Yahoo this week hosted 40 advertisers and agencies at the Caroline’s on Broadway comedy club in Manhattan, to introduce the Yahoo! Comedy Channel.
The channel debuts tomorrow (February 23) on Yahoo! Screen, the company’s streaming media platform with both partnered and original content. First up at 7:30 PT/10:30 ET is a free stand-up show, "CrazyStupidPolitics: Bill Maher Live from Silicon Valley." In March, Yahoo! will launch several short-form video programs with comics including Mike O'Brien ("Saturday Night Live") and Seth Morris ("I Love You, Man").
First among advertisers: Progressive Insurance, with its comedic ads starring “Flo.” Yahoo! Claims its comedy channel will be an easy sell, as its women’s slate on Yahoo! Screen has attracted 10 million streams per month, with shows like Morgan Spurlock's "Failure Club."
Comedy is a good bet for Yahoo!, which declares that “comedy is the king of online video content,” and is watched by 93% of the 18-29 demographic. These are the “Comedy Natives,” as MTV Network EVP of Research Tanya Giles describes them. MTV owns Comedy Central, with 46% of its viewership between the ages of 18 and 34. The Comedy Natives (males in particular) define themselves by their sense of humor, versus their musical taste or enthusiasm for sports. They will choose to watch an episode of “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia” over a ball game, and consume more humorous video than music.
At the advertiser event, agencies like Mindshare, Publicis and Optimedia, Zenith Media met comics Mike O'Brien of "Saturday Night Live" and Seth Morris of “I Love You, Man," and Ed Helms of “The Office.” Helms is one of several comics who will be featured in a weekly video series of shorts called “Sketchy.”
Comedy Central ratings are up 10% among millennial men 18 to 34 years old, reports The New York Times. That is because the network speaks to young men the way they perceive themselves: defined more by humor than by music (as the baby boomers were) or sports.
Comedy Central commissioned a survey through Nielsen Entertainment Television, with additional data by the research firm Sachs Insights. Nielsen surveyed 2,000 individuals, and Sachs conducted focus groups in 19 cities. Both surveys targeted “millennials,” which the companies defined as adults born in 1981 or later.
Among their findings:
- 83% described their sense of humor as crucial to their self definition
- 74% view funny people as more popular
- 58% have shared comedic videos
- 63% would rather be stuck in an elevator with a comedian than with a star athlete
MTV Network EVP of Research Tanya Giles told the NYT “We called them Comedy Natives…one big takeaway is that unlike previous generations, humor, and not music, is their No. 1 form of self-expression.” MTV Network is the parent company of Comedy Central.
Comedy Central claims a median viewer age of 37.1, but 46% of its viewership is between 18 and 34, for which the network is able to charge advertiser premiums. In addition to delivering that key demographic, Comedy Central takes top honors in advertiser satisfaction, according to market researchers Advertiser Perceptions. In its 2011 Advertiser Perceptions Highest Rated Media Brand awards, Comedy Central won among cable networks, for advertiser satisfaction. The network claims a median age of 37.1, with 46% of its demographic aged 18-34, 59% of it male, tuning into “South Park” and “The Daily Show.”
“Spin” will hit newsstands on February 28 with a “reimagined” feel, reports Adweek, and with a theme of “Retro Active.”
“Spin” is the alternative music bi-monthly, and is bucking the trend of going all digital as ad pages decline. Rather, the magazine went to bimonthly issues in 2012, and is focusing upon higher production values. The magazine will be on a thicker paper stock with a 9.5” x 12” size, which will allow for more visually arresting photography and design. Creative director Devin Pedzwarter told Adweek that the larger format gives advertisers “A much better canvas for their product. When they get the magazine in the mail, it feels like their ads are in a more premium place."
“Spin” was launched in 1985, by “Penthouse” Bob Guccione, Jr. (Bob Guccione, Sr. published “Penthouse.”) The magazine has passed hands since, to McEvoy Group LLC, and is published under its division “Spin Media.” After a three-year decline in ad pages (from 654 to 413 pages), “Spin” dismissed its editor in chief and its publisher. New publisher Mike Albanese and current creative director Pedzwater concluded that the then-monthly magazine was heavy on news—hardly breaking news, for a monthly—and light on editorial content and photography. The larger format is more typical of the ‘90s, and the thicker paper and emphasis on visuals more typical of once-heralded magazines like Andy Warhol’s “Interview” (now available only digitally).
Each issue will have a theme, and lean on long-form essays and reviews of classic albums. More current content will be available on the Spin.com website.
“Spin” lists some creative demographics: a median age of 31, with a male/female split of 62%/38%; “Adventure seekers” who “often crave excitement,” and “big spenders” who “buy on credit rather than wait.”
Publisher Steve Deluca is reporting ad revenue and paging in the Departures March/April “International Style” issue have climbed 36% and 20%, respectively. Those gains helped fuel a 22% hike in Q1 ad revenue for Departures (and publisher American Express) over 2010.
"Luxury marketers recognize DEPARTURES as the desired brand for reaching truly affluent consumers who are primed to spend on their next quality purchase,” said Deluca, and the brands prove it. New advertisers in March/April include Burberry, Paul Stuart, Thomas Pink, Michael Kors, Net-A-Porter, Blancpain and Ippolita; they join legacy advertisers Dior, Giorgio Armani, Hermes and Chanel, among others.
Luxury titles have proved—perhaps maddeningly—recession proof. Departures gained 43% in ad pages in 2011 year-over-year (YOY), and rival title Afar gained 110%, according to minOnline’s 2011 boxscore report of bimonthlies. “No matter what is going on with the economy, people are still getting married and traveling,” said minOnline. Of 22 magazines, Departures led in page difference, gaining 230 pages. Afar was second with 146. Rounding out the top five were Martha Stewart Weddings, and the less luxuriant Handguns and Weight Watchers.
Departures is a four-color glossy for American Express Platinum Card and Centuriou members, and publishes seven issues per year. Its average reader is 49, with 53% men and 47% women, and an average household income of $475,970.
The March/April issue marks celebrity stylist Amanda Ross’ first fashion portfolio after already writing her regular “Uptown Girl” column on style trends in Departures’ “Style Etc.” section and jewelry features. Other content in this issue includes a profile about Donna Karan’s philanthropic mission in Haiti and Martine Assouline, co-founder and co-publisher of Assouline Publishing, shares her insider secrets to shopping small boutiques in Paris.
- DISH Network announced the Heartland Package, a specialty programming package “the entire family will enjoy,” the company said in a release. The new package features a family-friendly lineup of networks, including Hallmark Channel, Hallmark Movie Channel, GMC TV, PixL, RFD-TV and RURAL TV. customers can add the Heartland Package to their existing DISH subscription for $5 a month.
- Food Network is bringing back master pastry chef Ron Ben Israel for a second 13-episode season of the competition/elimination show “Sweet Genius,” premiering Thursday, March 15 at 10 p.m. Food Network is distributed to more than 100 million U.S. households and averages more than 9.9 million unique web users monthly. Since launching in 2009, Food Network Magazine has tripled its rate base and delivers a circulation of 1.4 million.
- VH1’s five-time Emmy-nominated documentary series “Behind The Music” returns with six new episodes, premiering Thursday, March 15 in the 9 p.m. slot. This season’s roster includes all hip-hop and urban artists, including Pitbull, Game, T-Pain, Akon, Brandy and Nas. The series features original footage and the backstory—which in the case of these artists, is colorful. Platinum Record winner Piitbull was a Miami gang kid, and Akon a Senegalese refugee who spent time in prison for car theft.
- "The Voice" and "Smash" did “pretty well” for NBC on Monday night, reports Media Life, but show some slippage. "Voice" averaged a 5.9 among adults 18-49 from 8 to 10 p.m., down 12% from 6.7 for last week. Still, it was NBC's second-best non-Olympic rating in its timeslot since 2007, behind only last week's episode. The Broadway-engenue drama “Smash" at 10 p.m. averaged a 2.8, down 26% from last week’s 3.8 debut, though it still beat CBS's "Hawaii Five-0" and ABC's "Castle" in adults 18-49. Time will tell for “Smash,” suggests Media Life, and “depending on where its ratings settle.”
- Comedy Central has renewed the sketch series “Key & Peele” for a second season, reports Multichannel News. Season two will premiere in the fall with 10 episodes. “Key & Peele” was created by and stars comedians Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele, and premiered on Jan. 31 as Comedy Central's best launch since 2009 with 2.1 million total viewers. The premiere took a 2.6 rating among men 18-34, and a 3.3 with men 18-24. Earlier this week, Comedy Central took the lead in an Advertiser Perceptions survey, for advertiser satisfaction with a network. Comedy Central claims a median age of 37.1, with 46% of its demographic aged 18-34, 59% of it male, tuning into “South Park” and “The Daily Show.”
- More sabre-rattling between Netflix and HBO, according to an Ad Age story. Netflix will produce 13 episodes of a new comedy series called "Orange is the New Black" from the creator of “Weeds.” HBO has already launched the mafia drama “Lilyhammer” and has backed the Kevin Spacey drama "House of Cards" for release in fall 2012. Netflix is positioning itself as a rival to HBO, but CEO Reed Hastings has described HBO Go, the network’s online presence, "the competitor we fear most."
Upfront Digital: “Parade” Ad-Supported App | Google+ Favors Male Students | TWC Streams on PCs, Macs
- Parade (that slim magazine that comes with Saturday and Sunday newspapers) has gone digital with an ad-supported mobile app, “Celebrity Parade.” Min Online sees this as a good move, as “Most magazines seem distracted [by] the big shiny object, the tablet,” while ignoring the smart phone. Parade developed the app with Zumobi, which is behind apps for MSNBC, Motor Trend and Good Housekeeping, among other brands.
- NBA Digital (a partnership between Turner Sports and the NBA) will deliver multiplatform coverage of NBA All-Star 2012 through the league’s portfolio of television, online, digital and social platforms, highlighted by the first ever “NBA.com Social Spotlight” that will feature the best fan tweets, photos and videos throughout All-Star in one convenient and easy place to view on NBA.com. During NBA All-Star, NBA TV will deliver fans more than 95 hours of dedicated All-Star programming including interviews with LeBron James, Dwight Howard, Blake Griffin and many other NBA All-Star participants, and an exclusive live presentation of NBA Commissioner David Stern’s All-Star press conference on Saturday, February Feb. 25.
- Time Warner Cable (TWC) is beta-testing a live TV streaming service (called TWC TV) for PCs and Mac computers, reports Multichannel News. This builds on its original iPad version. The 100+ channel line-up includes no Viacom networks, as TWC and Viacom have yet to hammer out an agreement. TWC TV provides seven days of searchable TV listings, a "Watch on TV" button to change channels on set-top boxex, DVR management features and parental controls, among other features.
- In online ad targeting 2/3 of google+ users are men, says BizReports. Website-Monitoring.com compiled a profile of google+ users from a number of sources (including Google’s official blog). Top 10 brands include H&M, Samsung, Pepsi and Toyota. The #1 occupation for a Google+ user? Student, at 20.01%. The second highest is “software engineers,” at just 2.65%. The remaining occupations all fall under 2% of share.
- Still hesitant about video ads? Mobile video traffic comprised 52% of wireless data usage by the end of 2011, according to Cisco Systems, as reported in Multichannel News. Cisco expects video traffic to soar 25 fold through 2016 and account for more than 70% of total mobile traffic. Global mobile data traffic grew 2.3-fold in 2011, and will increase 18-fold over the next five years to hit 10.8 Exabytes (10.8 billion Gigabytes)/month by 2016.
- Another forecast from Cisco Systems: There will be more than 10 billion Internet-connected devices in 2016, exceeding the projected world population of 7.3 billion people, according to a BizReport story. This is behind that 18-fold rise in mobile data traffic. Cisco’s VP of Product and Solutions Marketing Suraj Shetty told BizReports that by 2016, “60% of mobile users—three billion people worldwide—will belong to the 'Gigabyte Club,'” generating more than a gigabyte of mobile data traffic per month.
- In over-the-top (OTT) broadcast news, Total Beauty Media Group (operators of TotalBeauty.com and BeautyRiot.com) is launching its first live Web show during Fashion Week in New York, reports Adweek. The monthly “Total Beauty Live” debuts on TotalBeauty.com, and the Total Beauty Facebook page. show airs on Valentine’s Day at 1:15 p.m. Total Beauty editor Dawn Davis will lead viewers through product demos with makeup experts NYX Cosmetics. Viewers will be able to interact live, posting questions and comments through Twitter.
- The National Hockey League (NHL) just signed a three-year extension with Verizon Wireless, and will create a premium mobile application exclusively for Verizon mobile subscribers, reports Sports Business Daily. Customers will receive exclusive content via Verizon’s edition of the NHL GameCenter smart phone and tablet apps; and live broadcasts from NBC will be available on the GameCenter app.
- Runners World magazine (Rodale) is claiming booming impressions through its social media initiatives, reports Folio. The magazine in one year increased its Facebook following by 111% to 309,070 likes as of February 8; and its Twitter following by 293%, to 212,000. The magazine’s Twitter platform has increased by 18.4% since January 1. If or how this translates into print readership, Runners World editors did not say. But the magazine claims 16 straight years of positive growth, and a rate base of 660,000, with 4.1 impressions per copy, for a total audience of 2,827,000. The Facebook page is heavy on Runners World exclusive content, and draws advertisers like New Balance Shoes.
- CommScope has unveiled GeoLENS Locate, which the mobile-location technology provider describes as a platform-agnostic technology for area-targeted messaging. The uses? Emergency messaging, friend finding, and and mobile marketing. The technology uses real-time location updating support from the company’s own location centers, and CommScope promises first-of-its-kind precision in geotargeting.
AMC’s Sunday night mid-season premiere of “The Walking Dead” became the strongest telecast for any drama in basic cable history against such key demos as 5.4 million adults 18-49 and 4.4 million adults 25-54. Those ratings top the previous record, also held by “Walking Dead” with its October 16th 2011 season two premiere, with increases of +12% and +6% respectively, said the network in a press release.
Sunday’s broadcast delivered 8.1 million viewers for its 9 p.m. premiere and delivered 10.1 million viewers for the night (9pm premiere and 11pm and 12:30 am encores). At 10 p.m., AMC also premiered its newest unscripted series, “Comic Book Men,” which delivered 2 million total viewers. “Comic Book Men” is a limited series (six episodes), created to follow “Dead” in the 10 p.m. slot. It is set in “master fanboy” Kevin Smith’s New Jersey comic shop. The unscripted series essentially televises gushing over and sharing trivia about pop-culture artifacts.
“Walking Dead” has a comic book legacy. It is based on an award-winning comic series which premiered in 2003. The series received the 2010 Eisner Award (“The Pulitzer of comic books”) for Best Continuing Series at the July Comic-Con International. The AMC adaptation premiered just three months later, on Halloween.
AMC likely banked that the series’ following included comic book readers (who gleefully call themselves “geeks”), but a drop of 9.8 million for the 9-10pm “Dead” broadcast to 2 million in the 10 p.m. slot for “Comic Book Men” suggests that “Dead” has a broader appeal.
Advertiser Perceptions, provider of research-based advertising insights, has announced its 2011 Advertiser Perceptions Highest Rated Media Brand awards. The company based its rankings on what advertisers think of a mix of websites, magazines, television networks, mobile sites and digital ad networks.
ABC took top honors as the highest-rated media company, out of more than 25 such companies.
In terms of brand strength, the winners were fairly obvious: People Magazine in print, Facebook in digital, ESPN in cable, YouTube in mobile, Google Display Network in ad networks. But the winners for overall satisfaction held some surprises.
In mobile—the humble Weather Channel, which claims 15 million+ unique visitors to its mobile applications per month. According to Nielsen data, that places Weather Channel as the #1 content provider on the mobile web, with over 24% reach of the mobile web audience.
In print, Sports Illustrated took top honors. SI is one of very few consumer journals to see a rise in subscribership in 2011, albeit by a modest .14%, to 3.174 million
In cable TV, Comedy Central. The network claims a median age of 37.1, with 46% of its demographic aged 18-34, 59% of it male, tuning into “South Park” and “The Daily Show.”
Advertiser Perceptions surveys thousands of U.S. agencies and marketers every spring and fall to gather their opinions and perceptions of the media brands they are considering for advertising. Through the Advertiser Intelligence Reports (AIR), these advertiser opinions provide the basis for insight-metrics used to gauge media brand and media company performance. The media brands and company that rank highest for each insight-metric and that possess a minimum required level of advertiser consideration are selected as the highest rated media brands.
Microsoft has announced what it calls “efficiency updates” to its adCenter, “to increase campaign management efficiency” and offer advertisers a more seamless experience. No official date yet, but Microsoft expects to make the changes before the end of this month.
Among other changes, duplicate keywords will be removed—easy to duplicate, when keywords approach the thousands. And, the Gener/Age demographic targeting functionality will be removed. If that seems counterproductive, those ads were reaching only those online for whom there was demographic data available, which significantly decreased an ad’s reach.
Because of its partnership with Yahoo, adCenter search ads appear in both Bing and Yahoo searches; given just-released comScore data, that is a potential reach of 29.3% of the U.S. online market.