Nielsen Vizu Advertising Outlook: Brand Advertising Moves Online

Earlier this week, Nielsen and Vizu released their 2013 Outlook on Online Advertising (available here). Among other interesting points, the study called out the idea that brand advertising has caught up to direct response in online channels.

Brands are only beginning to maximize the ability of online channels to tell their story. The rich, interactive, engrossing capabilities of web, app and gaming environments make them the perfect place for brands to connect with consumers – alongside the content that already engages users. The best places to tell stories are the places where consumers spend their time, and mobile will continue to draw more attention away from traditional media.

The study also points out the channel confusion between direct response and brand advertisements. Agencies and brand marketers have become so accustomed to the deep metrics associated with direct response, they try to apply those same standards to brand advertising. While online channels do provide more instantaneous access to brand health metrics, advertisers should look at their online brand-building efforts in broader contexts rather than the transactional, one-to-one ROI nature of direct response.

"Any publication out there should have a paid content product"

At Wednesday’s PaidContent Summit, MLB Advanced Media CEO Bob Bowman told the audience that he believes all publications should have free and paid offerings as part of their business models. He asked, “Who are you to say: ‘we don’t want your money?'”

Traditional publishing grew from multiple revenue streams: subscription income, newsstand sales, and paid advertising in various forms. As they’ve transitioned to the Internet it seems that most publications have lost sight of the value of diverse income streams, and have become accustomed to giving away their content for free. As Bowman points out, these publishers leave money on the table by giving away all of their content – the key word being “all.” While there has been much discussion about business models of either ad-supported OR paywalls to monetize content, these options don’t have to be mutually exclusive.

The metered paywall, for example, provides publishers with much more flexibility. We at Selectable believe in providing audiences with microtransaction options to pay for content – engaging with advertising in exchange for temporary access as an alternative to a full, paid subscription. Regardless of approach, publishers would be well-served by reevaluating their options when it comes to combining paid and ad-supported revenue streams.

Watch the full discussion here: