Video is the new HTML — Benedict Evans

Content is moving from the open web to proprietary platforms – Facebook, Google, Snapchat and others – that give both new ways to get users and new formats to curate content. Far more video, far richer ways to show content, video as the new HTML (or the new Flash), and new metrics and dynamics.

Source: Video is the new HTML — Benedict Evans

 

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Each of these segments is a platform with a different model for acquiring users, and each is also a platform with a different content format. The way you get views, the kinds of content that works, and the kind of content that’s possible are different. (Buzzfeed, of course, is amongst other things a machine for understanding and optimising for this environment.)

Within this proliferation, distribution models are moving towards both algorithmic feeds (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram) and manual curation (Snapchat Discover), and content models have on the one hand richer andmore immersive formats (often delivered using video files) and on the other lighter-weight bandwidth-optimised text-based formats (AMP, Facebook Instant Articles). And though AMP and Articles are pitched on speed of loading, they’re also, like video on Facebook or Snapchat, under the control of the underlying platform owner.

Meanwhile, half of the point of both Google’s AMP and Facebook’s Instant Articles (whether implicit or explicit) is that you get the bandwidth saving and the faster rendering by taking out all the ad tech and analytics JavaScript and instead using solutions from Google and Facebook. But equally, at the other end of the bandwidth scale, Snapchat Discover also makes you rely on the platform to tell you what’s going on. In most of these cases, and especially Facebook or Snapchat, the host platform promises better information about use and user (and hence in theory better economics) than you can get from all that JavaScript. Maybe. And in parallel, you get not just new content and metrics but a new ad format, or Snapchat in particular, that can feel far more native and naturally part of the general content experience than any web banner.

That is, these models change how you get audience, what the audience sees, what you know about the audience and how you can make money from it. (And then, just to make life simple, something around a third of mobile web use actually happens as in-app views within Facebook.)

Next, while Facebook has Instant Articles, Google now has Instant Apps. You tap on a link, and ‘native’ (at any rate, not HTML) code instantly (hopefully) appears and runs. You could see this as the return of Java (and Android in a sense *is* Java), or the return of Flash. I think the Flash parallel works much more broadly, too. Snapchat Discover certainly looks like Flash – though technically the delivery format might be h264 video, the actual content looks a lot like what people were doing with Flash 10 years ago – rich, engaging, moving content blending sound, motion, animation and, sometimes, actual live-action footage. We’ve gone from delivering video with Flash to delivering Flash with video. That is, video is a new HTML – a new content delivery format, and not necessarily about live action at all. Instant Apps do the same but with the Android run time instead of Snapchat’s, and though the Instant Apps demo at Google IO showed things that look like apps rather than content, the principle is the same – richer than HTML, but better than going to the app store. But even AMP or Instant Stories bear the same interpretation – we move away from plain old HTML and JavaScript to get better experiences.

One could also suggest that this means video (including GIFs, or whatever format you want to add) acts as a new card format – a way to encapsulate any kind of content and let it travel, shareably, across the Internet. Embedding a GIF or video into a social network feed is, again, an alternative to HTML as a content delivery format, and again, you can embed anything you want, including ads.

//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js","url":"https://twitter.com/SZ/status/716706684836515840","resolvedBy":"twitter","floatDir":null,"authorName":"S\u00FCddeutsche Zeitung","version":"1.0","resolved":true,"type":"rich","providerName":"Twitter","providerUrl":"https://twitter.com"}” data-block-type=”22″>

This also points to another proliferation – metrics. When Snapchat says it has ’10bn daily video views’, wha does that mean and what can one compare it with? How does one think about auto-playing video? What if the user doesn’t hear the sound, or if there is no sound? One certainly can’t compare it to TV viewing – or at least, only in terms of overall time spent on exactly the same basis as Facebook or any other piece of content. YouTube is at least conceptually the same form as TV, but Snapchat really isn’t. And of course, it’s the platform owners themselves who device and report the metrics.

Extending this issue, if one cannot compare time spent, it’s also tough to compare ad spend. Should time spent on a ‘video’ platform whose views are mostly silent, mostly scrolled past and mostly skipped count the same as time watching a hit show on a TV? How about time spent on a TV show playing on a screen on the wall while the family look at rich, engaging and interactive content (delivered using h264) on their smartphones?  (And what, skipping forward a bit, should one think about the value and engagement of ads in VR?)

Conversely, this also makes me feel that mobile ad blocking is going to become even more problematic. Facebook has been the world’s biggest ad-blocker for a long time, just as it’s one of the world’s biggest mobile web browsers. But if a platform sends me encrypted data from a single IP, that may be just a single h264 stream, that happens to have an ad somewhere within it, that’s then rendered in a proprietary runtime on the device, how on earth can one strip that out? The biggest impact of any ad-blocking that does happen may be to drive content owners further away from the open web.

One of my frameworks for thinking about mobile is that we’re looking for another runtime – somewhere to build experiences on mobile that comes after the web and mobile apps – and that that new runtime will probably comes with new engagement and discovery models and possibly new revenue models too. It’s pretty obvious that this is a useful way to look at Google Assistant or Facebook’s Bots platform, but it applies to content as much as it does to code per se: Snapchat is just as much a development platform as Wechat, you just have to look at it from the right angle. The screen itself is the runtime, and the richer and more native you can be to that the better.

Vélo d’appartement en réalité virtuelle pour voyager via Google Street

Source: Vélo d’appartement en réalité virtuelle pour voyager

Après la réalité augmentée et la route à moto, la réalité virtuelle et la route, en vélo d’appartement. Il est certain que faire du vélo d’appartement est une bonne façon de faire du sport, du cardio dans ce cas précis, primordial à une bonne santé et ce sans devoir sortir de chez soi, afin de gagner du temps ou même d’aller outre le climat extérieur. Mais l’un des points noirs est malheureusement que l’on peut vite s’ennuyer du fait du manque intense de véritable paysage à contempler pendant notre « route », s’installe alors une monotonie qui peut pousser à vite abandonner le vélo d’appartement, mais la réalité virtuelle va venir au secours de ce manque.  

C’est ainsi que Aaron Puzey a décidé de remplacer intelligemment le vélo d’appartement face à la télévision et ses programmes douteux pour le vélo d’appartement interactif avec un casque de réalité virtuelle, ici le casque de Samsung, le Gear VR. Dans cette application, un capteur Bluetooth mesure la vitesse à laquelle il pédale, grâce à ce système l’application peut afficher sur l’écran des paysages issus de Google Street View en fonction de la vitesse et des mouvements de tête du cycliste en herbe.

Aaron Puzey a choisi ici de représenter la Grande Bretagne et s’est donc en reprenant des images de Google Street View que l’on peut via l’application parcourir les rues de la Grande Bretagne tout en pédalant dans notre appartement. On pourra traverser le pays du pudding du nord au sud sur près de 1 400 kilomètres, le rendu final de l’image, qui est un collage de huit images, n’est bien sûr pas totalement parfait, certains éléments sont d’ailleurs un peu déformés. Mais le rendu est tout de même de bonne facture et la sensation de dépaysement est très présente, on peut même ressentir une certaine nausée dans un rond point ou dans un virage serré.

Vélo réalité virtuelle

A l’heure d’aujourd’hui, le 9 août très exactement après 59 jours de vélo d’appartement, Aaron Puzey était rendu à Manchester dans son petit voyage, la moitié du parcours entier et il a décidé récemment, depuis mai dernier, de retranscrire son parcours en vidéo en expliquant sur sa chaîne YouTube son parcours avec une vidéo tous les 100 kilomètres, vous pouvez regarder une de ses vidéos ci-dessous et ainsi voir un peu le rendu de l’application. Aaron Puzey a aussi annoncé qu’il ne s’arrêterait pas là et créera peut être de nouveau parcours dans d’autres pays comme le Japon par exemple.

Il faut avouer que le rendu n’est pas très qualitatif et on est loin d’un service pouvant être vraiment commercialisé, mais si le créateur de l’application pense qu’il y a un filon à travailler il pourra sûrement se tourner vers des entreprises plus professionnelles ou même un crowdfunding sur Kickstarter par exemple.

Nous vous laissons voir le rendu et la petite aventure d’Aaron Puzey dans cette vidéo ci-dessous, vous pouvez aussi le suivre sur sa chaîne YouTube ici, en tout cas la réalité virtuelle,comme la réalité augmentée, montre qu’elle peut aussi nous faire un peu chauffer les muscles des jambes.

Facebook, Twitter play different roles in connecting mobile readers to news | Pew Research Center

Source: Facebook, Twitter play different roles in connecting mobile readers to news | Pew Research Center

Facebook sends by far the most mobile readers to news sites of any social media site, while Twitter mobile users spend more engaged time with news content, according to a new Pew Research Center analysis of audience behavior metrics from 30 news sites. This gap holds true for both longer and shorter news articles.

Overall, our analysis of nearly 75,000 articles finds that mobile users spend more engaged time with long-form (1,000 words or more) than short-form (101-999 word) news stories – 123 seconds compared with 57 – and this gap holds true across all the different ways visitors arrive at news articles. The willingness of a mobile user to stay with a lengthier article on a small-screen device may have some implications for the future of long-form pieces and, in particular, the kind of long-form journalism that some publishers are investing in. While social media sites send the greatest amount of traffic to longer news stories (as well as shorter ones), the average engaged time from these readers is below that of other referral types like email links, links from within the same website and even search. However, a deeper look within the mix of social media sites reveals differences in the portion and engagement of their referrals.

Facebook sends the vast majority of social media traffic to these news stories: 82% of the social traffic to longer stories and 84% of the social traffic to shorter news articles. Twitter, on the other hand, accounts for just 16% of referrals to longer articles from social sites and 14% for shorter.

But mobile users arriving at these news stories from Twitter spend more time there than those from Facebook: an average of 133 seconds for longer content and 58 seconds for shorter content, compared with 107 seconds and 51 seconds respectively for those arriving from Facebook. Readers coming from Tumblr, meanwhile, spend the greatest amount of time on both the longer (150 seconds on average) and shorter (65 seconds) articles in this study, while those coming from Reddit fall roughly in the middle of the pack, averaging103 seconds for longer articles and 55 seconds for shorter articles.

These differences in engaged time from social media referrals are another example of the unique ways users connect with news on each social media site. In other research, we have found that even though the same portions (63%) of Facebook and Twitter users get news on the sites, there are noteworthy differences between the two. Twitter users are about twice as likely as Facebook users to say they follow breaking news there (59% vs. 31%). And they are more likely than Facebook users to directly follow news organizations, reporters and commentators (46% vs. 28%). Twitter users also report regularly seeing news about four topics at higher rates than Facebook users: sports, business, international affairs and national government and politics.

Research aimed specifically at connections to political news in social media suggests that, in contrast to our findings about engaged time with articles, Facebook users display greater engagement with each other and within the platform itself. About three-in-ten Facebook users (28%) comment on posts about government and politics and 43% “like” these Facebook posts. That compares with 13% of Twitter users who reply to tweets about government and politics and 17% who “favorite” them. What’s more, Facebook users aremore likely to say they have learned about the presidential election in the past week on Facebook (52%) than Twitter users are to say they have learned about it on Twitter (43%).

When it comes to how news from these social sites fits into one’s overall media diet, both Facebook and Twitter serve as important sources of news for a solid portion of users, but for each only a small core consider it the most important source. Four-in-ten Twitter and Facebook news users say their respective sites are an important way they get news, but only a small share describe them as the most important way they get news: 9% of Twitter news users and 4% of Facebook news users.

Big Data: How Valuable Is Your Marketing Data?

Source: Big Data: How Valuable Is Your Marketing Data?

Research from Dun & Bradstreet’s B2B Marketing Data Report 2016 has revealed gaping holes in B2B marketing databases. In a study of 695 million records in B2B companies’ databases, inaccuracies were found in over 70% of the records.

  • 87% lacked revenue information
  • 86% had no employee information
  • 82% had no website information
  • 77% were missing industry information
  • 62% did not contain phone numbers
  • 45% were missing contacts job titles

The following are some of the primary reasons that you should prioritise clean data over big data to optimise the value of your sales leads.

Focus on Selling

So much time is wasted in organisations looking for the right data.

When your sales reps are equipped with thorough, clean data, they can focus their time on converting prospects into buyers. In contrast, it takes time to work through the issues created by bad data.

The same can be said for marketing departments when they are trying to guide customers down the sales path, or creating customer loyalty programs.

Imagine a rep opening a contact profile in a database and realising that a digit is missing on the phone number or an important line is missing on an address.

These missing items impede the rep’s ability to optimise his workflow and begin the selling process. The distraction also takes away from your team member’s focus on optimising presentation and closing stages.

58% of Chief Marketing Officers (CMOs) say email marketing, search engine optimisation (SEO), search engine marketing (SEM), and mobile are the main areas that big data is having the largest impact on their marketing programs.

image: http://cdn2.business2community.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/Big-Data-Impact-for-a-CMO.jpg.jpg

big-data-marketing

Source: Big Data and the CMO: What’s Changing for Marketing Leadership?

More Targeted Appointment Setting

Clean data is more useful in landing appointments with high-potential buyers. It is difficult for a person to make targeted prospecting calls when profiles are incomplete or inaccurate. A smaller amount of high-quality sales leads improves targeting capabilities.

With quality data, reps can better detect which contacts offer the right opportunities to sell the right solutions. Having in-depth information on B2B buyers is especially important, as your reps need the ability to tailor messages to specific interests.

In another study of 50,000 US and international marketing, sales and business professionals Ascend2 discovered that:

“35 percent of those surveyed said the biggest barrier to lead generation success is the lack of quality data.”

Save Time and Money

The efficiency with which reps can connect with top decision makers and sell is much lower with bad data. Instead of investing the majority of time preparing and delivering sales messages, reps are taking the time to sort through problematic prospect details.

With clean data, you eliminate wasted steps that cost your organisation significantly.

image: http://cdn2.business2community.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/sales-leads2.jpg.jpg

Sales leads

Better Results and Financial Performance

Most importantly, clean data gives your team the best opportunities to optimise conversion rates, selling cycle times and average deal sizes.

Think of this scenario as similar to a doctor going into a waiting room after reviewing a patient’s file. The more thorough and accurate the nurse’s notes, the greater the doctor’s ability to effectively and efficiently detect and resolve a patient’s health problem.

Better sales results drive optimised financial performance as well. It is easier to forecast sales accurately, which enables you to better align budgets with revenue projections.

Conclusion

Big data doesn’t do much good if all you have is a cesspool of problems. However, ample data that is clean and useful is of tremendous value to your team. Internal Results has expertise in data acquisition.

We maintain accurate data on over 61 million decision makers in more than 20 countries. Over 500,000 records are updated every month to ensure they are clean and accurate.

Whether you are looking at entering new markets, or geographical territories, contact us today to discuss why our expertise in clean data is a perfect match for the sales skills of your organisation.
Read more at http://www.business2community.com/brandviews/internal-results/big-data-valuable-marketing-data-01621555#u4gesLukXskfSDQW.99

Shared Media Example: Paul Smith for Apple Music

“From the album artwork to the friendships I’ve built over the years with musicians, it’s all a part of my creative process”

– Paul Smith

Screenshot 2016-08-10 06.58.30

Let Paul guide you through his record collection as he curates3 special playlists for Apple Music, while exploring the role music plays in his creative process.

Paul’s trio of themed playlists is also accompanied by a short film shot in various locations around Notting Hill including Paul’s regular spot of record shopping, Rough Trade, and his office in Covent Garden.

Screenshot 2016-08-10 07.03.10

Most of these may seem pretty obvious but they remind me of all my years spent travelling around the world on trains and planes gradually growing the business from just a little shop in Nottingham, England to selling in more thanseventy different countries.

I have lots of personal connections with people on the playlist. From Van Morrison who bought my house from me, to Led Zeppelin and Jimmy Page who I recently collaborated with, to Bowie and Patti who have both been good friends throughout my life.

I don’t have as much time as I used to to unearth new music and so these are just great songs that I always come back to.

How CNN juggles different mobile chat apps to cover the Olympics

Masuma Ahuja, a social producer, is creating content for both Kik and Facebook Messenger down in Rio.

Source: How CNN juggles different mobile chat apps to cover the Olympics

Masuma Ahuja’s feet may be on the ground in Rio de Janeiro, but she has to be in several places at once for CNN. As the social apps producer in charge of the news publisher’s Line, Kik and Facebook Messenger accounts, Ahuja isn’t just responsible for getting content onto these new platforms: She is also figuring out the next phase of CNN’s presence on them, trying to get people to weigh in on what reporters show them, and when. (She also produces social content for CNN’s Snapchat, Instagram and Twitter accounts).

“This is one of those experiments to get people into a bigger story,” Ahuja said.

Since the start of the Olympics, Ahuja has been acting as several different sets of eyes and ears through both platforms. On Friday, she took Kik users on a choose-your-own-adventure tour of Copacabana beach. The same day, she showed CNN’s Facebook Messenger followers around inside an official Olympics fan zone during the opening ceremony. Deciding where to publish each experience fell to Ahuja.  

“There are different audiences on these different platforms,” Ahuja said. “On Kik, we’re trying to explain what’s happening [down here] to 13- to 17-year-olds.”

Facebook Messenger’s audience is different, Ahuja said, with a wider array of interest than Kik’s. CNN also publishes more content on Messenger every day. But the goal on both apps is the same: to publish content its users can lean into.

On Kik, CNN wants to bring users along on a step-by-step tour.
On Kik, CNN wants to bring users along on a step-by-step tour.

Mobile messaging app use has grown substantially since the Winter Olympics were held in Sochi two years ago. In the United States alone, nearly half of all mobile phone users use apps like Facebook Messenger, WeChat or Kik to communicate, according to eMarketer; that total is up 58 percent from 83 million in 2014. In countries like Japan, mobile messaging is even more widespread.

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1xthzZwQ1-KN8CZrunFafVLmbuG6DO5qnfyck7KNKzk8/pubchart?oid=1295561127&format=interactive

As a result, publishers have been trying to figure out how to connect with these apps’ users. First came chatbots, automated pieces of software that serve up digital content based on user queries. Everybody from Funny or Die to The Wall Street Journal built one, including CNN. Its first chatbot was built by Outbrain, an article-distribution widget used primarily to circulate sponsored content.

But with bots proliferating, some publishers have toned down the automation, put their accounts in reporters’ hands and asked followers what they’d like to see next. “We have boots on the ground around the world,” said Samantha Barry, CNN’s head of social news. “As we experiment on new platforms there is an increasing need for a social presence to bring our users directly into the live events.”

CNN first tried this at the Republican National Convention, where Ahuja introduced viewers to convention attendees and tried to give people a sense of the “sights and sounds” of Cleveland.

Down in Rio, CNN isn’t the only publisher letting users shape the Olympics coverage they get. The New York Times, for example, used Twilio, a text-messaging service, to build a tool that allowed one of its sports reporters to text readers from Rio, sending different messages to different groups of readers based on how they responded to his questions.

Ahuja’s Kik coverage works in a similar way. She asks users what they want to see as she shows them around a part of Rio. While she sees her work being in the early stage, she expects it will become a regular part of CNN’s coverage of big events.

Until it becomes a staple, Ahuja isn’t under any pressure to file a set number of stories while she’s down in Rio. “When it feels right, we put something up,” she said.

It’s not clear how many people are engaging with these new storytelling experiments. CNN declined to share any numbers related to its mobile messaging efforts, saying only that they are “happy” with how the program is going so far.

Similarly, it’s hard to say whether chat apps will ever become meaningful sources for news. After Facebook rolled out a bot platform for Messenger this spring, few publishers seized on the chance to build one for the social network.

But while that plays itself out, Ahuja will be there, offering readers a say in what they see. “It’s me, on the ground,” Ahuja said.

How to create winning ad copy using a scientific approach | Search Engine Watch – marketingIO

Source: searchenginewatch.comA nice review of the infamous MECLABS formula. NEW: Experience Remarkable Planning Accuracy With New, FREE Growth Hacking Tool. Go here: http://goo.gl/UjcA8x

Source: How to create winning ad copy using a scientific approach | Search Engine Watch – marketingIO

Source: searchenginewatch.com

A nice review of the infamous MECLABS formula.

 

NEW: Experience Remarkable Planning Accuracy With New, FREE Growth Hacking Tool. Go here: http://goo.gl/UjcA8x

If video is the future of the internet, here’s what brands need to know | Econsultancy

Source: If video is the future of the internet, here’s what brands need to know | Econsultancy

Few underestimate the power of online video. Its importance has been apparent since at least 2006, when Google acquired YouTube in a deal worth north of $1.5bn.

But a lot has changed since then. So much, in fact, that it’s worth asking if video is effectively the future of the internet. The answer: perhaps.

If it is, here’s what brands need to know.

Video is changing the face of non-video services

One of the strongest pieces of evidence to support the notion that video is the future of the internet is the impact it’s having on some of the most popular online services that, unlike YouTube, didn’t start out with a video focus.

For example, when Instagram, which rose to prominence as a social photo sharing app,announced a new 60-second video limit earlier this year, the company revealed that the time its users spend watching videos has increased by more than 40% in the past six months.

There’s no reason to believe that trend has stopped and, while it’s still a popular photo sharing app, video is increasingly becoming a bigger and bigger part of the Instagram content mix.

The impact of video is even more apparent when looking at Instagram’s owner, Facebook.

The world’s largest social network is now one of the most popular platforms for sharing video, and a real threat to YouTube.

But Facebook doesn’t just have the potential to overtake YouTube; it could find that it is overtaken by video itself.

Nicola Mendelsohn, Facebook’s VP for EMEA, made headlines recently at a conference in London when she predicted that the social network would “probably” be “all video” in the next five years.

“If I was having a bet, it’d be video, video, video,” she told the audience. Why? Video packs a lot of punch…

The best way to tell stories in this world – where so much information is coming at us – actually is video. It commands so much information in a much quicker period so actually the trend helps us digest more of the information in a quicker way.

Video ads are big, but…

For brands looking to take advantage of mobile, video advertising is the low-hanging fruit.

While digital video ads – at least the good ones – aren’t repurposed TV spots, they’re the easiest way for brands to dip their toes in the online video waters.

But the formats most familiar to brand marketers, like pre-rolls, aren’t exactly loved by consumers, and there’s that darned issue of viewability.

So it’s no surprise that many brands are going beyond video ads. For example, brands are creating original content for platforms like Instagram, including mini-series, andencouraging consumers to create content as part of contests.

They’re also working with influencers to co-create content, and using product videos to increase conversion rates and basket sizes.

In short, there are plenty of ways brands can embrace online video and while some are associated with advertising, some of the most effective aren’t.

Live video is not a fad

The biggest trend in online video recently has been live video.

Numerous brands have embraced Meerkat and Twitter-owned Periscope, as well as Facebook Live. Facebook is investing heavily in Live, and it appears to be paying off.

According to Facebook’s Mendelsohn, Live has been “a bigger, faster phenomenon” than the company expected, and engagement on Live videos is “much higher,” with Live videos receiving ten times as many comments as pre-recorded videos.

While live video’s rise is most evident on social platforms like Facebook, brands should keep in mind that live video isn’t exclusive to these platforms, as evidenced by Amazon’s Style Code Live, a live 30-minute show the online retail giant produces and streams daily Monday through Friday.

It features an interactive player that highlights products as they are featured in the show, giving viewers the ability to more easily purchase them.

Mobile isn’t a barrier

If there were reasons to be skeptical about video’s potential, one of the biggest might have been concerns over mobile performance, as well as bandwidth and data utilisation.

But advances in mobile technology and reduced data costs mean that widespread mobile usage isn’t a permanent impediment to the growth of video on the internet.

The statistics back this up: Facebook’s Mendelsohn revealed that the company’s users are watching an average of 100m hours of video every day on mobile devices.

Sound is optional

Video has traditionally been an audiovisual medium, but the internet is changing that.

On Twitter and Facebook, videos autoplay without sound, challenging brands to find ways to deliver video content that’s compelling even without audio. One of the moreincreasingly common techniques: texted video.

Video is for more than big brands

Content is king, and producing high-quality video content can require a royal budget. But costs are coming down and companies have more tools than ever to create video content without spending five, six or seven figures.

For instance, there are plenty of services that offer stock video, and video platforms are increasingly aiming to make themselves accessible to even the smallest of companies.

Just recently, YouTube launched YouTube Director, a free app that provides templates and editing tools, and is even offering businesses that spend as little as $150 [≈ Household daily income, 2011] on YouTube advertising the services of a filmmaker who will come to their location to film an ad spot.

New technologies will change the game

New technologies, such as virtual reality, are offering new opportunities for brands to create compelling original video content.

Naturally, some of these technologies are expensive – pro VR cameras can cost tens of thousands of dollars – but some, like drones, don’t require mega-brand-sized budgets and they can still captivate.

Drone-captured video, for instance, has been used to great effect by small businesses like Capt. Dave’s Dolphin & Whale Watching Safari, which has racked up millions of views on YouTube.

There are riches in niches

The internet, as compared to mediums like radio and television, is the most niche-friendly, and given the appeal of video content, it’s not surprising that digital video is giving birth to and supporting lucrative niches.

One of the best examples of this is Twitch. Launched in 2011, the video game-focused streaming service was acquired by Amazon in 2014 for nearly $1bn ≈ net worth of J.K. Rowling, author of the Harry Potter series, 2011

≈ box office sales of ET: The Extra-Terrestrial, 1982
≈ box office sales of The Exorcist, 1973
≈ box office sales of Jaws, 1975

“>[≈ box office sales of The Jungle Book, 1967].

Last year, its users watched 459,000 years of video, and that number should only rise aseSports continues to grow.

For brands, there are great opportunities to get involved in these niches through advertising, sponsorship and original content.

The way journalists engage with their audiences continues to evolve in the face of technological disruption: State of the Media 2016 Report | Cision

Cision’s State of the Media 2016 Report highlights the technologies and trends impacting the media and shows how you can leverage them to improve your media relations.

Source: White Paper: State of the Media 2016 Report | Cision`

The state of the media in 2015 was social, mobile and multiplatform. But as the way journalists engage with their audiences continues to evolve in the face of technological disruption, the most productive relationships between the media and communication professionals remain founded on the fundamentals which have always underpinned public relations best practices.

Informed by a survey of 346 journalists, bloggers and influencers and supplemented with insights from Cision’s Media Research Team, Cision’s State of the Media 2016 Report takes a look back at the trends that shaped2015 and anticipates the next public relations challenges.

The Changing Media Landscape: 2014-2015

Though mobile compatibility and the concept of the multimedia journalist continue to dominate the world of journalism, other popular trends from 2014 have lost momentum, according to findings from our 2016 survey.

When identifying the most important media trends, both Canadian and U.S. journalists awarded the top two spots to multimedia journalists and mobile compatibility but have different takes on which is most important.

The top 3 most important media trends
Screenshot 2016-08-09 08.53.23

Nearly 29 percent of U.S. respondents view multimedia journalists as the most important trend, receiving only slightly more votes than mobile compatibility (25.9 percent). Rounding out the top four are video- and image-based content (11.9 percent)and social media as a journalistic resource (11.1 percent).

Of Canadian respondents, 31.2 percent rank mobilecompatibility as most important, which puts it about 9 percentage points ahead of multimedia journalists(22.6 percent). As in the U.S., video- and image-based content ranks third with 11.8 percent of journalistscalling it the most important media trend. Influencer marketing rounds out the top four at 7.5 percent.


Mobile compatibility…there’s still work

Of all respondents, a plurality (26.6 percent) feel mobile compatibility is the most important media trend. This valuation of mobile compatibility is more than lip service.

Nearly 92 percent of respondents indicate their media organization has already adopted a mobile-compatible Web design or is currently working on one.

Has your news organization adopted a mobile-compatible Web design?Screenshot 2016-08-09 08.53.32

The move of outlets to a mobile-friendly experience follows a rapid adoption of mobile technology. A study released by Pew Research Center reveals that between 2011 and 2015, the number of American adults who owned a smartphone increased from 35 percent to 64 percent.

Though mobile adopters make up a strong majority of the population, outlets need to do a better job of creating mobile experiences, says freelance writer andAdWeek contributor Kimberlee Morrison:

“Mobile compatibility is crucial for the evolution of digital media and for organizations looking to connect with young digital natives,” Morrison says. “(Though) more people use mobile devices to connect to the Internet, the mobile Web experience is still pretty mediocre.”


The increasing importance of multimedia

Multimedia, a trend related to the mobile experience, holds strong since last year’s survey. Two years running, video- and image-based content (11.48 percent) have had the third-most respondents say it was the most important trend for journalists, slotting behind “Multimedia journalists” (25.8 percent) this year.

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Which media trends do journalists find most important?

Nearly half of journalists regularly use video- and image-based content in their work, with 13.5 percent saying they always do and 35.4 percent saying theyoften do. Just 10.9 percent say they never leverage video- and image-based content.

The multimedia content the journalists use most often comes from an internal resource. Of respondents, 42.7 percent say their organization’s staff photographer or videographer provides it, and 26.3 percent say the journalists do.

Carol Ladwig of the Seattle area Snoqualmie Valley Record draws a logical connection between the second- and third-ranked trends by pointing out that “video- and image-based and multimedia (content) all provide more access points into a story, for more diverse readership.”


Native advertising falling out of favor?

Though mobile and multimedia continue to hold the limelight, positivity towards native advertising is dimming.

Last year, 43 percent of respondents identified their stance toward native advertising as being either somewhat or very positive. This year’s results, however, show a shift in that sentiment with only 24.6 percent identifying as being either somewhat or very positive about native advertising.

The changing perception of native advertising
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Of the remainder of 2016 respondents, 47.1 percent are neutral and 28.3 percent are somewhat or very negative. Of 2015 respondents, 34 percent were neutral and 23 percent were somewhat or very negative.

This may be a demonstration of matter over mind given that last year the majority of respondents predicted that native advertising and sponsored content would provide the most revenue in 2015.

However, more than half of respondents (56.3 percent) say traditionally advertising actually generated the most revenue in 2015. Only 22.7 percent of respondents say native advertising and sponsored content. The remainder of the sample says the most revenue came from “Other” means (18.3 percent) and paywalls and subscriptions (2.6 percent).

Despite the lack of positivity in native advertising’s 2016 numbers, respondents from the digital side strongly favor native advertising and its revenue-generating power.

“Native advertising is an important revenue source for online media,” says Erin McGann of the Canada-based Erin at Large blog.

Cision’s complementary survey of communication professionals finds that one of the major struggles for communication professionals in2015 was having to pay for media coverage.

For example, Winston Ma, PR and digital media specialist for The Travel Corporation, indicates that media “requesting payment for placement and/or [giving] current advertisers preference for editorial coverage” has often left him “being ‘shut out’ as there was already a competitor paying for the spot.”

Social Steady as a Reporting Tool

How do journalists use social media?

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Although social media in the newsroom ranked in the middle of the pack in terms of overall importance, it’s clear social media is still an effective tool.

For one, Brian Staker, a freelance writer who often contributes toSalt Lake City Weekly, calls social media “essential as a journalistic resource.”

Just shy of three in four respondents used social platforms to build relationships (73.3 percent) and for marketing and promotion (72.5 percent). Nearly two-thirds (64.3 percent) use social media to monitor public opinion.

As Sarah Arney of the Stanwood Comano News in Washington notes, “You can’t deny social media as a way to find out what people are thinking.”

Social media also acts as a common means of finding and building stories with 51.8 percent, and 20 percent using the medium to source stories and receive pitches, respectively.


Twitter and Facebook meet journalist needs

Despite Twitter’s decreased revenue and lagging user growth, 39.9 percent of respondents say the microblogging platform is their most valuable social channel.

Which social network do you feel will grow in value next year?
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Twitter actively courted publishers in 2015 with the introduction of new tools within the platform like Curator and Moments that allow content creators to easily filter, curate and embed tweets on websites, mobile apps and television.

Given these enhancements, it is unsurprising that 21.6 percent of respondents view Twitter as the social platform most likely to grow in value to journalists over the next year, edging out Instagram (19 percent), Facebook (18.7 percent), Periscope (10.6 percent)and LinkedIn (10.3 percent).

Not to be outdone, Facebook launched several tools of its own to encourage and maximize journalistic endeavors within the platform. In May, the company rolled out Instant Articles, a native hosting platform that gives publishers the option to post articles directly within the Facebook app, leveraging the network’s audience and ad space.

Facebook then released Signal in September, which provides journalists with curation tools to help them sift through the noise on Facebook and Instagram for compelling content and story ideas.

Clearly, both Facebook and Twitter are capitalizing on the growing need for these types of apps from within the media industry. Our survey data backs up this trend; 56.1 percent of respondents say they have leveraged user-generated content in their stories more in the last two to three years.


New social channels to watch

Newly-launched live-streaming apps like Periscope and Meerkat made a splash in 2015, with the latter generating significant buzz at SXSW Interactive. However, only one respondent (less than 1 percent) of our survey found either platform useful in 2015, but the future is a different story.

Just over one in 10 respondents (10.6 percent) say Periscope’s value will grow in 2016, slightly outpacing more traditional social titans like LinkedIn (10.3 percent) and YouTube (7.7 percent). One percent of respondents believed Meerkat will grow in value.

According to one broadcast journalist:

“Periscope is gaining traction. It gives a unique behind-the-scenes feel at times and it also allows you to reach viewers worldwide, not just in your market. It also provides an opportunity to go LIVE when there is no newscast. That’s big in a world that doesn’t wait for information to be released on the 5 or 6 p.m. news.”


The value and costs of social media

Perhaps the biggest boon social media provides has less to do with technological innovation and more to do with audience, specifically the coveted millennial demographic.

An anonymous print journalist notes:

“Current subscribers to our once weekly community newspaper are older. Driving interest via social media can effectively engage a younger audience and garner more subscriptions.”

Another anonymous community newspaper staffer says:

Are social platforms a reliable resource for information?
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“Social media is replacing newspapers as (the) preferred source of news and information for the 18-34 demographic.”

However, for all its benefits, growing reliance on social media was not without costs. Several respondents, including Deborah Stever of The Deposit Courier in New York, cited “incorrect information posted on social media” as the biggest obstacle journalists faced in 2015.

Others feel social media places an additional burden on an already demanding workload. One PBS producer says social media “forced (journalists) to do more for each story while staffing was cut.” Additionally, some find the “Buzzfeedization” of news frustrating and feel they have to compete with social media for reader engagement and page views.

Be right? Or be first?

Regardless, social media is firmly embedded into the newsroom and here to stay. Yet, an important question still looms: are social platforms a reliable resource for information? Our respondents are split on the issue, virtually down the middle, with only a slight majority (50.9 percent) saying it is reliable.

An anonymous social proponent from a community newspaper states, “During breaking news events, knowing whom to follow can help you find accurate and reliable sources and data faster than any other media source.” This places the onus on journalists to sift through the noise and find factual information.

Those with greater reservations fear that social media pressures journalists to post first and fact-check later, despite 88.1 percent of our respondents citing being right as paramount to being first.

A reporter from an alternative newspaper in North Carolina laments “everyone wants to be the first to publish a story. Fact-checking and impartiality have taken a back seat to urgency, unfortunately.”

A communication officer in Canada says “accuracy of content” is a major concern for her.

“Media often contact mayors from nearby municipalities to comment on issues in our jurisdiction, leading to requests for clarification or retraction,” Carter says.

 The PR-Journalist Relationship

True or False: As a journalist, I rely on communication professionals less than I have in the last 2 to 3 years

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Given how much technology has changed content creation and the way people consume news, perhaps the most surprising survey result involves the relationship between journalists and PR.

In short, their working relationships remain business as usual in the face of this evolving landscape.

Two-thirds of respondents report that their reliance on communication professionals has remained unchanged over the past two or three years. While 10.3 percent say they rely on communication professionals more now than before, 17.4 percent say they rely on communication professionals less. The remainder does not work with communication professionals.


What journalists find valuable

When it comes to the resources communication professionals provide, our survey found that journalists preferred press releases and story leads (42.3 percent), expert interviews (19.6 percent) and products to review (17.1 percent).

On this question, the U.S. and Canadian respondents have differing opinions. While press releases comfortably lead as the resource most journalists prefer, the second and third preferences have significant disparity.

Screenshot 2016-08-09 08.54.48Slightly more than one in five U.S journalists (23.2 percent) say expert interviews are the most valuable resource, compared to 16.1 percent of Canadianjournalists.

Conversely, a quarter of Canadian journalists say products to review are the most valuable PR resource, compared to just 10 percent of U.S. journalists.

The least valuable PR resource, according to both groups, is assistance in story writing, grabbing 55 percent of responses.


Media outreach best practices

How do you prefer to be pitched by communication professionals?
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Ninety-three percent of journalists cite email as the best pitching medium. When asked what medium they consider off limits in terms of pitching, phone (37 percent) and public social media pitches (30.2 percent) lead the way.

None of the surveyed journalists find email an unacceptable pitching method, and just over a quarter(27.4 percent) say no platform is off limits for pitching.

However, despite agreeing that she finds email to be most effective when pitching a story, Lisa Kovitz, executive vice president and media strategist at global communications firm Edelman, cites “getting attention during cluttered news environments” as one of her biggest struggles.

Once they receive a pitch, what makes journalists follow up? In the U.S., 54.1 percent say they will pursue a pitch that is thorough and has all the details a journalist may need.

Think about the who, what, where, when and why questions each journalist likes to address in their stories, and include those dates, times, prices, availability and data in a pitch.

The response to the same question is similar in Canada, where 50.5 percent emphasize the importance of detailed pitches. A quarter of all respondents say they will pursue a pitch when the communication professional has researched their work, interests and strengths.

Thirteen percent of journalists will follow through with a pitch if there is an established relationship between the journalist and the communication professional. Interestingly enough, the promise of exclusivity ranks last, with only 7.5 percent of all respondents citing it as important.


Room for improvement

Which of the following do communication professionals need to improve on?

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Though the relationship between journalists and communication professionals has largely remained the same over the past few years, journalists say communication professionals can improve in four main areas.

In a virtual tie after each respondent chose three areas for improvement are “Tailoring the pitch to suit my beat/coverage” (78.5 percent) and “Researching/understanding my media outlet” (77.3 percent). “Providing me with information and expert sources” finishes third at 42.3 percent and“Respecting my pitching preferences” places fourth at35 percent.

The common theme of the top four areas for improvement is research, especially in terms of the journalist and outlet that communication professionals attempt to engage. A comprehensive media database like Cision’s provides accurate outlet and reporter information as well as real-time looks at the topics journalists cover.

Rounding out the list of areas for improvement are “Sharing my stories on social media” (26.5 percent), “Being available on request” (24.2 percent) and “Other” (16.2 percent).

This insight from journalists shows that, despite technological changes, there hasn’t been a huge shift in the way journalists view and work with communication professionals. But, if communication professionals take away one thing from the survey, it should be the notion of going back to PR basics.

A Look Ahead

In summary, 2015 marked the continued growth of multimedia journalism as well as the extent to which that journalism is conducted on mobile platforms. As a result, image- and video-based content has become increasingly central to the way the media industry tells stories.

We fully expect this trend to continue in 2016. One Canadian multimedia journalist foresees “multimedia integration – tying articles, photo galleries, videos, podcasts and social media together to create multimedia rich, comprehensive editorial packages.”

John Dahlia of The Preston County News & Journal expects that even “print will find success promoting more video- and image-based content onto social media platforms.”

We noted that the increasing importance of social media coincided in 2015 with the launch of several new publisher-friendly tools and applications by some of the world’s most important social platforms.

Twitter and Facebook both introduced ways to publish and share content directly, and looking forward to 2016, we expect applications like Periscope, Meerkat and Snapchat to be appealing tools available to multimedia journalists and influencers. Pam Frampton of St. John’s, Newfoundland-based The Telegram agrees and sees a year where “bloggers and twitterjournalism (are) competing with mainstream media.”

But even as social media is increasingly important for content creation, distribution and audience building, we have yet to see a similar social shift in communication between journalists and communication professionals.

We’ve noted that an overwhelming majority of journalists still prefer to be pitched by email and they want comprehensive pitches with necessary details included tailored to their specific needs. In 2016, content will continue to be more important than style when it comes to building productive relationships with media influencers.

Finally, on the topic of advertising, we noted that the predicted dominance of native advertising and sponsored content failed to materialize in 2015 for our group of respondents, at least in terms of perceived revenue. We also saw a definite souring of media professionals’ take on the model.

Despite this, most media professionals still have little doubt that the boom is coming eventually. As Joseph Caouette of the JuneWarren-Nickle’s Energy Group (publishers of Alberta Construction Magazine) puts it, 2016 will see “the continued decline of traditional print revenues” accompanied by the “need to develop more effective forms of online advertising.”

And of course most journalists, including freelance writer and reviewer Logan Harbaugh, expect those new models to take the form of “more paid editorial [and] more native advertising.”

Overall, the media will continue to grapple with new technological platforms as well as the challenges of creating and growing sustainable revenue streams. Lines will continue to blur and the distinctions between traditional media and social media, content and advertising, journalist and brand will all be less noticeable and arguably less important.