Guesto

Aspiring Digital Raconteur

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Posts Tagged ‘Media’

Sites that are benefiting from the Credit Crunch

Posted by guesto on October 13, 2008

I’ve been very interested to watch how the economic turmoil of recent weeks is affecting trends of visitors to websites and how this might change the media opportunity for my client. New stats, trends and analysis are being published every day, but here is a quick roundup of a few articles that I have seen recently…

1. Online newspapers
NMA reports that: “Online newspapers enjoyed a month of positive growth throughout August, with many showing jumps in traffic in the latest ABCE figures. Guardian maintained top position with over 23m users up over 12% on July, it was followed by closest competitor The Telegraph, which saw a spike in user numbers of over 17% to over 22m. News International’s Times Online went up over 20% up to 19.6m, while The Sun continued to hover around the 15.9m mark.”

This growth is credited not only to the credit-crunch, but also to the Beijing Olympics and the US presidential race. Post Olympics figures for September will be more representative when released.

It is natural that online newspaper traffic should increase during the credit crisis, as so much happens during the day, that morning or afternoon printed publications become old news before they are even read. Online is not only a faster, more timely medium, but it is also mostly free – allowing consumers to increase consumption while cutting the cost of buying a newspaper.

As I’m not a media buyer myself, I don’t know if news sites like these quickly raise their advertising prices in line with these trends, or if their price reviews take a short while to catch up – but I have a cool idea, which I’ll post about later.

2. Job sites
Hitwise reports an unseasonal boom to their category of “UK Employment and training” in the last month. This is likely to be fuelled by the numbers of unfortunate people being made redundant, or fearing it and preparing it.

Although this sector is booming, it is potentially less accessible a media opportunity for some, because of the cost involved. As the IAB reports, “Recruitment is still the biggest sector category spending online with a 32.9% share of online revenues for the first half of 2008”. This means that the CPM of ad space is likely to be high here, with a visitor intent that is quite specific to one goal only – therefore less receptive to additional messages, perhaps?

3. LinkedIn
Also connected to actual and potential redundancies, the professional social networking and CV/Resume site LinkedIn is experiencing a boom, as people visit to tart-up their profiles in prep for looking for a new job. As The Guardian reports: “The number of users from the investment banking industry have doubled in the past 7 weeks, as have the number of users who listed themselves in the financial sector.”

There are a few ad spaces such as MPUs on LinkedIn, but as it is not their primary revenue source (that’ll be paid subscriptions) they don’t offer advertisers that much to choose from. An advertiser would also again need to consider the cost of competing with recruiters for inventory and the sensitivity of the subject too. “Half price sofas at DFS” might not resonate too well with someone that is worried about losing their job!

4. Google docs
As part of the afore-mentioned article from HitWise, they describe how they discovered that Google Docs is the site receiving the most traffic from the search term “CV”. This reveals Google’s innovative strategy to promote their product by ensuring they are found under terms that people could use their product for. EG: Writing a “CV” or drafting a “Letter”. They can then also promote that their alternative to Microsoft Office is “Free” – which will also appeal to cash-strapped business and individuals.

5. Voucher sites
And of course, sites offering vouchers, discounts, deals or just money saving advice continue to boom. So too seem to be the numbers of emails circulating for Pizza Express, GBK, Strada and more offering 2-for-1 vouchers you can print and take to the restaurant. I think that by now everyone knows that these are very deliberate and not leaked at all. But who cares? Consumer gets a bargain and restaurant gets a customer. I consider that a win-win, and a very cost effective one too!

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Posted in Digital | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Setanta score own-goal over England v Croatia Highlights

Posted by guesto on September 12, 2008

Before this week, I was warm to the idea of Setanta. Little guy takes on the near-monopolistic beast that is Sky in an bid to add some competition to the market. Good on you for having a go. But now I find myself incredulous over how they have screwed-up over the England V Croatia highlights, missing a massive opportunity to boost their business, and pissing-off England fans right across the country.

I’ll assume you know the story – Setanta buys exclusive rights to air England v Croatia match, big whup – nobody that bothered, game poves to be an absolute belter, with Arsenal’s Theo Walcott scoring a hatrick and England winning 4-1, Setanta get all greedy over selling the highlights to other channels, so people like me that can’t watch Setanta (not even the pubs in Kentish Town have it) don’t get to see the game at all, even after the event. Everyone let down.

This is annoying enough, but what really winds me up is this statement on their website:

“Setanta always wanted as many football fans as possible to be able to watch tonight’s Croatia v England World Cup qualifying match. We always intended to make highlights available, and were disappointed that we were unable to reach agreement with any of the terrestrial broadcasters. This was not due to any lack of willingness on our part: we have been able to strike highlights deals in Wales and Northern Ireland. Unfortunately, none of the terrestrial broadcasters who expressed an interest in the England game offered us a fair market price.

“We are delighted that we have been able to find a solution to this problem with our own free-to-air highlights programmes. A lot of people had to move quickly to make this happen and I would like to thank them for their efforts. We hope football fans enjoy tonight’s games.”

I mean, don’t kick me in the balls and call it a blow-job. Don’t try and tell me that you have the interests of England fans at heart here, and definately don’t think that you have taken the moral high-ground there.

THIS is how I as a consumer read and understand your statement:

“We wanted to make us much money as possible from England’s success, and we tried as hard as we could to get as much money as we can. When the terrestial channels didn’t fall for our ploy, we decided to blatantly disregard the people of England by not selling it at all, cutting off our noses and spiting our own faces in the process.

We are ignorant enough to think that showing highlights once, for free on our still-niche channel is an acceptable gesture to the fans, and we are disorganised enough to do it in a way that nobody will have the chance to know that it is available or watch it. We hope that everyone appreciates our complete lack of understanding of the media landscape in 2008.”

Yes I’m ranting, but I am aggravated not just as a consumer, but also as a marketer that is flabbergasted at how badly they have missed an open-goal of an opportunity that could have made their season. Here is what I think they should have done:

  1. Decline to sell the rights to the highlights to other channels, I agree with that.
  2. Put the goals free-to-view streaming in high quality on the Setanta.com website as the only place to watch them. Make it a good experience, make the quality excellent and allow users to watch it as many times as they like and send to their friends
  3. Put clickable pre-roll and post-roll adverts on the clips that promote Setanta subscription packages and allow the customer to click-through and order if they want to buy
  4. Mobilise your media sales team to contact all your best sponsors and sell banner-advert space on the web page at an extreme premium, as the best and only place that the 60m residents of England can watch the clip. The revenue would be more that than you have ever made from a webpage
  5. PR-the-arse off the fact that you are declining rights-sales and making the content free for fans. What nice guys you are.

That’s a win-win: Fans get their football, Setanta get increased brand equity, subscriptions and immediate revenue from online advertising. I think that strategy would be especially successful in the long run, because England fans being England fans will now get all over-excited about our prospects and be keen to watch the next matches. Warmed to your brand by your giving away the highlights free when we wanted them, we might then sign-up for your subscription package – in massive numbers.

Instead, I feel even more dismayed that you have obviously invested extra effort in monitoring YouTube and other sites to get clips taken down that fans have shared. Its as if you just stubbornly don’t want anyone to watch it and you don’t care what that says about you as a brand. I found them anyway, of course – you can’t stop these things – but I had to watch them in crap quality on some awful Korean (or something) website covered in abbrassive ads and pop-ups. I now hate Setanta for making me do that.

Everyone hates Setanta

Everyone hates Setanta

I would have thought that Setanta would have been a bit more sensitive about this issue, after all, everyone is well-aware that you are an Irish company, and many die-hard football fans don’t think you should be allowed to show our football at all. That’s not my opinion, but this sort of behaviour will probably have some questioning whether Setanta are doing all this just as some gay Irish plan to spite the English?

Posted in Digital, Rantings | Tagged: , , , , , | 3 Comments »