N.Y. Times is now supported by readers, not advertisers

The New York Times Is Now Supported by Readers, Not Advertisers

At the company’s big three papers — the New York TimesInternational Herald Tribune, and Boston Globe — print and digital ad dollars dipped 6.6 percent to $220 million, while circulation revenue was up 8.3 percent to $233 million. The historical rebalancing may indicate a sea change in an industry that has long relied on advertising to stay afloat.

 

An interesting fact all by itself. Sending my mind along multiple future paths for the newspaper. Will readership shrink as it goes from free to paid? Can it still be the paper of record if it’s behind a paywall? Are they just forcing freeloading readers to go elsewhere?

It did send me to the Los Angeles Times, San Diego Union-Tribune, and, ironically, to social media for alternate news sources.

Though, I do have a bone to pick with one of the closing statements in the article, “…no longer depend on ad revenue, but must rely more than ever on the whims of the customer.”

I would have thought being free of advertisers to be a positive move. Is this a ‘thing’ in the newspaper industry that readers are so whimsical?

And, why does the New York media always have to insult its readers?

 

Continue reading N.Y. Times is now supported by readers, not advertisers

Have you heard of Social Advertising? — It’s the next big thing in online ads

A possible shift in the advertising landscape?

From an email Jonah Peretti, the CEO of Buzzfeed, sent out to employees and investors:

 

This same lucky shift made our business model work for the first time.  A couple years ago, we were trying unsuccessfully to sell social advertising to a market that only wanted to buy banners but things have changed dramatically since then.  Now many agencies and brands are refusing to buy banners, companies that rely on traditional display units are suffering, and budgets are shifting rapidly to social advertising. One of our board members, who was initially skeptical of our decision to not run banners, recently said that “social advertising will be the biggest media business since cable television.” Times have changed.

 

Which begs the question, what is social advertising?

 

“In social advertising, ads are targeted based on underlying social networks and their content is tailored with information that pertains to the social relationship.” – Catherine Tucker, Cornell

 

“Whereas in traditional, non-social, advertising the ad is targeted based on what it knows about the individual person (cookies) or the individual page (keywords).” – Wikipedia

 

 

Examples of Social Advertising from Facebook, Buzzfeed:

 

Continue reading Have you heard of Social Advertising? — It’s the next big thing in online ads

Foursquare launches promoted updates – now all social networks have ads in your news feed

It’s official, all the social networking sites have started adding “promoted” tweets/posts/places to your news feed. It’s no surprise considering that Twitter, with its “promoted tweets,” recently said it has a “truckload of money in the bank”.

 

Today Foursquare is launching its version of search ads, Promoted Updates.

Promoted Updates operate like Google’s promoted listings or Twitter’s promoted tweets. They are pay-per-action ad placements that only appear when a user is searching for a venue in Foursquare’s Explore tab.

Foursquare determines a user’s current location and check-in history before displaying a Promoted Update. The ads are powered by the same recommendation engine as its Explore feature. All of the paid placements will be clearly labeled at the top of the feed; they can include a store’s recent news, photos or specials.

Foursquare has partnered with about 20 merchants, from small mom and pop shops to national chains like Best Buy, to launch the pilot program. In the next few months, Foursquare hopes to turn Promoted Updates into a self-service tool merchants of all sizes can use on its platform.

 

Keep reading: Business Insider – Foursquare Launches Promoted Updates, Its Newest Effort To Generate Revenue

 

 

Continue reading Foursquare launches promoted updates – now all social networks have ads in your news feed

YouTube is finally making money – lot’s of it!

Is Google making money off of YouTube? You betcha, Google execs told shareholders today, without offering the slightest bit of detail. Par for the course.

So, in lieu of real numbers from Google, here’s a Wall Street estimate: Google is making a ton of money from YouTube.

More specifically: The video site should generate more than $3.6 billion in gross revenue this year, says Citi’s Mark Mahaney. After distributing some of that to partners, Google probably records net revenue of $2.4 billion, he says.

Why is he even more optimistic now?

Basically, because YouTube’s traffic continues to grow, even though it’s already ginormous — comScore has it posting 20 percent growth, quarter after quarter. And because Google is sticking more ads on more videos

His 2012 revenue estimate “is likely 50% greater than Yahoo!’s Display Advertising total and right-in-line with Netflix’s total subscription revenue.”

Via All Things D

Continue reading YouTube is finally making money – lot’s of it!

Dr. Seuss – before his children’s books, he drew great ads

Before we knew him as Dr. Seuss, he was Theodore Seuss Geisel, adman. As early as 1927 he was illustrating ads for Ford, GE and NBC campaigns. His illustrative style was the same, even then.

– Via JESS3

Continue reading Dr. Seuss – before his children’s books, he drew great ads

Universal Music Catalog – just a few years away

With the announcement of Amazon’s new Cloud Player iPhone app, the Universal Music Catalog is one step closer. For years I have dreamed of this Star Trek-like device, where I can find any song I want and listen to it, from anywhere. Preferably this will be an app on a device I already own (smartphone), rather than a new iPod or something.

Though, I would buy an iPod that had the Universal Music Catalog on it.

You may be skeptical but let’s work through this.

First, all three major online music retailers, Apple/Amazon/Google, give you the ability to upload thousands of songs to their cloud for free or at nominal costs. Which means that each of them has the most massive music catalog you can possibly imagine. They also highly promote the “matching” ability of these mega-drives, which means that they probably already have the song you’re uploading so don’t worry, you can just use their copy.

But, if they don’t have your song then they will store a copy on their drive, a brilliant way to continue growing their catalog.

Second, the details here are awesome. Amazon just announced that if you pay $20/year you have unlimited storage space for music. Google offers space for 20,000 songs for free and Apple is charging $25/year for storage of 25,000 songs. This even includes those mixtapes you’ve been carrying around, rare CD’s, and even live recordings.

Yeah, the piracy debate is dead in the water here. Theoretically, one person could pirate 20,000 songs and then upload them to Google for free, with forever storage.

Continue reading Universal Music Catalog – just a few years away

YouTube is dropping in monthly views – but gaining in “engagement”

YouTube is getting smaller in a metric that used to mean everything: views.

Since December, views on YouTube have dropped 28%, and March views are only slightly above what they were a year ago, startling for a site accustomed to breakneck growth.

It’s an intended consequence of the Google-owned site’s shift from…snack-size content to a full-fledged, couch-potato-optimized entertainment destination. At YouTube, the “view” is out and “engagement” is in.

YouTube’s focus has shifted from directing viewers to videos of skateboarding dogs to enticing them into longer, more engaging videos—the kind that are, not incidentally, more appealing to advertisers.

On March 15, YouTube altered its recommendation system to make the time spent with a video or channel a stronger indicator than a click.

“Our goal is we want users to watch more and click less”

It appears to be working. While views have dropped of late, the amount of minutes users spend watching YouTube has grown over the past year by 57%. The average length of a video view has grown a full minute to four minutes in the past year.

via AdAge

 


 
// Photo – Mark Sebastian

Hulu participates in TV’s upfronts – internet television has finally arrived

Just a few years ago Hulu, the online television site, was something of a novelty. A lot of people knew about it and watched it, but it was just another website. That all changes this week as Hulu participates in “upfronts”.

Hulu is in this position because of some staggering numbers:

  • Revenue of $420 million in 2011 (compared to $263 million in 2010)
  • 38 million visitors/month
  • 1.5 billion video ads shown to viewers in February
  • 2 million subscribers for their $8/month service

This all adds up to a gamechanger for the industry. The studio heads who originally created Hulu want to kill it, or at least sell it. They know that it’s taking away viewers from traditional television and offering better advertising:

“On a one-to-one basis, advertising placed on Hulu for our clients was more effective than advertising placed on television for the same programming,” said Steven J. Farella, chief executive at TargetCast TCM.

Additionally, Hulu collects vastly more data on viewers and can offer ads specifically targeted to them.

“Stoking envy among traditional television executives, the Web site collects a trove of data on its users’ preferences in programming and ads.”

At this point, it’s too late for the studios sell or kill it, though they did try all last year. Instead, they are inviting it to the table to see if it can compete on its own. Which means participating in the full cycle of television from pilot episodes, to full series, and selling all that to advertisers.

The most critical point being the “upfronts”:

At a presentation on Thursday in New York, Hulu, will pitch advertisers on original programming in an annual ritual known as upfronts that are typically reserved for cable channels and network broadcasters.

Hulu executives are expected to take the stage to sell advertisers on new series. The executives will also promote the service’s desirable demographic of young viewers who turn to Hulu for popular network sitcoms like “New Girl” and “Family Guy,” available only after they are broadcast on Fox.

So, like Netflix, Hulu is making a push into original series. It has also licensed 13 television shows that will appear exclusively online.

Traditional television is still the dominant game in town, but Hulu and Netflix are at the table now, and they have the internet on their side. With offerings like on-demand, full series at once, mobility, fewer commercials, and lower prices, you can expect all of this to quickly change the balance of power.

 

read more about upfronts at the NY Times

The digital divide – newspapers are completely lost

Online advertising is booming. Already a $32 billion business, advertisers are expected to spend a full $62 billion online in 2016. But news publishers are not poised to cash in on the growth, a report released Monday by the Pew Research Center suggests.

The problem? News publishers’ online advertising products simply aren’t competitive. Most tend to depend on static, un-targeted banner advertisements, making their products less desirable than the highly targeted advertisements offered by the likes of Facebook and Google.

Among the other findings:

  • 21% of ads on an online news site are for the news organization’s own products.
  • By category, the financial industry is the largest spender in online news advertising (18%), followed by cosmetics and toiletries (5%).
  • Most ads are static banner ads. Rich media and video ads are rare.
  • Few legacy print customers are moving to digital

via Mashable

A detailed study that shows newspapers losing $7 from print for every digital $1, without even a sense of how they are addressing a key aspect of that transition. It’s an unfortunate vacuum.

One exec bluntly states, “There’s no doubt we’re going out of business right now.”

via paidContent

 

This unfortunate state of affairs is costing the newspapers $25 billion this year and success stories are rare. One success I was able to find comes the The Atlantic magazine, a much smaller company pulling in $18 million in advertising.