OPA Intelligence Reports

By Mark Glaser and Angela Washeck

BuzzFeed, News Corp. bet on news apps

Posted in News on 08/11/2014 | Comments ()

It looks like the New York Times may be a trendsetter on the mobile app front. Its NYT Now app has been so popular that both BuzzFeed and News Corp. are considering making similar apps, according to New York Observer’s Kara Bloomgarden-Smoke. Of course, there’s the fact that mobile apps are, increasingly, where people are going for their news; but more importantly, it’s where young people are going. AdAge’s Michael Sebastian reported that BuzzFeed, master of the “listicle,” is pursuing development for a curated news app. The app would be different from its current app in the mobile market, as…  Full article

By Mark Glaser and Angela Washeck

Native Roundup: Medium, WaPo, NYT

Posted in News on 08/11/2014 | Comments ()

As the euphoria has settled down to a dull roar around native ads, more publishers are testing the waters or rethinking first efforts. Beautiful writing platform Medium is the latest to experiment with native ads. According to Digiday’s Ricardo Bilton, the site doesn’t have the real estate to post banner or rail ads, because of its clean responsive design and typography. So, for its first crack at native – and advertising in general – Medium will partner with BMW’s branding department. According to Michael Sebastian of Ad Age, BMW will sponsor one of Medium’s curated collections, “Re:form,” for six months…  Full article

By Mark Glaser and Angela Washeck

Pubs looking to programmatic for growth

Posted in Research on 08/11/2014 | Comments ()

Are the robots taking over online ad sales? Maybe it’s not quite time for us to bow to our robot overlords, but they are obviously making some serious inroads. According to a recent IAB and Winterberry Group study, nearly 98 percent of major U.S. digital publishers are “automating digital advertising sales based on audience data” aggressively, wrote Marketing Land’s Ginny Marvin. Most said they were focusing mainly on trading ads domestically, since a “lack of understanding of audience development” keeps many pubs from expanding globally. In spite of publishers’ fears that a rise in programmatic would push ad prices down,…  Full article

By Mark Glaser and Angela Washeck

Marketers need better content marketing

Posted in Research on 08/11/2014 | Comments ()

We’ve all sung the praises of content marketing and native ads for so long, that we never stopped to find out if marketers were singing along in tune. According to a study by digital consultancy 614 Group and content marketing firm OneSpot (who obviously have a vested interest), ad pros largely think targeted content marketing is important – but that their early efforts have fallen short. In a survey of 487 ad professionals, the researchers found that 65% of respondents said targeting was the key to campaigns but 87% were distributing the content mainly through their company’s website. “That’s roughly…  Full article

Of Note

Why You Shouldn’t Be Choosing Between Mobile and Desktop Ads (Ad Age)
Marketers and publishers should put time and dollars into both platforms for maximum engagement.

Should publishers be taking better advantage of evergreen content in their archives? (Poynter)
It may be a good idea for media orgs to think about resurfacing older stories to social media on slower days, as long as it’s ethical, relevant and doesn’t confuse readers.

How the Smartphone Ushered In a Golden Age of Journalism (Wired)
Digitally native publications and social media bring journalism to life on smartphones and constantly inform and entertain readers, even if print’s heyday is long gone.

Why article pages are going big on photos (Digiday)
Despite minimal functionality, many publishers are placing dominant photography above the fold to get readers scrolling further down.

Study: Mobile Users Who Engage With Brands Use Facebook Most (Ad Age)
If there is a discount to be reaped, mobile consumers will do business with brands – if it’s on their phone, that is.

openquoteAs far as native advertising goes, [the NY Times’ ‘Orange Is the New Black’ native ad is] about as good as it gets. The reporting is real, and the sponsored branding is minimal, but it is still an ad. The problem is sponsors aren’t always going to be as benign as ‘Orange Is the New Black’ … [Native advertising] is at least partially our fault. A press cannot be free and independent if nobody is willing to pay for it, and it seems nobody is going to.closequote

John Oliver in a rant about native ads on his HBO show, “Last Week Tonight”

John Oliver goes off on native advertising (Nieman Lab)

By Mark Glaser and Angela Washeck

Yahoo snaps up Flurry in mobile push

Posted in News on 07/28/2014 | Comments ()

If “The Graduate” were filmed in 2014, the one word Mr. McGuire would say to Ben would be: mobile. Are you listening? Obviously Marissa Mayer and Yahoo are, as they snapped up the mobile ad exchange Flurry. The network is best known for being a leader in gleaning data on mobile app users, an invaluable asset to tech and publishing companies serving targeted mobile ads. More importantly, Flurry is one of the largest acquisitions under Mayer’s watch and may be just what Yahoo needs to compete with big players in the mobile ad space such as Facebook and Google. Analysts…  Full article

By Mark Glaser and Angela Washeck

Q2: Google ad prices down; Gannett up

Posted in News on 07/28/2014 | Comments ()

Numbers for this year’s second quarter are starting to roll in, and while Yahoo missed the mark, Google reported significant growth, with revenues hitting nearly $16 billion, up 22 percent over the year-ago quarter. Unfortunately, the slow demise of desktop advertising isn’t doing Google any favors as it struggles to maintain strong cost-per-click figures. Though paid clicks increased 25 percent in the last year, the cost of Google ads keeps dropping, wrote Time’s Victor Luckerson. The transition from desktop to mobile ads is to blame, reported the New York Time’s Mike Isaac. “As mobile ads increasingly become a larger part…  Full article

By Mark Glaser and Angela Washeck

Time Warner rejects Fox offer

Posted in News on 07/28/2014 | Comments ()

An $80 billion bid for Time Warner by 21st Century Fox and media mogul Rupert Murdoch sent the former’s stock prices climbing and shock waves through the industry, although Time Warner rejected the deal (for now). The digital transition has traditional media companies in a position of trying to band together to stave losses to large tech players and a “more is better” mentality is taking hold in some quarters. “They are all trying to position themselves to exploit, rather than be buffeted by, the growing viewership of content online and on mobile devices,” wrote Amol Sharma for the Wall…  Full article

By Mark Glaser and Angela Washeck

Facebook pushes content, commerce

Posted in News on 07/28/2014 | Comments ()

As Facebook has grown larger and more influential, it hasn’t abandoned its focus on improving and changing its product – though of late it focuses more on where it can make money rather than helping people socialize. Recent changes include a new feature called “Save” for reading later, as well as testing a “Buy” button on in-feed ads and sponsored posts. You may remember when Facebook bought a “save now, read later” startup firm called Spool a couple of years ago; now it is introducing a feature called Save, which is comparable to Pocket. The idea is to help readers…  Full article