DECEMBER 03, 2012

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Industry Viewpoints
Nearly Perfect: Seven Condé Nast Apps Rank in the Top 1% of All Tracked Apps by iMonitor
iMonitor released its annual State of the App report last week. iMonitor studies the design, functionality, media and advertising of over 8,000 apps from publishers across the world. Among those tracked, the apps for Allure, Condé Nast Traveler, Golf Digest, GQ, Vanity Fair and Wired were all scored 'nearly perfect' and ranked in the top 1% among all publisher apps. Wired UK 's app was also strong enough to make the top 1% and earn a nearly perfect rating. The Brides WEDDING GENIUS 2.0 ranked as one of the 10 best companion apps tested.
So what? Condé Nast prides itself as a leader in innovation and technology in publishing, and these rankings validate that position. As tablet penetration increases (Pew's most recent estimate has 25% of Americans owning a tablet), a strong app experience will grow exponentially more important as more consumers engage with magazines on their devices.
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Technology
iPads Improve Ease of Reading for People with Moderate Vision Loss
A recent study by the Robert Wood Johnson Medical School uncovered that iPads (and other tablets) improved the speed of reading for 100 participants with moderate vision loss. The participants gained at least 42 words-per-minute when using an iPad with 18-point font setting, compared to a print book or newspaper. The respondents with the poorest vision found the iPad most comfortable to read on. The researchers hypothesized that the back-illuminated screen was the key to the improved experience, as it improved contrast sensitivity for readers with low vision.
So what? Portability, interactivity, and now you can add ease of reading: all reasons that make the magazine tablet experience desirable. With these findings, Condé Nast may be able to explore an additional value proposition for tablets. People who have found it difficult to read traditional magazines because of poor vision may find a more pleasant experience on tablets. Tablet penetration remains relatively low for older Americans; just 13% of people 65+ own tablets -- less than half the percentage of those 18-65 that own tablets. Tablets as a way to improve the ease of reading may be a point of entry in a segment with room for growth.
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Retail/Shopping/Commerce
Strong Start for Holiday Shopping Season
Nearly 250 million shoppers visited stores and websites over the Black Friday weekend and Cyber Monday was the biggest spending day online ever according to reports from the National Retail Federation and IBM, respectively. The NRF estimated that 247 million shoppers were in stores and on retail websites during the holiday weekend, up from 221 million last year. The average holiday shopper spent $423, an increase of 6% over last year. IBM reported that online sales on Cyber Monday were up 30% over last year, and good enough to make it the biggest online spending day ever. IBM reported that wireless devices continue to influence online shopping. Mobile sales represented 13% of all sales -- nearly double last year.
So what? Most forecasts had the 2012 holiday season showing moderate, but measured growth, and the early returns are proving those expectations to be accurate. Marketers and retailers should be encouraged by this start. Retailers will also have the benefit of a longer holiday shopping season this year, as there are two more days this year between Thanksgiving and Christmas Eve. Coincidentally, those two extra days provides retailers an extra weekend to lure shoppers into their stores -- Christmas Eve was on a Saturday last year and falls on Monday this year.
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Advertising
Premium Publishers Preferred for Brand-Focused Advertising
The Online Publishers Association (OPA) conducted a study on the role branding plays in online advertising and how agencies and marketers perceive the effectiveness of different digital media types in branding. The study found that 47% of agencies and marketers view premium content publishers as the best advertising vehicle for brand-focused campaigns, compared to only 16% preferring social media and 13% favoring video ad networks. While more survey participants felt that social media delivers their target audience, premium content publishers were widely viewed as best achieving branding objectives, providing the best media brand quality/image (61%) and offering the most relevant content/context (48%).
So what? When seeking to increase brand awareness and favorability, marketers are looking for brand-safe environments with relevant quality content, and premium publishers provide exactly what they are looking for. By developing unique ad integrations and offering creative support, Condé Nast can help marketers effectively achieve their brand-focused goals and cultivate long-term relationships with advertisers.
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Quick Takes
While iPhone Maintains the Majority of Smartphone Market Share in US, Android Dominates Abroad
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The Affluent are Feeling Bullish About their Investments
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Thanksgiving Breaks Instagram Records; Activity Peaked at 3:40 PM EDT with 226 Photos Posted per Second
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Average Size of the American Household Getting Smaller
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Condé Nast
Feedback, questions, ideas for future issues? Please contact:

Phil Paparella
Condé Nast Research & Insights | Associate Director
1166 6th Avenue, 14th fl. | NY, NY 10036 | office 212.790.6044 | philip_paparella@condenast.com

Contributors:
Tamar Rimmon | Senior Manager, Digital Analytics
Robyn Hightower | Manager, Research & Insights