so far, with most trend lines pointing way, way down. But for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. Here at Ad Age, we decided to find some media properties that are actually moving the needle northward this year to see what's working in these difficult times. So what is working? First up, great, must-have editorial and entertainment is a common thread. Know your audience. Help marketers tailor ads for that audience. And constantly revamp a trusted brand to stay relevant and indispensable. Easy, right?
The office at Ninth Street and Broadway in Manhattan in the former Wanamaker’s department store has all of the trademarks of a well-financed digital start-up. Young people eat pizza and chat about applications while others are jammed into conference rooms discussing search optimization. The only oddity in the futuristic tableau comes when you step off the elevator to see three large letters: A O L.
Twitter's effectiveness as a marketing tool is still up for debate -- but don't tell that to Homer Simpson or Jay Leno. Along with dozens of other TV characters and personalities on a variety of networks, their shows are being actively promoted on the short-form chat network, part of a drive by the major broadcasters to generate awareness and buzz for their new fall schedules.
Looking for alternate ways to make money as its advertising revenue plunges, The New York Times Company announced on Thursday that it was getting into the wine business. The new venture, called The New York Times Wine Club, will offer members a selection of wines at two price levels, $90 or $180 per six-bottle shipment, and customers can choose to have wine delivered every one, two or three months.
This is going to be a column that focuses on a terrible, tooth-hurting phrase, for which I apologize in advance. But there's no way around it. The phrase is "below the line," as it applies to marketing. It refers, generally, to all forms of marketing that do not involve advertising in specific media. "Below the line" is not Web advertising. It is things such as in-store events, guerrilla stunts that drum up media coverage, and company-built Web sites. A pop-up—a temporary store—showcasing a newish product in a heavily trafficked area? A (very au courant) below-the-line move.
Just about every company has a Web site. But today, many marketers are going further. They are transforming their digital presence into powerful media channels, direct to consumers. The practice is prevalent enough that, as the research firm Outsell Inc. reported in July 2008, about 62 percent of marketers’ online advertising and marketing budgets are spent on their own digital media, up from 58 percent in 2007. These marketers recognize that with the right mix of content, utility, community, and product, they can create compelling premium experiences for consumers. And they see that these efforts deliver powerful benefits in branding, relationship building, and lead generation.
Brands and marketers are rapidly leaving the orbit of "paid media" dominance and entering the gravitational pull of the age of "earned" and "social media."
Media companies know that they’re not the only voices in the auditorium –the audience now talks back. They create media, content, and share it directly with each other on social sites —now brands, like Warner seek to embrace them closer. Rather than allow this inevitable social interaction on social networks like MySpace, they want to take it back by launching their own social features.
How the brain hard-wires us to love Google, Twitter, and texting. And why that's dangerous.
For a time, Internet advertising was a rising tide lifting all boats. But as ad spending ebbs, there are more arguments about where on the Web advertising is the most fruitful. The fight over shrinking Internet ad dollars pits online publishers that offer premium content against major Web portals such as AOL, MSN and Yahoo. Portals and publishers, meanwhile, also have to compete with the ad brokers that sell often cut-rate leftover ad space on Web pages with less visibility.
The signs are everywhere. The New York Times is close to bankruptcy. Magazines are dying in droves. The music industry is trying anything to make a buck. The TV networks are wondering if they can keep selling increasingly expensive space in return for an increasingly smaller audience that time-shifts its way out of having to watch the ads. Meanwhile, business plans that held the words "advertising funded" are being rewritten, while multitudes of newspapers and content sites are closing down because of lack of income.
Over the last three decades Jim Gaines has served as editor in chief of Time, Life and People magazines, as well as the corporate editor of Time, Inc. Today, August 11, is his sixty-second birthday--but unlike many of the print veterans that are his peers, Gaines has not stuck his head in the pulp and ignored the event horizon of print journalism. Nor has he retired. He has instead grafted his experience to a Web magazine startup called Flyp.
If you love to hate ads, you might enjoy two new books that train their sights on modern marketing. The first makes the case that advertising as we know it is about to be obliterated. The second suggests that we should all dance a gleeful polka on its grave.
Karl and Dorsey Gude of East Lansing, Mich., can remember simpler mornings, not too long ago. They sat together and chatted as they ate breakfast. They read the newspaper and competed only with the television for the attention of their two teenage sons. That was so last century. Today, Mr. Gude wakes at around 6 a.m. to check his work e-mail and his Facebook and Twitter accounts. The two boys, Cole and Erik, start each morning with text messages, video games and Facebook.
The online ad industry has been on a fairly stable course for at least seven years now. The last major disruption this industry suffered dated from the Great Dotcom Meltdown of 2001-02, when the entire economy collapsed. Since that time, things have largely been on the upswing, and it's remarkable to me that search spending -- the healthiest component of online -- has held together, even in the midst of a deep recession whose likes we have not seen since the 1930s.
The term “pop culture” appeared around 1960, just as its meaning became confused. High-culture up-and-comers were embracing pop imagery and tropes with a vengeance, and the best and brightest creators of entertainment were suddenly producing work of thrilling sophistication and complexity. It was also the coming-of-age moment for the first baby boomers, a cohort defined by its television-saturated upbringing and unparalleled level of college education — a generation, in other words, unapologetic in its love of commercial pop even as it put on arty airs.
Does Rupert Murdoch have one more revolution in him? The man who took over newspapering in Australia and Britain, and upended the cable news business here, planted a new flag last week, pronouncing that, contrary to popular reports, information does not want to be free; it actually wants to be paid for.
For a moment last week, it seemed like paid content was really on the march. Rupert Murdoch announced his intention to charge for every News Corp. news site. DirecTV, the second-largest pay-TV provider, was found in talks to launch a web-video service -- for its paying subscribers. And a comprehensive new forecast reported that consumers were spending less time with media that's heavily subsidized by advertising -- and more with media they pay for.
Advertising and public relations stand at a crossroads -- at once battered by recession-driven corporate downsizing and confronted with a bevy of new and often untested online platforms. Amid the uncertainty, firms have battled back with disparate strategies: eschewing general advertising to reach smaller target audiences; rushing to integrate the once separate fiefdoms of PR and advertising; and seeking to capitalize on the disintegration of multinational firms by buying up local branch offices.
Media brands are jumping onto the iPhone. USA Today? There’s an app for that. “The Rachel Maddow Show”? “Entertainment Tonight”? Public radio? Yes, yes and yes, there are apps for those. Now, if only there were an app that showed media companies how to make money on the iPhone.
Media consumption is changing. You don't need me to tell you that. But you may be unaware just how much it's shifting as we embrace "the stream." What's the stream? It's a way of consuming content as a continuous feed of brief bits, singles, 10-minute videos, tweets and status updates. It reflects the societal shift from analog to digital. And it's a natural fit for the web, where attention spans are minuscule.
It has been said recently that online digital video as a medium is like the early days of movies, in that people are getting used to watching longer online-video content (longer than two minutes) because "the medium is growing up." In effect, these people feel that, as the online-video medium and its audience continue to mature, that audience, like early movie-going audiences, will learn to accept longer-form content.
The people who buy media have found their jobs more complicated lately, what with all the new ways of measuring response — how many people clicked, clipped a coupon or made a purchase after seeing an ad.
As a business owner who uses digital technology as the backbone of my business, I found Chris Anderson’s latest book inspiring and useful. Even though ‘Free: The Future Of A Radical Price’ has generated a negative backlash (including a piece on this site), I found it both an incredible encyclopedia of business in our time plus a lens through which to look at my own business.
Late last month, IAC Chairman Barry Diller said that it's "mythology" to view the Internet as a system of free communications. He’s absolutely right; what's wrong is why he'd even have to say it, or that it would merit any news coverage.
According to a new survey published by private equity company Veronis Suhler Stevenson, consumers are getting wise to advertising and are choosing to avoid it. In 2008, for the first time, people used more paid content than ad-supported stuff.
Meeting radically changing customer expectations is a massive and snowballing challenge for established players in the global communications industry, confirms a new study from the CMO Council and its Customer Experience Board.
Emotion is one of the most powerful elements of an experience, and also the most difficult to design. Yet games regularly inspire intense emotions, drawing players into the experience they offer, and making these experiences enjoyable and memorable.
Earlier this year, Forrester Research released its five year advertising forecast which found that marketers were shifting substantial advertising dollars out of traditional media and into interactive channels such as mobile marketing, display ads, search, social media and email. Yet, marketers who rely too heavily on interactive channels, at the expense of traditional channels, risk losing out on the lucrative Boomer segment that are avid multi-media consumers.
With its ability to collect articles and sell advertisements against them, Google has already become a huge force in the news business — and the scourge of many newspapers. Now its subsidiary YouTube wants to do the same thing to local television. YouTube, which already boasts of being “the biggest news platform in the world,” has created a News Near You feature that senses a user’s location and serves up a list of relevant videos. In time, it could essentially engineer a local newscast on the fly. It is already distributing hometown video from dozens of sources, and it wants to add thousands more.
Of all the dismal and discouraging numbers to have emerged from the world of newspapers—the sharp plunges in circulation, the dizzying fall-off in revenues, the burgeoning debt, the mounting losses—none seems as sobering as the relentless march of layoffs and buyouts. According to the blog Paper Cuts, newspapers lost 15,974 jobs in 2008 and another 10,000 in the first half of 2009. That's 26,000 fewer reporters, editors, photographers, and columnists to cover the world, analyze political and economic affairs, root out corruption and abuse, and write about culture, entertainment, and sports.
A popular blogger can create as much impact as a 30-second spot. Should personal influence be the next CPM? Marketers seem to have realized only recently that people can be brands. Madonna constantly reinvents herself. Martha Stewart is now a redeemed domestic diva. But personal branding has been around for as long as mass media. In the heyday of the silver screen, studios managed their stars like brands in a portfolio. They carefully positioned, packaged and presented each one. Stars could launch a look or a way of walking and could influence millions of consumers.
Radio companies, like all media companies, are under more pressure than ever to prove their medium's value to marketers. But when three brands opened up their strategies to radio executives at the Advertising Research Foundation's Audio Council in New York, the industry got an insightful look as to what else marketers are looking for from radio.
Successful businesses are always making choices and sacrifices, strategically looking as to how they are going to prioritize their resources, including human capital, budgets, and, of course, time. As the world around them adapts, so too do they need to make changes internally to respond, or to predict where trends are going – and if they guess right, the business could catapult ahead of less-agile competition.
Time spent with the internet, as it turns out, doesn't balloon indefinitely. That might sound obvious, but this is the year web surfing leveled off at 12 hours a week after growing from less than six hours a week in 2004, according to Forrester's annual survey of more than 40,000 American consumers' self-reported media habits. The report, released Monday, also indicates relative stabilization in other media channels, most notably newspaper and magazine reading.
Conde Nast will shut down one of its web-only brands, Men.Style.com, when it gives two of its titles, GQ and Details, their own websites in October. The move marks a partial dismantling of Conde Nast's strategy of creating web-only brands to house magazine content, such as Style.com, Epicurious.com and Concierge.com, and the realization that in many cases the best brand for the web is the one that's been successful in print.
Here's one of the things we do at Forrester Research: we interview as many marketers as we can about their plans, identify trends and project future likely conditions, and then we put together some numbers to make a projection. If you've ever seen a Forrester projection, it comes from a process like this.
Books are among the last bastions of ad-free content. But they won't be so forever if Amazon has its way. The online retail giant has been nurturing a growing e-reader market with its Kindle device; analysts estimate more than a million have been sold since its 2007 debut. And the idea of serving ads in e-books has been a subject of chatter for a while. But Amazon appears to have taken the next concrete step in that direction. Recent reports indicate the online retail giant has filed patent applications to stuff digital books with contextual advertising.
Walmart has launched an aggressive push to have marketers divert their consumer media and marketing budgets into the giant retailer's growing ad budget and in-store marketing programs, using a simultaneous push to clear underperforming brands off its shelves as extra leverage.
A 15 year-old working in Morgan Stanley's London office has written what may be the firm's most popular research report in years. In it, he explains that none of his friends read newspapers and few watch TV. He also, interestingly, says none of them use Twitter, because no one reads the tweets. In any event, the report has electrified the investment world, which appears to have suddenly clued into the fact that traditional media is in trouble.
To promote its 6.0 line of action-sports gear this month, Nike is establishing a major promotional beachhead on Fuel TV, the News Corp.-owned cable outlet geared towards skaters, surfers and bikers. The deal allows the sportswear company to dominate the network for a set period of time.
One thing about summer is that you get out and see more people, more often at social events, barbecues, on the golf course and at the beach. One topic that has been coming up with those inside and outside our industry is the notion of free media. Or at least that's how those outside our industry refer to it.
A new Columbia Journalism Review opinion piece argues persuasively (in my view) that Google “owes” something to traditional journalism and news organizations. Google, typically, is a stand-in for “the internet” in these discussions. This notion of responsibility to publishers is unpopular among bloggers and Internet denizens more generally.
It's undeniable that the going rate for information on the internet is "free." That's meant big trouble for newspapers, which have seen nearly all of their traditional roles usurped by better, faster, free online services over the past few years. If a newspaper doesn't make its content available gratis on the Web, it's irrelevant. If it does, it's got nothing left to sell but fishwrap and inkstains.
Fifteen years ago — before Google or Wikipedia or blogging or Craigslist or podcasts or YouTube — the technology investor and pundit Esther Dyson wrote an article analyzing the business of “creative content” in a future where the Internet made distribution essentially free. “Creators will have to fight to attract attention and get paid,” she predicted. Enforcing copyrights won’t be enough, because creators “will operate in an increasingly competitive marketplace where much of the intellectual property is distributed free and suppliers explode in number. . . . The problem for owners of content is that they will be competing with free or almost-free content.”
A new study by Cornell researchers shows that traditional (old-media) news outlets lead the blogosphere by 2.5 hours when it comes to breaking news. It's a sign that the old guard should chill out about blogs and how they're destroying the news world.
By now, we're all familiar with the gruesome predicament of print media: Print readership is falling, and ad revenues are disappearing as a result. The Web hasn't been any kind of savior, for a simple reason: No matter how good your newspaper or magazine's site is, advertisers still don't pay as much to reach a Web reader as they will for a print reader, to the tune of about ten cents on the dollar. No wonder print publications have been so scared to migrate their businesses online--it's like asking them to move into a shiny new house that happens to be on pile of toxic waste.
Why were so many people in the technology world wrong about Hulu? It was an idea that seemed like a relic of the worst excesses of the dot-com era: a portal for content run by a joint venture of media companies. Could any venture have more going against it?
In this ultra-volatile moment of recession, the print sector (magazines, newspapers, journals, etc.) has become the poster child of a graveyard future. And that should just not be. Sure, newsstand is down, circulation is falling and readers are getting free content on the internet.
I'm asking because technically, it really isn't. Let's take a step back and think about the strong word in the term social media. We've had all kind of media for ages - print, then the novelty of radio, then video that supposedly killed the radio stars (they also said that sound in movies would never take off, oh my), then the Web.
The march of technology has disrupted the implicit contract that has driven the media business for a hundred years or more: Publishers/programmers provide quality content; advertisers help subsidize the content and, in return, get to show commercial messages to audiences; and consumers enjoy the content and accept the ads that subsidize all or some of the cost.
Remember the old joke about the camel? That it's a horse built by a committee? Many of the ads targeting mature consumers these days appear to be built by committee. Chock full of pictures. Lots of messages all at once. You could consider them visual camels.
Orbitz, the discount travel Web site, is sending an important advertising assignment on a cross-country trip — and a principal reason is the same one that computer users visit orbitz.com: to try to save money.
Consumers are bombarded with more messages than ever before. Refining and clarifying your target segment is becoming evermore important as mass-messages are falling upon deaf ears. Specific, tailored and relevant messages, combined with consumer engagement and empowerment are elemental in the new marketing era. Less and less are market leaders dictating consumer needs through “push” advertising. By way of digital networking and publishing tools, consumers are creating consumer needs. To identify the key forces driving this marketing shift, we synthesized insights from over 40 industry professionals.
The gay and lesbian community may be hard to measure in size, counting for some 4% to 10% of the U.S. population, based on census data that counts only same-sex couples who live together. But measuring their media consumption just got easier for Group M's Mindshare, which released its first study on the gay and lesbian market, "Reaching Out," to clients this week.
If you are reading this, I am doing my job. Roughly speaking, that is the compact that has underpinned the ties that bind those who write the news to those who read it.
For years local broadcast stations looked forward to digital TV as a potential business panacea. The technology would allow them to create so-called subchannels alongside their existing ones that would beam niche programming—from local weather to high school football games—over the air to viewers' sets, theoretically attracting more advertising and helping the local guys compete with cable.
As early as 2006, the phrase "Every company is a media company" began to appear in speeches, news stories and blog columns, presaging a paradigm shift in the way businesses of every stripe must communicate with their audiences in the Internet/social media age.
Everybody seems to hate advertising, in part because it seems inescapable. Television screens are cluttered with commercials. Web sites are obscured by pop-up and rollover ads. Streets, sidewalks, and vehicles are plastered with so many signs and digital screens that many people are calling them graffiti. Yes, print media are becoming ad-free zones, but no other space seems off limits, from airport jet ways to elevators to clothing.
Commoditization may be the biggest threat facing agencies and media companies today -- yet we hear precious little about it, and few can articulate a strategy to combat it.
At the risk of being branded a heretic or perhaps just being shown the door by my agency HR director, I have to say it: I hate social media. Why? Because it's just media. And since when was media ever interesting?
Things are moving very quickly now, in fact I was pleased to learn about these contextual ads from my new friend Corey Brien in SF yesterday. In my latest report “The Future of the Social Web” we pointed that in the near future we’ll start to see web pages dynamically created based on user profile ID in social networks. Essentially, your corporate, media, or ecommerce site could provide contextual media, content, and advertisement based on users’ info before they login.
Let’s start with what we know about media habits, structural changes in advertising practices, and advertising effectiveness.
The traditional TV industry -- cable companies, networks and broadcasters -- is where the newspaper industry was about five years ago: in denial.
There are plenty of global conglomerates in industries from finance to pharmaceuticals to, of course, advertising. But running a global news business requires a tricky combination of international brand appeal, regional relevance and subject expertise that both travels and translates.
The line between advertisers and entertainment producers is rapidly blurring in China, as many brands go online with their own films and Web series, taking advantage of the shortage of popular shows on China's state-controlled TV.
Draftfcb last week merged its media, digital and CRM practices into a single unit called the Real-Time Marketing division. The move was designed to, among other things, make brands more responsive to happenings on the Web, good or bad, which can drastically affect the way consumers perceive the brands. Brandweek editor Todd Wasserman spoke with Draftfcb chief media officer Richard Gagnon this week to see where direct fits in with all this and how the unit will work in practice.
While the mainstream press, and most digital marketing firms, are convinced that social media are changing the consciousness and habits of humanity, I've chanced upon two studies that suggest otherwise.
A pair of mobile studies in the last week offer a sobering contrast to the hoopla surrounding the launch of the Palm Pre Saturday and the upgraded iPhone today. Based on a survey of brands and agencies, the Mobile Marketing Association estimated mobile will garner less than 2% of total marketing dollars this year.
The first quarter of 2009 will be remembered for many things, mostly bad. But it may also mark a turning point when the world's biggest marketer and its broader industry finally got serious about digital media.
There has been a flurry of giveaway promotions put on by franchised brands recently. We’ve all heard about national chain efforts, such as Denny’s Grand Slam Giveaway, the Quiznos Million Sub Giveaway, UnFry Day, KFC’s grilled chicken giveaway, and National Doughnut Day promotions put on by both Krispy Kreme and Dunkin’ Donuts. But, smaller chains also have gotten into the act, giving away among other things, free pretzels, free ice cream and free tacos. Some campaigns have been more successful than others; though, the definition of success seems to depend on who is asking and who is answering.
In March of this year, National Public Radio (NPR) revealed that by the end of 2008, 23.6 million people were tuning into its broadcasts each week. In fact, NPR’s ratings have increased steadily since 2000, and they’ve managed to hold on to much of their 2008 election coverage listenership bump (with over 26 million people tuning in each week so far in 2009), unlike many of their mainstream media counterparts.
Ailing news organizations seeking to make money from both online readers and the Web sites that republish their stories are looking at the way music publishers collect a fraction of a cent for every song played in public, from the corner bowling alley to the stage of "American Idol."
With newspapers’ traditional business model in free fall, the top media minds at global design firm IDEO (designer of the Apple mouse, consultant to Fortune 500 companies) were asked to imagine: How will we get our news after the traditional model falls apart? Here's their answer.
As Simon Clift of Unilever made clear at the Ad Age Digital Conference recently, brands no longer have total control of the communications surrounding their products or even the positioning of them. That power is now in the hands of the digital consumer. Ford agrees. It's just asked 100 bloggers to launch the Fiesta in the U.S.
By the end of the night on March 2, 2009, new “Late Night” host Jimmy Fallon had scored big, attracting 2.9 million viewers — a full million more than his competitor in the time slot, Scottish comedian Craig Ferguson. It was one of the best debuts in recent memory for a late night show, beating Ferguson’s 2005 premiere, and Jimmy Kimmel’s debut on ABC in 2003 (in a time slot a half hour earlier). Fallon’s ratings have leveled off a bit in the three months since his debut, but he’s still managed to win his time slot in 53 of his first 55 nights, and holds a 69% ratings advantage over Ferguson in the valuable 18-34 year old demographic.
At Burda’s DLD conference in Munich, talking with the Nokia Ideas Project, I first happened on the notion of advertising as failure. That is, the ideal relationship a company should have with its customer is that it produces a great product the customer loves and talks about and thus sells; there is no need for advertising there. It’s only in the case of failing at that idea that one needs to advertise.
As publications continue to struggle or fold because of dwindling advertising revenues, one is thriving by selling not just ad space, but entire marketing campaigns.
Oprah Winfrey may already be the Queen of All Media, but lately she’s been gunning for another title: Queen of All Tech. Thursday’s episode of the show (taped earlier this month) is entirely dedicated to Skype, eBay’s soon-to-be-spun-off Internet communications service.
If the different ways to watch television could be likened to a TV dinner, the TV set is still the Salisbury steak or fried chicken main course. (Or perhaps the turkey.) But the vegetables, mashed potatoes and desserts — that is, watching TV online or on mobile devices, and discussing TV shows with friends in social media like Facebook and Twitter — are becoming bigger parts of the meal.
If you page through The Wall Street Journal or New York Times, you might discover a few surprises. FedEx, General Electric and IBM have recently launched corporate branding campaigns, and tech power SAP made a splash just last week with a global push from Ogilvy themed "Time for a clear new world."
Value. It’s a word you hear tossed around quite a bit in this economy, but not one that applies to every brand, according to a recent report. A survey by Brandindex, a daily measure of brand perception by the London-based firm YouGov taken from January to April, found that some brands, like Starbucks and General Motors’ Hummer are not convincing consumers that they offer value.
With the Federal Trade Commission ("FTC") pondering adapting its archaic advertising regulations to cover blogs, I chanced upon some blatant commercial content posing as a blog post on one my favorite sites, Boing Boing.
When it comes to assigning blame for the current economic crisis, two-thirds of Americans are pointing the finger at ad agencies and more than half are singling out the media.
Human beings are social animals; we devote a significant portion of our brain just to dealing with interactions with other humans. It should come as no surprise, then, that social Web technologies have a complex relationship with brain function.
File this under “You Knew It Was Coming.” Web entrepreneur and Voice of the Net event organizer Jeff Pulver announced early this week he is organizing a conference around the hottest name in digital media, Twitter. The “140 Characters Conference” is far from a short message, spanning two days (June 16-17) at New World Stages in New York. Pulver says the focus will be on the effects of Twitter on media, advertising and celebrity.
One of the most basic requirements of effective problem solving is a clear definition what that problem is. This truism came strongly to mind as we watched a panel at this week's McGraw-Hill Media Summit moderated by Businessweek columnist Jon Fine.
These days, everyone knows that one of the hottest stories any newspaper can cover is that of its own demise. The collapse of print advertising and the downturn in sales, at the news stand and through subscriptions, has led to a frantic search for new ways to monetize content that’s often available online for free. Social media gives any business an interactive channel to communicate with its current and future customers. For newspapers, that channel can increase the chances of survival in a market where commoditized information has diminished the value of individual brands.
With some 4.4 million people joining the ranks of the unemployed since the recession began in December 2007, job sites have seen a healthy bump in traffic. ComScore's December 2008 website-traffic report revealed "job search" as the fastest-growing content-site category, up 51% from the previous year. The country's two largest job sites, CareerBuilder and Monster, both spent significant media budgets on- and offline, hoping to capture a higher share of this surge in traffic.
Back when I was a young media reporter fueled by indignation and suspicion, I often pictured the dark overlords of the newspaper industry gathering at a secret location to collude over cigars and Cognac, deciding how to set prices and the news agenda at the same time. It probably never happened, but now that I fear for the future of the world that they made, I’m hoping that meeting takes place. I’ll even buy the cigars.
People eat chocolate bars in pieces, waiting and savoring. They space their cigarettes through the day, their gossip sessions, their calls to friends. They like their sports with timeouts, and practice their religion with fasts and periods of self-denial, like Lent. So why is it that commercial interruptions always ruin TV programs? Maybe they don’t. In two new studies, researchers who study consumer behavior argue that interrupting an experience, whether dreary or pleasant, can make it significantly more intense.
Left alone in a cage with a mountain of cocaine, a lab rat will gorge itself to death. Caught up in a housing bubble, bankers will keep selling mortgage-backed securities — and amassing bonuses — until credit markets seize, companies collapse, and millions of investors lose their jobs and homes. And news anchors and television personalities who have their own shows, Web sites, blogs and pages on Facebook.com and MySpace.com will send Twitter messages until the last follower falls into a coma.
Any parent knows how hard it is to keep an eye on several children all at once. So imagine how marketers feel having to keep track of a massive group of them.
Tina Brown’s four-month old Web venture, The Daily Beast, has yet to establish its business model, but the clock is ticking.
One of the newest news sites has a novel business plan: it hopes to go out of business as soon as possible. Laura Rich and Sara Clemence, two former editors who were recently laid off from Condé Nast’s Portfolio and author and freelance writer Lynn Parramore are hoping to target and bring some positive news to victims of the economy with the launch Monday of a new and hopefully temporary news site called Recessionwire.com.
Over the last few years, we’ve explored the trend where new media publications have been working directly with brands to produce advertisements for their products.
The world is moving to Post Digital, and any marketer who thought the internet was complicated is going to get a lot more confused.
K. C. Estenson, the new general manager of CNN.com, has a thought or two about most news sites on the Web: they’re predictable and homogeneous. Seen one, seen ’em all. Even his own site, he says, could use more of a “unique signature.”
Piping Internet video into a television seems as if it should be simple — after all, a screen is a screen. But consumer electronics and media companies have been moving toward that combination with painstaking caution, both because of technical limitations and to protect their existing business models.
It's a relatively rare development in the magazine world these days: the launch of a new title. That's especially true when the debut is in the "green" lifestyle category, which has not fared too well in recent years. But Sovereign/Homestead is standing confidently by its new bimonthly title, Organic Beauty. Publisher Diane Hintz said the publication fills an unmet need in the magazine industry, appealing to affluent and educated women seeking eco-friendly beauty products.
ESPN will air a prime-time documentary that was conceived as a marketing vehicle for German automaker Audi. "Truth in 24" is scheduled for March 20 and focuses on the performance of Audi cars in the famed 24 Hours of Le Mans race.
While the current trend sees print media downsizing in the face of a slowing economy, The Printed Blog wants to upgrade the traditional model of the newspaper into a user-generated, hyper-localized, scalable version made specifically for the Internet generation, released in hundreds of unique editions across the country twice-daily.
USA Today has made available its own application on the Apple App Store, for the iPhone and iPod touch. Designed and developed in cooperation with Mercury Intermedia of Brentwood, Tenn., the USA Today app -- which is free -- allows users to browse and read stories from all the newspaper's print sections: News, Money, Sports, Life, Tech and Travel. Articles can be shared via e-mail, text message or Twitter, and are automatically saved for later reading.
Nickelodeon is launching a new online site for kids. UpickDaily.com allows its young users to share, vote, poll and post their thoughts on various topics. In essence, the site lets kids be their own content providers and news aggregators about TV, movies, games, sports, stars and more.
The Web may be the future for magazine publishing, but in the present, ready revenue is winning out and Web writers are getting laid off left and right.
Marketing Daily is announcing the winners in several categories this year but, for the first time, is not naming an overall Marketer of the Year.
With staff changes and reductions across the media industry, even a blog post can be too time-consuming a way to announce who is in and out of a job. That is why a public relations employee turned to the instant-blogging platform Twitter to create The Media Is Dying, a Twitter feed that documents media hirings and firings in one-sentence bursts of text.
Asked if he feared that advertising agencies might become disintermediated by big digital media players such as Google, Microsoft and Yahoo that are accruing powerful consumer data streams and efficient systems for serving and measuring advertising results, Roth indicated that Madison Avenue's strength was not media per se, but the kind of "big idea" normally associated by creative departments.
Huffington Post founder Arianna Huffington talks about the nature of blogging and competition on the Web.
Ball State University, the alma mater of David Letterman that has been developing a reputation for advanced media studies, Thursday unveiled a major initiative designed to advance the study of emerging media and to better prepare students for careers in a rapidly changing digital economy.
It looks as if Pontiac, Saab and Saturn could be on the General Motors endangered-brand list -- and with them some $300 million in measured-media spending.
Time to step up and declare whether you still believe in publishing.
In an age convulsed in angst over the transformation of media markets, it's a joyful thing to see a holiday medium that remains as successful as it is old and unchanged.
Everywhere we look, we see screens.These ever-present screens have created an audience for very short moving pictures, as brief as three minutes, while cheap digital creation tools have empowered a new generation of filmmakers, who are rapidly filling up those screens. We are headed toward screen ubiquity.