First, thank you to David Kaplan of AdExchanger for leading last week’s breakfast roundtable on Facebook vs. Google and the battle of advertising platforms. We had a great mix of senior executives from the broadcast, advertising/marketing and media industries attend (sorry, we don’t publicly disclose the attendee list). We discussed how we should be watching the Google vs. Facebook ad platform battle, what the potential impact is on the media/multiscreen industry and which, if either player, will be the ultimate victor. Here are the notes.
- This is a key year for Facebook to overtake Google – Google was 16.5 percent of display market this year and 13.8 last year while Facebook was 14% last year, and is on track to be 16.8% this year.
- Recent Facebook acquisitions have been social related but as the Google battle heats up we may see more ad related technology acquisitions.
- Facebook will use its current more manual targeting tools inside Facebook walls but adopt more algorithm driven targeting tools outside the walls (competing more with Google) so as ads follow you there will be a platform handoff.
- Facebook search is simply broken and if they are going to get serious we’ll have to see a whole new (better) search and/or discovery experience from Facebook.
- Facebook mobile is the key to major revenue growth but how can they do it well? They have with putting ads in the news feed and that can carry over into mobile success
- But what does mobile really mean? A mobile device or mobile browser? Or does mobile mean on-the-go and more location aware? One attendee noted that the ESPN mobile app has 75% of its usage taking place at home. So the mobile discussion turned to be more on being device specific than about mobility.
- Could Facebook and Google focus so much on retargeting and network advertising that they miss the next big 30 second commercial wave
- Is the second screen app the next 30 second commercial? A highly engage, immersive and in-depth experience. To fully leverage the potential of the second screen app experience (and associated habit of using a second device while watching TV), content creators must program around the second experience rather than see it as an add-on. Google seems to be thinking about the second screen app experience quite a bit based on their experiments (and Google TV) while Facebook has barely addressed the connected TV experience.
- How companies interact with publishers to help determine success. Google and Facebook will drive evolution for now…but will
- Where art thou Yahoo ? Everyone felt the Marissa Mayer hire was interesting and showed a serious commitment. The brand and stats (number one in sports, finance, fashion etc) show that it is still relevant and could be a viable media company….or technology company? Once we get past talking about Ms. Mayer’s pregnancy perhaps we will find out.
- We did then get a little beyond the topic walls with the following points…
- How do news brands stay relevant with all this activity and get the revenue – stay relevant on where they are, keep up with people’s usage habits (or people will try something else) and be trusted brands
- The Binge Watching Opportunity. There was a bit of discussion around binge watching (watching hours of the same program at a time vs. watching it spread out over programmed times). The discussion focused first on how the industry is addressing binge watching as a problem. But is binge watching an opportunity? How else can you get a person attention for hours straight on the TV and in a single context. While there was no consensus here on the monetization opportunity, there was plenty of agreement that binge watching was a new consumer habit here to stay. It is also one where media companies and advertisers should explore it not simply as a problem, but an opportunity for binge-drive engagement.
Thank you to Chris Dorr for providing a great piece of music trivia – Jimi Hendrix used to open for The Monkees! Here’s the article and poster (you can buy it on Amazon): http://www.fender.com/news/index.php?display_article=49
Some materials and notes from the conversation:
- Here’s a great infographic comparing some important topline stats from the two companies: http://www.wordstream.com/blog/ws/2012/05/15/ipo-facebook-vs-google-display-advertising
- Second screen app companies and topics to watch – Shazzam, Second Screen Networks, Red Bull’s Shazzam helmet cam; http://finance.yahoo.com/news/supernatural-snowboarding-competition-gets-super-120000967.html
- A recommended book about chord cutting from GigaOm - http://pro.gigaom.com/books/cut-the-cord/?utm_source=video&utm_medium=editorial&utm_campaign=intext&utm_term=531261+cord-cutters-our-first-e-book&utm_content=jroettgers
- MIT has published some interesting research on how younger audiences are using newer media – http://mitpress.mit.edu/catalog/author/default.asp?aid=27975