Carolyn Everson of Microsoft Advertising
It must be both a marketer’s worst nightmare and his sweetest dream to reflect on the volume of new consumer gadgets that are launched every day. Each represents yet another platform with another technological challenge to overcome, but also has the potential to tap into an audience that has remained elusive.
Three particular segments of this 2-hour slot stood out; Scott McDonald’s piece on how magazines are being consumed on the iPad, the subsequent panel discussion and finally John Carey’s take on what he thinks the future will hold for 3D TVs.
Scott McDonald of Condé Nast brought us through an insight-laden presentation on how magazines are faring on the iPad. They currently have five magazines on this platform and early results of a recent survey show that digital consumption is quite different to conventional reading of print versions.
The iPad users themselves are people from a broad age range, have a slight male skew and are not typically over-techy. Indeed, many are not even familiar with Apple gestures. As for why they chose this platform, many touted the “wow!” factor relating this to its aesthetic appeal and the cool badge of honour it creates.
Here are some more interesting points from this talk:
- Few use iPads as mobile devices
- iPads remain at home to be used amongst multiple members of households
- Covers of digital magazines are being called the “home page”
- Consumers are satisfied with the value of digital magazines and want to buy again. Engagement metrics are high in terms of minutes spent reading
- People spending less time on the iPhone
The subsequent panel comprised Carolyn Everson from Microsoft Advertising, Chris Wilkes from Hearst Corporation and Scott McDonald.
Carolyn talked about the importance of the portability of content regardless of the device. Focus from Microsoft is on putting the consumer in the middle. She also mentioned that the days of buying demo should be over and that it should be about behavioural. But branding still works alongside this sophisticated targeting. She went on to say that most innovation will come in the mobile space. The challenge for content companies is that every device might need a different content strategy. How do you scale across multiple platforms?
How does it help subscriptions?
Chris Wilkes continued the conversation around how magazines can be successful on new reading devices. He says that over 90% are new readers, meaning that this is additive and not cannibalising the print model. A new opening for magazine publishers is the amount of data that is being generated on how content is being read. Data will allow publishers to customise the content for the reader, something not possible with a printed magazine.
Finally, we heard from John Carey, Professor of Communications and Media Industries at Fordham Business School. His humorous take on the evolution of TV hardware made for a great session closer. Here are my key takeaways:
- Price differential when HD TVs were launched was high - a 40 inch HD set was $4,000, an analogue TV of same size was $500. For 3D TVs it is 2:1
- Average analogue TV replaced every 8 years. Replacement cycles for HD TVs will probably be shorter
- Changing face of early adopters - this person was typically a guy in 40s or 50s. Now it’s moving down in age and more women are buying
- Got to see it to buy it! In 1940s they put TVs in bars which created great demand. This didn’t happen with the advent of HD. However, Panasonic is doing this using demos for the US Open and 3D gaming
- Biggest challenge for 3D is to get enough glasses for large groups
What types of content will work well with 3D? Sport, new 3D movies, old 3D movies, 3D games, and you guessed it, adult entertainment!