Big dollars and big changes

Tidbits from today’s reading

From an article in BackChannelMedia’s newsletter:

British researcher Spectrum Strategy is forecasting that conventional real-time viewing could drop to just 50 per cent of the time spent watching television in Great Britain by 2012. The rest will be time-shifted.

Alan Rutherford, the vice-president of global media at Unilever, one of the world’s largest advertisers, says the value of television advertising is dropping in the face of audience fragmentation and the proliferation of new channels.

He told the conference that advertisers have to spend 10 per cent more in the US to achieve the same “weight” of impact available five years ago. “Advertisers cannot continue to fund that [traditional] type of television,” he said, pointing to new platforms available to advertisers and their ability to create their own content. “The advertiser-dependent model can not survive. Those broadcasters who cannot resolve this will die.”

Meanwhile, MediaDailyNews is telling us that “engagement” is the new core metric for valuing media buys and goes on to say that newspapers are claiming they’re more engaging than other forms of media.

Media are wasting little time seizing on the new impetus. During this year’s upfront advertising negotiations, at least two TV networks tied their 2005-06 advertising deals to at least some form of engagement measurement: Court TV and The Weather Channel, though precise details of those deals have not been disclosed.

Convinced that their mediums are equally, if not more engaging than TV, both the magazine and newspaper industries have been investing significant research dollars to demonstrate that.

MediaDailyNews is also reporting that TV station ad revenues dipped by six percent in the first half of this year.

A little more than half of the top 25 advertisers spent less in the second quarter versus last year. SBC Communications was down 45.7 percent; Time Warner was off 28.0 percent; and Toyota Motor Corp. dropped 27.2 percent. Subway was one of the biggest gainers–up 81.1 percent. Other big positive movers: Procter & Gamble, up 53.1 percent; and Hyundai Corp., 22.6 percent higher.

Overall, 18 of the top 25 advertising categories spent less in broadcast in the quarter than a year ago. Governmental agencies were off 37.6 percent, beer and wine was down 25.4 percent, and telecommunications was 24.0 percent lower. Big gainers included: toiletries & cosmetics (up 17.9 percent), and insurance and real estate (14.8 percent more).

Meanwhile, August online ad impressions jumped 9% over July to a staggering 112.1 billion.

August marked the fifth consecutive month of increases in the number of impressions served. Advertisers served 102.9 billion impressions in July–compared to 97.1 billion in June, 93.1 billion in May, and 91.4 billion in April.
One only needs to read these four items to get an idea of the volatility in today’s advertising market, and it’s why so many people are nervous about tomorrow. Remember that TV didn’t harm the magazine industry by taking away its readers; it did so by taking away its advertising.

And while huge dollars are shifting here and there, it’s the little developments that catch my attention. Like this one (via Dave Winer). The menu at Allegany College is now available via RSS.

While the big boys knock each other over dollars going here and there, the personal media revolution chugs along, visible to those with eyes to see but (seemingly) invisible to everybody else.

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