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MEDIACOM Marketing Digest 22 June 2004

22 June 2004

Prime Releases Its Sept-Dec Rates Cut to the chase: here's what's happening with Prime's rates for the September-December period.

Peaktime rates for Prime over the months are as follows:

September up 1% YOY * October down 8% * November down 12% * December down 34%

Prime have an avowed strategy of "delivering a ratecard with integrity", eliminating bonus airtime and large discounts from peaktime, so that the ratecard better reflects the price that advertisers actually pay for their airtime. We applaud the intention, but note that the discounts are neither as consistent nor (apart from December) as generous as they were in the May through August period. September, in particular - where rates actually increase YOY - will be an interesting test of Prime's ability to withstand negotiating pressure from its clients.

Of course, it is only fair for us to point out that these rate decreases occur in the context of double-digit inflation elsewhere in TV-land. And Prime's audience is actually growing, which is an unexpected but welcome phenomenon.

PS The Prime booking deadline for the September to December period is next Monday, June 28.

PPS A little gremlin crept into last week's issue regarding TV3's December rate increase. The average increase for that month is actually 5%.

Trouble Down On Farm Specialist rural publishers Country-Wide are crying foul over what they describe as "Imitation, not Innovation".

In their own words:

"We won't pretend we are not concerned about the extra fragmentation that will result from the addition of another farming newspaper.

"The Australian corporate (Rural Press) that owns Straight Furrow is about to launch a budget tabloid giving them a weekly presence to rival our NZ Farmers Weekly.

"It's the same company that bought the iconic weekly, NZ Farmer, in 1987 and subsequently closed it. That closure created the gap in the market that left farmers without weekly news and market information so we filled it with NZ Farmers Weekly, from Feilding.

"Rural Press' new title is a 'me-too' publication that does not fill a gap in the market. It is there to challenge the competition and it'll fragment the market further".

The mud is flying over the fenceposts. Stay tuned for the next dispatch from the front.

Plan Now for Email Validation Specifications are emerging that will provide greater validation that email comes from the purported sender. The use of email validation technologies will eliminate, or at least make it a lot more difficult, for spammers to hide their identities. Adoption of email validation is already underway, will really take off in the second half of 2005, and will quickly become mainstream within the following twelve months, according to industry commentators.

Email validation, and supporting techniques assigning reputation to email senders, will not eliminate spam, but will represent a major advance in the war against spam. However it may create problems for email service bureaux, whose ability to send out emails on behalf of various clients may be curtailed, at least in the short term.

Legitimate email users will have little to fear from email validation - but the process may require a little bit of forward planning, to ensure that appropriate strategies are in place for 2005 and beyond. A word to the wise.

ABOUT MEDIACOM MEDIACOM, with offices in 80 countries, is one of the world's largest and most respected media service companies.

We create media solutions that build business for a wide range of local, regional and worldwide clients.

With $13 billion in global billings, a commitment to strategic insight, total communications planning, tactical media brilliance and tough but creative media negotiating, MEDIACOM provides unsurpassed value in today's chaotic media marketplace.

Flyposting Crackdown Sony Music Entertainment has escaped legal action brought by Camden Council in the UK over its flyposting (posting unauthorised fliers in public places) after agreeing to scrap the practice across England and Wales. However rival BMG could still be prosecuted as part of the London borough's landmark war on anti-social behaviour.

The council has now agreed to withdraw its summonses against Sony Music Entertainment's managing director and marketing director after receiving the pledge that illegal flyposting will be halted.

However, because no such undertaking has been given by the council's other main target, BMG, it is understood that the record company's executives can expect to receive a summons seeking an anti-social behaviour order (ASBO) placed on them. Any executive with an order placed on them could face prison sentences of up to five years if they break it.

Camden Council, which spends £250,000 a year cleaning up flyposting, estimates that Sony saves £3m annually and BMG as much as £5.6m on traditional advertising costs by putting the posters up illegally in the borough.

If the council does seek an ASBO against BMG it will be the first move of its kind and would set a precedent whereby flyposting is ranked alongside other anti-social behaviour such as drunkenness, noise, littering and verbal abuse.

Of course, there are those who consider that advertising of any sort is ant-social behaviour ...

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More Games, Less Sport The year 2003 marked the first time that US adults ages 18-24 spent more of their time using the Internet than watching TV. Now, new findings from JupiterResearch highlight two key demographic segments: 18- to-34-year-old males, and young consumers using the Internet at work. Among the key findings--young men aren't obsessed with sports as much as marketers think they are, and guys are increasingly looking up local information online.

In 2003, according to JupiterResearch, 18-to-34-year-old men watched 8 hours of television per week, which is two hours less than the previous year and 2-3 hours less than other age groups.

Other revealing Web usage information demonstrated that an even younger segment of this demographic views a substantial amount of entertainment content online. Fifty-four percent of 18- to-24-year-old males play action games online, 47 percent viewed video content online, 43 percent visited music/file-sharing sites, and 32 percent went to specific movie sites. These behaviours represent a 50 percent increased usage difference over the average US male.

The data revealed that only 30 percent of young men ages 18-24 view sports-related content online, versus nearly 60 percent of older men who view sports content on the Web.

When it comes to reaching young men online, it seems that interactive content engages them more effectively. Eighteen to 24s are twice as likely to use instant messaging, chat, short message service, and message boards. More than 30 percent of 18-24s are willing to trade personal information for customized or exclusive content.

According to the Jupiter data, young men use local sites to learn about local entertainment; they also prefer the Web for their local and business news. From the data: 47 percent of 18-to-24-year-old males read movie reviews online, 34 percent check for information about local entertainment on the Web, 10 percent check local news, and 18 percent check TV listings.

JupiterResearch also reported on the online habits of young consumers at work. Behaviours throughout the day change, as many people who are online at work are in a different frame of mind than those who are online after 5 p.m.

For the most part, young people are hard to reach at work, at least in the US. Forty-nine percent of women ages 18-34 said they do nothing online other than their work, and 44 percent of 18-34 men said the same thing. Most claimed to be too busy to do anything else, while others cited corporate policies against using the Web for personal leisure.


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