- WSJ: Apple’s Tim Cook Skewers Those Who Don’t Protect Privacy (2 min read)
- Ad Age: Tensions Run High as Advertisers, Publishers Discuss Fraud at IAB Meeting (2 min read)
- MediaLink: Currency in an Attention Economy (3 min read)
- The Verge: Google adds fact-checked medical information to search (2 min read)
- Seth Godin: Is Google making the web stupid? (4 min read)
- Ars Technica: AT&T charges $29 more for gigabit fiber that doesn’t watch your Web browsing (3 min read)
- Nick Denton: Of course a brand can be your friend (7 min read)
- The Verge: The web’s inventor rallies Europe in support of net neutrality (1 min read)
- Techcrunch: Google Faces Fight In Europe On Search Delisting (12 min read)
- Ad Age: Healthcare.gov and State Sites Still Crawling With Ad Trackers (4 min read)
- IAB: IAB research on Rising Stars Ads and Brand Equity (30+ min read)
- NYT: Vox and BuzzFeed Obtain Interviews With Obama (2 min read)
- Medium: 64 Ways To Think About a News Homepage (4 min read)
- NYT: Lawmakers Call for Investigation Into Verizon’s Use of Mobile ‘Supercookies’ (2 min read)
The Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) today released the “State of Viewability Transaction 2015,” a position paper offering the digital media and advertising industries guidance on how to manage the shift of digital media’s “audience currency” to 100 percent viewability. During this ‘Year of Transition,’ the IAB recommends 70% as the best threshold for buyers and sellers (upping the standard from 50%, which the Media Rating Council (MRC) called for in March of this year).
To foster stronger collaboration and build trust throughout the entire media ecosystem, the IAB recommends that marketers, agencies, and publishers adhere to seven principles during 2015, which it outlines here.
“The entire industry came together to provide true accountability through a single viewability measurement. At this point in time, it’s critical that all parties adhere to the MRC standard and provide for a period of transition while the systems catch up. On behalf of all premium publishers, I commend the IAB’s shepherding the industry through this phase.”
—Jason Kint, CEO, Digital Content Next
Read the IAB’s entire “State of Viewability Transaction 2015” statement.
On Tuesday, the Association of National Advertisers (ANA) and ad-fraud-detection company White Ops, Inc. released the results of their two-month analysis of billions of ad impressions on 36 sites. Research like this is both ambitious and important, and we applaud the effort. Unfortunately, discussions such as these lend themselves to salacious headlines and data analysis can be challenging (and often misinterpreted or even misrepresented, out of context). Our CEO Jason Kint took offense at one such misleading article and we encourage you to read his comments, which were published on Re/code this week.
We were also pleased to see that one of our member companies, AOL, also quickly stepped into the fray to help shine a light on this issue as well as what they are doing to tackle the issue of ad fraud.
At AOL, combating bot fraud is a top priority. We have several teams that are 100% dedicated to the effort, and we will continue to make significant investments to lead the industry in this battle. Our focus is on creating and integrating the best technologies–both proprietary and best-of-breed through 3rd party partnerships (including the Integral Ad Science, Forensiq, DoubleVerify, MOAT, and more)–that stay ahead of organized criminals. What works today may not necessarily work tomorrow and we cannot let our guard down for even a moment. The fight against bot fraud must remain a multilateral effort 24-7, 365.
AOL goes on to discuss its own efforts and to provide resources for those who seek to battle ad fraud, and inform themselves about the issue. Read the AOL article here.
Over the past several years, there has been a rush to create ever more digital video content by those you’d expect—traditional broadcast companies such as A+E Networks and NBCUniversal and multiplatform companies like Bloomberg and ESPN—as well as a slew of “print-” or “text-based” companies such as Conde Nast and Business Insider. Yet with companies rushing headlong to heed the siren song of booming digital video viewership and ever-increasing demand for video advertising, it is so good to read a level-headed evaluation of video audiences by way of Chartbeat Chief Data Scientist, Josh Schwartz.
There’s significant momentum for publishers toward increasing the production of video content, on account of both the strength of video as a medium for storytelling and high video CPMs as advertisers begin to move their TV spends online (see the Chicago Tribune’s coverage for one example). An increase in video content across the board, of course, means that it’s all the more important that we have a sense of which parts of our audience we can hope to reach with video…
When visitors land on a text-based article, in almost all circumstances they read some portion of the article’s content… With video consumption, though, the situation is entirely different: Excepting sites that automatically start videos when a visitor lands on the page, there’s massive attrition between the act of visiting a page with video on it and the act of actually pressing play. Of course, if someone doesn’t even play a video, the quality of the content is moot – we can’t possibly hope to win them over with a video that isn’t watched – so our first goal must be to identify and understand who the best candidates are for pressing play.
His piece “Video Production Is on the Rise – But Who’s Watching?” PBS Media Shift is well worth a read for those making a move into, or seeking to optimize their investment in, digital video.
Today’s consumer expectations have been shaped by an always-on, always connected, immediate gratification, digitally-centered, app-fueled economy. To explore this phenomenon–and provide insights for businesses–The Webby Awards partnered with Harris Poll to survey 2,000 US adults about their use of digital services. Here’s a taste of what they found:
Food. Water. Taxis. Beer. These days you can fulfill your most essential human needs with the click of an app button—plus buy a whole bunch of other stuff you never even knew you needed. All that easy access is making the average consumer more entitled than ever, with greater and greater expectations for on-demand everything.
The Webby Awards identified this trend and then partnered with Harris Interactive about their use of services and what they expect when interacting with businesses of all kinds. With almost 90% of respondents expecting to schedule a service any time they want, the struggle to remain relevant in the new high-tech service economy can be real.
Read more about “The Four Entitlements” your business should consider when dealing with digitally savvy, high-demanding customers in “What They Expect When They’re Expecting” the latest report from The Webby Awards.
Without a doubt, the quantity of content available online is at an all-time high. One hundred hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every minute, and 500 million tweets are sent per day. But human attention is a finite resource. If nothing else, there are only so many waking hours in the day. So as we seek to create a media ecosystem that is vibrant and viable, we must recognize that attention is a true measure of success.
As Jon Slade, commercial director of global digital advertising and insight at the Financial Times, said, “It’s about time we stopped counting quantity and looked instead at quality — specifically for brand campaigns. Attention is what matters, not pings from an ad server. Let’s look at outcomes that matter!”
In a survey conducted for a forthcoming report by Digital Content Next, which represents the top digital publishers, 100 percent of the participating members indicated that they either already use time-based metrics or plan to do so in the future, and 80 percent demonstrated interest in transacting on the basis of time…
Digital Content Next hosted more than 300 marketers, members and agency guests at the inaugural Content All Stars event, held on September, 18, 2014 in New York City. Highlights from the agenda are below. Some of the recurring themes from the day’s program included:
- Measuring engagement isn’t as simple as counting likes and shares;
- The power of content marketing and branded content;
- The importance of context in marketing and editorial content;
- Technology as an editorial tool;
- How to build and maintain trust; and
- The power of great storytelling.
Jason Silva, Futurist, Epiphany Addict & TV Host
Jason Silva likes to think about content as a way to disseminate big ideas. “We are the species that transforms and transcends,” he said, calling biology a new form of information technology. He told the audience that “disruption is an opportunity to reinvent ourselves”— which is something that smart publishers already know. Good marketing shows you something you’ve never seen before, he said, bringing his ideas about creativity and possibility back to subject at hand. “If you give somebody the chills, they’re going to want to share it,” which underscores the power of the storytelling —a theme that would come up many times throughout the day.
Building Your Content Engine: How to Rev it like Red Bull
Werner Brell, Managing Director, Red Bull Media House
Red Bull is the Gold Standard when it comes to content marketing. “At Red Bull, our mission has always been to inspire and fascinate,” said Brell. Red Bull does this through relevant content connected with an authentic brand. Their connection with athletes began when in the company’s early days when, to market the beverage, the company started giving the energy drink away to skiers, windsurfers, and skateboarders. Brell said, “It’s all about finding the right story for your brand and engaging the consumer in a way that he doesn’t know he’s being marketed to. Consumer engagement is the key…But none of this will work if you don’t know your brand.” Red Bull’s success with Content Marketing is so great that it formed its own Media House. Over the past 3.5 years, Red Bull has released 11 feature films. Serializing YouTube content immediately tripled the duration of viewing and engagement. At first, Brell said, people just bought the energy drink, but now brand loyalists buy movie tickets, watch television shoes, buy event tickets, and more. He closed by sharing Red Bulls rules for great content:
- Be relevant and authentic
- Surprise and innovate
- Be consistent
- Be the story
- Inspire sharing
Content Marketing: A Sound Investment by Goldman Sachs
Amanda Rubin, Global Co-head Brand & Content Strategy, Goldman Sachs;
Sebastian Tomich, VP, Advertising, Branded Content, The New York Times
This conversation between Rubin and Tomich was about the potential of branded content, native advertising, and content marketing. It focused largely on the ethics and concerns about trust that these raise — especially for media brands. Both sides agreed that clear labeling was key and that these tactics work best for everyone involved — including the audience — when the content is not promotional and adds value. The panelists also addressed the complicated question of measuring engagement. Tomich joked, “I have one metric–and that’s a renewal.” He also said that “when it comes to branded content, we know audiences like it, we just don’t know how to quantify the ROI yet.”
Are You The Marrying Kind? Audience Engagement Takes Commitment
Mike Kisseberth, Chief Revenue Officer, Purch;
Paul Marcum, Global Head of Digital Video, Bloomberg Media;
Patrick Stiegman, VP & Editorial Director, Digital & Print Media, ESPN;
Moderator: Michelle Manafy, Editorial Director, DCN
One of the big themes of this session, and the conference as a whole, was that measuring engagement isn’t easy, and is different for everyone. The same goes for building engagement. In this panel we learned about the challenges facing three very different publishers. Much of ESPN’s time and attention goes to creating more engaging mobile experiences around live games, and hyper-local sports teams. Meanwhile, Bloomberg’s Marcum says that the great data and reporting that Bloomberg is famous for will win over new audiences. Purch has a different approach, in large part because it has a variety of brands and focuses on enabling commerce. Because many of its sites cater to very niche interests, its community of users are often what bring people back. Purch also finds that it has valuable engagement metrics that come out of the sales process as well.
Data Storm: Mindshare and The Weather Company Turn Insights into Action
Vikram Somaya, GM, WeatherFX;
Bob Ivins, Chief Data Officer, Mindshare
This session may go down as one of the most memorable, if for no other reason than Vikram Somaya kicked it off with a Shakespearean monologue. The session itself focused mostly on the predictive capabilities of WeatherFX “the weather-intelligent marketing platform.” WeatherFX uses billions of weather data points, combined with consumer behavior data to help its customers create better, more predictive advertising campaigns. “If you shop on Friday you will make decisions differently if you know the weekend will be beautiful,” Somaya said. And the company helps clients — such as Mindshare — to create dynamic and adaptive marketing and media campaigns.
How Vox Made Media Tech Sexy
Jim Bankoff, Chairman and CEO, Vox Media;
Melissa Bell, Co-founder & Executive Editor, Vox Media;
Lockhart Steele, VP, Editorial, Vox
This session could have easily been titled “What We Can Learn from Digital Native Publishers”— and what you might have learned is that technology is becoming increasingly important to great editorial experiences. Perhaps the biggest example of this were the Vox Card Stacks, which are a sort of digital version of flash cards that help readers get quickly up to speed on almost any topic. But even digital natives struggle to keep up with technology at times. As Bell pointed out, “The card stacks look great on mobile, now we need to make them look great on a watch.” The company emphasizes integrating technology, from inception, into all editorial and advertising processes and infrastructure as well as being fast and responsive to new demands.
Painting the Picture of Diversity: The Power of Storytelling
Soledad O’Brien, Founder, Starfish Media Group
O’Brien was one of the highlights of the day, and there was, perhaps, no greater example of the power of storytelling than her keynote, which left hardly a dry eye in the house. Examples from O’Brien’s own documentaries, like Black in America, illustrated one of her main points: “There is value in difference.” She urged the crowd to find new ways to tell stories, but also touched on one of the recurring themes of the day: how to create sponsored content without compromising editorial integrity. O’Brien pointed to a new documentary she is working on about girls that happens to be sponsored by Cover Girl. As she puts it, “You have to four-wall it.” In other words, make it very clear from the beginning that the sponsor is simply underwriting the content and that editorial control is up to you.
Trust: Will the Gatekeepers of the Future Rise to the Challenge?
John Borthwick, founder & CEO, betaworks;
Anil Dash, cofounder & CEO, ThinkUp;
Steve Rubel, Chief Content Strategist, Edelman
A wide-ranging discussion which often pushed the limits of the topic with a very upfront takeaway: Let your bias be known, otherwise no one will trust you. “To pretend that we don’t have values baked into the algorithms is absurd,” Dash said, talking about social media sites like Facebook. But the conversation also worked its way around to the topic of native advertising and other editorial hot button issues. Borthwick even took editors to task, calling out a dubiously sourced Vox story that claimed one in six French people support ISIS. Borthwick found the claim suspicious and hunted down the source of the info which turned out to be commissioned by Vladimir Putin’s media agency. Dash pointed out, “You can mortgage trust and reputation, but you can only do it once.”
Content Marketing at IBM: A Story of Transformation
Ann Rubin, VP, Branded Content and Global Creative, IBM
IBM has a unique problem: there isn’t a product, per se. “What we sell is very complicated, so we try to talk about it in a very simple way,” Rubin said. This forces the company to think about its content strategy a bit differently, and leads to what Rubin describes as content that breaks new ground, experiential content, and content made with customers. One of the most interesting examples Rubin gave was a food truck at SXSW which relied on celebrity chefs to create food thought up by Watson, and voted on by the public. Ultimately, the brand focuses on content that demonstrates the power of its technology to achieve given objectives or goals, rather than focusing on the tech itself.
Get the Bug: Making Content Viral
Allison Kingsley, VP, Digital Development, Comedy Central
The name of this session is a bit misleading, because what one really took away from Kingsley’s presentation is just how well suited the digital space is to experimenting with new content. “My focus is using the digital environment to incubate and birth new shows,” she said. And she’s done this with some success as two of her web series will be making their way to television soon. Kingsley leverages social for more than one-off viral success. Rather, she tests programs digitally and uses social to evaluate their potential and build audiences. Then, if a program is deemed worthy, it launches with a built-in audience that are its social advocates as well.
How Consumer Engagement Online Drives Quantifiable Results
Claire Tavernier, Managing Director, Channel Flip Media
This session could have been alternately titled “The Power of YouTube Personality.” Tavernier’s video examples of You Tube campaigns for the likes of Kellogg’s and Tesco were among the most entertaining examples of content marketing of the day. But the most important takeaway was this: “Don’t make a TV ad for online.” If you want to make a commercial go ahead and make one, but put it on TV where it belongs. When it comes to reaching your audience on a medium like YouTube, you have to be more creative and work with the existing talent. And when it comes to marketing to millennials, don’t. Market with them to succeed.
On the Right Track: Messages that Move the Right Audience
Kristin Smith, Assistant Vice President, Communications, Association of American Railroads;
Kelly Andresen, Director of Advertising Innovations & Product Strategy, The Washington Post;
Dianne Riddle Mikeska, Account Director, Home Front Communications
It’s always interesting to see examples of great content from unexpected places. The AAR example was especially interesting because of its need to target very specific Washington D.C. policy makers. “Freight rail’s message is multi-faceted and nuanced…it needs more than a banner ad,” said Smith. As such, the organization teamed up with The Washington Post, creating an ambitious 26 pieces of content for the month-long campaign. Like so many other companies employing content marketing and native advertising techniques, Mikeska said, “We had to reframe our message to make it editorial.” Refreshingly, Mikeska also alluded to changes they would have made if they had to do it over again, but ultimately felt that content marketing was the right approach to reach its very specific target audience of D.C. policy makers.
Creativity and the Next Big Idea
Sarah Lewis, Author: The Rise: Creativity, the Gift of Failure, and the Search for Mastery
The day ended on an inspiring, if quiet, note, as Lewis talked to the audience about the difference between success and mastery, failure, and the importance of grit. She said, “Mastery is knowing that it means nothing if you can’t do it again and again.” Perhaps most relevant for publishers in the audience was her discussion of grit and the importance of knowing when to pivot. In the changing media landscape, companies need to know when to abandon their old strategies and embrace something new.
Soledad O’Brien Brilliantly Explains How Brands Should Work With Elite Storytellers
Modern media companies want brands to underwrite the stories they can’t necessarily afford to tell, and brands want to be a part of great stories. But very often, that partnership doesn’t work because brands are reluctant to do the things that go into truly great storytelling: namely, taking a leap of faith and relinquishing control.
One person who’s been able to bridge that gap is Soledad O’Brien, famed broadcast journalist and founder of Starfish Media Group, who has worked with brands such as CoverGirl to great incredibly compelling viral content…Read More on Contently
5 Takeaways from Content All Stars
On Thursday, September 18 theOnline Publishers Association held its first event that was open to the public — and then CEO Jason Kint announced that the organization was changing its name to Digital Content Next to reflect the changing industry. He did this at the end of a long, informative day at Content All Stars, where everyone from Werner Brell, managing director of Red Bull Media House to Soledad O’Brien shared their content secrets with the audience at the Conrad Hotel in New York City.
Here are a few takeaways and themes from the day’s programming that all content creators can learn from… Read More on EContent
Real-World Insight On The Power Of Storytelling
Last week in New York City, the Online Publishers Association (just rebranded as Digital Content Next) held its Content All Stars event, bringing together marketing and digital media leaders to share their insight on creating compelling content experiences in today’s world of hyper-connected audiences. Following are some words of wisdom across a few common themes for any creator of content to consider… Read more at Dialogue
Thirteen-year-old association’s new identity signals its focus on digital innovation and the creation of opportunities for high-quality digital content companies today and in the future
New York, NY (September 19, 2014) – The organization formerly known as the Online Publishers Association (OPA) today announces a new name, Digital Content Next, a rebrand that signals a renewed focus on defining and confronting critical, big picture issues that its members face when creating digital content experiences for consumers and marketers.
Digital Content Next (DCN) is the only trade association that exclusively serves the diverse needs of digital content companies that manage direct, trusted relationships with consumers and marketers. With a diverse and powerful group of members – from established media brands such as The New York Times, Discovery Networks and Sports Illustrated, to digital natives, such as Vox, Slate and Business Insider, Digital Content Next’s membership has an unduplicated audience of more than 220 million unique visitors or 100% reach of the U.S. online population.*
The association hired a new CEO in May of this year, Jason Kint, former SVP and GM of CBS Interactive’s Sports division, and welcomed six new members to its elite membership of 55 brands in early September.
Kint’s focus for Digital Content Next is on guiding its members and the industry and setting the agenda for discussions on issues ranging from net neutrality to revenue innovation to privacy.
“Our members wake up every morning thinking about how to create great content experiences and monetize them,” Kint said. “Together we must pave the way for the content companies of the future to do the same, with powerful, dependable content that brings large audiences to their screens, engages and entertains them and compels them to share across other platforms.”
Digital Content Next will serve as a focal point for issues affecting digital content companies, providing thought leadership and proprietary research through its newly-launched content hub, InContext; hosting highly-focused member events to facilitate open and honest discussion; voicing issues of concern from a legislative perspective and creating a dialogue with the industry-at-large through conferences and summits like its Content All Stars for media and marketing leaders, held yesterday in New York City.
“The entire landscape has changed and the word ‘online’ doesn’t feel as relevant as it did 13 years ago with digital integrated into every corner of our lives,” says Kint, new CEO of Digital Content Next. “We have a responsibility to be forward-thinking in how we help our members and the industry overall imagine their future and to provide them the guidance and shared intelligence to make the bold decisions required to lead and innovate in our industry.
As part of the rebrand, Digital Content Next outlined the core values that underscore the work it does with members, policy makers, advertisers and agencies every day in its Trust Principles, also announced today:
1. We believe in an open Internet in which consumers and marketers may directly associate with our brands.
2. We are aware of the many choices of consumers across more and more platforms. We will honor their trust in our brands and relentlessly advocate for their respect.
3. We are aware of the many choices of marketers across more and more platforms. We will shine a light on the falsehoods and misconceptions in the modern digital marketplace in order to defend members’ businesses, particularly in the areas of ad tech and cross media attribution.
4. We will have a seat at the table representing trusted first party relationships in any discussion among advertisers, policy makers and the press.
5. We will create a trusted forum among members to share strategic insights, best practices and tactics in order to ensure a vibrant original content marketplace.
“The companies that millions of people turn to for their news, commentary, sports, entertainment, educational and professional information rely on us to understand how they can best serve their audiences and bolster their businesses,” says Martin Nisenholtz, who founded the Online Publishers Association. “With this reset, we will be working to push the industry forward to its next level of development.”
Plenty NYC (plentynyc.com), a full service advertising agency specializing in the creation of captivating digital campaigns, designed the Digital Content Next visual identity and new website.
*comScore Media Metrix, January 2014
ABOUT DIGITAL CONTENT NEXT
Founded in June 2001 as the Online Publishers Association, Digital Content Next is a not-for-profit trade organization dedicated to representing high-quality digital content brands before the advertising community, the press, the government and the public. The OPA produces proprietary research on advertising and media consumption online for our members and the public, creates public and private forums to explore and advance key issues that impact content brands, and works to educate the public at large on the importance of quality content brands. More information about Digital Content Next is available at www.digitalcontentnext.com.