Archive for the ‘Liberate Media news’ Category
April 26th, 2013
After the announcement on Thursday that Britain has avoided a triple-dip recession with the economy expanding more than expected by 0.3 per cent in the first quarter, WPP’s results have added additional hope by confirming 2.1% growth in total revenues to £2.5bn.
The UK’s services sector helped to boost gross domestic product (GDP) growth to beat the 0.1% expected by analysts, according to figures from the Office for National Statistics. The sector rose 0.6% on the quarter.
WPP’s results are often seen as a key barometer for the marketing/advertising markets, and the latest figures show WPP is running ahead of its own budgets for the first quarter, with a performance in the UK that went against the market trend, growing revenues 3.7% to £318m.
The key North American market, which accounts for 35% of WPP’s total revenues, shrank 1% in the first quarter to £886m.
Elsewhere, Latin America and Asia Pacific grew strongest at 7.8% to £736m, leading WPP to reconfirm that it expects revenue growth for the full year to be about 3%.
Interestingly, WPP said that it has won $1.5bn (£970m) worth of new business from clients in the first quarter, down from $1.85bn in the same quarter last year.
WPP also confirmed that its advertising and media buying operation, which accounts for 41% of total group revenues grew at 3.9% to £1.03bn in the first quarter. Within this the media buying business grew revenues by 7.4% in the first quarter.
Unfortunately, WPP’s public relations and public affairs operations did not do so well, shrinking by 4.1% in the first quarter to £221m.
WPP confirmed that business was “particularly difficult” in North America, western continental Europe and Asia Pacific, but stronger in the UK and Latin America.
Last week, Publicis Groupe reported a first-quarter revenue falls of more than 6% in its European and UK operations.
With recovery likely to be a long and slow road, these figures hardly give cause for mass celebration, and it is yet to be seen if this growth can be sustained. However, growth, especially in the UK, is a positive sign and we need to take the positives in what will be a marathon slog.
March 20th, 2013
2013 has been a difficult year for the newspaper industry with press regulation post-Leveson enquiry and falling sales, but online growth offers a ray of light.
As we await the latest ABCs, a look back at last month’s figures show a sharp contrast in the outlook for newspapers online and offline.
- The Times suffered the least with circulation down just 0.94%
- The Mirror fell 5.91%
- The Daily Mail lost 5.97%
- The Telegraph was down 6.52%
- The Guardian shrunk 10.37% putting it below 200,000 circulation
- The Sun fell by 11.63%
- The Star dropped by 13.19%
- The Independent reported a 28.56% fall
The one winner, i was up 12.7%, helped by a 20p cover price.
However, online it’s a very different story.
Mail Online added nearly 1 million daily unique browsers month-on-month to end up with nearly 8 million – a new traffic record. The Mail site recorded a 13% rise compared with December to reach an average 7,977,039.
Guardian.co.uk also set a new traffic record with 4,319,370 average daily unique browsers, an increase of 17% month-on-month, helped by record video views that rose 40% from December to January to 11.3m across the month.
Telegraph.co.uk was up 11% month-on-month to 3,129,599 average daily unique browsers.
Sun.co.uk and Mirror Group Digital recorded 1,816,106 and 1,064,924 average daily unique browsers respectively, equivalent to month-on-months rise of 16% and 24%.
Independent.co.uk reported a 25% increase from January to 1,214,144 average daily unique browsers.
In terms of the free papers, The Evening Standard saw daily average browsers increase 45% month-on-month to 207,484 and Metro.co.uk recovered after a traffic dip in December following the launch of a more mobile-friendly site. Average daily browser numbers bounced back to 260,119.
We wait to see how the current figures look, but my bet is the trends will be much the same with online continuing to build and offline looking decidedly shaky.
February 19th, 2013
The Pew research Center has recently releases its U.S.- focused social networking report
which highlighted some interesting trends on who’s using social media most and which social networks are most popular.
You can download the full report here:
In summary: “The Demographics of Social Media Users 2012” study found that the most frequent social media users are women aged 18 to 29. Women have been significantly more likely to use social networking sites than men since 2009. In December 2012, 71 percent of women were users of social networking sites, compared with 62 percent of men.
Overall, 67 percent use Facebook, and 16 percent use Twitter, which is especially appealing to adults in the 18 to 29-year-old category. Key demographics are charted in the images at the bottom of this post.
Pinterest has practically caught up with Twitter, with 15 percent of adult U.S. Internet users.
Pinterest, which launched in 2009, has experienced explosive growth. Women are five times more likely to use Pinterest (5 percent vs. 25 percent) and almost twice as likely to be white and college-educated.
13 percent of U.S. online adults say they use Instagram, 6 percent say they use Tumblr, and 20 percent of U.S. online adults say they use LinkedIn as of August 2012.
40 percent of mobile phone owners use a social networking site on their phone, and 28 percent do so on a typical day.
The report also looked at Creators and curators, defining them as follows:
As of August 2012:
â€¢ 46 percent of U.S. adult internet users post original photos or videos online that they themselves have created. We call them creators.
â€¢ 41 percent of U.S. adult internet users take photos or videos that they have found online and re-post them on sites designed for sharing images with many people. We call them curators.
Overall, 56 percent of internet users do at least one of the creating or curating activities studied and 32 percent of internet users do both creating and curating activities.
Interestingly, not using social media may be an elite thing. Those with a college degree are slightly less likely than those with some college education to use social networks (69 percent vs. 65 percent).
January 25th, 2013
(This post was originally published on Mob76 Outlook as a guest post)
HMV’s recent demise was hardly a surprise. The writing has been on the wall for so long that it’s been painted over and graffitied many times since.
If we rewind ten years to 2003, the conversation around retail was focused on the importance of the web , and although not all major retailers had made the move to reinvent their web presence, it was on the agenda.
In many cases this move took some time to happen and latecomers lost market share and revenue opportunities… but those up against the online leaders such as Amazon (launched 1995) and Play.com (launched 1998) lost much more. They eventually lost a business.
To read the full post please click here Mob76 Outlook
November 13th, 2012
This article was originally published on Wired UK, November 12th, 2012 as a Guest post by Lloyd Gofton:
As we move from an age of mass media to one of social media, are we experiencing a rebalancing of cultural communications towards disintermediated storytelling?
In today’s technology-enlightened civilisation, many believe that changes to the way we communicate are being driven by global networks and new technologies.
Conversely, it has also been argued that our approach to storytelling in the digital world is in many ways similar to that of the mediaeval era where information and stories were shared orally among distributed communities.
According to that rationale, technology is merely the facilitator of our natural urge to tell stories, not the raison d’Ãªtre. After all, are we really that far removed from our humble beginnings? Have oral traditions merely been replaced, or possibly enhanced, by digital networks? Could it be the case that mass media was a step too far and are we now experiencing a re-balancing of our cultural communications as we find a new equilibrium of information vs. conversation?
To identify why we are so reliant on mass media, it’s important to understand how we got to our current situation.
Read the full article on Wired
October 4th, 2012
Sitting in the BBC studio this morning with Poppy Elliott, prepping for her interview on Radio 4 You & Yours, I learned that Wayne Rooney canâ€™t go to sleep without the hoover on.
Amazing what you learn every day.
Anyway, Poppy is MD of Quiet Mark (www.quietmark.com) which is the commercial arm of the Noise Abatement Society.
During the interview, she told Winifred Robinson about the work of Quiet Mark, set up at the start of this year to actively promote the development and production of quieter products.
Itâ€™s worth a couple of minutes of your time â€“ and itâ€™s definitely a good sound:
The whole programme is worth a catch-up: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b01n1rbz
Best bit for me was the text from a listener raging about the noise from leaf blowers. Iâ€™m fully with them on that one. Stressful, annoying, intrusive and pointless. As the texter said, whatâ€™s wrong with a rake?
August 28th, 2012
Engaging with your target audience through social media is one of those actions often pushed to the bottom of the pile for Start-Ups, or even worse, it is assumed that social comms will be covered by the knowledge of existing team members. Unfortunately that rarely turns out to be the case.
If you haven’t developed a plan for social, you may be leaving the communication of your product, conversations with your customers/potential customers, and potential investors, to chance.
Let’s start by clearing up a few misconceptions about what social communications are. Brand communications in a social environment should be focused on customer need. This need is not motivated by being a fan or friend of your organisation but by deriving value from the customer’s engagement with the organisation.
Before you decide that you don’t have time, perhaps ask yourself what you are making time for.
Last year, the Harvard Business Review Analytics Services survey of 2,100 organisations discovered that 79% are currently using social media channels. They also asked them what they saw as the benefits of social media. Here are the top 5 results and feedback from the real world. You can see the full list here:
The major benefits of Social Media, include:
1. Increased awareness of the organisation
2. Increased traffic to website
3. Greater favourable perceptions of the brand
4. Able to monitor conversations about the organisation
5. Increase in new business
So assuming you’re ready to invest some time, what are the options for Start-Ups?
You can read the full post on TechCrunch
August 10th, 2012
The London debates were billed as London’s intellectual contribution to the Games, and were developed to address major economic, demographic and technological challenges of the 21st century.
Four thought leaders were invited to join London’s Mayor Boris Johnson to consider London’s potential role in developing responses to these key issues globally. They were: Jim O’Neill,Â Saskia Sassen,Â Matt Ridley and on Saturday August 5th it was the turn of Jimmy Wales.
By all accounts Wales did a great job of highlighting the issues that are holding London, and the UK in general, back from further tech development, which was summed up by his quote: “Stay out of the way so that we can build a future.”
His reminder that Wikipedia doesn’t operate web servers in the UK due to the nation’s strict laws on publishing defamatory material and the severe financial penalties involved, was also a personal example of what he feels are real issues that could hold the UK tech sector back.
Of course you could read that statement as a positive or a negative on either the UK or Wikipedia, i.e. the regulation protects UK citizens, rather than restricts business, but one man’s definition of protection is another man’s definition of restriction.
He touched on the UK’s culture of negativity towards the rich and almost apologetic response to success, which may hold us back. He also focused in on the Government’s talk of encouraging growth in the tech sector, while at the same time passing laws that make it difficult for companies to take risks.
“There is an intimate connection between innovation prosperity and freedom. In order to have innovation you need a culture of freedom. The UK is relatively free but there are troubling intrusions,” Specifically mentioning the UK’s libel laws and: “The silly nonsense around the EU cookie directive. That may have seemed a good idea to let people know a decade ago.
“I’m mind boggled that we have this silly regulation to let people know. They can turn it off in their browser but guess what? Most of the internet won’t work.”
I think he has a real point, the regulation that has been set up to protect our citizens is also weakening the position of our companies and discouraging major organisations from setting up, or expanding in the UK.
There are very good counter arguments to this issue of course, but in the debate on business and especially growth there is a real fear that these often overly protectionist moves are having a negative effect on development.
You can read more about the session on Jamillah Knowles’ round up on The Next Web, and as she mentioned: “Wales is enthusiastic about the social aspects of Silicon Roundabout and the attention brought to Tech City, he feels that facilitating social processes by encouraging a hub to work in creates a fertile atmosphere for business”… which shows promise.
June 15th, 2012
A nice piece of relatively simple Twitter research was published last week from Milan’s IULM University. It shows that high levels of brands are talking to Twitter bots, and not customers, via brand Twitter profiles.
Professor of corporate communications and digital languages at IULM University, Marco Camisani Calzolari, found that in some cases nearly half a company’s Twitter followers were bots.
As you can see in the table above, @DellOutlet score highest for Twitter bots, or lowest for engagement, with 46% of its 1.5 million followers being identified as non-human users, with a further 13.2% unquantifiable.
EA, Pepsi, Coca-Cola, Blackberry, Playstation, Samsung mobile and Starbucks also feature in the research, which focused on brand accounts with 10,000 followers or more.
Although some of the figures are particularly high, it did not come as a complete surprise that a large percentage of brand followers are bots. After all, the general obsession with follower numbers, rather than useful engagement, has long hindered any real measurement of a brand’s relevance on Twitter.
The ultimate result of this numbers approach is that there’s no need to actually listen or engage as long as you have many thousands of followers, which must mean you’re doing something right? Wrong!
Richard Binhammer, Dell’s Social Media Relations manager commented on the findings in MediaBistro:
“We don’t control who follows any of our Twitter accounts and we don’t artificially increase the number of followers. In fact, paying third parties to undertake such action is contrary to our policy. While there are some tools that claim to identify bots, they are not 100 percent accurate. The only action we could take is to â€˜block’ a follower. We certainly would not want to risk â€˜blocking’ a potential customer. Our focus is on relationships and engagements with customers.”
While I agree many tools do not pick up bots, some of those 46% must have been visible…just a little bit.
The final word goes to the author of the research, Professor Calzolari, who confirmed: “The research shows that the number of followers is no longer a valid indicator of the popularity of a Twitter user. Many of the companies included in the research have delegated their public relations activities on social networks to web agencies that in some cases have taken short cuts in order to demonstrate to companies, who are oblivious, that their activities have been successful by generating lots of new users.”
You can download the full report here.
The results were developed by awarding points for behaviour associated typically with humans, and points for behaviour typically associated with bots. These numbers were then crunched in an algorithm. Human behaviour included a profile containing a name, an image and a physical address, while bot behaviour included users only using APIs to tweet.
The report also states that “the algorithm allowing “human” and “bot” points to be assigned was defined with very conservative parameters.“
June 8th, 2012
After catching up on my reading following the Jubilee break in the UK, I was alerted to this excellent piece on Paid Content, titled: Forget about â€˜content management’-and focus on â€˜audience development’ by Ben Elowitz co-founder and CEO of Wetpaint.
The title pretty much says all you need to know about the subject matter. Elowitz has nailed the failing content management approach of too many media organisations with an insightful look at the over reliance on content itself, with little regard for the audience.
This is real â€˜Stock and flow‘ stuff (the economic model that works equally well for media).
I used a direct quote from the piece as the title to my post: “Content is just a means to an end. The end – and media’s greatest asset – is audience”, and to expand, Elowitz went on to reflect on the common mistake that too many media companies have repeated: “Advertisers don’t pay to reach content – they pay to reach audience. And building an audience that will earn you advertising is only partly about content. In truth, just as much hinges on distribution. If your delightful content can’t find and catch the attention of your audience, the value of your content drops to zero. If a tree falls in a forest…
“Media companies over the last 10 years have invested in an enormously expensive card catalogue, while spending only pennies to bring people into the library. The big opportunity with digital media is not to organise your content closet or have efficient workflow – it’s about driving demand and building an audience using digital channels and all of the rich data that comes with them. That’s the way to use systems to multiply the top line, not just streamline the expense line.”
The idea that if we simply focus on developing great content then the rest will just happen, is simply wrong. The build it and they will come approach is long since dead, and if you’re not focused on your audience (or flow) your content may well be the best, but no one will know about it.
In my opinion this situation has only been worsened by the legacy thinking from media organisations that has seen so many struggle to prosper in the digital age. The problems that large publishers have experienced in making a digital model relevant are well documented, or as Elowitz says: “it’s because these intricately designed systems have been based on one big misunderstanding: that a media company’s most valuable asset is content.” but this way of thinking has developed into a deeper problem in the psyche of content managers/developers.
In the past content lived or died on the strength of its quality. The channel was always there, you picked up a magazine, or a newspaper and there was the content, but now the channel isn’t clear. Many don’t understand the channel, or which channel to use or where to even start looking.
The content is lost in the channel. The channel is often lost in the channel. The channel has become value and conversation and sharing, but you need to be able to find the content to share it and grab attention as well as hold it.
These are very different focuses to content development alone, this is digital distribution. This means a change in thinking is necessary. Traditionally we may have resorted to building our own channel, but the focus should centre on being useful to existing communities to become part of the flow of conversation. We’re not reinventing the wheel, we’re getting on-board with the existing revolution.
So what can be done to rectify the situation? Well, Elowitz offers five steps that every content manager should follow, which you can read in full in the article, and I strongly recommend you do:
1. Manage across the many channels of distribution.
2. Adjust the focus from audience to individual.
3. Use abundant user data to know what works.
4. Make your systems look forward, not back.
5. Fully socialise your distribution.