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Hottest 100 by Country 1993-2013 – A Data Visualisation

I’ve been doing a bit of upskilling over the long weekend while listening to the Hottest 100. I’ve dumped a heap of data from the Triple J Hottest 100 from Wikipedia into a few charts. I’ll keep updating this over the next day or so.

The charts are completely configurable, just alter by using the controls on the charts to compare different years.

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I’ve been learning the ways of Tableau over the holiday break, and can say I’m really impressed with this up and coming visualisation service. At Carsales we use Oracle BI for Business Intelligence, and visualisation to some degree.. however Tableau offers an interface that is easier and faster for non-developers (i.e. analysts) to create useful visualisation in.

Here is an example of a chart I built earlier this week, after reading through the Productivity Commission’s enquiry into Australia’s Automotive Manufacturing Industry and the recent full-year new car sales data from the FCAI.

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It’s all about the stats. Holden HSV GTS Infographic.

Super sedan – An infographic by the team at motoring.com.au

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Too many bankers, not enough businessmen

Quote of the week:

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IAB Automotive Seminar (Sydney, Feb-2013)

A copy of my presentation from the recent IAB Australia Automotive Seminar in Sydney. Whilst I had a dry topic, I felt it was important, as there is a lot of confusion in the ad industry at the moment around what data should be measured, how it should be interpreted, what it means.

If felt like I had to go back to basics.

There were 110 attendees to the sold out event, including most of the Sydney-based manufacturers or brands and their agencies. We also had large contingents from Google, Fairfax, CarsGuide, Caradvice and Telstra attending.

The feedback has been very positive with over 85% of delegates rating the event as 7/10 or higher and most people ranking each of the presentations as ‘met/above/well above expectations’. You can view all 5 presentations from the event here:
http://www.iabaustralia.com.au/Insights/Resource_Library/Resource_Details.aspx?id=%7bE45092B8-A48A-4E85-80AD-BB3790FC545A%7d

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London 2012 head of new media Alex Balfour has compiled a presentation wrap up of viewer engagement with the games’ digital media channels. The games set out to be the most digital and social games yet, and for the official London 2012 website and apps to be the most visited and authoritative media destinations available. This was easily achieved.

The big headline, is that of the 431,000,000 visits to the official game website – 60% were on mobile devices.

This truly is a sign that the global web will soon be more mobile-based than desktop-based.

Other headlines:
- 109,000,000 unique users
- 15,000,000 app downloads
- 4,730,000,000 page views
- 4,700,000 social followers.

The very detailed and interesting presentation is below. Juicy slides start below at slide 16. Enjoy.

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Facebook’s $1.40 micro revenue stream

Maybe I’m a bit of a Facebook luddite.. but this is the first time I have seen Facebook’s consumer targeted product ‘Highlight’. This service costs you $1.40 each time to essentially make your post visible for longer in your friends or subscribers news feeds.

This is what the Facebook prompt looks like:

Facebook - highlight an important post

You will find it next to the share link on one of your wall-posts.

Facebook - highlight an important post - newsfeed

This is quite cheap, if you are doing it only occasionally. This of this as the 2012 version of creating and photocopying an A4 flyer and handing it out at work or the time and effort of emailing your friends something simple like a charity you are supporting or a garage sale you are planning. $1.40 seems reasonable compared to an office cost or effort cost or $10-20 to promote something of similar personal importance.

Now that Facebook is a public company, we might see more transparency on how well these 2nd tier revenue streams are doing.

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AFR iPad App – Review

Below is an overview and review of the Australian Financial Review’s iPad application – which was released last month after a long wait. The application is mostly locked to subscribers only. It represents a significant leap forward for the publication, as a quality reading experience and financial news analysis application.

Covered below in sections and images is:

  • Style & Form
  • Markets Tools and Data
  • Other iPad-based Functions
  • Newspaper Inserted Magazines (NIMs)
  • AFR iPad Advertising examples
  • AFR audience and ad inventory growth over the past 12 months.

AFR iPad app picture 1 - splash screen AFR iPad app picture 2 - home screen

Style & Form

The design strengths of the AFR newspaper are used well in the navigational parts of the iPad app (much more than its website) but are then ignored once you are on an article page (see example from a technology article below) which are indistinguisable from most other newspaper apps. This is a shame, as the AFR is, in my opinion, the best looking and type-set newspaper in the country at the moment.

Whilst both landscape and portrait orientation is possible, landscape is the best way to read it. As a side note I have never seen someone use an iPad in portrait mode when reading websites or magazine apps. Only A4 PDF files like eBooks or whitepapers make sense in this format, as landscape gives you more width (and both formats retain up-down scrolling that we are all accustomed to from years of internet browsing behaviour).

The vivid colours, photo/chart content and dynamic market/chart tools play to the strengths of the iPad. Like the Sydney Morning Herald and The Age iPad apps – which are built using the same Méthode publishing platform – navigation is instantly responsive and very stable (rarely stalling or crashing).

Here is an example of a David Rowe caricature, which is given new life in digital form.

AFR iPad app picture 3 - editors choice AFR iPad app picture 4 - david rowe

Here are examples of other content sections from the daily AFR editorial:

AFR iPad app picture opinion features home AFR iPad app picture opinion tony boyd article page AFR iPad app picture property home AFR iPad app picture property 2 AFR iPad app picture resources mining home AFR iPad app picture technology home AFR iPad app picture technology article

Markets Tools and Data:

The AFR app is not as flexible or feature rich as many other free stocks and portfolio app – like Bloomberg’s free app – and it is limited to mostly Australian indices. But it is a very useful integration with what is a news/analysis content application. Indeed, it is a big step up from the newspaper though not as functional as AFR.com.

Company names are hyperlinked throughout the app, and ASX quotes are readily available from all screens via a button in the top-right-hand corner. This is an essential tool for analysts or retail investors interested to see what the market data is on the company they are reading about. Favourite or frequently accessed stocks are saved in this search function.

Examples below (click to enlarge).

AFR iPad app picture 18 - market quote search AFR iPad app picture 20 - market quote WEBFIRM AFR iPad app picture 19 - market quote WEBFIRM 2

Other summary dashboards are also available (see below examples).

AFR iPad app picture markets data AFR iPad app picture markets data ASX losers AFR iPad app picture markets data ASX losers - Seven West Media hyperlinked snapshot

Other iPad-based Functions:

The AFR iPad app uses the same contents navigation and optional section-downloads as its metro-masthead sister newspapers (see below). This is wise, considering the Sydney Morning Herald and The Age apps have had over half a million downloads so far and will have gone some way to training their readers to use this manner of navigation.

The ability to control what digital versions of NIMs (newspaper inserted magazines) like AFR mag, Luxury, Capital, etc is a good way to cut down on downloads of sections you may rarely read. The impact on auditing this, and finding out how many readers actually read them, will be interesting to follow in the future.

AFR iPad app picture 11 - section menu

Saved articles are a good feature (that is, if you don’t support 3rd party read-later apps like Instapaper)

AFR iPad app picture 21 - saved articles 2 AFR iPad app picture 21 - saved articles

Offline reading, and ability to control how much or which you want to retain, is another thoughtful feature.

AFR iPad app picture 22 - settings for offline browsing

Newspaper Inserted Magazines (NIMs)

The AFR’s NIMs are optional downloads with the app. Digital versions of the NIMs are navigated to, and read within, the same navigation as regular content but greater emphasis is placed on imagery and interactivity.

Viewing AFR mag content through an iPad, like the photo essays below, feels much more natural than on a scrolling text-based-navigation website like afr.com – however it misses the quality-stock tactile experience that all glossy magazines are grappling with.

As mentioned earlier, the numbers of app users actually reading this magazine content will be interesting to see once sectional readership is shared with advertisers. NIMs revenue represents a significant share of advertising for the AFR that would be difficult to replace in the long term if readership shuns this content when given more choice in whether to download it or not.

AFR iPad app picture 12 - afr magazine cover AFR iPad app picture 12 - afr magazine cont AFR iPad app picture 12 - afr magazine feature AFR iPad app picture 12 - afr magazine slideshow 1 AFR iPad app picture 12 - afr magazine slideshow 4 AFR iPad app picture 12 - afr magazine slideshow 3 AFR iPad app picture 12 - afr magazine slideshow 2


AFR iPad Advertising

Brands appearing in the first month of launch included (click below for larger images):

  • Land Rover (Range Rover Sport & Evoque models)
  • Virgin Australia (international)
  • Vacheron Constantin (Richemont)
  • CBA Total Capital Solutions (Commonwealth Bank)

AFR iPad app picture 9 - virgin australia airline ad AFR iPad app picture 10 - Land Rover ad AFR iPad app picture 8 - vacheron constantin watch ad AFR iPad app picture 7 - vacheron constantin watch ad AFR iPad app picture 5 - CBA commonwealth bank ad AFR iPad app Range Rover static ad

AFR audience growth and advertising inventory growth

No data is currently available on how many downloads or active users the AFR iPad app has.
Much was made over the last few years to the AFR’s digital strategy. Many media commentators had strong opinions over what they should be doing as its print circulation plumetted and digital subscribtions hovered around 7,000.
Indeed, I worked with Business Spectator over 18 months to attack its digital advertising revenues.
But a lot has changed in the past 12 months under new CEO Bretty Clegg. Though print circulation continues to drop – digital subscriptions and digital audiences (for advertising) have both doubled since June 2011.
Digital subscription figures provided to PANPA in May totalled 17,000 compared to 8,111 before the change in new paywall strategy went live in December 2011. The number of digital-only subscriptions is not provided by Fairfax.
Regardless, the dramatic reversal in audience stagnation is good news for Fairfax. Making a broad assumption of the AFR making an average of $0.20 per page impression – a lift in 1.5million pages per month is equivalent to $3.6m annually to the bottom line in advertising (based on their ratecard and industry sell-through-rates).

No data is currently available on how many downloads or active users the AFR iPad app has.

Much was made over the last few years to the AFR’s digital strategy. Many media commentators had strong opinions over what they should be doing as its print circulation plumetted and digital subscribtions hovered around 7,000.

Indeed, I worked with Business Spectator over 18 months to attack its digital advertising revenues.

But a lot has changed in the past 12 months under new CEO Brett Clegg. Though print circulation continues to drop – digital subscriptions and digital audiences (for advertising) have both doubled since June 2011.

Digital subscription figures provided to PANPA in May totalled 17,000 compared to 8,111 before the change in new paywall strategy went live in December 2011. The number of digital-only subscriptions is not provided by Fairfax.

Regardless, the dramatic reversal in audience stagnation is good news for Fairfax. Making a broad assumption of the AFR making an average of $0.20 per page impression – a lift in 1.5million pages per month is equivalent to $3.6m annually to the bottom line in advertising (based on their ratecard and industry sell-through-rates).

January-March quarter numbers:

  • Weekday print circ -3% to 70,518
  • Weekend print circ -11.8% to 69,057

May 2012 online numbers (Nielsen MI):

  • Monthly online UBs +192% to 408,536
  • Daily online UBs +201% to 24,180
  • May page impressions +194% to 3.1
  • Average page duration steady at 1 min 12 sec.

AFR monthly audience growth in UBs 2011-2012 AFR monthly audience growth in advertising inventory 2011-2012

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Business Spectator iPad Application

I’ve been busy. At work, we recently launched (October, actually) the Business Spectator iPad application. I thought I should share some pictures of it and show it off.

Click here for iTunes link.

Video Page - Business Spectator iPad App

It was designed primarily for video viewing, unlike businessspectator.com.au which is designed for reading text. We rebuilt the navigation from scratch with simplicity in mind and removed the clutter that is common on the information-heavy website.

Business Spectator produce a significant amount of video content that we wanted to be viewable in a ‘lean-back’ friendly format (i.e. commuting, after work on the couch, etc).

The application was developed in collaboration with Melbourne-based Native Digital, and are using BrightCove’s VideoCloud platform (video management and delivery) and The Video Platform (adserver) who have the Australian LiveRail license.

Pre-roll Ad (CMC Markets) - Business Spectator iPad App Full Screen Pre-roll Ad (CMC Markets) - Business Spectator iPad App Pre-roll Ad (CommBank) - Business Spectator iPad App

Care was given to ensure we integrated we were using a single point for video delivery for both the application, and our existing website. It had to be as easy to use as possible as we rely on many staff across different teams to both access and publish into the CMS. We also needed to run a single sophisticated ad-delivery platform across web/application and have the capability to do complex bookings (platform targeting, keywords, etc).

Download it for free here: http://itunes.apple.com/au/app/businessspec/id462001295?mt=8

With thanks to the following advertising underwriters:

  • Emirates Airways / James D @ Starcom Sydney
  • Mercedes Benz / Susie S @ Foundation, Sydney
  • Commonwealth Bank / Dave T @ ikon Sydney
  • CMC Markets / Elissa G @ Match, Sydney
  • Exxon Mobil / Clarisse R @ Media Contacts, Melbourne.
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lonely planet city guides

I wanted to share this insightful interview with Matt Goldberg, CEO of Lonely Planet today on PaidContent.org:

“When the BBC arrived, less than 10 percent of our revenue was coming from digital sources. In our last financial year, we saw 21 percent,” Goldberg says.

“We’ve got a core print business we’re continuing to invest in – we’re trying to do both. We’re on a relentless march to balance our portfolio. I’m not going to rest until we’re balanced 50/50. I like the rate at which we’re shifting.”

Continue reading at PaidContent.org

Key notes:

220 guide mobile apps produced, caching of data is vital and localized functions differentiate from web.

~10,000,000 iPhone apps downloaded (including 4m free during Icelandic volcano).

Division of mobile team into startup-like environment in San Francisco (away from Melbourne HQ) is strategically important for the long term competitiveness of the product.

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