Archive for March, 2014

Good Bye Daily Candy, Good Bye Web 2.0 – Finally


Just months after giving iVillage notice, NBCUniversal is ditching DailyCandy and Television Without Pity.

“DailyCandy and Television Without Pity were groundbreaking businesses when they launched more than a decade ago,” NBCU said in a statement. Today, however, they “are no longer viable businesses for our company.”

Unlike iVillage, which NBCU said would live on as part of, DailyCandy and Television Without Pity will cease any and all operations on April 4.

A company spokeswoman declined to elaborate on the rationale behind the move — first reportedby Re/Code — but mediocre traffic numbers likely factored into the equation.

This February, Television Without Pity’s domestic audience was down to 100,000 unique visitors from 173,000 in February 2013, according comScore. Year-over-year, DailyCandy’s monthly audience was actually up from 467,000 to 613,000 — but apparently not enough for NBCU executives. (At its peak, DailyCandy’s newsletter also reached millions of inboxes, but comScore does not track those figures.)

The shutdowns are expected to affect nearly 70 employees, but NBCU declined to address their fates on Friday.

For analysts, DailyCandy’s downfall represents the end of an era for Web publishers — and a clear warning for those that fail to continually innovate. 

“It was fun … it was different, and for a while everyone talked about it,” Susan Bidel, a senior analyst at Forrester, said Friday. “But the audience moved on, new products launched to meet that market, and DailyCandy suffered the consequences.”  

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Monday, March 31st, 2014 news No Comments

comScore Releases January 2014 U.S. Online Video Rankings – comScore, Inc


Top 10 Video Ad Properties by Video Ads Viewed
Americans viewed nearly 26.9 billion video ads in January, with SpotXchange Video Ad Marketplace capturing the #1 position with 3.5 billion ad impressions. AOL, Inc. came in second with 2.9 billion ads, followed by Google Sites with 2.9 billion, Live Rail with 2.4 billion and BrightRoll Platform with 2.3 billion. Time spent watching video ads totaled 10 billion minutes, with AOL, Inc. delivering the highest duration of video ads at nearly 1.3 billion minutes. Video ads reached 52.6 percent of the total U.S. population an average of 165 times during the month. Hulu delivered the highest frequency of video ads to its viewers with an average of 81.


Top U.S. Online Video Ad Properties Ranked by Video Ads* Viewed
January 2014
Total U.S. – Home and Work Locations
Ad Videos Only (Content Videos Not Included)
Source: comScore Video Metrix
Property Video Ads (000) Total Ad Minutes (MM) Frequency (Ads per Viewer) % Reach Total U.S. Population
Total Internet : Total Audience  26,907,310 10,041 52.6
SpotXchange Video Ad Marketplace† 3,461,166 1,113 26.9 41.5
AOL, Inc. (including 2,916,947 1,316 19.0 49.6
Google Sites 2,903,087 286 27.3 34.2
Live Rail† 2,418,272 1,023 16.4 47.6
BrightRoll Platform**† 2,298,960 1,098 14.1 52.6
TubeMogul Video Ad Platform† 1,825,644 587 17.3 34.0
Specific Media** 1,354,872 513 9.6 45.3
Hulu 1,173,975 466 80.8 4.7
Tremor Video** 887,532 418 8.5 33.8
Videology† 518,542 245 7.1 23.6

*Video ads include streaming-video advertising only and do not include other types of video monetization, such as overlays, branded players, matching banner ads, etc.
**Indicates video ad network
†Indicates video ad exchange/DSP/SSP 


Monday, March 31st, 2014 news No Comments

drag2share: Eye-Opening Research Behind Billboard Sector


Years ago, measuring viewership of billboards wasn’t what anyone would call sophisticated. Outdoor ad companies hired someone to stand on the street and count the number of cars that drove by their signs.

Times have changed. In an era when Web media outlets employ sophisticated digital measurement tools, the outdoor ad industry is also becoming more high-tech in how it tracks its audience. Billboard companies now utilize an array of different measures to estimate how many people look at a screen, including eye-tracking research.

CBS Outdoor Americas Inc’s debut as a public company on Friday is putting the spotlight on the billboard industry’s growth prospects. CBS Outdoor shares were up 5.4% to $29.51 in late afternoon trading on Friday.

The company, which is being carved off from its parent CBS Corp. in a two-stage effort starting with the IPO Friday, has made the pitch to Wall Street that billboard are as much a future of marketing as social media or online video.

Data from ad-spending research firm Kantar Media backs up the argument, showing outdoor advertising has been growing even as print media and other traditional categories have shrunk. Even so, to maintain its growth, the industry is taking steps to keep up with other media that have made it easier for advertisers to measure the reach and effectiveness of their ads. That’s something the industry has fallen short of in the past, some say.

The out of home category “has never had a lot of accountability,” and has faced challenges showing it can deliver on audience, said Ray Rotolo chief executive officer of out-of-home communications agency Posterscope.  “There has to be some sort of standardized metric.”

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drag2share: YouTube


With so much online video in the marketplace, advertisers don’t feel any urgency to commit money in advance to digital outlets such as YouTube. Whereas the finite amount of content on television has long driven the springtime “upfront” ad deals for the coming fall season, it’s a different story with online outlets where media buys say there seems to be a limitless amount of video content on the Web. The only thing there is a shortage of, they say, is good quality content on a par with what’s on television.

This spring, YouTube is trying to remedy those issues by offering some advertisers something called “Google Preferred,” according to people familiar with the matter.  As part of that program the video giant is holding back ad space in the best performing 5% of its channels in areas such as comedy, beauty and fashion and teen animation. That space will be reserved for advertisers committing to advance “upfront” commitments, the people added.

“They are going to try and manufacture scarcity,” said a media buyer that was a big fan of the plan.

To figure out which are the best performing, Google has used algorithms to determine which of its channels have the highest “P Score,” which measure factors such as repeat viewership; how long viewers watched a particular program; how much passion viewers have for a particular

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Yup, here it is: Microsoft matches Amazon cloud price cuts


So Microsoft, what took so long?

On Monday, Microsoft cut prices on its Azure cloud services in response to the price reduction unveiled by Amazon Web Services last Wednesday. Last year, Microsoft pledged to meet all AWS price cuts and it’s been true to its word. All the changes to Microsoft Azure pricing are outlined in this MSDN post, but in general cuts ranged from 27 percent to 35 percent off compute instances and 44 percent to 65 percent on storage. The reductions cover both Linux and Windows instances. Don’t laugh; last week Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella told reporters that 20 percent of all Azure workloads run on Linux.

Microsoft Azure cuts

Google kicked off this latest round of price axing last Tuesday at the Google Cloud Platform coming-out party in San Francisco, but God knows when this round robin will end (or who’ll be left standing when it does end.)



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drag2share: Brands aren


Anyone who has been following the evolution of the media for the past few years knows that everyone is now a publisher, and that includes brands like Red Bull and Coca-Cola, both of whom act more like digital-media entities than some mainstream journalistic outlets. As media theorist and author Clay Shirky has said, publishing is no longer an industry — it’s a button.

But it’s not just advertisers who are becoming media entities: advocacy groups and non-profits are as well, as Dan Gillmor pointed out in a recent post at Slate.

As Gillmor notes, the recent report on the future of the media industry from the Pew Research Center talked a lot about the decline of traditional media like newspapers and magazines, and also talked about the rise of new entities like Vox Media and First Look Media. But it didn’t really dwell on either the explosion of “citizen journalism,” or on the rise of advocacy journalism.

Going deep on topics they care about

In particular, groups like Human Rights Watch, the American Civil Liberties Union and the Cato Institute are engaging more directly in producing their own journalism of sorts, putting them in a group that Gillmor calls the “almost journalists.”

“I’m not saying they’re doing journalism of the type that rose to prominence in American newspapers in the second half of the 20th century — the by-the-numbers, “objective” coverage that still can serve a valuable purpose. Rather, they’re going deeper than anyone else on topics that they care about that are vital for the public to understand, but which traditional journalists have either ignored or treated shallowly.”

Human Rights Watch in particular recently partnered with Upworthy and a number of other organizations, including ProPublica and Climate Nexus, on a journalistic effort to bring more credibility to topics like human rights and climate change.

Human Rights Watch

I’ve been thinking a lot about how groups like Human Rights Watch are evolving to become media entities in their own right — and what they can offer to journalism — ever since HRW hired a friend of mine last year: Steve Northfield, the former deputy managing editor for digital at the Globe and Mail in Toronto, joined Human Rights Watch as digital director and has been helping the agency rethink its media strategy.

A global network of experts

On the plus side, entities like Human Rights Watch have hundreds of staffers and volunteers who could potentially supply important information and viewpoints from dozens of different countries and regions around the world, thanks to its global network of lawyers, academics and other specialists who work on human-rights advocacy. It’s like having thousands of foreign correspondents, each of whom is an expert in the political and cultural structure of a country.

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drag2share: The ‘Internet Of Things’ Will Be Bigger Than The Smartphone, Tablet, And PC Markets Combined


The numbers being forecast for the Internet of Things (IoT) are truly mind-boggling.

BI Intelligence finds that the number of everyday and enterprise devices that will soon be connected to the Internet — from parking meters to home thermostats — will be huge. 

In the consumer space, many products and services have already crossed over into the IoT, including kitchen and home appliances, lighting and heating products, and insurance company-issued car monitoring devices that allow motorists to pay insurance only for the amount of driving they do.  

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drag2share: Yahoo Is In Talks To Buy Online Video Service NDN For $300 Million


Katie Couric Marissa Mayer

It seems like Facebook isn’t the only one looking to expand lately.

Yahoo is in talks to buy online-video service News Distribution Network (NDN), according to a report in The Wall Street Journal, citing anonymous sources. According to those sources, Yahoo could pay up to $300 million in the deal.

NDN, a video syndication service, is the fourth-largest video site, with 573 million video views. (Yahoo is fifth, with 384 million.) It doesn’t make any of its own videos — it has a collection of 100,000 videos, and makes those clips available to sites such as the Los Angeles Times, New York Daily News and Bloomberg.

The move would help Yahoo expand its videos to thousands of new sites, according to The WSJ.

An NDN spokeswoman denied that the company is in talks with Yahoo at this time.

Re/code reported last week that Yahoo was approaching popular YouTube stars and networks, trying to poach them for its own online video service.

This isn’t the first time Yahoo has tried to make a name for itself in the video world. The company hired Katie Couric last year. It also put in a bid to buy Hulu last year, before it dropped out of the bidding. It was also looking to buy Da ilymotion last year, before the talks fizzled.

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Media Habits of Mobile Ad Friendly Shoppers



Given that they skew young, it’s not surprising to see that this group can be reached by social media. About two-thirds use social networking sites on their smartphones and 35% on their tablets. They’re 26% more likely than mobile Americans (adults who own a smartphone or tablet) to spend at least 5 hours per day social networking, 35% more likely to say social media is very important for finding out about products and services, and 28% more likely to say social media is very important for showing support for their favorite companies or brands.

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America’s 10 Most Powerful Brands



Source: CoreBrand [download page]

Notes: Coca-Cola has topped the rankings since their inception in 2008, while Amazon is this year’s fastest riser, up 25 spots to 91. The overall BrandPower average score for the top 100 rankings is at its highest point this year since 2009, fueled by an increase in familiarity rather than favorability.

About the Data: Drawn from CoreBrand’s Corporate Branding Index (CBI) for close to 1,000 companies across 50 industries. CoreBrand’s index is based on research into brand familiarity and favorability.

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Dr. Augustine Fou is Digital Consigliere to marketing executives, advising them on digital strategy and Unified Marketing(tm). Dr Fou has over 17 years of in-the-trenches, hands-on experience, which enables him to provide objective, in-depth assessments of their current marketing programs and recommendations for improving business impact and ROI using digital insights.

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