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Macworld to end print edition

New York Post

Peter Longo, just tapped to be the CEO of a newly formed US Media at International Data Group, is making some sweeping changes that appear to be turning the company’s longtime model on its head.

After 30 years, Macworld is ending its print publication with the November issue. It laid off the bulk of its editorial staffers Wednesday. It will survive only as a digital and expo business in the US, although print editions will still be produced overseas.

The changes are part of a bigger restructuring being put in place by Longo, who is based in New York. His Manhattan base is a big change for the company that has always centered its US publications around Boston and San Francisco.

There were also apparently cutbacks at PC World, TechHive and Greenbot — other digital publications published by IDG, which still counts Boston as its worldwide HQ.

Longo had been the CEO of IDG TechNetwork as well as chief digital officer of the overall IDG. Under his umbrella will be publications including CIO, CSO, Computerworld, Greenbot, InfoWorld, ITWorld, Macworld, Network World, PC World and TechHive.

Macworld was one of the last print titles in the stable. PC World had gone all-digital a year ago. Currently, only CIO is still publishing a print edition in the US.

While editorial was hit Sept. 10, it appears sweeping changes will affect the ad sales force as well in a big consolidation.

“We will transition the IDG Enterprise media sales organization from a brand-based to a geography-based structure to make it simpler for our clients to do business with us,” the company said in a statement.

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IDG Outlines Plans Following Restructuring

New CEO talks leadership changes, sales strategy, role of print.

Folio

The dust is still settling on a major overhaul of IDG’s U.S. portfolio—a collection of consumer and B2B brands, a burgeoning ad network, more than 100 events and a nascent video unit, chief among its holdings—but its new top exec, Peter Longo, says the company is now better positioned to take advantage of its strengths.

The group also appears to be significantly leaner however. While initial reports noted that editorial staff, including several in leadership roles, would be leaving the company, C-level positions were also impacted. Matt Yorke, CEO of the company’s B2B division, IDG Enterprise, and Bob Melk, CEO of IDG Consumer & SMB, were not among a list of executives for the newly-formed U.S. Media Group provided by the company. IDG would not confirm the departures of any individual employees though.

Screen Shot 2014 09 16 at 12 52 31 PM Macworld to end print edition

Longo noted that the editorial cuts came from both the consumer and B2B sides, though he wouldn’t provide a headcount. A separate industry source says layoffs extended to sales, custom content and events departments, as well.

The moves come as IDG found itself increasingly trapped in a web of legacy processes—a position not unique to IDG, Longo notes. Readers and advertisers moved toward digital platforms, and new products were adopted to meet the evolving demand, but, despite efforts to shift away from print over the years, a structure originally built to handle printed content and direct sales stood in the way of efficiency.

“We’ve had a number of different sales organizations—some direct, some programmatic, some divided by brand—and we felt like moving our owned and operated brands closer toward programmatic and exchange-based solutions was going to benefit them,” Longo says. “One of the immediate changes was moving the consumer properties—Macworld, PC World, Greenbot and TechHive—into our network environment where our network salespeople could continue to represent those properties on a direct basis, but so we’d also make that inventory available on a programmatic basis.”

Continue reading… 

World Tech Update- August 29, 2014

IDG News Service

Coming up on WTU Instagram brings Hyperlapse to the iPhone, Microsoft cuts Surface 2 prices and Google reveals its secret drone delivery program.

 

Tablets with voice calling functions take off in Asia

IDG News Service

Using a tablet to make a phone call may sound unorthodox. But in Asia’s emerging markets, vendors are increasingly shipping 7-inch tablets with voice call functions, according to research firm IDC.

During the second quarter, electronics vendors shipped 13.8 million tablets to the Asia Pacific region, excluding Japan, IDC said on Wednesday. Of those tablets, 25 percent were designed for voice calls over a cellular network. This marked a jump of 10 percentage points from the first quarter.

Voice call tablets are taking off in China, India, Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand, said Avinash Sundaram, an IDC analyst, who added that it had become a trend unique to Asia.

Although large screen phones are already popular, some consumers in the region have tighter budgets, and want a product that merges all their electronic needs into a single device, Sundaram said.

“They don’t want to walk around with a phone, tablet and PC,” he said. “This is basically addressing budgetary needs.”

Vendors releasing these products include Samsung, which early on incorporated voice call features into its tablets, along with Asus, Huawei and Lenovo. But smaller vendors such as India’s Micromax and Indonesia’s Advan Digital are also fueling the market with rival tablets.

“We definitely see this as a vendor strategy to help differentiate their products,” Sundaram said. Many of these tablets cost between US$100 to $300.

It’s still not known how many consumers in Asia use their tablets for voice calls. But vendors are marketing the features in their advertisements.

“If we look at advertising campaigns in India, Indonesia, they call it a tablet with voice option,” Sundaram said. Vendors could conceivably put cellular features into all their tablets. But bigger companies such as Samsung might refrain from doing so, to better position their smart phone products, he added.

“From a vendor perspective, they want to target every single kind of device, as opposed to selling one kind of device,” he said. “There are no technical hurdles. It’s more about product strategy.”

Where Is Digital Video Viewing Most Popular?

eMarketer

Internet users around the world are tuning in to digital video—whether it’s to watch long-form content like TV shows or movies, short snackable clips, or even branded video content produced by marketers. And according to research among weekly internet users conducted by TNS in June 2014, web users in South Korea are more likely than their counterparts anywhere else in the world to do so.

178307 Where Is Digital Video Viewing Most Popular?

Penetration in the East Asian country reached nearly 96%, meaning virtually anyone who goes online at least weekly also watches digital video with some frequency. Three other countries boasted penetration rates above nine in 10 internet users: Spain, Italy and Mexico. Penetration in China was nearly as high.

It may appear surprising for some of those countries to lead highly developed internet economies like the UK and US in penetration rates, but since the survey was taken among weekly internet users the numbers are somewhat boosted. Overall internet penetration is relatively low in Mexico or India compared to the US—but those who are online are avid digital video viewers.

177922 Where Is Digital Video Viewing Most Popular?

eMarketer estimates that in the US, 77.3% of monthly internet users will watch digital video at least once per month this year, for a total of 195.6 million viewers. Those figures include viewers of any age.

Majority Of Digital Media Consumption Now Takes Place In Mobile Apps

TechCrunch

U.S. users are now spending the majority of their time consuming digital media within mobile applications, according to a new study released by comScore this morning. That means mobile apps, including the number 1 most popular app Facebook, eat up more of our time than desktop usage or mobile web surfing, accounting for 52% of the time spent using digital media. Combined with mobile web, mobile usage as a whole accounts for 60% of time spent, while desktop-based digital media consumption makes up the remaining 40%.

Apps today are driving the majority of media consumption activity, the report claims, now accounting for 7 our of every 8 minutes of media consumption on mobile devices. On smartphones, app activity is even higher, at 88% usage versus 82% on tablets.

App Users

The report also details several interesting figures related to how U.S. app users are interacting with these mobile applications, noting that over one-third today download at least one application per month. The average smartphone user downloads 3 apps per month.

However, something which may not have been well understood before is that much of that download activity is concentrated within a small segment of the smartphone population: the top 7% of smartphone owners accounting for nearly half of all the download activity in a given month. Those are some serious power users, apparently.

But no matter how often consumers are actively downloading apps, they certainly are addicted to them. More than half (57%) use apps every single day, while 26% of tablet owners do. And 79% of smartphone owners use apps nearly every day, saying they use them at least 26 days per month, versus 52% for tablet users.

Facebook Still #1

Here’s another notable tidbit: 42% of all app time on smartphones takes place in that individual’s single most used app. 3 out of 4 minutes is spent in the individual’s top 4 apps. The top brands, which account for 9 out of the top 10 most used apps, include Facebook, Google, Apple, Yahoo, Amazon and eBay.

Facebook is the most used app, in both audience size and share of time spent among each demographic segment.

Social Networking, Games and Radio contribute to nearly half the total time spent on apps, indicating mobile usage is heavily centered around entertainment and communication.

On iPhone, users prefer spending time consuming media, with news apps, radio, photos, social networking, and weather as the highest-ranking categories, while Android users spent more time in search (Google) and email (Gmail).

Click to see charts 

Computerworld.com Integrates Responsive Design Technology and Functionality Enhancements in Site Relaunch

 Computerworld.com Integrates Responsive Design Technology and Functionality Enhancements in Site Relaunch

IDG Enterprise—the leading enterprise technology media company composed of Computerworld, InfoWorld, Network World, CIO, DEMO, CSO, ITworld, CFOworld and CITEworld—reveals an enhanced design and greater functionality for Computerworld.com, the voice of business technology. The award-winning site incorporates responsive design technology to create a universal experience by scaling editorial and advertising content to the user’s screen size, whether they are accessing Computerworld.com with a smartphone, tablet or desktop.

“Technology is at the center of business innovation and strategy. Computerworld.com has the most expansive coverage of business-changing technologies that technology and business decision-makers need to understand in this time of digital disruption,” said Matthew Yorke, CEO, IDG Enterprise. “We are excited to relaunch the site using responsive design to create an omnichannel experience for all visitors and advertisers. Computerworld.com has seen continuous growth of traffic from mobile devices, currently it accounts for 25% of our traffic, and our goal is to ensure our visitors have access to the content they need when and where they would like to access it.”

Website Enhancements Include:

  • Computerworld.com built with responsive design, including HTML5 and CSS3, to ensure usability and consistency for visitors using smartphones, tablets or desktops.
  • Expanded editorial coverage areas including Data Analytics, Internet of Things, Emerging Technology, Cloud Computing, Data Center and Enterprise Applications.
  • Visually enticing design improving the reader experience and engagement from story specific keywords with landing pages.
  • Less pagination creating a smoother reading experience without compromising ad impression impact.
  • Single, searchable “Resource Library” supporting all types of lead generation content.
  • Shared functionality across IDG Enterprise sites for seamless execution of banner ads, lead generation and native advertising, making promotions more effective.

The editorial voice, content and design of Computerworld.com remains unique to the brand, while functionality has been aligned across IDG Enterprise sites including back-end capabilities enhancing search functionality and digital asset management for displaying more images and video content. The reader experience is further enhanced by large more legible type and fully integrated social media tools. Ads and promotional units are highlighted in a “deconstructed” right rail optimizing effectiveness and native advertising will be threaded intuitively throughout the site.

“Computerworld.com is well known for its superb tech news. What may be less obvious to website visitors is all the other great content Computerworld serves up for senior technology leaders,” said Scot Finnie, editor in chief, Computerworld. “The editors produce numerous feature articles, how-tos, deep-dives, research, special reports, analyses and case studies. These articles cover enterprise technologies, provide IT management and careers advice, and explore the latest IT trends and emerging technologies. Because such stories have often been less visible on our home page — often whisked away by the rapid stream of tech news — the new home page design relocates the news headlines to a separate column, giving Computerworld’s rich, longer-form enterprise IT content more prominence and air time in the central headline area. This change will paint a far more complete picture of Computerworld’s strong business technology identity.”

About IDG Enterprise
IDG Enterprise, an International Data Group (IDG) company, brings together the leading editorial brands (Computerworld, InfoWorld, Network World, CIO, CSO, ITworld, CFOworld and CITEworld) to serve the information needs of our technology and security-focused audiences. As the premier hi-tech B2B media company, we leverage the strengths of our premium owned and operated brands, while simultaneously harnessing their collective reach and audience affinity. We provide market leadership and converged marketing solutions for our customers to engage IT and security decision-makers across our portfolio of award-winning websites, events, magazines, products and services. IDG’s DEMO conferences provide a platform for today’s most innovative and eye-opening technologies to publically launch their solutions.

Company information is available at www.idgenterprise.com
Follow IDG Enterprise on Twitter: @IDGEnterprise
Follow Computerworld on Twitter: @Computerworld
Like Computerworld on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Computerworld
Join IDG Enterprise on LinkedIn

###

Contact:
Gregory Rosa
Marketing & PR Specialist
IDG Enterprise
grosa@idgenterprise.com
Office: 508.766.5375

World Tech Update- August 22, 2014

IDG News Service

Coming up on WTU hackers steal data on 4.5 million U.S. hospital patients, Sprint launches a bezel-free smartphone and a Silicon Valley hotel tries out a robot bellhop.

Are Businesses Prepared for the Internet of Things?

eMarketer

The “internet of things” (IoT) is coming. But are businesses ready for a completely connected future?

177221 Are Businesses Prepared for the Internet of Things?

According to a May 2014 study by Edelman Berland for GE, the majority of business executives worldwide had at least heard of the IoT; however, familiarity was low, with more than half of respondents who had heard of the IoT saying they weren’t sure what it meant. Meanwhile, 44% had never even heard of the concept.

Edelman Berland/GE defined the internet of things as “the next generation of internet, integrating complex physical machinery with networked sensors and software.”

177222 Are Businesses Prepared for the Internet of Things?

Looking at a breakdown by industry, the survey found that preparation and planning for the IoT varied greatly across sectors. Unsurprisingly, high-tech/IT sector business execs were the most prepared to optimize the IoT, with 34% of respondents from that industry saying so. Nearly one-quarter of professionals in that group were planning to prep for this new world—the highest percentage out of sectors once again. Telecoms execs were the second most prepared (31% of respondents), but interestingly, those who weren’t set to take advantage of the IoT were the least likely to say they were planning to—and the most likely to report that they had no intention to do so.

Meanwhile, both healthcare and manufacturing landed at the bottom in terms of preparedness, with just 21% of respondents from each of these industries saying they were ready to optimize the IoT—and nearly half never having even heard of it.

Tablet boom helps digital magazines boost sales share

Marketing Week

Total digital sales increased 26 per cent year on year to 369,040, a slowdown on the 59 per cent growth seen in the same period last year. This was in part due to a slowdown in the number of magazines reporting digital sales, which only increased by 10 per cent to 95 magazines, compared to a 43 per cent increase in 2013.

That sales growth was enough to outpace the market, meaning digital publications now make up 2.9 per cent of magazines’ total circulation, up from 2.3 per cent a year ago. That is still just a tiny proportion of overall sales, with print circulation at 12.22m, a 3.8 per cent fall year on year and an acceleration of the 1.9 per cent drop seen in the same period a year ago.

However, a number of publishers have questioned the veracity of the ABC figures given that many now have a wide-ranging audience across the internet and mobile devices, not just through digital editions.

Barry McIlheney, CEO of the Professional Publishers’ Association, says the growth of digital editions is “encouraging” for the sector and highlights the growing demand for digital content.

He adds: “The figures in this report reiterate how shifting consumer media habits continue to impact upon today’s modern, multi-platform magazine brands. The growth of digital editions is encouraging for the sector, and it should also be remembered that this ABC report does not include the increasing number of other ways – websites, live events, social media, etc. – in which the magazine brands of today engage directly with their consumers.”

NME, which saw its average print circulation drop under 15,000 for the first time, claims to reach more than 3.6 million people across the UK.

Marcus Rich, CEO at NME’s owner IPC Media, says: “Our core focus is on expanding the overall reach of our powerful, market-leading brands. We continue to look for even more ways to satisfy and engage our consumers’ passions and in the past 12 months have launched new events and experiences, products and apps in a variety of sectors. We also look for new and exciting ways to leverage our portfolio of brands for the benefit of our advertising partners.”

The Economist’s digital edition saw the biggest increase in sales, up 72 per cent to 21,780, helping it overtake Private Eye as the most popular news magazine overall with average sales of 223,730. Total Film had the second highest average circulation at 14,091, an increase of 16 per cent, followed by BBC Top Gear magazine with 13,553.

TV choice remains the most popular paid-for magazine with total sales of 1.3 million, although its circulation dropped slightly, by 5.2 per cent. Northern & Shell’s magazine suffered a tough quarter, with OK!, New and Star all reporting double-digit declines.

Samsung buys SmartThings in ambitious push to connect your home

IDG News Service

Samsung has agreed to buy SmartThings, a two-year-old startup that makes software to connect household objects and let them be controlled from afar via smartphone.

The deal, announced Thursday, gives Samsung a solid foothold in the burgeoning “Internet of things” market. IoT generally involves connecting objects such as cameras, sensors and appliances using a wireless Internet connection and controlling them or collecting data.

“SmartThings supports an open and growing ecosystem of developers, who are producing new types of connected devices and unique apps in the cloud that change how everyday objects work,” Samsung said in a press release.

Terms were not disclosed, but a report in Re/code cited a roughly $200 million price tag. Samsung did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

SmartThings makes a mobile app for controlling a range of devices, as well as a software platform for outside developers and device makers. Samsung has become active in this area with its Tizen mobile operating system, which is designed to let consumers control utilities and appliances with their smartphones and other mobile devices.

The acquisition should broaden Samsung’s efforts and let it expand the SmartThings platform to more partners and devices.

SmartThings will operate independently under SmartThings CEO Alex Hawkinson but will move from Washington, D.C., to Samsung’s Open Innovation Center in Palo Alto, California, where Samsung works on bringing new types of software applications to its hardware.

“While we will remain operationally independent, joining forces with Samsung will enable us to support all of the leading smartphone vendors, devices, and applications,” Hawkinson said in a blog post.

IoT activity has heated up over the past year. In a high-profile move earlier this year, Google announced its acquisition of Nest, the smart thermostat maker, for $3.2 billion.

SmartThings got its start on Kickstarter.