The Media Minute 4.10.24

AI Acquisition: Yahoo Enters AI Era With Purchase Of News App Artifact

Last year, we profiled Artifact, an AI-driven personalized news feed that intrigued us as a potential Twitter-alternative. 

“Its machine-learning systems will be primarily optimized to measure how long you spend reading about various subjects — as opposed to … what generates the most clicks and comments — in an effort to reward more deeply engaging material,” The Verge’s Casey Newton wrote at the time.

Earlier this year, it appeared Artifact’s time was up before it had a real chance to flourish as the founders announced it was being shuttered. Cut to last week, when it was announced that Yahoo of all tech-players would be acquiring the company and providing that investment.

 

Marketplaces Lose Share In Places Where U.S. Shoppers Start Their Shopping Journeys

40.4% of U.S. shoppers started their shopping journeys in marketplaces in 2023, down from 51.5% in 2022, according to a February 2024 report from Attest. Over the same period, use of search engines, brand websites, social media, and voice assistants all increased.

 

Wieser Revises ’24 Upward, Again

Citing improvements in the U.S. economy, ad industry economist Brian Wieser revised his ad outlook up for the second time since first benchmarking his estimate in September 2023. Wieser now projects the U.S. ad economy will expand 5.6% this year — up from the 4.3% he originally projected in September 2023, and up from 5.2% in his last upward revision in November 2023.

 

The State of Marketing Automation 2024

28% (an increase of 3% from last year) of marketing professionals surveyed feel that their current marketing automation strategy is best-in-class in supporting their efforts to achieve marketing objectives. 69% of those surveyed feel they see some success from the automation they have in place, and only 3% report that automation is unsuccessful. There is no debate about whether automation is successful; the only question is the best strategy to implement to make it even more successful.

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The Media Minute 4.3.24

Finding Your Audience: Content Strategies For 2024 And Beyond

If you’ve followed the Magazine Manager blog at all (or seen our software’s recent updates), you’ll know that marketers embracing AI more and more to meet their needs is an interest of mine, justified by ever-increasing usage metrics in each ensuing study. 

But last month, in discussing the growing demands marketers face to create content, I referenced a specific Neil Patel webinar which deemed that in a climate where “relying on AI to produce your content is a recipe for mediocrity,” content was no longer king. Rather, the webinar says, it’s amazing content that’s increasingly important.

“Relying on” is one extreme on the utilization-spectrum, just as content-production with little-to-no human involvement is extreme in its own right. Unfortunately, in the context of the demands put upon marketers, those extremes aren’t necessarily rare either.

 

The Human Side Of Generative AI: Creating A Path To Productivity

The number of employees who use generative AI is expected to soar, freeing many to focus on higher-level cognitive work. Can organizations use this moment to make jobs more people centric?

 

Programmatic Digital Display Ad Spend Will Grow Three Times As Fast As Nonprogrammatic In 2024

This year, US programmatic digital display ad spend will increase 15.9% YoY, growing three times the rate of nonprogrammatic digital display ad spend. … More than 9 in 10 digital display ad dollars will be spent programmatically this year, per our forecast.

 

Demystifying The Data Layer

In a period defined by increasing privacy regulation, a rapid shift toward digital-centric performance media consumption, and the evolution of technology driven by machine learning and generative AI, the marketing and advertising technology solution stack is undergoing a profound transformation. Central to this transformation is the imperative of establishing a robust data foundation, or data layer, correctly integrated with an architecture designed to enable a myriad of data-driven use cases that represent marketers’ diverse needs for insights, activation, optimization and measurement.

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The Media Minute 3.27.24

On The Record: AI And Its Newsroom Potential

Last year, a survey of newsrooms and publishers found that more than three-quarters of news organizations were using AI in “at least one of the areas across the news value chain of news gathering, production, and distribution.”

It’s a somewhat broad categorization, but even if matters of production and distribution were carrying more of the weight than news-gathering here, the survey was still a fascinating, important look because the more publishers see how they can utilize AI for those purposes — as well as marketing and advertising and other automatable productivity tasks — the better the organization as a whole can operate. 

Last month, the Columbia Journalism Review released a study of 35 news organizations in which it found “many of the most beneficial applications of AI in news are relatively mundane,” with dynamic paywalls, transcribing, and “data analysis tools in news production” given as examples.

 

Global Ad, Marketing Spend To Rise 7.7% In 2024

With recessionary and inflation concerns in the rear-view mirror for the most part, global advertising and marketing spend is set to rise 7.7% to $1.76 trillion in 2024, according to PQ Media. A year ago, in 2023, there was a 4.4% increase in global advertising and marketing spending over 2022 to $1.63 trillion.

 

Programmatic Cookie Alternative Trends Report

In contrast to the restraint we saw from marketers during the fourth quarter of 2022, the 33Across Exchange had considerable growth in Q4 2023. On average, advertisers grew their cookie alternative investment quarter-over-quarter (QOQ) by 13% in Q4, increasing their cookie alternative share of voice (SOV) by an average of 9%.

 

A Diversity Report for the Advertising/Marketing Industry

The report reveals that ethnic diversity of the advertising/marketing industry took a step backwards in 2023. The overall ethnic skew declined from 32.3 percent in 2022 to 30.8 percent in 2023 and is significantly below the 42.2 percent ethnic diversity of the U.S. population. Meanwhile, representation of women in the industry overall and in leadership positions continues to be strong.

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The Media Minute 3.20.24

Know Your Audience: Reconsidering The Metrics In Digital Publishing

A healthy publication should constantly consider and reconsider who its audience is, for the sake of both its front-facing offerings and its behind-the-scenes efforts. So it’s no wonder I was intrigued by a recent article about how digital publishers are redefining what “audience” means to them. 

And in beginning to imagine that proper way to measure it, I couldn’t help but think back to a recent Interactive Advertising Bureau study that found how much consumers value the internet as a whole, then drilled down to exactly how much they’d be willing to spend for that.

 

Publishers Are Rethinking Their Definitions Of “Audience”

Digital publishers are adjusting their definitions of “audience” as it becomes clear that traffic has less bearing on their ability to generate revenue than they once thought. As the challenges facing ad-supported media mount, many publishers are placing direct audience revenue at the center of their business models instead. This shift is driving publishers to fundamentally rethink the metrics and key performance indicators they use to guide their businesses – and ultimately to acknowledge that their genuinely engaged “audiences” may be much smaller than they’ve previously chosen to believe.

 

The New Creative Paradigm: How AI Is Transforming Video And Content Production

Creative and content production is in the midst of an evolution, driven by changing consumption patterns, the proliferation of digital media channels, the growth of video-centric advertising, elevated consumer expectations for relevancy and the democratization of content creation. The pace of evolution is accelerating rapidly as the use cases for artificial intelligence (AI)—including machine learning and generative AI — continue to expand across the creative and content lifecycle.

 

Your Guide To Mastering Micro-Occasion Marketing

When people think of occasion-based marketing, they often jump to big holidays like Valentine’s Day, Thanksgiving or Christmas. But for micro-occasions, you need to think smaller. They aren’t always holidays or recognized events, but the small, yet significant moments throughout our daily lives like a morning cup of coffee, a workout routine, or an afternoon snack. Brands can strategically tap into these moments to connect with customers in a personal way and make their brand a part of these meaningful experiences.

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The Media Minute 3.13.24

Open(AI) And Shut Cases? NYT, Musk, And The Latest In OpenAI Legal News

OpenAI is constantly (and many would argue deservedly) in the news, but the last few days have seen some major headlines made over matters beyond mere artificial intelligence capabilities.

When we last left the case of The New York Times vs. OpenAI, the paper had filed a lawsuit claiming millions of its articles were being “used to train automated chatbots that now compete with the news outlet as a source of reliable information,” and that it would be seeking billions of dollars in damages from the ChatGPT creator. 

Last week, the tech company stepped up its initial “without merit” rebuttal, claiming the paper hired someone to hack ChatGPT in order to generate the “highly anomalous results.”

 

Paid Search Outperforms Paid Social — With The Latter Far More Likely To Bounce

Visitors from paid social are 41% more likely to bounce, notes Contentsquare’s 2024 Digital Experience Benchmark Report. The study sheds light on the distinct paths and outcomes between paid search and social media channels, revealing critical insights for digital marketers, and finds that paid search boasts a conversion rate four times higher than paid social.

 

The Power of Incentives in Ecommerce

Ecommerce is more than just selling products online; it’s about understanding and reacting to consumer behavior and preferences. With the landscape evolving rapidly, businesses must be agile and informed. ActiveCampaign’s report, ‘Coupons, Discounts & BOGOs (Oh My!),’ provides an in-depth look into the incentives that motivate the modern consumer. This report is a vital resource for ecommerce businesses seeking to navigate the intricate dynamics of today’s market.

 

B2B Dare: The Ecommerce Hurdles And Tools For 2024

B2B ecommerce firms are gearing up for the coming year, despite striking challenges, judging by the 2024 State Of B2B Ecommerce Report, a study by Forrester Consulting, commissioned by Zoovu. The priorities, whether important or critical, are [to] provide more automated and personalized guidance to online buyers (80%), improve demand generation (75%), [and] improve ability to collect and use zero-party data (73%).

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The Media Minute 3.6.24

Safe Ad Spaces: Consumers More Trusting Of Brands Around Appropriate Content

A recent study on brand safety and the content consumers consider unsafe is also shedding light on brand support of journalism and misinformation.

Integral Ad Science’s “The State of Brand Safety” found that four out of every five consumers (82%) believe content surrounding online ads should be appropriate, while 69% say the amount of inappropriate content (from hate speech and explicit content to misinformation and spam) has increased in the last year.

And when brands advertise near inappropriate content, consumers notice; 71% of consumers have less favorable feelings towards those brands, 70% say they trust the brands less, and 51% are likely to stop using the products or services.

 

The Impact of Loyalty Programs in the Apparel Industry

For brands considering how to retain customers and cut through all the noise, a well-structured loyalty program can be the difference between a one-time purchase and a tried-and-true raving fan. ebbo’s 2024 Apparel Loyalty Programs Data Study takes a closer look at the impact of loyalty programs on the apparel vertical, from strategic and successful wins to untapped areas of opportunity, to give you insights to help you boost your apparel brand’s bottom line.

 

Cookie Deprecation Won’t Change Advertisers’ Preferred Transaction Methods

A lot will change when third-party cookies are deprecated in Chrome, but some general programmatic ad spending patterns will stay the same. Programmatic direct will remain the most popular transaction method, while mobile will keep its sizable lead over other device categories.

 

Claude 3 Is The First To Match ChatGPT-4

Anthropic just released Claude 3, and it’s the first chatbot as good as ChatGPT-4 (Gemini Ultra still lags both). … We’re not saying ditch ChatGPT — instead, compare the tools to find which best suits your needs (we plan to use both). OpenAI might be sitting on a big ChatGPT upgrade, and now would be a good time to release it.

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The Media Minute 2.28.24

Act Locally: Illinois Joins Those Proposing Journalism Preservation Act

As we wait for the California Senate to hear and ultimately vote on the consequential California Journalism Preservation Act this session, similar legislation is being proposed in Illinois, where the efforts are already being hailed as “the most ambitious package of local journalism policy.”

Introduced by Senator Steve Stadelman last week, the Journalism Preservation Act (SB 3591) calls for tech companies to pay a usage fee to local news organizations for their work, 70% of which would then be required to be invested into journalism jobs.

 

Retail Media Grows Its Share Of Total Us Ad Spend, But Isn’t Overtaking Social Just Yet

Retail media ad spend will make up over one-fifth of total US ad spending by 2027, per our forecast. Social media will maintain its position as second-biggest ad channel through 2027, though not by much.

 

The State of Retail Media: Outlooks, Strategies & What’s Next

Retail media’s rise and impact on the marketing landscape has been undeniable and it shows no signs of dying down. It’s going to be the fastest-growing ad channel across media through 2027 (according to Insider Intelligence), making it bigger than connected TV, digital audio and traditional television advertising combined in the next few years. Recognizing its growth, omnichannel marketing platform Skai has produced a “State of Retail Media” report the past few years to help marketers understand trends driving the channel, as well as current and future retail media challenges and strategies. 

 

Zero-Party Data Revolution: How To Grow Marketing Effectiveness

The death of third-party cookies in 2024 will leave a hole in the marketer’s arsenal, but the change also represents a big opportunity.

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The Media Minute 2.21.24

Ad Placement, Yield, And Access To Consumer Data Lead Publisher Concerns For 2024

The postmortem on 2023 has shown positive gains and reason for 2024 optimism for advertisers.

For its annual Industry Pulse Report, Integral Ad Science asked brands and agencies on the buy-side as well as publishers about the challenges they expect even with those rosier forecasts. Both said that the biggest media challenge they expect in the next 12 months was ads delivering alongside risky content.

 

Email With A Caveat: Consumers Prefer It, But Heartily Dislike Spam

Consumers love their email, judging by Email And The Customer Experience, a recent study by Sinch Mailgun. Among the individuals polled, 75.4% say email is their preferred channel for promotional messages, while 74% favor it for transactional messages. The study also found that 84.9% check their email at least twice a day, and most are aware of the problem of messages landing in their spam folder. 

 

By 2027, Enterprise Spending On Generative AI Will Multiply Nearly Eightfold In Five Years

In 2027, enterprise spending on generative AI solutions worldwide will reach $151.1 billion, growing nearly eightfold from its total in 2023, according to the International Data Corporation.

 

Brands Need to Embrace and Support Today’s Customer Experience Economy

Brands don’t have the same margin of error they once did, so it’s critical that they embrace and support this new wave of empowered consumers and make it clear how the experiences they deliver improve their customers’ lives. To excel in an increasingly crowded field, Merkle urges brands to focus on responding to consumers’ stated preferences about their brand experiences in an effort to increase trust and build long-term relationships.

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The Media Minute 2.14.24

Growth Gains: Worldwide Ad Spending To Grow Faster In 2024

Recently, the Magazine Manager blog shared the good news that advertising spending in the U.S. grew in 2023. And even though that growth (achieved after nine consecutive months of YoY spending) only amounted to a 0.5% overall YoY gain, it’s still cause for optimism looking ahead.

Add another log to the optimism fire with Insider Intelligence’s latest projection that worldwide spending in digital, traditional, and total media ad spending will all grow faster in 2024 than they did last year.

 

U.S. Ad Buyers, Publishers Use A Combo Of Performance, Attention Metrics

57% of US ad buyers use performance metrics to help determine attention levels, according to an August 2023 survey from Integral Ad Science and YouGov. Publishers are less reliant on performance metrics, with only 43% currently using them to measure attention.

 

AI: The Next Frontier for Growing Brands

Creative professionals and marketers are under pressure to maximize results while minimizing budgets and resources. The report found that 76% of respondents agree that economic fluctuations have amplified the need for strategic pivots in teams’ workflows.

 

Meet “The New Sports Fan” in Infillion’s Latest Research

NFL Swifties. Gen-Z cricket fanatics. And Inter Miami FC followers who have never set foot in Florida. Reaching sports fans today is a lot more complicated than it used to be. Sports fans have always been a coveted audience for advertisers. Viewers are famously engaged and deliver the rapt attention that brands crave, and brands sponsoring teams or games can get a goodwill boost from supporters. One study after another has shown that sports fans are more likely to pay attention to commercials, that they look favorably upon brands that sponsor their home teams, and that this receptivity is growing rather than shrinking.

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The Media Minute 2.7.24

AI, Revenue Streams, And Breaking Big Tech Dependence — Publishing Predictions For 2024

When Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism released its annual “Journalism, Media, and Technology Trends and Predictions” last January, Senior Research Associate Nic Newman commented that news organizations that hadn’t yet embraced digital would be at a “severe disadvantage,” highlighting one emerging technology that could offer “the chance for publishers (finally) to deliver more personal information and formats, to help deal with channel fragmentation and information overload.”

That technology was AI, and Newman’s prescient forewarning to “buckle up for the ride” seems almost cute considering how 2023 unfolded.

 

It’s Official: U.S. Ad Market Expanded In 2023, Albeit A Smidgen

Following a weak first-quarter start, the U.S. ad market expanded for nine consecutive months, ending 2023 with a gain of 0.5% over 2022, according to just-published December estimates from Guideline’s U.S. Ad Market Tracker.

 

Shoppers Want AI To Help With Product Research And Customer Service

To improve the shopping journey, 86% of adults worldwide want AI to help with product research or information, according to October 2023 IBM data. Some 82% want AI to help get service, answers, or solutions.

 

Brands Think They’re Delivering Great Shopping Experiences. Consumers Are Delivering Them A Reality Check

New Deloitte Digital research reveals that brands and consumers do not see eye-to-eye when it comes to the commerce experience. Our latest research uncovers what people value most in their B2C commerce experiences and how well brands are delivering on those expectations. We found that nearly 80% of B2C brands believe consumers are impressed by the online shopping experiences they provide. Yet fewer than half of consumers actually are.

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