Quote of the week:
Too many people want to know how to raise money, too few want to know how to build a business.
— Ned Dwyer (@nedwin) March 14, 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:
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.
- 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.
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:
You will find it next to the share link on one of your wall-posts.
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.
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.
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.
Here are examples of other content sections from the daily AFR editorial:
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).
Other summary dashboards are also available (see below examples).
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.
Saved articles are a good feature (that is, if you don’t support 3rd party read-later apps like Instapaper)
Offline reading, and ability to control how much or which you want to retain, is another thoughtful feature.
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 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 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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
In the past 14 months, since jumping hoverboards from digital advertising to digital publishing, I have helped launch five new publications. Three were with Private Media (who is in a JV with Business Spectator, my employer, and The Eureka Report). Each time, since SmartCompany was launched almost 5 years ago, the time it takes to reach a critical mass of readers is shortening.
Below you can see SmartCompany took over a year to reach over halfway up the index (what I would consider our minimum reader level for commercial viability. Each other publication took considerably less each time, going from seven months, then four, then two months, to reach this milestone. This is the network effect of being able to share links, cross-publish one article across multiple and link back. Oh, and that small matter of Google Juice helps too. With each new publication, the speed in growth increases.
Last month we launched The Power Index – a site dedicated to investigating who really runs Australia. Headed by Walkley Award Winning journalist Paul Barry in partnership with Private Media it features a staff of four writers and uncovers a list of ten each fortnight, as well as covering and breaking daily news in business, politics and society.
The site is another freemium experiment for us, being a free-website. Profiles on the Power Index requiring a subscription, and PDF reports on each profile also available for individual purchase.
See below for a glimpse, visit the site to browse (it is currently unlocked for a limited time). You can subscribe to the free daily newsletter here.
The below piece of satire was originally published on Crikey.com.au on Thursday the 22nd September.
To make a concept compatible in multiple dimensions, such as the fourth dimension (one that governs time) or the sixth dimension (one that governs Dennis Shanahan). This is important if attempting to create mass appeal to pan-dimensional beings.
A short advertising video clip for media buyers and marketers designed to create excitement. Usually contains high production quality and music such as I Got A Feeling by the Black Eyed Peas.
“Integrate values story”
Force a variety of different brand or business values to appear unified or related. This is often attempted through overt multicultural casting in photography or filming. (Note: the word “integrate” usually means “clever” when used in the marketing bubble.)
“Visual language for employee engagement initiatives”
In two parts: “visual language” — images that convey a desired message without the need for words (or subeditors); “employee engagement initiatives” — staff piss-up or staff sausage sizzle.
“Costs should be reasonably modular”
Costs should not be interdependent on each other, or be subsidising each other. Okay, let’s try this a different way from a client’s perspective: ”We want to pick and choose parts from your proposal without incurring additional costs. This ‘brand essence auditing’ looks suspiciously expensive.”
If X, then Y. Broad prediction of what will happen in the future, if the way people perceive the brand is altered.
“Values and internal engagement stream”
Management talking to staff, and staff talking to management, on an ongoing basis about what they stand for. Or what they want to be perceived to stand for. Usually conducted by an awkward series of meetings, or via an expensive and rarely used internal social network.
The structure of multiple smaller brands or mastheads within, and impact on, a larger organisation’s brand.
“Accelerated ‘News Australia’ narrative”
Explain what “News Australia” is in 25 words or less. The elevator pitch. The executive summary. Without using the words “Rupert” or “Murdoch”.
“Thought leadership site”
Website with content designed to make a brand appear more clever than its competitors.
A plan of how to tell staff, media buyers and marketers what the brand now stands for. Usually accompanied by “sizzle reel” and staff piss-up.
“A brand council to share News Australia initiatives”
A place or forum where a representative from various divisions can share what they are doing with each other.
“Develop messaging/branding for cultural aspiration based on the preferred cultural archetype”
Make branding and messaging desirable and relevant to multiple but commonly understood personalities. Avoid Jung’s “Shadow” and “Anima” archetypes.
“Conduct values workshops to socialise/validate hypothesis group values”
A series of meetings with staff to double-check if what everyone else thinks they are is in fact who you thought they were. Prone to embarrassment and copious use of butchers paper.
“Finalise culture aspiration, values and behaviour statements”
Deadline for putting into writing who and what the brand desires to be perceived as.
“Key HR transformation deliverables”
Dates and budgets for hiring and firing.
“Development of audience bundles”
Grouping of many demographic and cultural archetypes (see above) into simple catchy names such as: “Online Mums” or “Academic Achievers”.
“Bring to life the power of mass with connectivity of niche”
To make an oxymoron interesting and exciting. Often achieved by creating a “sizzle reel”.
“Leveraged rather than generic experience”
Generic is bad. Don’t be generic.
“Gap analysis helps define and articulate cultural journey”
In branding terms: to define the distance between the points of reality and fantasy. The size of this distance is directly proportional to the budget approved by management for the “Cultural/values rollout”.
Sub-brands. These include: Nationwide News, News Magazines and News Digital Media amongst others.
“Post definition test of positioning”
Test changes to brand on a small piece of hidden fabric before applying to the whole piece of clothing.
“Use The Seed”
You have read too much. Burn after reading.