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2015 begins with publishers hoping for big improvements in digital subscription sales

Talking New Media

New Year starts, as always, with CES – but Macworld has been put on ‘hiatus’ and the value of big trade shows is being questioned by tech firms

Welcome to 2015! Here in Chicago it is -6F (-21C), here is hoping it is much more pleasant where you are!

CES2015 icon 2015 begins with publishers hoping for big improvements in digital subscription salesThe New Year means iTunes Connect is open and new and updated apps are being released into the App Store. It also means that CES is about to begin in Las Vegas. CES used to be an important event (it is still a big one) but many tech companies have long since learned that these early year trade shows may not be the best time to launch new products. Apple, for instance, pulled out of Macworld long ago and realized that if they are going to have a blow out fourth quarter of the year (their first quarter) they need to introduce new products in September.

CES isn’t the only big early year trade show, of course. Mobile World Congress is in early March (in Barcelona, of course).

But 2015 will be a year without Macworld as IDG announced last year that the show would go on ‘hiatus’.

“The show saw a remarkable 30 year run that changed the technology industry, provided an important forum for Apple developers to bring new companies and products to market, delivered world class professional development to Apple product enthusiasts, and fostered the development of one of the most dynamic professional communities in the tech marketplace,” the IDG World Expo wrote.

Macworld was hurt not only be Apple’s decision to pull out, but also by the decline overall of the personal computing business. IDG tried to adapt, of course, but the excitement of the PC business has gone, not to return.

The problem for these shows remains that trade shows often are scheduled for the early part of the year, no matter what industry you are talking about. As the publisher of a transportation construction magazine, January through March was the busy time for trade shows, generally held in Las Vegas, New Orleans or Orlando. There were (and are) trade shows later in the year, but they often feel more like conferences (such as Adobe MAX).

For those who write about digital publishing, there is really no trade show or event that can’t be missed. The year remains filled with breakfasts, lunches, and award events created by the trade publications in lieu of making a profit on their trade magazines. Publishing pros like to network, eat and drink, and so there is no stopping these things, I guess.

 Continue reading… 

11 – 94% of Business Emails go Missing – A Global Breakdown

IDG Connect

Email marketers have spent years building best-practice expertise to deliver the most effective email campaigns possible. However the age old challenge of not being able to reach subscribers’ inboxes continues to be a problem for marketers worldwide.

In 2013, 100.5 billion business emails were sent and received every day. The sheer volume of email traffic and the growing sophistication of spam tactics have contributed to the issue marketers now face to stay at the top of consumers’ inboxes.  We have already seen the impact of spam emails on high profile brands such as Apple and Dropbox, as well as authentic looking emails pandering to the concerns of the public off the back of topical news stories, in order to build trust and falsely obtain users personal credentials. Mailbox providers are therefore constantly redefining their filters to help prevent these kinds of messages getting through which in turn, forces legitimate email senders to become equally as sophisticated to improve their own inbox placement.

Recent research conducted by Return Path (Inbox Placement Report 2014) of more than 492 million commercial email messages sent across North and South America, Europe and Asia Pacific regions, shows that one in six commercial messages do not reach the subscriber’s inbox. This is consistent with last year’s findings, which indicates that while marketers have a basic understanding of how to keep out of the junk folder, there is still more to learn on further maximising inbox placement.

According to the results, 11% of commercial messages simply go missing while 6% are marked as spam. This presents a significant problem for marketers who value and rely on the long-term customer relationship that email marketing can build. If messages go missing completely, businesses risk losing customers; failing to reach the inbox simply means failing to reach the customer. The financial impact here is great, for example, if 50% of messages are unsuccessfully delivered, that equates to 50% of the email marketing campaign budget being lost as well.

Return Path has discovered that being ranked as a ‘good sender’ by ISPs is no longer enough to guarantee inbox placement. We have seen that most countries across the globe are struggling to achieve at least 90% inbox placement rates, including developed markets such as the UK and US.

emailmarketing markeitng b2b email 11   94% of Business Emails go Missing – A Global Breakdown

Our research shows that Eastern European countries particularly struggle with messages going missing. Senders in Romania and Luxembourg are seeing 50% of their emails failing to reach the inbox, while in Poland this figure reaches a staggering 90%. This means that a significant portion of their audience doesn’t receive any intended commercial email. Email messages that go missing are harder to identify and diagnose, however, the first step in being able to correct the problem and boost inbox performance is knowing where the problem lies.

 

Continue reading… 

The Mobile Web Isn’t Dead, IAB Says

Wall Street Journal

Recent reports have suggested the Web is dying. That’s largely because data from analytics firms including comScore and Flurry say mobile device users now spend more than 85% of their time in apps instead of Web browsers.

But according to the Interactive Advertising Bureau, a trade group for Web publishers, the relationship between mobile apps and the mobile Web isn’t that straightforward. It’s easy to look at comScore data and to reach the assumption the mobile Web is in decline, but what looks like app time may actually be mobile Web use in disguise, the online ad trade body said.

Many apps, including news aggregation and social media apps, include browser capabilities within them. If a user opens the Facebook FB -2.46% application and taps on a link, for example, they are technically operating within an application, but are actually consuming content from the mobile Web, too.

To understand users’ mobile Web habits better, the IAB commissioned Harris Poll to survey 2,030 adults in the U.S. in December, and found 52% of smartphone owners in that group said they click links within apps that take them to content on mobile websites. The research also found users actually value apps in part because they enable the discovery of webpages.

The IAB said it believes this type of mobile Web browsing inside non-browser applications represents a significant volume of traffic. In other words, mobile app use isn’t replacing mobile Web usage, it’s driving it.

Continue reading… 

2015 IDC Directions: Accelerating Innovation in the 3rd Platform Era

 2015 IDC Directions: Accelerating Innovation in the 3rd Platform Era

  • For nearly a decade, IDC has predicted, chronicled, and analyzed the industry’s remarkable shift to its 3rd Platform for innovation and growth, built on cloud, mobile, social, and Big Data and analytics technologies. Over 100% of IT spending growth and virtually all strategic new IT investments in the enterprise are already being built on 3rd Platform technologies and solutions.  Join us for Directions 2015, as our analysts set the groundwork and help guide your future as we enter the most critical period yet in the 3rd Platform era — the Innovation Stage. With such high stakes and the 3rd Platform’s ability to enable business model transformation, the disruption, opportunity, and risk will be intense in both established and emerging markets. Register today and engage IDC analysts, via sessions and intimate sit-down opportunities, as they continue to lead the way in understanding every dimension of the 3rd Platform era and its impact on your success.

  • Event Theme, Dates and Locations –
    Directions 2015
    Accelerating Innovation in the 3rd Platform Era
    March 4, 2015 • San Jose Convention Center • San Jose, California
    March 18, 2015 • John B. Hynes Convention Center • Boston, Massachusetts

  • Directions 2015 informational website:  www.idc.com/directions

    www.idc.com/directions/sanjose15
    www.idc.com/directions/boston15
  • Early bird rate is $495 through Feb 5, 2015… and the standard $895 after that
     2015 IDC Directions: Accelerating Innovation in the 3rd Platform Era

28 Social Media Marketing Predictions for 2015 From the Pros

Social Media Examiner

Are you wondering what 2015 might look like for social media marketing?

If the changes in 2014 are an indicator, there will be a lot more changes in 2015.

To get a grip on what the near future may look like, we tapped the knowledge of 28 social media pros.

Here’s what they had to say.

And if you’re curious, here were the 2014 predictions.

#1: Video Becomes the Content of Choice

Let’s look closer. In August 2014, Facebook surpassed YouTube in the number of video views via desktop according to comScore. It’s important to note that YouTube still has more views across all devices. As of September 2014, Facebook attracted a billion video views per day, a roughly 30-fold increase since July.In 2015, video will dominate as the social media content format of choice. Further, regular video segments, like podcasts and blog posts, will come into their own as a form of content that drives social engagement and other marketing goals.

ck heidi cohen facebook vs youtube views e1417584970525 28 Social Media Marketing Predictions for 2015 From the Pros

Based on SocialBakers’ data, video posting moved away from YouTube towards Facebook in 2014. While these results still show YouTube ahead, the trend favors Facebook.

ck heidi cohen video posts e1417585191341 28 Social Media Marketing Predictions for 2015 From the Pros

Also, Facebook videos receive significantly more shares than YouTube. This makes sense because sharing and engagement are at the heart of Facebook interactions.

ck heidi cohen share of interactions e1417585315119 28 Social Media Marketing Predictions for 2015 From the Pros

YouTube is the best-performing social media platform to drive trackable sales,according to AOL’s Convertro research.  It’s the first, last or only platform touched.

Continue reading… 

Top 10 tech stories of 2014

ITWorld

Backlash! Disrupting the disruptors

Blowing up entrenched business models and picking up the profits that spill onto the floor is a time-honored tradition in tech, these days known by the cliche of the moment, “disruption.” This year everyone was trying to push back against those upstarts, whether by buying them like Facebook did, reorganizing to compete with them like HP and Microsoft have done, or just plain going out against them guns blazing, as it seemed that every city and taxi company did with Uber.

European courts fought the disruptive effect Google search has had on our very sense of the historical record. But meanwhile, legions of net neutrality supporters in the US spoke up to save the Internet’s core value of disruption against the oligopoly of a handful of communications carriers.

Here are our picks for the top stories of a very, well, disruptive year….

Publishers Struggle with Email Marketing Basics

eMarketer

Today’s digital consumers have forced publishers to move some of their marketing efforts away from print and toward online and mobile. However, September 2014 research from FOLIO:, sponsored by Lyris, found that publishers were still struggling with email marketing—a more “traditional” digital channel.

182124 Publishers Struggle with Email Marketing Basics

US publishing professionals’ responses indicated that they were facing challenges with simple email marketing tactics including list growth and list maintenance. List growth was the most common hurdle, cited by the majority of respondents, while 41% had problems maintaining the lists they did have.

Publishers aren’t ignoring their list problems though—good news considering that without the right recipients, email marketers won’t see the success they desire, according to FOLIO:. When asked about their email marketing priorities for the next 12 months, list growth and improving list data and quality were the top two responses, cited by 60% and 58% of publishing professionals, respectively.

When running digital campaigns, marketers can’t forget mobile, another problem area for some publishers. One-third of respondents said that mobile optimization was a challenge, but once again, they planned to make an effort to fix this in the coming year. Fully 39% of respondents said that email optimization across all devices was a top priority—the third most popular response.

182126 Publishers Struggle with Email Marketing Basics

The study found that publishing professionals were making strides toward mobile-optimized emails, albeit slowly. More than one-third of respondents said their emails were fully optimized for mobile. An additional 31% had started working on this and planned to complete mobile-optimized email efforts in the next 12 months. Still, the remaining 35% hadn’t started, and nearly half of respondents in this group weren’t even sure where to begin.

Continue reading…

11 technologies Apple has killed

CITEworld

Out with the old

One of the things that makes Apple so successful is that it’s not afraid to abandon/kill popular technologies in the interest of something new. In doing so, the company often creates a bit of controversy, even if in the long run it seems to pan out well. At the same time, Apple’s revolutionary products have helped bring down entire product categories. Here is a rundown of technologies and products that Apple has killed (or is in the process of killing) over the last 17 years.

Floppy Drive

The first product released during Steve Jobs’s second stint at Apple was the Bondi Blue iMac. The all-in-one design was an immediate hit with consumers, and the machine was notable as much for its iconic look and performance as it was for the features it didn’t include. Specifically, the first iMac shipped without a floppy drive. At the time, back in 1997, this was a huge deal. To some critics, Apple was running a huge risk by completely doing away with what was then a common storage medium. Jobs and Apple, though, had the foresight to realize that computing was rapidly becoming Internet-centric, thereby eliminating the need for old-fashioned floppy drives.

Apple’s 30-pin connector

For over a decade, iPod, iPhone, and iPad users alike relied on Apple’s tried-and-true 30-pin connector for charging and to connect their devices with computers and accessories. But Apple said goodbye to the 30-pin connector in 2012 when it introduced the Lightning connector, a superior standard for a number of reasons. In addition to being smaller and more robust, the Lightning connector is reversible, which makes for a more efficient user experience. Naturally, abandoning the 30-pin connector on new iOS devices caused temporary problems for individual consumers and even large companies who had spent lots of money on older iOS accessories.

Netbooks

Remember Netbooks? A few years back, these hyper-small laptops were poised to be the next big thing in computing. In fact, back in 2008 and 2009, netbooks were flying off the shelves. As a result, there was a lot of pressure for Apple to enter the netbook market. Apple, however, went a different route when it released the iPad. Rather than opting for a compromised device, the company entered a new product category entirely with the iPad. The end result was a rather quick demise for the netbook, and in parallel, a reinvigorated market for tablets.

FireWire

FireWire was a proprietary Apple technology which allowed for incredibly fast transfer speeds between devices. Indeed, it was one of the features that made the original iPod so compelling. Beyond that, FireWire was, for a time, the de-facto standard for transferring digital movie footage to Macs.

Unfortunately, Apple ultimately began phasing out FireWire on Macs in 2008 as transitioning to USB expanded the company’s pool of potential users. It’s a shame, though, because USB 2.0, while decent, was vastly inferior to FireWire. The staggered abandonment of FireWire ultimately gave way to Thunderbolt.

View the other seven items… 

Are You Using Programmatic Yet?

eMarketer

If you haven’t gotten on the programmatic advertising bandwagon already, you may be getting left in the dust. According to a Chango survey of marketers in North America and the UK, 75% are already using programmatic advertising, including 18% who have been at it for more than two years. Though nearly twice as many have only been on board for the past year or less, there are still 9% who have no plans to even begin with programmatic.

182012 Are You Using Programmatic Yet?

It’s not surprising that with so many respondents saying they’ve begun their programmatic efforts relatively recently, most also agreed that they would be increasing their usage of programmatic at least somewhat during 2015. Nearly three in 10 expected significant increases in usage next year.

What’s driving the shift? More than eight in 10 respondents cited better targeting opportunities across devices and platforms, and 77.6% said they saw increased ad performance with programmatic. But not everything about the rise of programmatic is so rosy.

182016 Are You Using Programmatic Yet?

There are a number of factors still inhibiting its growth among marketers responding to the Chango survey. Two-thirds complained about problems with measuring their results, and integration of data from multiple resources or devices were also a problem for majorities of respondents.

Most marketers have caught up with the basics, though, like the buying process and creative execution.

BuzzFeed says social rules and it is bigger than most TV networks

Gigaom

Although it is still relatively new as far as media entities go, BuzzFeed has become one of the leading new-media players, thanks in large part to its command of the social web, an ability to craft viral content and a large fan base among millennials. True to form, the company has created a visually-rich index of factsabout its size and reach — numbers which help explain how it was able to raise $50 million in a recent financing round.

As a caveat, it’s worth noting that the presentation is clearly designed to be a sales pitch for the company’s native advertising efforts, and so there are no links to or discussion of any of the data used to compile the charts. Most of the figures come courtesy of the site’s Google Analytics data, or from firms like Nielsen and comScore.

One of the core principles behind BuzzFeed is that social sharing is more important than search, so it’s no surprise that the main driver of traffic (which is estimated to be about 150 million unique visitors per month) is social — in fact, the company says that its social traffic is five times larger than its search traffic.

 BuzzFeed says social rules and it is bigger than most TV networks

Although social has grown to become one of the leading sources of traffic to most web content, the advertising industry still hasn’t quite caught up to this development, as shown by a BuzzFeed graph courtesy of eMarketer and Shareaholic — which says that social accounts for 30 percent of referral traffic but only 14 percent of advertising budgets.

 BuzzFeed says social rules and it is bigger than most TV networks

The other major shift in content consumption is mobile, and according to BuzzFeed the two are interconnected, in the sense that a majority of the site’s social traffic comes from mobile, and its share rates on mobile are twice as high as they are from its desktop users.