July 2016: Media and Marketing Review
Here's a look back on the media and marketing news over the last month.
Facebook Updates Algorithm, What Happens Next Will Blow Your Mind!
Facebook is once again tackling Clickbait headlines, such as the one above, in a move to combat irrelevant & misleading content on user newsfeeds.
The move will be of particular interest to publishers prone to using hyperbole and exaggeration in an attempt to lure users towards articles, pages & sites. The exact details of the new algorithm & phrases included on the clickbait blacklist have not been released, but publishers will be given a score for each post, in an attempt to promote more honest headlines. Those serial offenders prone to embellishment will be given an opportunity to improve their overall score and remain relevant to users.
Phrases such as “I was Shocked….” “You won’t believe your eyes….” and “What happened next….” Etc. will be targeted. Facebook manually classified thousands of headlines prior to the new algorithm launch in a bid ensure that legitimate headlines and news sites don’t suffer at the hands of serial click baiters.
- Gerard Keenan
New Google Features for Shopping Ads
Google are designing new features which will help retail businesses promote themselves more efficiently through mobile platforms. This comes as a response to the growing popularity of mobile shopping searches, which have grown 30% year-over-year.
Over 40% of Google shopping searches consist of broad search terms such as “long dress”. To target this, a new Showcase Shopping Ad format is being designed to help less defined searches become more efficient. Instead of presenting a potential customer with a single ad result, businesses can create a gallery of related products which is visually appealing to the consumer and which, they can then seamlessly browse through.
New tools are also being rolled out for YouTube. The idea is based around consumers being able to purchase products they view in the video. However, now advertisers can add a companion banner displaying other related products below the video, which the consumer can browse through while the video is playing. A product picker will also allow merchants to choose and prioritize specific products to be featured rather than Google just automatically generating them.
The final shopping tool to come into play relates to cross-border searches and purchases. Google are currently testing tools that will convert prices into the shoppers’ local currency, making the path to purchase easier for consumers worldwide.
- Katie Varian
Instagram Launches New 'Stories' Feature
Users are now able to create “Stories” on the photo sharing app Instagram, which essentially urges users to post more photos and videos on the social platform.
Similar to Snapchat, the stories disappear after 24 hours and users can draw and type on them as well. The feature allows users to share as many photos and videos on Instagram as they want without over-posting to their profiles or feeds. As of right now, the only thing Snapchat offers that Instagram doesn't is the infamous face filters.
Instagram Stories, however, looks like it could stand a real fighting chance against Snapchat as Instagram has 300 million daily active users, in contrast to Snapchat's 150 million. As there is a substantial base already established on Instagram who are already actively browsing their news feeds, it will make adoption of this new “Stories” feature easy and will be a great way to test content, find out what works and adapt very quickly.
- Emma O’Neill
July TV Viewership
After the success of the UEFA 2016 Euro games June saw a healthy boost in TV viewership, unfortunately July was not as successful. The good weather came back and as a result we saw a decline in most audiences in ROI, Hw+Ch the only group to sustain itself (+1%). Young Adults took the biggest hit down 18% YOY, the main contributors here were TV3 (-25%) and RTE (-18%) suffering the post Euro’s blues for Ads 1534.
RTÉ’s successful coverage of the Euro’s continued into July where we saw their best performing shows in the France V Portugal live final and the post-match coverage with viewing figures of 238k and 189k Ads 1534, outperforming TV3 by 95%. Mrs Brown’s Boys had their first live show air on RTE Saturday 23rd July and it was a huge success bringing in 120k Ad 2544 and the top performing show after the games for this audience.
Similarly to RTE, TV3 were badly hit on Young Ads in July, Ads 1534 -25% the biggest decline we have seen yet this month but Hw+Ch holding ground up 4%. We saw the final of Big brother hit our screens, but after a continued disappointing performance the final show only managed to hit 31k for young adults compared to 67k in 2015. However Celebrity big brother has commenced and is helping this overall young performance, after the Euro games it’s their best performing show this with 88K Ads 2544.
UTV Ireland was the best performing station this month with Hw+Ch up a massive 27%. Coronation Street and Emmerdale were the main contributors to this delivery earning 97k and 65k viewers respectively. Ad 2544 also performed well here this month +3%, after the soaps Love Island was the best performing show for this audience, the final aired on Monday 11th July, viewership for Ads 2544 was 21k.
Sky Media’s performance saw an improvement on a decline after their young audiences were hit badly in June, Ad 1534 now -16% compared to -21% last month. C4 Digital opted out Film Four this month on Sky and this is to be rolled out to Virgin customers later this year along with Film Four +1. Despite this extra inventory, impacts on C4 Digital are slow to increase in July as we continue to see them struggles across young audiences (-15% Ads 1534 & -5% Ads 2544).
After a strong start to the summer UTV NI took a hit this month seeing declines across all audiences, especially Hw+Ch down -14% and Ad 2544 down -7%. Despite the soaps outperforming it (Coronation Street 58K Ad 2544), the Euro Final did well with 24k viewers Ads 2544. C4 Ulster did see improvements on delivery from last month; Ads 1534 now only down 5% from -36% in June. Hopefully these improvements are set to continue into the autumn.
No going back for Virgin Media as it moves on from Eir Sports
TV Company dropped sports channels from its platform after failing to agree terms
Fri, Aug 5, 2016, 01:00 Updated: Fri, Aug 5, 2016, 14:03
- Tony Hanway, chief executive of Virgin Media Ireland, Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill / The Irish Times
Virgin Media customers hoping for a last-minute deal on BT Sports and Eir Sports channels will be left disappointed after its Irish head confirmed there would be no reprieve.
The TV platform dropped the Eir Sports pack, which includes BT Sport, at the end of July after it failed to agree commercial terms on a wholesale arrangement for the six channels.
Virgin Ireland chief executive Tony Hanway said the decision to walk away from the former Setanta Sports package was a tough one.
“It certainly wasn’t a call we made lightly,” Mr Hanway said.
“But we weren’t going to pay more for less, and that is always a principle we hold to.”
The company previously cited the pack’s loss to Sky of the Irish rights to live English Premier League games on a Saturday afternoon as one of the factors in the decision. Mr Hanway acknowledged some customers would be disappointed by the move, but said he felt it was the right call. "Eir Sports is not an integral part of the Virgin Media product offering; it never was and now it never will be,” he said.
In Ireland, BT Sport and Eir Sport hold the rights to broadcast Europa League games, meaning Irish fans of Manchester United and Southampton will have to be subscribers to watch the games. Cork City is also currently part of the league.
BT Sport also holds the rights to show UFC fights in Ireland.
Bill Blake, head of media content with Virgin Media, said viewing figures for the channels were declining, and the Europa League audience on those channels was small.
Instead, Virgin has signed a long-term deal with Sky Sports that will run until 2020.
That deal includes a new station, Sky Sports Mix, which will replace Setanta Sports – now Eir Sports –- in Virgin’s basic TV pack and will show live soccer from Spain’s La Liga, FIFA World Cup 2018 qualifiers, and a select number of Premier League and Football League matches.
Eir broadband customers, meanwhile, will get access to the Eir Sports pack free of charge as part of a bundle deal.
Although Eir appeared to leave the door open for negotiations last month, Virgin Media doesn’t seem likely to reverse its decision.
“We’ve made our choice and we’re comfortable with it,” said Mr Hanway.
- Carla Reddy
July brought the conclusion of Euro 2016. The championships brought a very busy period for OOH with campaigns such as Lifestyle Sport’s #FootballALLornothing rating very highly in the run up to the campaign and Carlsberg’s ‘Join The Green Army’ rating very highly throughout the matches.
Since then there have been a few big campaign launches, notably McDonald’s Monopoly campaign. The fast-food giant launched its globally successful Monopoly promotion into the Irish market for the first time with a number of large scale playing pieces.
To convey just how big a deal it is that the Monopoly promotion launched in Ireland, the film and print elements of the campaign are centred on huge versions of the board game’s iconic token. The outdoor campaign also continues the ‘unbelievably huge’ theme by featuring oversized game tokens in restaurant scenes and highlights the fantastic prizes that can be won.
The highly anticipated and much talked about reboot of Ghostbusters was released in Irish cinemas on 11th July. In the lead up to the film’s release, Sony Pictures ran an Outdoor promotion that primarily included digital formats and it is the largest digital campaign to date for 2016. Ghostbusters was advertised on DigiTower, Commuter and Retail dPods, Transvision, AerPods, Orbscreens and the Green Screen at Stephen’s Green Shopping Centre. The campaign also incorporated classic OOH formats but the increased digital presence demonstrates the continuous growth of digital OOH in the marketplace.
- Hugh Gleeson
Colm Hayes resigns
After a decade on the air with RTÉ 2 FM, Colm Hayes will be resigning his post.
Colm, who started his career almost 30 years ago in pirate radio before moving to 2FM in 2006 has said, “I’ve loved my time at 2fm, and now is the time to move on.”
After the move of Ryan Tubridy over to Radio 1, it was decided that a change of direction was needed, and 2FM started the move towards a younger listenership. Colm’s replacement on 2FM will be a driving force in this, and has been pegged as comedian Al Porter.
If he is confirmed, Al who has spent a year working alongside Colm on his breakfast show, will have his work cut out for him after 2FM experienced significant losses in the most recent JNLR figures. The report saw a loss of 58,000 listeners since June 2015, and a 1.1% drop in primetime market share.
- Paul Buggy
Paul Cooke resigns
After three years as Managing Director of The Sunday Business Post, Paul Cooke has resigned his position and sold his shareholding in the paper. The move came after the SBP announced it would merge with Webprint, also owned by Key Capital, the SBP’s parent company.
Paul Cooke joined the Sunday Business Post, along with Key Capital, three years ago to help bring it back from collapse after going into examinership in 2013.His time was hugely successful with the paper , and the SBP recorded its first profit, FY15, since emerging from examinership in 2013. This despite declining circulation figures, -3.2% decline in 2015.
In a statement Paul Cooke said that he would be “moving onto new challenges…and looked forward to the paper’s continued growth and success for years to come”.
Growth and success will both be tough challenges for the Sunday Business Post’s next MD, who will be faced with a declining Sunday Paper Market (-6.5% circulation in FY15), and the proliferation of mobile news.
- Paul Buggy