Where Branded Content Dollars Are Going; Publishing companies gain share, ad agencies shrink [Survey]

Marketers continue to be in love with their own content. Spending on branded content is set to reach $1.8 million this year, or 37 percent of marketers’ ad budgets, up from $1.7 million in 2012, per a Custom Content Council survey.

The lion’s share of that is going into print. Spending on publications rose the most of three measured categories in 2013, to just over $1 million from $775,000 in 2012. Spending on electronic content was up 13.8 percent to $574,490 and spending on other content shrank to $264,423.

That would seem to bode ill for magazines. Seventy-three percent of respondents said branded content is better than magazine ads, a sizable increase over 2012, when 66 percent said so. Sixty-three percent said branded content was superior to TV advertising, 62 percent favored branded content to direct mail, and 59 percent said it trumps public relations.

One big question for marketers is whether to outsource their content creation or generate it in-house. Forty percent of respondents said they’re doing some outsourcing, down from 56 percent in 2012. But those who are only outsourcing are doing bigger projects, spending an average of more than $1 million this year, up 5.5 percent.

Those marketers are increasingly bypassing traditional ad agencies for other types of firms to handle their content creation. Magazine publishers who may be losing ad dollars to branded content seem to be making it up on the custom content side. The biggest recipient of outsourcing is publishing firms, which got 36 percent of that spending, up from 32 percent last year. Design firms and ad agencies saw their shares shrink. PR/marketing firms’ share rose slightly, and interactive firms’ share was flat.

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Vidyard Launches Video App on Salesforce.com’s AppExchange

Kitchener’s Vidyard announced today that it has launched Vidyard for Salesforce, empowering businesses to connect with customers, partners and employees in entirely new ways using video.

According to the announcement this is the very first video product integration into anyCRM program and is the biggest thing to happen to B2B video since YouTube.

Adding a video layer to the Salesforce experience, Vidyard gives organizations a simple interface to upload and share videos with internal teams, contacts and leads. Individual viewing history can be tracked right within Salesforce, making targeted conversations with sales prospects easier than ever. Vidyard for Salesforce also provides a secure platform for uploading and sharing videos within Salesforce Chatter.

“At Vidyard, we believe that video assets are the most powerful sales tool, but never before has it been possible to integrate video into the sales process through the cloud. We’ve been working across the marketing organization since the beginning, making it possible for demand generation, content, e-mail and social teams to incorporate video effectively into their campaigns. Now we’ve enabled the sales organization. It’s now possible to turn viewers into customers,” said Michael Litt, CEO and Co-Founder of Vidyard.

For the first time, video views and engagement data will be pushed directly into Salesforce, giving insight into which videos are being watched, by whom, and for how long.

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When reaching out to a prospect, a sales rep now has incredible context as to what someone is interested in and what to discuss during an initial meeting. In addition, Vidyard has added a secure video layer to Chatter opening the doors to the most engaging form of content. With the Vidyard application, video can now be used in Chatter for sales, marketing, internal communications and training.

Vidyard for Salesforce is available for download on the AppExchange and the company is currently hiring Software Engineers in Kitchener.

Peek of the Week – Christmas edition [updated]

Yes its already that time again… here is our round up of the most viewed, talked about and expensive Christmas commercials starting with The Bear and the Hare, the £7 million John Lewis Christmas TV commercial;

Its arrival heralds the start of the festivities, according to economists, although the rival M&S campaign, unveiled this week, began the annual drive to make us stop budgeting and start indulging. M&S’s poster girl, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, in lingerie naturally, will be vying against a cartoon bear, the star of the John Lewis campaign. It’s beauty versus the beast.

Taking a different approach is Tesco that goes down the nostalgic route;

Morrison is playing it safe with celebrity endorsement

ASDA doesn’t give up on the price war, even during Christmas;

A very cute and massive unwrap from Cadbury

One of my favourite LEGO;

But Sainsbury probably created the most buzz this year with Christmas in a day. Last year they asked people to send in their personal video and so Christmas in a Day features heart-warming home footage of celebrations. Directed by Oscar-winning Life In A Day director Kevin Macdonald, His award-winning 2011 Youtube film featured 80,000 crowd-sourced clips. The ’Christmas in a Day’ 50-minute film, which took 14 months to make, documents the different experiences of a range of UK families to capture the diversity of celebrations across the country.

Will Video Ads Sink Facebook? Social Media Giant Faces User Backlash

The video ad market is on the cusp of a multi-billion dollar expansion that could transform Facebook and Instagram into syndication platforms putting pressure on the existing TV model, but those users may not accept commercials as readily as major online video sites.

TV advertising is a big business, but online video ads are projected to grow even more rapidly. eMarketer says that advertisers in the U.S. will spend $66.4 billion on TV ads this year, compared to $4.1 billion online. However, it foresees 40 percent growth in video ads.

Facebook Has the Potential To Generate $1 Billion in Ad Revenue

Morgan Stanley financial analysts are predicting that Facebook could generate over $1 billion next year in video ad revenues and as much as $6.5 billion by 2020. Advertisers are willing to pay a premium to Facebook because its ability to reach the coveted 25-34 demographic can exceed TV networks’ reach, Nielsen has found.

Facebook is especially attractive to advertisers during primetime hours. Nielsen has found that it is “a strong driver of duplicated reach—meaning that a marketer could reach the same consumers online and on TV.” Facebook complements TV ads and is overturning the perception that the Internet is only for niche audiences by becoming a channel for “broadly messaged, brand advertising,” Nielsen said in a July report. What’s important to note is that Facebook has served as extension to the main TV experience by bringing value through second screen activities. The Nielsen report noted that: The emergence of far-reaching publishers like Facebook, however, means that marketers now have another option for reaching consumers en masse. Likewise, the availability of true cross-screen metrics enables them to understand how digital can reinforce and complement their TV investment.

Facebook User Attention Span Is An Issue

Facebook has the scale to do this with its 1.15 billion monthly active users, but actual consumer interactions with its video ads could deviate from what analysts are expecting. Consumers are willing to sit through 30 or 60-second advertisements on online video platforms like YouTube,Hulu and UVidi, because they want access to the content. The social consumer is different – they don’t have the same attention span.

Moreover, Facebook doesn’t have a content strategy to hold users’ attention. The majority of the content that it distributes is user-generated and short-form, thus greatly reducing the likelihood that anyone is going to want to sit through a commercial to watch their friend’s cat fall off a couch. As video consumption evolves, we are seeing that 15 and 30 second pre-rolls are effective when users want premium content. It’s likely you will see much shorter messaging on social platforms with pre-roll that is 5 to 8 seconds long. Early testers will try to create branded content and use Facebook as a distribution source, but currently it can’t compete with the big video platforms because it won’t deliver equivalent results with its existing videos.

That’s the challenge: Facebook offers a very different customer experience from other content distribution sites. A model that could work would be to complement a TV advertising package with a Facebook extension that includes video to target mobile devices. More than 40 percent of Facebook’s advertising revenue and 68 percent of its traffic come from mobile customers, according to its Q2 earnings call in late July. That’s assuming users want ads.

Consumer sentiment could be why Facebook is moving so cautiously with video ads. It wants its ads to display in ways that aren’t distracting or alienating towards users the Wall Street Journal reports. “Striking that balance between consumer happiness and commercial opportunity has been a challenge for the young company, leading to delays and frustrations among the marketers it is trying to woo,” the report said.

While Facebook tinkers, established video platforms are better positioned to drawn display budget because of the duration of the videos. Morgan Stanley predicts that YouTube will generate $5.7 billion in video ad revenue next year, which is estimated to grow to approximately $17 billion by 2019.

Facebook could meet the street’s expectations, but that’s only true if consumers buy in. Content is king and will influence consumer interactions with video advertisements.

Channel 4 Commission YouTube Creatives For Original Broadcast Content

As the lines between traditional and new media continue to blur, yet another terrestrial TV channel is making content available online and turning to YouTube creators to produce and star in those shows. Channel 4, one of the 5 main television broadcasters in the UK has embraced diversification in a huge way and their latest venture, an online TV commission for original talent, will be available on 4oD and on through their YouTube channel.

The project, ‘Mashed‘ will showcase original short form video content based around sketches and music with further input from YouTubers such as Dan Bull and composer John Boswell AKA melodysheep.

‘Mashed’ for online will initially run for six months with new videos added weekly – Channel 4 will broadcast a selection of the best content later this year.

The ‘Mashed’ consortium of independent creatives have also been commissioned to create the trailers for a selection of new programmes on the channel. The first include three humorous videos for the forthcoming series of documentary/reality show ‘Chicken Shop’ from YouTuber’sNick DenBoerTea&Cheese and Superpowerless. You can see the first online now.

Richard Davidson-Houston, head of online at Channel 4 said:

We’re engaging with talent that are new to Channel 4, in new spaces, to make new forms of content, aligning it with broadcast and 4oD – we’re looking to find a natural rhythm between the different media

Peek of the Week – The Cute Edition

It’s all about the animals this week on the Viral Chart, well almost. There’s a piece of Honda video marketing that was too good to pass up but we’ll get to that after a series of delightful animal based clips.First up is the world’s first dog powered Rube Goldberg machine. The fact that the video thumbnail contains a shot of a clutch of Labrador puppies in a red wagon has probably helped this clip’s view count skyrocket.

1. Dog Goldberg Machine

Now onto cats, the rulers of the Internet, not everyone likes cats though, some people wish they would be more like dogs. O2 have realised that dream.

2. Be More Dog

Remember that clip of the whale being serenaded by the Mariachi band? This is the sequel:

3. Seal Sax Serenade

Originator of one of the greatest Rube Goldberg machines of all time, here is that new Honda ad:

4. Honda – Hands

Lastly this week and not cute at all – its a showdown on This Morning. Warning, this might make you angry:

5. Holly Willoughby Loses Her Cool With Katie Hopkins

UMG Overtakes VEVO To Become Most Popular UK YouTube Partner Channel in the UK

Britons surfing the web via PC remained strong at 44.6m unique users, with video consumption growing slightly month on month.

  • On-network mobile browsing was the story in April with an overall month on month increase of almost 3% to 28m, with daily visitors increasing 10% to almost 11m.

UMG swapped places with VEVO to become the top UK YouTube partner channel, whilst IODA dropped out of the top 10 ranking, being replaced by The Orchard.

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This month’s demographic spotlight is on high income households. To a degree, usage reflected what was happening in the UK at large:

  • The political category indexed as the most visited content type for the group. Local elections driving visitation to BBC News Politics, Guardian Politics, HuffPost Politics and AboutMyVote.co.uk in particular. Broader interest in the economy was also reflected with a strong showing for Economist.com
  • Interest in family matters was demonstrated with Education-Information being the second most visited category, with About.com Education, TES.co.uk and UCAS.com all ranking highly within that sector.

Food Retailing is our Multi-Platform spotlight this month and, whilst it is unsurprising to find the major supermarkets dominate, the extent to which on-network mobile browsing adds to their total audience is;

  • Just-Eat achieved a top five position, further demonstrating the increasing usage of mobile in all aspects of consumers’ lives and the growing value of convenience when it comes to food.