OPA Intelligence Reports

By Mark Glaser, Courtney Lowery Cowgill and Angela Washeck

Video ads boom on long-form content

Posted in Research on 03/10/2014 | Comments ()

Video advertising has been on roll for a few years, but now similarities are growing between video ads and TV ads. A new study from FreeWheel, the “2013 Video Monetization Report,” finds that ad views in long-form video content increased 86 percent in the fourth quarter compared to the year-ago quarter. As publishers and marketers rush to figure out how readers (and viewers) engage with video, whether it’s mobile ads or sponsored content, this news is vital to what kind of ad buys news orgs can expect in the future. But what qualifies as “long-form?” Often considered an arbitrary term…  Full article

By Mark Glaser, Courtney Lowery Cowgill and Angela Washeck

Twitter growth slowing, users aging

Posted in Research on 03/10/2014 | Comments ()

Twitter isn’t quite the hot, young thing it used to be. A recent eMarketer report indicates that around 25 percent of 12- to 44-year-old Americans log into Twitter at least once monthly. But the firm predicts Twitter’s growth is waning. The ad research firm says U.S. user growth will drop to 10 percent by 2015 (down from 19.4 in 2013) and a measly 6.4 percent by 2018. And while overall growth is slowing, eMarketer predicts the Twitter user base will mature in age. Similar to how demographics changed for Facebook as the network began to grow in popularity, the new…  Full article

Of Note

Beyond Tweeting: Demystifying the Social Media Editor (Digiday)
Social media editors do more than just tweet all day long, and other lessons to set you straight on what their functions in the newsroom are

Flipboard is acquiring Zite from CNN, forming broad advertising and content partnership with news and media giant (GigaOm)
News aggregator competitors Zite and Flipboard will join to push out more content and better attract advertisers, with the help of CNN’s digital department

Reddit Embraces Its Role As a Journalistic Entity With New Live-Reporting Feature (GigaOm)
Post-Boston Marathon fiasco, Reddit is beta testing a live-blogging tool for selected users to report on topics like Pokemon and conflicts in the Ukraine

Inside the Facebook-WhatsApp Megadeal: The Courtship, The Secret Meetings, The $19 Billion Poker Game (Forbes)
The Facebook-WhatsApp merger was in the works between two social media geniuses for nearly two years before materializing – and culminating in the priciest acquisition in tech history

The Year Most News Home Pages Looked the Same (The Atlantic)
In 2013, Pinterest-like boxes with white type dominated news site designs

What’s New in Digital and Social Media Research: What happens when robot journalists produce stories that are “good enough” (Nieman Lab)
A new academic study highlights a study of sports journalism, where a majority of students couldn’t recognize the difference between bot produced and human constructed journalism

openquoteAs business models get re-engineered and this brave new world of news comes to pass, there is this fear that oceans of crap will drive out quality content. I don’t think that happens. In fact, I believe the opposite will occur. closequote

Marc Andreessen, venture capitalist at Andreessen Horowitz

The Future of the News Business: A Monumental Twitter Stream All in One Place (Andreessen Horowitz)

By Mark Glaser and Angela Washeck

Merger Mania: FB/WhatsApp; Comcast/TWC

Posted in News on 02/24/2014 | Comments ()

Are we back in a tech bubble again? Will Net neutrality become another watchword for publishers? Two massive proposed mergers bring more questions than answers. Facebook bought social messaging company WhatsApp for a whopping $16 billion plus $3 billion in employee retention costs, the eye-popping acquisition besting the sales of giants Marriott International and Southwest Airlines. And in a $45 billion deal, Comcast looks to acquire Time Warner Cable for a tight grip on the cable and broadband industry, acquiring just less than 30 percent of the TV market and 38 percent of the nation’s high-speed Internet customers. On the…  Full article

By Mark Glaser and Angela Washeck

NBC delivers Olympics across platforms

Posted in News on 02/24/2014 | Comments ()

NBC offered more diverse and cross-platform reporting on the winter Olympics this year than ever before, a method that seems to be paying off. With NBC’s mobile apps, streaming efforts and Twitter activity, this was the network’s first year to broadcast every single event on a digital platform. MediaPost’s Wayne Friedman reports 30 million viewers flocked to NBC’s three major Olympics apps: NBCOlympics, Live Extra apps and the results app, a 54 percent increase from the last winter games in Vancouver. According to NBC Sports Group Chairman Mark Lazarus, Sochi’s Opening Ceremony and first four nights of contests directed 25.9…  Full article

By Mark Glaser and Angela Washeck

Guardian, Yahoo push native boundaries

Posted in News on 02/24/2014 | Comments ()

While the industry continues its search for a hard and fast definition for native advertising, publishers continue to experiment around the edges. The most recent experiment comes from the Guardian, which just announced the launch of an internal branded content agency called Guardian Labs, which will serve as a new option for advertisers to employ content marketing on the Guardian’s website. The Guardian’s seven-figure deal with Unilever, which will initiate a native campaign focused on living sustainably, propelled Guardian Labs (formed in 2013) into its official unveiling. In an effort aimed at richer engagement and “open journalism,” Guardian readers will…  Full article

By Mark Glaser and Angela Washeck

Earnings Roundup: Diversified revs rule

Posted in News on 02/24/2014 | Comments ()

For years, newspaper publishers have been looking for the digital “silver bullet” that will arrest declines in print ad revenues. Not surprisingly, they’ve found no “silver bullet,” but instead found that diversified revenues streams — from subscriptions to native ads to in-house startups — are becoming the answer. The Dallas Morning News is one good example of that. The newspaper may have been Belo’s savior in 2013, as two startup marketing ventures helped offset losses at the paper. Revenue growth from Morning News-owned 508 Digital and Speakeasy, a digital ad agency and creative content marketing agency, respectively, allowed the DMN…  Full article

By Mark Glaser and Angela Washeck

Display ads making a comeback?

Posted in Research on 02/24/2014 | Comments ()

Online display ads have been long derided as a dying format, something most site visitors ignore and rarely click on. But according to a recent report from eMarketer, they are far from dead. In fact, the research firm boldly predicts, in its “State of Digital Display 2014” report, that display ads will best search ad figures as soon as 2015 “to claim the largest portion of the digital ad spending pie.” How is that possible? eMarketer points to four important factors that will bring display ads back from the dead: 1) banners will become more engaging and dynamic; 2) programmatic…  Full article

By Mark Glaser and Angela Washeck

Cookies drive ad value up

Posted in Research on 02/24/2014 | Comments ()

While regulators and the ad industry consider various alternatives to the cookie, it’s important to note just how much cookies make a difference in ad revenues today. The Digital Advertising Alliance, with help from Navigant Economics, reports that advertisers are willing to pay three times more for cookie-based ads and seven times more if the cookie is 90 days old. So while the ad industry considers alternatives for delivering targeted display ads to consumers due in large part to privacy complaints related to cookies, news organizations and advertisers must decide how they will respond to the DAA’s findings.

Suggesting…  Full article