IFRA Trend Report for April 2008
BusinessReports leading up to our presstime suggested that Yahoo! Inc. and Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp. were considering combining their web properties; analysts, though, were sceptical. Meanwhile, Bill Gates has said that Microsoft needs Yahoo! for the latter’s “great engineers.” If the Microsoft-Yahoo! deal comes through, this combined company could control more than a quarter of the market for animated and display ads, a market that Google has set its sights on. The battle for online ad sales could be an interesting one, with the market set to double to US$ 80 billion by 2011.
In the social networking battles, it is now MySpace vs. Facebook. News Corp., which owns MySpace, is investing US$ 15 million to establish SlingShot Labs, a venture to produce Internet start-ups for the group’s growing web properties. About six months earlier, Facebook had announced investing US$ 10 million in building applications for its social network.
The future of newspapers may not be so bleak after all, judging by the success of David Black, owner of about 60 weekly newspapers in the Washington state area. His business strategy, of delivering newspapers to every doorstep, is working well.
Microsoft has come up with a new initiative to test the effectiveness of Internet advertising. It will provide advertisers a more accurate assessment of how attraction-desire for a product eventually translates into action-purchase. Meanwhile, Yahoo!, with Apex (Advertiser and Publisher Exchange), is touting its seriousness about tracking user behaviour. The system will initially be used in Yahoo!’s 600-strong newspaper consortium that focuses on local advertising.
Helping advertisers reach their target audience effectively is the goal of a new Reuters-Guardian partnership. As part of the agreement, Reuters will have exclusive rights to sell ads that are aimed at the U.S. audience of the Guardian’s website.
With Google’s Linux-based Android mobile operating system set to launch in the second half of 2008, Microsoft is attempting to woo customers to Windows Mobile. The company recently said it will acquire Danger Inc., a developer of mobile software and services.
MultimediaEncouraged by the triple-digit growth reflected by its mobile site, The New York Times has launched a text messaging service that will deliver to cell phones and mobile devices news, features and columns from the paper and features from The Times Magazine.
The Telegraph’s new multimedia operation in the U.K., complete with Telegraph TV and blogging, has not only changed the face of an old newspaper with a conservative readership, but it has also showed others the way to combine text and video.
Today, communication is all about "interaction." At the opening of its multimedia centre, Singapore Press Holdings announced the introduction of an interactive Web TV service later this year.
PodcastingIn the United States, there are 6.5 million people who download and listen to at least one podcast a week. If numbers of listeners increase (25 million by 2012, one estimate suggests), a podcast could be an ideal vehicle for advertisers.