Rovi Corporation has launched Rovi Analytics, a new reporting tool that aimed at providing extensive metrics to enable agencies and brands to comprehensively measure TV advertising buys. Combining critical measurements including uniques, impressions, and time spent, Rovi Analytics is designed to drive greater accountability for advanced TV advertising campaign performance.
Rovi Analytics extends measurement capabilities from service provider set-top boxes as well as connected television and video devices, providing extensive campaign performance reports for agencies and advertisers that buy inventory on the Rovi Advertising Network. The advanced reporting capabilities can combine census-level measurement with key metrics such as uniques, impressions, clicks, time spent, video views and user actions within micro-sites, to provide a comprehensive view of campaign results across the multiple digital platforms Rovi serves. These key performance metrics, which can be filtered by a range of criteria including daypart and geography, will enable advertisers to clearly measure the effectiveness of advanced TV ad units, the company claims.
“Connected TV devices are not only transforming the entertainment landscape, they are also set to fundamentally reshape existing TV advertising models,” said Jeff Siegel, senior vice president, Worldwide Advertising, Rovi Corporation. “The Rovi Advertising Network was one of the first platforms to enable companies to develop and test campaigns on new Internet-enabled platforms. Since initial launch, we’ve conducted extensive research to help advertisers sharpen campaigns, increased our Network scale by forming new relationships with service providers and device manufacturers, and added a range of pioneering ad functionality. Now, with the addition of comprehensive reporting tools, Rovi offers the end-to-end toolset agencies and brands need to deliver high-impact TV ad campaigns with measurable results.”
The Rovi Advertising Network targets advertisers, agencies and brand marketers, and provides scalable, measurable, and interactive TV advertising options which the company claims are "tightly integrated into consumers’ entertainment search and discovery experience." Rovi Advertising Network clients include leading brands like BT, Carnival, Channel 4, Ladbrokes, Red Bull TV, and Twentieth Century Fox. In addition to supporting a range of set-top boxes, the Rovi Ad Network has secured placement on connected TVs and Blu-ray Disc players including new and in-market models from Panasonic, Samsung, Sony, and Toshiba.
Ace Metrix, which bills itself as “the new standard in television and video analytics,” has announced the completion of an $8 million round of financing from WPP, Hummer Winblad Venture Partners, Leapfrog Ventures, and Palomar Ventures. Ace Metrix will use the new funds to further accelerate its rapid growth, continue its focus on innovation and product development, and expand into new markets.
The company claims 25% of national television advertisers as clients, and is aggressively pursuing 100% growth through 2012. Just a week ago, Ace Metrix added Samsung to that client roster: Samsung has subscribed to the company’s Ace Metrix LIVE platform, which provides immediate delivery of Ace Scores and the 12,000+ associated data points for every ad in the competitive mobile devices category. Samsung also signed on to use the Ace Metrix PRE service to test ads prior to release, which gives Samsung the ability to adjust creative or media placement using detailed demographic, ethnographic, and psychographic data.
Just two weeks ago, Ace Metrix introduced Ace Metrix TARGET, which allows advertisers to identify specific key audiences and access creative ad performance data for their ads and their competitors. Ace Metrix TARGET adds a layer of granular intelligence to Ace Metrix LIVE. TARGET leverages the same methodology and scoring dimensions of Ace Metrix LIVE, but augments it with specific demographic, ethnographic, and psychographic profiles. As Peter Daboll, CEO of Ace Metrix described, TARGET provides “Exceptional detail and surprising degrees of comparability about how ads perform among critical targets such as technologists, automotive intenders, gamers, and business travelers– for their ads and their competitors’.”
“Ace Metrix continues to impress us with their ability to push the envelope on innovation,” said Pete Sinclair, Managing Director, Leapfrog Ventures, and Managing Director Ann Winblad of Hummer Winblad Venture Partners remarked that “Ace Metrix delivers highly valuable and actionable analytics to the $71B TV advertising sector and the emerging video advertising segment. This is a substantial market opportunity and Ace Metrix has taken the leadership position.”
ur services by many of the most respected brands in the industry – a list that represents the top 25% of national television advertisers," said Peter Daboll, CEO of Ace Metrix. "We are on track to continue our 100% growth rate through 2012 and this new financing will allow us to further extend our portfolio of products and services to key adjacent markets while scaling our business infrastructure and sales and client services teams to meet the demands of our clients.”
“Advertisers in the travel industry need to increase their online footprint in order to keep up with this ever growing audience,” wrote the online ad team at Yahoo! Their 2011 data revealed that travel-related searches begin climbing in May and peak in July, suggesting now is the time to optimize online ad accounts for the season. Yahoo! offers these tips
Yahoo! offered some specific tips from its search-ad experts:
- Ensure your keyword coverage: Analysis of travel keywords used by adCenter advertisers reveals that the highest click-through rates (CTR) are found in longer keyword entries that include the destination and an offer (e.g., "Hawaii all inclusive vacation packages"). Even if the destination was not included, terms like "all inclusive vacation" or "last minute vacation" still have strong CTRs.
- Book Insurance for your Ads: Like travel insurance, a robust list of negative keywords will, for example, prevent your ad from being shown for searches related to cruise ship accidents or other such incidents.
- Know what's popular: Yahoo's Search Query Performance Report shows exactly what queries a Bing or Yahoo! Search user entered in relation to a keyword. The report helps you identify additional keywords to bid on and provides a list of potential negative keywords to exclude unwanted traffic.
- Go Mobile: Analysts estimate that the number of U.S. mobile users booking via mobile will nearly double from 2010 to 2012, from 8.7 million to 15.1 million. Duplicate your search campaigns to target mobile devices, and reach these searchers while they are on the road.
- Plan ahead: In a 2011 survey commissioned by the Mark Travel Corp., 19% of respondents booked trips six or more months in advance, compared with 16% in May 2010. That type of traveler has already made summer plans, but are booking their fall and winter trips now.
Digiday has released the results of its “State of the Industry Survey,” sponsored by adap.tv, which revealed that brands and agencies are planning their online video/ TV ad buys together (for example, in a unified campaign). Digiday conducts the semi-annual poll of the marketplace for online advertising (including agencies, brands, publishers, ad networks and intermediaries).
The majority told Digiday that the rate at which they will plan TV and online video ads together will grow by more than 50% in the coming year. Some 48 percent already plan the two media together, and 25% more plan to do so in the next 12 months.
What the majority will not do is shift their TV buys entirely to digital. Just about two thirds (at 62%) report that online video will complement TV advertising rather than replace it, in line with last year’s figures.
Whither the Measurements?
Interestingly, 54% expect their online video ad buys to be under 5% percent of their 2012 purchases—down 10% from the same time last year. The key roadblock is in unified measurements. Brands want click-throughs, certainly, but brand lift is still the most important metric cited by both agencies and brands—and they’re baffled by different metrics.
But, the online venues may have solved this problem, even as the survey was conducted. Just this week, Hulu and Google promised TV-like metrics to advertisers—specifically, gross rating points or GRPs. Google announced just yesterday that it has introduced “Active GRP” into its DoubleClick for Advertisers offering.
- In an apparent vote of no confidence, ABC News appears to have abandoned Tumblr, the microblogging-plus-video social media site, reports Digiday. While Tumblr has a huge audience, Digiday describes its benefit to publishers as “uncertain.” ABC had run at least three Tumblr feeds (called “Tumblrs”), including for “Nightline” and “ABC World News with Diane Sawyer” for over two years. ABC has declined comment. Digiday speculates that ABC may have been concerned about the liability of sharing content on Tumblr. ABC News has a strong presence on both Twitter and Facebook, with the Twitter accound @ABC has having more than 1.6 million followers and its Facebook page with more than 492,000 likes.
- Apple kept its word to developers. Apple on Sunday, April 1, announced to developers that it has increased their share of revenue in iAd from 60 to 70%. Also true, as AdExchanger reports the significance, advertisers can now spend as little as $100,000 to initiate mobile campaigns, down from a $300,000 threshold that went into effect last July. That is just a fraction of the “lofty” $1 million minimum for entry when iAd launched in 2010, and of the $0.5 million entry from last February.
- Google and Starbucks are planning a Google Offers campaign for this week, reports ClickZ, which “should be a boon for Google Offers subscriber numbers,” given Starbucks' popularity. Starbucks joins such national brands as REI, JetBlue, and Toys R Us which have partnered with Google Offers since Google launched the deals platform 10 months ago. Groupon still reigns as the source for bargains at local businesses.
- “The Economist” is putting the brakes on the “everything is free” ethos, reports Digiday. The magazine’s Managing Director for the Americas Paul Rossi called the free or lower-cost digital model “suicide.” Rossi spoke at Digiday’s Publishing Summit last week, and told the crowd that “It makes no sense in my mind if you think a mag on a news has a [value] to a reader of $4.99 that you sell that to a reader digitally for 99 cents or $1.99…I don’t understand the logic.” Rossi also addressed the problem of digital advertising not coming close to replacing print revenue—partly because lower- or no-cost content devalues digital ad placements.
- Business Insider has published a provocative article called “This Is What Advertisers Hate About Facebook,” citing a “top ad executive at a company that helps brands market on Facebook.” Among the dislikes: unreliable APIs. “[Google] technology has been reliable for the past 15 years. With Facebook, you feel like you're dealing with three developers in their garage changing their mind every week.” Also, ownership of data and content, particularly customer data. Facebook says it’s theirs, brands think it’s theirs. Finally, analytics. “It's not just that the functionality is lacking, the executive said, it's that the stats are virtually unusable,” says Business Insider. The executive cited disbelief that a big brand with a Facebook page for a small-town subsidiary had supposedly “reached” 1.3 million people.
- NBCUniversal has penned a multiyear agreement with FreeWheel to use its ad-management system to serve online and mobile ads across some of NBCU's network and cable digital properties, reports Multichannel News. Those properties include NBC.com, NBCSports.com, NBCOlympics.com, CNBC.com, USANetwork.com, BravoTV.com and Telemundo.com. NBCU will use FreeWheel's Monetization Rights Management system for multiple sites, including NBCOlympics.com in connection with NBC's coverage of the 2012 Summer Olympic Games in London. NBCU reports that advertisers have already bought more than $50 million in digital inventory for the Summer Olympics. With the FreeWheel system, advertisers can now buy specialized digital ad packages such as exclusivities, sponsorships and other converged-ad campaigns.
Twitter with its new ad platform is attracting higher cost-per-thousand views (CPMs) than other social networks, according to third-party ad buyer TBG Digital. TBG surveyed data for 10 brands across different sectors, and observed some early trends for paid ads on Twitter.
TBG found that CPM for Twitter was higher in part because its ads are in-stream versus on the side (e.g., in Facebook), which is more attractive to advertisers. Also true, click-through rates in the news category were far higher on Twitter than on Facebook; though the categories of travel and consumer electronics saw higher CTRs on Facebook.
News is behind the higher day-time conversions for Twitter, which dominates in conversions from 6 A.M. to 12 P.M., and 8 P.M. to According to the research, conversions differed dependent on the time of day, with 6am-12pm and 8pm-12pm being the most successful on Twitter, the times of day when users are more hungry for information and news (see chart below).
Simon Mansell, CEO of TBG Digital, said “Facebook…tends to peak at lunchtime, when people are using it for their downtime.”
The U.S. has a relatively high cost-per-follower, but the click-through rate is below average.
Business, Consumer Press Success
min Online reported today that Twitter is no longer the domain of teen and celebrity chatter alone.” Twitter has just celebrated its sixth anniversary with 140 million users, an increasing number of which are B2B publishers. Four business titles, being Women’s Wear Daily, PRNews and Computerworld and PC World (two IDG titles) have reported substantial recent gains through Twitter. All of the titles make it a point to tweet continuously, with WWD posting about every half hour during the week and more frequently on the weekend; and PRNews topping 30 tweets per day.
Min also reported that among consumer magazine brands, RollingStone.com gained 126,886 new followers between February 22 and March 22, an 11.27% gain. Meredith's Parents magazine promotes its content with poll questions, e.g., "Did you give into co-sleeping against your will after Baby was born?" which has given the title a boost of 9.11% in new Twitter followers.
Self Service for Small Business
Twitter yesterday (March 27, 2912) announced that a select group of small businesses can begin using its self-serve advertising platform for promoted tweets and accounts, reported Mashable. Amex partnered with Twitter to launch the platform, offering both early access to Amex merchant customers and a $100 credit toward free advertising for the first 10,000 businesses to sign. A Promoted Account recommends a brand’s Twitter account to users with similar interests who do not yet follow the brand; and a Promoted Tweet places an existing tweet in search results. A small business pays when its account is followed, or when a Twitter user engages with the promoted tweet.
A strong nod for streaming music provider Spotify, and from across the pond. Spotify has taken the lead in the latest Institute of Practitioners in Advertising’s (IPA) Online Media Owner Survey, with 83.5% of 259 UK-based respondents agreeing/agreeing strongly that "My overall experience of dealing with this supplier is a good one." This is the first time in more than three years that a new leader has emerged as Specific Media has been top since autumn 2008. This is also the first time a new entrant to the survey has leapt straight to the top of the IPA Survey.
As Robert Andrews of paidContent describes it, “Spotify employs an army of ad sales staff at its London business headquarters, selling ads that can be targeted to geographic, demographic and other identifiers.” The company made almost a third of its revenue in 2010 from advertising, the remaining two-thirds through subscriberships. Last year Spotify hired a chief advertising officer, in the form of former AOL exec Jeff Levick. He described the Spotify value proposition to Adweek: “We believe we have a superior product [and] you can do more of with Spotify. We have the largest library of music available in the cloud with 15 million tracks, and it continues to grow,” versus an estimated 800,000 tracks at the time for rival Pandora (which after a decade still struggles with profitability).
In the API survey, Specific Media slipped to fourth place as overall service levels improve and become more competitive, with seven media owners achieving scores in excess of 70% for this category, compared to five in the autumn 2011 survey. In second place is California-based Tribal Fusion, followed by AOL, Specific, Adjug, Glam Media and the Telegraph. Adjug and Glam Media also being new entrants to the survey.
Other key findings:
- Tribal Fusion is the overall winner among ad networks, exchanges and sales houses, Spotify leads the online pure play sector with AOL in second place, and Telegraph.co.uk have taken over leadership from IPC in the cross-over media sector
- Sky Digital Media is the most improved media owner since the autumn survey (+10.6 percentage points), and a further five media owners have improved their score in the best overall category by 5 percentage points or more.
- At the other extreme IPC Media have seen their score decline by 11.2 percentage points since the autumn survey.
- Year-on-year Microsoft is the most improved, up 20.7 percentage points from their low point of 36% in the spring 2011 survey. Tribal Fusion has improved by 17.9 percentage points and AOL by 15.9.
- In addition to leading the overall survey attribute, Spotify leads in three other areas (quality of response to brief, understanding of own products, and delivery of innovative creative solutions).
- AOL leads in four areas (dispute resolution, ease of contact, client/media agency partnership and mid campaign support). Tribal Fusion leads in two areas (understanding of client objectives and post campaign support). Glam Media leads in one (communication of contact with client), as do Facebook (proactivity) and Specific Media (regular contact).
- ABC.com is launching a five-part web series connecting the two “Body of Proof” episodes, “Going Viral, Parts 1 & 2,” the first of which aired last night (Tuesday, March 27, 2012). On the show the team faces a city-wide outbreak of an unknown virus and no one is safe, including the lead characters. The web series debuted last night on www.ABC.com/BodyofProof at 11:00 P.M. ET immediately following “Going Viral, Part 1,” and focuses on a press conference given by Dr. Kate Murphey (Jeri Ryan). The remaining web series follows a lead character’s personal experience with the virus and gain key insights into “Going Viral, Part 2,” airing next week, Tuesday, April 3 at 10:00-11 P.M. ET. Karin Gilford, SVP of Digital Media, ABC Entertainment said “We worked closely with show producers to create an entire story arc that connects these two highly eventful episodes. It’s a great way to maintain the suspense and enable fans to dig even deeper into the plot.”
- Following its recent launches over Roku and Boxee, iFood.tv will launch apps for Google- and Yahoo!-connected TV platforms, reports eContent. The site features online instructional cooking videos, and will translate its video portfolio into channels of streaming content. iFood.tv boasts a library of 25,000 cooking and recipe videos, and 150,000 text recipes. iFood.tv recently introduced an Android app, in addition to an updated iPhone app, which enable users to store favorite recipes and keep a picture diary of dishes they've cooked. iFood.tv also plans to recreate the channels it has built for connected TV as apps for tablets and smartphones.
- The six-month-old subscription-driven Newsstand section of the iPad App Store is “ringing up content sales for premium publishers,” reports min online. Min was reporting data from app analytics firm Distimo. The top 100 grossing apps the Newsstand section are seeing about $70,000 a month among them, with New York Times, TheDaily and New Yorker Magazine among the top grossers for iPad apps. (At $700 per month average, that is hardly cause for champagne.) Still, it’s a start. For February the five top-grossing Newsstand apps were The Daily, NYTimes for iPad, New Yorker Magazine, National Geographic and Cosmopolitan.
- AT&T AdWorks is integrating with Foursquare, for check-ins via mobile ads, reports Adweek. AT&T reached Foursquare second-hand, through the mobile ad firm Celtra’s partnership with Foursquare. AT&T AdWorks will begin testing the unit with an “unspecified retailer” in the next few weeks. Mobile ads featuring Foursquare typically appear as banners, but require consumers to check in to be shown a map of nearby locations of advertisers’ outlet. The Foursquare integration extends AT&T AdWorks’ store locator mobile unit, which Levi’s tested last year on its Curve ID jeans line, for which it claims a 10.3% boost in ad impressions.
- Seven out of eight ad agencies claimed their clients' social media spends doubled or were "up significantly" year-over-year for January, reports ClickZ News, which surveyed eight agencies. As Adam Donnelley, an EVP at MRM (one of the agencies surveyed) told ClickZ. "Facebook has managed to get more targeted and build broader reach, and that's clearly something coming up in conversations rather frequently." ClickZ was particularly interested in what ad units were seeing getting support from brands (e.g., Facebook Premium Ads; Facebook Marketplace Ads; Twitter Promoted Trends; Twitter Promoted Tweets; Twitter Promoted Accounts). Half the agencies claimed a majority of clients had purchased Facebook Premium Ads and Facebook Marketplace Ads, respectively, in the last 12 months; only one reported that more than a quarter of its clients had bought a Promoted Trend on Twitter in the last 12 months; all eight agencies reported that less than 25% of clients had tested Promoted Accounts, and only one stated that more than 25% of its clients had bought Promoted Tweets.
- Rovio claims that as of Monday, its Angry Birds Space game has been downloaded more than 10 million times since it was made available on Thursday, reports AllThingsD. The game is available on iOS, Mac and PC, with a Windows mobile release in development; but in-game advertisers must opt for the Android version. Angry Birds Space is available for Android devices for free with advertising. Ad-free versions of Angry Birds Space will also be available on Android for $0.99, and an HD version for Android tablets for $2.99, according to the company’s website.
- Microsoft and Nokia are “trying to claw back market share from Apple Inc's iPhone and Google's Android” in the apps market, according to a Reuters story. On Monday, Microsoft and Nokia announced that they would invest $23.9 million into AppCampus, a new mobile application development program at Helsinki's Aalto University, over the next three years. Microsoft is late to the game: while there are 65,000 apps on the new-ish Windows Phone Marketplace, that falls far short of the 0.5 million available from the Apple App Store and Google Play. And at present, only 37% of developers have any interest in creating apps for the Windows Phone, according to IDC/Appcelerator survey, versus 89% interested in iPhone and 79% in Android phones.
- While the GOP slugfest rages on, President Barack Obama's reelection campaign continues to spend big on digital ads, according to ClickZ. Obama for America spent an additional $3 million on digital ads, including text messages, in February. Since Obama for America launched the 2012 campaign nearly a year ago, it has spent more than $11 million on web ads, according to ClickZ analysis of Federal Election Commission filings. If the campaign continues to spend $3 million on digital advertising monthly, it will have spent $35 million by November. OFA claims to have spent about $16 million in online ads during the 2008 campaign.
- The Audit Bureau of Circulations (ABC) has released a Consolidated Media Report (CMR) for Fine Cooking, only the second print-and-digital journal to undergo the audit, reports minOnline. The second-half-2011 audit went beyond newsstand and subscription sales to include the measured components from FineCooking.com. (Google Analytics was the foundation). Popular Science was the first magazine to have a CMR audit, and released which released its first-half 2011 data last October. According to ABC, the Fine Cooking e-newsletter reached 453,898 average monthly unique e-mail addresses; attracted an average 904,016 total average monthly website browsers; and combined with print, reaches a total “brand universe” of 1,702,518.
- Alongside those Twitter ads, marketers should encourage their CEOs and CMOs to tweet. As eMarketer reports (citing data from social-media branding firm BRANDfog), consumers and employees regard company leaders who engage on social media platforms positively. The majority of respondents in a survey at 78% believe that CEO participation in social media leads to better communication, while 71% said it leads to improved brand image and 64% said it provides more transparency.
Google in its Agency Blog claims to have upgraded its contextual engine, which matches display ads to pages based on keywords, which is “at the heart of display buying through AdWords.”
Calling it the “biggest enhancement ever,” users now have the ability to combine the reach of display with the precision of search using Next-Gen Keyword Contextual Targeting. Users can fine-tune contextual campaigns down to individual keyword level, making it “easier for you to extend search campaigns to display and more efficient to run the two types of campaigns together.”
Google gives this example: A travel agency might run numerous display ads for Caribbean islands. Keyword-level transparency might reveal that “Turks and Caicos vacations” is four times more profitable than the keyword “caribbean vacations.” The agency can optimize campaigns to more aggressively target the high performing keywords and be more conservative on “caribbean vacations”.
Giving a Visual Edge
“Sometimes pictures communicate better than words (or numbers),” says Google. So, along with a new Display Network Tab and contextual engine, the company has introducing a way to visualize the reach of campaigns, to see how that reach is impacted by combining multiple targeting types such as keywords, placements, topics, interests or remarketing (see graphic). Google will roll out its new Display Network Tab to all advertisers in the upcoming coming weeks.