- After its strongest ratings year of 2011, A&E began 2012 with its best quarter ever in Q1. Year to-date, cable net Arts & Entertainment (A&E) currently ranks fifth among all entertainment cable networks in adults 25-54, adults 18-49 and in total viewers. The network was up in adults 25-54 (819,000 vs. 807,000) and up in total viewers (1,608,000 vs. 1,574,000) edging out the previously record-setting first quarter 2011 as the best in network history. Led by such original hit series as “Storage Wars,” “Storage Wars: Texas,” “Shipping Wars,” and “Duck Dynasty,” the network introduced eight original series that averaged more than one-million viewers in adults 18-49 and seven original series that averaged more than one-million viewers in adults 25-54. (The original programming is far heaver on the entertainment than the arts.)
- Elsewhere on cable, History also secured its best quarter ever in key demos in Q1 2012, with key adults and total viewers. History claims to have been the #1 network on cable (excluding sports) for the quarter among men 25-54, with offerings like “Pawn Stars,” “American Pickers” and “Swamp People,” as well as “Larry the Cable Guy” and “Ax Men.”.In addition, HISTORY had nine series average over 1.0 million A25-54 impressions and 11 over 850,000. As well, the network had three of the top seven series (vs. all cable scripted/unscripted) among Adults 25-54 (“Pawn Stars” at 3.1 million; “American Pickers” at 2.6 million; and “Swamp People” at 2.5 million). “Pawn Stars” was the #1 non-fiction cable series among total viewers (5.8 million) and adults 25-54 (3.1 million) in 1st quarter. Missing among all those top-rated series on History, which follow contemporary pawnbrokers, migrant workers and swamp residents? Anything historic.
- AMC launches its newest unscripted series, “The Pitch,” with a sneak preview of the premiere episode, featuring Subway restaurants, on Sunday, April 8 at 11 P.M. ET/PT following the network’s award-winning series “Mad Men” and “The Killing.” The Pitch” chronicles the incredible lengths, intense stakes and tight deadlines top advertising agencies encounter when they take aim at a major new piece of business. The series follows the best creative shops as they prepare campaigns knowing that in the end, it all comes down to the pitch. The eight-part unscripted series will then return on Monday, April 30 with a new episode, featuring Waste Management, at 9 P.M. ET/PT followed by an encore showing of the premiere in its regular timeslot at 10 P.M. ET/PT. “The Pitch” Subway restaurants episode will also be available on AMCTV.com, iTunes and YouTube following its sneak peek.
- After four weeks of what Deadline Hollywood calls “miniscule ratings” on Saturday night, Fox is yanking the Jennifer Lopez/Marc Anthony reality series “Q’Viva: The Chosen” from primetime and moving it to Saturday late night. Q’Viva original U.S. broadcasts air on Univision, the Spanish-language network, then debuted on Fox with a 0.8 rating among adults 18-49 in the 8-10 P.M. Saturday slot, and has since dropped to a 0.5. Fox will replace the last two episodes of “Q’Viva” with perennial favorite “Cops,” which had averaged a 1.2 rating in the period. “Q’Viva” will be trimmed to 90 minutes to run on Fox’s Saturday late-night block from 11 P.M.-12:30 A.M.
- Proving the power of syndication, Adweek opined that “Mad Men may be the ultimate critical darling…but the most transformative show on basic cable is actually a broadcast hand-me-down,” being “The Big Bang Theory.” It is now the most-watched comedy on cable, drawing more than 3 million viewers per episode on TBS, and has “sent TBS’s fortunes soaring.” In the first quarter of this year, TBS accomplished something officially upended USA Network as the top-rated cable entertainment channel among adults 18-to-49; through March 25, TBS averaged 1.22 million members in the 18-49 demographic, a 33% improvement from the same period in 2011.
- There is “a new kids' kingpin,” declared Multichannel News. In March, and for the first time in its history, Disney Channel topped Nickelodeon in ratings and total viewers among kids aged 2 to 11. Disney tied Nickelodeon with a 2.7 total-day cable rating (a 2.3 national mark) in February, then took a 2.6 total-day rating for the ratings month Feb. 27 to March 25, versus 2.4 for Nickelodeon. “As such,” said Multichannel News, “Disney ended Nick's 17-year run as the most-watched basic-cable network in the total-day measure.” True—but Nickelodeon with its aging inventory has been ailing and easy to beat. It has yet to launch its aggressive new slate of 650 new episodes for the 2012-2013 season.
Flurry, the mobile app analytics and ad platform provider, believes that ad spends are badly mismatched, compared to where consumers spend their media time; and are underutilizing mobile to reach the affluent and largely female mobile consumer.
Flurry compared the ad spend across numerous media to the time consumers spend on those media, based on its own and publicly-available data.
TV and media command the highest ad spends in the U.S. in 2011, with 43% and 29% of the total, respectively. Web, Radio and Mobile channels garner 16%, 11% and 1%, respectively.
Compare that to media consumption, where TV leads with 40%, followed by mobile at 23% and Web at 22%. Print is dead last in consumption, at 6%.
Thus, concludes Flurry, “Despite the fact that mobile advertising is growing, the platform is far from getting rational levels of spending compared to other media.” Likely this is because of the rapid evolution of the mobile app platform: the iOS and Android app economy are just three-and-a-half years old. It is difficult to quantify and measure, and less mature than the Web. Mobile inventory is more difficult to purchase in volume, and standards are still evolving for ad serving, tracking and settlement.
The Mobile Audience Demographic
Flurry then measured the audience segments that best respond to mobile advertising, using its own AppCircle ad network and publicly-available data. Flurry took a sample of 60,000 active daily iOS users, and calculated the effective cost per thousand, or eCPM earned by publishers.
Women aged 25–34 fetched the highest eCPMs at around $13, based on high click-through and conversions rates. Women led all of the target segments, aged 25 and older.
Measuring eCPM by household income, the income ranges from $60,000 to $100,000 are the most valuable. The eCPM for a $60k-$80k household commands the highest eCPM at $8.33, and $80k-$100k with an eCPM of $8.25. For households under $35k, the eCPM is just $1.98.
Finally, in terms of education, bachelor-level consumers command the highest eCPM, at $7.92, with master-or-greater consumers second at $6.51.
Flurry’s analysis is that females and males between 25 and 34 years old, who have higher levels of disposable income and a bachelor’s degree or higher, more strongly interact with mobile ads. These largely self-directed individuals are typically attorneys, physicians, engineers, professors, scientists and so forth.
The good news to mobile advertisers is that the most highly sought demographics already interact strongly with mobile ads, which of course is poised for radical growth. It is up to the advertisers to meet the consumers halfway: they are waiting.
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.”
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.
Among millennials (ages 18 to 29), men are far more likely than women to recall seeing a mobile ad on their mobile phones, at 69%. Conversely, just 46% of millennial women remember seeing mobile ads, reports eMarketer. The mobile ads in question including banners, rich media, video, search and messaging. eMarketer projects that the number of US smartphone users will jump 44% in 2012 to over 106 million; and that their exposure to mobile ads is assured, as those users do more on their phones (e.g., mobile banking, shopping, streaming video).
Millennial men are also more likely to enjoy mobile ads. Just 12% of millennial women reported liking mobile ads at least somewhat, while 30% disliked them very much. Fully 40% of men said they actively enjoy mobile ads, and only 10% disliked them very much.
eMarketer estimates that the US mobile ad spend will reach $2.61 billion in 2012, a leap of 80% over 2011, and will reach $11 billion through 2016.
Cumulus Radio announces that former GOP presidential hopeful Mike Huckabee will host a conservative talk program, launching April 2. “The Mike Huckabee Show” will air from noon to 3pm, a spot dominated by Rush Limbaugh.
Huckabee told the New York Times that he would continue to host “Huckabee,” his weekend talk show on Fox, and hasn’t ruled out another presidential run. Huckabee said he does not expect to woo listeners away from Limbaugh, who is distributed by Clear Channel Communications. Limbaugh’s show has aired since 1988, and according to Radio Active Media, at present airs on 537 channels across the US and Canada as well as Sirius XM. Huckabee claims his show will be less ideological than Limbaugh’s—a radio show hosted by a conservative, rather than a conservative-oriented radio show. Still, Cumulus is expected to market the show as an alternative to Limbaugh’s; also one that is less expensive to own and more generally available. Clear Channel limits Limbaugh's show is limited to one station per market.
However Huckabee and Cumulus spin it, the show is likely to target the same demographics as the Limbaugh show. Ad placement service Radio Active Media lists those demographics as largely male between 30 to 49. Among its female listeners, 40% are over 60.
Source Interlink Media (SIM) has announced the launch of the MotorTrend YouTube Channel, with original automotive content available to online audiences. The Motor Trend Channel is part of YouTube’s rollout of around 100 new original content channels throughout the year.
“We are really treating this like a TV channel,” said Source Interlink Media Chief Content Officer and Motor Trend Channel Executive Producer Angus MacKenzie. “What separates it from linear or traditional TV – is how interactive Internet television is. These new channels are very social-media driven. We can immediately communicate with our viewers for instantaneous feedback on what they do and don’t like, and what they’d like to see more of.”
The Motor Trend Channel’s programs garner content from SIM’s portfolio of automotive media brands, including Motor Trend, Hot Rod, Motorcyclist and FourWheeler, among others. The programs cover first rides and drives and tests of the latest two- and four-wheeled machinery, as well as automotive lifestyle and documentary shows.
SIM identifies its in-market auto group audience as:
- 52% male
- Mean age 43
- Mean household income $71,000
- 72% college educated
- 73% employed full or part time
A full schedule of programming with eight separate shows is expected to be available by February 17. New videos from each show will be posted on a varying schedule, but there will be new content available every business day.
Motor Trend’s new programming will be produced by Michael Suggett and Julia Sanchez with MacKenzie serving as Executive Producer. Jim Gleason will assume the role of Creative Manager.
“This was the next logical step for SIM as it continues its transformation from a legacy magazine publishing business to a media-neutral content creation company,” said McKenzie. “The channels and content provided by Motor Trend and others under YouTube’s initiative represent a paradigm shift for how enthusiasts watch and consume video online.”
Among the eight original programs:
- “Ignition,” a weekly five-minute block feature first drives and first tests
- “Head 2 Head,” a comparison test series focusing on performance vehicles and motorcycles
- “Roadkill,” a feature-length program following HotRod’s David Freiburger and Mike Finnegan as they enjoy hot rods, street machines and “other highly strung performance vehicles”
- “Epic Drives,” a travelogue of road trips from around the world.
Old ads may find new life on tablets, suggests new research from GfK MRI. The market research firm surveyed its iPanel, composed exclusively of Tablet and eReader owners. Among other findings: male tablet computer owners are particularly interested in reading digital magazines, and that tablets generate readership of back issues of publications (meaning more exposures for long-ago ad purchases).
According to the GfK MRI iPanel, almost three-quarters (71%) of Tablet owners say they are interested in reading magazines on their devices. Men, in particular, are open to digital magazine reading: 77% of male tablet owners expressed interest in reading magazines on their device versus 68% of female owners. Among younger male Tablet owners, ages 18 to 34, 85% expressed interest in reading magazines on their device.
Moreover, digital magazines seem to be sparking new reading behavior among consumers. For instance, almost one-fifth (19%) of tablet owners who read a magazine on their device in the last 30 days also took the opportunity to read back issues of a title during their reading session. In this instance, there was little difference between genders, with 20% of males having read back issues compared to 19% of females.
"The fact that younger men who own tablets are interested in reading digital magazines bodes well for digital magazine advertisers, since this demographic has been historically hard to reach," said Risa Becker, SVP Research at GfK MRI.
The most popular way in which tablet owners read a magazine or magazine-related content is with an App. Almost two-thirds (65%) of tablet owners who read a magazine on their device in the last 30 days did so via an App; 47% of tablet owners accessed magazine content on their devices by visiting a magazine's website; and 37% read a digital reproduction of a magazine, which includes both print content and advertisements.