Advertising platform providers like Facebook and Google are “usually on the front line of the digital privacy debate,” observes paidContent. But the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) in its long-awaited privacy report and recommendations called instead for tougher supervision on the data brokers who compile consumer data around shopping purchases, property records, court documents and so forth, then sell that data to third parties.
The FTC did not recommend legislation that forbids advertisers from gathering personal information, but praised the ad industry for its self policing (chiefly through new guidelines released by the Digital Advertising Alliance or DAA). FTC called as well for a “Privacy by Design” system making it easier for consumers to control their data; and praised Apple, Google and Microsoft for their various do-not-track and private browsing options..
As paidContent observes, the brokers like Lexis Nexis and Choicepoint fly under the consumer radar, but in many cases control far more data than do the Apples, Googles, Facebooks and Microsofts. But in many cases, the data companies control a far deeper pool of information.
FTC advocates a sort of online “do-not call list” among data brokers. To quote FTC’s recommendations: “To address the invisibility of, and consumers’ lack of control over, data brokers’ collection and use of consumer information, the Commission supports targeted legislation…that would provide consumers with access to information about them held by a data broker. To further increase transparency, the Commission calls on data brokers that compile data for marketing purposes to explore creating a centralized website where data brokers could (1) identify themselves to consumers and describe how they collect and use consumer data and (2) detail the access rights and other choices they provide with respect to the consumer data they maintain.”
So Google, Microsoft and Facebook (which the FTC refers to as “advertisers,” as opposed to platform providers), are now out of the limelight. But behavioral targeting is hardly safe. The Digital Advertising Alliance (DAA) Self Regulatory Program, which the Alliance and member organizations announced in February, gives consumers the option to identify which companies track them, and opt out of that tracking; but critics charge that it is complicated, realistic for only the most tech-savvy consumers; and that behavioral tracking should be opt-in.
Short term, though, “the report does not appear to poise any immediate threat to the way that companies like Facebook, which rely on providing rich online platforms in exchange for personal information, do business,” paidContent observes.
- Rovio claims that as of Monday, its Angry Birds Space game has been downloaded more than 10 million times since it was made available on Thursday, reports AllThingsD. The game is available on iOS, Mac and PC, with a Windows mobile release in development; but in-game advertisers must opt for the Android version. Angry Birds Space is available for Android devices for free with advertising. Ad-free versions of Angry Birds Space will also be available on Android for $0.99, and an HD version for Android tablets for $2.99, according to the company’s website.
- Microsoft and Nokia are “trying to claw back market share from Apple Inc's iPhone and Google's Android” in the apps market, according to a Reuters story. On Monday, Microsoft and Nokia announced that they would invest $23.9 million into AppCampus, a new mobile application development program at Helsinki's Aalto University, over the next three years. Microsoft is late to the game: while there are 65,000 apps on the new-ish Windows Phone Marketplace, that falls far short of the 0.5 million available from the Apple App Store and Google Play. And at present, only 37% of developers have any interest in creating apps for the Windows Phone, according to IDC/Appcelerator survey, versus 89% interested in iPhone and 79% in Android phones.
- While the GOP slugfest rages on, President Barack Obama's reelection campaign continues to spend big on digital ads, according to ClickZ. Obama for America spent an additional $3 million on digital ads, including text messages, in February. Since Obama for America launched the 2012 campaign nearly a year ago, it has spent more than $11 million on web ads, according to ClickZ analysis of Federal Election Commission filings. If the campaign continues to spend $3 million on digital advertising monthly, it will have spent $35 million by November. OFA claims to have spent about $16 million in online ads during the 2008 campaign.
- The Audit Bureau of Circulations (ABC) has released a Consolidated Media Report (CMR) for Fine Cooking, only the second print-and-digital journal to undergo the audit, reports minOnline. The second-half-2011 audit went beyond newsstand and subscription sales to include the measured components from FineCooking.com. (Google Analytics was the foundation). Popular Science was the first magazine to have a CMR audit, and released which released its first-half 2011 data last October. According to ABC, the Fine Cooking e-newsletter reached 453,898 average monthly unique e-mail addresses; attracted an average 904,016 total average monthly website browsers; and combined with print, reaches a total “brand universe” of 1,702,518.
- Alongside those Twitter ads, marketers should encourage their CEOs and CMOs to tweet. As eMarketer reports (citing data from social-media branding firm BRANDfog), consumers and employees regard company leaders who engage on social media platforms positively. The majority of respondents in a survey at 78% believe that CEO participation in social media leads to better communication, while 71% said it leads to improved brand image and 64% said it provides more transparency.
comScore, Inc. has released full results from its U.S.-based vCE Charter Study involving online advertising campaigns for 12 premium national advertisers, including Allstate, Chrysler, Discover, E-Trade, General Mills and Sprint, among others. comScore announced the Validated Campaign Essentials (vCE) offering in January, and last week signed on Forbes.com as a client.
The comScore study found that, in many cases, a large portion of ad impressions are not delivered according to plan, and that the quality of ad delivery can vary greatly based on a variety of factors, including site, placement, creative and targeting strategy. The study evaluated ad delivery based on a several key dimensions, including whether or not the ads were delivered in-view, to the right audience, in the right geography, in brand safe environments and absent of fraud.
“This is the first study to bring twelve leading marketers together to holistically understand how online advertising is delivered, allowing us to begin to diagnose sources of waste and identify solutions for improving the value that all players in the ecosystem can extract from the digital advertising market,” said Linda Abraham, comScore co-founder and CMO. “Until now, neither side of the industry has had a clear picture of ad delivery, resulting in a lack of confidence in digital’s ability to deliver on its promise as the most measurable advertising medium. The insights from the charter study represent a critical first step to improving the efficiency, efficacy and ultimately the economics of online advertising for all participants.”
Executive Summary of Key vCE Charter Study Findings
The vCE Charter Study includes a variety of detailed findings that shed light on the current state of online ad delivery and its implications for different participants in the online advertising market. Key findings include:
- In-View Rates are Eye-Opening. The study showed that 31% of ads were not in-view, meaning they never had an opportunity to be seen. There was also great variation across sites where the campaigns ran, with in-view rates ranging from 7% to 100% on a given site. This variance illustrates that even for major advertisers making premium buys there is a lot of room for improvement.
- Targeting Audiences Beyond Demographics Can be Powerful. Generally, campaigns that had very basic demographic targeting objectives performed well with regard to hitting those targets. For example, those with an objective of reaching people in a particular broad age range did so with 70% of their impressions. Predictably, as additional demographic variables were added to the targeting criteria (e.g. income + gender), accuracy rates of the ad delivery declined. However, the results also showed that 37% of all impressions were delivered to audiences with behavioral profiles that were relevant to the brand (i.e. consumers with demonstrated interests in categories, such as food, auto or sports). One campaign had 67% of its impressions viewed by the target behavioral segment.
- The Content in Which An Ad Runs Can Create Problems for Any Brand. Of the campaigns analyzed, 72% had at least some impressions that were delivered adjacent to objectionable content—chiefly adult-oriented or “hate sites” (e.g., white supremacist content). While this did not translate to a large number of impressions on an absolute basis (141,000 impressions across 980 domains), it is important to note that 92,000 people were exposed to these impressions. This demonstrates that brand safety should be of concern to all advertisers.
- Fraud is the Elephant in the Digital Room. Fraud is an undeniably large and growing problem in digital advertising. The results showed that an average of 0.16% of impressions across all campaigns was delivered to non-human agents from the IAB spiders & bots list. Although this percentage might appear negligible, there are two important considerations to keep in mind. Only the most basic forms of inappropriate delivery were addressed in this study. When additional, more sophisticated types of fraud are considered, the problem will only get larger. Like brand safety, fraud should be an important concern for all advertisers.
- Digital Ad Economics: The Good Guys Aren’t Necessarily Winning. The study showed that there was little to no correlation between CPM and value being delivered to the advertiser. For example, ad placements with strong in-view rates are not getting higher CPMs than placements with low in-view rates. Similarly, ads that are doing well at delivering to a primary demographic target are not receiving more value than those that are not. In other words, neither ad visibility nor the quality of the audience reached is currently reflected in the economics of digital advertising.
These findings suggest that measuring all dimensions of ad delivery for every placement in a holistic fashion is critical and that optimizing delivery in-flight is a necessary step in the campaign management process. The findings also support the argument that any digital GRP metric must account for validated, not gross impressions. This validated impression measurement must include ‘viewable impressions,’ based on the very simple notion that if an ad is not seen, it cannot possibly deliver its intended effect.
“With 31% of vCE Charter Study impressions not being viewable, it is now abundantly clear just how important in-view measurement is to online campaign validation,” said Abraham. “In order for any digital GRP metric to be relevant in the online space and to be cross-media comparable, it must include validated ‘viewable impressions’ in its calculation. While audience and geographic validation are crucial – and should not be ignored – if a digital campaign rating does not also take into account whether or not the ad had the opportunity to be seen, then the metric fails to deliver a true apples-to-apples comparison to all other media.”
About the vCE Charter Study
To better understand issues associated with display ad delivery and validation, 12 leading marketers participated in a U.S.-based charter study, called the vCE Charter Study. The goal of the study was to quantify the incidence of sub-optimal ad delivery across these key dimensions for the advertised brands, and in so doing, frame the relative importance of each for the industry. Key validation dimensions included: in-view, audience delivery, geographic delivery, brand safety and fraud.
Select Study Participants: Allstate, Chrysler, Discover, E-Trade, Ford, General Mills, Kellogg’s, Kimberly Clark, Kraft, and Sprint
Time Period: December 2011
Total Campaigns: 18
Media Placements: 2,975
Site Domains: 380,898
Ad Impressions: 1.8 billion
Format: All ads were display, delivered via iframes
Google in its Agency Blog claims to have upgraded its contextual engine, which matches display ads to pages based on keywords, which is “at the heart of display buying through AdWords.”
Calling it the “biggest enhancement ever,” users now have the ability to combine the reach of display with the precision of search using Next-Gen Keyword Contextual Targeting. Users can fine-tune contextual campaigns down to individual keyword level, making it “easier for you to extend search campaigns to display and more efficient to run the two types of campaigns together.”
Google gives this example: A travel agency might run numerous display ads for Caribbean islands. Keyword-level transparency might reveal that “Turks and Caicos vacations” is four times more profitable than the keyword “caribbean vacations.” The agency can optimize campaigns to more aggressively target the high performing keywords and be more conservative on “caribbean vacations”.
Giving a Visual Edge
“Sometimes pictures communicate better than words (or numbers),” says Google. So, along with a new Display Network Tab and contextual engine, the company has introducing a way to visualize the reach of campaigns, to see how that reach is impacted by combining multiple targeting types such as keywords, placements, topics, interests or remarketing (see graphic). Google will roll out its new Display Network Tab to all advertisers in the upcoming coming weeks.
Where do consumers get their news (and see the ads)? New research suggests that advertisers are better off advertising in a tablet edition of a newspaper, than in the newspaper itself. Also that those advertisers are guaranteed exposures on television, but perhaps wasting their ad spends on Facebook.
Just-released findings by the Pew Research Center suggest that mobile technology fueling news consumption, strengthening the appeal of traditional news brands and even boosting reading of long-form journalism. But, technology companies are strengthening their grip on who profits, according to the 2012 State of the News Media report by Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism.
More than a quarter of Americans (27%) now get news on mobile devices, and for the vast majority, this is increasing news consumption, the report finds. More than 80% of smartphone and tablet news consumers still get news on laptop or desktop computers. On mobile devices, news consumers also are more likely to go directly to a news site or use an app, rather than to rely on search — strengthening the bond with traditional news brands.
While technology may be adding to the appeal of traditional news, technology intermediaries are capturing even more of the digital revenue pie. In 2011, five technology giants generated 68% of all digital ad revenue, according to the market research firm eMarketer — and that does not include Amazon and Apple, which make their money from devices and downloads. By 2015, roughly one out of every five display ad dollars is expected to go to Facebook, according to the same source.
“Our analysis suggests that news is becoming a more important and pervasive part of people’s lives,” PEJ Director Tom Rosenstiel said. “But it remains unclear who will benefit economically from this growing appetite for news.”
Social media platforms, meanwhile, grew substantially over the last year, but still play a limited role in daily news consumption. Only about a third as many news consumers follow stories via Facebook as do so by going directly to news websites or apps or by using search, according to new PEJ survey data released here. For Twitter, the proportion drops to less than a sixth as many.
“News organizations have a big opportunity in the social and mobile realms,” PEJ Deputy Director Amy Mitchell said. “But they will need to do a better job than they did in the desktop realm of understanding audience behavior and developing effective technology and revenue models.”
These are some of the conclusions in the ninth edition of PEJ’s annual State of the News Mediareport. The report is a comprehensive analysis of the major trends in news over the last year and includes detailed chapters on eight major media sectors — digital, newspapers, cable news, network TV, local TV news, audio, magazines and ethnic media. This year’s study also includes two new national surveys examining how news is consumed on different devices and the impact of social media on news, a special report on the state of community media and an examination of Native American media.
Among the study’s findings:
- Americans are far more likely to get digital news by going directly to a news organization’s website or app than by following social media links. Just 9% of U.S. adults say they follow news recommendations from Facebook or Twitter “very often” on any digital device — compared with 36% who say the same about directly going to a news organization’s site or app; 32% who access news through search; and 29% who use news organizing sites like Topix or Flipboard.
- Even so, social media are an increasingly important driver of news, according to traffic data. According to PEJ’s analysis of traffic data from Hitwise, 9% of traffic to news sites now comes from Facebook, Twitter and smaller social media sites. That is up by more than half since 2009. The percentage coming from search engines, meanwhile, has dropped to 21% of news site traffic, from 23% in 2009.
- Facebook users follow news links shared by family and friends; Twitter users follow links from a range of sources. Fully 70% of Facebook news consumers get most of their story links from friends and family. Just 13% say most links that they follow come from news organizations. On Twitter, however, the mix is more even: 36% say most of the links they follow come from friends and family, 27% say most come from news organizations, and 18% mostly follow links from non-news entities such as think tanks. And most feel that the news they get on either network is news they would have seen elsewhere without that platform.
- Most media sectors saw audience growth in 2011 — with the exception of print publications. News websites saw the greatest audience growth (17%) for the year. In addition, thanks in part to the drama of events overseas, every sector of television news gained in 2011. Network news audiences grew 5%, the first uptick in a decade. Local news audiences grew in both morning and late evening, the first growth in five years. Cable news audiences also grew, by 1%, after falling the year before; in particular, MSNBC and CNN audiences grew in 2011, while Fox declined. Print newspapers, meanwhile, stood out for their continued decline, which nearly matched the previous year’s 5% drop. Magazines were flat.
- Despite audience gains, only the web and cable news enjoyed ad revenue growth in 2011. Online advertising increased 23%, and cable ads grew 9%. Most media sectors, however, saw ad revenues decline — network TV was down 3.7%; magazines ad pages, 5.6%; local news, 6.7%; and newspapers, 7.6%.
- As many as 100 newspapers are expected in coming months to join the roughly 150 dailies that have already moved to some kind of digital subscription model. In part, newspapers are making this move after witnessing the success of The New York Times, which now has roughly 390,000 online subscribers. The move is also driven by steep drops in ad revenue. Newspaper industry revenue — circulation and advertising combined — has shrunk 43% since 2000. In 2011, newspapers overall lost roughly $10 in print ad revenue for every new $1 gained online. (That suggests no improvement from what a separate PEJ study of 38 papers found regarding 2010, when the print losses to digital gains in the sample were a $7-to-$1 ratio.)
- The emerging landscape of community news sites is reaching a new level of maturity — and facing new challenges. As some seed grants begin to sunset, a shakeout in community news sites is beginning, along with a clearer model for success. NewWest.net and Chicago News Cooperative are among the prominent community news sites that ceased publishing in 2011 or early 2012. The model for success, epitomized by Texas Tribune and MinnPost, is to diversify funding sources and spend more resources on business—not just journalism.
Optify, a provider of business-to-business marketing software, has released a report analyzing how search engines react during breaking news events, and how advertisers and marketers can bust into those features with targeted ads. In particular, its study compared Bing and Google and their algorithms around breaking news. Among Optify’s findings:
- On average, about 70% of content above the fold was used for breaking news results rather than ranked results.
- In surfacing news results, Bing favors most recent results, and MSN.com, serving results just a few seconds old. Google favors authority and reach, serving results from prominent publications.
- Both search engines react quickly by surfacing news, videos, images and real time updates above the ranked results.
Optify conducted a study around three breaking news event types: the tsunami that hit Japan, the resignation of the late Steve Jobs from Apple, and Amanda Knox (accused of murder in Italy) returning to Seattle. These events were chosen as examples of worldwide, local, and business breaking news.
For each event, Optify identified keywords that would drive the highest volume of results and conducted the searches on both Bing and Google. To analyze the evolution and performance of these keywords, search engine results were observed over a period of time. Both Google and Bing made major changes in their SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages) to react to the breaking news. Sponsored content declined or was eliminated, while integrated or multimedia content increased, and recent news content rose to the top of the page, pushing down ranked search engine results.
The findings suggests that publishers and marketers must familiarize themselves with trending terms and the processes in which users search for these events, and incorporate real-time elements into their SEO strategies. The study concludes with ten best practices to help marketers and publishers drive organic traffic before and during a breaking news event.
Among those 10 tips:
1. Format. Search engines give preference to multi-format results, and video is the most desirable as it is easy to consume and share, but hard to come by. Syndicate video on YouTube, embed it into your site, and use kewords to describe it.
2. Social sharing. Google likely renders real-time results by looking at the sharing volume of content. So using your social network to mae it easy for people to interact with your content increases your chances of ranking higher on SERPs.
3. Google+. Optify believes the recent release of Google Search Plus Your World makes Google+ an important part of social sharing efforts. Google will likely give more weight to content with a lot of +1’s (similar to the Facebook “Like” function).
4. Keyword optimization. Without optimizing your content using the durable elements of SEO, chances are that you will not rank very high. While you cannot prepare a keyword strategy for news events that have yet to happen, your marketers and copywriters can react quickly with SEO savvy. Some news categories that are more stable with predictable breaking news events (e.g., sports, politics and health). If in doubt, use Twitter trends to see what keywords and hashtags are trending, and uncover keywords to use in your own content.
comScore, Inc. has released data from its MobiLens service, reporting key trends in the U.S. mobile phone industry for the three months ending in January. comScore surveyed more than 30,000 U.S. mobile subscribers and found that Google Android continued to grow its share in the smartphone market, accounting for 48.6% of smartphone subscribers. Samsung with its Android platform has 25.4% of the market share.
The Apple iOS platform is hardly dead or suffering; in fact it is the only mobile maker to have gained in the period in share of subscribers, up 2% for the three-month period.
Smartphone Platform Market Share
Still, Google leads the pack in platform share, up 2.3% while Apple is up 1.4%. Google now holds 48.6% of the platform market share, followed by Apple with 29.5% market share (up 1.4%). RIM ranked third with 15.2% share, followed by Microsoft (4.4%) and Symbian (1.5%).
Mobile Content Usage
In January, 74.6% of U.S. mobile subscribers used text messaging on their mobile device, up 2.8%--useless to advertisers, of course, who’ll find more joy in apps, browsers, social media and games.
Downloaded applications were used by 48.6% of subscribers (up 4.8%), while browsers were used by 48.5% (up 4.5%). Accessing of social networking sites or blogs increased 3.4% to 35.7% of mobile subscribers. Game-playing was done by 31.8% of the mobile audience (up 2.6%), while 24.5% listened to music on their phones (up 3.3%).
A new study from the Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism (PEJ) finds some bright spots in the newspaper industry. A few—but just a few—are achieving success with their cross-media revenue models.
“In general, the shift to replace losses in print ad revenue with new digital revenue is taking longer and proving more difficult than executives want,” wrote Pew authors Tom Rosenstiel and Mark Jurkowitz. They described the rate of contraction among newspapers as “alarming,” but chalk it up in part to “cultural inertia.” Most newspapers have put no significant effort into monetizing digital revenue categories.
PEJ surveyed 38 newspapers from six publishers, charting digital revenue and sales efforts. PEJ ensured that it covered papers of various sizes; because the majority of papers in the U.S. are small, PEJ included 22 papers with circulations under 25,000; seven with circulations between 25,000 and 50,000; and nine of over 50,000.
Of those 38 papers, seven reported declines in digital revenue. Among the laggards, one paper saw digital ad revenue decline by 37%, and another by 25%.
But one saw digital ad revenue gains of 63%, and print revenues by 8% over one year, while a second paper gained 50% in digital advertising. One of the top gainers chalked its success up to “smart ads” that targeted customers by online behavior—a practice that was rare among the remaining 37 papers. A second paper build a multi-million dollar advertising and marketing consulting practice. It sold not just advertisements, but ad expertise.
PEJ reported that the newspaper industry as “mature and monopolistic,” adjusting poorly to digital models. Digital is newspapers’ highest area of growth, but still provides nominal revenues. That is due in part to a lack of bandwidth in creating digital strategies. “We have all these [new] products we are working on that we believe are going to deliver results that are part of our sustainability," one executive told PEJ, "But we need to eat today."
So, companies that are struggling find themselves risk averse. "There might be a 90% chance you'll accelerate the decline if you gamble and a 10% chance you might find the new model," one respondent said. "No one is willing to take that chance."
Among other key findings:
- The papers providing detailed data took in roughly $11 in print revenue for every $1 they attracted online in the last full year for which they had data. That nowhere near made up for the 9% decline in print ads revenue.
- Only 40% of the papers say targeted advertising is a major part of their sales effort, despite the fact that targeted digital advertising is expected to dominate local digital revenue by 2014.
- The majority of papers focus their digital sales efforts on conventional display and digital classified, which are the largest categories but low-growth categories.
- Daily Deals accounted for 5% of digital ad revenue in 2011.
- Advertising on mobile devices accounted for only 1% of the digital revenue in 2011. Executives have faith in this meteorically-growing medium, but have yet to take advantage.
- Almost half (44%) are trying to develop nontraditional revenue from, for example, events; consulting; and selling new business products, but revenues are typically under $10,000 per quarter.
- Among the papers that provided data, the number of print-focused sales representatives outnumber digital-focused reps by about 3-1. This reflects the fact that print ad revenue, which is shrinking, still makes up the bulk of the overall revenue (on average 92% in our study's sample).
So as PEJ describes, newspaper execs are “still caught between the gravitational pull of the legacy tradition and the need to chart a faster digital course.”
One consideration: if digital advertising is so nominal a revenue source, advertisers may find they can negotiate for large contracts at medium-sized campaign prices. Newspapers are likely to respond positively to “walk-in business,” and willing to negotiate for the immediate cash influx.
Small and medium businesses (SMBs) are stepping up their digital ad buys, reports Media Post. But they’re largely cutting out the “middle man,” with self-serve advertising.
Over the next 12 months, SMBs will allocate 26% of their budgets to digital and online media. That according to data from BIA/Kelsey, which conducts its ongoing Local Commerce Monitor study of SMB advertising and media usage.
SMBs are particularly bullish on self-serve advertising (e.g., video, Facebook, YouTube). According to BIA/Kelsey data:
- 49% of SMBs have purchased online advertising directly from a Web site, with or without live operator assistance.
- 52% use social media to promote their businesses
- 22% plan to have a video on YouTube in the next 12 months
In addition to digital advertising, SMBs over the next five years will shift their spends to performance-based platforms (e.g., pay-per-click) and customer-retention business solutions over the next five years.
In 2011, BIA/Kelsey forecasted that SMBs will allocate just 30% of marketing budgets to traditional advertising by 2015, way down from the 52% they spent in 2010 on radio, local TV and print ads. That will leave 70% for mobile, social, online directories, digital couponing and so forth. With projected SMB spending of $40.2 billion in 2015, that digital spend will be $28.14 billion.
- It’s Digital “Conan.” The new Team Coco tablet app, presented by launch sponsor AT&T, uses Automatic Content Recognition (ACR) technology to provide late-night TV host Conan Obrien’s “hyper-connected fans” with exclusive synchronized content delivered while they watch the show on TV. “Conan draws the youngest and most digitally connected audience in late night,” said SVP Dennis Adamovich of TBS, TNT and Turner Classic Movies (TCM). “Team Coco is transforming Conan into an immersive interactive experience that can be enjoyed whenever you want.”
- Social commerce network PowerReviews has launched a new program aimed at directly measuring how social activity impacts sales, reports Direct Marketing News. The Essential Social Suite enables marketers to "gamify" customer engagement and content creation, and to measure which individuals and what social interactions lead directly to sales, site traffic, or other business objectives. Brands that integrate the Suite into company websites can reward customers with points when they review products, ask questions of other customers, or share a product with their friends.
- Tumblr is searching for an ad sales chief, which as Business Insider reports “seems to indicate that the blog platform is finally getting serious about revenue generation.” A source who spoke to Business Insider said the job will not have an "ad sales" title attached, but the job will entail creating partnerships for relevant exposure on Tumblr and “extracting revenue from them.” In short—ad sales. Thus far, Tumblr has had only Cartoon Network as a significant advertiser.
- The Washington Post has launched its WP Politics iPad app, its “most significant attempt yet to charge readers for digital content,” describes Poynter Institute. The Post’s website and digital content is free and ad supported, thought it experimented with charging $1.99 a year for an iPhone app (later offered free). The new iPad app is free to download and is supported by a banner ads, and much of its content will be free, but users (even print subscribers) must pay $2.99 a month to access more in-depth content.
- Details are emerging on Google’s entry into the eReader/tablet fray, reports CNET. The Google tablet would be presumably ad heavy, and about the same size and form factor as the Amazon Kindle Fire. The tablet will have a 1280x800 resolution (versus 1024x600 for the Fire) and 7-inch display. Production begins in April, with a planned run of up to 2 million units. CNET first reported on Google’s plans in January. With a 7-inch Kindle-sized screen, analysts treat it more as a challenge to the Kindle or Barnes & Noble Nook than to the Apple iPad.