Monthly Archives: October 2013

Digital Ad Spend at an All-Time High

According to the latest IAB Digital Adspend report, advertisers have spent a record six-month high of £3.04 billion online. British consumers spend a staggering one in every 12 minutes online, equating to 43 hours a month!

Fuelled by smartphone ownership reaching 68% of the population in June 2013, mobile advertising now accounts for 14% of all digital ad spend, which grew like-for-like by 127% to £429.2 million in the first half of the year, almost double that for the same period in 2012.

Total mobile display advertising, which includes video, increased like-for-like by 195% to £105.5 million in the first half of 2013 and for the first time, consumer goods has doubled its share in a year to 26.8%.

Another online first, the consumer goods sector overtook entertainment and media, as the biggest spender as a mobile display advertiser, and finance as the biggest spender on the digital display advertising platform.

Research also shows that the tablet ad spend for the first half of 2013 was around the £10.5 million mark, up from approximately £2.4 million for the first half of 2012. This increase in ad spend could be a result of the increase in tablet users – almost one in three consumers in the UK will be using a tablet this year, according to research from eMarketer.

By 2017, the eMarketer estimates that more than half of the UK population will use a tablet device regularly.

One explanation for such a radical increase is the increasing availability of low-end tablet alternatives. Last month, Tesco announced the launch of its own brand tablet, called Hudl, which will retail at £119, a mere quarter of the cost of Apple’s iPad!

Another reason for such an increase could be that as audiences are more accustomed with going online via mobile devices, they are becoming more ‘adjusted’ to using tablets, with the majority of tablet owners still in the 25-54 age range.

UK Tablet Users

Source: www.emarketer.com

Commercial Radio’s Mid-Life Crisis?

Radio

Source: www.mediaweek.co.uk

Commercial radio recently celebrated its 40th birthday – time for a mid-life crisis?

Launched on Monday 8th October 1973, the first legally authorised commercial radio station was LBC, the London Broadcasting Company. After a slow start, commercial radio swiftly picked up with the launch of a number of local radio stations and eventually, national stations, providing new and exciting opportunities for advertisers to reach their consumers.

Over the last decade, there has been a lot of speculation over the future of radio, and whether it can survive amongst the iPods and Spotifys of the 21st Century. The latest Rajar data shows that while weekly reach doesn’t seem to be suffering, users are listening for fewer hours on average per week across almost all commercial stations. This is obviously not great news for the advertiser, as listeners are now exposed to fewer adverts.

But right on cue, radio appears to be going through a mid-life crisis of sorts, with a number of new music streaming services popping up to join the ranks of Spotify and Napster.

Apple Ads

Source: advertising.apple.com

One of the most hotly anticipated is Apple’s new iTunes Radio, which is set to launch in the UK in early 2014, offering a whole new radio experience to listeners. With more than 200 stations to choose from, listeners will be able to skip tracks, purchase songs and even customise stations around their favourite artists, songs and genres.
iTunes Radio is likely to prove attractive not only to consumers, but also to advertisers, allowing creativity and interactivity in ad formats and, most crucially, providing exceptional targeting tools. With registration and media consumption data, advertisers can use insights about listeners’ lifestyle and purchase habits to target with a precision previously unavailable to radio advertising.

Another way iTunes radio is setting itself apart from traditional radio is the frequency of ad breaks. With audio adverts only once every 15 minutes and a video spot every hour, this is fairly minimal compared to other stations; rival streaming services currently play around 8-12 ads per hour, whilst on traditional stations this number rises to 25.

It is currently unknown how much one of these coveted ad spots will cost, but for its recent US launch, the minimum buy-in was reputedly $1m worth of spots, with Apple forming partnerships with McDonald’s, Nissan, Procter & Gamble and Pepsi, giving them exclusivity within their respective industries until the end of 2013.

With the UK launch set for early 2014, brands don’t have long to wait before they can get onto the iTunes airwaves.

It remains to be seen whether iTunes Radio and other music streaming services are set to revolutionise radio advertising, but with year-on-year figures for online and mobile radio listening up 31% and 34% respectively, our radio consumption is clearly moving with the times. As advertising everywhere becomes increasingly digital, it would be a mistake to ignore the new possibilities offered by radio today.

Apple Ads

Source: advertising.apple.com

Climbing the Paywall

It is common knowledge these days that newspaper print is declining as people switch to online alternatives. The rise in the smart phone/tablet market means that consumers now demand up to date, quality news at all hours of the day. What does this mean for the future of news?

Online news, providing rapid access to news content at any time of the day would seem great for consumers, but is it? With declining circulation and readership figures across the industry, the future looks bleak for printed newspapers. News brands’ financial prospects are under threat as revenue for online advertising is not being fully monetized yet. While news brands’ experiment with new business models to try and revive their finances outside of print, the dilution of content reduces the quality of the content published as journalists are being stretched thin. The expectation to write more articles in a shorter time period unsurprisingly impacts the quality of what is being published.

Online News, Newspaper Paywall

Source: www.sprout.nl

The Times and The Sunday Times were the first publishers to adopt the paywall model which is when the consumer pays a subscription fee to access the online content. This was considered suicidal at the time by some; however the model is beginning to flourish with the number of online subscribers increasing 45% between the end of March 2012 and March 2013, to 140,000. Many other rival publishers, including The Sun, have followed suit with the paywall model. Consumers’ paying for their news will ultimately benefit from higher quality service and content as newspapers are able to afford to keep quality journalism a high priority. And besides it is hardly a new phenomenon for consumer to be expected to pay for their news content. What is surprising is how long the idea has persisted that one group of people are paying for printed news, while another group receives the same content for free online.

It seems inevitable for news brands to implement some kind of ‘pay for online content’ system. Chris Blackhurst, content director of the Independent and Evening Standard, believes that it is only a matter of time until all online national newspaper content goes behind a paywall. Studies suggest that this transition will occur over the next three years while 27 per cent of media companies said that they expects significant shift in profit margin increase over the same three year period. There are still unanswered questions and much speculation looming over the pay wall for online content which we will report on as clarity unfolds.