The Media Minute 3.15.23

With so much made of Google and Meta’s stranglehold on digital advertising spend nowadays, anyone who isn’t a media professional or lawmaker could be forgiven for momentarily forgetting about what might be considered the duopoly’s original sin in their relationship with the publishing industry.

Media workers fear that AI could replace them, according to a study by Of the media employees polled, 52% worry that AI will make their profession redundant. In contrast, 35% of all Americans have the same concern. 

PQ Media’s unrivaled coverage of the global media economy provides you with media spending and growth pacing for 2023 and our expert insights and forecasts for what’s ahead in 2024-2027, including in-depth coverage of both the advertising and marketing sectors; 15 hybrid traditional & digital media silos; 10 overall digital & alternative media platforms; 45 digital & alternative media channels therein; and 11 traditional media platforms.

In a perfect marketing world, we would know exactly what levers we have to pull to drive growth. In reality, many of us are still having a hard time coming up with the perfect marketing mix required to hit our targets while keeping acquisition costs low.

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Share on LinkedInShare on RedditEmail this to someone

The Media Minute 3.8.23

I’ve written about ChatGPT on the Magazine Manager blog before, specifically on how it compares to and might ultimately surpass Google in terms of Search. Now, a new survey asked American adults how they feel about AI-generated content, and across a wide spectrum of media, more than half of the respondents prefer their content made by humans.

There has been much discussion around search engine optimization (SEO) professionals creating content from ChatGPT-type models, but who is planning to use this? Some 58% of enterprise marketers plan to use artificial intelligence (AI) for SEO and to create content in 2023, but only 10% actively use it today to drive content generation, according to data from BrightEdge.

A recent consumer survey by Vericast validated a paradox about personal data that puts marketers in a tough spot. When it comes to digital advertising, consumers want a custom experience – but not at the expense of privacy. The survey found that consumers want to see targeted ads, but they also want to understand how advertisers use the information they collect. 

Newsletters are having a moment: this year’s Reuters Institute Predictions report showed that almost 70% of publishers saw newsletters as an area for investment. According to WAN-IFRA, 50% of publishers already offer between one and five newsletters, with the other 50% offering more. For publishers looking to expand their lineup, Twipe’s Matthew Lynes has three suggestions for additional newsletter formats.

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Share on LinkedInShare on RedditEmail this to someone

The Media Minute 3.1.23

The tech world has seen its fair share of Greatest Battles of All Time. But there’s one currently brewing that has captured the attention of industry after industry, with the rewards and consequences having effects on countless aspects of everyday life. It’s Google versus ChatGPT — and the hype is legit!


One of the first interviews I did for the Media Voices podcast this year was with Richard Reeves, CEO at the UK’s Association for Online Publishers. We spoke for almost half an hour about diversity and inclusion (D&I) in the UK media. The irony of two white men of a certain age discussing the importance of D&I didn’t escape me and I prefaced the interview with a statement saying exactly that.


Marketing fatigue happens when consumers become overwhelmed or disengaged with marketing messages due to the volume or repetition of advertising. It is the feeling of being bombarded with too much marketing content that is often irrelevant or uninteresting, leading to a decrease in response rates or engagement.  


This report digs deep into what US consumers specifically expect from your brand as they look to make decisions with their wallet. The data covers attitudes and trends across email, SMS, mobile behavior, loyalty, privacy, cookies and so much more.

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Share on LinkedInShare on RedditEmail this to someone

The Media Minute 2.22.23

Digital advertising, when processed to the best of technology’s abilities, has the potential to offer and even treat consumers to ads directly aligned with their interests and needs. New poll results from CivicScience show that 41% of U.S. adults feel that most of the digital ads they see are at least “somewhat” relevant to them, up 11 percentage points from two years ago and six points from last year.

In 2007, a cutting-edge technology made its debut on NBC’s 30 Rock in the form of a joke. SeinfeldVision, as it’s dubbed in the comedy’s Season 2 premiere, digitally inserts 3D versions of Jerry Seinfeld into shows like the fictitious MILF Island without the comedian ever actually appearing on set. Sixteen years later, MILF Island is basically a real show, and a technology once dreamt up for a punchline is basically a reality. Only this time, it’s packages of M&Ms and bottles of soda being dropped into TV shows, not comedians.

The good news for U.S. and worldwide advertisers is that the rate of advertising cost inflation is projected to decelerate this year, falling below the overall increase in consumer price inflation. In the U.S., the overall rate of ad-cost inflation will decline 1.7 points this year to 4.2% from 5.9% in 2022, according to new estimates released this morning by ECI Media Management.

In 2023, US B2B spend on third-party marketing data will increase 3.2%, a slight slowdown from the past three years, according to our forecast. Next year, growth will rebound and spend will approach $4 billion. B2B spend on data grew during the pandemic as marketers could no longer collect first-party data at in-person events. As a result, third-party data became an important resource for B2B marketers. Even as in-person events return, we believe third-party data will remain more important than the physical collection of leads. However, privacy rules restrict how companies can collect and use data, meaning marketers must invest in technology and talent to ensure compliance.


Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Share on LinkedInShare on RedditEmail this to someone

The Media Minute 2.15.23

Recent Digiday reports have 2023 starting slow for both direct and programmatic ad sales. At the same time, however, some media executives are telling Digiday that they see promise in programmatic direct deals that can “make up for the shortfalls.” Speaking to anonymous publishing execs, Digiday shared stories of programmatic guaranteed buys and their resulting RPMs all on the rise.

Will Ferrell is taking viewers on a joyride this Super Bowl—but he’s sharing the front seat with not one, but two brands, as General Motors teams up with Netflix for an electric vehicle marketing partnership. Similarly, Molson Coors tapped DraftKings for an engagement-boosting betting game and Michelob Ultra will promote Netflix’s golf docuseries as advertisers join forces to rise above their competition …

Teads, a global media platform, has released research it conducted in collaboration with Censuswide that found 83% of UK marketers believe attention metrics are  important in order to reduce the environmental impact of digital ads. Jeremy Arditi, co-chief executive officer at Teads, believes attention metrics picked up steam in the UK before coming to the United States. Privacy regulation became a driving factor.

Last week saw the announcement from Google that it plans to integrate the Bard AI chatbot into its search. Microsoft confirmed that it will do the same with ChatGPT in its Bing search engine. The widespread development of AI technologies has been described as ‘the most important shift in consumer technology since the iPhone’. But the introduction of ‘complete answers’ from AI-powered chatbots could have serious consequences for publisher traffic and revenue.

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Share on LinkedInShare on RedditEmail this to someone

The Media Minute 2.8.23

If there was a Venn diagram showing people looking for a solid news aggregator in one circle, people looking for a social media alternative in another circle, and people looking for an entry-level experience into what AI learning is capable of in a third circle, the ensuing, massive intersection would be the all-too-timely bullseye that the founders of Artifact are hoping to hit.

Google plans to bring AI-like features to search similar to the large language-model technology in ChatGPT, Alphabet and Google CEO Sundar Pichai said during the company’s Q4 2022 earnings call Thursday.

“In the coming weeks and months, we’ll make these language models available, starting with LaMDA, so that people can engage directly with them,” Pichai said.

With publishers reporting that Q1 advertising revenue is tracking 10% to 25% down from forecasts and with RPMs (revenue earned per 1,000 pageviews) from open marketplace programmatic ads down even further — between 20% and 55% year over year — finding silver linings is more important than ever. And based on four publishers’ experiences so far this quarter, it looks like events might be that small saving grace.

You can get a subscription for almost anything these days, from movies and music to software and socks. On his German-language podcast Subscribe Now, Lennart Schneider talks to decision-makers from a variety of industries about their experiences and challenges in the subscription space. Formerly at German weekly Die Ziet, Schneider recently wrote about the key subscription insights that he thinks publishers can transfer to their own reader revenue strategies.

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Share on LinkedInShare on RedditEmail this to someone

The Media Minute 2.1.23

Two recently released reports are not only putting an optimistic look at advertising spend in the coming year, but also pointing directly to the technological advances many are taking to make that a reality.

The first bit of good news comes from the Winterberry Group, who estimate 2023’s ad spend to come in at $509 billion, up 6% from last year’s $481 billion. Their findings, released in last week’s “The Outlook for Advertising, Marketing and Data 2023” report, put 60% of that total spend ($307 billion) occurring on online channels.

The subscription economy is probably one of the most important economic trends of recent decades, which is why I talk to decision-makers from various industries about their experiences and challenges in my podcast “Subscribe Now”. The podcast is aimed at anyone who works in a subscription company and is looking for new impetus outside their direct industry. After all, many insights transfer well.  Here are seven key subscription learnings from seven different industries for publishers to apply to their own strategies.

Top executives of big holding company and independent media services agencies that do not officially release advertising forecast estimates last week told MediaPost they believe the ones that do publish them do not represent what they have been experiencing in terms of U.S. ad spending trends.

Specifically, they said their own internal estimates are closer to ones published by MediaPost last week, based on analysis of data from Standard Media Index indicating the U.S. ad economy expanded only about 3% in 2022, which compares with a consensus of nearly 10% from the Big 4 agency holding company’s more estimates.

The first quarter is off to a rocky start for publishers’ advertising businesses, and while that might not come as a surprise given the state of the economy — even for media execs who forecasted their companies’ revenue goals according to the headwinds in the market — January is pacing between 10% to 25% off their projected targets, according to three media executives. Three other execs profiled for this piece said their business is approximately even with Q1 2022.

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Share on LinkedInShare on RedditEmail this to someone

The Media Minute 1.25.23

More than 300 media executives from more than 50 countries and territories were surveyed in this year’s “Journalism, Media, and Technology Trends and Predictions” report from The Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism. And as can be expected, the results should prove enlightening to publishers as they traverse 2023, particularly with an eye toward technology.

It seems like only yesterday that publishers were scrambling to understand the ramifications of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in the EU and U.K. and the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA). A new set of state-specific privacy regulations is scheduled to take effect in 2023.

Starting in 2023, five U.S. states (California, Virginia, Colorado, Connecticut and Utah) will require companies to offer an opt-out on the collection and sale of personal data, as well as targeted advertising. California’s new regulation amends and expands on the requirements of CCPA, while the other four represent an entirely new set of obligations.

Toolkit’s Jack Marshall defines subscriber onboarding as the process through which new customers are initiated into a subscription or membership product. He said: “It’s the experience they’re met with in the moments, hours and weeks after their initial purchase is made.”

Writing in The Fix, David Tvrdon says that if publishers properly welcome new users and subscribers, they will stay longer. Outlining his experience of developing the onboarding journey for new digital subscribers at Slovakia’s Denník SME, Tvrdon has laid out a four step process for creating a successful subscriber onboarding journey.

Email/SMS grew by 5.7% last year, falling far behind CTV (+46.5%), digital video (+17.5%), search (+16.1%) and digital-out-of-home (+15) in growth, according to Outlook for Advertising, Marketing and Data 2023: Clouds on the Horizon?, a report by Winterberry Group.

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Share on LinkedInShare on RedditEmail this to someone

The Media Minute 1.18.23

“68% expect continued subscription growth, while 80% see subscriptions as the key revenue driver for 2023.”

Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism have released their latest set of predictions for 2023 which shine a light on some of the biggest trends to monitor in 2023. From a survey of 303 news executives from across the world, we have selected 8 graphs for you need to see.

Marketers may have finally gotten it right. CivicScience January data shows that consumers believe digital ads they see are becoming more relevant, although companies like Apple, Google and Facebook are using less personal data to target ads.

While Apple pretty much “destroyed” user tracking on iOS, according to platforms like Facebook, consumers are reporting otherwise. The number of U.S. adults who say digital ads they see are at least somewhat relevant to them has climbed from 30% to 41% during the past two years.

Every downturn is good for someone. Take TikTok, for instance.

Even as marketers continue to scrape dollars back wherever they can, whether that be from TV or Facebook, they can’t stop pouring money into the short-form video app. And that’s despite some big question marks over whether those ad dollars could be funding growing tensions between the U.S. and China.

The FTX crypto exchange went kaput in November, taking billions in real-world money down with it. It’s a reminder that, despite all the potential around web3 for publishers, there are still a lot of issues to be overcome.

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Share on LinkedInShare on RedditEmail this to someone

The Media Minute 1.11.23

Only one thing is certain about the business forecast for 2023: uncertainty. From customer behavior to workplace dynamics, an unpredictable environment will likely persist. But marketing leaders can’t afford to ride out the year without a plan.

Recent research sponsored by Grammarly with market intelligence firm IDC explores how organizations are leveraging technology and AI to bear the challenges of the moment. I predict three areas where marketing leaders will lean into AI to uplevel their teams, increase productivity and drive alignment across marketing channels.

After a frantic couple of years, when reader revenue seemed to be the only game in town, 2022 ushered in talk of a subscriptions shakeout. As markets from heated seats to tacos introduced monthly payment offers, the threat of market saturation has become real. And with the cost of living crisis kicking in, concerns have been growing that consumers are starting to consider just which subscriptions they really need.

Micropayments, or a system in which digital readers pay per article, fail to work thanks to a complex web of consumer psychology and macro economics… But, I do wonder (“Oh no,” you’re thinking, “He’s about to offer a new way to do micropayments!”): Perhaps micropayments are a misguided instance of a worthwhile idea. Maybe there are other payment options publishers could be offering readers.

The current economic downturn is creating growth challenges for businesses everywhere. A recent Crunchbase report showed that startup financing dropped across all stages in the second quarter of 2022, declining by27% from Q1 of this year and 25% year over year… To overcome growth stagnation, optimize revenue, and survive a stretch of economic uncertainty, marketers must adopt strategies that shift attention to the right KPIs.

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Share on LinkedInShare on RedditEmail this to someone