Monthly Archives: March 2015

Get Out Of My Face

I’m sure you’ve had the experience of going to a web page and having a video autoplay. It’s one of the most annoying things publishers do, in my opinion. Putting aside that it can be a bandwidth hog, chew up your mobile data plan and hang a page as it loads, inevitably you’ve forgotten to mute your machine or phone and a blast of unanticipated noise can be startling at best and embarrassing at worst. Yecch.

Facebook logo Español: Logotipo de Facebook Fr...

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It’s in that context that I read something this morning from an AdAge and RBC study on marketing. I’m sure you’re aware the Facebook has rolled out autoplay video ads. Oh joy. Well, according to the study (as reported via eMarketer):

While just 9% of US marketers said they already purchased autoplay video ads on the social network, the majority were somewhat (33%) or very (21%) likely to purchase such placements in the next six months. This put the percentage of respondents who viewed autoplay video ads positively at nearly two-thirds. The strong interest supports RBC research released at the end of August 2014, which estimated that Facebook would sell $700 million worth of autoplay video ads this year alone.

I love that 2/3 of marketers view the ads positively.  Where is the research on how consumers feel about them?  Yes, I’m aware that you can turn off the autoplay (click here to learn how) but the default on both the web and the app is to let them play.  It’s not just Facebook either.  Twitter, YouTube, and others are testing the same thing, albeit just autoplay videos (no ads – yet).

Maybe it’s my New York attitude but to publishers offering autoplay content or ads and to the marketers who buy them I say “get out of my face.”  Make your content interesting and engaging, not intrusive and annoying.  Romance me, don’t assault me.  I’m sure I’m not the only person who longer visits certain sites due to their use of autoplay nor the only one who has disabled the feature wherever I can.  I’m still not sure why I should have to do that in the first place.

What are your thoughts?


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Filed under digital media, Huh?

It’s A Mobile World

Some new numbers from the eMarketer folks caught my eye this morning. They released their projections for digital ad spending for the next few years and they show that in 2015, mobile ad spending in the US will increase 50.0%, reaching $28.72 billion and accounting for 49.0% of all digital ad spending. By 2019, mobile ad spending will rise to $65.87 billion, or 72.2% of total digital ad spend.  As they put it:

Next year will be the tipping point where mobile ad spending surpasses desktop. And while desktop advertising will remain a significant portion of marketers’ budgets—approximately $25 billion in each year throughout eMarketer’s forecast period—mobile will continue growing in the double digits to gain more and more market share while desktop spending remains flat.

If you’re doing business outside of the US it’s pretty safe to say that mobile has already passed desktop since most populations outside of North America don’t really have desktops/laptops and rely almost solely on their mobile devices for internet connectivity.  Why is any of the above important to you?

If your business model relies on selling audiences of your content and you haven’t optimized every touchpoint for your content, you are going to be missing the boat.  If your mobile experience is inferior or if you’re depending on mobile web as opposed to investing in an app, you probably ought to revisit your thinking.  Now!

Google has recently updated the search algorithm to rank pages by how mobile friendly they appear. If all you’re doing is porting your desktop experience to mobile, you’re not being smart.  In mobile emphasis needs to be on performance and speed.  Get rid of large header images and use minimalistic design with flatter images.  OK, I won’t get too wonky but the point is you need to ask about this stuff if you’re not the technical expert.

When 3/4 of a market sits in one sector, I want to do everything I can to be participating in that segment.  I’m one of a lot of people who have written before about the need for mobile-first thinking.  Have you been paying attention?  What have you done about it?

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Filed under digital media, Helpful Hints

Willie Sutton And TV

Let’s start this week with a little history lesson. You probably haven’t heard of Willie Sutton. According to Wikipedia, William Francis “Willie” Sutton, Jr. (June 30, 1901 – November 2, 1980) was a prolific American bank robber. During his forty-year criminal career he stole an estimated $2 million, and eventually spent more than half of his adult life in prison.

English: Willie Sutton (1901-1980) Source http...

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

There is a famous quote attributed to Sutton (he swore he never said it) who reputedly replied to a reporter’s inquiry as to why he robbed banks by saying “because that’s where the money is.” I’ve always remembered that because it’s a great way to stay focused when shiny new business options emerge.

One shiny new option these days is the plethora of Over The Top video services. You have probably heard about the one forthcoming from Apple, and HBO, CBS, Sony and others are already in the marketplace. The short version of why these things exist is so one can cut the cable cord, freeing oneself from the “bundle” of unwanted but paid for TV networks. If I’m a cable TV provider – most of whom are also internet service providers – I’d welcome these services with open arms and some of them are. Cablevision, for one, is offering the new HBO Now online service to its internet customers, even though the service could persuade more people to drop their cable TV packages.

Keeping the Sutton Rule in mind, where the money lies is in providing high-speed bandwidth at a reasonable price.  It costs the ISP pennies per gigabyte.  Charging a customer $50 a month for something that costs you maybe a tenth of that is a pretty good business.  Compare it with providing cable TV where you’re charging a little more but your margins are much smaller due to having to pay most of the networks you provide a monthly fee per customer.  You still pay ESPN $8 a month for each of those grandmas with cable who never tune it in.

I’m assuming for a moment that the customer service and install/repair costs are a wash.  You’re going to have those techs and phone banks no matter which service you support.  The real question in my mind is when will some cable company get out of the TV business and go ISP only.  Will that kill the content providers?  Nope.  One could argue they will come out ahead too since many of them receive far less on a per user basis from the cable guys than they might charge direct to the consumer albeit to a smaller but more engaged base.

The interesting times keep coming, don’t they?

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Filed under digital media, What's Going On