With the upfronts heading into full swing, many are wondering how far we are from a time when marketers and agencies can execute agnostically across the Web and TV. One study offers a nice window into the question -- and a way to realize that we're thinking about the issue all wrong.
Advance Publications' Conde Nast underwent some cost-cutting measures after the 2008-09 economic meltdown. It's now looking to maximize the value of its portfolio in countless ways. But while the company has gotten a lot of press for the creation and launch of the Conde Nast Entertainment Group, another smaller deal caught my attention.
The 2013 upfront will be the first year when a common currency - Nielsen Online Campaign Ratings - are available for both television and online video. We've already heard major media companies embracing a unified selling approach. For instance, ABC announced that it will use Nielsen OCR to measure viewing across both television and online sites and will offer audience guarantees based on total viewing across all devices. Much has been written about the benefits this would offer advertisers, but scant attention has been paid to just what this would mean for media companies and their online publishing arms.
One of the most wonderful and yet most vexing things about the online video business is the plethora of research being released each day. Numbers and stats make the lives of brands and agencies both easier and harder. Which research should you rely on? Which report should you ignore?
There have been a lot of headlines in the past year about how streaming publishers are embarking on more original programming projects. In the era of content democratization, these publishers are embracing original content for its potential to generate audience loyalty for their own channels. Netflix's "House of Cards" series starring Kevin Spacey is currently the most-streamed piece of content in the U.S and in 40 other countries.
Americans love post-election scuttlebutt, and there is no shortage of pundits eager to fill the demand. The marketing community in particular enjoys dissecting major elections, assessing what worked and what did not to see if there are implications for their brand. One takeaway from the 2012 election that made the rounds recently is that the Obama for America outspent Romney for President on display advertising. While this is interesting, marketers could draw the wrong conclusions from this data.
When Henry Blodget announced that Amazon's Jeff Bezos had led a $5 million investment round in Business Insider, PaidContent's founder Rafat Ali tweeted about the "Dawn of fat content startups." Indeed, Business Insider ($19 million), Buzzfeed ($46 million), Cheezburger ($37 million), VOX Media ($23.5 million), Sugar Media ($46 million), BuzzMedia ($58 million) and Bleacher Report ($40.5 million) are just some of the companies that have raised tons of money from institutional investors.
It's a dilemma. Marketers today are faced with a true challenge in dealing with the ever-increasing demand for video for social channels, while they are still being held to the highest levels of production standards for any work that represents their brand. These two conflicts, the battle for high standards offset by the need for more and more video, are creating real friction internally for many of the largest and more innovative brands. Brand marketers need to ask themselves four important questions at this critical juncture:
TV stations have traditionally centered their tune-in efforts on-air. But with consumer habits shifting to an online world, broadcast tune-in strategies are moving in that direction too. That's the conclusion of a white paper from video marketing and analytics platform Mixpo. The company surveyed local broadcasters around the country to assess how they use all types of online advertising to drive viewership, and the result is that nearly half will be upping their online ad spend this year, with many leaning more on online video.
At my local vegetable stand, I don't buy produce based on cheapest price. I pass over the discounted tomatoes, close to the perishable date, packaged in multiples and buy the vine tomatoes that cost more but have the color, flavor and texture I want. I'm here to suggest the same kind of thinking can serve us well when planning and buying T/V (Television/Video), and that there is a new, fresher, higher-value "tomato" in town: CPCV (Cost Per Completed View).