Local Law Firms Using Spot Runner for Custom Ads— (Media Post) Spot Runner has teamed with Reed Elsevier to offer ad products to law firms. It’s a way of monetizing the “long tail.” Here’s how it works: “Spot Runner, which is backed by big agency holding companies such as Interpublic and WPP, has already had a profound impact in other local franchise based categories, such as real estate agencies, offering big chains like Century 21, Coldwell Banker and ERA the ability to customize ads and plan and buy local TV avails based on the coverage areas of local agents.” They are starting in a few states and offering creative in popular practice areas. Then these pieces of creative can be customized for individual firms. CIQ: We believe services like this will play an important future in advertising. Just like powerful software brought desktop design into the hands of the masses. This will do the same for TV advertising. And you won’t have to look like Bob-O-Pedic.
USA Today Brands Books— (Media Post) USA Today has extended the newspaper’s brand by signing licenses with six U.S. book publishers. The effort complements its previous expansion into online, mobile and TV programming. The topics will vary, and all books will be branded USA Today. They will feature art and content from the 25-year-old national newspaper. CIQ: Think what you want of Gannett, this is a great idea. The book publishing industry has never really gotten the idea of brands. And those that do, like Harvard University Press, really reap the benefits.
SkyBus Takes Ads on Own Website–(Media Post) The Columbus-Ohio-based discount airlines will begin to sell ad inventory on its web site. CIQ: Airlines are struggling. The travel category is hot-hot-hot especially online. I get a Skymall catalog on the actual plane as well as ads in the Airline magazine. So, what’s the question?
Original Shows Streamed for Summer– (Broadcasting & Cable) TBS and TNT are streaming their original programming on the internet for the summer TV lull. All the summer series will be available on line the next morning after air. “Studios and operators may be more open to streaming because broadcast networks, and a few cable networks that have streamed shows, have seen that streaming actually builds TV viewing.” CIQ: We think this is a great opportunity for advertisers to see how online-only TV works as a platform for them.
Bright Spot in Dismal Newspaper Biz–(Media Post) Q1 Ad spending online was up 22% in year-over-year growth to $750 million. Overall ad spending was down about 5%. And the online portion grew from 5 to 7%. CIQ: Newspapers must– we repeat must– find a way to drive CPMs higher and move clients more aggressively online with innovative ad products. At this point, it’s a matter of survival.
Ad Exchanges Could Be Shot in the Arm for Display Advertising–(WSJ) In headlines last week, we reported that of last year’s $17 billion in online advertising, 40% of it was search and 22% was display. How will the ad-exchange market help? “Online ad exchanges aim to bring ad buyers and sellers together into an open marketplace where unsold publisher inventory is assigned a value based on advertisers’ interest. Advertisers set the price they’re willing to pay for the spot, then the exchange notifies the publisher, which will run the spot if the price meets publisher expectation. By bringing together a lot of sellers–which means bigger targeted audiences–exchanges believe they can help advertisers and publishers get better returns from non-premium inventory. Advertisers also like the transparent pricing and the neutral, Nasdaq-like approach to selling.”
In Local Market Newpaper Sites Lag Behind Local TV—(Center for Media Research) Local TV stations appear to have made the online transition more successfully than local newspapers, according to this study. “While some of the web sites in the report represent both TV and newspaper combined, many of the top ranked local web sites are stand-alone TV stations, rather than newspapers. The data is derived from the most recent 2006 surveys conducted in 85 U.S. markets and tracks past 30-day visitors to a TV station or daily newspaper web site.” CIQ: Local stations have the advantage of video. That said, many many print outlets have been very slow to act.
Internet Ad Revenue Up 35% in 2006–(San Francisco Chronicle) According to the IAB, ‘net ad revenue hit a record $17 billion, the best year on record. Search generated 40%, display ads 22%, and classifieds 18%. CIQ: The search figure continues to astound. We must do a better job at developing ad products in order for the potential of the “display” category to be realized.
S&S to Launch Author Video–(CNet) In an attempt to harness the power of the internet to shore up lagging book sales, Simon and Schuster is putting 40 author videos online. CIQ: Online video is great. But the book industry really needs to fix its medieval business model.
Americans Spend Half Their Free Time Online— (Center for Media Research) According to this research, the average broadband users spend 40 minutes, or 48% of his or her free time, online. What are they doing? Entertainment and talking to others about entertainment. CIQ: We agree with one of the authors of this report, who says, “Currently, the proportion of advertising resources devoted to the Internet (about seven percent according to ZenithOptimedia) is nominal relative to the value it generates.”
Targeted Ads Are the Future— (Light Reading) Telcos stand to gain by delivering something the cable companies promised, but never delivered: The ability to more precisely serve an ad message based on time, demographic, or psychographic. This, “would be an amazing leap forward,” says one expert. CIQ: We believe that highly targeted, permission-based advertising is the only way that advertising will be able to survive TiVo and the digital sea change.
Dems Outpace GOP on the Web—(Star Tribune) Republican candidates are lagging behind Democrats in their use of the web. Traffic to candidate sites and to MySpace-type profiles is lower for Republicans, as is fundraising online. On explanation is that the very disciplined, top-down message style of the Republican party is ill-suited to the web. CIQ: 2008 may be the year where the web-factor actually influences the outcome of the election.
Online Health Category Surges–(Media Post) ComScore reports a 12% increase in visitors to health information sites like WebMD. That’s an average of 55.3 million monthly visitors. CIQ: We believe that niche sites will continue to enjoy strength over the generalist online portals.
Can Madison Avenue Compete with Google & Microsoft?— (Media Daily News) With the multi-billion-dollar purchases of DoubleClick by Google and aQuantive by Microsoft, “The reality is that, with the exception of certain tightly controlled traditional media, such as network TV and big consumer magazines, big agency holding companies have only a minority share of the world’s advertising marketplace.” This article raises the possible scenario of one of the big 6 advertising agencies being aquired by one of the big four digital behemoths. CIQ: One of our core beliefs is that, in an age of media emergence, you will see these kinds of “cats sleeping with dogs” scenarios.
Making Real Money on Virtual Worlds –(Business Week) Sony is said to be considering paying $400 million for ClubPenguin. Webkinz may also be a target. CIQ: There is lots of speculation about virtual worlds taking over the experience of the web. Neopets has been around for at least 7 years. We believe it’s a strong category that other players are beginning to capitalize on.