Politicians Bet On Digital; Some Traditional Magazines Continue To Thrive

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Push Comes To Shove

Yesterday’s Iowa caucuses mean every journalist everywhere must find a political angle. Dr. Ben Carson’s campaign was preparing “for a complete domination of mobile in Iowa,” said Ken Dawson, who runs the campaign’s digital marketing, per The Wall Street Journal. Meanwhile Sen. Ted Cruz was betting big on data crunching and granular voter segmenting. Both Carson and Cruz were hoping digital touch points would help them get new voters out to the state caucus, and their vendors were really hoping heavy digital investments would pay off when it comes to the only performance metric political candidates really care about.

Don’t Blink

Independent research from both Twitter and Facebook points to the same principle when it comes to mobile media and advertising: Keep up or get out of the way. In a study with Nielsen, Facebook found that almost half of a video ad’s value is delivered in the first three seconds. Now this is vendor research that, ahem, just happens to vindicate Facebook in the face of constant criticism of its fleeting, silent video product. Twitter worked with Nielsen to demonstrate ROI on ads seen for only one second. Advertisers might take a much longer look than users on this one. More at Ad Age.

The Grind

Glossy print pubs were supposed to go the way of the dodo, so why have a few thrived, even as seemingly every other publisher pivots into digital revenue channels? Jeffrey Trachtenberg of The Wall Street Journal takes a look at Garden & Guns magazine, a niche Southern mag that’s undergone a print resurgence, as a good example. “One of the paths forward is to be niche, with intense reader engagement and a modest cost structure,” said one media consultant. It’s a good reminder that a narrow audience can often be more valuable, though Garden & Guns also operates “an online store, a website for expensive real-estate listings and an event business.” More.

Pub Trouble

On a gloomier note, Condé Nast’s print business is profitable but flat, while digital is (shockingly) still a small percentage of its more than $1 billion in revenue, according to The New York Times. Read it. Media observer Elizabeth Spiers adds her $0.02, saying Condé is “heavily reliant on display and despite the fact that they have the resources to develop and deploy better ad tech, they don’t.” Related: In a piece on difficulties faced by the Guardian, Michael Wolff writes, “There is yet no foreseeable way to cover the costs of digital growth, and digital ‘success’ is wholly measured by growth. Therefore, success is in some way a suicide pill.” Read that.

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