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Research: Consumer Media Will Be Strong in 2012, Outpacing GDP

Published 2 years ago

According to at least one source, 2012 is looking pretty rosy for consumer media: this despite gloomy news from Kantar Media and the Publishers Information Bureau.

Driven by a somewhat improved economy, and stronger-than-expected results across digital media, total U.S. communications industry spending increased 4.2% in 2011 and is on pace to grow at an accelerated 5.6% in 2012, to reach $1.185 trillion. That will outpace gross domestic product growth (GDP) by 4.4%, according to Veronis Suhler Stevenson (VSS), a private equity firm serving the communications, media, information, education, and business services industries in North America and Europe.

VSS in its VSS Forecast Mid-Term Update projects that several industry segments are projected to outperform GDP growth of 4.4% in 2012, including Pure-Play Consumer Internet & Mobile Services (18.1%), Public Relations & Word-of-Mouth Marketing (14.6%), Broadcast Television (9.3%), Subscription Television (7.7%), and Branded Entertainment (7.5%).

“While the VSS Forecast Mid-Term Update clearly shows the strong growth momentum of digital media in such segments as Pure-Play Consumer Internet & Mobile Services, and Branded Entertainment, it also highlights the impact of a strengthening economy,” said John Suhler, Co-Founder and President of VSS. “What’s resulted is an increase in spending within the U.S. Communications Industry as both consumers and businesses begin to expand their use of a variety of communications platforms and tools such as mobile devices and tablets. Bottom line: This is the best news for the industry in several years.”

Industry Sectors with the Biggest Gains
While growth estimates for five of six Industry Sectors – defined as groups of industry segments sharing characteristics based on primary revenue streams – outpaced expectations for 2011 and 2012, Sectors with the most dramatic changes included Targeted Media and Traditional Marketing.

Spending on Targeted Media in 2012, which includes direct marketing, branded entertainment, outsourced custom content, pure-play consumer internet & mobile services, and business-to-business (B-to-B) media, has been revised upward from the original 7.7% growth projection in the annual VSS Forecast to 8.1% in the VSS Forecast Mid-Term Update. The upward revision was driven by strong performances in all segments except branded entertainment and outsourced custom publishing. VSS adjusted the 2010-2015 CAGR from 7.9% to 8.4%, reaching $278.4 billion to reflect expectations of stronger growth for most digital components within the sector, including e-custom publications, e-media in B-to-B media, and the entire pure-play consumer internet & mobile services segment.

Traditional Marketing, which includes consumer promotions, B-to-B promotions, public relations and word-of-mouth marketing, has been revised upward from 3.1% to 3.8% in 2012, as businesses are expected to continue to increase spending for all three segments, especially B-to-B promotions. VSS raised the 2010-2015 CAGR for Traditional Marketing from 3.6% to 4.2% to reflect anticipated acceleration in spending on Traditional Marketing during the latter part of the forecast period, reaching $86.6 billion.

Entertainment & Leisure Media, which includes subscription television, entertainment media (TV programming, home video, videogames, recorded music, box office) and consumer book publishing, is the only industry sector to be downgraded in the VSS Forecast Mid-Term Update for 2012. VSS found that while there will be gains in box office and branded digital platforms, such as online and mobile videogames, it will not be enough to help offset prolonged weak results in the printed book market. As a result, the growth rate of 5.8% forecast for the sector in 2012 was trimmed to 5.7%. The 2010-2015 CAGR was also cut from 5.6% to a 5.5%, reaching $353.9 billion, as strong growth in videogames, driven by the release of new console hardware during the forecast period and a faster-than-expected stabilization in the recorded music industry, will help mitigate the projected deeper declines in print consumer books.

VSS did not change the projected 2.6% growth rate for 2012 spending on Traditional Consumer Advertising Media, which includes broadcast television, newspaper publishing, consumer magazine publishing, broadcast & satellite radio, local consumer directories, and out-of-home media. While the ad market in the first half of 2012 is expected to remain sluggish, record-breaking political and Olympics advertising will drive growth for the remainder of the year. The 2010-2015 CAGR was also left untouched at 1.9%, with spending reaching $160.4 billion because although the projected decline in print advertising will be deeper than initially expected, it will be offset by increases in internet and mobile advertising offerings of branded traditional media.

Research: TV Was Champ in 2011 Ad Spend, Hispanic Media Skyrocketed, Online a Mixed Bag

Published 2 years ago

Kantar Media has released its final tallies for 2011 ad spending across media, and the results are a mixed bag. They suggest that advertisers value TV, are losing faith in consumer magazines and newspapers (no news there), and are on the fence about digital advertising.

Surprisingly hard hit were Sunday magazines (like Parade, The Boston Globe Magazine and the New York Times Magazine). Presumably this is because print newspaper subscriberships are down, and readers tend to cut out the expensive Sunday editions to save money, before they cancel daily subscriptions.

Big winners: Spanish-language media, and TV syndication.

Spanish-language TV was up 8.3% year-over-year, versus 2.4% for TV overall. Spanish-language magazines were up 24.9% YoY, defying a 0.4% decline for all magazines.Syndicated TV was up 15.4% over that 2.4% for TV overall (due in part to the astounding success of “The Big Bang Theory” which hit syndication in Q3).

The Year Overall

Total advertising expenditures increased an unimpressive 0.8% in 2011 and finished the year at $144.0 billion. Ad spending during the fourth quarter of 2011 dropped 1.0% versus the year ago period, the first quarterly decline since the end of 2009. Since reaching a post-recession peak in Q3 2010, advertising growth rates have slowed sequentially for five consecutive quarters.

“The contrast of resilient TV spending and waning budget allocations to other traditional media was plainly evident at the end of 2011,” said Jon Swallen, SVP Research at Kantar Media Intelligence North America. “Some mature digital media formats were also touched by the year-end tide of reduced spending. Whether this is an isolated occurrence or an early sign of digital dollars moving more quickly towards emerging and unmeasured digital platforms bears watching as 2012 unfolds.”

Measured Ad Spending By Media
Television continued to lead the ad market in the fourth quarter. Network TV expenditures jumped 7.7% year-over-year and were helped by strong pricing for football, a baseball World Series that went the maximum seven games and the launch of “The X Factor” singing competition program. The rate of Cable growth eased during Q4, finishing at +2.4% as higher demand from restaurants and retailers was offset by reductions from consumer packaged goods. For the full year, Network TV decreased by 2.0% while Cable rose 7.7%.

Spanish language TV ad spending surged 19.1% in fourth quarter, paced by higher sell-out levels at over-the-air networks. For all of 2011, the segment increased 8.3%.
Syndication TV benefitted from higher spending by department stores and health & beauty brands and saw expenditures soar 11.0% in Q4. Full year spending advanced by 15.4%.

Spot TV expenditures fell 8.7% in the fourth quarter but the more significant indicator was that November and December spending were each down, despite easy comparisons against diminished, post-election spending volume of a year ago. Full year Spot TV spending dropped 4.5%.

Free Standing Inserts achieved healthy gains in the fourth quarter with spend rising 3.0%. Although manufacturers have been distributing fewer FSI coupons, retailer promotion pages have increased significantly and this contributed to the improvement.

Ad expenditures for measured digital media declined in the fourth quarter. Paid Search budgets were 6.4% lower versus a year ago with continuing reductions from financial, insurance and local service advertisers. Display investments decreased 5.9% in Q4, dragged down by smaller budgets from auto manufacturers, telecom providers and travel companies. For the entire year, Paid Search declined 2.8% and Display increased 5.5%.

Magazine ad spending eroded at year end. Consumer Magazines declined 5.2% in the fourth quarter due to deep cutbacks in auto, food and pharmaceutical advertising. Total year expenditures were level compared to prior year. Outlays in Sunday Magazines fell 9.8% in Q4, the sixth consecutive quarter of year-over-year declines, and were down 7.2% for all of 2011.

Local Newspaper ad expenditures fell 3.9% during the fourth quarter, hurt by the reallocation of retailer advertising budgets to other media channels during the key holiday shopping season. Full year spending was 3.8% lower. The losses in Newspaper spending are consistent with reductions in the amount of space sold.

The pace of spending in Radio media also sagged. Local Radio expenditures were down 3.8% and National Spot Radio plummeted 13.9% in the fourth quarter. The telecom, financial service and automotive categories were prime contributors to these quarterly decreases.

Measured Ad Spending By Advertiser
Spending among the ten largest advertisers in 2011 reached $16,061.6 million, a 2.8% decline compared to a year ago. Among the Top 100 marketers, a diversified group that represents over two-fifths of all measured ad expenditures, full year budgets were down 0.2%.

For the ninth consecutive year, Procter & Gamble was the top advertiser with spending of $2,949.1 million down 5.4% compared to last year. While TV is still the foundation of its advertising media buys, P&G’s 2011 budget allocation saw share gains for magazines at the expense of TV.

AT&T was the second largest advertiser in 2011 with expenditures of $1,924.6 million, a decline of 11.7%. Media budgets were severely curtailed during the fourth quarter when the company abandoned its attempted acquisition of T-Mobile, triggering large breakup fees and a huge earnings loss. At Verizon Communications, full year ad spending was $1,636.9 million, a decrease of 11.8%. After a string of quarterly budget cuts dating to early 2010, Verizon sharply boosted its spending during the last quarter.

The largest growth rate among the Top Ten marketers was posted by Chrysler, up 36.2% to $1,193.0 for the full year. The increase was driven by marketing introductions for several new or redesigned models, coupled with the improved sales climate for new vehicles. In contrast, General Motors lowered its 2011 outlays by 16.1% to $1,784.1 million. Q4 media budgets dropped 24.7%. As factory support has been trimmed, GM dealers have been bearing a larger share of the overall marketing effort.

L’Oreal investments in 2011 rose 18.1% to $1,343.5 million as the company expanded marketing support for the L’Oreal Paris, Maybelline and Garnier brand lines. Comcast (+11.3%, to $1,577.2 million) and Time Warner (+5.8%, to $1,279.4 million) also posted full year spending gains.

Measured Ad Spending By Category
Expenditures for the ten largest categories grew 3.3% in 2011 and reached $81,629.2 million.

Automotive was the leading category in dollar volume and finished 2011 at $13,890.4 million, up 6.3%. Category spending growth became increasingly bifurcated during the year with Tier 2 and Tier 3 dealer budgets continuing to expand and Tier 1 manufacturer expenditures flattening.

Miscellaneous Retail, which is comprised of all retail segments except Department Stores and Home Improvement purveyors, was the second largest category with 2011 expenditures of $10,019.5 million, up 4.0%. Robust ad spending during the critical year-end holiday season bolstered results.

Insurance registered the largest growth rate among the Top Ten categories with a 13.5% gain to $5,519.0 million. Aggressive competition among auto insurers to gain market share continues to drive media budgets higher.

Financial Services totaled $9,059.9 million of spending, a 3.6% increase. Growth has been fueled by the credit card segment, offsetting continued weakness in ad budgets for investment products and retail banking.

The Telecom category lost ground as 2011 expenditures fell 5.8% to $8,649.0 million. Declines were most pronounced among the leading wireless service advertisers. Aggregates expenditures from TV service providers also slowed.

Top Spending Advertisers Within Select Media
The top ten TV advertisers spent $10,115.4 million in the medium during 2011, down 0.8% from a year ago. This group accounted for 14.9% of total TV expenditures by all advertisers.

The ten largest Internet advertisers invested a total of $2,360.6 million in paid search and display campaigns, up 10.0% versus a year ago. Despite fragmentation on the web, the group accounted for 10.9% share of all Internet ad dollars.

The top ten advertisers in Hispanic Media spent $1,403.6 million during 2011, an increase of 29.2%. This group accounted for 24.7% of all Hispanic Media expenditures, the largest Top Ten share concentration of any medium.

 

Women Prime Audience for Online Video Ads

Published 2 years ago

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.

Research: 2011 U.S. Ad Spends Increased Barely, Digital Dipped Q4, TV Stayed Strong

Published 2 years, 1 month ago

Ad research think tank Kantar Media has released some media-specific results for 2011 (for retailers, on out of home adverts), but has just released its all-media, all-verticals results.
Total advertising expenditures increased 0.8% in 2011 and finished the year at $144.0 billion in 2011. Ad spending during Q4 dipped 1.0% over Q4 2010, which was the first quarterly decline since the end of 2009. Since reaching a post-recession peak in Q3 2010, advertising growth rates have slowed sequentially for five consecutive quarters.

“The contrast of resilient TV spending and waning budget allocations to other traditional media was plainly evident at the end of 2011,” said Jon Swallen, SVP Research at Kantar Media Intelligence North America. “Some mature digital media formats were also touched by the year-end tide of reduced spending. Whether this is an isolated occurrence or an early sign of digital dollars moving more quickly towards emerging and unmeasured digital platforms bears watching as 2012 unfolds.”

Measured Ad Spending By Media
Television continued to lead the ad market in the fourth quarter. Network TV expenditures jumped 7.7% year-over-year and were helped by strong pricing for football, a baseball World Series that went the maximum seven games and the launch of The X Factor singing competition program. The rate of Cable growth eased during Q4, finishing at +2.4% as higher demand from restaurants and retailers was offset by reductions from consumer packaged goods. For the full year, Network TV decreased by 2.0% while Cable rose 7.7%.

Spanish language TV ad spending surged 19.1% in fourth quarter, paced by higher sell-out levels at over-the-air networks. For all of 2011, the segment increased 8.3%.

Syndication TV benefitted from higher spending by department stores and health-and-beauty brands and saw expenditures soar 11.0% in Q4. Full year spending advanced by 15.4%.
Spot TV expenditures fell 8.7% in the fourth quarter but the more significant indicator was that November and December spending were each down, despite easy comparisons against diminished, post-election spending volume of a year ago. Full year Spot TV spending dropped 4.5%.

Free Standing Inserts achieved healthy gains in the fourth quarter with spend rising 3.0%. Although manufacturers have been distributing fewer FSI coupons, retailer promotion pages have increased significantly and this contributed to the improvement.

Ad expenditures for measured digital media declined in the fourth quarter. Paid Search budgets were 6.4% lower versus a year ago with continuing reductions from financial, insurance and local service advertisers. Display investments decreased 5.9% in Q4, dragged down by smaller budgets from auto manufacturers, telecom providers and travel companies. For the entire year, Paid Search declined 2.8% and Display increased 5.5%.

Magazine ad spending eroded at year end. Consumer Magazines declined 5.2% in the fourth quarter due to deep cutbacks in auto, food and pharmaceutical advertising. Total year expenditures were level compared to prior year. Outlays in Sunday Magazines fell 9.8% in Q4, the sixth consecutive quarter of year-over-year declines, and were down 7.2% for all of 2011.
Local Newspaper ad expenditures fell 3.9% during the fourth quarter, hurt by the reallocation of retailer advertising budgets to other media channels during the key holiday shopping season. Full year spending was 3.8% lower. The losses in Newspaper spending are consistent with reductions in the amount of space sold.

The pace of spending in Radio media also sagged. Local Radio expenditures were down 3.8% and National Spot Radio plummeted 13.9% in the fourth quarter. The telecom, financial service and automotive categories were prime contributors to these quarterly decreases.


Measured Ad Spending By Category
Expenditures for the ten largest categories grew 3.3% in 2011 and reached $81,629.2 million.

Automotive was the leading category in dollar volume and finished 2011 at $13,890.4 million, up 6.3%. Category spending growth became increasingly bifurcated during the year with Tier 2 and Tier 3 dealer budgets continuing to expand and Tier 1 manufacturer expenditures flattening.

Miscellaneous Retail, which is comprised of all retail segments except Department Stores and Home Improvement purveyors, was the second largest category with 2011 expenditures of $10,019.5 million, up 4.0%. Robust ad spending during the critical year-end holiday season bolstered results.

Insurance registered the largest growth rate among the Top Ten categories with a 13.5% gain to $5,519.0 million. Aggressive competition among auto insurers to gain market share continues to drive media budgets higher.

Financial Services totaled $9,059.9 million of spending, a 3.6% increase. Growth has been fueled by the credit card segment, offsetting continued weakness in ad budgets for investment products and retail banking.

The Telecom category lost ground as 2011 expenditures fell 5.8% to $8,649.0 million. Declines were most pronounced among the leading wireless service advertisers. Aggregates expenditures from TV service providers also slowed.

Magazine Ads: “Clever” Does Not Equal “Effective”

Published 2 years, 1 month ago

Ever heard of Ser Padres magazine?

Probably not. But you should. It featured what was perhaps the most effective single magazine advertisement of 2011, for cleaning products, and from Target Stores. In Spanish.

Michal Galin, who is executive vice president of research at GfK MRI Starch (which measures print-ad effectiveness) clocked the 10 most effective magazine ads of 2011 in an AdAge column. Not only weren’t the products particularly sexy, but they “”were not necessarily the ones with the most expensive creative or the highest media spend,” wrote Galin. The ads included coupons, M&Ms, detergents, iPads and travel apps. Sure, there were two attractive women, but not appealing to male consumers. One flat-stomached model advertised Skechers fitness shoes, and another Oil of Olay bath products, but in health-and-wellness journals with largely women readerships. 

GfK MRI's Starch Advertising Research division studied a whopping 87,000 one-page and two-page print ads that appeared in consumer magazines in the calendar year, 2011. The company developed an "Engagement Score" compiled of the percentage of readers who read a particular ad, and those who took any action because of the ad. The 10 best-in-category ads had not only “stopping power,” said Galin, but also elicited a response like visiting the website; clipping the in-ad coupon; recommending or buying the product.

What they did do was choose their outlets carefully, then create a strong connection with the buyer. For example, an Xbox "Halo" ad appeared in the Official Xbox Magazine, and an American Airlines ad in American Way magazine. These advertisers took no chances, they chose magazines in which they have a built-in appeal to readers.

Tied for first place: a Spanish-language ad in the publication Ser Padres; and an ad for the WWE SummerSlam professional wrestling event in (not surprisingly) WWE Magazine.

The appeal of wrestling is obvious, and the readership guaranteed to be engaged —but just what is Ser Padres?

It is a Meredith publication, and the Spanish-language version of Parents magazine, published since 1990. “Ser Padres' goal is to be the primary source of inspiration and information on family, home and health,” says its marketing materials. Why this is remarkable is that a WWE event in a WWE magazine is practically guaranteed engagement. Cleaning products in Ser Padres must compete with clothing to medications to financial services and insurance has a harder time competing for attention.

Two ads, for Bed Bath & Beyond, and by Walmart for NatureMade vitamins, offered clippable coupons. NatureMade ads appeared in the health-and-wellness magazine All You, while the Bed, Bath & Beyond ad appeared in the May issue of Better Homes & Gardens.

“Either there's something wrong with the methodology here, or magazine advertising is even worse than I thought,” grumped co-founder Wayne Best of Cog NYC, a creative agency. “This is one of the worst collections of ads I've seen. If they were effective it was the coupons or the products themselves, not the job the agencies did.”

Best is right in that the ads (and their buyers) are risk-averse and playing it safe. Of course, young mothers are interested in keeping clean homes, and of course, a 20-year-old gamer who reads Official Xbox Magazine might be interested in the game “Combat Evolved Anniversary.” But with consumer ad pages and newsstand sales on the decline—largely because consumers are having a hard time coughing up the $2 to $5 dollars it takes to buy the magazines—it is simply good business sense to play it safe.

 

Upfront Digital: Bourdain’s “Layover” App | ESPN’s Digital Basketball Ratings | “Like” Means Pride

Published 2 years, 1 month ago
  • Travel Channel has released the network’s first travel guide application, available now on iTunes. The app, entitled the “Travel Channel Layover Guide With Anthony Bourdain,” “weeds through the cluttered digital travel space,” says the network. The app combines the curated tastes of the network’s Emmy-winning host, Anthony Bourdain, with practical tools to help users create their own Bourdain-inspired excursions in one of 10 major cities, including Amsterdam, Hong Kong, London, Los Angeles, New York and Rome, among others. For $1.99, users can customize a trip, from an afternoon pub crawl to a week-long immersion of food, drink and fun.
  • ESPN is claiming 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 percent and 5 percent respectively compared to the previous season. Additionally, college basketball regular season games on ESPN3 and WatchESPN across computers, smartphones and tablets logged 455.9 million minutes, up 56 percent compared to ESPN3 on computers the previous season. During the season, it logged its most watched college basketball game ever on February 8 with 4.4 million minutes generated across computers, smartphones and tablets for the March 3 Duke vs. North Carolina game.
  • It seems that Facebook “F” or Twitter “T” makes us feel watched, and influences our online shopping. So found researchers from the University of Miami School of Business; Empirica Research; and Stylecaster Media Group, as described in BizReports. The researchers found that buyers who felt proud to be associated with a brand were 25% more likely to make the purchase with the icons present; the subtle message is “Look at me! I’m buying luxury goods!” or eco-friendly goods, and so forth. Conversely, shoppers are 25% less likely to make a purchase they deem embarrassing (perhaps cheap goods, “marital aids” or medications at an online pharmacy) with the icons present. The shoppers presume less privacy.
  • The U.S. Justice Department plans to sue Apple and five of the biggest U.S. publishers in an antitrust suit, reports the Wall Street Journal in an exclusive. The Department charges those publishers with colluding to raise the price of electronic books, according to people familiar with the matter. The defendants include Simon & Schuster, Hachette Book Group, Pearson PLC’s Penguin Group, and HarperCollins Publishers. Several of the parties have held talks to settle the case and head off a court battle. The WSJ speculates that the result of this case will be less electronic books. 
  • AllTwitter, the “Unofficial Twitter Resource” run by MediaBistro, has released a compelling infographic on the influence of social media in the beauty industry. Consumers spend an estimated $59 billion on beauty products annually, and engage with or shop for the brands through Facebook and Twitter. The Sephora brand (both cosmetics and its retail stores) has, for example, more than 2.7 million Facebook followers, and lead the cosmetics industry in Twitter fans and followers. No speculation as to just how much the social media presence drives sales.

Upfront Digital: Girl Scouts Gone Mobile | Comcast’s Streaming Battle | Apple Rejects eBooks

Published 2 years, 1 month ago
  • Foursquare co-founder Naveen Selvadurai is leaving the company, reports AllThingsD, just three years after launching the check-in service. Sevaldurai will remain on the company’s board, but is unsure about “my exact next steps.” Foursquare investor Spark Capital is buying up employee stock, and Selvadurai and co-founder Dennis Crowley previously sold shares in an earlier funding round. 
  • The Girl Scouts are celebrating the organization’s 100th birthday by “embracing mobile technology and accepting mobile payments for their fundraising cookies,” according to BizReport. Girl Scouts in 23 States are accepting mobile payments, using Sage technology on smart phones and notebook computers, and early returns from North East Ohio troops are encouraging; they report that mobile payment is behind a 13% boost in sales. Girl Scouts estimates its annual cookie program brings in $760 million per year. Troops not using mobile technology experienced flat sales.
  • Streaming TV providers “strain to retain” customers, reports Adweek. Time Warner CEO Jeff Bewkes and Comcast EVP Neil Smit are urging investors to pressure cable operators and Nielsen to support the “TV Everywhere” concept, which allows cable subscribers who can verify their memberships to access cable content digitally, on computers and mobile devices. Bewkes and Smit spoke at last week’s Deutsche Bank Media and Telecommunications Conference. “We’re giving the customers no reason to go anywhere else,” said Smit, describing the company’s Xfinity Streamplay service. The TV Everywhere initiative positions Time Warner and Comcast to better compete against streaming services from Netflix and Hulu. The Time Warner and Comcast stream would differ from Netflix or Hulu in being ad supported.
  • Marketing guru and author Seth Godin is grumping at Apple, which refused to carry the digital edition of his new book Stop Stealing Dreams in its iBooks Store. As Time reports, Apple rejected the title because its bibliography included links to rival bookseller Amazon.com. Godin wrote in a blog post entitled “Who decides what gets sold in the bookstore?” “I think that Amazon and Apple and [Barnes & Noble] need to take a deep breath and make a decision on principle: what’s inside the book shouldn’t be of concern to a bookstore with a substantial choke on the marketplace.”
  • Southwest Airlines is suing to shut down a website providing Southwest customers with first-in-line boarding, reports Denver Business Journal. SW Software Development’s “MySouthWestCheckin” takes $5 to offer the preferential seating, using a patch-through to the Airline’s own website. Southwest Airlines complains that this robs it of selling and advertising opportunities, and trespasses on Southwest’s website. Southwest Airlines filed its suit in the U.S. District Court in Dallas, where the airline is based.

TED Recognizes 10 Ads That Present “Ideas Worth Spreading”

Published 2 years, 1 month ago

TED (Technology, Education, Design), the non-profit dedicated to “Ideas Worth Spreading,” has announced the winners of its second Ads Worth Spreading initiative on the opening day of TED2012 in Long Beach, CA. This year's 10 winners were “carefully curated to shine a spotlight on ads which break the mold through longer-form, idea-based storytelling.”

Interestingly, and as Adweek observes, the ads generally push beyond the 30-second mark, and frequently appear online rather than on television. Entries ranged from 30-second spots to 5-minute mini-documentaries, as well as several custom-made pieces humanizing companies and causes.

The Ads Worth Spreading challenge attracted entries from 39 countries, and is designed to recognize intelligence in advertising and and reward “the kind of ads that inspire people to watch, learn and share,” said the company in a release. "We sought out ads that were driven by ideas," said TED Curator Chris Anderson. "At TED, we've seen the power of imagination and innovation. We want to reward companies that have invested in longer-form, beautifully crafted campaigns that value human attention and intelligence, and take the time to tell a thought-provoking story."

The ideas are at times downright strange. For example, the “Rethink Breast Cancer” spot by john st. Toronto features self proclaimed “hot guys” demonstrating breast-cancer self exams—the premise being, “Women are more likely to watch a video if it features a hot guy.” The L’Oreal Paris spot features athlete/model/actor/activist, and dual-prosthetics wearer Aimee Mullins, pushing L’Oreal’s message “Because you’re worth it” beyond its “spend on yourself” origins.

For this year's challenge, and in addition to accepting entries via YouTube from agencies and marketers, TED called upon 25 industry Advocates and six Nomination Teams to seek out compelling ads in six specific categories: Talk, Social Good, Cultural Compass, Creative Wonder, Brand Bravery, and Storytelling.

As Ronda Carnegie, Head of Global Partnerships at TED described,  "This year's winners spanned across many categories, drawing from culture, technology and brand expertise. L'Oreal confronted the definition of beauty in a talk, Prudential exhibited powerful storytelling, and Chipotle raised the bar with its creative animation that beautifully communicates their message."
Next year, TED pledges to further evolve the Ads Worth Spreading challenge and engage in deep one-on-one conversation with the global advertising community to share what the organization has learned. Additionally, TED will open up TED.com as an incubation platform for testing and launching great creative.

TED solicited entries for this challenge via a channel on YouTube.com. The judging system for Ads Worth Spreading was hosted by AICP (Association of Independent Commercial Producers) and Zester. Ads Worth Spreading was also supported by Contagious Magazine, 4A's, IAB, IAA, Art Directors Club, and the Advertising Club of New York.

Upfront Digital: Android Apps Triple | Facebooks Analytics Acquisition | Valpak Upgrades Apps

Published 2 years, 1 month ago
  • An enthusiastic blog post from the Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Barcelona. Google Senior VP of Mobile and Digital Content Andy Rubin enthused “If you walk around the Android stand., it’s also evident that our hardware partners are thriving. There are 100+ devices on display at the conveyor belt bar…just a small portion of the 800+ Android devices that have launched to date.” Rubin recalled announcing 150,000 apps in the Android market at last year’s MWC, and claims the number has tripled to more than 450,000 apps today with more than one billion app doawnloads per month. “Think about the astonishing number of songs Shazam’ed, places Qype’ed and foursquare mayorships!”
  • Buddy Media, which claims to be the social enterprise software of choice for eight of the world's top ten global advertisers, has announced the acquisition of Brighter Option, a London-based Facebook Ads API partner providing innovative social ad management software. Buddy Media believes it is now “the only company to combine social publishing, applications, analytics, commerce and paid advertising in a unified software suite.” Buddy Media spent six months shopping among 20 Facebook advertising technology partners, and concluded that Brighter Option had the most scalable technology, team and business model. Last quarter, Brighter Option’s social ad management software managed more than 92.5 billion impressions for more than 291 advertisers in 42 countries. 
  • MediaMorph, which provides technology for cross-platform media tracking, audience measurement and analytics, has raised $8 million in funding from Motorola Mobility and from London-based Smedvig Capital, reports Multichannel News. This investment round brings MediaMorph to a total of $11 million raised to date. MediaMorph clients include Sony Pictures, Warner Bros., Lionsgate, E! Networks, Starz, HBO, A&E Television Network and Cablevision Systems. In addition to media usage research, the startup provides rights and royalty management services.
  • Coupon company Valpak has redesigned its iPhone and Android apps, and has launched its first-ever iPad tablet app, reports DMNews. Valpak is best known for its thick envelopes stuffed with coupons for local businesses (e.g., pizzerias, dentists, pool builders and cleaners). The company first launched its iPhone app in 2009, and last March, launched a location-based digital coupon service. The company says it was prompted to upgrade old apps and launch the new iPad app in response to increasing tabloid downloads, and a tripling in app downloads over the past 13 months.
  • MTV has launched “Under The Thumb” in Europe, a new social TV app, reports TechCrunch. MTV partnered with digital agency AKQA to create the app, which MTV and Viacom call a “world first” in alowing users to watch MTV on mobile devices, share the content, then watch on-demand programs simultaneously with those (remote) friends. It has launched in Europe prior to migrating to the U.S., and will be free and ad funded.

Out-Of-Home Ad Spend Up 4% in 2011, Outpaces Media Overall

Published 2 years, 1 month ago

Out-of-home advertising revenue rose 4% in 2011 over 2010, to reach $6.4 billion, says the Outdoor Advertising Association of America (OAAA). That increase was consistent for each quarter of the year with total growth up 3.0% in the fourth quarter.

This comes as a bit of a surprise. As Media Life observed, when media think tank Kantar Media releases its final tallies for 2011 in March, out-of-home “will probably be the fourth-fastest-growing category, behind Spanish-language media, cable TV and the internet.” Out-of-home or OOH advertising at 4% significantly outpaced the 1.5% growth pace of overall advertising through the first three quarters of the year. It is also well ahead of radio, the only other media to announce full-year results so far, and which was up 1% in 2011.

Out-of-home advertisements come in the categories of 1) billboards, which includes posters, 2) street furniture like bus benches and kiosks, 3) transit like bus exteriors, and 4) alternative, a catch-all category that encompasses skywriting, blimps, cartons and cups and dry cleaning bags, among others.

“Out-of-home performed well last year,” said OAAA President & CEO Nancy Fletcher. “More brands are recognizing the value out of home advertising can add to a strategic media plan.”
Several industry categories performed well all year, most notably the Schools, Camps & Seminars sector, which was up 22.4% for the year. Other notable growth categories were Media & Advertising; Financial; and Miscellaneous Services & Amusements, which is comprised mainly of local brands. The Communications category flattened in 2011 after a decrease in the fourth quarter.

Four of the top five advertisers increasing out-of-home media spend last year were financial brands; namely Chase, Prudential, JP Morgan, and Citi. Five of the top 20 advertisers increasing out of home spend were in the Media & Advertising category.

“Out-of-home advertising outpaced the overall ad business and other local media last year,” said Stephen Freitas, OAAA Chief Marketing Officer. “The industry has grown steadily for the past seven quarters, and that growth trend is expected to remain strong.”

OAAA issues full industry pro forma revenue estimates that include, but are not limited to, Miller Kaplan and Kantar Media (which is not adjusted to reflect changes in data sources), and member company affidavits. Revenue estimates include billboard, street furniture, transit, and alternative media, as well as digital platforms for advertising spend.