|Chart of the week: Where do people learn about their smart speakers?
||Most users learned about new smart speaker skills through friends and family, receiving emails from smart speaker brands, and searching their smart speaker app, according to a new report released by NPR and Edison. Publishers can proactively take steps so that their content gets discovered via voice.
The best way of optimising for voice is to ensure webpages have speakable schema properties in their structured data. Speakable schema singles out pieces of information that would work best for audio. Webpages with these properties are easier to distribute on voice-enabled platforms. Optimising for voice in this way benefits organisations that already have skills on smart speakers and those that do not.
Additionally, creating specific content is essential for generating interest and engagement. Many publishers have started working towards this end. As of last week, The Atlantic became the most recent publisher to distribute content specifically for smart speakers, providing listeners access to the publication’s segment “The Daily Idea.” NPR created a shorter, smart speaker friendly version of its popular Planet Money podcast, called “The Indicator."
The goal of smart speaker's? Make relevant, content that is smart-speaker centred, easy to use and becomes habitual for listeners. Taking those steps will generate one of the tried and true ways of learning about something new: word of mouth. Despite the ever-changing technology, 45 per cent of smart speaker owners reported learning about new skills on their smart speakers this way.
|Chart of the week: Where people are sceptical of online news
||Less than half of people surveyed by Ipsos said that they trust online news websites and platforms, with a huge range in trust between countries.
India was the country that registered the highest trust in online news and websites, with about two-thirds of respondents saying the trusted online sources a great deal or a fair amount. India’s trust in newspapers and magazines more generally also rated the highest of any other country. Generally, respondents from India have a higher level of trust in their institutions, surpassing their counterparts at a time when trust in institutions in many parts of the world is slipping. People from China and Germany also registered high levels of trust in online news, with six in ten respondents falling on the trusting side of the spectrum.
Japan and Hungary registered the lowest level of trust in online news sources, with just under a quarter of people trusting online news sources. Reuters found that about 66 per cent of people use their smartphones on a weekly basis to get news. As online news increasingly makes up a larger part of consumers’ media diets, the correlation fall in trust is concerning for many countries.
|Chart of the week: Top 10 US magazines championing mobile
||ESPN drove over 50 million individual mobile visitors to its website, the most of any other brand studied by MPA and comScore last month, while People scored over 46 million unique visitors.
Both ESPN and People have been building a mobile strategy to round out their digital channels for a while. ESPN has followed users online and on mobile, repurposing cable content for those platforms. While People Magazine initially launched a mobile site back in 2012, an innovator and forward-thinker in the mobile space.
Each companies’ mobile success comes from two important parts of their strategies: keeping the screen size and format for mobile devices in mind when producing content, and centering what the mobile audience wants. Those two central issues inform how everything from its homepage to its stories and videos appears.
As the chart below shows, certain content areas, such as cooking and lifestyle, do particularly well on mobile, with Allrecipes, Taste of Home, Good Housekeeping, and Country Living scoring top ten spots in the MPA and comScore report.
People in the US spend over a quarter of their day with digital media, with 3.6 hours of that time spent on mobile devices. Advertisers and publishers need to follow and revamp content for those users, in order to fully benefit from how people are engaging with digital media.
|Chart of the week: Where do people find news on their smartphones?
||A little under half of the people in the United Kingdom and Finland said they first referred to news websites or apps when using a smartphone for news, according to Reuters most recent Digital News Report. While around half of people in the United States and Italy said they used social media and messaging apps when initially engaging with news on their smartphones.
Some of the country-by-country differences are related to the prominence of specific apps or media literacy programmes. The United Kingdom’s high news website usage can be partially explained by the prominence and popularity of the BBC news app. While Finland heads an extensive media literacy programme, which is run and funded by the Finnish government. The programme teaches people how to understand and identify questionable information online, which is much more likely to appear on social media sites and messaging apps. Finland recently came out on top of a media literacy ranking put together by the Open Society Foundation.
Overall, the study found that about two-thirds of respondents used smartphones for news on a weekly basis, with that number nearly doubling over the past seven years for all countries. How people access news impacts both the quality and types of stories they end up seeking out and engaging with.
|Chart of the week: News podcasts pull to the top of ad revenue in 2018
||The podcast industry brought in US$479 million ad dollars last year, a 53 per cent increase from 2017, a continuation of a strong, positive growth trend according to the latest report from PwC and IAB.
The booming industry has some fan favourites, with the top five podcast genres making up a little over 65 per cent of all advertising revenue this past year. Podcasts that fall under the news, politics, and current events category took home the biggest chunk of advertising revenue in 2018, an improvement over 2017 for the genre. Comedy and business podcasts came in second and third, making up 13.9 and 12.8 per cent of revenue respectively. According to the CEO of Authentic and Podtrac, the genres that attracted the most advertisers correlates closely with the areas that have the largest audiences, a good indication of how content is developing.
The push into an audio-first environment is driving the growth of podcasts and the advertising attached to the medium. The various players getting into the distribution game, most recently Spotify and Luminary, are setting the stage for even higher growth potential as consumers find new and easier ways for accessing content. Podcast audiences already show high levels of engagement and brand loyalty with advertisers on their shows, a promising sign for the growing industry.
|Chart of the week: What marketers are loosing sleep over
||Building a better understanding of customers and the effectiveness of marketing campaigns are the two areas that keep marketers up at night, according to Adobe’s 2019 Digital Trends report.
|Chart of the week: Free access is the most common pay model for all media
||Free access is still the most common pay model for all media types, particularly for digital-born media, while hard paywalls remain extremely uncommon.
According to the Reuters Institute of Journalism, nearly all content from digital-born outlets is free. Out of the 212 news organisations analysed across seven countries, only two digital-born/digital-only outlets operated any type of paywall, up from just one in 2017 when the study was first published.
Newspapers provide more of a mix of options when it comes to paying for content, with about a third using a metered paywall and another third employing a freemium model. The study also found that the freemium model was much more common at European outlets than American ones, with the US being dominated by metered paywalls.
Overall the number of newspapers operating some type of paywall is up slightly from 2017, going from just around 64 per cent of outlets to 69 per cent. As different media adapts to the digital world many are now experimenting with the right mix of revenue streams for their business.
|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.