What does Brexit mean for our various media sectors?

It’s only two weeks since the EU referendum and media businesses and their employees are still trying to get their heads around what Brexit might mean for the economy, and for the media industry in particular. The economic and political ramifications of the vote are likely to affect us all from years to come, and it’s too early to accurately say what might happen, but in our conversations with business leaders across the media sector a broad picture is starting to build up. (more…)

Affiliate marketing: what is it, and how does it work?

A colleague was recently sharing a cab with a senior sales director working for a traditional broadcaster and was amazed he had no idea of what affiliate marketing was.

It’s perhaps not as uncommon as my colleague might have thought, and many of our readers might be in a similar position. So, to spread a little light, here’s a simple explanation (those of you in the Affiliate Marketing world, turn away now!): (more…)

How the media failed in the Brexit debate

As the fallout over Brexit rumbles on, with infighting on all sides of the debate, it’s perhaps worth considering the part the media played in the run up to the polls.

The three main media influences – broadcast, newspapers (and their digital equivalents), and social media – all played very different but significant roles in the debate. For one reason or another, and whether through omission or policy, it is my view that all three ended up broadly supporting the intentions of the Leave campaign. (more…)

Is Microsoft’s LinkedIn deal as much about SaaS as ad money?

Little over a fortnight after Microsoft paid $26bn for the social network, LinkedIn has introduced a mechanism for advertisers to buy programmatic ads that will display across the site.

In an effort to draw fresh revenue from LinkedIn’s 433m users, the new system will display banners across the LinkedIn desktop and supplement the subscription fees paid by premium users and sponsored content as the main sources of earnings.

For the uninitiated, programmatic ads are administered by a system that relies on complex algorithms to trigger ad deployment to a set of specific criteria. The process is versatile and quick. It allows advertisers to save resources by automating media buying at pre-determined rates, and book and optimise campaigns via a web interface. Optimisation ensures ads are only shown to desired audiences and on relevant pages – and with LinkedIn’s wealth of business professional indexed by industry, job type, gender, nationality, interests, skills and much more, brands will be able to really drill down to find the most valuable audiences for their ads. (more…)

Microsoft to buy LinkedIn: a lot of money for an audience?

The proposed acquisition of LinkedIn by Microsoft raises an interesting question: how much would you pay for your audience?

As I noted in an earlier blog, predictions have a habit of making you look foolish: but the $26bn valuation for a business with $3bn revenue and no discernible profit looks optimistic, at best. Given Microsoft’s earlier forays into unchartered waters (Nokia, Yammer) it would be best to view the move beyond its core competencies with caution.

LinkedIn is not dying: but a decreasing habit among its users suggests that it is not reaching the parts that other social media cannot reach. (more…)

If the audience hates ads, what does the future of digital advertising look like?

Last week, Martin wrote about how necessary content could make it simpler for B2B media firms to carve out a significant piece of the digital landscape for themselves.

The problem for a lot of content businesses, particularly consumer-facing ones, is that despite the merits of what they produce, it’s not essential for their readers. (more…)

Business media firms – is your content necessary or just a nice-to-have?

Many people outside the commodities markets may not be aware of Argus Media. It is a 46 year-old business which provides data and content – principally – to the oil and gas markets. It grew fairly steadily until 2000, and then its growth increased exponentially. It now has turnover of in the hundreds of millions, and operations around the world.

This week, its founding shareholders sold a majority stake to General Atlantic, valuing the whole business at close to £1bn. So what can possibly warrant a valuation of around 22 times net earnings? (more…)

Have e-books found their place in the publishing market?

It seems barely possible, but it’s less than a decade since Amazon boss Jeff Bezos ordered his lieutenants to build the world’s first mass-market e-reader. The original Kindle was introduced to the public in 2007 and with it came the fear that its development marked the beginning of the end for printed books.

In the nine years since its launch, Kindle has been through eight generations, an LCD version has launched, along with various adaptors and applications that allow Amazon’s content to run on the slew of other platforms and technologies than have also come to market in this time.

Yet despite the digital explosion that has taken place, despite the consumer’s readiness to ditch old technology for new (honestly, when was the last time you read a printed newspaper?), and despite 2007’s fear for the future of the book, the situation we currently find ourselves in isn’t the one book-lovers feared. (more…)

Publishers, how well do you know your audience? What are you doing to maximise its value?

MTA media headhuntersThe long-term viability of digital publications that rely on scaling audience has been called into question in the last few months. Digital advertising has continued to grow, but increasingly the idea of a business model focused on generating a massive readership or viewership is becoming outmoded by the fluctuating demands of advertisers.

There’s also a prevailing feeling in the media industry that there’s too much content chasing too little advertising cash. This doesn’t necessarily mean that cutting back on both content and audience size will be beneficial, just that a new way looking at the quality of content and its ‘appropriateness’ to the audience is taking hold.

With this new approach come a requirement for new skills, and increasingly digital media businesses are looking to hire heads of Audience Development to their senior management teams. (more…)

Is your firm using emojis in communications?

Each week I receive roughly 150 marketing emails. The majority get deleted without any consideration of the content, but last week two emails caught my eye and caused me to investigate further. Why? Believe it or not, they stood out from the rest because they used emojis in the subject line.

For the uninitiated, emojis are little graphics that are commonly used in text messages but are increasingly moving into other forms of communication. The two that caught my attention were an image of a car to start the subject line of an email about car finance and, similarly, a party image in a service upgrade message from one of my tech providers.

Well, so far, you might think, so boring; but there is a point to all this: according to a recent survey Brits are 63% more likely to open an email with an emoji accompanying the subject line. (more…)