Niche Web networking sites chase MySpace ad dollars

Niche Web networking sites chase MySpace ad dollars

From Reuters / Found via Yahoo

By Yinka Adegoke

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Social networking online isn’t just for hip twenty-year-olds any longer, as a new wave of targeted Internet community sites build business models to attract larger audiences and more advertisers.

The Internet will see a lot more targeted community launches in the coming months, both from start-up companies and established media businesses, rather than the general youth community sites that defined the sector such as MySpace.com, Facebook.com or Friendster.com, industry watchers say.

At least two new sites were unveiled this week. Sisterwoman.com caters to women over 21 while JokeBox.com invites users to share jokes and other funny material.

Like most social networking sites, both allow users to create and share blogs, pictures and videos with friends and the wider public.

“You’re going to see a lot of these kinds of sites in the next six to nine months, both start-ups and major companies,” said Andrew Frank, an analyst at Gartner Research.

Frank said that sites such as Sisterwoman would offer advertisers added value in reaching an audience that will be prepared to engage with marketers.

The sector drew investor attention after News Corp. bought MySpace for $580 million last July. In March, General Electric Co.’s NBC Universal said it planned to buy women’s online network iVillage for $600 million.

Sisterwoman launched on Wednesday after signing on ahead of time four major advertisers, including beauty-care line Neutrogena and cable network The Learning Channel.

Sisterwoman is offering them the opportunity to sponsor services around which users can share their own photos, videos or other links.

Founder Allie Savarino said advertisers were traditionally resistant to two-way conversations with consumers, which opens the gates on both positive feedback as well as criticism.

“Now they realize they have no way of increasing their market share without it,” Savarino told Reuters. “It is tied to the ownership that consumers have of your brand.”

GROWNUPS WANTED

Sisterwoman and Jokebox are the latest in a new line of community sites hoping to build on the success of younger-skewing Internet networks but attract mainstream advertisers looking for other audiences.

Jib-Jab Media, a company behind popular comic Internet films, also unveiled this week a site allowing users to share jokes and funny material. The company described JokeBox.com, which featured a prominent plug for Bud Light beer on its home page on Wednesday, as a hybrid of MySpace and cable channel Comedy Central.

Sites aimed at adult consumers would appeal more to advertisers than MySpace, despite the youth network’s huge popularity, said Eric Wheeler, chief executive of Internet media buyer Neo@Ogilvy North America, a unit of WPP Group.

Advertisers are generally concerned over the commentary they may receive online, and even more wary of the freewheeling discussions of younger users.

“Anytime you move away from buying a placement (in the media) to buying something that is live, it can get a little dicey for advertisers,” said Wheeler.

Adults are also more likely to recommend brands to each other on a regular basis and may be more receptive to advertiser messages, Savarino said.

Podcasts Surpass Radio Stations Worldwide; Podcast Demand Growing Faster Than Supply

Podcasts Surpass Radio Stations Worldwide; Podcast Demand Growing Faster Than Supply – From Podcasting News

The number of podcasts managed by FeedBurner, a news feed service provider, now exceeds the total number of radio stations in the entire world, according to Rick Klau, FeedBurner’s VP of Business Development.

Podcasting is also one of the fastest growing technologies of all time. The number of podcasts feeds managed by FeedBurner is growing 15% per month. The number of subscribers, though, is growing even faster, at a rate of 20% per month.

According to Klau, “Podcasting is outpacing the speed of adoption of the last ‘most successful consumer product launch in history’.”

More Podcasts Than Radio Stations in the World

FeedBurner has been seeing 15% growth per month in the number of podcasts that are published:

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“FeedBurner recently surpassed a major milestone of 44,000 podcast feeds under management, which, according to the CIA World Factbook, exceeds the total number of radio stations worldwide,” notes Klau.

The Podcast Audience is Growing Faster Than the Podosphere

Recent reports of podcasting’s death appear to have been premature.

FeedBurner’s numbers show podcast circulation growing at bubble-blowing 20% per month. “Today, there are more than 1.6 million aggregate subscribers to FeedBurner-managed podcasts,” adds Klau, “and this number has more than doubled in the past six months.”

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Podcast Adoption Rate Makes it a Successful Technology

Podcasting’s adoption rate makes it a success, according to Klau. “Back in 2000, the DVD format, just 3 years old at the time, was declared the most successful product launch in consumer electronics history, outselling the VCR five to one. Using these statistics as a benchmark, in less than two years, the number of podcasts available online is tenfold that of DVD titles in nearly half the time.”

It’s Not All About iTunes

Some podcasters have started to focus their promotion efforts on iTunes, because of the popularity of Apple’s iPods. FeedBurner’s numbers, though, suggest that podcasters that focus exclusively on iTunes may be missing out on as much as half of their potential audience.

“Since we recently started tracking podcast downloads within feeds, we’ve also seen the ratio of downloads to subscribers average 2:1, suggesting a significant secondary market for podcast listenership beyond just the feed’s subscribers,” according to Klau. This confirms what many podcasters have noted, that they often have many more downloads than they do subscribers.

FeedBurner’s numbers reveal “a number of podcast directories generating a sizable amount of traffic” for podcasts,” notes Klau. This suggests that getting listed in top podcast directory sites can be a major source of listeners for podcasters.

And, while iTunes is the most popular podcast client, 43% of the subscribers to FeedBurner-managed podcasts use other podcast clients.

Klau’s comment’s on the expanding podcast universe are posted at Burning Questions, FeedBurner’s official weblog.

Podcasting News: Arbitron: 27 Million American Podcast Listeners; Podcast Users Young and Rich

Some think this is good for radio, however, I think it may be good for artists and consumers, I doubt radio will be seeing anything but declining advertising revenues with more and more people choosing to go commercial free…

Some think this is good for radio, however, I think it may be good for artists and consumers, I doubt radio will be seeing anything but declining advertising revenues with more and more people choosing to go commercial free…

From Podcasting News: Arbitron: 27 Million American Podcast Listeners; Podcast Users Young and Rich
Arbitron: 27 Million American Podcast Listeners; Podcast Users Young and Rich
April 14, 2006

Arbitron, a research firm serving the radio industry, has released a report that paints a rosy picture for the future of radio. According to Arbitron, “The proliferation of digital broadcast platforms such as Internet radio, satellite radio, HD and podcasting is a testament to the popularity of radio programming. ”

The report highlights user interest in new audio delivery platforms, such as satellite radio and podcasting, but suggests that the AM/FM audience remains strong. This contrasts with other recent reports that have suggested that podcasts and MP3 players are stealing radio’s audience.

According to the report, “Seventy-seven percent of Americans say they expect to listen to AM/FM radio as much as they do now despite increasing advancements in technology.” About a quarter of all Americans expect to listen to less radio, according to the report. For people that have listened to podcasts, 27% expect to listen to less radio, and among satellite radio users, 36% expect to listen to less radio.

Report Highlights:

* The weekly Internet radio audience has increased 50% over the last year.
* Nineteen percent of persons age 18-34 have listened to Internet radio in the last week.
* Satellite radio subscribers are twice as likely to live in 100K households
* Many people are still confused about what podcasts are.
* Podcasting attracts a relatively youthful audience. More than half of listeners are under 35.
* 11% of all Americans have listened to audio podcasts. That translates into approximately 27 million Americans that have tried podcasts.
* More than half of all teens own an iPod or other portable media player.

Podcast Highlights

According to Arbitron, 22% of Americans have heard of podcasting, and 11% have tried podcasts:

arbitron_podcast_chart.png

Podcasting is attracting an upper-income audience:

Arbitron recommends that advertisers start look at the new audio options that are available. People that are using podcasts, satellite and other new audio formats tend to be relatively young and affluent, a group of listeners appealing to advertisers.

“Consumers are quickly embracing radio’s digital platforms and this new research reveals that these advertising vehicles are becoming increasingly viable,” said Bill Rose, senior vice president, marketing, Arbitron.

Source: Arbitron (Acrobat file)

Internet Advertising Set to Overtake Outdoor, Radio

Internet Advertising Set to Overtake Outdoor, Radio

Internet Advertising Set to Overtake Outdoor, Radio
April 12, 2006

Spending on Internet advertising will overtake worldwide outdoor ad spending next year, and will catch up with radio in 2008, according to Zenith Optimedia Group.

“We have revised our internet forecasts upwards once again, as it has continued to exceed expectations,” they note. “We now predict it will attract 6.5% of all advertising in 2008, up from 4.5% in 2005 (and up from the 6.0% we predicted for 2008 back in December).”

They suggest that radio advertising will continue to decline, as advertisers shift spending from radio to online media.

“The internet is now firmly established as a mainstream advertising medium in developed markets, and in many developing markets too. We predict it will overtake outdoor in volume in 2007, even though outdoor is gaining share itself, and that by 2008 it will be catching up with radio too (which will have a 7.9% share, down from 8.5% in 2005).”

ZenithOptimedia revised its 2006 outlook up slightly, calling for a 6% increase in global ad spend–up from 5.9% in its December 2005 forecast. US ad spend is now projected to grow 5.2% this year, vs. 5.1% in December.

via Radio Business Report

Story found via Podcasting News

Podcasting, MP3 Players Stealing Radio’s Audience

Podcasting, MP3 Players Stealing Radio’s Audience

Podcasting, MP3 Players Stealing Radio’s Audience
April 11, 2006

ipod_nano.jpgPodcasting and MP3 players are stealing radio’s audience, according to the latest figures from Bridge Ratings. According to Dave Van Dyke, President of Bridge Ratings, “By 2010, today’s 94% penetration for terrestrial radio will have sunk to 85%.”

27% of people 12-24 attribute their reduced use of radio to MP3 use; 22% attributed it to tired radio programming; 3% attributed it to podcast listening.

“The days of top market – top station margins in the 40% range are numbered. Expect those hot stations to fall into the 30% range and the entire industry on average to fall lower,” adds Van Dyke. “Wall Street and corner offices will be readjusting their expectations on performance and having to swallow that pill happily knowing it is the only real operational option left.”

According to the firm’s latest research:

* Terrestrial audience erosion to alternative audio entertainment continues to occur in young demographics.
* Podcasting is beginning to siphon listening.
* MP3 device usage can consume as much as 80% of a radio user’s audio entertainment during initial ownership weeks and months. This number tends to be generally lower among 30+ women and 35+ men.
* MP3 player fatigue is slowing overall as the market continues to expand due to consumer interest in these devices. Fatigue with MP3 players remains high among those consumers who have owned the devices longer than 6-8 months.
* Competition for traditional radio time-spent-listening is more severe. Time spent listening to terrestrial radio is fighting for its share of time with a multitude of digital devices. Even television has regained viewership based on this quarter’s data. The most often given reason for this by our sample: better programming and new shows. Meanwhile, music-specific radio stations are vying for the attention of their constituencies as MP3 players continue to be more pervasive than ever (75 million sold). Podcasting is beginning to show evidence of cannibalizing radio’s time-spent-listening.
* Satellite radio also suffers from attrition! For the first time, we are seeing satelite radio consumers who have been subscribers for longer than 6 months are actually spending less time than they were six months ago with their satellite service of choice. According to our panel, during the second quarter of 2005 average time spent listening to satellite radio was 16 hours per week. During this most recent study during the period of January 1 through March 31, 2006, weekly TSL for satellite radio among subscribers of 6 months or longer was down to 12.6 weekly hours.

Source: Bridge Ratings

Story found via Podcasting News

Pod2Mobile Intros Advertising Service for Podcasters

pod2mob_logo.jpgPod2Mobile has introduced a suite of advertising services for podcasters. The service can incorporate advertising into podcasts as they are delivered to consumer’s mobile phones over-the-air using Pod2Mobile’s software application.

Pod2Mobile Intros Advertising Service for Podcasters

pod2mob_logo.jpgPod2Mobile has introduced a suite of advertising services for podcasters. The service can incorporate advertising into podcasts as they are delivered to consumer’s mobile phones over-the-air using Pod2Mobile’s software application.

“With our solution, anyone from a Fortune 500 company to a blog with big ambitions to a budding band can quickly and easily launch an ad campaign that is highly targeted and affordable,” said Brad Zutaut, co-founder of Pod2Mobile.

Pod2Mobile’s automated podcast advertising model allows for the following functionality:

* Audio ads (up to 20 seconds) at the beginning of each podcast
* Podcast and Category targeting for audio ads
* Advertiser control panel for easy campaign creation and content upload
* Stat tracking (demographical and time-based) for graphical ad click-through ratios
* Stat tracking (demographical and time-based) for audio ad delivery
* Easy and cost-effective means to launch advertising campaign
* Ads can be submitted and broadcast in 24 hours or less using the automated insertion functionality
* Podcast specific graphical ads
* Demographic (age & gender) based graphical ads
* Category-based graphical ads

While Apple Computer has sold approximately 42 million of their iPod players, there are presently more than 200 million mobile phone users in the US and over 700 million mobile phones worldwide, according to Gartner Research.

According to Pod2Mobile, their application transforms mobile handsets into podcasting remote controls.

Pod2Mobile

Story originally found via podcasting news.

Podcasting News: 25% of Internet Users to Listen to Podcasts in Next 6 Months

Podcasting News: 25% of Internet Users to Listen to Podcasts in Next 6 Months
25% of Internet Users to Listen to Podcasts in Next 6 Months
March 24, 2006

The British Market Research Bureau (BMRB) reports that a quarter of all adult internet users will listen to a podcast in the next 6 months.

“The findings suggest that up to 7.9 million adults could be downloading podcasts in the next 6 months, which represents a massive opportunity for advertisers and media owners alike,” said BMRB marketing director Steve Cooke.

The report is based on a national (UK) survey of 1,000 adults in February 2006.

Among adult internet users, 17% have downloaded a podcast in the last 6 months (rising to 28% among 16-24 year olds) and 24% are likely to download a podcast in the next 6 months, according to BMRB. Those owning an MP3 player are more likely to have downloaded a podcast (28%) with up to 38% likely to download a podcast in the next 6 months.

The BMRB found that podcasting is more likely to be a male activity, with male internet users almost twice as likely (22%) as females (12%) to have downloaded a podcast.

Source: BMRB and Podcasting News.

Logo Design – MontRED

We had a lot of interest in the earlier post about logo design from fisbang, and today we came across another great page siting examples of great logo design and the creation process inolved…

Logo Design

We had a lot of interest in the earlier post about logo design from fizbang, and today we came across another great page siting examples of great logo design and the creation process inolved…

Designing a logo is one of the most challenging assignments in creating a brand identity. From the initial sketches to the final MontRED logo, it has been quite an exciting journey.

When we started designing the logo in the early part of January 2005, it was important that we first understood MontRED as a brand. MontRED is an online retailer of fine jewelry (just wanted to be sure that you know this so that we can put things into proper context). 🙂

We started with long discussions with the founding team to understand their vision of MontRED. The absolute transparency within the team made this process a little easier.


Read the whole artocle with great pictures and examples at the montred blog.

Story ariginally found via digg; The art of creating a simple yet strong logo.