Posts Tagged ‘media’

AOL Chief Tim Armstrong Defends Twitter, Saying Marketers Need to Catch Up

September 27, 2016  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

AOL CEO Tim Armstrong took to the Times Center stage on Monday for a conversation with NBC's Stephanie Ruhle to discuss the current and future state of media through the lens of brand building—something the exec has made a name for himself doing during his seven-year tenure at the storied internet company. Part of the 60-minute chat was about content-business acquisition, which wouldn't have been complete without addressing future buys. Ruhle suggested Twitter, the content behemoth with a monetization problem, would be a good project for Armstrong's team if parent Verizon could make the purchase. He didn't address the question, but he did defend the microblogging platform, saying its marketing is a lot better than it gets credit for, and it's actually the marketers that are behind. "If you're a marketer, should you be upset that Twitter isn't up to snuff or should you be upset at yourself that you're not talking to consumers in real time?" he posited to the packed auditorium of brand execs and marketers. "I don't know that much about Twitter's ad program, but I do know that marketing real time might be a more effective use of getting consumer engagement." The majority of the discussion was spent reviewing the entrepreneurial spirit of the brands in AOL's portfolio, including ones acquired during Armstrong's tenure like the Huffington Post, Makers and Build. Though, the conversation often turned toward the meatier issues facing the media world. Unlike many of his media contemporaries, Armstrong isn't wringing his hands over the content creation explosion taking hold in the industry. Describing AOL as a "content company," Armstrong doesn't see Facebook and Google as posing a threat to brands like TechCrunch and HuffPo. "People want to eat news everyday. People want a curated, trusted voice, and I think that's not going away," he said. "Do as much social media as you want, but at the end of the day, people want a trusted voice." AOL's current iteration operates under the idea that content is king, and Armstrong clearly believes his platform is heir apparent. He even sees it as the solution for digital advertising, adding that the ad-tech world was responsible for the current dismal state of digital advertising. "I think the industry got incredibly lazy—I think AOL got incredibly lazy—by not worrying about what they put in front of consumers, but worrying about the tech platforms behind those," he said. "I think it led to ad blocking, and AOL has to innovate ad formats. Consumers are really good at spending their time—they're better at spending their time than their money—and we should not be putting things in front of them that aren't great pieces of content." Another of Armstrong's ad-tech prognostications is that, contrary to many media forecasts, online advertising will become more expensive in the future, owing this theory to the difficulties in unhooking the convenience provided by digital platforms—think recurring monthly Amazon order where a year's supply of brand products is decided with one click.

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OMD’s Digital Head Wants to Foster Cooperation Between Media and Creative Partners

September 19, 2016  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Specs Current gig OMD, chief digital and innovation officer Previous gig Meredith Xcelerated Marketing, chief innovation officer, general manager Twitter @dougs_digs Age 41 Adweek: You've been OMD 's chief digital and innovation officer for about three months. What's that role like? Doug Rozen: On the digital side, it's really about ensuring that all clients, as well as ourselves internally, are delivering against the fullest and widest array of digital possibilities. For me, what this comes down to is that digital today is not any particular thing or any specific channel—it really stretches across all [channels] and is about rising above talking about TV, print, radio, desktop, etcetera, as channels, and start talking more about formats like audio, video, visual and how then digital allows those formats to be addressable. Now coupled with that is the innovation side, and innovation is not just big media breakthroughs—although they are awesome and necessary—to me it's about every client [having] an innovation agenda. What do you mean by that

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Mode Media Shuts Down, Leaving Freelancers Unpaid

September 16, 2016  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Just two years ago, Mode Media founder and chief executive Samir Arora described his Silicon Valley startup (formerly known as Glam Media) as "a pioneer of native advertising and content marketing," and boasted that after just 10 years it had grown to become "the 7th largest U.S. media company, reaching 50 percent of the U.S. digital population." Thursday evening, The Wall Street Journal reported the lifestyle content company once valued at $1 billion had shut down operations—leaving a network of content creator "partners" owed tens of thousands of dollars. Crissy Page, an Ohio-based writer who served as a contributing editor for Mode Media's parenting vertical, Tend, says the company owes her $17,000. Page says the shutdown came without any warning. "Work was ongoing right up until the last moment. I was receiving feedback about content for clients as recently as two days ago, which tells me that the account managers had no idea that the doors would be closing." Calls to Mode late Thursday went unanswered. Page says she reached one company contact at home, who gave her little hope of ever being paid. "She told me that all employee email accounts were immediately cut off when they sent people home." The company has pulled some of its content off the web—along with access to financial documents that Mode Media's content partners used to track what they were owed. "Personally, I did not see this coming," said writer Jaleesa Howard.

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Time Inc. Enters Streaming Space With Launch of People/Entertainment Weekly Network

September 12, 2016  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

With everyone from ESPN to Turner set to launch new over-the-top networks, the OTT video space is getting more crowded with every passing day. But that's not stopping Time Inc., the publisher of storied titles like Time and Sports Illustrated, from entering the fray. This Monday, the company is officially launching the People/Entertainment Weekly Network, a new ad-supported long-form video-on-demand network (AVOD) that purports to be the first solely pop culture- and celebrity-focused entry in the category. First announced at Time Inc.'s NewFronts presentation in May, the network—PEN for short—marks a major investment for the 94-year-old media company, which has spent the past several years aggressively expanding its digital and video businesses in an effort to combat the industrywide problem of declining print ad sales. "If you look at the subscription business, there are a lot of niche brands that have recently launched, but if you look at the straight AVOD business, it's definitely an interesting area," said Bruce Gersh, svp of brand business development. "These two brands coming together as the first blue-chip brands entering the ad-supported OTT space is a really great opportunity for us." Of course, there's already plenty of other similar celebrity- and Hollywood-themed content at consumers' fingertips on every platform. But Time Inc. is betting that the People and EW names—and their combined cross-platform audience of more than 108 million, according to the MPA—will set its offerings apart.

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With 3 New Podcasts, Sports Illustrated Is Doubling Down on Audio

September 7, 2016  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

The NFL regular season starts this week, and Sports Illustrated wants to load up your podcast apps with football commentary all fall. SI is launching three new weekly podcasts with DGital Media today, audio extensions of its Monday Morning Quarterback (MMQB) website that covers football. MMQB editor Peter King will host one of the shows— The MMQB Podcast with Peter King —featuring interviews with the likes of John Elway, Seattle Seahawks defensive end Michael Bennett and Arizona Cardinals coach Bruce Arians. In addition to King's show, there are two other football-themed podcasts: one with MMQB.com reporter Albert Breer and another one called The Ten Things MMQB Podcast. Sports Illustrated is backing up its investment in audio with stats. Streams for its existing shows, including the SI Media podcast hosted by Richard Deitsch and the basketball-themed SI's Open Floor, have increased 200 percent in the past year with downloads up 150 percent. "As time goes along, we'll introduce some non-MMQB podcasts, but with football starting this week, this represents the best opportunity to fill the richest conversation from the start," said Chris Stone, group editorial director at Sports Illustrated. "Even anecdotally, we sense that [this] is beyond the football space." He added, "We saw this summer in particular basketball around the NBA finals—we saw massive spikes in people who were engaging and downloading our podcast." At launch, King's show will be sponsored by Blue Apron, FanDuel, SeatGeek and Harry's with preroll and midroll ads. Unlike other podcasts that prerecord ads with a separate voice, all of Sports Illustrated's ads will be read by the hosts. "It allows a premium influencer like a Peter King to talk through what that sponsorship is, whether it's a 60-second or 30-second midroll or preroll spot," said Chris Corcoran, chief content officer at DGital Media.

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Why Don’t Movie Studios Produce Their Own Podcasts? Blame Paris Hilton (Maybe)

September 2, 2016  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

When I saw Adweek was taking a look at how marketers and advertisers in various industries are using audio as part of the mix, I thought, "Great! There's plenty to talk about there when it comes to how movie studios do it." Yeah, not so much. Movie studios are great at two things when it comes to audio formats: 1) Getting their talent to appear on podcasts, which is really just an extension of getting them on terrestrial radio; and 2) Sponsoring podcasts, particularly to raise awareness of their new releases, specifically smaller movies or those with some level of prestige. In my research and experience, I could identify only two examples of originally produced, owned podcasts that were created to promote new theatrical releases. The first was back in 2005 which, if you'll remember, was the first time podcasts were considered the hot new media format. (Yes, millennials, podcasts were around before the first season of Serial. Let's move on.) It was, if you can believe it, produced to promote the remake of House of Wax starring Elisha Cuthbert, Chad Michael Murray and others, and was hosted—hang on here— by costar Paris Hilton. That's right. Jump in the Wayback Machine to a strange time when Paris Hilton was everywhere in the media. And someone paid her to "host" a podcast that was ostensibly about the movie but which, based on the few episodes I listened to, mentioned said movie only a couple of times.

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Q&A: Malcolm Gladwell on Podcasting, Beer Ads and His Next Move

August 23, 2016  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Since history is written by the victor, it needs a top-notch editor. And that's exactly why best-selling author and New Yorker writer Malcolm Gladwell rolled out Revisionist History , a podcast in partnership with Slate's Panoply Media. The 10-episode series that debuted in June aims to shift the lens on events ranging from stolen art to a car manufacturer's fiasco to the American educational system in a bid to poke holes in the way we think about the past and present. With Gladwell at the helm, the podcast was an instant success, reaching the top spot on iTunes even before the first episode aired. As Gladwell prepares for the second season of Revisionist History, we caught up with him in his West Village home to talk about the power of audio, advertising and what's next. Adweek: Why is a podcast the best medium for the types of stories that you want to tell? Malcolm Gladwell: It's so different from writing books. You can tell a different kind of story, and when you can hear people's voices, you can recreate scenes and emotions and all those kinds of things so much more keenly and powerfully. And there's a wonderful directness to the podcasts—that I can do it and put it up online and I can reach all my listeners. There's an immediacy to it that's incredibly appealing. More young people are starting podcasts rather than blogs these days, and it's the fastest growing form of media. What's your take on this? I think you've seen three forms—the printed word, audio and video—you've seen existing conventional institutions being challenged by, essentially, young people working as part of small groups or on their own. The new technologies allow small players to compete in those three worlds. And it's been happening in film for a while now and video. Blogs were the beginnings of that happening in printed form.

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Viceland Suffers From Low Ratings Despite Its Young Audience

August 23, 2016  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

When Viceland launched in February, the network struck an agreement with Nielsen to keep its ratings private for six months. Shortly before that window is set to lapse, the first look at those Nielsen ratings are out, revealing that while the audience is a lot younger than that of the channel it replaced, H2, it's also a lot smaller. Viceland's average 18-49 prime-time audience in July was just 45,000, less than half of the 92,000 that H2 averaged in the demo last July, according to Nielsen ratings obtained by The Wall Street Journal . The deal that Viceland, a partnership between Vice and A+E Networks, struck with Nielsen is a common arrangement for many new networks as they try to get their bearings in the first months after launching. Nielsen will still not be publicly releasing Viceland's ratings for at least another week as part of that deal. While Viceland's audience is much smaller than H2's, it's also younger. The median viewer age dropped 17 years between July 2015 and July 2016, from 57 to 40. And Nielsen data found that the average 18-49 prime-time audience for the network's July premieres was up significantly, from 59,000 for H2 to 102,000 for Viceland. Depsite the premiere spin, those 18-49 ratings seem disappointing, especially given the buzz around Viceland. However, A+E Networks president and CEO Nancy Dubuc said she is taking a long-term view. "You have to look at what is the promise of H2 10 years from now, versus what is the promise of Viceland 10 years from now," Dubuc told the Journal. Viceland looked to shake up TV advertising by running more native ads that look like editorial and reducing ad load. The network's programming has just eight minutes of national ad time per hour and two minutes of local time. Shortly after the network launched, execs were already trying to downplay linear ratings expectations. Guy Slattery, general manager for Viceland, told Adweek in March that Viceland content is available on the website, app and VOD in addition to the linear networks, but Nielsen's numbers only reflect its linear ratings. "It's an important metric, but it only captures one piece of the multiplatform approach that we have," Slattery said. "So we didn't want to make it all about that. The headlines tend to go to Nielsen ratings, and we don't feel they're going to capture the viewing of this network, particularly among the demo that we're going after

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Here’s How Olympic Advertisers Are Divvying Up Spend Across Digital and TV

August 15, 2016  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

According to data from MediaRadar, 482 advertisers have run TV ads during the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, with 349 of those brands also running digital display advertising. MediaRadar used data from NBC and aggregated stats from 6,000 websites to crunch numbers from Aug. 1 through Aug. 15. For digital ad buys, the company measures factors like ad type, location, density on the page, media format and frequency to create a metric dubbed a Digital Placement Score. The metric is intended to help compare spend across differing ad sizes and shapes that individual websites and publishers often offer. Video and native ad campaigns, for example, score higher than standard display or banner campaigns. In terms of quantity, DirecTV leads with a total of 19 digital and TV campaigns, with a big chunk of digital dollars supporting the DirecTV NFL Sunday Ticket streaming initiative. The media buy for DirecTV NFL Sunday Ticket includes ads on 30 websites—giving the brand a score of 4,315—while another ad buy for a separate campaign across 45 websites yielded a score of 1,495

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MediaCom Names Deutsch Veteran as Its New Chief Strategy Officer

July 20, 2016  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

MediaCom has hired Anush Prabhu, a longtime veteran of the Deutsch organization, as its new managing partner and chief strategy officer in New York. In 2015, Prabhu appeared on both Adweek's Young Influentials list and its Media All-Stars list . In the new role, he will join the WPP agency's executive management board reporting directly to MediaCom USA CEO Sasha Savic. "Anush brings a valuable combination of media expertise, data chops and analytics experience, coupled with a true sense of how creative and communications can positively impact consumer beliefs and behaviors," said Savic. "His professional DNA is a perfect match for our positioning as The Content + Connections Agency." Before joining MediaCom, Prabhu served as partner, chief channel planning and investment officer at the New York offices of Deutsch. This period marked his second stint with the IPG agency, which he joined as an assistant account executive in 2000 before working his way up to the vp, director of CRM strategy position. He left in 2007 and subsequently held top planning and communications roles at JWT and mcgarrybowen before returning to Deutsch in 2012. Throughout his career, he has worked with a variety of clients including J&J, United Healthcare, Sherwin-Williams, Microsoft and Verizon. "The media agency of the future must be able to navigate and develop client-centric solutions at the intersection of creativity, data and technology," said Prabhu in a statement. "This belief drove my decision to join MediaCom, one of the best, most original and most passionately committed agencies in the world.

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