Triton Digital has released its monthly Internet audio Top 20 Ranker for April 2012. Slacker is up, CBS and Cumulus are down, and Pandora still leads.
The Ranker is a listing of the top-performing Internet audio stations and networks measured by the Webcast Metrics audience measurement platform. As Radio Ink details, the top five companies remain unchanged for March and April, and include Pandora, Clear Channel, CBS, Cumulus and Slacker. Based on measurements from 6 A.M. to 8 P.M. Monday through Friday, Slacker radio listenership jumped from 51,674 in March to 63,069 in April. Both Pandora and Clear Channel were slightly up, and CBS and Cumulus were down.
So not a lot of movement among the top five, but as Inside Radio describes, April’s Triton Digital Webcast Metrics report shows “in dramatic fashion” the hockey-stick growth internet radio listening has experienced over the last year. For the first time, Triton Digital measured more than 2 million “Average Active Sessions” among the top 20 webcasters in one month, representing a 71% increase over April 2011.
Pandora alone is up 119% to 1.37 million sessions over April 2011, and Clear Channel is up 94% to 246,000. Slacker is up 60% year-over-year (YoY) to 63,000
Webcast Metrics’ Average Active Sessions (AAS) are defined as “Total Listening Hours (TLH) divided by hours in the reported time period.” The “Domestic” Ranker quantifies listening done inside the U.S. based on log-based information provided by the station, this report is not MRC accredited. The “All Streams” Ranker merely verifies the quantity of streams without qualifying where they are being consumed.
eMarketer and video ad network YuMe report a nearly three-to-one bias toward women in gender-targeted video advertising.
According to YuMe, the majority (65.9%) of video ad campaign proposal received by publishers in 2011 were gender-agnostic, but 25.7% targeted women, and 8.4% targeted men.
Not surprising, considering that consumer package goods (CPG) companies (which commonly target health and beauty products at women) were the single largest spender of ad dollars for online video in 2011, at 24%.
Age-wise, online video ads most often targeted at consumers aged 25 to 54: 39% of US advertisers targeted females in this age range and 22% targeted males. Few advertisers ventured outside of that spectrum. Video advertisers are targeting parents and professionals, who eMarketer estimates account for 51.1% of all U.S. online video viewers in 2012, most strongly (19.2%) of those viewers in the 25-to-34 age range.
But advertisers will not ignore those other demographics. YuMe found 73% of all U.S. pre-roll video ads seen by viewers ages 12 to 24 were watched in full last year, compared to 68% of all ads watched by those ages 25 to 54. Pre-roll ads offer the greatest guarantee of full viewership, considering they are often mandatory precursors to watching online video. About 78% of viewers will watch an interactive in-stream video like a pre-roll to completion, versus about 39% for an in-banner video, reports video ad network PointRoll, making in-stream video the most attractive option for advertisers.
A strong political advertising year and further growth in online revenues will boost boost overall radio industry ad revenues in 2012, projects industry think-tank BIA/Kelsey. In the first edition of its quarterly “Investing In Radio® Market Report,” BIA/Kelsey reports over-the-air local radio station revenues in 2011 reached $14.1 billion, a 0.4% increase from the year before. Radio’s online revenues increased 15.1% in 2011, reaching $439 million.
In 2012, BIA/Kelsey anticipates online revenues will continue to grow at a fast pace, becoming an important portion of station income. The firm expects overall radio industry revenues to reach $14.6 billion in 2012, a 3.5% rise over last year, bolstered by the national election. Online radio ad revenues will grow from $505 in 2012 to $767 million in 2016.
“Although radio’s revenue ascent has been slow since its bottoming in 2009, the industry always picks up steam in an election year and is continuing to prove itself as a valuable local advertising medium, particularly as the integration between over-the-air and online improves,” said Mark Fratrik, vice president and chief economist, BIA/Kelsey. “News stations, in particular, continue to be leaders in many markets by creating comprehensive over-the-air and digital portfolios of ad products and formats to drive deeper advertiser engagement and prove their value in the ad buying mix.”
Analysis of Small and Mid-Sized Market Activities and Industry Transactions
BIA/Kelsey’s “Investing In Radio” shows the wide variations between some markets and identifies several small and mid-size areas that were able to distinguish themselves in 2011. For example, the Portland, Maine, market had the largest increase in revenues over 2010, with $25.4 million, or 22.8%. Continuing in order, Worcester, Massachusetts, posted a 15.8% increase, with $12.9 million in revenue, followed by Ann Arbor, Michigan, a 10.5% increase with $6.1 million in revenue, and Providence-Warwick-Pawtucket, Rhode Island, where revenue grew to $45.3 million, a 9.9% increase over 2010.
Fratrik notes that this year began optimistically with a significant rise in transactions, starting with Cumulus Media’s acquisition of Citadel Broadcasting and then Hubbard Radio’s purchase of some of the Bonneville stations. All-told, however, station transaction volume reached $4.3 billion in 2011 from a total of 1,080 transactions, of which, 682 were in metropolitan markets and 398 were in non-metro markets.
“The major transactions of the year turned out being unique unto themselves due to strategic decisions made by each company,” Fratrik said. “In 2012 we think the improving economy will increase the number of station sales, particularly as they prove themselves to be more than an over-the-air profit center.”
BIA/Kelsey’s forecast methodology is based on actual estimates of local online market advertising revenue totals. Estimates are solicited from local radio stations and knowledgeable local market experts. To provide an accurate review of the advertising marketplace, the model does not include revenues of e-commerce sales through daily or weekly deal campaigns or any retransmission consent.
The Association of Magazine Media (MPA), working with a coalition of senior magazine executives from throughout the industry, has developed a common set of definitions, a consistent position on timing for data release, and guidelines around tablet metrics, it was announced today by Nina Link, President and CEO of MPA. These voluntary guidelines are intended to provide enhanced understanding and clarity about the measurement of magazine media audiences on tablets for the advertising community.
As Adweek describes the need for guidelines, the various rules sets for determining how magazines can access tablet subscriber information across different platforms has irked publishers, and “Apple has always been especially stingy with the statistics.”
The guidelines are voluntary, but ad buyer Robin Steinberg of Mediavest called the voluntary guidelines an "excellent first start" toward a standardized measurement model for tablet editions. “It will be interesting to see who leads and who follows,” Steinberg told Adweek."
“The tablet guidelines have been created to recognize the need within the advertising community for greater insight and understanding into how to best leverage this powerful new platform,” said Link. “Tablets are one of the fastest-growing consumer electronic devices in history. They are ideally suited to leverage the incredible strengths of magazine media content. Tablets create a highly immersive experience for readers; a dynamic, new environment for advertisers to connect with magazine audiences; and almost unlimited opportunity for our brands.”
The recommended guidelines are the first deliverables developed by the MPA Tablet Metrics Task Force, a group of magazine executives charged with the creation of guidelines and metrics for tablets. The group has been meeting since the last quarter of 2011. The Task Force consists of representatives from seven magazine media publishers: Bonnier Corporation, Condé Nast, Forbes, Hearst Magazines, Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, Meredith Corporation and Time Inc. Seven advertising agencies were consulted about the guidelines as well as the MPA Executive Committee.
Among the guidelines that MPA helped advance are five initial recommended metrics for use by magazines, agencies and advertisers:
1. Total consumer paid digital issues
2. The total number of tablet readers per issue
3. The total number of sessions per issue
4. The total time spent per reader per issue
5. The average number of sessions per reader per issue
“The iPad has been around for two years, while magazine brands have been available on digital newsstands for less than a year,” said Michael Clinton, MPA Chairman and President, Marketing and Publishing Director, Hearst Magazines. “In that short period of time, magazine brands have already established a strong relationship with readers. That new experience requires new language and baseline metrics for the magazine media planning community. This initiative will enable a broader understanding of the power of tablet magazines and facilitate faster adoption of tablet advertising.”
“This initiative and the increased transparency it provides will enable Ford and our agency partners to better leverage our marketing dollars in this growing consumer media platform,” said Matt VanDyke, Director, Marketing Communications U.S., Ford Motor Company.
The Task Force also created an initial set of terms and definitions that provide advertisers and publishers with a suggested common language.
Link also announced voluntary time frames for the release of tablet metrics. For monthlies, the MPA Tablet Metrics Task Force recommends the release of metrics data in 10 weeks from the newsstand on-sale date. For weeklies, the Task Force suggests the release of metrics data in seven weeks from the newsstand on-sale date. The time frames provide a four-week window for the extended capture of metrics as well as a two-week period of data analysis.
“This voluntary release timing is the most accurate method we have of capturing the incredible engagement that readers have with their tablet issues,” said Link. “Our research tells us that magazine readers continue to engage with their tablet issues as long as a month or more after the on-sale date of the publication and we need data that reflect this engagement. As we learn more about the reader experience, we expect to be able to shorten the reporting time frame.”
Link added, “These voluntary guidelines are an exciting first step in an evolving process and they will continue to be refined and revisited by the MPA Tablet Metrics Task Force.”
Advertising research firm BIA/Kelsey projects that U.S. companies will spend $136.2 billion on local advertising, between traditional, online and mobile ads, in 2012, reports eMarketer. That number will climb toward $151.3 billion by the end of 2016.
As we reported yesterday, BIA/Kelsey chief economist Mark Fratrik told Media Life that digital with its lower cost-per-thousand impressions (CPMs) makes sense for smaller businesses, as well as with its more targeted reach: a print ad in a local paper, or broadcast ad on a local news station, cannot target the 12-mile radius that a plumber may wish to reach, but targeted digital ads can.
Traditional spends will grow but in the low single digits, versus in the teens for digital. Still, with its lower percentage of overall spend, the overall spends will grow annually between 1 and 4%.
Though total U.S. local ad spending should grow slowly over the next four years, digital ad spending will grow by double digits, driven largely by social, mobile and video advertising. By 2016, the firm projects that local digital ad spending will tip the scales at $38.5 billion, more than 25% of total local ad spending, up from 16% in 2012.
“From 2010 to 2011, we saw a 2.4% decline in local ad spending,” said BIA/Kelsey CEO Tom Buono at the ILM-East conference in Boston on March 26. “We were projecting a decline originally, but it’s a lot more severe than we expected because of the economy. Therefore, in our projections moving forward, we’re less bullish than we were.”
"Oregonians love NPR; Wisconsinites adore the Onion; the Huffington Post is widely read in Appalachia,” wrote Forbes’ Job Bruner. He was reporting on data from the analytics outlet Bitly (which creates shortened URLs). Bitly has gathered analytics from millions of clicks on its shortened links, which Forbes in turn has compiled into an interactive map of areas of influence for US online news outlets.
As the Bitly team described to Forbes, links on social networks like Facebook and Twitter are frequently shortened using the bit.ly function, which enables it to compile an immense data set. Bitly’s dataset is compiled of every click on a Bitly link on the Web. The company makes its dataset vailable publicly. For the Forbes collaboration, Bitly narrowed its data to news sources and individual articles, then parsed them by state.
Some initial (and unsurprising) findings: the Washington Post dominates in neighboring Virginia and Maryland, the Chicago Tribune in Illinois. Stories with a regional focus (e.g., a Forbes story on Wisconsin’s pensions) flare up in those regions.
“You could have fun for hours with this,” wrote Poynter’s Andrew Beaujon. He found the results of the 2008 election (in which of course Barack Obama was elected U.S. president) and the states in which the New York Times is most popular to be practically identical. Oregon, where NPR is strong, is also a hotbed for the Huffington Post and The Onion.
Forbes Media and comScore, Inc. have announced an agreement to implement viewable impression measurement across all display ad campaigns appearing on Forbes.com as part of its validated Brand Increase Guarantee (vBIG) program. This offering from Forbes leverages the comScore validated Campaign Essentials (vCE) service to validate that the ad impressions delivered as part of an advertiser’s vBIG program are in-view, such that that advertisers will be charged only for ads that have delivered the desired advertising effect.
This program is consistent with the principles addressed as part of “Making Measurement Make Sense” (3MS), an industry-wide initiative led by the Association of National Advertisers (ANA), Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB), and the American Association of Advertising Agencies (4A’s). The initiative calls for a set of standards across the industry and the need for a true measure of ‘viewable impressions’.
“Forbes is thrilled to be the first-to-market premium publisher using comScore vCE to guarantee viewable impressions to our advertisers as part of our vBIG program,” said Bruce Rogers, Chief Insights Officer, Forbes Media. “We see this as a game-changer for Forbes and a significant first step for the industry toward improved accountability for – and ultimately monetization of – digital ad inventory.” Rogers observes that for too long online, ad pricing has involved “significant guesswork, because while we knew that not all ads were delivered in-view, we weren’t always sure which ones.”
As EVP Erin Hunter of comScore describes the dilemma facing publishers and advertisers, they need analytics on the performance of every single ad, equally, to know its return on investment. “Premium publishers that offer highly engaging content often do not get the credit they deserve for below-the-fold placements on their web page, which may actually deliver results that are every bit as strong as the above-the-fold placements.”
As comScore describes the vCE service, “comScore vCE is helping premium publishers like Forbes clearly illustrate the value of their inventory and prove to advertisers why placements throughout their site have the ability to deliver the desired effect on audiences. The result is greater transparency and accountability on both sides of the media equation, representing a win-win scenario for both advertisers and publishers.”
GroupM and Nielsen today announced a collaboration to create a new measurement service that integrates media planning and measurement across television and the Internet.
This is good news for Nielsen, as the partnership will help the company overcome its TV-centric image; for ad buyers as well, which have yet to settle upon a single source for cross-media measurements.The goal of the partnership, said the companies in a release, is to "overcome challenges posed by separate media planning, buying, and analysis processes for TV and the Internet, and to answer a growing demand by advertisers for cross-platform measurement tools that help them streamline their marketing strategies."
The new service, dubbed Nielsen Cross-Platform Campaign Ratings, will leverage the Nielsen Online Campaign Ratings product, as well as its existing television audience measurement capabilities, to provide clients with total and overlapped reach and frequency of their marketing campaigns. Nielsen Online Campaign Ratings provides reach, frequency and GRP measures for Internet advertising.
The effort calls for GroupM, a media investment management company, and the Nielsen Company to contribute resources and expertise to create Cross-Platform Campaign Ratings and make it available to GroupM clients. The companies will also work together to develop innovative new measurement tools that extend beyond TV and online to other platforms.
“Our advertiser clients increasingly recognize that traditional television advertising and online video advertising must work together,” said Rino Scanzoni, GroupM’s Chief Investment Officer. “It’s vital that we have consistent measurement, and that’s our goal in working with Nielsen.”
Executives from both companies said consistent measurement across TV, the web and beyond is critical in order to calculate the total reach and frequency of a cross-platform campaign—a goal previously unattainable because TV and web measurement traditionally employ different metrics.
“Cross-platform metrics are essential to both buyers and sellers of advertising,” said Steve Hasker, president of Media Products and Advertiser Solutions for Nielsen. “Every day, we’re hearing from advertisers, online publishers, TV networks and agencies that a better system of measurement is required. Through working closely with GroupM and others in the industry we believe we can help create best practices that will benefit the entire ecosystem.”
How to reach the same viewer across multiple screens? Who better to ask than ESPN? eMarketer has published a Q&A with ESPN’s Ed Erhardt, president of the network’s global customer marketing and sales.
The company is one of the recognized masters of multiscreen viewership. Earlier this month the network claimed its most-watched men’s college basketball season, both on cable and online. Throughout the regular season, college basketball content across ESPN.com, the ESPN mobile Web and ScoreCenter delivered 1.6 billion total minutes and 283 million visits, up 16% and 5% respectively compared to the previous season. Also true, college basketball regular season games on its digital properties ESPN3 and WatchESPN logged 455.9 million minutes across computers, smartphones and tablets.
Some of the advantages that ESPN delivers advertisers, says Erhardt:
- Brand, and a consistent one across both cable and digital properties. “Brand as navigator and brand as curator matters,” and viewers trust ESPN to curate content.
- A live experience, by which he means real-time. “When you turn on your phone to see what a score is, that’s a live experience,” whether or not it is a live game. Sports fans are used to living “in the moment,” thus expect real-time information.
- Hands-on advertiser management. The network works with advertisers closely to “help them understand how their advertising works within sports.” For example, ESPN steers advertisers toward contextual ads with a sports theme, which it finds have a higher brand recall and better ROI. ESPN also encourages variety. “If you’re going to play in the cross-media environment, you have to have a lot of different creative,” Erhardt told eMarketer. Viewers tend to ignore an ad they’ve seen more than once, so advertisers must provide numerous forms, for example, a 10-, 15- and 30-second version of the same ad, plus perhaps display ads.
ESPN of course has a wealth of resources. It is 80% owned by The Walt Disney Company, and 20% owned by Hearst Corporation; thus it has access to the Disney Media Ad Lab where it tests advertising on 1,000 consumers per week (for which it charges and receives hefty premiums).
Erhardt said the company will focus upon personalization over the next year, the highest and hardest-to-reach ideal of multiscreen viewership.
Conde Nast has finally rolled out the digital metrics that it has promised advertisers.
Tablet editions are a “bright opportunity” for magazine publishers and advertisers, as Folio Magazine describes, but “the value has been difficult to quantify.”
Chris Reynolds, executive director of analytics at Conde Nast told Folio that agencies have been “pretty vocal” in the last 10 months in demanding metrics. The publisher struggled with providing those metrics, but has perfected them by working with online analytics provider Omniture (acquired by Adobe in 2009). At present, the publisher will provide 10 weeks of data for iPad and Kindle Fire editions, and NOOK editions at a later date.
Ad Age described the issue-specific metrics that advertisers can expect:
- paid tablet subscriptions and single-copy sales during a given reporting period
- a tally of readers who actually opened a tablet edition, including print subscribers using complimentary digital access
- the total number of times that readers opened an edition
- the time readers spent with the edition
Advertisers who buy premium interactive ads will get deeper analytics, like the number of unique readers who access a given ad; total number of engagements; and average time spent on an ad.
Conde Nast first began publishing iPad specific digital editions in 2009, and sold advertising based in part on these rich analytics. Its digital titles include Self, Allure, Architectural Digest, The New Yorker, Vogue and Wired, among numerous other lifestyle-heavy titles.