1. Tumblr-Hosted Blogs Surpass the 50-Million Mark.
The platform will introduce new ad units for sale on the “Radar” post.
In April, Google predicted that the search term “Tumblr” will overtake the term “blog” by end of the year. Yes, that’s right; Tumblr is to blogs, as what Kleenex is to facial tissue. The popular brand name Tumblr will soon be the go-to term for the generic word “blog.”
With Tumblr hosting over 50 million blogs, the company is obviously experiencing quite the growth spurt, and now brands will be able to take advantage of it. The platform’s Founder and CEO Dave Karp recently released that Tumblr will introduce new ad units for sale on the site’s “Radar” post where popular content is highlighted. Ads began appearing on users’ dashboards on May 2nd.
Clients may be hesitant to advertise on such a platform, but there are benefits to doing so. Tumblr is a site that has consistent and heavy user engagement. Users worldwide spent an average of 89 minutes on the site during January 2012, according to a February report from comScore. This may not seem like a lot, but it quadruples the amount of time users spend on Twitter, which is a mere 21 minutes, and is dead even with Pinterest.
Read about Tumblr’s growth and move into the advertising game in eMarketer’s article entitled, “Tumblr Boasts Rapid Growth and New Advertising Opportunities.”
2. NBC takes Olympic Games Online.
NBC once held the stance that they would never show the most popular Olympic events online. Luckily, NBC Sports head Mark Lazarus has abandoned that stance completely. Every sport in the 2012 London Games will be live-streamed on NBCOlympics.com. Rick Cordella, VP-general manager of NBC Sports and Olympic Digital, has been quoted stating, “It will be the biggest digital event that this country has ever seen.”
Although NBC is often looked down upon for their lower ratings numbers, the Olympics is always their time to shine, making this strategic decision a very large one. In the past, various sports were streamed live online, but key primetime events were always saved for TV viewing.
The network isn’t pretending to know what to expect for traffic numbers, as many variables contribute to what will create a success for this initiative. During the last Summer Olympic Games, Twitter wasn’t a popular networking site and iPads didn’t exist. Now this platform and device are just a few of the ways fans are expected to engage with the games. Factors surrounding the success of Team USA will also help determine the potential success. Many elements are undetermined, but this could turn into a great opportunity for the network and many brands advertising during the streaming of the Olympic events.
This summer, up to 30 concurrent feeds will be available for viewing, and NBC Sports is developing two mobile apps as well. One will cater toward live viewing and video highlights, while the other will feature athlete profiles and event results, as reported by Advertising Age.
The newly announced live streaming plans have excited many, but there is one caveat that may put a damper on some viewers’ plans to tune in. Much of the streamed coverage is said to require viewers to prove or authenticate their cable or satellite subscriptions. In case you missed last week’s DigiKnow post – this authentication is similar to Hulu’s plans for the future of ‘free steaming’ on their platform.
3. Shazam: Song ID Tool to Second-Screen Experiences.
Some may be more familiar with Shazam as the service used to identify a song you didn’t know, but it has now transformed into a direct line for producing second-screen experiences for viewers. Shazam services over 200 million people, on seven mobile platforms, and in more than 200 countries. Shazam has been linked to the Super Bowl and the Grammy’s, as well as primetime hit reality show, American Idol.
Covert Affairs on the USA Network also does a great job at using Shazam to help viewers engage with the show via the second-screen. The program ran short promotional ads that explain Shazam’s capabilities along with a call to action. When aviewer sees the “S” logo in the corner of the screen during an episode, the user can grab extra content quickly via Shazam and save it to explore during commercials.
During the Super Bowl, brands like Best Buy, Ford and Pepsi all had Shazam-enabled ads. Extra content can be given when an ad is Shazam-enabled or special offers can be provided. Shazam’s EVP of Marketing, David Jones, claims that incorporating Shazam into television – whether through ads, scripted series or live television – equals increased engagement. In the article, “Shazam: The Secret to Better TV Engagement” on Mashable, it states that when comparing Shazam’s tags to Facebook Likes or tweets, data from an average show indicates there are more tags through Shazam than tweets and Likes combined on the date a show airs.
Although this opportunity might not be a good fit for all clients, it is definitely a fun and engaging way to provide more information and additional incentives to a consumer.
4. Paid Digital Subscriptions Skyrocket for Top Newspapers.
Reports show Paid Digital Newspaper Subscriptions help increase circulation in top publications.
ABC’s (Audit Bureau of Circulation) latest semi-annual reports yielded positive news for newspapers and online print readership in general. As shared on mediabuyerplanner.com, on average, circulation for multiday newspapers increased slightly by .68%, but circulation for Sunday issues grew 5%! Many attribute their circulation growth to the substantial increase of paid digital subscriptions.
One publication that saw significant growth was The New York Times, whose daily circulation rose 73.05% (including digital subscriptions). The paper claims to be successful “largely because of the introduction of its paid digital subscription model last year.”
The top daily paper, The Wall Street Journal, claims its demand for digital content has helped to balance the decline in print circulation. Digital weekday circulation grew 61.6%, with traditional print circulation decreasing by 6.7%.
Many daily newspapers, including Gannett newspapers (excluding USA Today), as well as the Chicago Tribune are turning to a paid digital subscription model, but only time will tell whether this will be a successful venture for different-sized markets.
For more analysis on the correlation between paid digital subscriptions and print circulation visit Poynter.org.