Thursday, December 8, 2011
Verizon May Ignite Online Pay-TV Rivalry With Web Service
http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-12-06/verizon-may-ignite-online-pay-tv-competition-with-web-offering.html(Sent from Flipboard)
Sunday, November 6, 2011
Groupon shares surge but concerns linger
Groupon Chief Executive Andrew Mason poses with his fiancee, pop musician Jenny Gillespie, outside the Nasdaq Market following his company's IPO in New York, November 4, 2011.
Credit: Reuters/Brendan McDermid
(Reuters) - The shares of daily deals site Groupon Inc rose as much as 56 percent in their stock market debut on Friday, with at least some of the exuberance the result of the small number of shares sold.
NEW YORK/SAN FRANCISCO
The shares rose as high as $31.14, or 55.7 percent above the IPO price, in early trading on the Nasdaq, at one point pushing the market value of the company to $19.9 billion. The shares later eased to close at $26.11, 31 percent above their $20 IPO price, giving the company a market value of about $16.7 billion.
Groupon had the third-highest trading volume on the Nasdaq on Friday, with nearly 50 million trades.
Groupon sells Internet coupons for everything from spa treatments to nose jobs and is one of this year's most closely watched IPOs.
The offering, one of the largest in recent years, may be a barometer of investor appetite for IPOs. A strong first few trading days could help other private Internet companies -- such as Angie's List, Zynga and even Facebook -- pursue their own IPOs.
There is a huge backlog of companies that filed to go public earlier this year. Most put their plans on hold when the stock market slumped in August. Groupon is the first major IPO since then.
Chief Executive Andrew Mason and Chairman Eric Lefkofsky hugged in Times Square after ringing the opening bell on the Nasdaq. Employees at company headquarters in Chicago donned lime green T-shirts emblazoned with the company's ticker symbol "GRPN" printed in old, ticker-tape-style lettering.
The company declined Reuters' requests for interviews. One employee in Chicago, who declined to give his name, said workers had been discouraged from speaking to the media. Several uniformed security guards walked the perimeter of the building, keeping an eye on Groupon workers who came outside on their cigarette breaks.
All of the shares sold in the IPO were new, which means early equity holders may sell a portion of their stake next spring, once the 6-month lock-up period expires. It also means that, for now, Andrew Mason's newly-minted $1.2 billion remains paper wealth.
Some analysts and investors warn that Groupon's early surge could be a short-term phenomenon and its shares could reverse course and trade down like those of Internet radio station Pandora Media Inc.
There are still lingering questions about Groupon's business model and about competition from better-funded rivals such as Amazon.com Inc and Google Inc.
Groupon has lost two chief operating officers in the past year and had to adjust its accounting twice under regulatory pressure.
"They wanted to have a decent pop on the stock so they didn't take that much public," said David Berman, a consumer technology and retail specialist at hedge fund firm Durban Capital. "They created demand by limiting supply, and they got the pop."
Michael Yoshikami head of money-management firm YCMNET Investment Committee, agreed.
"Much of this pop is based on low float. We continue to be concerned about Groupon's model, especially given the low barrier for entry into this space. But it's a familiar name and investors tend to gravitate to familiar names at first," he said.
On Thursday, Groupon upsized its IPO and sold 35 million shares for $20 each. But that stake amounts to only about 5 percent of the company.
The $700 million raised was on the larger side for a U.S. IPO, but the 5.5 percent represented the second-smallest share float in the United States in the past decade, according to capital markets data provider Ipreo.
Groupon was founded in October 2008 and has never been profitable. In the nine months ended September 30, it posted a net loss attributable to common stockholders of $308.1 million on revenue of $1.1 billion.
A spokeswoman for Deutsche Boerse AG's International Securities Exchange said it expects to list options on Groupon on November 14, with other major exchanges expected to follow suit. Options can be used to bet on the direction of stocks, including a decline. They are often used by traders to hedge stock positions.
Underwriters on the IPO were led by Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs and Credit Suisse.
(Reporting by Clare Baldwin, Brendan McDermid, Rodrigo Campos, Edward Krudy and Phil Wahba in New York, Alistair Barr in San Francisco and James Kelleher and Doris Frankel in Chicago; editing by Derek Caney, Gerald E. McCormick, Steve Orlofsky and Andre Grenon)
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We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of Reuters. For more information on our comment policy, see http://blogs.reuters.com/fulldisclosure/2010/09/27/toward-a-more-thoughtful-conversation-on-stories/
NEW YORK (AP) — Rapper Snoop Dogg gave props on Twitter to an ad for the Toyota Sienna minivan. Actress Tori Spelling linked to a website for rental cars. And reality TV star Khloe Kardashian soliloquized about the brand of jeans that accentuates the famous Kardashian derriere.
"Want to know how Old Navy makes your butt look scary good? Ask a Kardashian," the reality TV star wrote, or tweeted, on the social media website. Of course, she capped off the reflection with a smiley face.
These celebs aren't just writing about family cars and fashion choices for the heck of it. Stars can get paid big bucks — sometimes $10,000 or more per post — to pontificate about clothes, cars and movies in the 140 characters or less allowed per tweet. That adds up to about $71 per character.
Twitter, which in its five-year existence has reshaped how people shop, vote and start revolutions, is now changing the business of celebrity endorsements. Just as Match.com and eHarmony pair up singles for dates, a growing number of startup firms are hooking up companies with stars who get paid to praise products to their thousands — sometimes millions — of Twitter followers.
The list of celebs and the things they hawk is long and getting longer all the time. The endorsements range from subtle to blatant; the celeb pairings from sensible to downright odd.
Singer Ray J urged his 600,000-plus Twitter followers to see the horror movie "Saw 3D." Football star Terrell Owens gave a shout-out in front of his more than 1 million followers to a hotel chain giving away sports tickets: "Comfort Inn is hooking up 3 days of it!" Lamar Odom, the L.A. Lakers forward, tweeted to his nearly 2 million followers about hip-hop artist and entrepreneur Jay-Z's book "Decoded": "My man Jay-Z ... only rapper to rewrite history without a pen. Until now."
Of course, anything on Twitter is short-lived and reaches only a small, self-selecting audience: Research firm eMarketer estimates that only 11 percent of U.S. adult Internet users are on the micro-blogging site. And even though some celebs have faithful groups of followers, it can be hard to measure whether their tweets lead people to spend.
Still, celeb tweets can be a way to grab an audience at a time when many people skip TV commercials using their digital video recorders. And paying a celeb to tweet is much cheaper than a traditional advertising campaign. Want a tweet from Khloe Kardashian? That will cost about $8,000, according to prices listed by social media marketer Izea. Looking for a cheaper option? Ray J is about $2,300.
Companies like Izea, Ad.ly and twtMob usually pair products with celebs through a combination of software algorithms and Hollywood instinct. The companies say they use many metrics to gauge the effectiveness of a paid tweet, such as the number of times it gets reposted by others.
When Ad.ly got Charlie Sheen to tweet for Interships.com in March, the actor was in the midst of getting fired from his sitcom "Two and a Half Men" over accusations of hard partying and drug use. Within an hour of Sheen's first post, Internships.com got more than 95,000 clicks.
"I'm looking to hire a (hash)winning INTERN with (hash)TigerBlood," tweeted Sheen, who had just recently signed up for Twitter and now has more than 5 million followers.
Dan Smith, vice president of marketing for the website CampusLIVE, which helps advertisers connect with college students, hired Izea to help him get a celebrity to tweet about his company. Izea gave him a short list, which included names like "Jersey Shore" reality TV star JWOWW, comedian Michael Ian Black and rapper Bow Wow.
Smith polled his interns and they picked Lindsay Lohan, the actress most famous for her run-ins with the law. According to Smith, CampusLIVE paid Lohan about $3,500 for one tweet: "These challenges for college kids on (hash)CampusLIVE are SO addicting!"
The post to Lohan's 2.6 million fans drove about 4,500 clicks to the website, Smith said. But he also said he wasn't sure if he'd use her again — not because of her troubles, but because he's already tapped her fan base. His interns wanted to know if comedian Will Ferrell is available. Said Smith: "That would be a cool one to get."
For the record, Ferrell isn't on Twitter, says his spokesman, Matt Labov, who adds that the Twitter handles sporting his name are "imposters."
For her part, Lohan on her own time tweets about topics like fulfilling her community service sentence. But she has also posted comments for Izea on a few occasions, the company says. Her tweets about wind energy ("While saving the world ... save money! I love it!") and about a gold mining company ("R ur savings safe? Think again!") were paid endorsements, according to Izea's website.
Those posts, along with the CampusLIVE tweet, included the characters "(hash)ad" at the end, which indicates that a post is a paid endorsement. But Lohan's publicist, Steve Honig, says that Lohan does not "sell" her tweets: "She uses Twitter to communicate with her fans and let them know what she's up to."
Like any endorsement, celeb tweets come with the risk that a star's behavior will not coincide with the company's image. And of course, there's a science to picking the right one: Will consumers buy that their favorite rapper drives a minivan?
Twitter generally allows the paid tweets, as long as they're posted manually and not automated by a computer program. The Federal Trade Commission suggests endorsers end their tweets with the (hash) symbol, called a hash tag, and the letters "ad" or "spon," short for "sponsored by," to clarify that they're ads.
"The more transparent you are with your audience on Twitter, the more powerful that connection is," said Rachael Horwitz, a company spokeswoman.
Ed Aranda, a 27-year-old graphic designer and copy writer in Erie, Pa., doesn't like celebs mining their fans' trust to sell a product. Still, he thinks those reading the tweets should take responsibility.
"If you can't tell snake oil when it's being sold to you," Aranda said, "then you probably deserve what you're buying."
AP Business Writer Michelle Chapman contributed.
Quick question....do you think Twitter dollars are coming from an increase in ad budgets or diverting from another medium?
Tuesday, November 1, 2011
In the old days, you’d hear a song on TV, scramble to remember a few lyrics, Google them and then download the song on iTunes — if you’re lucky enough to find it. But the music-identification app Shazam is driving iTunes downloads on its own, and as they’ve provided us the chart below, TV can play a big role.
HBO is known for their musically significant series finales that bring songs back from the dead. When the final moments of Entourage concluded on September 11th and Led Zeppelin’s “Going to California” played, viewers punched up their Shazam apps and tagged it (identified it) nearly 25,000 times:
With 150 million users, 1.3 million downloads per week, 2.5 billion songs tagged (8% buy the song according to Shazam) is the company ready to become the most powerful social TV app, now that they’ve raised money specifically to do so? David Jones, Executive Vice President of Marketing for the company says they already are. “We’re making television ads interactive,” he explains. “We know the precise time” a user Shazam’s during a TV ad, which he says, “can help the media buyers or agency” spend more effectively.
“We know interest level, and we can get that data back so they can shift spend around and get more out of television advertising,” Jones describes. Shazam recognizes the billion dollar business that makes the TV business what it has become and for now feels the solution is improving the engagement with the ad spots that we all know still run strong during our favorite programming.
Jones described that when they work with brands to make Shazamble ads, there’s “a setup fee and cost per impression or fixed price, similar to rich media ad campaigns.” He says the initial setup is between, “$50k-$100k,” and that “some are spending hundreds and hundreds of thousands because it’s effective.”
Their first advertiser, Old Navy, came together in six weeks when the company asked if they could do something for them with their commercials. “27% went deeper with the Old Navy commercial,” Jones said, enabling Shazamers to unlock exclusive content since the spot had been infused with Shazam’s audio recognition technology. eBay, Geico, Capital One and Old Navy are now some of the company’s biggest advertisers.
Director Jon Favreau on social media: ‘Moviemaking process is resembling old TV model, making a pilot’
Media companies worst at answering Facebook questions
Wednesday, October 5, 2011
Web overtakes TV as most popular UK ad medium: IAB
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By Kate Holton
LONDON | Tue Oct 4, 2011 1:39pm EDT(Reuters) - Brands spent more money advertising on the Internet in Britain than they did on TV for the first time in the first half of 2011, as companies moved online to reach the millions of Britons using social networks and watching videos.
The bi-annual report by the Internet Advertising Bureau, PwC and marketing group WARC said advertising online in Britain rose 13.5 percent in the first six months to 2.26 billion pounds ($3.48 billion), giving it a record high market share of 27 percent.
TV had a market share of 26 percent, the report said.
The medium was boosted by 100 percent growth in online video ads, strong spending by companies in the fast moving consumer goods sector (FMCG), and campaigns designed for social media.
Within the Internet category, 58 percent of revenues came from search advertising, with 23 percent on display ads and 17 percent on classified ads.
Search advertising grew 12.6 percent, while display advertising grew by 18.5 percent, boosted by new formats and demand for online video adverts.
"The spectacular growth of video and social media powering brand display is key to online achieving a record share of 27 percent," IAB Chief Executive Guy Phillipson said.
"FMCG advertisers were relatively late to the party, but now firmly established as the second highest-spending category, they clearly have all the proof they need to invest in line with the medium's share, and enjoy healthy returns from cross-media campaigns."
The IAB said spending online was led by financial clients in display ads but that ad spend from consumer goods groups was now growing the fastest.
The strong growth for online advertising fitted with a revised global advertising forecast released by ZenithOptimedia on Monday, which put Internet ad growth at a faster rate than any other medium, at an average of 14.6 percent a year between 2010 and 2013.
"Overall, we predict Internet advertising will increase its share of the ad market from 14.4 percent in 2010 to 18.9 percent in 2013, when it will overtake newspapers to become the world's second-largest medium," Zenith said.
Overall, ZenithOptimedia cut its forecasts for global ad expenditure growth in 2011 to 3.6 percent, a 0.5 percentage points cut, as companies trimmed budgets in the face of growing concerns about the strength of the global economy. ($1 = 0.649 British Pounds)
(Editing by Jane Merriman)
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Ads by Marchex
And Forrester says this will happen in the US within 3 years.
Monday, October 3, 2011
October 3rd, 2011 by JP Colaco SVP of Advertising
Management guru Peter Drucker once famously said, “Efficiency is doing things right; effectiveness is doing the right things.”
Drucker’s observation was spot-on. We share his belief that effectiveness is doing the right things — especially in advertising. This belief has driven our relentless focus on building the world’s most effective video advertising service.
Carefully balancing the needs of all our customers (users, advertisers and content partners) is a core part of achieving our mission. We believe that by offering users a premium viewing environment and relevant, targeted ads, we will reduce budget waste for advertisers and drive higher engagement, brand and message recall, likeability, and purchase intent among consumers. These improvements facilitate higher ad prices, which gives us the ability to better monetize content on behalf of content owners.
We conducted a significant research project with 1,500 people to help us better understand what users really want from an advertising service. We were told by users that they’d like us to innovate on two dimensions: more choice and greater control. Users are tired of seeing ads that are not relevant to them, and are eager for more control over their ad experience. Below is some of the actual user feedback from the study:
- “I would let the viewer pick the ads he wants to watch.”
- “I would replace the commercials I watched with ones that were relevant and interesting to me.”
- “Maybe the Hulu website could offer a choice of what kinds of commercials consumers could watch.”
- “A choice of commercials to watch – a lot of the ads weren’t relevant to me and it would be great if I could skip them.”
- “Allow for a choice of ads we see during or before the show.”
We’ve always believed that choice and control were instrumental to building the world’s most effective video advertising service. The unique interactive nature of our online streaming service enables users to actively participate in their ad experience. Our first approach to provide more choice and control was introduced with the Hulu Ad Selector, an ad innovation that came to market when Hulu launched publicly in 2008. The Hulu Ad Selector allows users to choose to watch one of three ads from the same brand (e.g. Coca-cola, Diet Coke or Sprite) or one ad from a selection of three different brands. Since 2008, we’ve seen that approximately two-thirds of users choose to participate when presented with the Hulu Ad Selector option. We’ve also found that the power of choice drives nearly 2x higher effectiveness metrics when compared to a standard pre-roll.
The strong performance history of Hulu Ad Selector coupled with the consumer input from our latest research project helped drive the development of our latest ad innovation, Hulu Ad Swap.
Hulu Ad Swap is the next evolution in user choice and control — an ad innovation designed to dramatically improve the advertising experience for users and results for brands. Hulu Ad Swap puts complete control in the hands of the user by enabling them to instantly swap out of an ad they are watching for one that is more relevant.
Here’s how it works…When an ad begins to play, a user can click on the Hulu Ad Swap icon in the top left corner of the player and bring up a number of ad choices, customized to that user’s profile and previous ad viewing preferences.
At this point, the user can select a more relevant ad from the available choices.
The advertiser whose ad initially began to play is not charged for that impression. This is a win-win scenario for both the user, and for the advertiser. The user now has ultimate control over their ad experience and the advertiser does not have to pay for an impression that would have been wasted.
In an online environment, advertisers have many more tools they can use to engage with key audiences, and in ways that are proven to improve brand recall, message recall, likeability, and purchase intent. With Hulu Ad Swap in particular, advertisers now have the ability to connect in meaningful ways with the consumers who are specifically interested in their brands.
We’ve been testing Hulu Ad Swap over the past several months, asking consumers for their feedback in shaping the product. Since testing began, we’ve found that this feature has a significant impact on effectiveness metrics, improving unaided brand recall by 93%, brand favorability by 27%, purchase intent by 35%, and stated relevancy by 46%.
As one user said, “It was pretty fun when the commercial would start and you knew you could change it if you wanted to. I kinda looked forward to it.” I couldn’t have said it better myself.
We consider ourselves fortunate that we have the opportunity to be engaged in a meaningful feedback loop with users, advertisers, and content owners on a daily basis. We are also fortunate to find ourselves in the thick of such an exciting time for the video advertising industry. It is this feedback loop that drives us to become the world’s most effective video advertising service.
We hope you enjoy using Hulu Ad Swap as much as we enjoyed building it. Let us know what you think!
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Tuesday, September 27, 2011
Friday, September 23, 2011
Most Americans have a rather negative view of the press, according to a new study from the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press.
The study found that more than three-quarters (77%) of Americans believe that when it comes to reporting on political and social issues, news organizations tend to favor one side -- a 3% rise from 2009, the last time the survey was conducted, and a 10% increase from 2001. Some 80% of respondents felt that news organizations were often influenced by powerful people and organizations -- a 6% jump from 2009.Story continues after the ad
Respondents also questioned the accuracy of news reporting. Only 25% felt that news organizations in general got their facts straight, while 66% felt that stories were inaccurate. Opinions were reversed when it came to the news sources respondents relied on: 62% felt the news organizations they used most got their stories right, while 30% found reporting often inaccurate.
The outlook was a little brighter for local news organizations. Sixty-nine percent said they have a lot or some trust in local news sources, compared to only 59% for national news organizations. In general, the press was more trusted than government or business.
The report also found that television is still the top source for national and international news, with 66% turning to the set for news. The Internet, though, has narrowed the gap. Some 43% of respondents said they get their news online -- nearly double the amount from four years ago. Still, 63% volunteered the name of a cable news network when asked to identify a news organization.
The complete report can be found here.
Wednesday, September 14, 2011
Wednesday, September 7, 2011
Monday, September 5, 2011
Viewers are spending more time streaming TV programming online and slightly less time watching scheduled broadcast TV, according to a new study from Ericsson ConsumerLab.
Some 38% of respondents to Ericsson’s “TV & Video Consumer Trend Report 2011” reported watching Internet-based on-demand TV more than once per week, while about 80% watch broadcast TV more than once per week.
The study also shows that social media usage has impacted the way we watch TV. More than 40% of the respondents reported using social media on various devices such as smartphones and tablets while watching TV.
“On-demand viewing is increasingly popular, while broadcast viewing has remained as the most common way for people to watch TV,” Ericsson ConsumerLab senior advisor Anders Erlandsson said in a statement. “People want both broadcast and on-demand viewing to be available. TV and video have not been negatively affected by the internet in the same way that print has; we just watch TV in many more ways than we did before.”
Data was collected in the United States, Australia, Austria, Brazil, China, Germany, the Netherlands, Russia, Spain, Sweden, Taiwan, the United Kingdom and South Korea. In all, 22 qualitative and 13,000 quantitative interviews were conducted representing almost 400 million consumers.
Canary...meet coal mine.
Saturday, September 3, 2011
Thursday, September 1, 2011
When you read where Forrester and BIA/Kelsey both predict by 2015-2016 there will be shift in the majority of ad spending from traditional to digital media, then you see this below, it's difficult to reconcile to two. Are we really going to see such a dramatic change in spending over the next 3-4 years?
|Cable Experiences Little 'Breakage,' Advertisers Not Cutting Cords|
|by David Goetzl, Yesterday, 5:29 PM|
A Wall Street report Wednesday says that even with a bumpy economy, advertisers aren't pulling back on spending commitments made in the TV upfront market, while the scatter business remains robust. Also, national cable ad spending for 2011 is estimated to increase by 12%.
With upfront agreements being wrapped now, there is "little apparent breakage so far," according to Credit Suisse analyst Spencer Wang. Also, the scatter market for national TV has broadcast networks commanding between 10% and 25% hikes over upfront levels, with cable networks between 5% and 12%.
More broadly, Wang noted that the economy appears to be weathering the turmoil enough to prevent a change in a forecast of 2% growth for the U.S. ad market this year. That's largely fueled by the search (up 15%), online display (14%) and national cable (12%) sectors.
He did, however, suggest that a further economic decline might cause a downgrade in growth projections for 2012 -- from a 3% uptick to 2% -- even in a year with an Olympics and presidential campaign. One reason for the prediction is a belief that the ratio between ad spend and GDP will remain about the same next year as this.
As Wang touted the cable ad market, he projected the cable upfront pulled in a combined $9.3 billion in commitments versus $9.1 billion for the broadcasters.
A year ago, broadcasters continued to land more ($8.6 billion) compared to cable's $8.2 billion.
Still, as a 12% growth for cable in 2011 is projected, the rate of growth could be slowed next year if the economy ushers in a slowdown in scatter pricing, since cable networks can leave about 50% of inventory to be sold in the walk-up market.