Give Me Media

The Telegraph and its widgets

The Daily Telegraph is making strides in implementing its online strategy after the latest ABCe figures revealed that the Mail Online had overtaken it to become the UK’s most popular national newspaper site in May, with 18.7 million unique users.

Crucially, the Telegraph isn’t just thinking that having a Facebook and Twitter presence is the key to a great digital strategy, like so many of its rivals. What the Telegraph has realised is that just as social media allows individuals to consume media in a more fragmented and personalised way, so they can actually benefit from that, by allowing individuals to follow personalised sections of Telegraph content. The dream for content owners trying to fight against falling traditional media circulations, is being able to segment and offer their content online to their audience in a completely personalised way. It’s quite an involved process to achieve that when you consider how broad a national newspaper’s coverage is, and how many segments that could be, but the Telegraph has taken a big first step on that road, and with these widgets is making an important stride into the mobile space too.

What is worth noting about the Telegraph’s approach is that six of its eight new widgets are all designed to drive traffic and engagement with Telegraph TV – the online video that’s become so important to all the major newspapers. Beyond that, there’s a breaking news widget and a toe in the water with a slightly more ‘niche’ European Championships Football widget. Apparently there are plans to launch further specific sports and business widgets shortly.

Above all this shows the Telegraph’s open approach to digital and clear understanding that it’s not just about pushing people through the front page, or amassing a number of fans on a Facebook page or twitter feed, but giving people direct access to the content they are really interested in, in the way they want it. We’ll just have to see in the next two or three months how big an impact that will have on the ABCe figures…


What’s News Corp’s MySpace problem?

Rupert Murdoch’s $580million acquisition of MySpace may have seemed a steal compared to the $240m Microsoft paid for a 1.6 per cent stake in Facebook, but all is not well with Murdoch’s plans for his social network, and it is being felt in its stock price after Fox Interactive Media (where MySpace sits in the News Corp empire) reported it would miss its 2008 revenue goal of $1billion. News Corp’s stock price has slipped 9.9 per cent this year alone.

Sure, Murdoch is throwing money at MySpace to expand into India and South Korea and add a music downloads service, but the social network is struggling to attract and retain advertisers in the volumes it needs because of the risk of their brands being shown next to inappropriate user-generated content. It is precisely the freedom and flexibility MySpace user love so much, which is causing the company problems with advertisers.

Bloomberg reports that Fox Interactive’s costs will rise a massive 46 per cent this year as they bid to open new channels for MySpace – almost as much as revenue is expected to grow. The bottom line with investors is that while MySpace continues to try to grow its audience in different markets – it is still failing to fully monetise the vast audience it already has.

However, today MySpace launched a new ad platform to give advertisers more control over where their ads are being run. It is a small step – arguably long overdue – but whether it will solve the site’s short-term adveritsing issues remains to be seen, when rival networks have already stolen a lead. While Facebook wrestles privacy issues, today enabling an ad system opt-out, it is at least driving strong advertising revenue.

MySpace’s hope has to be in the medium term, beating Facebook into new markets where advertiser sensitivity to site content is far less pronounced, doesn’t it?

Display ads to hold up online market? surely not
December 5, 2007, 2:28 pm
Filed under: AOL, marketing, MSN, online advertising, social media | Tags: , , , , ,

Online display advertising and online sponsorship will hold up advertising market and take the lion’s share of ever-increasing online spends. That bold assertion is the key finding of a report from Convera, a US-based vertical search firm. It cuts clearly against the rest of the industry consensus that paid search and social media will take a greater share of the online budget.

 So what’s the real beef? Well as CPM and PPC costs continue to swell, they occupy very specific niches. CPM for brand awareness and paid search for leads. But social networks lilke Facebook, MySpace and Bebo are all carving out ever larger slices of the online spend as marketers begin to understand how they can make them work to generate quality leads that are more likely to become paying customers.

 Will publishers earn more from display ads and sponsorships in 2008? The larger players, namely portals such as MSN, AOL and Tiscali will continue to cream revenue off channel sponsorships. But as social networks account for an increasing volume of overall Internet traffic (and in November accounted for over 5 per cent of UK internet traffic, overtaking webmail sites) the money will shift in line with where the lion’s share of the available advertising inventory is, meaning publishers will need to become more creative and go beyond simple display and sponsorship opportunities that were the bread and butter of the glory days of 2000.