OPA Intelligence Reports

Of Note

Facebook’s Sandberg And Ebersman Say They’re Not Planning To Flood The News Feed With Ads (Tech Crunch)
Building on fourth quarter earnings figures, Facebook leaders don’t plan to let advertisements dominate the social network because they have a “limited impact on engagement.”

Google strikes big ad measurement deal with comScore (USA Today)
To catch the eye of more influential brands, Google is partnering with comScore, which offers the search engine a measurement tool allowing advertisers to re-strategize their campaigns in real time.

IAB Says Free Speech Depends on a Healthy Ad Ecosystem (Ad Age)
As news announcing the United States’ low placement on the global free speech scale surfaced, the IAB hypothesized that a healthy digital ad environment is essential in maximizing free expression.

Twitter Testing Major Profile Redesign That Looks a Lot Like Facebook (Mashable)
A sneak preview of the (maybe) new Twitter reveals a less vertical design and an overall aesthetic that is evocative of Facebook and Google+.

BostonGlobe.com is Moving to a Metered Pay Wall (Nieman Lab)
You’ll only get a few stories per month unless you pay up at the Boston Globe.

In Connecticut, the Independent Media Network tries to succeed where Patch couldn’t (Nieman Lab)
Now that Patch has withered, a digital network out of Connecticut takes a stab at scaling local news.

openquoteTo us, native advertising means a marketer using the storytelling toolset of the Times, which means the content being participatory and discoverable in all the same ways that editorial content is participatory and discoverable.closequote

Meredith Levien, Executive Vice President for Advertising, New York Times

The New York Times Readies Front Page Module for Native Ads (Beet.tv)

By Mark Glaser, Courtney Lowery Cowgill and Angela Washeck

Mobile, Facebook, WaPo win Super Bowl

Posted in News on 02/10/2014 | Comments ()

Even in a blowout game, the Super Bowl still remains a go-to venue for advertisers, social media, second screens and more. This year really proved that point: a record 112.2 million viewers on TV, with mobile media sharing soaring and Facebook activity up big. According to AddThis, mobile device sharing of content related to the Big Game was up 67% versus last year, while Facebook activity was up 42.9% and Pinterest gained 7% over last year’s game. This year, Super Bowl ads relied more on hashtags than sending people to Twitter specifically, meaning that Facebook (which now uses hashtags) could…  Full article

By Mark Glaser, Courtney Lowery Cowgill and Angela Washeck

FB’s Paper takes on aggregator apps

Posted in News on 02/10/2014 | Comments ()

While Facebook honcho Mark Zuckerberg has been promising to deliver “the best personalized newspaper in the world,” the dominant social network has largely remained a place for baby pictures, life updates and personal philosophy. But that’s starting to change. Re/code’s Peter Kafka pointed to BuzzFeed stats showing Facebook referring more news traffic to publishers than Google search — by a wide margin — starting last fall. And now Facebook’s Creative Labs has released an iPhone-only app called Paper that beautifully mixes FB updates and photos with news sections it aggregates. The app was quickly lauded for its sleek interface and…  Full article

By Mark Glaser, Courtney Lowery Cowgill and Angela Washeck

Google ad rates continue to fall

Posted in News on 02/10/2014 | Comments ()

Google posted its ninth straight quarter of falling online ad prices last week, reinforcing the industry-wide trend away from vanilla search and display ads online. The problem is a tricky one: While Google’s revenues are quite respectable — $14.1 billion in 2013’s fourth quarter, up 17 percent from the year before — its yield isn’t keeping up in price-per-click. First of all, the rise in profits “seems to have stemmed from people clicking on more ads, not advertisers paying more for each ad,” wrote Ad Age’s Tim Peterson. And Google isn’t alone in its conundrum; it’s just one of many…  Full article

By Mark Glaser, Courtney Lowery Cowgill and Angela Washeck

Pay wall Roundup: Sun-Times; Gannett

Posted in News on 02/10/2014 | Comments ()

There are no easy answers when it comes to pay walls and paid content. While the New York Times continues to find success, smaller players have struggled to keep up. The Chicago Sun-Times, for instance, tried out a micropayment experiment last weekend with bitcoins. While previous micropayment ideas faltered because of payment systems, bitcoin allows easier micropayments down to the eighth decimal place. Partnering with third-party startup BitWall (and donating the money to Taproot Foundation), the Chicago paper went beyond its $9.99/month website subscription by charging non-subscribers varying rates. According to WSJ’s Paul Vigna, BitWall allows for several different ways…  Full article

By Mark Glaser, Courtney Lowery Cowgill and Angela Washeck

IAB: Life in a post-cookie world

Posted in Research on 02/10/2014 | Comments ()

While cookies have proved an invaluable tool for publishers and brands, a recent report by the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) suggests that cookies might not be a viable solution any longer. “For online publishers the proliferation of cookies has slowed page load times, increased ad discrepancy counts, and led to concerns of data leakage,” according to a recent IAB report, “Privacy and Tracking in a Post-Cookie World. “It has also perpetuated a broken compensation model, whereby publishers risk revenue loss if they don’t support third-party cookies, as well as from users who block or delete cookies, and a tilted playing…  Full article

By Mark Glaser, Courtney Lowery Cowgill and Angela Washeck

Nielsen: Web ad boom continues

Posted in Research on 02/10/2014 | Comments ()

The Washington Business Journal’s Tucker Echols said it well: “If your Internet surfing seems more cluttered with advertising these days, there’s a good reason: it is.” That’s because, as Nielsen recently found, web advertising display numbers went up 32.4 percent across the globe in 2013. While the growth rate is impressive, Nielsen found that Internet ads only made up 4.5 percent of all global ads sold last year, with TV making up the lion’s share at 57.6% of the $243 billion pie. Still, it’s hard to pin down exactly how meaningful the 4.5 percent figure is, because it doesn’t account…  Full article

Of Note

Study: Consumers Don't Know What AdChoices Privacy Icon Is (AdAge)
Only 6 percent of those surveyed know what the Digital Ad Alliance’s AdChoices icon, allowing consumers to opt out of targeted ad displays, even means.

Twitter passes 241m monthly active users, 184m mobile users, and sees 75% of advertising revenue from mobile (Next Web)
Twitter made $220 million in advertising during the fourth quarter, with three-quarters of that revenue coming from mobile.

Google Avoids $5 Billion Fine by Settling Antitrust Case, Tentatively (Mashable)
Google could keep from shelling out $5 billion in cash if they cooperate with the European Commission.

Former Hulu Head Jason Kilar’s Stealth Startup Pitches Magazine Publishers (Re/code)
Hulu alum Jason Kilar is dabbling in the news reader industry with The Fremont Project, set to offer traditional and multimedia content to subscribers.

Washington Post Outlines Hiring, Expansion Plans (Ad Week)
Now that Ezra Klein is gone, WaPo plans to be proactive in making up for the loss with expanded blog coverage, thicker Sunday magazine and more video coverage.

NBC News puts more emphasis on original digital video in its relaunch of NBCNews.com (Nieman Lab)
In hopes of reinventing itself, NBC News’ web outlet is working to combine TV network coverage with original digital video that feels native to mobile devices.

openquoteDigital video is, probably, the fastest growing medium in the world today…There’s an opportunity to potentially partner with what might be seen in other industries as a competitor, where other premium publishers along with the Washington Post could band together and create a service that potentially could be very competitive and very valuable to media buyers and advertisers.closequote

Steven Schiffman, general manager, video, Washington Post

Washington Post exec: Publishers can’t expand video offerings on their own (Poynter)