Tag Archives: readers

Next to Now: Friday links for Sept 9.



While podcasts still don’t deliver the ad metrics of other digital products, evidence continues to mount that podcast advertising is effective.  A new Edison Research study commissioned by the IAB suggests that 65% of podcast fans “are more willing to consider purchasing products and services they learn about during a podcast.”




Four charts from eMarketer show how Instagram’s U.S. audience is substantial and growing, that more than half of US millennial internet users are “active” on Instagram, how the app is favored by college students, and how their user base trends toward higher incomes among U.S. teens.

#instagram #millennials #social



As reported in Mediapost, a new study from research company L2 suggests that Instagram is the top social platform for retailer engagement:

“’Instagram remains the king of engagement,’ with interactions that are ’10 times higher than Facebook, 54 times higher than Pinterest, and 84 times higher than Twitter.’

It also says Instagram users are considerably more open to what brands have to say on that platform, with 50% of users following brands. ‘Not all brands are benefiting equally on the platform,’ it says, ‘with the top seven brands in terms of engagement capturing 77% of total Index brand interactions over the past year.’

Further, a third of Instagram users made purchases on their phone, which makes them 70% more likely to do so than non-Instagram users.”

#instagram #retailers



In an article for Ad Age, Carrie So argues that Facebook Live mid-roll ads are stuck in the past: 

“Essentially, the concept strives to resurrect the 20th-century TV broadcasting model within the context of a 21st-century social network. Having just recently started testing mid-roll ads, Facebook Live wagers that viewers who log onto the site to see photos and updates from family and friends will not only want to watch live broadcasts — but will also stay tuned for the ads that scroll in the midst of the live programming.”

The two main problems: (1) mid-roll ads are easy for users to skip since it’s so easy to put down your phone during a break in the programming, and (2) there’s a distinct lack of quality control; even major publishers such as the New York Times are forced by their deals with Facebook to stream too many video hours to sustain high standards.

#facebook #streaming #video



A recent ad fraud report cited by the Wall Street Journal suggests the most ad fraud happens with Google’s Chrome and Microsoft’s Internet Explorer browsers. While both companies fault the study, it’s clear that since the two companies have the most users they also make the most attractive targets for fraudsters. While Microsoft has failed to patch security holes on IE (especially discontinued but still popular iterations), Google continues to work hard to try to stay ahead of the fraud where possible.

#adfraud #microsoft #google



The Pew report on reading in America is out, with results in line with what we’ve seen in recent years: overall adult reading is slightly down, ebooks remain plateaued, and the core demos of America’s strongest readers remain affluent, educated women:

“In the most recent survey, those most likely to be book readers included women; young adults (those ages 18-29); [and] those with higher levels of education and higher household income . . . These patterns largely hold for overall book reading and for the different reading platforms – printed books and e-books.

“The average woman read 14 books in the past 12 months, compared with the nine books read by the average man, a statistically significant difference. The median number of books read by women was five, compared with a median of three for men, which was not statistically significant.

“Those with higher levels of education were more likely to have read multiple books than those with high school diplomas or less. The typical college graduate or someone with an advanced degree read an average of 17 books in the previous year, compared with nine for high school grads and three for those who did not graduate from high school.”

#pew #readers #demos



The first vertical video ads have gone live on Facebook, and the results suggest a 3x improvement in performance and efficiency. This might be simply an example of a format getting increased attention mostly because it’s new, but given how video and social consumption have moved to mobile, we do think vertical video is here to stay.

#facebook #video



The New York Times reports on the continued importance of out of home advertising, even as online ads steal budgets from print and broadcast. The continued growth of digital innovation with billboards—both with creative and with user targeting—means the venerable ad platform is just as vital today as it was 100 years ago.




An article in Marketing Land points to a new report from ComScore that shows that two-thirds of all time is spent on mobile, and over half of time spent on mobile happens within apps.  But while mobile has most total user hours, desktop still is king of the conversion. When the consumer is ready to pull the trigger, s/he still heads for the desktop. Here’s Business Insider’s take on the ComScore report.

#desktop #mobile #apps


Ceiling photo detail (c) 2016 Martha Otis

Next to Now for August 4

The tomatoes are plentiful and perfectly ripe at the Union Square Greenmarket and the Olympics are set to start in Rio. It’s peak summertime and a terrific moment to think about great books, passionate readers, and finding new ways to connect them.


A recent Atlantic article on book readers looks at recent Pew data and finds both good news and bad: The bad news is that the number of American who opened a book last year (any book: paper, e-book, audio) declined . . . again. The good news is that the number of kids who read for pleasure has stopped declining and more American than ever are going to college. Book buyers correlation to education is very strong. It’s interesting to note that while education strongly correlates to numbers of books read, HHI above $50k a year is in the same ballpark for books read as HHI above $75k/year.

#readers #data #demos #HHI #education



In this New York Times article on Verizon’s purchase of Yahoo, Tim Armstrong, head of Verizon’s AOL unit, points out that the long-term advertising landscape does not have to be entirely owned by Google and Facebook. The article is a good overview of why Verizon’s been on a buying spree recently, and how their purchases line up with their efforts to become a viable third option for advertisers.  It’s also good on the potential conflicts of interest and privacy concerns that could have the FCC putting breaks on any effort to combine mobile, Web, and broadband user tracking. Watch this space.

#verizon #advertising #data



The United States Olympic Committee has put non-sponsors on notice that only approved USOC sponsors can use the “official” hashtags #Rio2016 and #TeamUSA. This is patently ridiculous and shows how the old “lock-it-down” marketing mentality is persisting even in new open social channels. If you want to participate in crowd-sourcing your message and communicating on open social channels brands (including the USOC) have to relax their commitment to “owning” 100% of the conversation. There’s no other way to have a conversation unless you want to take the world back to the U.S.S.R.  If you want to own the message, that’s perfectly understandable, but then you have to restrict your participation to the kind of marketing channels that let you have a one-way conversation with your audience. The Olympics are theoretically an event that’s about global openness and free competition. To try to reshape your message of the event with old-fashioned legal bullying is anti-Olympic, anti-American, and bad marketing.

#soapbox #olympics #social  #Rio2016 #TeamUSA



The IAB has released a study that shows how advertisers can win back the 26% of users who have turned on ad blocking. Not only are these users open to turning off ad blockers, the path to encouraging them to do so is simple to follow:

“Respondents who use ad blockers stated that the adoption of the LEAN principles (Light, Encrypted, AdChoice supported, and Non-invasive ads), which address a number of the tactics outlined above, would have the greatest influence in getting them to turn off ad blockers. For instance, results showed that men ages 18-34, who are the main ad blocking demographic on desktops, are also the group most inclined to turn off blocking if sites adhere to LEAN.”

Here’s Digiday’s detailed and helpful report on the study. The message is clear for advertisers: deliver ads that are contextually relevant, respectful of users, and fully transparent. These are principles Verso has believed in from the founding of our agency, and they remain best practices for advertising now.

#adblocking #iab



Instagram is feeling the heat from Snapchat. To combat the rising new social platform, Instagram has just introduced “Disappearing Stories” Now you can post an image to Instagram that will disappear after twenty-four hours, a direct crib from their competitor Snapchat. eMarketer has an article about the new program:

“’The temporary nature of Stories—on Snapchat and now Instagram—is just part of their appeal,’ said eMarketer senior analyst Cathy Boyle. ‘The way the short video clips and images are strung together chronologically over the course of a day allows users to step into the lives of their friends, a few seconds at a time. The visual and near-real-time nature of Stories makes it a compelling way for friends to connect, not to mention another way for advertisers to engage mobile users.’”

#snapchat #instagram


Tomatoes at the Union Square Greenmarket photo 2016 (c) Martha Otis


New Bowker data on building book audiences through digital media

While book publishing faces its greatest challenges in decades, new Verso Digital initiatives aim to do more than simply gain market share in a declining market. Our goal is to grow readership by reaching out to each book’s interest-group in targeted, measurable ways across multiple digital platforms.

As readers’ attention shifts from print to digital media, the old ways of reaching potential readers no longer work as well as they have in the past. This migration of attention, coupled with declining foot traffic in brick-and-mortar bookstores, makes it imperative that we reach potential book buyers where they are most active and engaged with their subject matter.

The latest data from RR Bowker confirms that this migration has already occurred. For the first time, average hours spent online has recently passed hours spent watching TV. Consumers are increasingly learning about books online.

This shift means that book marketing needs to move from a mass mindset to a niche one. When ads are broadcast across mass channels such as national print newspapers, radio and TV, the ads need to speak as broadly and loudly as possible. But ads can no longer be merely disruptive plays for attention. With micro-targeting now possible across a multitude of devices, advertising should be considered a service rendered to particular, interested readers, not a blanket message aimed at them. That’s why we created Verso Reader Channels–to target a reader pre-disposed toward a particular book’s subject, when and where he or she is interested in learning about it. Doing so not only increases our chances of converting attention to a “buy,” but also increases the chance of the message spreading virally across networks of like-minded readers.