From the election to the Olympics, 2016 provided a plethora of activity for those of us in the media world. We saw record spending for a presidential election. We saw the end of an era as the final VCR was produced. We saw trends emerge and develop, with a few of them continuing into 2017.
Below we will discuss three of those trends: Ad blocking, growth of mobile and the proliferation of fake news.
Ad blocking, the act of preventing an ad from being served, continues to be a concern in the United States. The number of ad block users rose to between 15 and 24 percent by the end of 2016 (PageFair 2017 AdBlock Report). These users limit the amount of inventory available to advertisers, but with vast amounts of available inventory, this is less of a concern to the advertising community. The real problem exists within the high-quality content world of premium digital properties (ESPN.com, Wired.com, TheAtlantic.com). Sites that fuel the digital world with useful and original content are primarily ad funded models, and when users disrupt this model, it can reduce the availability of quality content online.
While the industry continues to battle this issue, it is important to note that many local news media properties do not attract the same level of ad blocking. These sites have a strong value proposition and are well positioned to request that users whitelist their sites from ad blockers or disable their ad blocker while on their site. Also, ads on premium publisher sites have a 67 percent higher brand lift than ads appearing on other properties through the internet (The Halo Effect: How Advertising on Premium Publishers Drives Higher Ad Effectiveness).
Growth of Mobile
Not surprising to anyone who has spent time waiting in line, eating at a restaurant, or around any large group of people, mobile usage continues to grow. In 2015 we passed the tipping point for mobile, with more traffic coming from mobile than desktop sources, and the trend has continued upward.
Along with that increase in mobile traffic has come an increase in advertising spending in mobile sources. In 2016 we saw that jump equate to an 89 percent increase (Techcrunch). This trend line should continue into 2017, further driving up both traffic and ad spending in the mobile space.
While factoring mobile into the campaign is important for each client, it is important to remember that not all digital properties are created equal for mobile activation.
Consider the local digital media outlets provided in your community. The users of those sites (of which you may be one) tend to have the following characteristics:
- Mobile newspaper readers tend to be more affluent than the normal mobile user.
- Mobile newspaper readers are more likely to make an online purchase than the standard mobile user.
- Mobile shoppers rate newspapers and their digital properties as the No. 1 place to find sale information*.
*American Opinion Research
Proliferation of Fake News
If you have been following the news (real news that is) over the course of the last six months, then you have most likely heard the term “fake news”.
While fake news is not a new phenomenon (free up a few minutes to read about “The Central Park Zoo Escape”), it is more tenacious than ever before. With the proliferation of social media and a global economy, these stories can spread faster and further.
Why is it happening? For the usual reason - money. A producer of fake news can pull in real dollars with little-to-no overhead. As a story from The New York Times (real news) uncovered, the creator of Christian Times (fake news) earned over $5,000 in a few days by creating a few untrue stories.
How is fake news impacting our industry? While not as glaring an impact as ad blocking or as large of a shift as the growth in mobile, fake news is still having an impact on the advertising world. When a company purchases inventory through programmatic sources, they may be placing their brand message onto a fake news site. While the message is still reaching a targeted consumer, it is now surrounded by misleading or outright false information. There are two solutions currently available to advertisers looking to avoid fake news:
- When working with programmatic partners, look for transparency in delivery and ask them what they are doing to filter fake news sites.
- Work directly with premium content sites to reach your audience while also being surrounded by authentic and legitimate content.
Are you concerned about ad blocking, mobile advertising or fake news? Share your concerns with us at MANSI Media by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.