JANUARY 30, 2012

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Tablet and E-Book Reader Ownership Nearly Doubles After Holidays
A recent update on tablet and e-book ownership by the Pew Research Center reported that 19% of US adults now own a tablet, and 19% of adults now own an e-book reader. Those numbers are nearly double the ownership rate in mid-December 2011 when 10% of adults reported owning each device, respectively. While males and females are equally likely to own a tablet, Pew found that females are more likely than males to own an e-reader. Pew also reports that ownership levels for each are much higher among those with a higher household income – 36% of those with a HHI of $75K+ own a tablet and 31% own an e-reader.
So what? This dramatic increase in ownership of tablets and e-readers is certainly good news for Condé Nast and its digital subscription business. CN might consider more heavily promoting its digital properties right now to leverage the opportunity among the flock of new tablet and e-reader users who are prospecting for content on their new toys.
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CNTelligence Update: Flash Sale Sites Experience Growing Pains
A November issue of CNTelligence examined some of the pitfalls of flash sales for retailers, and argued that many retailers might be better served using their resources to promote products in a more traditional fashion. CNTelligence November 14 Last week, Luxury Daily reported on the challenges facing Gilt Groupe, and the flash sale industry as a whole, following Gilt reportedly laying off approximately 10 percent of its workforce in an effort to become more profitable.
Challenges Abound for Viral Campaigns
The Futures Company recently published a paper on the challenges for viral marketing campaigns. While having strong social media around a brand is often assumed to be an effective way to reach consumers, The Futures Company argues that the odds of creating an effective viral campaign are low. The overwhelming majority – 84% – of social networking users said “Very few of the advertisements I see on social networking websites have any relevance to me,” and just 1 in 5 have ever posted a positive comment about an experience with a company online. However, not all viral campaigns are bound to fail; content that is light and humorous tends to be shared more on social networks.
So what? There are a number of reasons why it is important to maintain a social media presence, but marketers should not expect social media to do their heavy lifting during campaigns. A more traditional advertising spend, that includes a presence within magazines, continues to be a more effective way to promote products for most marketers.
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Scented Paper Ads More Engaging Than Average Magazine Ads
Starch Advertising Research recently released research on scented paper ads and found they were more effective than average magazine ads. Scented ads were noted among 64% of readers in data collected between January-April 2011 (among five selected categories); that represented a +19% lift over all ads that were tested in the same categories – 54% noted. Starch found that 1 of every 6 readers who noted a scented paper ad went a step further and sniffed or sampled the scent.
So what? While much has been written about ways to increase iPad and tablet readership engagement, this research illustrates an old, but still effective method in developing an effective print ad. Condé Nast’s advertisers might look for more opportunities to use scented ads, as there has been measured success. Starch reported that Neutrogena’s Oil-Free Acne Wash Pink Grapefruit Acne Treatment scented ad in the April 2011 issue of Teen Vogue had 70% of readers note it, and 25% went on to try the scented paper. The ad had third highest try rate of all scented ads tested between January and April.
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An Opportunity in the Plus-Size Market
Stylus put the plus-size market in its spotlight and reports that it has reached a defining moment. According to the report, 64% of American women are now considered overweight or obese. And while women who wear a size 16 or larger make up nearly half of the US female population, their spend accounts for just 17% of the womenswear market. While the market has been somewhat slow to respond to the needs of the plus-sized consumers, Stylus points to a number of retailers, both mass-market and higher-end that have embraced the opportunity. H&M introduced its BiB (Big is Beautiful) line; Donna Karan’s DKNYC and Calvin Klein Plus both offer garments up to 3X.
So what? While some retailers have responded to the fashion desires of plus-sized women, there still remains a gap between supply and demand in the market. The expectation is that many designers and retailers will look to grow their plus-sized business in the coming years, and Condé Nast’s magazines might hold a significant part in that process.
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The Privacy Paradox
While consumers are increasingly sharing the minutiae of their lives online, they continue to have strong concerns about their privacy. Their worries go beyond identity theft and into marketing tactics like behavioral targeting and search engine tracking. Some high profile industry people tend to dismiss consumers concerns; Mark Zuckerberg famously stated that privacy is no longer a ‘social norm.’ However, governments are taking a much more conservative stance on the subject. The FTC charged Facebook with having ‘unfair and deceptive’ practices around privacy. The EU plans to force companies to disclose all data collected on an individual upon request. A new eMarketer report covers the media industry’s ongoing struggle to use technology to increase relevancy of both advertising and content while alleviating consumer concern around data collection practices.
So what? At a minimum, Condé Nast should maintain its compliance with the industry’s self regulation practices. If governments place higher protections around consumer data, CN will benefit from promoting our contextually relevant environments.
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Quick Takes
Magazine iPad Apps Most Often Malfunction During Authentication
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Johnny Depp is America’s Favorite Movie Star
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Google Sites (including YouTube) Had Most Unique Video Viewers and Minutes per Viewer in December 2011
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U2 Had the Highest Grossing North American Tour in 2011
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Time Shifted Viewing Has Augmented Television Consumption
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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

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