AUGUST 06, 2012

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The 2012 Olympics: A World Watches
A record setting 40.7 million Americans watched the opening ceremonies for the London Olympics -- the most ever for any summer or winter games. That excitement has been matched globally as some estimates have more than 1 billion people watching the ceremonies. In a survey of global citizens in anticipation of the games, Ipsos found that nearly three quarters of those surveyed planned to watch at least part of the events. The most popular events across the 24 countries measured were track & field, soccer and swimming. In the United States, gymnastics was the most anticipated event followed by swimming and track & field. Among all of the countries surveyed, China, South Korea and India were the most excited for the Olympics as more than 90% of each country's residents intended to watch.
So what? Debates over tape-delayed events have been in the headlines, but the games continue to drive consumption across a number of platforms for NBC. The Olympics are one of the few television properties to hold its audience from year-to-year. Many Condé Nast magazines chose to highlight Olympic athletes in anticipation of the excitement of the games, and it might be beneficial to repurpose that content as the games progress. CN magazines may also want to find ways to be a part of the substantial Olympic conversation on social media.
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McKinsey: Unlocking Social Media's Potential
Much has been debated about Facebook's ad model and whether it drives ROI for advertisers. What has not been debated is social media's growing importance within our lives. McKinsey published a paper last month to recap the current metrics around social and speculate about its potential. According to the paper, more than 1.5 billion people have a social networking account. Mobile has helped strengthen the connection to social media, as nearly one in five hours spent on social media is done on mobile. McKinsey found that 72% of companies surveyed use social technologies and 90% of those companies had already seen benefits from it. The firm estimates that between $900 billion to $1.3 trillion in value is yet to be unlocked in social media. McKinsey points to a number of reasons for its bullish forecast, including the fact that adoption of social technologies by consumers has grown faster than any previous technologies. The firm also believes that social shopping could eventually influence one-third of consumer spending.
So what? For most companies, the benefits of a social media presence outweigh the risks. That creates both an opportunity and challenge for Condé Nast. Social media provides our magazines with another tool to expand their reach and develop fans, however many advertisers feel the same way. It's important for us to continue to highlight the value of traditional advertising to effectively promote a brand against simply a social media presence.
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Video Consumption on Alternative Platforms Grows
The lion's share of video consumption remains on live television, however internet and mobile phone viewing continues to grow. Internet viewers continue to outnumber mobile viewers by a significant amount -- more than four-to-one, but mobile has had a much sharper increase in adoption rate in the past couple of years. Between the first quarter of 2010 and the final quarter of 2011, mobile video viewers grew by 70%, according to Nielsen. Mobile growth easily outpaced the growth of internet viewers during the same time; that group grew by 8%.
So what? An audience continues to grow for video consumption outside of television. Content publishers that choose not to use traditional television channels should be able to find ways to create reach on both internet and mobile.
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Tablets & Smartphones Generate Strong Ad Engagement
A study of consumer behavior around tablets and smartphones by the Interactive Advertising Bureau found that users of both devices are showing a measured interest in mobile advertising. Nearly half of tablet users said they engage with ads more than once a week; a quarter of smartphone users said they engage with mobile ads at the same rate. In addition to being significantly more likely to engage with ads, tablet users say they are also more likely to interact with ads. 89% of tablet users who said they engaged with an ad then took action, most often receiving a coupon (51%), investigating a product or service (49%) and making a purchase (46%). Four out of five smartphone users who engaged with an ad said they took action; they were most likely to investigate a product or service (38%), receive a coupon (37%), and visit a local business (30%).
So what? Marketers' confidence in tablet and mobile advertisements should be mounting. This study indicates that people are receptive to ads on phones and tablets, and the interactivity intrinsic to those devices could expedite the path to purchase. Those responsible for working on the Condé Nast tablet edition ads might want to take a closer look at what drives interaction, and expand content within ads that feature coupons and shorter paths to checkout.
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Quick Takes
Exxon, Chevron and Apple are the US' Three Most Profitable Companies
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Netflix Users are Watching TV Shows More than Last Year
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The Majority of Voters Feel They Know Enough About Obama, Romney
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In A Reversal of Trend, Growth of US Cities Outpacing Growth of Suburbs
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Condé Nast
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Phil Paparella
Condé Nast Research & Insights | Associate Director
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Tamar Rimmon | Senior Manager, Digital Analytics
Robyn Hightower | Manager, Research & Insights