Online advertisers in the U.S. will spend more than $1.1 billion on behaviorally targeted online ads this year, up 21.6% over 2009, according to digital marketing research company eMarketer. Spending on behaviorally targeted display ads, presented to online viewers whose interests are identified by Web site or ISP tracking data, will continue to rise by 20% to 25% annually, reaching $2.6 billion by 2014, eMarketer forecast. By then, such ad expenditures will have risen to 19.8% of all online display spending, compared with 14.2% projected for this year. Emarketer noted that increasing concerns over consumer privacy could lead to federal regulation of behaviorally targeted ads. This could result in a “more stable market with clarified rules,” helping to draw more dollars to the channel, according to the company.
Commercial printer and Yellow Pages publisher R.H. Donnelley Corp. has emerged from Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection with a new name: Dex One Corp. The company filed for Chapter 11 protection from creditors last May, after being battered by dwindling Yellow Page advertising sales and crushing debt. Over the eight-month process, the company shed about $6.4 billion in debt and $500 million in annual interest payments. In addition to printing its Dex-branded print Yellow Pages and white pages directories in more than 600 markets, the company runs the local search engine Dexknows.com. Its Business.com unit offers a business search engine and online directory.
Quad/Graphics announced it has agreed to acquire Montreal-based World Color Press in a deal valued at about $1.3 billion. A combined company would have had $5.1 billion in revenue for the year ended Sept. 30, 2009. The printers' chief competi-tor, R.R. Donnelley & Sons, has annual revenue of $11.6 billion. The deal is expected to close this sum-mer. When it is completed, Quad/Graphics, which now is privately owned, will become a publicly traded company with Quad's shareholders controlling 60% of the combined business; World Color shareholders will control the remainder. World Color Press, formerly known as Quebecor World, emerged from bankruptcy protection last year.
The New York Times last month announced plans to implement a paid model for NYTimes.com in 2011. The newspaper had previously implemented a partial pay wall called Times Select in 2005. Times Select was abandoned two years later. The Times said its new approach, termed a “metered model,” will offer users free access to a limited number of articles per month. Users will be charged once they exceed that number. The idea is to preserve enough traffic to maintain an advertising revenue stream and remain visible to search engines but also to generate a new revenue stream from paid content. Subscribers to the print newspaper will still have free access to Web content.
U.S. advertising expenditures are forecast to total $36.8 billion this quarter, down 3% from $38.0 billion for the same period last year, according to Magna, the Interpublic Group of Cos. forecasting unit. However, Magna said, this will be the last quarter of ad spending decline in the current recession. The company based its forecast partly on ad revenue increases in the industrial production and personal consumption sectors, both of which are expected to see resumed growth this year. Political and Olympics advertising will also help stabilize ad revenue this year, according to Magna. Magna also revamped its projections for 2010 as a whole. It forecast a decline in ad revenue of about 0.1% for the year, after previously predicting a decline of 1.3%.
The Wall Street Journal is extending its brand into the travel business. The newspaper officially announced late last month the launch of WSJtravel, which will offer about 50 travel packages to destinations including Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe and South America. “WSJtravel is the latest extension of The Wall Street Journal franchise, and we established this service to offer something truly unique and distinct to travelers,” Imtiaz Patel, VP-group sales and strategy for the Journal, said in a statement. The Journal has joined with Advanced Travel Center to create WSJtravel. The offerings include a wine and food trip to the Napa Valley, a trip to Tuscany featuring a stay in a 1,000-year-old castle and a culinary trip to Vietnam.
Permission-based consumer e-mail lists lead all price declines among sales-lead lists, according to Worldata's Winter 2010 List Price Index, dropping 9.84% from their levels a year ago to an average of $110 per 1,000 names. Among other databases whose prices declined, according to the report, were subscriber lists from controlled-circulation business magazines (down 2.76% to $141 per thousand names), consumer book buyers (off 2.17% to $90), and consumer magazines (down 2.15% to $91). Permission-based b-to-b e-mail list prices were virtually unchanged from a year ago at $284 per thousand contact names. That also was true of paid-circulation business magazine subscriber lists, unchanged at $135 per thousand. The most significant increase in price was among database lists of those who make donations. These saw a 2.47% jump to $83, according to Worldata.
Despite a decline from 2008, b-to-b online marketing totaled about $3 billion last year and is expected to show positive growth this year, according to a new report from consulting firm AMR International. The report projects that b-to-b online marketing spending will increase at a compound annual rate of 12% through 2013. Annual growth in U.S. b-to-b online marketing spending is projected to be 8% this year and to reach 14% in 2012. B-to-b social media spending will grow at an annual average rate of 21% through 2013, AMR projected. B-to-b spending on lead-generation sites is anticipated to grow at 17% in the same time frame.
The Financial Times has acquired Medley Global Advisors, which provides analysis to the financial and investment industries about major policy events driving interest rates, currency and energy markets. The acquisition will enhance the Financial Times' services geared towards global financial institutions and asset managers, including “FTfm,” its fund management supplement, and Money-Media, a provider of online news and commentary for the fund management sector, according to the company.
Digital and direct marketers are planning a ramp-up in hiring this winter, according to Bernhart Associates' latest “Quarterly Digital and Direct Marketing Employment Report.” Forty-six percent of survey respondents indicated they plan to add staff during the first quarter of this year. Moreover, hiring freezes seem to be abating, according to the online survey of 544 agencies and suppliers. Among those companies surveyed, 26% reported they planned a hiring freeze during this quarter, compared with 45% in the fourth quarter of 2009. Also, no agency or supplier that responded to the survey said it expected further layoffs. Among employers who imposed pay cuts last year, 37% said they plan to partially or fully reinstate those wages in 2010. Only 20% said pay cuts will remain in effect for this year, and 43% said they are unsure when salaries will be restored to previous levels.
Research firm Outsell predicts continued declines in U.S. newspapers' print circulation. In its third annual “News Users” report, Outsell forecasts a 3.5% annual drop over the next three years in both daily and Sunday circulations that will lead to just 43 million Sunday newspaper readers in 2012, compared with more than 62 million in the early 1990s. Outsell said digital sources and aggregators such as Google and Yahoo have contributed to the decline. For breaking news, 57% of news users turn to digital sources, up from 33% a few years ago. “Though Google is driving some traffic to newspapers, it's also taking a significant share away. A full 44% of visitors to Google News scan headlines without accessing newspapers' individual sites,” Outsell analyst Ken Doctor said in a statement. Outsell surveyed 2,787 U.S. news consumers for the report.