OPA Intelligence Reports

Of Note

Magazine Smartphone Apps Are Being Brought Back From the Dead (Adweek)
Whether “freemium” or not, magazine apps are seeing the light of day again since mobile traffic and advertising has been so promising.

What Follows the Great Mobile Unbundling? Unholy Alliances (AdAge)
With pubs such as the NYT and CNN breaking down parts of their content in separate apps, strange couplings with competitors may be imminent

Facebook, Twitter and YouTube Have Different Mobile Ad Strengths (Adweek)
The three tech companies are taking unique approaches to serving ads through video and apps, but there’s no doubt they’re ramping up mobile ad initiatives.

Can the New Republic find its digital footing? (Digiday)
A storied magazine with influential print readers isn’t sure how to convert its main base of subscribers to the web while capturing new digital audiences.

Publishers Rely on Ads, Not Subscriptions, for Growth (eMarketer)
Less than 25 percent of polled publishers said they would increase digital revs through subscriptions, showing that mobile consumers aren’t keen on paying for news.

openquoteHitting the transformative stage means letting go of the idea that we're an organization that exists to publish a newspaper/magazine/website and focusing on the idea that we exist to produce journalistic content for a particular audience. Then, you figure out which of the many publishing tools and content strategies available allow us to do that.closequote

Adam Tinworth, digital publishing consultant and trainer

The three stages of digital transformation (Project for Excellence in Journalism)

By Mark Glaser and Angela Washeck

Alibaba IPO gives Yahoo new opportunity

Posted in News on 05/19/2014 | Comments ()

Now what, Yahoo? The company has always had its ace in the hole, a huge investment stake in Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba. Now that Alibaba filed to go public, Yahoo could cash out a $10 billion windfall in the IPO. The question isn’t just what Yahoo will do with the money but also what a well-financed Alibaba will mean to the global ad business. Alibaba is a sizable e-commerce player, but also has a healthy online advertising business, with ad exchanges and display ad services. The IPO will give Alibaba a chance to go after the same ad dollars as…  Full article

By Mark Glaser and Angela Washeck

Lines blur between NewFronts, Upfronts

Posted in News on 05/19/2014 | Comments ()

ABC tests out programmatic ads. Vice touts an HBO series. Turner pushes a “multi-channel” experience. The worlds of digital and TV are becoming ever more entwined, and that played out at both the NewFronts and Upfronts. Vice, which started as an alternative culture magazine in the mid-‘90s, boasted its position as a “platform agnostic” media company, according to Lost Remote’s Natan Edelsburg. Trying to appeal to digital ad buyers, Vice still didn’t shy away from mentioning the success of its self-titled HBO series based on current news events. The company, whose video- and graphics-laden content largely appeals to millennials, is…  Full article

By Mark Glaser and Angela Washeck

AOL bets big on ad biz

Posted in News on 05/19/2014 | Comments ()

For all of AOL’s profit problems, Tim Armstrong and the team think a new ad tech company may give the company’s platforms an advantage over larger competitors. AOL paid $100 million for Convertro, a sophisticated digital advertising firm that matches ads to purchases and tracks consumer data without cookies. What’s more, Convertro makes big data more manageable by reporting click and purchase data across multiple channels so advertisers know which campaigns are worth spending on. AOL is right behind Google, which bought Convertro’s nemesis Adometry in the same day to beef up its marketing optimization. Wrote TechCrunch’s Ingrid Lunden, “The…  Full article

By Mark Glaser and Angela Washeck

Pinterest, Instagram push native ads

Posted in News on 05/19/2014 | Comments ()

Traditional publishers aren’t the only ones putting in native ads alongside regular programming. Visual social networks Pinterest and Instagram are full steam ahead with their native ad offerings, widening the purchase pool for ad buyers, making it difficult for text-based native ad platforms, and testing the patience of consumers. Pinterest just announced a new phase for “promoted pins,” which will appear in the online scrapbooking platform’s feed with a small number of brands initially. These native ads will show up on the desktop and mobile platforms, though Pinterest says most of its traffic comes from mobile devices, according to MediaPost’s…  Full article

By Mark Glaser and Angela Washeck

Consumers watching mobile video ads

Posted in Research on 05/19/2014 | Comments ()

Don’t believe what you’ve heard about people not watching video ads on their mobile devices. According to mobile ad startup Celtra, video ad performance rates are stable and growing. Not only are consumers enduring the ads on their phones and tablets, but they’re actually watching the whole videos. Video ad completion rates are up 77 percent for native video ads, and up 52% for standard video ad formats this past quarter compared to the year-ago quarter. Plus, Celtra found that people are spending 33 percent more time with ads, perhaps due to their increasing potential for interactivity. Celtra’s report said…  Full article

By Mark Glaser and Angela Washeck

TV ads losing momentum to web video

Posted in Research on 05/19/2014 | Comments ()

Just how long can TV hold off hard-charging online video? That seems to be the question having over the Upfronts. And while a new report from Nielsen champions the dominance of TV advertising, a closer look shows it might be peaking. Nielsen’s Advertising and Audiences Report (looking at the third quarter of 2013) shows consumers spent an average of 55.5 hours per month watching traditional TV, 34 hours using the mobile Internet or apps and 28 hours on the Internet via desktop. But the key findings show that television ad spend growth has consistently decreased each year since 2009. Thirty-second…  Full article

Of Note

The Great Unwatched (New York Times)
For all the accolades of digital video ads, it’s still estimated that more than half of them can’t even be seen, jumbling the definition of an impression and stumping the ad industry.

How the L.A. Times is redesigning for the mobile web (Digiday)
Pre-written tweets, heightened visuals and better content recommendations are at the heart of the Los Angeles paper’s new website.

Wall Street Journal to Advertisers: We’re More Innovative Than You Think (Adweek)
The Journal has been digging deep into branded content and original video offerings, both of which the 124-year-old pub hopes will entice advertisers.

Looking For Effective Ad Creative? Try an Instagram Photo (AdAge)
Instagram filters aren’t just for your vacation and coffee mugs anymore – social media agency Laundry Service says Instagram photos perform better in ads than studio or stock images do.

Publishers get creative with an a la carte approach to digital media (Digiday)
Pubs like the Economist, the New York Times, Yahoo and Facebook have begun separating out content streams into individual apps and packages.

openquoteIn order to overcome its quality issue, digital publishing needs to work closely with brands and businesses to develop content and creatives that will be useful -- not disruptive -- for audiences (think: paid social endorsements, related content promotions and sponsored series too)...Success hinges on the ability of both parties to conservatively choose their relationships with the overarching goal of providing meaningful experiences for consumers, readers.closequote

Danny Wong, lead marketer at Shareaholic

3 Massive Problems with Digital Publishing Today (Huffington Post)