Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Penguin and Random House Combine to Form World’s Largest Book Publisher

dbw reporting:
Pearson and Bertelsmann plan to combine their Penguin and Random House trade publishing businesses to form the world’s largest book publisher. The deal will be subject to regulatory approval and is expected to close in the second half of 2013. The combined firm will be called Penguin Random House, the companies announced in separate statements this morning.
Penguin Random House will be led by Markus Dohle and John Makinson. Dohle, the current Random House chairman and CEO, will be the CEO of Penguin Random House. Makinson, the current Penguin chairman and CEO, will be chairman of the board. Bertelsmann will own 53% of Penguin Random House and Pearson will own 47%. The two companies together would have about 9,000 employees. The agreement wouldn’t include certain assets, like Random House’s Germany-based trade publishing unit; and Pearson would retain the right to use the Penguin name and logo in its education business, according to the New York Times.
Related: What the New Penguin Random House Logo Might Look Like | What the Merger Means
In the statements, Bertelsmann chairman & CEO Thomas Rabe spoke of the new firm’s size and scope...

The Somewhat Surprising State of Online Advertising

HubSpot Blog reporting:
What do you think of it? Annoying? Effective? Come a long way? Waste of money? Don't even notice it?
And when you're answering, are you answering as a marketer, or as a consumer? Or (gasp) both? Some of us do fall into both buckets, after all.
Adobe set out to answer some of these very questions in their recent report, The State of Online Advertising. In their research, Adobe partnered with Edelmen Berland to survey 1,250 adults over age 18 -- 1,000 were part of the general population, and 250 were marketing decision makers. They asked the survey respondents questions about advertising, and sometimes even marketing, trying to get a gauge on things like channel effectiveness, preferences, and just gut feelings. Hey, make fun of those warm and fuzzy feelings all you want, but putting some numbers behind them is a mighty task worth attempting!
Take a look at some of the most fascinating highlights from their study on online advertising; and I encourage you to take notice of how the discrepancies between consumers' and marketers' opinions play out, too. It's always good and sobering to take off your marketer hat and remember how your target audience actually perceives the work you do.

The State of Online Advertising, According to Adobe

1) In general, how do consumers "feel" about online advertising?..

2) So, what's a better alternative to online advertising? You might never guess it, but ...

3) Actually, traditional media is overwhelmingly the preferred place to view advertising

The Year of Mobile…Measurement

ClickZ reporting:
The Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) Mobile Marketing Center of Excellence has gotten an early start thinking about plans and priorities for 2013. Our most recent mobile board of directors meeting last week in San Francisco included some brainstorming about big issues in Q4 2012 and into the new year.
There is still a lot to do across the board to help mobile live up to its potential as a medium for advertising and marketing. But one set of topics on the list does seem to increasingly be the priority for our members, and therefore us as well. At the risk of being premature, I will tip the IAB's hand and say that for us, 2013 will be the year of mobile measurement.
In the world of media, when we talk about "measurement" we really mean three different, but often overlapping things:
  • Planning. The metrics that help an advertiser decide where to place their ads to best reach an intended audience.
  • Currency. The metrics that determine how much the advertiser actually writes the check for.
  • Effectiveness. The metrics that prove whether an ad campaign had its intended impact on consumers' psyches or purchasing behaviors.
In the traditional media world, the planning and currency metrics are typically the same: for example, Nielsen ratings play both roles for television. In the digital world, the three kinds of metrics have generally come from distinct sources, and interaction (also known as "engagement") metrics are an increasingly important type of effectiveness measure. All three types of metrics exist for mobile, but mobile buyers and sellers need to improve, harmonize, and potentially standardize all of them.

Videos Send Viewers to Facebook Pages

eMarketer reporting:
Spending on online video ads is growing quickly, and marketers are finding the ads good for branding, typically sending viewers who show interest to the brand’s owned media properties.
According to research from opt-in video platform Jun Group, a visit to a brand’s Facebook page was the most common action taken after watching an online video ad, at least for US viewers watching an opt-in ad from a Fortune 500 brand. Clicking through to a site followed close behind.

Overall, engagement rates with video ads hovered between just under 3% and 4.5%, with videos between 30 and 60 seconds long performing best. Videos both shorter and longer than that sweet spot had lower engagement rates, though the shortest videos had the highest completion rates.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

ADDING MULTIMEDIA U.S. Study Reveals Online Marketing is Failing with Consumers

DailyFinance reporting:
SAN JOSE, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Digital marketing is not meeting the needs of consumers according to new research released today from Adobe Systems Incorporated (NAS: ADBE) . The U.S. study, Click Here: The State of Online Advertising exposes new insights into the beliefs of both consumers and professional marketers that traditional marketing is still more effective than online marketing. The research is based on interviews with a nationally representative sample of 1,000 consumers and 250 professional marketers.
The study revealed that two-thirds of consumers believe that television commercials are more effective than online advertising and that online banner ads do not work (54%). Further, respondents prefer to view advertising in their favorite print magazine (45%) or while watching their favorite TV show (23%) compared to the stark 3% who state they prefer to view ads via social media and 0% who like ads in an app.
Attitudes toward online advertising were overwhelmingly negative, with a large percentage of consumers saying they found online ads to be "annoying," "distracting" and "all over the place." While advertising created by pros is widely seen as the most effective form of advertising, 27% of marketers and 28% of consumers believe that user-generated content is the best form of online advertising.
"This study is a wakeup call for marketers. We know there's a tremendous opportunity - online, on mobile, in social - in terms of where consumers are spending their time and money. But as marketers we've yet to really break through," said Ann Lewnes, chief marketing officer, Adobe. "Serving customers relevant content, delivering experiences that are engaging instead of intrusive and, just as importantly, measuring what's working and what isn't so that we can improve our marketing are all critical. When marketers begin to master these things we'll turn the corner - consumers will start to notice and we'll start to capitalize."
The Value of a "Like"
Not surprisingly, the majority of the study's respondents use social media. More than half of the respondents said they are communicating their personal tastes and interests when they "like" a brand or product and 43% explicitly state they are recommending that product to their friend and families. Yet, 53% wish there was a dislike button to express their unhappiness with a product.

Pew surveys young Americans on e-reading, but the data is old

paidcontent reporting:
A new report (PDF) from the Pew Internet and American Life Project surveyed 16- to 29-year-olds on their reading habits and library usage.
That’s obviously a broad group, including both high schoolers and twenty-somethings, but my main problem with this report is that a lot of the data in it is nearly a year old, “from a nationally representative phone survey of 2,986 people ages 16 and older that was administered from November 16-December 21, 2011.” On the digital front, a lot has changed over the past year, including a larger number of people reading ebooks. Still, some findings:
  • 83 percent of Americans ages 16 to 29 read a book in the past year (again, that year is 2011): 75 percent read a print book, 19 percent read an ebook, 11 percent listened to an audiobook.
  • “High school-aged readers (ages 16-17), along with readers over 65, are less likely than other age groups to have read an e-book in the past year.”
  • This group is more likely to read an ebook on a computer or a cell phone than on an e-reader (see chart). Again, note this data is from 2011 and the survey is also conducted before the holidays, when a lot of people might have received an e-reader as a gift — in fact, another Pew report, released in January 2012, found that tablet and e-reader ownership “nearly doubled” between mid-December 2011 and January 2012.
  • “Many of these young readers do not know they can borrow an e-book from a library, and a majority of them express the wish they could do so on pre-loaded e-readers...
  • http://paidcontent.org/2012/10/23/pew-surveys-young-americans-on-e-reading-but-the-data-is-old/?utm_source=General+Users&utm_campaign=cdb67c6afe-c%3Amed+d%3A10-25&utm_medium=email 

Sunday, October 21, 2012

How to turn social media into cash

Fipp reporting:
 Paid Content reports that executives from a new generation of tech media companies, from Twitter to Tumblr, gathered to discuss how to make money in an age of social, mobile media.
The Advertising Week event, titled Masters of Monetisation 2.0, featured some useful insights into the business of ads and engagement.
Takeaways included:
1. In-stream, native advertising works best
What do LinkedIn, Twitter, Buzzfeed and Tumblr all have in common?  These companies all embed sponsors in their content stream rather than laying ads on top it. This provides a less disruptive user experience and better engagement for advertisers. In-stream ads also scale well to smaller screens which, for many publishers, can be a marketing black hole. “If you can get into the feed where people are looking and not piss them off, that works,” said BuzzFeed’s CRO, Andy Wiedlin.
2. Mobile natives are best positioned to offer mobile ads
This may seem intuitive but consider a company like Foursquare, which uses location tools to help people find friends and places. As CRO Steven Rosenblatt pointed out, a lack of “desktop baggage” means Foursquare is not tempted to try and shoehorn older ad models into the mobile environment. A company doesn’t have to be born mobile, however, to succeed on smaller screens. Jonathan Lister, VP of Sales at LinkedIn, explained how the company had designed its mobile site for the “coffee and the couch” habits of its tablet readers. But the most striking example of a company adapting to mobile is Twitter: VP Joel Lunenfield disclosed that the company, whose embedded ads work well on a small screen, now makes more money from mobile than from the desktop.
3. Social communities aren’t created equal
Social media lets advertisers reach a “community” but that’s just the beginning of the story. Advertisers must also decide the relative value of a given company’s network of users.


Touch Me, Tap Me: Users Engage With Digital Magazine Interactivity

FIPP reporting:

One of the hottest discussion points among developers in the digital magazine space in recent years has been how much interactivity users really want from their virtual editions. Many titles came out of the gate onto the iPad more than two years ago with all bells and whistles blaring. Creating tappable moments was the mantra. Meanwhile off of the iPad and on less dazzling devices like the Nook Color and Tablet, it turned out that many people were also engaging in magazine apps that were barely modified from their original static form. Since then many titles on tablets have retreated from rampant interactivity in digital editions to more modest enhancements. But it remains unclear how much interactivity really matters in attracting people to digital editions and retaining their interest over the long haul.

New research from GfK doesn’t necessarily settle this issue, but it does indicate that the interactive moments in these tablet editions are getting used, especially in advertising. In looking at 30,000 ads across 1,000 magazine issues, GfK MRI Starch Digital found a majority of tablet or e-reader edition readers both noticed and interacted with an ad. When asked if they noted seeing an ad, 55% said they did recall an ad in the virtual issue. Almost as many (52%) reported took some form of action with the ad. As the chart below shows, more than a third clicked an expandable ad to enlarge the create, while slightly less say they went beyond the first page in ad units with multiple pages. And so on, down the line, the report suggests that about a third of people encountering an ad in a tablet issue are doing something in response, whether it is going to its Web site (34%) or downloading an app (30%)...

New MPA study focuses on magazine reading on smartphones

MPA reporting:

MPA–The Association of Magazine Media has released Magazine Media Readers and Their Smart Phones, as part of the association’s ongoing effort to examine the attitudes and behaviors of a select group of consumers: mobile device owners who read digital magazines.

The research, conducted in the summer of 2012, investigates how millennial (18-34 year-old) smartphone owners access magazine content on their smartphones, in particular Apple iPhones and Android devices. The study was conducted by independent research firm GfK MRI for MPA, and sheds light on younger consumers’ engagement with digital magazine content as well as their attitudes on content sharing, advertising, QR codes and e-commerce.

“This is the first study to uncover the behaviors and preferences of younger magazine readers exclusively on smart phones, and the findings provide magazine media editors and publishers with constructive insights for designing and evolving their mobile editions to better align with consumer preferences going forward,” said Christopher Kevorkian, chief marketing and digital officer, MPA. “The advertising community would also find this research valuable, in particular the compelling results around the coveted millennials’ engagement with ads on magazine smartphone editions.”

Key findings
  • Most magazine readers 18-34 who own a smartphone access or download magazine branded apps using digital newsstands and/or newsreaders (Flipboard, Pulse and Zite)
  • 60 per cent said they would like the smartphone version to deliver more current information than the printed copy
  • The smartphone owners surveyed have downloaded an average of 2.6 magazine apps
  • 83 per cent of respondents accessed or downloaded a magazine branded app via a digital newsstand, while more than a third (35 per cent) use a newsreader to view magazine digital content
  • 86 per cent accessed digital magazine content on their smartphone from home. 43 per cent read the content at work, and 31 per cent on their commute...http://www.fipp.com/news/New-MPA-study-focuses-on-magazine-reading-on-smartphones

Newsstand at one: Three approaches to iPad publishing

Journalism.uk reporting:
It is exactly a year since the launch of Apple's iOS 5 and with it came Newsstand, an in-built app for the iPad and iPhone giving consumers empty shelves reminiscent of the real-world newsstand, to be filled with their selection of magazines and newspapers.
Publishers had been creating iPad editions for some time, but the new app was an easier route in to the App Store for consumers and one that accelerated app downloads and sales at levels which prompted some to describe it as "revolutionising" the publishing industry.
Here we take a look at how three publishers approached developing apps with Newsstand in mind, and gather pointers on what some consider the holy grail of app publishing: getting a digital edition in the 'featured app' category and seeing sales soar as a result.
Starting with PDF page-turners

Future Publishing was an early Newsstand success story. Four days after launch the publisher of Future Music, Total Film and T3 reported 2 million app downloads; after six weeks its magazine apps had been downloaded 6 million times.
Last month Future, which now has more than 65 titles on Newsstand, reported that digital sales had topped £5 million.
And at a conference a fortnight ago, Mike Goldsmith, editor-in-chief of digital editions at Future Publishing, reported 150,000 sales every month.
"The most important thing is that we got on there quick," he told Journalism.co.uk, explaining that Future decided the best approach was to be ready for the launch of Newsstand by creating PDF page-turner apps of its titles.
"Some people didn't see this as a particularly elegant solution or the most futuristic solution to what a digital edition should be on something as gorgeous as the iPad, but it enabled us to get on there, learn, get some analytics back, talk to customers and find out what they want," Goldsmith added.
"And what we are finding out is that whatever you do, whether it's flat, whether it's interactive, it's not enough just to make something and get on there - because there are 4,600 magazines on the Newsstand right now - but you need to do what you would do in print which is actually publish something good."
Future has since created interactive, iPad-only editions and a range of new products. More on those shortly.
The Vogue approach

Conde Nast has also pushed out a range of page-turner digital editions, gradually enhancing them as interactives.
GQ, Wired, Vanity Fair and Vogue are now all "re-imagined" fully interactive and multimedia magazine experiences, and Glamour will follow suit shortly.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Only 6% of Fans Engage With a Brand’s Facebook Page

Mashable reporting:
Big brands like to tout the number of fans they have on Facebook, but a new study suggests they may want to start focusing more on the core audience who actually engage with their Page.
On average, just 6% of fans engage with a brand’s Facebook Page via likes, comments, polls and other means, according to a study from Napkin Labs, a Facebook app developer that works with brands and agencies. Of those fans that did, the average engagement was the equivalent of less than one like over the course of the eight weeks the study was conducted.
Napkin Labs analyzed fan engagement for more than 50 brand pages, including consumer electronics companies, retailers and more, with between 200,000 to 1 million fans each. The researcher found that having more likes doesn’t necessarily mean having more engagement. In fact, the more Facebook fans a brand has, the lower the percentage of engaged fans tends to be. For example, brands with between 900,000 to 1 million fans had 60% less engagement than brands with 500,000-600,000 fans.
What really drives the engagement on a brand’s page appears to be the core group of devoted fans — or what Napkin Labs refers to as “superfans.” The study found that, on average, the engagement of each one of a brand’s 20 most engaged fans is equal to that of 75 average fans. Each month, the so-called superfan likes 10 posts, shares five pieces of content and comments once. What’s more, these fans tend to get significantly more likes and comments on their posts than average fans, which helps drive up engagement on the brand’s page even more.

The incredible shrinking newspaper audience

Newsosaur reporting:
Once the definitive mass medium, newspapers – in both their print and digital incarnations – have shrunk to being niche players in the typical market, according to a number of must-read research reports released in the last few weeks.
With approximately a third of adults in the average community saying they use either a print or digital edition of their local paper to stay informed, newspapers today remain “super niches,” a term I heard for the first time a few years ago from Ron Mulder, who now works at Scarborough Research.  But a distinct lack of interest in newspapers among those under the age of 50 suggests it is only a matter of time before the niche turns from “super”  to “sliver.”
As detailed in a moment, a steadily accumulating body of research shows that consumers are using computers, mobile devices and even Facebook to shop actively for news and information. While the research shows that newspapers have slightly more market clout in small and isolated communities than in cities and suburbs, the trends all point in the same direction. Although publishers in small and medium markets have slightly more time to adapt to the digital revolution than their metro colleagues, the challenges causing the New Orleans Times-Picayune to abandon seven-day print publication will affect all but a few outlier markets in the fullness of time. 

Are newspaper audiences really shrinking?

CJR reporting:
Alan Mutter’s post the other day—“The incredible shrinking newspaper audience”—got me thinking: is the newspaper audience really shrinking?
So I called him up, and we’re going to disagree. A lot depends on what you call an audience.
But, really, it’s growing.
Alan cites studies from Pew and elsewhere that say (I’m condensing for the sake of brevity; go ahead and click through): The percentage of people who used a print newspaper in the last week to get local news ranged from 36 percent in metro areas to 42 percent in small cities (much lower than during print’s heyday); and Web penetration isn’t much better; that 44 percent of Americans own smartphones and 22 percent own tablets, a doubling of tablet penetration in just one year; and that two-thirds of consumers go to “three or more sources” for local news each week.
He also cites an NYT study that says while 53 percent of the Boomer generation (those 55 and older) said they read print newspapers, only 22 percent of Millenials (ages 18-34) and 32 percent of Generation Xers (ages 35-54) used the medium and that “smartphone use is far higher in the younger cohorts than among Boomers.”

Guardian 'seriously discussing' end to print edition

The Telegraph reporting:
The publisher of the Guardian and Observer newspapers is close to axing the print editions of the newspapers, despite the hopes of its editor-in-chief Alan Rusbridger to keep them running for several years.
Senior figures at Guardian News & Media are seriously discussing the move to an entirely online operation, it has been claimed, leaving Mr Rusbridger increasingly isolated.
The longstanding Guardian chief wants to develop the Guardian’s digital-only US operation before pulling the plug on the print edition, in the hope that it will provide a useful blueprint for the online business in Britain.
However, trustees of the Scott Trust, GNM’s ultimate owner, fear it does not have enough cash on its books to sustain the newspapers for that long, according to More About Advertising, the website run by former Marketing Week editor Stephen Foster.
The Guardian publisher has spent the last few years battling to stem losses of £44m a year. However, it has been slow to make savings and any money that it has clawed back has been spent on expanding its US and online operations.
The investments helped to fuel a 16pc increase in digital revenues to £45.7m last year, but this was not enough to balance GNM’s operating losses which widened from £31.1m.

Digital First? Print First? Both Should Work Together

Mediashift reporting:
Let's learn a lesson from the past. When the news first started going digital, that is when it started appearing on the World Wide Web and print saw it as a competitor that would give the product away for free. The digital prophets saw a future in which free wouldn't matter, and said things along the lines of, "If we don't eat our young, someone else will." In many ways, we could say they were right -- or at least we can say we still don't know.
The O.C. Register is moving forward with a print-first strategy, even while the Journal Register Co. is moving forward with a digital-first effort. This may be a new twist on the old East Coast/West Coast rivalry, but the answer probably lies in the middle, and in a way most don't expect.
Think about what print has going for it and what digital has going for it. Both have a lot of advantages, and both don't need to work against each other any more than an eraser on a pencil works against the delete key on your laptop.

It's about the design

Thumbnail image for compcanvassizes.pngAt right are the comparative sizes of several print formats and the common Apple-handled devices, the iPhone and the iPad.
Do you see what I see? The print canvases are massive in comparison to the digital canvas. Without batteries or retinal displays, the 150, 200, and 300 dpi resolutions are finer than any computer screen.
But we fill these giant design spaces primarily with columns and columns of gray text.
The digital side is continuously updated and fresh. It is interactive and responsive. The print side is anywhere from 12 to 24 hours to a week to a month old by the time it reaches a consumer's hands. It's static and unchanging.
Instead of holding to the convention that we write shorter for the web and longer in print, perhaps the really innovative strategy is to use the print product like outdoor advertising that drives people specifically to the stories they're interested in.

Leading together

Maybe it really isn't about print or digital first, but leading together, side by side. The mantra of the web has always been more powerful and successful when it is collaborate, not compete. Why compete with each other? Why should any product go first, when both can cross the finish line at the same time if they work together?
The smart answer isn't putting digital or print first, but to put design and usability first, using each product for what they do best and let them do it together.

New Poynter Eyetrack research reveals how people read news on tablets

Poynter reporting: 
It’s all about touch.
People were either intimately involved with the iPad screen while reading during our recent eyetracking study — keeping nearly constant contact while touching, tapping, pinching and swiping to adjust their view — or they carefully arranged a full screen of text before physically detaching as they sat back to read.
This intimate or detached touching behavior was one of the most intriguing findings in Poynter’s new research on tablet storytelling. It’s one of many that can help us define how people want their news.
“Intimate” readers were highly focused. They tended to read one or two lines of text, then make subtle, frequent swipes to move a few lines of text into their field of vision like a teleprompter. This was like a pacing tool that helped them to keep their place in the text. Intimate readers made up a majority of the study, at 61 percent.
Using eyetracking gear, observation and exit interviews, Poynter looked closely as 36 people interacted with real news stories on an iPad. We closely analyzed their reading patterns after they looked at one of three prototypes created for the project.
So that we might look for clear differences, we recruited people in two, distinct age sets: 18-28 year-olds — a group we have been calling “digital natives” because they are among the first adults who don’t have strong recollection of life before digital –  and 45-55 year-olds, or “printnets” referring to one foot in the print world, one foot in the “’Net” world.
Each of the three prototypes created for the study featured the same 20 stories but had different designs for the front page or entryway. One had a “traditional” look and feel, similar to an online newspaper. It had a dominant photograph, a lead headline and headlines for each of the 20 stories in the publication.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Mobile Rising: Newspapers, Magazine Readership, Ad Engagement Up

MediaDailyNews reporting:
More tablet owners are reading newspapers and magazines on their devices, according to the latest data from comScore’s TabLens research service, which is based on a three-month rolling sample of 6,000 tablet owners; these findings, along with new data from GfK MRI, hold out the promise of growing advertising and circulation revenues from this burgeoning new channel.

Overall, 11.5% of tablet owners -- a definition that includes iPad, Android tablets, Kindle Fire, and Nook -- said they read newspapers on their tablets “almost every day” or “at least once a week.” Some 14.6% said they read newspapers on their tablets one to three times a month, and 37.1% said they read newspapers on their tablets once a month.
Mark Donovan, comScore senior vice president for mobile, noted that 7% of all newspaper page views now come from tablets. Turning to magazines, 9.7% of all tablet owners said they read magazines on their tablets almost every day, 13.3% at least once a week, 16.7% one to three times a month, and 39.6% once a month.

Tablet owners who read newspaper and magazine content tend to skew male, with newspaper audiences 17% more likely to be male than the average tablet owner, while magazine audiences were 11% more likely to be male.
More than half of tablet readers had a household income of $75,000 or more. Tablet readers also skewed younger, with adults ages 25-34 accounting for the largest share of newspaper and magazine readers: 27.4% and 28.2%, respectively.

GfK MRI Starch Digital found high engagement rates for digital advertising delivered to tablets or e-readers along with magazine content. The survey of 30,000 digital ads across 1,000 magazine issues from April-July of this year found 55% of digital magazine readers noted or read a digital ad on their tablet or e-reader.
Within this group, 52% (28.6% of the total) interacted with the ad as result, with 38% (20.9% of the total) touching or clicking the ad to expand it...

24/7 Internet: Online Behavior Viewed As Extension Of Daily Life

 online mediadaily reporting:
Although U.S. consumers are exposed to more Web-connected devices than ever before, they actually report spending less time online, according to new research from Forrester.
How is that possible? For modern consumers, the lines between everyday life and "going online" are simply blurring, according to Gina Sverdlov, an analyst at Forrester.
"Given the various types of connected devices that U.S. consumers own, many people are connected and logged on (automatically) at all times," according to Sverdlov.
As such, consumers no longer consider some of the online activities they perform  -- i.e., going on Facebook -- to be activities related to "using the Internet."
“It’s only when consumers are actively doing a specific task, like search, that they consider this to be time that they’re spending online,” Sverdlov explains.
How do all the devices consumers now own play together? “We found that the user experience defines device preference,” said Sverdlov, citing the research she did with fellow Forrester colleague Samantha Jaddou.
“For example, the majority of U.S online consumers still rely on their main computer (either a laptop or a desktop) to perform serious online tasks, such as shopping, banking, or booking travel -- even when they have access to a smartphone or a tablet.”
Engaging with social media is the only activity where tablet owners are equally likely to use their tablet or their mobile phone. Even then, the laptop remains the No. 1 device of choice, Sverdlov notes. She also found that social activities have become so dominant that they are actually cannibalizing other online activities.
According to Forrester's 2012 Technographics surveys of over 58,000 U.S. online adults, 70% now visit social networking sites regularly, while 59% watch video from other users -- 12 and 11 percentage points more, respectively, than just two years ago.
Online activities that have “dipped” this year include posting to photo-sharing sites or adding labels or tags to online photos, as both activities can now be done on social networking sites.

Buying tablets for business? The iPad or Windows RT dilemma

ZDnet reporting:
The floodgates are almost open - we can buy Surface tablets running Windows RT today, and very soon we'll be able to buy Windows RT tablets from the other vendors.
Question is - if you're buying them for business, which one do you buy?
Buying for yourself
Let's say you have $600 burning a hole on your pocket and you're desperate to buy a tablet today to take into work, BYOD-style. What do you buy?
I'd love to say to you "buy a Windows RT tablet -- such as Surface", but I can't. You should buy an iPad. It's pretty difficult to be disappointed buying an iPad, especially when you consider quality, reliability, and availability of apps.
We're not going to know about the quality and reliability of Windows RT devices for months. We need actual humans to be using both the Surface device and those from Microsfot partners in order to make a judgement and allow problems to shake out. Similarly with apps, the count is not great at the moment -- 4,326 apps globally is all you get to choose from. And, although it's easy and glib for me to say, most that are there are pretty rubbishy. (Expect a deeper dive into this topic soon.) This will get better, but it's just getting started.
Buying for a business
Oddly though, if you need to buy fifty, a few hundred, or a even several thousand tablets to give to staff, it might make sense to move on Windows RT rather than iPad. Maybe don't sign the PO today, but soon.
Let's break it down.
Starting with the hardware, there's unlikely to be much difference between the iPad and any of the Windows RT devices. Weight, size, and battery life will all come in roughly parity. (It's not like Apple are actually using magic over there -- they might be good at managing a supply chain, but it's still a 2012-era company building kit with 2012-era technology.)
I don't think buying Surface devices for business is a good idea. If I were buying hundreds or thousands of units of anything I wouldn't buy it from a vendor with no track record. Lenovo, Dell, Toshiba, et al -- they all know how to deliver working kit and keep it working in the enterprise. Microsoft is totally new to this game......

Newsweek goes only digital

Tina Brown writing for Huffington Post:
After 80 years in print, the newsmagazine adopts an all-digital format.
We are announcing this morning an important development at Newsweek and The Daily Beast. Newsweek will transition to an all-digital format in early 2013. As part of this transition, the last print edition in the United States will be our Dec. 31 issue.
Meanwhile, Newsweek will expand its rapidly growing tablet and online presence, as well as its successful global partnerships and events business.
Newsweek Global, as the all-digital publication will be named, will be a single, worldwide edition targeted for a highly mobile, opinion-leading audience who want to learn about world events in a sophisticated context. Newsweek Global will be supported by paid subscription and will be available through e-readers for both tablet and the Web, with select content available on The Daily Beast.
Four years ago we launched The Daily Beast. Two years later, we merged our business with the iconic Newsweek magazine—which The Washington Post Company had sold to Dr. Sidney Harman. Since the merger, both The Daily Beast and Newsweek have continued to post and publish distinctive journalism and have demonstrated explosive online growth in the process. The Daily Beast now attracts more than 15 million unique visitors a month, a 70 percent increase in the past year alone—a healthy portion of this traffic generated each week by Newsweek’s strong original journalism.

DiViA: Markkinointibudjetista alle prosentti mobiilimarkkinointiin

M&M reporting:
DiViA-foorumin mukaan yritykset näkevät mobiilimarkkinoinnin haasteiksi muun muassa pulan osaavista ihmisistä.
Useimmissa yrityksissä mobiilimarkkinoinnin budjetti on vielä alle prosentin koko markkinointibudjetista, kertoo Mobiilimarkkinoinnin barometri.
Aalto University Executive Educationin digitaalisen liiketoiminnan foorumin DiViA:n julkaiseman barometrin mukaan yritykset pitävät mobiilimarkkinoinnin haasteina ajan riittämättömyyttä, pulaa osaavista ihmisistä sekä integrointia muihin järjestelmiin.
Tutkimuksen mukaan asiakkaat käyttävät palveluja ahkerammin kuin miten yritykset tarjoavat niitä. Mobiilimarkkinoinnin barometriin vastanneista yrityksistä 63 prosenttia kertoo, että asiakkaat kysyvät mobiilipalveluja.
Tutkituista yrityksistä mobiilipalveluja tarjoaa asiakkailleen 38 prosenttia. Tämän lisäksi 27 prosenttia yrityksistä parhaillaan kokeilee tai suunnittelee palveluja. Yleisin palvelu perustuu mobiiliverkkosivuihin, joita tarjoaa nyt noin kolmannes. Vuonna 2011 vain joka kuudes tarjosi mobiiliverkkopalveluja.
Yleisimmät mobiilipalvelut liittyvät verkkokauppaan ja mainontaan sekä asiakaspalautteen keräämiseen. Jatkossa yritykset aikovat lisätä panoksia QR-koodien hyödyntämiseen, kampanjointiin ja sosiaaliseen mediaan. Tableteille räätälöidyt palvelut eivät ole vielä nousseet kärkeen.
Valtaosa, 94 prosenttia mobiilipalveluja tarjoavista yrityksistä kertoo kasvattavansa palvelutarjontaansa seuraavan 12 kuukauden aikana.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

What Publishing in the Social Age Looks Like

digiday reporting:
Paul Berry knows a thing or two about content on the Web. As the CTO at The Huffington Post, Berry was credited with developing the company’s SEO and social network tools. Now he’s trying to replicate his success at RebelMouse, a content-management system built for the social world.
RebelMouse connects your social networks to create a dynamic homepage that changes as you add tweets, status updates, Instagram pictures, Tumblr reblogs. It takes the content from your feeds but also lets you publish straight from the platform. In a way, it’s like a social aggregator, but you can add content, edit headlines and position stories where you want them to reside.
What’s the biggest challenge publishers face in today’s landscape?
Tech is a difficult one to get right. Publishers are struggling more than they need to or should be. The future is that, and this is where RebelMouse falls into place; you should be able to work on your voice, work on your writing and community and engagement. I don’t think you should work so hard on failing on your tech. There are more solutions to make level ground. People are dying to read and engage on the voice. Publishers that are doing well are the ones finding and expressing their voice. The ones that struggle struggle with tech and being objective built in their DNA. The world isn’t more interested in being objective and more interested in being clear about their voice.
Why is being objective bad for a social era?
The way we consume news is changing drastically and we are accustomed to getting to the source of any story almost if not literally at the same time as we get to the story itself (photos from the Hudson crash, etc). So the reporting of the factual events has been commoditized and crowd sourced. What people want now is to follow voices that resonate with their world view to enjoy and engage with the events that are happening in a way they like. This is part of why blogging was and is so vital to The Huffington Post, because it was someone’s voice that they could attach a name to. Very small groups of reporters in big news organizations are gaining more followers on social networks than the organizations themselves. I believe a larger “objective” is possible and perfect for a social world where strong views and voices from opposing sides are curated together to show as many views of the object through as many quality lenses possible.
How does a publisher find the balance between creating its own technology and using a third party?

MPA: Advertisers, Content, Audience All Up Since 2010

Folio reporting:
With a renewed focus on the digital side of publishing, the Association of Magazine Media (MPA) released data showing a 57-percent increase growth in the number of brands advertised since tablets first entered the marketplace in 2010.
The study, conducted by Kantar Media, reveals that 5,413 new brands started to advertise with magazines since the first half of 2010, including 3,374 that have done so at least partially on tablets.
Content has grown exponentially over that time as well, driven by the introduction and proliferation of mobile devices. Tracking by McPheters & Company i-Monitor shows that almost 10 times the amount of apps are now available when compared to Q3 2010. MPA's own research from the week of October 1, 2012 says that 66- to 86-percent of the highest-grossing iPad apps in the Lifestyle, Health & Fitness and News categories were developed by magazines.
Total audience has increased also--4 percent in the last year--albeit at a slower rate, according to GfK MRI research.

Gannett announces rise in circulation revenue, driven by paywalls

Poynter reporting:
Net operating revenues from print circulation were up 5.6 percent in the third quarter of 2012 over the same period the year before, Gannett announced Monday morning. Seventy-one of Gannett’s newspapers now have a paywall. The gains nearly offset the decline in print advertising, which was down 6.6 percent. Digital advertising was up 4.7 percent, “due primarily to revenue growth at CareerBuilder,” the earnings report says.
Digital “now represents more than 25 percent of total revenues,” CEO Gracia Martore said in a statement accompanying the earnings release. At USA Today, digital revenue was up 69.7 percent; and unique visitors to USA Today’s mobile sites were up 79 percent in September. Overall, net operating revenues from publishing were down 3 percent.

“The impact of the all access content subscription model as well as an increase in digital advertising and marketing solutions resulted in a 64.6 percent increase in digital publishing revenues,” the company’s release says. “Digital revenues at our local domestic publishing operations were 76.0 percent higher due primarily to the all access content subscription model.”

Social Moms Lead the Way to Mobile

emarketer reporting:
Moms more likely to own smartphones, tablets compared to general consumers
According to a new eMarketer report, “The Mobile-Social Mom: Speeding the Trend Toward 'Mobile First',” if you want to know who is moving over to mobile social media, look no further than mom. eMarketer estimates that as many as half of all moms with children under 18 in the household will use mobile devices to access social networks in 2012.

Moms are on the leading edge of a behavioral shift that has marketers and social networks scrambling. They may soon become the first demographic group who will use the mobile phone or tablet more often than the computer to access social networks.
The change is happening due to a number of factors. Moms are highly likely to own one of these mobile devices. February data from Arbitron and Edison Research found that 61% of total US moms surveyed owned a smartphone in 2012, ahead of the 44% of total consumers who owned one.
Read more at http://www.emarketer.com/Article.aspx?R=1009417&ecid=a6506033675d47f881651943c21c5ed4#KOWOJuEIjTg4YBQr.99

Customers Respond to Sites Whipped into Mobile Shape

emarketer reporting:
The shift to mobile may seem to have happened overnight, but that doesn’t mean that consumers are cutting retailers any slack when it comes to adapting to the mobile web. According to a July 2012 survey of US adult smartphone internet users conducted by market research and consulting firm SmithGeiger and Sterling Research on behalf of Google, about two-thirds of respondents said they were more likely to purchase something from a mobile-optimized site, while three-quarters said they were more likely to make a return visit to the site.
Consumers’ desire for mobile-friendly sites stretched across pretty much all verticals. But its use was often closely tied to obtaining information about physical business locations—the first or second most important task identified by consumers in all industry categories was getting directions to a store or obtaining store hours.
Retail customers were no exception to these behaviors—74% of smartphone users named obtaining the location or operating hours of a physical store as their most important mobile retail task. That was followed by contacting the store (64%), getting information about products (61%) and then making an online purchase (50%).

Unsurprisingly, travelers using the mobile web expressed a desire to get information about the details of their trips. Almost eight in 10 surveyed used their device to check on the status of a flight.
Read more at http://www.emarketer.com/Article.aspx?R=1009416&ecid=a6506033675d47f881651943c21c5ed4#yCm5McYu0jUM884m.99

Monday, October 15, 2012

HTML5 vs. Apps: Why The Debate Matters, And Who Will Win

Business Insider  reporting: HTML5 is a new technology that allows developers to build rich web-based apps that run on any device via a standard web browser.
Many think it will save the web, rendering native platform-dependent apps obsolete.
So, which will win? Native apps or HTML5?
A recent report from BI Intelligence explains why we think HTML5 will win out, and what an HTML future will look like for consumers, developers, and brands.
Access The Full Report By Signing Up For A Free Trial Today >>
Here's why the Apps-vs-HTML5 debate matters:
  • Distribution: Native apps are distributed through app stores and markets controlled by the owners of the platforms. HTML5 is distributed through the rules of the open web: the link economy.
  • Monetization: Native apps come with one-click purchase options built into mobile platforms. HTML5 apps will tend to be monetized more through advertising, because payments will be less user-friendly.
  • Platform power and network effects: Developers have to conform with Apple's rules. Apple's market share, meanwhile, creates network effects and lock-in. If and when developers can build excellent iPhone and iPad functionality on the web using HTML5, developers can cut Apple out of the loop. This will reduce the network effects of Apple's platform.
  • Functionality: Right now, native apps can do a lot more than HTML5 apps. HTML5 apps will get better, but not as fast as some HTML5 advocates think.

Will hyperlocal content save us? Not by itself

We’ve been raised on the belief that good audience segmentation drives good marketing and good results. Add to that the feeling that local markets and local advertising might have weathered the economic trends better than others ... at least to a degree.
Together, this leaves us agreeable to the statement made by many that “hyperlocal” content will drive engagement.
At the INMA Audience Summit in Chicago in early October, we heard two speakers underscore the idea that hyperlocal isn’t the end in itself. Rather, it’s hyper-relevance — wherever that happens to be geographically.
  • Matthew Sanders, general manager of Deseret Connect, spoke about an audience development road map that spans platforms at Deseret News. He was the first speaker of the two days to comment that hyperlocal won’t deliver the promised results if we don’t make it hyper-relevant.

    As Deseret Connect takes its reporting on issues of family and faith national and global, it’s moving from local to relevant, yet keeping the hyperfocus. This strategy’s success is illustrated by the fact that the Deseret News Sunday national print edition is the fastest growing U.S. newspaper.

  • On the second day, Paul Hood, digital director of Archant London, shared the success of London24.com. Paul took the audience through a wonderful turnaround story of 14 hyperlocal publications — so hyperlocal, in fact, that if something didn’t physically happen in the publication’s town, it wouldn’t be published, even if the news was made by the Queen.

    London24 created a forum for the integration of hyperlocal and hyper-relevant. Yes, residents wanted their local news, but it wasn’t enough to drive engagement. London24 increased the relevance by adding topics of keen interest to readers across markets.
read more: http://www.inma.org/blogs/value-content/post.cfm/will-hyperlocal-content-save-us-not-by-itself#ixzz29NL07rwI

EveryBlock President: Economics of Hyperlocal Editorial ‘Broken’

Street Fight reporting:
Between Patch’s beta redesign, NextDoor’s big funding round in the spring, and the Guardian’s hyperlocal news project, N0tice, continuing to expand in the U.K., the hyperlocal news landscape appears to be converging on the idea that hyperlocal information needs to be social. Meanwhile, adding to noise in the local content space, the Journatic scandal in the early summer thrust a set of new hyperlocal plays into the spotlight, raising questions about the sustainability of models which looked to data and technology to replace the heavy costs of editorial content. While the trend line appears to be pointing to a model founded in social, the role of data in editorial, and user-generated content remains very much up for debate.
EveryBlock, one of the earliest entrants in the hyperlocal data space, rebooted in 2011 after being bought by MSNBC.com in 2009. The pivot shifted the product’s focus away from its roots in data aggregation toward a more interactive product centered largely around user-generated content. This past summer saw some major changes for EveryBlock’s management — NBC Universal acquired MSNBC.com; meanwhile, EveryBlock founder Adrian Holovaty announced he was leaving the company in late August.
We caught up with EveryBlock’s president, Brian Addison (who will be appearing at the Street Fight Summit in two weeks), to discuss the state of the space, and the role of data, editorial and user-generated content in the future of hyperlocal news.
While data was at the core of our product when EveryBlock first launched, we found, over time, that it kind of has a niche appeal. In a way, we need to return to the question of what consumer need are we trying to address with this data? How much value do we as a reader place with that type of information? With EveryBlock, some of our users value that, almost raw, data. And it drives more value if you put some editorial around it. But for us, data still plays an important role in what we do but we’ve shifted our focus from the aggregation and organization of that data to a set of community features that have driven our growth from our redesign about a year and a half ago.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

The newsonomics of near-term numerology

NiemanJournalismLab reporting:
Think about this. The Tampa Tribune, a paper that would have been worth hundreds of millions of dollars a decade ago, sold this week for $9 million.
Its seller, Media General completed the disposal of its newspaper properties, a movement that’s been celebrated by investors, with MEG moving up about 18 percent in the past month, quadrupling the S&P 500 performance for that period.
The easy answer would be that MEG is now a broadcast company. But wait — other newspaper-dominant stocks are way up, too. You can buy whole newspapers for the cost of mansions, and yet newspaper shares are going up.
Metro newspaper publishers tell you that next year will be still another down year for advertising, Yet some of those who peer into the future, estimating ad spend for the next several years, say they expect it to finally flatten out.
Numbers, numbers, numbers. Many are in motion, as the varying moves of Advance print reductions, Warren Buffett’s warm community print embrace, Doug Manchester’s blast-from-the-past San Diego moves, Aaron Kushner’s print-is-king Orange County Register foray, and adoptions of paywalls and marketing services as new revenue streams sweep across the country.
Let’s try to make a little sense of this cavalcade of numbers and see what they tell us about 2013, as we do a little news numerology.
Let’s look at revenues first. Look at the advertising forecasts of everyone from Borrell Associates to eMarketer and find a surprise: Basically, they’re flattening.
Follow the long squiggle downward of print advertising through 2012 — 18% decline in 2008, 28% decline in 2009, 8% decline in 2010 and 9% in 2011 — and then flat to more mildly downward. Why? Gordon Borrell, the long-time tracker of the digital disruption of the press, says the main reason is that things are looking up at smaller papers...

Book Buyers Would Prefer Free Books With Advertising to Paying, Survey Says

dbw reporting:
According to a recent survey, nearly half of U.S. book buyers would prefer free e-books supported by advertising than to pay even $0.99 for an e-book.
The survey was conducted among 5,000 people in the U.S. and UK by eBookPlus, a company that calls itself a “pioneer” in the “sponsored e-book market.”
According to the survey, in the U.S.:
– 45.7% of readers prefer free e-books with advertising (a 15-second pre-roll at the beginning of chapters)
– 20.8% prefer to pay $0.99 for an e-book without advertising
– 9.1% would pay up to $2.99 for a version without advertising
– 10.3% would pay up to $19.90 for a version without advertising
– 14.1% would prefer to download a pirated version
More survey results and the company’s announcement below:
Ebooks for 99 cents or free with advertising: which do readers prefer?...

Login with Facebook to see what your friends are reading Enable Social Reading i Craig Kanalley Craig Kanalley Senior Editor, Big News & Live Events, The Huffington Post GET UPDATES FROM Craig Kanalley The Problem With the Media's Social Media Addiction

HuuffPo reporting:
Earlier this year, a study found that social media is more addicting than alcohol and cigarettes.
Addictions can be dangerous. They can threaten our relationships with others and overall well-being. No one is more addicted to social media right now than the media.
Arianna blogged about this in March, when she wrote that the media's obsession with social media had reached "idol-worshipping proportions."
I'd argue the addiction has only gotten stronger, as journalists live tweeted seemingly every word of the first presidential debate last week, helping set a new record for volume of tweets in the process. Because you know the world needs a thousand journalists tweeting the same line at the same time.
Let's take a step back. Five years ago, the role "social media editor" was unusual. Now, it's common; Columbia University's Sree Sreenivasan has compiled a list of them. But will the position exist five years from now? Liz Heron isn't so sure.
Fact is, if you're a journalist, and you don't use Twitter or Facebook, you're a rare breed these days.
Now, that alone is not such a bad thing. To the contrary, it allows for so much good. These tools enable us to easily connect with others, engage with them, and distribute the work that we do. And, really, we have to be there. That's where our readers and viewers are.
The problem lies in over-reliance on social networks, obsession with them, and over-dependency.
It's troubling for several reasons.
(1) Forgetting What Journalism Is About: First of all, what about good old-fashioned journalism?
Crowdsourcing is great, and tapping into the power of social networks is wonderful, but does it equate with interviewing people on the phone, or better yet, speaking face-to-face?
Can 140 characters alone tell an effective story?
Can social media compete with being at the scene yourself, witnessing news happening firsthand? Can it conduct in-depth investigations?
Social media newsgathering can enhance our journalism, but it cannot entirely replace it. It can help us add context. It can personalize the personalities behind the news (these are real people!). It cannot fact-check and verify information in real-time. (Update: Some people have called me out on this last sentence; they disagree. They have a point. Social media can and does self-correct itself over time. But instant fact-checks do require some good old-fashioned research from human beings.)
(2) Losing Sense Of Reality: Social media also puts us in a bubble. Not everyone uses social media, even if we'd like to believe they do...

Digital first isn’t an option for media — it’s the only way forward

gigaom reporting:
Everywhere you look in the traditional media industry, you can see signs of turmoil and disruption: to take just a few recent examples, the New York Times is fighting with its union over cutbacks to benefits, The Guardian is looking at forced layoffs to cut costs, and the Journal Register Co. recently filed for bankruptcy for the second time. And yet, there are still some industry leaders who question whether newspapers and other outlets should be focusing on “digital first,” something that journalism professor Paul Bradshaw argues is a waste of both time and energy, at a time when the industry needs those things the most. He is right — the question isn’t whether digital should be first, it’s whether those who aren’t focusing on “digital first” will even be around to participate in the debate for much longer.
The bankruptcy filing by the Journal Register Co. seems to have sparked a lot of the recent dissent over the issue, if only because the chain of daily and weekly papers had been the poster child for digital initiatives at parent company Digital First Media — including a restructuring of management to focus on the web and innovative projects such as an open “community newsroom.” To some, the financial failure of the chain looks like a failure of the entire digital-first philosophy, despite the fact that Digital First CEO John Paton has explained the Journal-Register’s troubles are based more on legacy costs such as printing contracts and pension obligations for past employees.

To take just one example, Bradshaw notes that industry magazine Editor & Publisher carried an editorial on Monday that questioned whether focusing on digital first is the right road to success, since even the Journal Register Co. couldn’t seem to make it work:
“[F]or all the hype about embracing digital platforms, the constant drum beat of new projects, and the relentless self-promotion, digital first wasn’t enough to keep JRC from sinking back into bankruptcy, leaving other publishers wondering, ‘If digital first won’t work, what will?’”
This kind of attitude shows a profound misunderstanding of where the newspaper industry is, and how it needs to move forward. Like virtually every other mainstream paper and magazine publisher — many of whom are likely fighting desperately to stave off a similar filing — the Journal Register’s biggest problem is that while its print business is still producing the lion’s share of its revenue, that figure is shrinking rapidly. And even though most executives in the industry seem to appreciate that digital has to come first, the revenue from that business isn’t picking up the slack. This is the “digital pennies for analog dimes” problem.

Danish TV audience measurements to include multimedia viewing

research. reporting:
The Danish National TV Steering Committee has said it will add measurement of TV viewing on PCs, smart phones and tablets to its existing Kantar-delivered television audience measurement (TAM) service next year.
The committee, which comprises DR, TV 2, Viasat, SBS TV, Discovery, Turner Broadcasting System and Viacom International Media Networks, will deploy Kantar Media’s VirtualMeter technology within panel households.
Mette Lehrmann, head of research at TV 2 and chairman of the TAM steering committee, said: “As broadcasters we wanted to ensure that the industry continues to receive audience figures of the highest quality capturing viewing habits of the Danish population. This enhanced service will measure TV content on PCs, smart phones and tablets, ensuring audience measurement in Denmark is fit for the future.”

In self-publishing push, Amazon expands Kindle Owners’ Lending Library to Europe

paidcontent reporting:
Amazon is expanding the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library, which allows Prime members who own a Kindle device to borrow one ebook a month for free, to the United Kingdom, Germany and France later this month.
Amazon launched KOLL in the United States last November with a library of about 5,000 traditionally published titles — some of which weren’t included with the publishers’ permission but, rather, were purchased by Amazon at the wholesale price each time a user borrowed one. This caused a controversy that has since subsided as KOLL has primarily become a vehicle for self-published authors to promote their books: Amazon opened it up to self-published authors in December 2011 through a program called KDP Select, and the library now contains over 200,000 titles, nearly all of them self-published. Authors are paid out of a fund each time their ebook is borrowed. (In exchange for including books in the KOLL, self-published authors must sell them exclusively through Kindle for a period of at least 90 days.) All seven Harry Potter ebooks are also available through the KOLL in English, French, Italian, German and Spanish.
It is unclear how many people in Europe will be eligible to borrow ebooks from the KOLL. Amazon has not released Prime membership numbers in any country, but it seems safe to assume that there are fewer members of “Amazon Premium” in the UK, France or Germany than there are in the United States, and fewer still who own a Kindle. But the expansion of the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library to Europe comes at a time when Amazon is heavily promoting its self-publishing capabilities on the continent. At the Frankfurt Book Fair this week, Amazon has been holding daily sessions for international audiences about how to self-publish their books on Kindle.

For politically playful news orgs, the 2012 election means social interactivity

NiemanJournalismLab reporting:
Wanna make your own over-the-top Bobby Newport-style political attack ad?
PBS NewsHour is on it. This week it launched Ad Libs 2012, an interactive feature that has you pick quotes and photos from your own Facebook profile and cobbles them together in an attack ad against yourself.
The idea is to engage voters by highlighting some of the oldest campaign-ad tricks in the book: Roiling storm clouds, ominous voiceovers, out-of-context quotes, and so on. As you build your campaign ad, PBS NewsHour features links to various historical ads, pointing out tactics used to denote negativity. Check it out:
Plenty of other organizations have found ways to use Facebook for election-related games. Over the summer, MTV launched Fantasy Election ’12, in which players pick teams of presidential and congressional candidates who get points for honesty, polling well, and social media engagement. Honolulu Civil Beat created its own civics-oriented Facebook game, Our Hawaiian Spring, with a goal to encourage voter turnout in Hawaii, where it’s the lowest in the country. (Disclosure: I’m a contributing reporter at Civil Beat, where I used to work full time.)
After the vice presidential debate last night, The Guardian introduced a feature called “Spin It!” which is kind of like a politically-themed digital version of magnetic poetry. It lets you select words from Joe Biden and Paul Ryan quotes to form misleading sentences.
Politically oriented or not, the team over at BuzzFeed often finds ways to interact with readers. Recent example: Make Your Own Paul Ryan Photoshoot. That project skews goofy where other news organizations go a bit wonkier, but the idea is the same: Bring people together to play in the election space.

The merging of storytelling and interactivity in advertising

guardian reporting:
It used to be that storytelling and interactivity were enemies, pretty much like the web was a potential threat to print and TV. Decades after the first choose-your-own-adventure books, console games such as Metal Gear Solid proved that you could put a lot of emotion into interactive storytelling. Online experiences such as Requiem for a Dream showed us how you could experience a loose narrative using your mouse, and interactive films such as Being Henry proposed an intuitive way to add interactivity to live action narrative. During the past few years, as TV loses advertising revenue to the web, there has been a surge of interactive live-action online content. Brands are embracing it wholeheartedly, but I can't help feeling we have only seen the tip of the iceberg.
Merging live action narrative with interactivity can be very entertaining indeed. You can compress all kinds of genres into a few minutes of intense experience, initiate unexpected twists and create the illusion that the content is endless. By putting the user in the driving seat, we have a vested interest in how the story turns out.
But is that all interactivity can do? By merely recounting of the possibilities of the media and devices around us, that answer is really obvious. For starters, you can measure, document, share and compare your experience with everyone else's. In addition, we are dealing with a totally different audience, one that has an increasingly shorter attention span and is constantly on the move. However brilliant our interactive story may be, if it is just about entertainment it might not be essential to a lot of people. With the first opportunity, our users drop out and are off to do something else – there is plenty of choice.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Mobile ads are booming, with more sales and more investment

paidContent reporting:
UK media outlets have more than doubled their take from mobile advertising over the last year.
Half-year mobile ads revenue boomed by 132 percent year-on-year to £181.5 million ($290 million), comprising seven percent of all digital advertising outlay, according to new figures from PwC for Internet Advertising Bureau.
Sales from display, video, SMS and MMS advertising on mobiles grew by 91% to almost £50 million, whilst those from mobile search grew by 152 percent to £131.6 million.
That means, just like on the desktop web, search ads, make up the majority of ad spending (72 percent).
Underlining the growth, more investment was announced in mobile advertising firms over the last couple of days…
  • Location-aware click-to-call advertising facilitator Freespee is taking €3.3 million ($4.2 million) from Sunstone Capital, Inventure and others to expand its London HQ and Uppsala, Sweden, development centre.
  • Just yesterday, Samba Mobile, which gives users free mobile SIM or dongle credit on the 3 network in exchange for watching video ads, raised a second angel investment round, bringing its total to almost £1 million ($1.6 million).
Taken together, the rise in mobile advertising may suggest a slightly more free future for consumer mobile content.

Around the world, no set rules for ebook pricing or digital reading

paidContent reporting:
Which ebook trends are global and which are country-specific? Execs from Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Google, French retail chain FNAC and India’s Indiaplaza discussed similarities and differences at the CEO panel Wednesday afternoon at the Frankfurt Book Fair…
“Customers are going to pay for value. In the long term, we’re going to see ebooks worth something,” Michael Serbinis, CEO of Kobo, said. “We see a very healthy business.” As for changes in pricing models, “we just see them as fluctuations in this long-term evolution.”
Jamie Iannone, president of digital products at Barnes & Noble, agreed that “for quality works, customers are really willing to pay for ebooks”. “We [and publishers] have been sensitive to the value of the book,” he said, adding: “Even people that buy ebooks still read a lot of physical books – (which is) very different from other industries.”
Santiago de la Mora, director of print content partnerships for Google in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, said ebooks are just at the beginning of adding “tremendous additional value relative to the print book.” He mentioned functions like translations, locations, definitions and highlights (all of which are available in Google’s recently updated Play app for Android). “The ebook is a boon to the industry because, in some cases, it’s an enhanced product [over] print.”
Venkat Valliappan, head of books at Indian e-commerce site Indiaplaza.com, said ebook prices must remain low in India. “[International] publishers sell print books in India at [lower] prices and the same should be true for ebooks,” he said. The volume of Indian customers that international publishers will gain by keeping their ebook prices low “has to be given the utmost importance. That’s why the major publishers have accepted [lowered prices] in the past couple of years,” he said, claiming: “India has bailed out their business at an international level.”
Similarly, booksellers noted differences in the types of devices that consumers are looking for. “Our customers, when they’re frequent readers, just want e-readers. That’s very clear,” said Elodie Perthuisot, director of books at French bookstore chain FNAC. And she said they “don’t hesitate to spend thirty more euros to get the very new device. It’s not a matter of price, it’s a matter of content.
Valliappan, meanwhile, said “the majority of the Indian public are looking for multiple functions, not just an e-reader. E-reader companies should look at multiple functions.”

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

No, giving away the news doesn’t mean lower-quality journalism

gigaom reporting:
A Columbia Journalism Review columnist argues that a free or advertising-supported news model inevitably leads to lower-quality journalism. But there is no reason why ads can’t co-exist with high-quality reporting just as easily as they can subsidize pageview-driven clickbait, despite the CJR’s claims to the contrary.
Amid all the heated debates over whether paywalls and subscription models are the solution to the ongoing disruption of traditional media, one argument resurfaces again and again — namely, that a free or advertising-supported news model is inherently incompatible with high-quality journalism. Dean Starkman, writing at the Columbia Journalism Review, has made this point in the past and reiterates it in a recent post entitled “Facing up to the high cost of free news.” In a nutshell, Starkman tries to make the case that because advertising is based on volume, it encourages low-quality clickbait, whereas subscription models are more compatible with high-quality investigative journalism. But is this true?
Starkman first tackled this idea a few weeks ago, with a post that described how ad-supported media almost inevitably results in what he and others have called “hamster wheel” journalism — that is, a steady stream of click-driven ephemera and cheap pageview-boosting tactics rather than quality reporting. Although the CJR writer maintains in his latest post that he is only raising the question rather than drawing a direct line between the two, it is pretty obvious that he believes the “free” news model is a road to perdition, journalistically speaking:

Rich Media The affluent still love print, but they spend more time online, with apps, games and social networks

The rich are just like the rest of us—they're spending more and more time glued to their screens, according to Ipsos Media CT's 2012 Mendelsohn Affluent Survey. Affluents' time online rose 14 percent in 2012 from 2011, as people spent more time doing things like social networking, shopping, using apps and playing games. The rich still do most of their communicating in person—averaging 13.6 hours per week—but that's declining as their use of electronic platforms becomes more widespread and time-consuming. Sixty-three percent of affluents connect on Facebook in a typical week, averaging 4.7 hours for the period. Twelve percent are on Twitter, averaging 6.8 hours, and 18 percent use LinkedIn, averaging 1.4 hours.

Facebook's Dynamic Creative Ads Lead to More Clicks

Adweek reporting: his past summer, Facebook began letting advertisers retarget its users based on their off-Facebook browsing behavior through Facebook Exchange (FBX). Early results released last month were encouraging, with multiple partners claiming that FBX ads outperformed retargeting campaigns run on other exchanges.
But for FBX’s first couple of test months, companies had to queue up relatively generic ads. Macy’s could run an ad targeting a user that had visited its site in the past, but the retailer couldn’t make sure the ad featured a particular dress that user had just looked at—until recently.
On August 20, Facebook began testing with a number of FBX partners the ability to use their own dynamic creative products on the exchange. The performance of those even more tailored ads best the already outperforming standard FBX ads, according to AdRoll and TellApart, two of the first companies to run dynamic creative through FBX. Retargeting firm Criteo said late last month that it planned to roll out the capability by the end of the year.
AdRoll has more than 100 advertisers running static campaigns on FBX. Five to 10 of them are using AdRoll's Liquid Ads product, which retargets users with ads featuring either the product a user had viewed on an advertiser’s site or relevant products à la Amazon’s product recommendation tool.
“It’s basically a personalized ad solution so that instead of our advertisers having to present the same creative, they can automatically and very efficiently change creative on an individual user level,” said AdRoll president Adam Berke.
Starting last month, AdRoll has been trialing dynamic creative with a handful of clients and alternating the dynamic creative equally with static ads. Since then, AdRoll has seen, on average, a 102 percent higher clickthrough rate (CTR) than the static ads, said Berke. Since FBX ads are bought on a cost-per-thousand-impressions basis, the dynamic ads cut advertisers’ cost per click in half, he said.