Source: http://gizmodo.com/5835862/how-beyonce-is-bigger-than-hurricanes-earthquakes-and-superbowl-sunday

How Beyonce Is Bigger Than Hurricanes, Earthquakes and SuperBowl SundayWhen I was a child, there was a number that crudely measured how many people paid attention to something. It was called the Nielsen rating. Perhaps you remember it. Today it’s an unimportant relic that only reveals what was happening.

The VMAs had its biggest show ever this year. A record-breaking 12.4 million people tuned in live. Which actually seems like a very small number, given how many people were talking about it. Because while MTV had a hit with the VMAs, so did Twitter. News of Beyonce’s uterine passenger, which she revealed at the show, generated some 8,868 Tweets per second. It was Twitter’s biggest moment yet. And it shows that the company is sitting on the most valuable advertising data that there is: a way to measure, package and sell unexpected things that we care about right now, in real time.

We used to rely on ratings or audited circulation numbers to determine what people were interested in. Today, we increasingly talk about Tweets Per Second. (And by “we,” I mean the always hungry media maw, smacking its lips in anticipation of sucking marrow from the next micro trend or attention spasm that might convince an otherwise disinterested viewer to flip the channel to 759—or even better, stay there.)

Whenever anything big happens in the news, CNN and Fox News and the networks increasingly break into Twitter mode, reading tweets on the air, talking about how many people are tweeting and generally going into wild-eyed social media mania.

Aside from making Mark Zuckerberg wish he had made status messages public by default from the get-go so that CNN would read Facebook updates on air, it’s revealing in that it shows that even the professional media—the ostensible arbiters of opinion and news—have realized that you and I are no longer paying attention.

We’re more interested in each other. We’re all broadcasting now. I’d prefer to hear what you have to say, especially in aggregate, than tune into Wolf Blitzer. And when it comes to measuring the impact of events, social media ratings matter more than Nielsens, or at least they should, and here’s why.

Twitter is the most important metric of attention. It is not based on past behavior. It is equally capable of measuring scripted events, and the completely unexpected. And it is remarkable because it measures not just consumption, but also interest.

Yes, the Nielsens will tell you how many people watched the VMAs, but social media can tell you how many people actually paid attention. And while maybe you could have foreseen they might be big this year, would anyone have been able to predict that the VMAs—not the Oscars, not the SuperBowl, not the final Shuttle launch—would be the most talked-about television event of the year? Twitter can tell you that. (Facebook should be able to as well.) And it can tell you that as it happens.

In 2008, when it was still a nascent service, Twitter revealed some numbers to me that showed its top events of the previous year, measured in the number of tweets per minute. How Beyonce Is Bigger Than Hurricanes, Earthquakes and SuperBowl Sunday

The chart is a remarkable demonstration of Twitter’s growth. Tweets per minute? How quaint! Tweets are now measured at a faster rate per second than they were just three years ago per minute.

But it’s more interesting to see how consistently interested we are in the unexpected. Because while Twitter has changed greatly in the past three years—from how it works, to the way we access it, to the number of people on it—the things we are simultaneously interested in haven’t changed at all.

Today, Beyonce’s VMA appearance holds the top spots for Tweets per second. Prior to that, the news of the Japanese Women’s World Cup victory held the record. (Likely because it was an event intently watched by two very Twitter heavy countries.) And while it didn’t break a record, the recent east coast earthquake generated 5,500 TPS. In 2008, a presidential debate held the top spot. It knocked off a Japanese earthquake. A Euro 2008 semi final match was the big event prior to that. What all of these events have in common is a certain unpredictability.

The thing about television ratings or audited circulation numbers is that they have never truly been about what we are paying attention to. They were (and are) a way for advertisers to make informed decisions about what to invest in based on what people have paid attention to in the past, as a predictor of future performance. They only measure what has already transpired. This may have been useful for buying chunks of time during a season finale of Dallas, but when something amazing and unexpected happens, there is no good way for an advertiser to catch up with it.

When Twitter measures tweets per second, it measures what people are interested in right now. It measures live attention. And that is very, very valuable. Imagine if, during an earthquake, a QuakeKit ad appeared in your timeline, one that was triggered only when earthquake tweets per second crossed a certain threshold. Tacky? Sure. But you can bet your bottled water it would sell a lot of kits.

This is the promise of real-time conversation, that our interests can be commoditized, live and on the fly. It doesn’t have to be just about Twitter, of course. Facebook and Google+ should be equally capable of measuring, packaging and selling our real-time, trending interest data. But it’s very clear that this new ability to measure what we care about enough to comment on right now, at this very instant, is much more valuable than measurements of past performance or passive consumption.

All the moreso because of how much society has fragmented. We no longer all watch the same four channels, or even tune in to television series at the same time. The only things that seem to capture our simultaneous attention anymore are those that offer the high drama of the unexpected and unknown: sports, politics (itself a sort of sport), provocative live television, and natural disasters that occur with little-to-no warning.

And, of course, Beyonce.


You can keep up with Mat Honan, the author of this post, on Twitter, Facebook, or Google+.


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Source: http://blog.compete.com/2011/07/21/the-new-music-landscape/

It’s no secret that the music industry has undergone massive changes over the last ten to fifteen years. According to the Recording Industry Association of America, total US music sales have dropped an average of 8% each year since 1999, from $14.6 billion to just over $6 billion. Having heard this, you probably wouldn’t expect that in the first half of 2011, US sales are up by 1%. Okay, so it’s just 1%. But consider that in the first half of 2010, sales were down 11% year-over-year.

So what’s responsible for reversing this trend? Ever-increasing broadband speed has enabled mass media consumption on the web, paving the way for music discovery services like Pandora, Last.fm, Grooveshark and iLike. Because of these services, the average person can now find and listen to a more diverse body of music than ever before – and it’s catching on. Unique visitors to radio category websites has increased by nearly 19% since last year, with Pandora leading the pack at 11,824,629 in June 2011 – that’s 81% yearly growth.

Over the last few years, Pandora has made decisions to support growth of their user base and help them stay ahead of the competition, even if just barely at times. In 2008, the Pandora app became one of the most consistently downloaded apps in the Apple store. By 2010, Pandora was present on more than 200 connected consumer electronic devices ranging from smart-phones to TVs to Blue-ray players. It was in 2010 that Pandora began to break away from the other music discovery services and would attract more than double the unique visitors of Last.fm, traditionally Pandora’s toughest competitor, by year-end.

In February 2011, Pandora officially filed with the SEC for a $100M IPO, piquing even more interest in the service in the months leading up to their pricing announcement on June 15th. The company’s future may not be as bright though, as innovative alternatives to radio-style listening like Spotify, Music Beta by Google and Apple’s iCloud are beginning to gain traction. While these services are very different than Pandora – and from each other – there is no doubt that they pose a threat to the current music landscape. You can be sure we’re keeping an eye on it.

So, have you tried Spotify? Music Beta? iCloud? What do you think? Are you ready to abandon Pandora?

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Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/chart-of-the-day-ipad-traffic-2011-6

It’s been more than a year since Apple’s iPad started shipping, and around the world, it’s still overwhelmingly the only tablet that matters.

ComScore just released a bunch of stats about traffic consumption on non-PC devices in 13 countries, including tablets, smartphones, and other devices, such as the iPod touch.

We analyzed comScore’s data to focus just on tablet usage, and charted the iPad’s traffic share in each country. It was 95% or higher in 12 of the 13 countries, with Android the second-place finisher in most countries (and “other” in Canada, home of RIM).

Of note: China isn’t one of the countries reported by comScore in this data. That could be a market where Android does particularly well. We’ll see. And, of course, plenty more competition is on the way from the likes of HP, Microsoft, etc. But for now, the iPad stands alone.

iPad traffic by country, comScore

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SOURCE: http://www.emarketer.com/blog/index.php/numbers-major-media-ad-spending/

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Behind the Numbers: US Major Media Ad Spending

Posted By: Nicole Perrin

eMarketer’s major media ad spending projection is the result of a comprehensive analysis of myriad elements related to the ad spending market. We use both bottom-up and top-down approaches for the estimates and projections.

  • Top-down approach: Marketing and advertising expenditures are often budgeted as a whole and allocated to different media based on needs and interests. We analyze macro-level factors that are closely associated with overall marketing and advertising budget growth, such as GDP, consumer expenditures, unemployment rates, etc. In addition, we take into consideration the historical trends of the advertising market and how each medium contributes to the grand total
  • Bottom-up approach: For each medium, we examine the historical trends of ad spending in the medium, consumption trends, and how the medium is faring in relationship with other media. To get a more solid picture of the ad spending trends, we also keep track of the performance of key players and the overall financial situations of the key advertisers and industries within the medium.
  • Numerous sources: Following eMarketer tradition, we also analyzed hundreds of datapoints from some 30 research firms and other organizations that track ad spending on TV, the internet, newspapers, magazines, radio and directories. Tracking these statistics over a period of several years provides a detailed picture of ad spending across major media. All data is normalized to account for differences in methodology and inclusions. Some firms attempt to measure the size of the market through reports of company earnings, while others rely on rate cards or agency billings. By examining a variety of figures and the available information on how they were compiled, eMarketer makes estimates that take all sides of the market into account.
  • Reliable benchmarks: In looking into all the sources, we are able to identify reliable benchmark sources for our projections of several media. The sources whose data we benchmark our projections against are: Newspaper Association of America (NAA) for newspaper advertising,Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB)/PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) for online advertising, Outdoor Advertising Association of America (OAAA) for outdoor advertising, and Radio Advertising Bureau(RAB) for radio advertising.
  • Segmented estimates: Lastly, for all the core media ad spending, we have segmented the online portion of the ad spending figures from the total ad spending figures. By doing this, we are able to avoid double-counting and come up with the total major media ad spending figures, as the online portions for all the traditional media are counted in the online ad spending category. Most importantly, a separate estimate and projection of advertising revenues that the traditional media companies might generate through online venues could provide some insight into whether they can survive the digital transition or not.
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