Digital Media Events
Event Date Location

OMMA Display In LA

07/22/2014 - 07/24/2014 Los Angeles CA

Small Agency Conference & Awards

07/23/2014 - 07/24/2014 Austin TX

OMMA mCommerce

08/07/2014 New York New York

CIO 100 Symposium & Awards

08/17/2014 - 08/19/2014 Rancho Palos Verdes CA

Mobile Insider Summit

08/17/2014 - 08/20/2014 LAKE TAHOE CA

Social Media Insider Summit

08/20/2014 - 08/23/2014 LAKE TAHOE CA

iMedia Agency Summit (Malaysia)

08/25/2014 - 08/27/2014 Kota Kinabalu Malaysia

The 6th annual Mobile World

08/28/2014 Seoul

Data+: Analyze, Predict, Monetize

09/07/2014 - 09/09/2014 Phoenix AZ

iMedia Brand Summit: Marketing in an Always-On World

09/07/2014 - 09/10/2014 Coronado CA


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Mobile social helps drive unprecedented jump in social media ad revenues: report

Mobile Marketer

Growth in mobile social and social native advertising are driving the largest year-over-year jump in social media ad revenues, with the total spend expected to be $8.4 billion in 2014, according to a new report out today from BIA/Kelsey.

In its latest U.S. Social Local Media Forecast, BIA/Kelsey forecasts that social media advertising revenues will reach $15 billion in 2018 for a compound annual growth rate of 24 percent. The growth rate is expected to be higher for native social advertising revenues, coming in at 38.6 percent; for social mobile, coming in at 38.3 percent, and for locally targeted social advertising, coming in at 31.6 percent.

“Looking at the overall social advertising forecast, we have raised that in total,” said Jed Williams, a senior analyst at BIA/Kelsey, Chantilly, VA. “Where we have raised that the most is in the out years of the forecast – we’ve raised it fairly significantly in 2017 and 2018 and we raised it slightly in 2014.

“The motive behind is that if you look at Facebook as a proxy to the overall social advertising marketplace, we have been encouraged and it has been eye-opening for us how they have continued to grow advertising revenue particularly U.S. advertising revenue, and what the drivers of that have been, particularly native and mobile,” he said.

“We still think there is a lot of growth there not just for Facebook in both of those areas and we see those areas as real drivers of growth across social media advertising. That growth is already occurring and it is occurring faster than we had anticipated six months of twelve months ago.”

Native advertising takes off
There has been a surge in native social advertising, driven by Facebook’s News Feed ads and Twitter’s Promoted Tweets. As a result, BIA/Kelsey predicts native social advertising will eclipse social display for the first time in 2015.

According to the forecast, social display ad revenues will grow from $3.3 billion in 2013 to $5.6 billion in 2018.

During the same period, native social advertising will surge to $9.4 billion in 2018, up from $1.8 billion in 2013.

On mobile, social ad revenues topped $1.5 billion in 2013 and will reach $7.6 billion by 2018, surpassing social desktop for the first time.

The report also forecasts that locally targeted social advertising will grow from $1.3 billion in 2013 to $5.2 billion in 2018.

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New Responsible Native Advertising Principles for Publishers

Association of Online Publishers

The top leaders of the UK publishing industry – including The Guardian, ESI Media and Dennis – were brought together by digital advertising company Vibrant Media, in partnership with the Association of Online Publishers, to determine the key principles of responsible, revenue generating native advertising. The roundtable was moderated by esteemed media industry journalist and commentator, Ray Snoddy.

Tom Pepper, UK Managing Director of Vibrant Media said, “Rather than debating whether or not various ad units are native the industry should be focussing on higher level discussions such as responsible native advertising that will bring the media industry together in collaboration to achieve the best user experience. As Vibrant Media has been placing ads within digital content since 2001 we are well placed to step up to that challenge. We are really pleased that we have been able to facilitate this conversation with like-minded leaders in the industry. The 5 key principles we have agreed to achieve responsible revenue generating native advertising are: Integrity; Transparency; Proportionality; Relevancy; and Appropriate Placement.”

Tim Cain, Managing Director at the Association of Online Publishers said:
“We are proud to have partnered with Vibrant Media who have brought together the key players in the publishing industry. Today is a great achievement surfacing the 5 key principles in responsible native advertising. Creating focused roundtables like these shows progressive thinking and thought leadership. We have definitely given the industry more focus today and I look forward to our continued success with Vibrant.”

1) INTEGRITY – Editorial and advertising teams should collaborate
As editorial teams’ focus is on developing content that captivates consumers, they have key insight into the brand values that establish trust in their media titles’ content. Native advertising should be supported by editorial teams. Editorial, ad sales, marketing, creative and tech teams should collaborate on native ad campaigns.

Hattie Brett, Editor of The Debrief said, “My editorial integrity is very important to me. I see it as protecting the reader. Being involved in the native ad deals gives me a certain sense of control to make sure that we’re working with likeminded partners who share our brand values and understand that we know how to talk to our readers. Working on a native deal with someone who doesn’t share your title’s brand values is going to antagonise readers and drive them away, which is not in the publication’s interest or in the advertiser’s interest.”

Gary Rayneau, Head of Digital Sales at Dennis Publishing said, “Done correctly, done with integrity, native advertising is a really positive thing for the industry. If we get it right it benefits everyone: it benefits publishers by keeping them commercially viable; it benefits users as we can create interesting content.”

2) TRANSPARENCY – Be clear with consumersOvert labelling and clear signals should communicate to consumers that native ads are marketing messages. Media literacy is important. Publishers and advertisers should provide consumers with accessible explanations about the native ads displayed within their publications.

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Is Facebook Organic Reach Actually Rising?


Contrary to a number of recent reports, most brands are seeing their organic reach rates rise on Facebook.

That’s according to new data from social analytics startup Shareablee, which found that among 150 brands, total organic reach grew 11% between the fourth quarter of 2013 and the first quarter of 2014.

The problem is that other reports have focused too heavily on Post-level reach — which has indeed declined 27% over the past quarter — according to Tania Yuki, founder and CEO of Shareablee.

What these reports have failed to consider is the resulting increase in engagement rates, which have actually increased 65% over the past quarter.

As such, these reports are creating “undue alarm” among brands and agencies, Yuki told Social Media & Marketing Daily, on Tuesday.

“People are engaging more, in response to fewer messages,” Yuki explains in the new report. “Activating more people relevantly leads to greater total organic reach, which [in] turn allows the influencer effect of your most loyal, engaged fans to grow.”

The broad perception that Facebook is curtailing brands’ ability to reach their followers (without paying a premium) appears to have already taken root.

In fact: “Over the past few weeks, I have personally spoken to at least thirty brand marketers … who are seriously contemplating pulling back their efforts from Facebook,” according to Yuki. “Some have been informed that Facebook is becoming a paid-only channel (even though promoted posts currently account for less than 10% of all brand content).”

And it’s no wonder why. Reports from a number of research firms and agencies have suggested that brands can no longer rely on Facebook to deliver their messages.

A recent report from Forrester, for example, suggested that brands should diversify their social media strategies because, among other reasons, “recent studies report that the average branded Facebook post reaches just 6% of a brand’s fans.”

Yet for those brands still intent on reaching consumers on Facebook, frequency remains key, according to Yuki.

“Brands must … resist reacting to the disappointment of lower post reach by stepping down on frequency, and keep relevant content coming if they want to maintain the audiences they have built up on Facebook,” Yuki explained.

Furthermore — “Posting less frequently — as some suggest — does not result in those fewer posts reaching more people, even if those fewer posts are higher performing,” Yuki warned. “It is just too difficult to achieve momentum.”

“Hey, Did You See That Awesome Banner Ad Yesterday?”


This year is the 20th anniversary of the banner ad. In 1994, HotWired magazine invented the unit as a short-term solution for tiny cathode-ray tube monitors and the incredibly minimal websites of the era.

Two decades later, we still use banner ads.

Those of us in the ad industry ought to be ashamed of ourselves.

The banner has been dead as an effective advertising unit for at least a decade. Other than the ads on this page, can you remember a single banner you saw today? While it is easy to recall TV commercials from decades ago, banners are fully ignored and never remembered.

“Hey, did you see that awesome banner ad yesterday?” said no one, ever.

As a longtime member of the online advertising industry, I am embarrassed at our collective failure to innovate. The ad industry helps fund the free and awesome Internet we all enjoy, and by not improving on worthless ad units, we are stiffing funding for even more awesomeness in the future. Our failure hurts all of us.

Thankfully, some haven’t been silently accepting the tyranny of tiny little boxes, and they have been innovating with new ideas under the label of “native advertising.” Native is not a “thing” to be defined, but rather it is a movement of publishers, advertisers and technology companies independently innovating to discover ad units that actually work.

Native is producing content as ads, Facebook putting ads into the News Feed, Google search ads (the greatest ad innovation of our lifetime), Twitter sponsoring tweets, andpublishers saying, “Screw the little box, and lets make something that actually works.” Native is about experimentation, crazy ideas, failure, unscalable awesomeness and unadulterated creativity. Native is what should have happened 20 years ago.

The critics will tell you that native can’t scale. As usual, they are wrong. Google text ads scaled. Facebook News Feed ads are scaling. Promoted Tweets are scaling. When done correctly, native scales just fine. The great thing about computers is that we can build them to do just about anything, and scaling a few ads is really not one of life’s hard problems.

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If Newspapers And Magazines Think Life Is Tough Now, They Won’t Want To See What Happens Next…

Business Insider

The last decade has been tough for those in the print business.

Thanks to the inexorable shift of eyeballs to digital, newspaper advertising has collapsed, and many newsroom budgets have been slashed. Magazines have fared better, but many of them are also under pressure, and their path to a happy and lucrative digital future still seems unclear.

And there’s more bad news on the way.

The shift to digital that has demolished some print publications is very much generational. And, from a generational perspective, this shift is only just beginning.

Media consumers in their 40s, 50s, 60s, and 70s grew up reading newspapers and magazines. Old habits die hard. Many of these consumers will never be as comfortable with digital as they are with paper, and they will keep reading newspapers and magazines until the day they die.

But media consumers in the 0s, 10s, 20s, and 30s have no such print habits or allegiances. To them, the idea of printing information on a dead tree and then trucking it to houses and newsstands seems ludicrous, old-fashioned, inconvenient, and wasteful. To these folks, paper-based publications are a pain to carry and search, easy to misplace, and hard to share, and the information in them is outdated the moment it appears. For those who weren’t raised on paper, digital is superior in almost every way.

This “digital generation,” moreover, isn’t just kids anymore. Slowly but surely, digital consumers are taking over the coveted media demographics. And in another 10 to 20 years, the only media consumers who still prefer print will be retired folks who have long since passed the torch of influence and spending-power to the digital generation.

The results of a recent survey of UK media consumers make this clear.

Researchers asked consumers which media they would miss the most. They then segmented the results by age.

Even among the oldest consumers — 75 years old and up — digital has made inroads, but it’s still perceived as less valuable than print. TV, meanwhile (the purple band), is the big winner in this age group.

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Smartphones: The silent killer of the Web as you know it

The Next Web

The PC is dyinglong live the PC! These headlines have been thrown around for years, as sales of laptops and desktops have continually dwindled downward.

The tablet has long been pinned as the murderer of the traditional computers and it certainly looked like it was going to be the one to do away with them (perhaps in a few years), with the focus of many companies such as Apple and Microsoft shifting towards a tablet-first world.

It’s obvious from the steadily declining shipments of traditional computers and companies exiting the PC market, that it’s not looking good for PCs, with tablets regularly eating into computer shipments year on year.

That was, until Apple reported in its last earnings call that it had actually sold fewer iPads than the previous quarter for the first time ever. The media is in a frenzy, wondering if the tablet isn’t the savior after all. From stories wondering ifApple’s iPad business is collapsing to others pointing to tablet demand hitting a wall, it seems that the world has suddenly realized that tablets aren’t  all they’re cracked up to be; perhaps they won’t outsell the PC after all.

But that’s not because tablets are dying, it’s because a deeper shift is underway that will fundamentally change the way the internet is used in the future.

Tablets have been on an insane trajectory for the last few years, but the rate of adoption was a little odd, compared with traditional uptake. According to twoseparate Pew Research studies, adoption has thus far been made up of:

16% 15-20 year olds with tablets
18% 20-29 year olds with tablets
25% 30-55 year olds with tablets

A post by Dustin Curtis this week pointed out that this is the exact opposite of how new technology is traditionally adopted, with older people adopting tablets must more rapidly than those that are younger. How can this be? Probably because the older generation ‘gets’ the tablet and “naturally extends” the function of the desktop/laptop computers they’re used to.

Benedict Evans also published a great, in depth look at iPad sales trends which sheds a lot of light on what’s really going on under the surface, which can be seen in the graph below. For example, iPhones are continuing to grow at an exponential rate, but the iPad is hitting a wall.

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What the Death of Homepages Means for the Future of News

The Atlantic

The New York Times lost 80 million homepage visitors—half the traffic to the page—in two years. That’s according to this graphic, taken from an internal review of Times digital strategy obtained by BuzzFeed.

This is the clearest illustration of the demise of homepages I’ve seen. (Well, not literally the clearest; it’s somewhat grainy, in an apropos way.) News used to be a destination, and you would go find it on your driveway and in your browser. Now you’re the destination, and “information—status updates, photos of your friends, videos of Solange, and sometimes even news articles—come at you; they find you,” Quartz‘s Zach Seward writes.

If the clicks aren’t coming from homepages, where are they coming from? Facebook, Twitter, social media, and the mix of email and chat services summed up as “dark social” (dark, because it’s hard for publishers to trace). Here’s the incoming traffic data from the BuzzFeed network (a bundle of popular sites including BuzzFeed, Huffington Post, the TimesNew York magazine, and The Atlantic) in the first three months of  2014.

News publishers lost the homepage firehose, and gained a social media flood. This social flood corresponds with the emergence of another powerful piece of technology: audience analytics software that tells digital publishers what people are reading, and how long they’re reading it, with greater specificity than ever. One theory is that the rise of twin technological forces—the social flood and the age of analytics—will (a) make the news more about readers; and (b) make news organizations more like each other.

Why should the death of homepages give rise to news that’s more about readers? Because homepages reflect the values of institutions, and Facebook and Twitter reflect the interest of individual readers. These digital grazers have shown again and again that they aren’t interested in hard news, but rather entertainment, self-help, awe, and outrage dressed up news. Digitally native publishers are pretty good at pumping this kind of stuff out. Hence quizzes, hence animals, hence 51 Photos That Show Women Fighting Sexism Awesomely. Even serious publishing companies know that self-help and entertainment often outperform outstanding reporting.

Second, we should expect—and have already seen—an expedited clustering effect around news tropes, and this clustering is making news organizations more like each other. This goes back to technology. The better publishers can see what audiences are reading, the more they will be inclined to quickly serve up duplicates of the most popular stuff.

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Media companies ‘probably can’t beat tech companies’ – BBC Worldwide chief digital officer Dan Heaf

The Drum

The changing landscape of content consumption and emerging competitors such as Netflix and Amazon is “extremely worrying” for media companies, BBC Worldwide chief digital officer Dan Heaf has said.

Speaking at the Open Mobile Media summit in London, Heaf said that media companies have realised that in order to be successful in the digital market they must have a bigger international presence, but said they are now playing catch up with online tech and media brands already ahead of them.

“Media companies have realised this,” he said. “Every week a UK broadcaster buys a US production company, or vice versa – everyone now understands that in order to afford the content audiences want to watch in a domestic market you need international distribution.

“The big worry is, are we too late in realising this? Because our friends Netflix, Amazon, AOL, Yahoo have already. AOL, Amazon, Yahoo are all pouring money into original, scripted long-form drama.

“This is either a great strategy or they’re just following Netflix’s lead. Time will tell where this all ends up.”

He continued: “There’s a live debate and it’s extremely worrying for media companies. You have to ask the question: can media companies beat tech companies? The answer in my opinion is probably not. Even companies like this one [the BBC] that have a good heritage should probably just stick to their knitting and really think about putting money into content.”

Heaf said that companies like Netflix were spending significantly more on software than the BBC was able to invest into iPlayer, and he acknowledged that media companies had been particularly slow to see the explosion of video and the benefits of using channels such as YouTube. According to figures from eMarketer last year, young people in the US visit YouTube more often than Facebook.

“Media companies have realised they’ve not really got into this game and built any organic talent in this area,” Heaf said. “You’re about to see a huge raft of deals flow in this area, because media companies now realise this is not some passing fad, this is something that’s going to be more and more important in their ecosystem.”

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Black and white and read all over

The Economist

NORTH Amsterdam is to Amsterdam what Brooklyn once was to New York: a post-industrial zone where abandoned shipyards have been taken over by internet startups and hipster restaurants. Recently a constellation of the Netherlands’ media elite gathered at a waterside hangout here for the launch of a new online journalism platform, Blendle. It aims to become the “iTunes of journalism”, bringing the content of all of the country’s major publications onto one site.

Blendle will allow users to browse headlines, follow and share with other users, and finally buy and read content on a cheap per-article basis. Each costs between €0.10 ($0.14) and €0.90. The concept is hardly revolutionary, but Blendle is the first website to get every publisher in one country to sign on. If it succeeds, this form of bundling could herald the future of online journalism.

Blendle is the brainchild of two Dutch journalists in their mid-twenties, Marten Blankesteijn and Alexander Klopping. Mr Blankesteijn says he got the idea in a supermarket checkout line, when he spotted an intriguing article in Marie-Claire (three sex workers interviewing their clients) but found the idea of buying an entire edition of the women’s fashion magazine too embarrassing. Mr Klopping, a new-media wunderkind and technology correspondent on the Netherlands’ most popular TV talk show, says he was inspired by a peculiar habit among Dutch Twitter users. To share articles from their morning papers, whose internet editions tend to keep premium content behind a paywall, the Dutch often take smartphone pictures of the physical newspaper and tweet them. “It’s 2014, and people are still taking pictures of the newspaper,” Mr Klopping says wonderingly.

If you want to prototype the iTunes of journalism, the Netherlands isn’t a bad place to start. The country has the highest rate of internet penetration in Europe and, even after more than a decade of internet-driven attrition, the Dutch journalistic landscape is still a crowded one. With a population of 17m (about the size of the New York metropolitan area), the Netherlands boasts six major national dailies and a host of regional ones. Newspaper circulation per capita is among the highest in the developed world, behind Scandinavia and Japan. Government media subsidies are gradually being cut back, but Blendle won a €200,000 grant from a government fund for new journalism ventures, matching the initial €200,000 put in by its founders and financial backers.

The hardest part was bringing publications on board Blendle. The first convert was Groene Amsterdammer, a small but respected left-wing magazine with an experimental bent. But it took over two years to convince the editors of the country’s major newspapers and magazines, such as the Telegraaf, the VolkskrantNRC Handelsblad and Elsevier, and the executives at the publishing groups that own them. Mr Klopping says the platform’s key target, though, is not people who read the newspaper; it is the younger cohort who, for the most part, don’t.

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Beyond responsive: three mobile website design tricks becoming trends

The Media Briefing

The Los Angeles Times has a new-look website: a responsively designed effort from the same chaps behind sites for The Verge, Hearst and Mashable.

But apart from being mobile-friendly in its responsiveness, it also features a number of mobile-first design elements that we’re increasingly seeing across a number of websites. Are publishers finally putting their money where their mobile-first mouths are?

The Neverending Scrolly

There’s infinite scrolling – the likes of which you can find on and Trinity Mirror efforts and – which helps solve the issue of where readers go once they have reached the end of an article and obviously fits naturally with the scrolling technique used on mobile phones.

For sites with a lot of content, infinite scrolling (depending on how it’s done) often preloads articles before you’ve quite got to the end of a piece, meaning readers glimpse the next story and are potentially more likely to continue reading.

But standard pagination may be better for some sites – infinite scrolling also runs the risk of making readers feel like they can’t accomplish a task and are overwhelmed by the amount of content being presented.

Visual browsing

There’s also a tablet-style “visual browse” mode, which works well on desktop and mobile (and presumably tablet) although on mobile it has much more of a Vox-style “card” look and feel about it.

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