Chris Charron at Forrester reports that digital technologies have eroded the size and attention of media audiences. The war in Iraq turns the tide momentarily, bringing riveted viewers back to networks. But the coverage also exposes key structural changes in store for the media business. The war shows what distributed content creation looks like.
According to February figures released recently by American Business Media, business-to-business print advertising spending is up for the fourth straight month. Ad dollars were up 2.4% compared to February 2002, while pages were down 5.6%. Year-to-date, spending is up 2.8% and pages are down 5.6%. Gordon Hughes, President & CEO of American Business Media, said "We've been predicting 3% growth in ad revenues in the first quarter, and so far we're on target.
Nielsen//NetRatings initial reports show that more than 22 million Internet users visited an online tax services site in February 2003, an increase of 15 percent year-over-year, outpacing the 11 percent growth rate of the general finance, insurance, and investments category. Reaching more than 17 percent of the active online population from home and work, more Americans than ever are leveraging Internet tax resources.
According to a recent release by Informa Media Group, over $100 billion was spent in the US on electronic media and entertainment in 2002. Informa explains that "electronic media and entertainment" includes television subscriptions (PPV and VOD), DVD and video-related products, theatrical exhibition products, games and music. Informa projects that electronic media and entertainment spending will rise to $102.8 billion by the end of this year, led by television subscription spending, which will total $53.5 billion.
AOL IM's and E's outreaching communication and services by a wide margin, while viewers look up directions before making reservations. Disney and Toys reach into the Internet community almost as far as Paypal and Bank of America
As a quick follow-up to a recent Brief suggesting that reluctant spending will slow retail sales, a study by the Cambridge Consumer Credit Index points out some probable "cash" generators. The index reveals that 59 percent of all Americans expecting tax refunds this year plan to spend them on everyday purchases or to pay bills. "The results of Cambridge Consumer Credit Index's April study indicate the economy should get a boost as most taxpayers spend their tax refunds. However, consumers are still cautious, as shown by the four percentage point increase in the number of Americans putting their refunds into …
As reported by Richard H. Levey for Direct Newsline, if a consumer saw a televised commercial during the war's opening days against Iraq, chances are it was a direct response spot. Open inventory soared between 50% and 75% during the first three business days after bombing started, according to Cheryl Green, vice president, media director of Advanced Results Marketing. "Most traditional advertisers pulled their campaigns" Green said.
The Pew Internet and American Life Project summarized it's findings through 2002 to describe what Americans do OnLine. Not surprisingly, Email tops the list, but gambling is at the bottom! About 57% of Americans go online which translates into approximately 109 million people.
Nielsen//NetRatings reports that the approaching summer camp season is driving American campers to the Web. Traffic to the U.S. Department of the Interior jumped 60 percent in the week ending February 23, as surfers flocked to the Web to take advantage of online reservations and vacation planning. Attracting 763,000 surfers from work, traffic to the site soared 60 percent as compared to 477,000 surfers during the week ending February 16, rising to the top as one of the fastest growing brands for the week. Traffic from home also increased 60 percent to 874,000 surfers compared to 545,000 the previous week.
A summary of likely consumer reactions to post-war buying, as reported by Thomas J. Ryan, business writer for MultexInvestor, can be useful in positioning the message and selecting the medium. In the last week many retailers have blamed the distractions of war for missed sales goals, but Mr. Ryan sees consumer confidence and economic recovery as the catalyst to improve sales.