Monthly Archives: November 2013

News Corp Reports Revenue Decline

News Corp, the publisher of newspapers including The Times and The Sun, has reported a 2.8% decline in revenues for the quarter ending 30th September 2013 with a decline in advertising being blamed for the decrease.

In the first quarter since News Corp was split into a highly successful entertainment company and a less profitable publishing business earlier this year, the latter’s net income rose from a loss of $83 million last year to a profit of $38 million. However, year-on-year annual sales actually fell from $2.13 billion to $2.07 billion, falling short of the $2.18 billion total predicted by analysts, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Source: www.advanced-television.com/

The news division, whose portfolio includes titles in the US, the UK and Australia, saw advertising fall 12 percent and revenues from circulation and subscription decrease by 6 percent with the Australian papers accounting for the largest decline (a 22% drop in sales).

In response to the results, Robert Thompson, News Corp’s chief executive, was keen to highlight that the company is in a period of transition with the brands’ evolution into digital content providers key to its future: “Our first quarter as the new News was the beginning of a journey in the digital development of the company. We […] are transforming our publishing operations longer-term into multi-platform businesses [and] we are even more convinced the company will thrive as the company becomes more digital.”

Paid websites represent a key part of this strategy – it is now three years since The Times and Sunday Times websites went behind a paywall with The Sun following suit earlier this year. While it has been a controversial approach at odds with that of the highly successful Guardian and Daily Mail sites, News UK argue that the indisputable reduction in visitors is compensated for by the quality of the data they have on their subscribers and, therefore, the level of targeting which they can offer advertisers. However, from Four’s point-of-view, this reduced traffic makes it difficult to reach a sufficient number of people on more niche areas of the site relevant to our clients, such as the Property section.

In addition, News UK has identified the iPad and tablet apps as central to a strong digital offering, with increased functionality and a wider range of creative advertising solutions being planned for 2014. With Tesco’s £119 Hudl tablet tipped to be a strong seller this Christmas, we believe that a presence on apps will become increasingly important to many of our clients in the coming months.

Can Twitter Work as an Ad Medium?

On its first day as a public company Twitter was valued at £19bn. Following its successful stock market launch, Twitter now needs to prove to investors that it can effectively grow its revenue; one medium through which it would do this is advertising.

Source: www.mediatel.co.uk

There are 230 million users globally on Twitter, 76% of which access Twitter on a mobile device. Therefore advertisers are extremely interested in utilising mobile ads. In response to this, Twitter is introducing a new set of targeting capabilities for mobile devices.  Now all advertisers can segment audiences on iOS and Android by operating system version, specific device, and WiFi connectivity. This helps advertisers reach the users most important to them, for example mobile app developers can target users with the necessary operating systems, prompting a new download or re-engagement through an app card. This is something that has previously been successfully operated by Facebook, the main rival of Twitter.

Telco companies can now also promote loyalty and rewards to users on their specific devices. All marketers can focus campaigns on users with device models that are indicative of demographics which align to their campaign goals.

Furthermore there is now the self-serve ad platform to be used by small businesses across the UK. Anyone with a Twitter account and a credit card can now buy promoted tweets and promote accounts; targeted through keywords or interests and followers.

In addition to this, the new segmentation reporting gives advertisers better insights in to the OS versions and specific devices of users engaging with their general campaigns.

Source: www.theguardian.com

So will Twitter be an effective advertising platform? Despite the many advantages of using advertising on social media, the juxtaposed dangers were suitably demonstrated last month on Facebook, when a video showing a human decapitation appeared without warning. This was a disaster for advertisers sharing this content on the same page. Clearly, regulation of content is a difficult and controversial issue to tackle. Twitter has its own pitfalls for companies, for example companies are being warned about Twitter ‘trolls’; who can harm the company’s reputation with unprovoked criticism.

Now that images are allowed, ads appearing in Twitter are much more prominent. This does change the experience for the user. As Twitter pushes for more advertising there is the potential for a backlash from users as they are inundated with adverts. Plans were revealed to widen its advertising to target “every business on the planet”. Although this is brilliant news for small/medium businesses, this may not sit well with some users. Therefore a fine balance needs to be reached to avoid the over-saturation of adverts, on Twitter feeds, driving its users away.

Tackling Tablet Advertising [Guest Blog]

Source: www.iabuk.net

Giles Milner, PR and Marketing Manager at estate agents Chesterton Humberts, offers some learnings from a project to bring the benefits of tablet advertising to the process of selling houses.

I think it is fair to say that the UK property industry, estate agencies included, cannot be considered ‘early adopters’ when it comes to new technology and are very rarely seen at the forefront of cutting-edge marketing.

I have always found this slightly odd, given that the industry has one of the most widely talked about, highly coveted, well publicised, emotive and expensive products on the market: homes. With the majority of the adult population owning one or having aspirations to own a property, the opportunity for online engagement new media in the industry is huge and yet surprisingly untapped.

As print readership continues to decline whilst tablet penetration rockets, with an estimated 30% of the UK population now using one, there is an opportunity to engage with the lost print readership that has migrated to digital versions via tablet versions of those print publications.

Despite the almost unbelievable growth of tablets since the launch of the iPad in 2010, when I took over the marketing team at Chesterton Humberts in 2012 I was struck by how slow both traditional media owners and our competitors seem to have been at embracing the level of interactivity that this platform can offer.

Currently, many media owners’ own technological limitations allow only very limited scope for innovation and interactive elements on their tablet editions and most of our competitors use a relatively flat advert or seem satisfied with ticking the ‘interactive’ box with a basic picture gallery.

Although it was clear that Chesterton Humberts needed to be advertising on this platform, I was reluctant to enter the tablet advertising arena with a ‘standard’ advert and was determined to create something more innovative, more engaging and more fun for readers – demonstrating the extent to which we embrace new technology for the benefit of our clients and setting the bar for other advertisers.

From experience, we know that the majority of people that read the property pages are more interested in the human-interest side of property and looking at pictures of beautiful homes than they are in market comment and traditional corporate advertising. With this knowledge, we decided to create a ‘native’ advert that would fit almost seamlessly within the media content and give readers what they would expect from the editorial element of the publication – the opportunity to explore someone else’s beautiful home, hear directly from the people selling the home (as opposed to the estate agent), learn the history of the property and enjoy some editorial-style, ‘not-on-the-brochure’ bits of information.

With the help of our media buyers, Four Communications, and the digital team at Adnostic, as long as you are on an iPad or using the CHROME browser, you can see the fruit of our efforts here.

Although of course slightly biased, Adnostic consider this one of the best ads they have ever done with Matt White, Creative Director, praising the way “it demonstrates tablet advertising’s capacity for advanced HTML animation and interaction and presents multi-pane content in an intuitive and premium manner”.

The feedback from our clients and the engagement statistics from the advert have so far been very positive, easily out-performing the average ‘flat’ advert, and this has encouraged us to start working on our next advert. Perhaps even more flattering is the fantastic feedback that we have had from the publications themselves, who seem just as excited as us to see this sort of innovation coming through.

For example, Lee Fels, Head of Mobile at The Guardian, notes that the campaign has twice as long an average dwell time as any other interstitial run in November. He went on to praise the way that the app seamlessly included multiple calls to action, noting that “it is easy to include a lot of CTAs into an iPad app, but the skill is to do so without cluttering the beauty of a full page advert delivered on tablet”.

I would love to say that we got everything right first time, but if I did, I would be lying. In reality, there are a few things that we did that we won’t do next time, but these all form a valuable lesson, the learnings from which we will incorporate into our next effort, along with some features and ideas that we didn’t manage to include the first time around so watch this space!

The Growth of Multi-Screening

Source: www.futuremedialab.com

Multi-touch point media campaigns are not a new thing.  Outdoor, print, TV and cinema have long operated hand in hand to enable brands to reach an audience through-out the day, with people interacting with different platforms at different points of the day.  This has changed over the years however, with the introduction of a variety of differing media.  Google announced, in a piece of research in 2012 that 80% of people in the UK’s interaction with media now come through a screen, be it TV, tablets or smartphones for example.

The portable nature of laptops and especially tablets and smartphones has encouraged a dramatic growth in ‘multi-screening’, where an individual interacts with multiple screened devices at the same time (Marketing Week, 2012).  Advertisers too are catching up with this trend with ad campaigns that run simultaneously on multiple screens, designed to drive response by emphasising the brand’s message to a consumers on all of the devices they may be using at one time

The British market has seen an increase in the number of advertising brands seeing benefit in multi-screen campaigns.  Some opt for ad campaigns on TV, along with online and tablet display advertising spots.  However, the most noticeable of interactive multi-screen campaigns have come with the inclusion by advertisers, of links to Twitter feeds on their TV advertising (Hawlins, 2013).  This is done in an attempt to drive social media interaction with a brand which ‘helps organise and steer the conversation’ (Twitter, 2013) on that brand.

Thinkbox reported in 2012 that 72% of TV viewers stay in the room for TV advertising when not multi-screening; while 81% do when multi-screening, meaning that not only are the multi-screening audience more likely to see advertising, the ability to reach them on multiple platforms will increase the impact.

The opportunities to take advantage of the multi-screening audience are also increasing with improvements in targeting technologies.  The technological facility to target specific households by their social demographic grouping and deliver messages to individual screens within that household now exists.  This technology considers all of the devices/screens in a household as part of the same ‘ecosystem’ and delivers ads across each platform accordingly.  19 million households across the UK are currently accessible in this manner. There is significant power to be gained from targeting both the breadwinner and decision makers in a household across multiple platforms simultaneously and for further details on how to take advantage of such technology please contact Four Marketing & Media.

Research of the US media market, undertaken by the Association of National Advertisers (ANA) and Nielsen shows that 20% of media budgets are now ear-marked for multi-screen campaigns.  (WARC,2013).  This trend will also continue to grow, with the sale of tablets predicted to continue to grow dramatically (Lomas, 2013) and the expansion of 4G networks and ever faster broadband connections ensuring smoother online access, delivering an easier route to interaction.  Advertising that takes advantage of the multi-screening phenomenon will therefore increase, given the repetition and strength of message a campaign of this ilk affords an advertiser and the ability it gives these advertisers to wrestle back the share of voice, lost by the divergence of advertisers across multiple screens.