By Mike Walter, VP Strategic ServicesThursday, Feb 28, 2013 9:20 AM EST

In Case You Missed It February 2013

Facebook Sees 23% Mobile Ad Jump in Q4 2012

ClickZ by Mary Lisbeth D'Amico, 1/31/13

Heading off critics who have said that Facebook is not a mobile-first company, the social media behemoth yesterday reported that mobile advertising revenues grew 23 percent in the fourth quarter of 2012.

At its Q4 2012 earnings press conference yesterday, Facebook announced gains in its advertising business of 41 percent over Q4 2011 to total $1.3 billion, or 84 percent of total revenue. Of that, 23 percent was mobile ad revenue, up from 14 percent the previous quarter.

"Today there is no argument: Facebook is a mobile company," said CEO Mark Zuckerberg on the earnings call, pointing out that a year ago those revenues were zero percent.

Overall, Facebook beat analyst expectations with total revenues of $1.585 billion in the fourth quarter, which also includes payments and other fees. Net income was up year on year for the quarter to $548 million, compared to $523 million in the fourth quarter the previous year.

COO Sheryl Sandberg also said that Facebook continues to work on all fronts with brand marketers, direct response advertisers, local businesses and developers. The company said that the use of promoted posts had nearly doubled revenue from local business pages since the beginning of 2012, for example. The posts make it easier for businesses to create and purchase ads directly from their Facebook Page. Facebook Exchange, which claims to give brands access to new, higher-quality sales leads, also served one billion impressions daily since its launch in September.


Digital Ad Spend May Surpass Trad Media In Near Future

MediaPost by Steve McClellan, 3/5/13

A new survey of ad agencies indicates that digital media may eclipse traditional advertising in the near future, with nearly one-third of respondents expecting to spend more on digital than on traditional media within the next three years.  That’s according to a survey conducted by ad transaction processor Strata, which polled nearly 100 ad shops in the fourth quarter.

The survey found that enthusiasm for spot TV and spot radio continues to decline. On a year-to-year basis, the survey found that 40% fewer respondents indicated their clients were interested in spot TV advertising, while 32% were less interested in spot radio. 

According to the survey, print continues its free fall, with agencies indicating that 60% percent of advertisers are less interested in print than they were a year ago.

The outlook for 2013 remains uncertain, per the survey. Half the agencies polled expect their growth in the first half of 2013 to be the sameas the last half of 2012. Nearly one-quarter of the agencies polled see their business decreasing within the same periods.


Mobile Users Shift Alters Web, Facebook Biz

MediaPost by Mark Walsh, 3/8/13

NPD Group today released new findings on the mobile shift, leading companies like Facebook, Google and Pandora to alter their business models as more people consume media on devices.

The research firm said more than a third (37%) of those surveyed use their PC less often or not at all because they are spending more time on tablets and smartphones. Web browsing and accessing Facebook are the top activities people are switching to on mobile.

While people are still using their computers for many PC-centric activities, NPD said tablets and smartphones are gaining ground. Internet browsing is still highest among PC owners, at 75%, followed by smartphones (61%), and tablets (53%).  Facebook use follows the same pattern with PC owners at 63%, smartphone owners (55%) and tablet users (39%).


Half of Tablet and Smartphone Users Are Using These Devices to Listen to Music

NPD Group Blog, 2/11/13

Mobile devices including tablets and smartphones are increasingly being used as portable music players, according to the new Audio Consumption Study from global information company The NPD Group. Forty percent of tablet owners report they use it to listen to music, while 56 percent of smartphone users say they use it for music listening. Among those using the smartphone for music listening, 39 percent said they listen to music at least once a day and half (54 percent) report they are using the device more for music compared with a year ago.

In the case of smartphones, 65 percent of the music users reported using Internet Radio, such as Pandora, while 30 are using on-demand services, such as Spotify or Rhapsody. However, many (60 percent) bring their own music to the device. Tablet owners have a similar passion for using Internet Radio, and half (49 percent) port their own music files to the device.


Safeway Envisions Future Without Print Ads - No. 5 Grocery Chain Says Digital Coupons Gaining in Popularity

AdAge by Natalie Zmuda, 2/22/13

Safeway is doing its best to eliminate print advertising in favor of more personalized digital ads.  The fifth largest grocery player in North America spent $20 million on newspaper ads through November of 2012. That's consistent with 2011, though a big drop off from the $33 million spent on newspaper ads in 2010.

Still, print and free-standing newspaper inserts continue to dominate coupon media, even as digital coupons gain in popularity. Kantar Media found a 46% increase in digital coupon events by consumer packaged goods companies last year, with the trend accelerating as the year progressed.


The Whole Story: Behind The Buzz On Streaming Media

MediaPost by Mike Bloxham, 3/7/13

Streaming video has gained significant attention in recent times as the market continues to grow. This USA TouchPoints analysis looks at the extent to which TV, Movie and Radio/Audio content is streamed in the average week by different age cohorts.

Interestingly, the results clearly show that while the majority of industry buzz is around streaming video, in all age groups analyzed, TV and Movies (individually and combined) were outstripped by the total reach of streaming Radio / Audio.

While this may seem counterintuitive to some, a possible explanation may be a plus of audio content -- it does not require fixed attention or even for the individual to remain in place. Also, Radio and any other kind of streaming can be done on the computer while working on the same device -- whether for the purpose of providing background music, sports commentary or other forms of talk-based content.  Services such as Pandora will also account for some of this sector.


3 Out of 10 Display Ads Are Never Seen by Consumers

ClickZ by James Dohnert,  2/15/13

Three out of 10 display ads were never rendered in-view in 2012, according to a comScore report.  The report found that around six trillion ad impressions were seen last year. ComScore's report also covered 2012 trends in a variety of other markets like mobile and social networking. The 2013 U.S Digital Future in Focus report comes as part of an annual study by the research firm.

According to the report, about 1.4 trillion of all 2012 ad impressions came during the fourth quarter of the year. That figure represents a 6 percent year-over-year increase for the quarter.

Looking to 2013, comScore projects that publishers will begin to better use data to cut down on frivolous display ads. The firm projects that marketers will begin to use more targeted ads and use data that better shows the monetization ability of advertisements.

"2013 is poised to be digital's most exciting year yet as the growing ubiquity of digital platforms presents marketers with nearly endless opportunities to connect and engage with consumers," says comScore CMO and EVP of Global Product Development Linda Abraham.


Living Social Wins a $110 Million Lifeline

BIA Kelsey by Peter Krasilovsky, 2/20/13

Living Social has won a lifeline from some of its existing investors today with a new infusion of $110 Million. The new cash lets the #2 deals company, which has been 31 percent owned by Amazon, proceed after sustaining very large, unsustainable losses. (It isn’t clear whether Amazon participated in the new raise).

The new investment suggests that the investors arent ready to toss in the towel yet on an investment once valued at $4.5 Billion. There is, in fact, a lot for Living Social to grow on. Despite the bad press that has accumulated in the space  including a recent round of layoffs — Living Social has been experiencing revenue growth, with a 32 percent increase in 4Q 2012 over 3Q 2012.


What’s Billboard’s No. 1? Now YouTube Has a Say

The New York Times by Ben Sisario, 2/22/13

What makes a song a hit? In the “Gangnam Style” age the answer often has as much to do with its popularity on YouTube as any other factor.

This week the Billboard Hot 100, the magazine’s 55-year-old singles chart, takes a evolutionary step by incorporating YouTube plays into its formula. The move comes just in time for Baauer’s song “Harlem Shake,” the latest viral video phenomenon, which will make its debut at No. 1 this week thanks to the change.

“The notion that a song has to sell in order to be a hit feels a little two or three years ago to me,” Mr. Werde said. “The music business today — much to its credit — has started to learn that there are lots of different ways a song can be a hit, and lots of different ways that the business can benefit from it being a hit.”

The move is Billboard’s latest step in modernizing the Hot 100, which besides sales and airplay now also incorporates data from streaming services like Spotify. YouTube has taken on an essential role in propelling songs to the cultural forefront, often long before they are picked up by radio programmers.   “We want to measure how much consumption is going on, in whatever form a consumer chooses to consume something,” said David Bakula, a senior analyst at Nielsen.


Nielsen TV Ratings Will Soon Include Viewers Who Watch Online

Wired by Angela Watercutter, 2/21/13

It’s not news — to savvy media viewers, at least — that people like to watch TV online, through a range of devices including consoles, tablets, laptops, and computers hooked up to TVs. Now the television ratings company Nielsen is finally getting hip to the program, announcing today that they plan to expand their definition of “TV” to include viewers watching TV over broadband.

The new definition of a “TV household,” as Nielsen explained to its clients today, is any household with “at least one operable TV/monitor with the ability to deliver video via traditional means of antennae, cable [set-top box] or satellite receiver and/or with broadband connection.” In short, “cord cutters” could one day become Nielsen families.

The ratings firm also did research, said McDonough, into homes that did not fit into the current definition of a Nielsen household and found that while a lot of them had televisions, they were using broadband to stream their content. With more and more people catching up on shows through online services like Hulu Plus, Amazon Prime and Netflix — most of which are available through connected consoles like the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and the Wii — it’s a move that eventually could give a broader picture of how popular a show truly is.

“Nielsen had to do this, of course, because sooner or later business models have to change to reflect how today’s audience really consumes entertainment,” Stewart said in an email to Wired. “Obviously, Fourth Wall Studios, and any other producer of online content, welcomes any tool that gives sponsors a chance to make apples-to-apples audience comparisons between our programs and traditional broadcast television.”


The average radio station booked $137,033 in online advertising last year.

Inside Radio, 2/26/13

Radio took a bigger share of local digital ad spending in 2012, a report by Borrell Associates and the Radio Advertising Bureau finds. It says radio’s local digital dollars grew 22% to $370.7 million last year. That translates to the typical radio station pulling in $137,033 in online advertising. The average cluster made $595,863. Both figures are up about a third from 2011, although Borrell says some stations and clusters netted as much as 32-times those averages. The survey estimates there was a share increase of two-tenths of a point, reversing a three-year trend of radio losing ground to other local competitors. Yet radio’s share of the local digital pie remains small at just 2%. “Among all competitors, it was one of the smallest slices of the pie,” the report says, pointing out the average radio cluster received just 0.47% of all locally spent internet advertising dollars. Pureplay companies like Groupon, Yelp, and Angie’s List took the biggest share at 46%, followed by newspaper with a 24% share and local TV stations with 12%. CEO Gordon Borrell, who has been critical of radio’s slow embrace of digital-only sales.


The Internet is hurting radio's star

San Antonio Express-News by Nolan Hicks, 2/26/13

The ability to stream music from the phone in your pocket — using Pandora or one of its competitors — represents the biggest challenge to commercial radio that the technological revolution has wrought, said Larry Rosin, president of Edison Research, a media research provider.

“(Pandora) is clearly stealing time from commercial radio music stations, primarily among people under 35 years old,” Rosin said, referring to drop-offs in the amount of time people spend listening to radio. “Pandora is more than two-thirds of all Internet radio all by itself.”

While the percentage of the population that listens to radio has remained almost constant during the past decade, time spent listening to the radio consistently has declined by about 15 minutes a year for the past 20 years, said Larry Johnson, senior research consultant for Paragon Media Strategies.

He said the drop has been especially pronounced among younger listeners, who usually are among the early adapters of new technology and services — such as iPods and Pandora. However, he added, there's no clear way to see if those declines have been caused by listeners leaving radio for online streaming services.

A study by the Katz Radio Group provided by Johnson showed that listeners between the ages 18-34 listened to 15.25 hours of broadcast radio every week during spring 2011, while listeners between the ages 35-64 listened to 17.5 hours of radio every week.

In spring 2009, listeners between the ages of 18-34 were listening to almost 15.75 hours of radio a week.

“Digital for us is a tiny portion of our overall listening,” said Brian Lakamp, president of digital at Clear Channel Media and Entertainment. “For us, it's about creating new occasions and using technology to do new things with the radio experience and really doubling down with the relationship that we have with our big brands ... taking the best of radio and using technology to supersize that.”

He said the technology was allowing them to expand their major brands such as KISS FM. And he said that users are responding to the strategy; during the past 14 months, 25 million people have registered to use the iHeartRadio app. Representatives for CBS and Clear Channel also said they view their digital and terrestrial radio services as complementary offerings that don't compete with each other. Instead, they said digital offerings simply made it easier for audiences to listen to their stations where they might not have been able to before.