MAY 14, 2012

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With the Help of Digital, Newspapers Bounce Back
Daily circulation for the 618 newspapers tracked by the Audit of Bureau Circulation increased by 0.7% in the past year according to the semiannual FAS-FAX and Audience-FAX released earlier this month. Sunday circulation (532 newspapers tracked) increased by 5.0%. The overall growth was driven by increased digital circulation. Digital circulation now accounts for 14.2% of the total circulation mix, up 63% from last year when it represented 8.7% of total circulation.
So what? The fact that newspaper consumption is not decreasing, rather changing, is good news for all of publishing. Newspapers, like the Wall Street Journal (26% of total circulation is digital) and New York Times (51% digital) have found models that have allowed them to maintain their circulation. Condé Nast might look to some best practices in the newspaper industry to further bolster our digital business.
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Brand Building Through Social Influence Has Limits
A team of Harvard sociologists recently examined social influence, and wanted to answer a basic question about friendship and interests. Do we become friends with people because we share interests? Or, do we share and influence interests with people because they are our friends? The researchers studied college students' Facebook profiles, recorded their friends and interests, and evaluated how the students' friendship networks changed over time. What they uncovered was that we have little influence on our friends. Friends tend to share tastes, not because they influence one another, rather because similarity is partly why they became and remain friends.
So what? The findings of this study have to concern not only Facebook, which sells itself as a tool to spread influence, but the marketers that have chosen to use social networks as a primary advertising tool. Social networks can be a homegeneous experience for many. Influence, often sold as an integral part of that experience, on social networks has its limits. Marketers might find more traditional advertising avenues to be more impactful and influential.
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Millennials, Upper Middle Class Segments Drive the Green Market
While the number of new products marketed has ‘green’ skyrocketed, the fraction of people who buy based on green claims has fallen. The decline can be largely attributed to higher price points and economic uncertainty. However, a new Mintel report finds that two key segments defy this trend: Millennials and the Upper Middle Class ($75-100k income segment). Millennials are 20% more likely to buy green while the Upper Middle Class are 18% more likely to buy green. Mintel defines green products as organic or locally produced food, recycled paper, natural cleaning products, cars with high MPGs, or appliances with high EnergyStar ratings.
So what? As Condé Nast reaches over 17 million Millennials and 9.5 million members of the Upper Middle Class, marketers looking to develop their brands may find the CN brands an attractive proposition.
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Mobile: Solving Problems in Real Time
A new report by Pew finds smartphones are frequently used for gathering information for making immediate decisions. The report finds 50% of respondents have used a smart phone to coordinate a get-together, 49% to choose a restaurant and 46% to settle an argument. These percentages grow when examining younger demos or higher income segments.
So what? While gaming is a big missing piece from the study, the report still provides insight into the content that is most attractive to the mobile phone user. As Condé Nast develops new mobile experiences, we should consider how we are addressing consumer’s needs for on-the-go information.
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Quick Takes
Digital Sales Hit $31 Billion in 2011; Search Leads the Way with $14.8 Billion in Revenue
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The Avengers Sets Opening Weekend Box Office Record
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Smartphone Users Prefer Apps to Browsers when Spending Time with the Leading Web Properties
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Asian-Americans Most Likely to Own Smartphones
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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 |

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