OPA Intelligence Reports

By Mark Glaser and Angela Washeck

MRC defines viewable ad impressions

Posted in News on 04/07/2014 | Comments ()

It’s now official. After months of clamor over viewable ads and marketers upset about paying for ads that were never seen, the Media Ratings Council (MRC) announced a new standard for the industry. A web visitor must see a minimum of 50 percent of an ad’s total pixels for at least one second for it to be counted as an impression. Most importantly, the decision gives pubs a green light again on selling digital display ads based on viewable impressions, because agencies know the figures can be trusted — at least more than before. MRC and a working IAB group…  Full article

By Mark Glaser and Angela Washeck

More journos get traffic-based pay

Posted in News on 04/07/2014 | Comments ()

While outlets such as Gawker have been basing writer pay on page views for years, the practice is spreading to more traditional newsrooms — and bringing controversy with it. The issue came up again after leaked internal papers from the Oregonian detailed the paper’s new plan for writers, including daily quotas (three posts a day, including one aggregated and one news-based) and two “major projects” every quarter, which will be evaluated based on reader engagement and sheer clicks. Plus, reporters must post the first comment on each story to get the discussion going. So is it a case of legacy…  Full article

By Mark Glaser and Angela Washeck

Merger Roundup: FB/Oculus, Disney/Maker

Posted in News on 04/07/2014 | Comments ()

In a shocking twist, Facebook bought virtual reality firm Oculus Rift for $2 billion in cash and stock, posing questions about the future of the social network and criticism from supporters who had crowdfunded Oculus on Kickstarter. The 20-month-old company will help Facebook “start focusing on what platforms will come” after the mobile era, wrote Mark Zuckerberg in his official announcement, pointing to gaming, online shopping and other heightened media experiences as uses for the immersive Oculus Rift headset. But what does Oculus mean for publishers and advertisers? The acquisition is meant to optimize communication and social encounters, ultimately, said…  Full article

By Mark Glaser and Angela Washeck

NYT joins mobile news curation ranks

Posted in News on 04/07/2014 | Comments ()

The New York Times didn’t just change its pay wall equation — it also joins the growing ranks of news curators, from Circa and Flipboard to Yahoo News Digest and Trove. The Times launched the NYT Now app, an $8-per-month mobile offering with a selection of Times content as well as the day’s best stories from around the web, curated by an around-the-clock team. The Times also introduced a new premium subscription package called Times Premier for $45 per month, offering behind-the-scenes views into the Times newsroom, TBook compilations and more. The company’s announcement indicates a push toward news personalization…  Full article

By Mark Glaser and Angela Washeck

Pew’s optimistic State of the News

Posted in Research on 04/07/2014 | Comments ()

As it turns out, the state of the news media isn’t as ominous as some may think, according to Pew Research Center. In its annual journalism report, which struck an unusually positive tone, Pew found that digitally native publications were a driving force in media job creation in 2013. Still, though, the 5,000 additional jobs generated from small online upstarts and more recognizable operations like Vice and ProPublica weren’t enough to overcome larger cuts in legacy newsrooms. The revenue question loomed over news organizations last year, and despite reports of declining advertising figures, 69 percent of the approximately $65 billion…  Full article

By Mark Glaser and Angela Washeck

Mobile in-app ad revs to pass display

Posted in Research on 04/07/2014 | Comments ()

A new joint study by IDC and AppAnnie proves it’s no longer enough for publishers and advertisers to focus solely on mobile websites — mobile in-app ad revenue is growing 60 percent per year, revealing a shift in where ad dollars might be allocated in years to come. Free-to-use apps (mainly games), which charge for purchase of virtual goods, are currently the top source of monetization for publishers, but in-app ads will soon start turning big profits and are expected to pass online desktop display ad revenue as soon as 2017, growing by 3.8 times between 2013 and 2017. The…  Full article

Of Note

Why native advertising won’t suffer the fate of banner ads (Digiday)
As long as publishers and marketers keep sponsored editorial compelling, native won’t fail like banner ads because it doesn’t interrupt the consumer experience.

Facebook Algorithm Tweaks Hurt Viral Sites’ Organic Reach More Than Other Publishers (Adweek)
Though the algorithms that Facebook uses to serve up content remain a mystery, it’s clear viral sites are more affected in the numbers game than traditional media.

Twitter’s brevity is its biggest strength and its big weakness – and a massive challenge (GigaOm)
With Twitter becoming more like Facebook, it runs the risk of alienating users who appreciated it for the concise communication medium it was in the beginning.

NPR Is Running Voice Recognition-Enabled Ads (Adweek)
Instead of counting on listeners to click on ads, NPR wants to see if consumers will “talk back” to their marketers.

Newsrooms freeze out freelancers moonlighting for brands (Digiday)
With the rise of native advertising, it’s becoming harder for writers to resist brand journalism – but indulging sponsored editorial comes at a cost.

Buzzfeed: ‘Emotional quotient matters more than IQ’ on social (Journalism.co.uk)
A BuzzFeed strategist said news isn’t shared because it makes you smarter, but rather because it makes you feel something.

openquoteMore and more journalism will be small endeavors, often with only a single writer. The writer will have a narrow focus and be an expert in the field they cover. Distribution will be free (a website), and most marketing will be done through social channels. The main cost will be the writer’s salary. Monetization will come from dedicated readers around the world through a freemium model; primary content will be free, with increased access to further discussions, additional writing, data, the author, etc. available for-pay.closequote

Ben Thompson, independent blogger, Stratechery

Newspapers Are Dead; Long Live Journalism (Stratechery)

By Mark Glaser and Angela Washeck

WSJ, Circa go native; questions remain

Posted in News on 03/24/2014 | Comments ()

Even with native advertising being the hot new thing among publishers, big names are still trying to steer through the space — and ensure there’s clear distinction between newsroom stories and sponsored editorial. Following the example of The Guardian, BuzzFeed and Forbes, the Wall Street Journal was the latest to announce its own in-house sponsored content division, WSJ Custom Studios. And mobile news app Circa said it would rely on sponsored posts to turn a profit before the year’s over. WSJ Custom Studios’ first project is called Narratives and partners with communications company Brocade for a three-month campaign on wsj.com.…  Full article

By Mark Glaser and Angela Washeck

Facebook video ads aim at TV dollars

Posted in News on 03/24/2014 | Comments ()

Facebook has tried and tried to break into the video realm, even trying out Facebook Video Calling, but hasn’t cracked the nut…yet. That might be changing, as Facebook announced a new “premium video ad” experience that will run in 15-second clips and start automatically with muted sound on a user’s news feed. Ads are being tested with a small group of marketers, and Facebook’s Susan Buckner wrote on the Facebook Business Blog that the ads would be bought and measured the same way TV ads are. The price tag is based on the ad’s potential reach, as measured by Nielsen.…  Full article