Tag Archives: newspaper

Mobilizing Retail : If it's Important to Retail Advertisers, it's Important to Publishers

Retail advertising is the engine of newspaper revenue.  Of the $13,356.2 billion spend on national and retail advertising in Q’3 2009, 77% came from retail.    As retailers and newspapers continue to test new ways to engage shoppers, flyers are and will remain an connection bewteen retailers and their customers.

According to Matthew Tilley, COO of Inmar quoted in the January 26th edition of Internet Retailer “newspaper inserts still account for 89% of coupons distributed to consumers and more than half of coupon redemption” .  Tilley also points out that consumer coupon redemption grew by 27% between 2008 and 2009.

As mobile publishers, we are aware of the increasing importance consumers place on their smarphones as a source of price intelligence.  A recent study from Compete demonstrates how smartphone users in general, iPhone users in particlular, have made mobile device an essential part of their shopping activity.

Mobile users are now able to access retail price information on their smartphones because of  the increase in the number of retailers that have mobilized their weekly inserts/circulars.  Virtually every major American retailer now distributes their weekly Free Standing Inserts (FSI’s) on mobile devises.  Retailers continue to expand their use of mobile to engage their consumers and to distribute feature pricing information and mobile coupons.  Retailers as diverse as Armani and A&P have add mobility to their marketing communications activity.  Very recent examples of the expanding role mobile plays in retailer’s  include Valpak’s mobilization of the 17,000 coupons in their vehicle.  Verizon has made their SpendSmart digital coupon product available to their mobile sunscribers.  Safeway has joined Cellfire to allow loyalty club members to download coupons to their mobile.

The mobilization of retail flyers/ circulars and coupons respond to a very clear demand from consumers for mobile price intelligence.

We believe that we are still in the early stages of the mobilization of retail. As more consumers purchase smart phones we will see a dramatic increase in their reliance on their mobile phones for price intelligence and product discovery. Retailers will need to respond to consumer demand for price intelligence with applications of their own and with smart ad placements across mobile applications. Spreed has been following this development – we know that it is vitally important to our newspaper publishing partners because inserts deliver significant ad revenue.  We have built FSI capability into  our mobile application platform.  We call this solution mFlyers.  It has been built to allow publishers to easily sell retail based insert space in their mobile applications. We we will be showing off this functionality very shortly in our blog and on our applications. Keep your eyes peeled for more information soon.

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The iPad Frenzy

So it’s official, we had a chance to play with the iPad this morning and it is without a doubt a game changer. Whether more articles are read on this device or on mobile phones is yet to be seen, however the look and feel of a newspaper on its brilliant high resolution screen is something that is easy to fall in love with. Spreed will undoubtedly be releasing a very slick iPad news reader in the very near future so keep your eyes peeled and please give us any suggestions you may have on how to make the best news application possible. We have some great ideas, but want as much feedback and input as possible. So what are the important statistics?

  • In just one day the iPad sold 600k-700k (300k in store and the rest were pre-orders)
  • 1 Million apps downloaded
  • 22% of new apps being built are for the iPad
  • 2000 iPad apps are already available
  • Unilever, Toyota Motor, Korean Air and Fidelity all have booked ad space on the NYTimes iPad app
  • Advertisements on print publishers’ applications cost $75,000 to $300,000 for a few months with some exclusivity

This is a very exciting new platform and more than ever I urge digital strategists at publishing companies to think outside of the box and not recreate what they have done on the web. I usually do not do this, but here is an re-post from an Ad-Age article on which media companies are already developing apps for the iPad and what these apps look like. I love the ABC app. Here is a link to the original article.

ABC

The ABC Player for the iPad is starting off with free, ad-supported episodes from approximately 20 series, including “Lost,” “Grey’s Anatomy,” “Modern Family” and “Desperate Housewives.”

CBS
CBS is offering streaming video clips from a variety of shows as well as full episodes of “Survivor” and technology content from CNET.com. Full-length CBS programs are available for purchase via iTunes and viewing on iPad.

CBS Radio
CBS Interactive Music Group is launching a free iPad app for Radio.com that will feature live streams from more than 550 music stations and over three dozen news, talk and sports stations from CBS Radio’s network and streaming partners such as Yahoo Music. CBS will use Last.fm’s “scrobbling” technology to send music recommendations to users and share what songs friends are listening to.

Clear Channel
The radio company’s iheartradio app will launch a free iPad version of its existing iPhone app this weekend, but is expected to roll out a custom app later this year with better tailored opportunities for advertisers and local station activation.

Conde Nast
Wired’s iPad edition is under development and Vanity Fair, Glamour and The New Yorker are expected this year too, but Conde Nast is kicking off on the iPad with its GQ app, which the iTunes store says was “developed for both iPhone and iPad” but now includes optimization for the iPad. Each issue of the GQ app edition costs $2.99.

Discovery Communications
Discovery is bringing its “MythBusters” franchise to the iPad with a $4.99 app comprised of behind-the-scenes clips, outtakes from the show and three multi-level games in which users can compete against each other.

ESPN

ESPN is launching two free apps, “ESPN Pinball” and “ScoreCenter XL,” customized for the iPad. “Pinball” is an arcade-like gaming app featuring voiceover commentary from “SportsCenter” host Jay Harris, while “ScoreCenter” is an adaptation of the successful iPhone app featuring real-time score updates and play-by-play recaps.

Men’s Health
Rodale, the publisher of Men’s Health, is offering Men’s Health as an iPad edition for $4.99 an issue but is making 10-page previews free to consumers. Each issue will include all the editorial content of the print edition plus extras such as video. Procter & Gamble’s Gillette brand secured sponsorship of the April and May issues of the Men’s Health iPad edition by increasing its other ad spending with Men’s Health.

MTV Networks

There are “co-viewing” apps, meant for use while watching shows, under development, but MTV Networks is starting out on the iPad with offerings such as its $4.99 Beavis and Butthead app, which includes video clips and games, and the $2.99 app VH1 Classic Presents: Intellivision Games for iPad.

National Public Radio
NPR has introduced not just an app but a new website optimized for the iPad. The free app is meant to highlight news, arts, lifestyle and music content in a “magazine-style” presentation. Both the app and site load audio players built specifically for the iPad.

The New York Times
The New York Times’ “Editors’ Choice” app is offering a selection of news, opinion and features, available free to consumers and relying on advertiser support. The Chase Sapphire card is sponsoring the app at the start.

Popular Science

Popular Science is the first iPad app from Swedish publishing house Bonnier. The science magazine app was developed on the publisher’s Mag Plus platform, which will be used to get its titles on the iPad soon. The app will feature content from the magazine’s April issue and touts flow navigation “more like a panning camera than a flipping page.” Future issues will sync with the print publishing schedule and will be on sale within the app.

Time
The Time iPad app will include all the magazine’s weekly content plus additional slide shows and video, costing consumers $4.99 per issue. Initial advertisers include Fidelity, Korean Air, Liberty Mutual, Lexus, Toyota and Unilever. “We’re proud of Time on the iPad and of the special features that will be in it, such as extra pictures, videos and a news feed featuring the latest stories from Time.com,” managing editor Rick Stengel wrote in his editors’ letter for the April 12 issue. “We were a little handicapped in part because, unlike some other news organizations, we were not been working with an actual iPad. It is the beginning, not the end, of the process, and we hope to evolve and change every week.”

USA Today
USA Today’s app will include much of the editorial content from each morning’s paper and will update around the clock. It’s free to consumers for the next three months, courtesy of a sponsorship from Courtyard by Marriott, but will require a paid subscription after that. USA Today has not yet set the subscription price.

Walt Disney
Disney is offering two read-along “Toy Story” apps from Disney Publishing Worldwide, one free and the other available at $8.99 with a year-long subscription to disneydigitalbooks.com; iPad videos from Disney movies and Disney Channel TV shows from Disney.com; three-page previews of more than 500 Marvel comic books with the option to purchase each selection in total; and more.

The Wall Street Journal
The Wall Street Journal for iPad is a free download with some free content, but complete access will require a subscription that runs $3.99 per week. The subscription will include news throughout the day, top picks from editors and access to the last seven days’ worth of print content. Initial advertisers include Buick, Capital One, Coca-Cola, iShares, FedEx and Oracle, with full-screen ad units that appear between article and section pages.

The Weather Channel
One of the top apps for iPhone and Blackberry, the Weather Channel comes to the iPad with expanded custom weather forecasts, full-length videos of Weather Channel programming, interactive maps, weather alerts and other features. The free app is sponsored by Toyota.

YouTube
It’s not just traditional media companies, of course, gunning for the iPad’s early adopters: YouTube, for example, has introduced afree iPad app tailored for the new device.

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Flurry Smartphone Industry Pulse, February 2009: Traditional Media Dominating the News Category

Flurry, a mobile analytics company known for their strong industry statistics released their February report today. The report is interesting as it relates to the consistent surge of iPhone developers and their unique demographics. What is interesting to our readers is the specific attention it gave to the news category. As expected traditional media sources are dominating the news category. This is mostly due to the fact that it is not easy to simply start publishing the news and creating content. What it does point out though is that the iPhone and other smartphones are very useful channels to distribute content very inexpensively and target a very attractive demographic.

Possibly, more interesting is the rise of online news sources on the iPhone. Flurry believes that with the release of the iPad we are going to see an even strong supply and demand for blogs and other online media sources. It is therefore essential that if your newspaper does not have an app now, to act fast. If you wait too long, the online media sources will own the real estate on users phones and other mobile devices.  More below and in the report.

Like gaming, the creation of compelling content in News is a specialized and costly operation. To source and report quality news, companies often have to span various media such as TV broadcast, radio and print, which further increases cost. It’s therefore no surprise that Traditional Media dominates the News category, controlling nearly two thirds. For traditional media (e.g., New York Times, ABC News, NPR, etc.), the iPhone represents a large channel through which to distribute their existing content. The small incremental cost of expanding the distribution of Traditional Media’s core content, and the attractiveness of reaching an educated, affluent and tech-savvy audience, makes iPhone the perfect platform through which to serve news. Looking forward, the iPad creates an even greater opportunity to increase reach because its larger screen size works better works for newspaper and magazine layouts, as well as TV broadcast.

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The iPad – Good for Newspapers?

So the iPad was just officially announced by Steve Jobs and overall sentiment online has been mixed. I am going to reserve my judgement until I have actually placed my eyes and hands on the device myself. However, I do want to point out that this device or one similar to it is going to completely revolutionize the PC industry.

A few posts back I talked about the impending mobile OS wars and the future of the PC industry. The launch of the iPad proves that this movement is very real and that we are going to see more of these in the near future.

What does this all mean for newspapers and media companies? Well, we saw two media demo’s today. The first was from MLB who always do a spectacular job with their interactive technology innovations. If anyone is on the cusp of making ipTV attractive for the masses it is the MLB. more importantly though was the demo from the New York Times.

Here at Spreed we are very focused on the newspaper industry and as such the iPad is a very interesting platform  for us. The NYTimes demo showed off a great looking app that really took advantage of the entire form factor to replicate and enhance the traditional newspaper experience. I love how they have integrated videos and galleries seamlessly into articles and how users can get a snapshot of every article in todays newspaper through one view.

In addition this is a much smarter platform for newspapers and magazine publishers in comparison to the Kindle. For a good year now I have been saying that the Kindle is okay, but it doesn’t satisfy the needs of readers and advertisers. The Kindle is black and white and not interactive from a media stand point. The iPad completely satisfies these holes left by the Kindle. It can do everything a Kindle can, but displays everything in color and lets people really interact with the content (a must for online advertisers these days).

Mobile platforms are exciting and there is loads of potential for innovation. Spreed is definitely going to be playing around with the iPad and helping our clients embrace this new platform. However, we suggest everyone be cautious and make sure that they understand each platform before they move onto the next one. Make sure you can sell at least some of your existing mobile inventory on your iPhone, Blackberry and Android apps before you start sinking big money into an iTab edition of your paper.

I look forward to getting my iTab and sharing my first hand findings with  you all. Please feel free to call or email me with any questions about this new platform and what it means for your organization.

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