Our spin doctor is still in the house so, lest somebody say something about this being a good day to bury news, let’s start with the biggest news. Google’s reported fourth-quarter profit surged 29% to $2.54 billion. Yikes, that’s a lot of money. Somewhat overshadowed by news late on Thursday evening that Larry Page, Google’s co-founder, is taking over the reins from long-time chief Eric Schmidt. I wonder if there are more changes afoot?
So, that’s an opening totally fitting with last week’s four pillars of digital advertising news which bodes well for the rest of this week’s review, doesn’t it? Having started with Spend Watch, why not continue in that mode. As they say in television, cue titles ..
I’ve not done a Facebook revenue prediction this year. It seems like everybody has one on a reasonably regular basis so why not me? Thus, deep breath, Facebook is expected to make over £2.5 billion ($4 billion) from advertising in 2011, it has been estimated by eMarketer and reported on by the IAB. Compare that to the numbers reported in Advertising Age that the social network took in $1.86 billion in worldwide advertising revenue for 2010 (which was still a 151% increase over the company’s estimated 2009 advertising revenue). Pretty impressive numbers, although, of course, somebody had to find the flaw. Those numbers were “not as impressive as Google’s growth in its pre-IPO days” according to SFGate.
Elsewhere, ad-spending hit a record high in Malaysia; social gaming to top $1 billion in 2011 and advertising is expected to make up for 20% of game developers’ revenues next year, according to another eMarketer report (quoted by Coast Digital) and a Winterberry Group report at MarketingProfs says, “Within digital, social media ad spend is expected to increase more than 35%”. A healthy growth report from our spin doctor then.
The Bedford Report, er, reported that “ZenithOptimedia … expects China overtaking Germany as the world’s third-largest ad market behind the United States and Japan” and
China has achieved double digit internet growth rate since 2006 and currently housed 420 million Internet users. There are also 755 million mobile subscribers in China, making it the world’s largest mobile market.
Such a big market for advertisers. And, I don’t often quote data from an advertiser’s perspective but last week I saw that Cadbury’s had reported between £2 and £3 in sales for every £1 it spent on internet advertising – which seems like some more pretty decent numbers to me, spin doctor or not.
Crossing the line from Spend Watch to Video we read, via RapidTV, that in France, video advertising passed from €12 million to €30 million in turnover over one year. While back in the UK, the IAB released new 2011 best practice guidelines for video and called for a “mature” approach to video ads. As the money flows into online video advertising we’re seeing the technology around the delivery gain traction. This week, for example, Rocket Fuel Inc. announced Video Booster which, apparently, allows “brands to engage audiences and reach campaign objectives with unparalleled precision and efficiency”. How long before bidding on video ads becomes mainstream?
Kendall Allen at Advertising Age wrote this week that “Our industry is ecstatic over bidded media” and questioning if it’s quite as big as we think. I had believed that a lot of the real-time buzz was from the buy-side of the business but Kendall notes buyers are, “still waiting for this holy grail of audience intelligence at scale”. Perhaps helping us get a little nearer audiences at scale, Adobe announced the inquisitional of leading data management platform, Demdex.
The new world of real-time buying and selling of media was covered, last week, in a piece at Marketing Week entitled, “New era dawns for display advertising” which is worth of read. Of particular interest to those in the digital display business is a comment from former American Express head of digital acquisition Matthew Turner,
“We’re now looking at digital display as an always on channel, rather than as [intermittent] campaign activity, explains Turner. We have historically run digital display on a campaign basis, but we’re now at a point where we’ve got such a level of high-quality inventory through exchanges that we’re able to think about display as a way of always building awareness or running direct response, similar to the way in which we treat search.”
Is that something we should be considering for the future? Will the idea of advertising campaigns disappear? Perhaps our vision of the right message to the right person at the right time means that brands need to be constantly in-market. How else can the be assured of being at the right time?
The last of our pillars this week is privacy. ClickZ reported on “Mixed Messages on Future of Privacy Law in 2011” for US citizens while The Wall Street Journal noted “EU’s Push on Internet Cookies Fizzles Out” which suggested that Europe was generally in favour of industry self-regulation and quoted the EU document saying
[it’s not necessary] to obtain consent for each individual operation of gaining access to or storing of information on a user’s terminal, if the initial information and consent covered such further use.
Elsewhere, Better Advertising (sorry, Evidon) are working with Collective (they call themselves “the leader in understanding and delivering audiences”) “to power ad notice for more than 28 premium publishers and advertising networks” using Collective’s media management platform. More notice should be a good thing, right?
Friday saw my Twitter feed tell me that The Wall Street Journal’s opinion page comes out against US “Do Not Track” proposals. Of course they were the news organisation to highlight some of the issues around online ad tracking so it would be fascinating to read what they say in an opinion piece. It’s behind a pay-wall so if you have a subscription read it (http://on.wsj.com/fU6qbW) and let me know in the comments.
Now, away from my pillars what else did we learn last week? For starters, “Almost a quarter of Irish consumers are “strongly negative” towards online advertising” [Belfast Telegraph]; TGI’s James McCombe noted that, from a marketing point of view, mobile Twitterers are an attractive target in their own right [MediaTel]; Bonnier announced that it was developing next-generation ad formats for tablet magazines in a move said to “addresses a fundamental need in the industry: all-new advertising for all-new advertising platforms” [SFGate] and, back to where we started with news from Google, and Mashable’s exclusive report that the search giant is preparing to launch Google Offers – a Groupon-style daily deals offering. Interesting to me as I was going to add ‘Coupons’ or deals to our four digital advertising news pillars but wondered if they would/could sustain the hype for a year. Well, let’s see if they make any news next week when I’ll kick myself for not putting them up there.