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THE SPIN CYCLE: Rise in mobile reading could benefit newpaper websites

TODD SMITH

TODD SMITH

The average amount of time spent reading newspapers fell more than 25 percent globally from 2010 to 2014 according to a new ZenithOptimedia report.

The amount of time spent reading newspapers across the world averaged 16.3 minutes per reader a day last year, down 25.6 percent from the 21.9 minutes daily average in 2010.

By 2017 the global average will be just 14.1 minutes a day, a 35 percent fall from 2010 levels, according to the report.

However, it seems the United Kingdom is the leading nation of newspaper lovers, with just a 3 percent decline in average reading time per day from 19.2 minutes to 18.6 minutes from 2010 to 2014.

The report shows that average minutes per day spent reading newspapers actually bucked the global trend in 2013 and 2014, showing 3.4 percent and 3.3 percent growth respectively.

By 2017 the average time a newspaper reader will spend browsing will be 18.2 minutes a day, a fall of just 5.4percent.

On the face of it, the figures make for grim reading, but the report points out that the internet is the big winner of the change in consumer media consumption.

This means that newspaper websites are benefiting from the rise in PC and mobile internet usage.

“Although print is declining publishers have never been read by more people,” Jonathan Barnard, head of forecasting at ZenithOptimedia told The Guardian. “The growth of devices has been at the forefront of this shift from traditional paper-based consumption to mobile, tablet and desktop consumption.”

The internet-savvy UK is some way ahead of global trends with the average number of minutes spent online per day at 1 hour 49 minutes in 2014, an 84percent increase over 2010 levels.

By 2017, the global average minutes per day will be two hours 25 minutes (144.8 minutes), a 143 percent increase over 2010 levels.

While this is also true for magazine publishers, the report shows dramatic declines in the readership of printed publications.

Instagram unveils fully operational ad business

Instagram’s ad business is growing up fast thanks to a boost of new technology from Facebook. Today, the popular photo-sharing app with more than 300 million users and counting is opening up to potentially millions of advertisers, with more ad styles and sophisticated targeting tools first honed by its parent company.

Instagram is launching ads with “Shop Now” buttons and other messages that link outside the app so users can take marketable action. Also, there’s a new API – software platform – that lets marketing partners automate the advertising process.

The API comes polished – able to manage, track and measure marketing campaigns – thanks to borrowed technology and lessons learned from Facebook, said James Quarles, Instagram’s global head of business and brand development. Advertisers can reach users based on more than just their ages and genders, targeting interests gleaned from Facebook profiles.

Facebook bought Instagram for $1 billion in 2012, when it needed to secure a hold on the mobile future. Ads launched on the app in late 2013, and they have since been an exclusive offering for select brands.

The ad design has been all about customizing commercial content that blends as much as possible with the rest of people’s photo feeds without disrupting the experience too much. There is always a fear that the introduction of ads will turn users off and send them packing. When the Instagram community first saw sponsored images, there was a fair amount of backlash from consumers who didn’t welcome posts from brands they weren’t following.

Instagram has run 475 campaigns with big names like Disney, Electronic Arts, The Gap, Ben and Jerry’s, Michael Kors and Taco Bell. Brands promoted glossy, magazine-style photos, 15-second video ads and new Gif-like cinemagraphs.

However, Instagram never allowed links that took users outside the app to buy the products in the pictures. To do that, brands like The Gap have used third-party services, including Like2Buy.

Instagram has always been viewed as a potential shopping channel, able to drive users to buy products or download apps. The only question was whether the company and its CEO Kevin Systrom would allow such marketing tactics.

Marketing-software companies like Salesforce and Nanigans will start offering the option to buy Instagram ads to their clients, who already use the platform to plan and measure their social-media advertising.

Nanigans works with advertisers that specialize in direct-response marketing in sectors like travel, finance and e-commerce. These types of marketers will spend as much as they can as long as the ads bring customers, according to Nanigans CEO Ric Calvillo.

Facebook has 2 million advertisers that are now potential Instagram clients, as well. Among them are niche companies like Chef’s Roll, a hub for thousands of chefs to share across social media and blog networks. The subject matter is a good fit for such a food-focused audience, according to Chef’s Roll CEO Thomas Keslinke.

Quarles said consumers have shown an interest in shopping via the app – Instagram has seen users grab screenshots of posts, which could mean they intend to learn more about the products featured. Now, the posts will have Shop Now, Book Now, Download, Learn More and Sign Up links.

PR is most popular internship these days

InternMatch, a company that matches interns with positions best suited for them recently released a survey involving nearly 50,000 students and recent college grads.

Communications pros will be very happy with the results of the “State of College Hiring 2015” report:

» Marketing/PR/advertising internships are easily the most popular among college students.

» In terms of actual internships awarded, the industry ranks a very, very close second behind tech.

» Students who complete such internships are considerably more likely than their peers to get jobs after graduation.

Here are the most interesting lists:

top-10-actual-internships_web

top-10-preferred-internships_web

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now here’s an alternately frightening/encouraging fact: less than half of students who graduated last year are currently employed full-time. Still, those who majored in communications do better than most as 48.3 percent of them now have full time gigs.

The big conclusion here is that there are plenty of students looking to break into communications, and quite a few of them are getting work – so there’s no shortage of entry-level talent.

What the industry does with that talent is another thing entirely – and this survey does raise some questions about the process of transitioning from intern to valuable member of a communications team.

Golden Hoof | American Pharoah takes Triple Crown, gallops into history

When it came to the Triple Crown – perhaps the most difficult sports summit to conquer – it wasn’t event close. American Pharoah – the ripped colt, with the unusually short tail and destiny coursing through his nostrils, blew away the competition, marched into the hearts of the world and galvanized his place in history. At the Kentucky Derby, he rallied down the stretch and won by a length – but it was a length that seemed to be growing. At the Preakness, despite starting on the rail and a muddy track, he blew away the field. And Saturday at the Belmont, he pushed out to the lead by the first turn and never gave it up, again running away down the stretch.

In so doing, he filled a dirt-dry well in our sports psyche and quenched a thirst that had been parched for nearly four decades. American Pharoah is a new breed of racehorse built for today’s digital world. His name came courtesy of the Egyptian owner’s online contest, where a Missouri woman submitted the winning moniker – albeit misspelled – which wasn’t noticed until the name was already official. This pharaoh is one of a kind, etching his own identity in the lineage of Egyptian kings. He is only the 12th horse, and first since Affirmed in 1978 to win all three major races, and since that time, America has elected five presidents, fought three wars and lasted through at least three economic downturns. It was about time for an unmatched equestrian champ to gallop onto the world stage. Well done, American Pharoah. You stride away with this week’s Golden Mic!

Each week, The Spin Cycle will bestow a Golden Mic Award to the person, group or company in the court of public opinion that best exemplifies the tenets of solid PR, marketing and advertising – and those who don’t. Stay tuned – and step-up to the mic! And remember … Amplify Your Brand!

» Todd Smith is president and chief communications officer of Deane, Smith & Partners, a full-service branding, PR, marketing and advertising firm with offices in Jackson. The firm — based in Nashville, Tenn. — is also affiliated with Mad Genius. Contact him at todd@deanesmithpartners.com, and follow him @spinsurgeon.

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