Daily Scroll: Facebook’s Atlas; Chartbeat’s attention measure, N.Y. Times native strategy

29 Sep

Let’s see how long I can keep this up: a daily compilation of important media industry reads. Just keep scrolling until you see something you like, and certainly click through for the full stories.

Facebook’s new people-based ad technology

Facebook’s improved Atlas ad server will be fully unwrapped this week, and one digital advertising CEO called it “marketing nirvana.”
It’s the biggest step in unleashing Facebook’s reservoir of data to deliver ads outside its walls and across apps, the mobile Web and desktop, rivaling the infrastructure of the likes of Google, which has dominated digital advertising for a decade.

“We’re not sharing information with marketers about who you are,” a Facebook representative said.
For now, marketers will be able to target basic demographic data like age and gender, but eventually Atlas could include more interest-based data of the kind already used to target ads on Facebook.

Atlas is just Facebook’s latest ad platform that extends the social network’s reach beyond its own properties to be able to hit Internet users when they are spending time outside its walls.

MORE: Facebook Will Use Facebook Data to Sell Ads on Sites That Aren’t Facebook

The most tantalizing notion I’ve heard this week is that Facebook has talked to Twitter about joining up, and that the idea remains a possibility.

But some smart people I talk to suggest that what’s really at play here is data, not dollars: If Facebook can convince more publishers to let it into their ad business, it’s ultimately going to glean information that will makes its own ads, on its own properties, much more powerful

How Facebook and Google are taking over your online identity

People eventually got sick of carrying a headful of IDs (usernames and passwords) around every time they want for a little stroll online; so in 2008 Facebook and Google said to the others, “Look, let us be your gatekeepers. We can check people’s credentials and let them in for you.” Your Facebook or Google accounts suddenly became passports, giving access to all territories. In return for their service, these identity providers note the details of your comings and goings. It’s like if your government monitored where your passport was and sent you restaurant recommendations.

Between them, Facebook and Google account for over 80% of social log-ins…

The most tantalizing notion I’ve heard this week is that Facebook has talked to Twitter about joining up, and that the idea remains a possibility.

It’s clear why websites and apps use social login. Some 60% of respondents said they had abandoned a purchase on a website or mobile app because it required filling out an online registration form. And nearly two-thirds of respondents said they were likely to use social login on their phones instead of creating a new username of password, suggesting convenience is what drives use.

Chartbeat gets certified to measure attention, tries to move advertising away from clicks and pageviews

Chartbeat CEO Tony Haile says the certification came from the Media Ratings Council, the national standards body that decides what can be used as a currency for advertising in the U.S. After a nine-month auditing process that investigated every part of Chartbeat’s analytics engine, the council said the company is now accredited to measure attention metrics for both display advertising and content.

“But now it’s official — so now, there can be an attention economy, in which both publishers and advertisers buy and sell attention minutes or metrics as a measurement.” -CEO Tony Haile

Chartbeat looks at a variety of factors…But the crucial one is to sense whether someone is actually looking at the page, and it does this by tracking movement or interaction — based on the fact the average user touches the mouse or keyboard at least once every 4.8 seconds.

“This gives brands exactly what they want in a transparent way — they want the attention of their audience, and this gives them that in a completely measurable way. And for publishers, they want to know that they’ve created something valuable that holds people’s attention, and this tells them that.” -Haile

Going native at the Times

“The best way to preserve editorially independent, high quality journalism is to preserve the business model. And I think the idea of branded content that shares a form factor with editorial is a great first step.” -Meredith Kopit Levien, Times advertising chief

The signature development of Levien’s tenure so far, and one that is seen as a key piece of the Times Company’s growth blueprint, has been “Paid Posts,” a digital advertising platform by which brands can purchase explicitly labeled web real estate that resembles Times storytelling. Native is a fast-growing segment of the $43 billion U.S. digital advertising market, with 66 percent of American agencies and 64 percent of marketers as of September 2013 saying they planned to spend on native during the subsequent six-month period…

The most successful campaigns have netted hundreds of thousands of views, said Levien, and the content creation alone, not accounting for media placement, has run Times advertisers anywhere from $25,000 to upwards of $200,000, according to sources familiar with the rates.

But the overall success of Levien’s stewardship will hinge on how effectively she confronts the economic realities that have depleted the Times’ advertising coffers from $1.3 billion a year at their peak in 2000 to around $666.7 million in 2013. With the exception of a 3.4 percent bump in the first quarter of 2013, Times advertising revenues have been in a state of perpetual decline for more than three years, with a 4.1 percent slide to $156.3 million in the second quarter of this year. That includes a 6.6 percent drop on the print side…

“I think you’re gonna see some different things from us than what you’d expect in an advertorial.” -Levien

Ello, Ello? New ‘No Ads’ Social Network Ello Is Blowing Up Right Now

In March a new social network launched promising the opposite business model to Facebook, i.e. not selling ads based on user data and instead relying on, perhaps, paid premium features to keep going. Ello then sunk without a trace until, in the last 24-48 hours or so, activity on the site completely blew up.

(I am https://ello.co/gerick)

The Guardian: Introducing our new live blogs

The new page balances breaking updates with an at-a-glance summary.

Readers who are new to the story or just looking for the last big development should find this a much quicker way of getting up to speed. Each key event can be clicked to jump to the full update in the live feed.

Polish newspaper launches interactive data journalism site

“The text is a comment attached to the data,” said BIQdata editor Vadim Makarenko. “This is a new approach when it comes to media in Poland. A lot of NGOs do it right now, but not media. This was the first website of its kind.”

Digital Media to Take Center Stage at Advertising Week
BuzzFeed, Instagram, Automated Ad Buying to Dominate Chatter at Annual Conference

ZenithOptimedia predicts that Internet advertising will command about 24% of the $523 billion that is expected to be spent on ads around the globe in 2014. This year, for the first time, Internet advertising will exceed the combined share spent on newspapers and magazines, Zenith predicts

One Push Notification Too Many Will Make Consumers Delete Your iBeacon App

“We tried small test groups and found that, surprise, surprise, when the phone buzzes too much, consumers ultimately don’t come back and delete the app. They’re done with it.” -Todd Dipaola, co-founder of inMarket
It turns out message overload arrives quite quickly, according to inMarket, which released a study that found that any more than one beacon push per location was too much.

A report from Adobe said that more than 50 percent of mobile marketers are using iBeacon technology or plan to do so within the next year.

In these early iBeacon test stages, many retailers, brands and marketing agencies are using the beacons to glean valuable insights into shopping behavior.
The marketing can come days or weeks later, Alyssa Meritt, head of strategic consulting at Urban Airship, said.
“This is a tremendous opportunity to learn about consumers, and it can be a tremendous competitive advantage.”

How social media is reshaping news


1. How do social media sites stack up on news?
Roughly two-thirds (64%) of U.S. adults use Facebook, and half of those users get news there — amounting to 30% of the general population.

2. How do social media users participate in news? Half of social network site users have shared news stories, images or vidoes , and nearly as many (46%) have discussed a news issue or event. In addition to sharing news on social media, a small number are also covering the news themselves, by posting photos or videos of news events.

3. How do social media users discover news? Facebook is an important source of website referrals for many news outlets, but the users who arrive via Facebook spend far less time and consume far fewer pages than those who arrive directly. The same is true of users arriving by search. Our analysis of comScore data found visitors who go to a news media website directly spend roughly three times as long as those who wind up there through search or Facebook, and they view roughly five times as many pages per month.

4. What’s the news experience like on Facebook? Our study of news consumption on Facebook found Facebook users are experiencing a relatively diverse array of news stories on the site — roughly half of Facebook users regularly see six different topic areas. The most common news people see is entertainment news: 73% of Facebook users regularly see this kind of content on the site. Unlike Twitter, where a core function is the distribution of information as news breaks, Facebook is not yet a place many turn to for learning about breaking news.

5. How does social media impact the discussion of news events? Our recent survey revealed social media doesn’t always facilitate conversation around the important issues of the day…And Facebook and Twitter users were less likely to want to share their opinions in many face-to-face settings, especially if they felt their social audience disagreed with them.

Can Mobile Rule the Ad World? After early struggles, the small screen may ultimately emerge as the winner

Image: AdWeek

Mobile sales figures at both Facebook and Twitter are soaring, with each enjoying double-digit gains per quarter. Meanwhile, the process of advertising on mobile devices may have just gotten easier. Facebook today will introduce Atlas, which is designed to help marketers track campaigns across smartphones, tablets and desktops. Also this week, Nielsen is expected to pitch the TV networks a measurement tool that will pair mobile views with TV ratings. Google is also set to debut rich media ads for mobile.

And for the first time ever, cable and satellite subscriptions last year declined versus the year prior…

“There’s a big acceleration of millennials expecting content on demand and optimized for any device,” pointed out research guru Jason Dorsey, who specializes in Gen Y. “It would be naïve to say that TV doesn’t reach them, but when looking at how they take in entertainment and information via mobile devices, TV is not where it is at.”

Magazine Metrics Expand Beyond Ad Pages to Digital Monthly report from the MPA will measure 147 periodicals’ reach beyond print

Beginning in October, the MPA will also publish a separate report tracking magazines’ audiences on social media platforms including Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest and Google+. All data will be collected by third-party groups like GfK MRI, Ipsos, comScore, Nielsen Online and SocialFlow.

Apple devices account for majority of internet traffic on smartphones, tablets; Safari is top browser

According to research by Adobe, the majority of US mobile website traffic on smartphones in June 2014 came from Apple devices, with a 54% share. In comparison, second-place Samsung accounted for 24% of visits to consumer-facing entertainment, financial services, media, retail and travel websites during the month. Apple really shined when it came to website traffic on tablets, with 80% of visits.

Why Time is expanding its circle of publisher friends

Time.com, for instance, is in the midst of a traffic explosion, with its multiplatform audience soaring 90 percent to 25 million monthly uniques in the past year, according comScore.

Time has around 30 content partners, from just three or four a year ago.

“We have massively diversified the range of outside contributors to Time,” Edward Felsenthal, managing editor, said. “It’s a way to draw on the expertise that’s all over the company and to reduce duplication. And save money, frankly.”

Time’s partner strategy is likely one reason that Facebook has more than tripled as a source of referral traffic, to 16 percent in the first half of this year, per Omniture.

For now, Time seems intent on keeping its site less porous than others have. The outside content comes from reputable news sources or from contributors it has solicited. Moreover, Time.com doesn’t plan to let the partner content exceed 10 percent of the site’s overall traffic.
“We don’t post anything we haven’t read or asked for or approved,” Felsenthal said.

How Tribune Publishing is evolving its programmatic approach

“Prior to the construct of a private marketplace, it was very difficult for the buy side to identify that premium inventory they were looking for,” Lori Tavoularis, managing director of revenue partnerships, said. Going to a private marketplace “definitely increased the amount of conversations and business we were doing with agency trading desks and with agencies.”

Meanwhile, she said the programmatic effort has helped Tribune attract non-endemic clients that hadn’t advertised with the publisher before, like Kayak and Priceline.
“We have been narrowly focused on our book of business,” she said. “Now, with programmatic, you’re finding that even though someone might not be a traditional advertiser, your audience might be a good match for them. Programmatic and DSPs have kind of changed that.”

How Shane Smith Built Vice Into a $2.5 Billion Empire 2014 Brand Genius winner for media

In the past year alone, Vice Media has launched a full-fledged news division, announced plans for a 24-hour news network and raised $500 million from investors A&E Networks (“It cannot be underestimated their ability to reach a very hard-to-reach audience,” says A&E CEO Nancy Dubuc) and venture capital firm Technology Crossover Ventures.

We want to do three things. We want to make good content, we want to have as many eyeballs as possible see that content, and we want to make money so that we can keep paying to do that content.” -Shane Smith

According to Smith, Vice’s ad inventory is sold out on every platform, including its booming YouTube channel, across the next eight months. “Even when Vice was at its craziest and most zany and salty, we were still 50 percent ads,” says Smith. “I think that the skill lies in getting the brand what they want, which is brand lift, while also getting the content that we want out there, rather than the content that [brands] want or that everybody thinks that they want. Our success lies in finding brands that are sophisticated enough to realize that they should sponsor that content.”


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