|Chart of the week: Where Europeans are plugging into podcasts
||Podcast listeners in Spain are in good company, with two out of every five people tuning into podcasts at least monthly, while other countries on the continent have been slower in picking up podcasting.
On the whole, around 28 per cent of Europeans had listened to a podcast within the last month when the Reuters Institute of Journalism polled respondents across fifteen different countries late last year. This is a similar rate to the US, where roughly a third of people turn to podcasts at least once a month. The podcasting phenom took off in 2014 when the popular investigative journalism series Serial, produced by NPR, took the nascent industry by storm.
Over the past three years, Europe has seen a podcast evolution, an exciting prospect for advertisers looking to capture engaged consumers. Podcast listeners register a high level of positive sentiment towards ads on the shows they listen to. In fact, a study by Westwood One found that half of the listeners they surveyed reported being loyal to brands that advertise on their favourite shows.
|Chart of the week: Internet advertising rises above $100 billion
||Internet advertising revenue has officially passed the US$100 billion mark growing by about 386 perc ent in about a decade, according to a newly released report from IAB and PwC.
Well-over half of advertising revenue went towards mobile. Nearly a decade ago, advertisers were not using mobile as an advertising medium at all. As consumers moved to online mobile devices, advertisers followed. With the popularity of smartphones, advertisers began realising mobile’s advertising potential. Nine years later, the medium takes up over half of internet advertising dollars.
Mobile revenues hold great potential as single-click ecommerce, creative ad formats and placements on social media sites develop further. Some analysts worry that digital ad dollars will catch up with consumer attention, and growth in this field will slow. Analysts commenting on the report were confident that the industry will further evolve to expand the digital ecosystem.
|Chart of the week: Instagram’s referral traffic has sky-rocketed
||Instagram’s referral traffic has sky-rocketed between Q1 2018 and Q1 2019 as the popular social media site becomes more important for website traffic.
According to recent estimates from Merkle, Instagram, which is owned by Facebook, experienced a 114 per cent increase in web referrals. Facebook and Pinterest both saw modest year-over-year traffic growth. It was not all good news for social media sites; YouTube’s traffic flatlined, despite posting strong gains in mid-2018, while Twitter’s traffic growth shrunk by eight per cent in Q1 2019. Overall, website visits from social media accounted for over four per cent of all site traffic and five per cent of all mobile visits in the first quarter, new highs according to the report.
Instagram has recently made a serious push into the ecommerce and marketing space, by rolling out its tap to shop feature last month. The social network also has experienced a 44 per cent increase in advertising investment in Q1 2019. Overall, Instagram is driving most of the ad investment across all of Facebook’s sites. These developments come on the back of Instagram’s ability to increase in the number of people using the platform, one of the few social networks that have been able to expand usage rates.
|Chart of the week: Is the future of podcasting in the ad business?
||Podcast advertising revenue in the US is set to grow in the coming years and will only be helped by ad-tracking, according to the most recent analysis from the Interactive Advertising Bureau and PwC.
The current major gap in advertising on podcasts is the lack of standardised ad-tracking metrics. Buyers are looking for those same granular metrics, like impressions, that are commonplace in other digital buys when exploring podcasting as an option for a campaign.
With the development of metrics in the advertising landscape, advertisers can begin to use standardised data-driven checks to see whether listeners are in fact listening to their ads. Apple kicked off the push for more transparency on how people consume podcasts in 2017 when it opened analytics to podcast publishers. Some notable developments in this field were continued in December 2018, when NPR released the Remote Audio Data (RAD) system and IAB created a podcast measurement certificate programme.
Despite the progress that the podcasting-ad market still must make, advertising revenue from podcasts is projected to grow by almost 30 per cent in the US this year alone. That year-over-year growth is part of a general upward trend, with IAB and PwC estimating that between 2016 and 2020 ad revenue from podcasting is forecasted to increase by 290 per cent.
|Chart of the week: Data use is the biggest hurdle for personalisation
||Marketers need access to the tools and technical know-how to use different types of data in order to implement effective hyper-personalised campaigns.
According to Ascend2, the biggest hurdle for marketers trying to rollout hyper-personalised campaigns is making data-driven decisions, with just over half of marketing professionals reporting this issue. The second most frequent challenge was using more artificial intelligence in their hyper-personalisation campaigns. Both issues go back to a central problem for executing hyper-personalised marketing: data use.
Hyper-personalisation campaigns use targeted advertising to better engage customers. Simple personalisation campaigns can take the form of sending consumers an email addressing them by their name or using purchase history to suggest other items to purchase. Hyper-personlisation takes this to the next level, using ever more granular data sets or a combination of data sets to suggest products for consumers and retain customers based on information like the weather and individual spending patterns. Data become more important—and challenging—as the campaigns get more specific, separating an effective hyper-personalised campaign from an ineffective one.
|Chart of the week: The UK at the top of European ePublishing
||Statista’s Digital Market Outlook estimates that the UK ePublishing market was worth USD$1.3 billion in 2018, with that expected to grow to $1.6 billion by 2023.
This includes revenue from ebooks, emagazines, and epapers. While the UK is one of the more established markets in Europe, France’s epublishing sector is expected to take off with a CAGR of nearly 10 per cent. For comparison the global revenue for the digital publishing market is expected to grow at a 6.1 per cent rate, putting France well above global revenue growth. As of 2018, France’s digital publishing market stood at $800 million, with that expected to pass the $1 billion mark within the next five years putting the country nearly on par with the UK. The UK epublishing market will need more purchase incentives to reinvigorate growth and prevent the market from stagnating.
Broadly epublishing is defined as paid written editorial content distributed over the internet, which can be read either through specific devices, like Kindles, or through multi-purpose devices, like tablets, smartphones, or computers.
Digital publishing is cost-efficient for publishers, allowing them to save on printing, logistics, and sales, while also democratizing the publication industry and opening the opportunity for more people to publish content on their own.
|Chart of the week: Pure-play ads have grown by 1,174 per cent
||Pure-play ad spending in the UK is estimated to have grown by 1,174 per cent in a little over a decade. Between 2005 and 2019, Group M, IAB, PwC, and the Advertising Association report that digital forms of advertising, particularly pure-play, will continue to be one of the main drivers of growth in ad spending.
Digital as an avenue for advertising has existed for the better part of a decade, starting with the creation and execution of banner advertising, email marketing, and website development. As digital platforms grew, advertising focused on ROI, like ecommerce and search, expanded the revenue sources in the advertising industry. Advertising campaigns became more accountable due to the analytic capabilities digital provides, which pushed how advertisers optimised campaigns.
In 2005, only about GBP £336 million (US $46.8 million) were spent on digital display, while TV ad spending hovered around £3.5 billion ($4.5 billion)and newspaper advertising hit over £4 billion($5.2 billion) in the same year. By 2017, pure-play digital grew to close to £3.5 billion ($4.5 billion), while newspaper advertising shrunk to a little over £1 billion ($1.3) in ad spend. TV ad spending flatlined putting it on par with pure-play. The report put out by Group M, IAB, PwC, and the Advertising Association, predicts that trend will continue in 2019.
|Chart of the week: How can newspapers build trust?
||At a time when trust in the news is crawling out of historic lows, a new study from the Center for Media Engagement provides promising interventions to promote readers’ trust in news stories. Researchers found that adding a box to news articles explaining the journalistic process significantly bolstered trust across 11 different attributes.
USA Today and the Tennessean, a regional US newspaper, provided researchers with two stories from each paper to test out the efficacy of the explanation box with readers. Each media outlet randomly distributed a link with the experimental explanation and a link to the same story without the box to their respective audiences. The story USA Today provided discussed Amazon’s headquarters search, while the Tennessean article examined a viral Facebook post that gave the false impression that a veteran had been declined medical care.
The study found that the explanation box boosted trust in each story for 11 of 12 attributes that touch on different facets of trusting a news story. The explanation box especially helped strengthen trust for the “telling the whole story” and “transparency” attributes when compared to participants who did not receive the box. The only attribute that did not have a significant impact from the box intervention was the “does not have an agenda” factor.
|Chart of the week: AI is not replacing people in digital marketing Status:
||Artificial intelligence is taking off and transforming every industry, causing many people to worry that ever-improving intelligent systems will replace human workers. In 2019, the AI market is projected to grow by 154 per cent, and while this pivotal advancement is working its way into industries, not every field is adapting it in the same way.
For digital marketers looking to implement artificial intelligence across different facets of their digital strategy, artificial intelligence does not look likely to take over from human workers. In a survey of digital marketing agencies conducted by IAB Europe and Xaxis, only six per cent of respondents said that replacing humans is the most common AI application for their agencies.
Generally, using artificial intelligence to optimise business processes and target key audience members were the two most common applications for the technology in digital marketing agencies. Nearly six out of ten marketers said that they were incorporating AI systems into their agencies to deliver better targeting. An additional 55 per cent of respondents said they were using the technology to better identify users and audience.
|Chart of the week: Twitter's ads aren't engaging users like they used to
||While the absolute growth of ad engagement on Twitter continues to inch upwards, the rate of that engagement hasn’t been able to maintain its phenomenal fiscal year (FY) 2016 rate.
Ad engagement has grown in Q4 2018, though at a slower rate than previous quarters. Twitter measures ad engagement as any user interaction with a pay-for-performance advertising product, including: expanding, retweeting, liking or replying to a Promoted Tweet, viewing an embedded video, downloading or engaging with a promoted mobile application, clicking on a website link, signing up for marketing emails from advertisers, following the account that tweets a Promoted Tweet, or completing a transaction with an advertising product. The social media platform is known for its sparse character count and incendiary back-and-forth from users. It experienced a huge spike in ad engagement in FY 2016, largely driven by the adoption of auto-play videos.
In the last quarter of FY 2018, total ad revenue totaled US$791 million, which Twitter attributes to increased demand and improved clickthrough rates. The cost per engagement dropped as Twitter continued its expansion into video ads, which often yields higher engagements for the same cost. Ad engagement in FY 2018 did not grow at the same rate as the previous two fiscal years, largely because Twitter has ridden the video wave that pushed ad engagement to its 2016 levels and has not innovated beyond that.