Sunday, July 26, 2009

Hi All:
I'll be on vacation the weeks of 7/27 & 8/3. I and the blog will return on 8/13. I hope everyone is having a terrific summer.
Prof. Lehrer

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Does this ad make you want to buy a PC?


Perhaps you have noticed that Microsoft has been running a series of commercials with the key message that PCs are a better value than Macs.

Here’s the URL for one on YouTube:

We’ve already discussed the fact that many companies have switched to a value strategy because of the economy, and this is yet another example. So what do you think? Is it compelling? If you were considering buying a Mac would this change your perspective?

Apparently the folks at Apple are concerned; so much so that they contacted Microsoft to ask that they stop running the ads because Apple has lowered their prices. (Parekh, 2009)

And according to yesterday’s Wall Street Journal, revenue on the Mac business fell 8% last quarter due to price cutting. Kane, 2009)

Parekh, R. (2009, July 16). Microsoft Undeterred by Alleged Legal Threat From Apple. Retrived, July 22, 2009 from

Kane, Y. (2009, July 22, 2009). Apple Net Up 15% on iPhone Surge. Wall Street Journal, p.B1.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Are advertisers missing an opportunity with magazines?


On June 26, 2009, the MPA (Magazine Publishers of America) published a white paper on the state of the business which shows that the number of magazine readers has actually grown +5.7% over the past 5 years. And, even young readers, i.e. Adults 18-34, are showing a +2.6% increase over the same period. (“Consumers value magazines in their media mix. Do You?”, 2009)

A study from McPheters & Co., published in 2007, indicated that Gen X and Gen Y are in fact reading more magazines monthly than do Baby Boomers and The Silent Generation. Specifically, 19-24 year-olds reported reading an average of 18.3 titles in the previous 6 months. 25-34 year-olds read 18.9, while those 45-54 said they read 16.7, and people over 65 said they read 14. (Ives, 2007)

So, why were magazine ad pages down another -29.4% in 2nd quarter 2009? (Sass, 2009)
I sense a disconnect here. Do you? Are you still reading magazines? Do you want your favorite brands to continue to support them?

(2009, June 29). Consumers value magazines in their media mix. Do you? Retrived, July 15, 2009, from

Ives, N. (2007, May 22). Young Adults Bigger Mag Readers Than Their Parents. Retrived, May 24, 2007, from

Sass, E. (2009, July 10). Magazine Ad pages Tumble 29.4% in Q2. Retrieved, July 15 from

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Is this the beginning of the end for free online content?


The topic du jour at this week’s Sun Valley Allen and Company conference, is predicted to be a debate over paid online content. After giving away their content for free for the past decade, newspapers are now folding in droves as their offline revenue declines. The remaining media companies don’t want to make the same mistake. (Li, 2009).

So, what do they do? The first thing is to clamp down on unauthorized use of copyrighted material. While past legal rulings, in the form of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act’s safe harbor provision have held that web sites are not liable for copyright infringement committed by users provided the sites remove the clips upon request, and they haven’t financially profited by the content; one could argue that YouTube’s entire business model is built on pirated material. (Davis, 2009)

An intriguing solution currently being offered by the Financial Times is tiered pricing for access. When I attempted to access the article above, I was given 4 registration options offering various levels of access to current and archived materials. Lighter use was free, but unlimited access was $3.49 per week, and full access, including the offline newspaper was priced at $5.75 per week. (“”, 2009). That seems reasonable to me. How about you?

Li, K. (2009, July 7). Sun Valley set to consider paid content. Retrived, July 7, 2009 from

Davis, W. (2009, July 8). YouTube Wins Partial Victory Against Copyright Owners. Retrived, July 9, 2009 from

(2009, July 7). registration page. Retrived July 9, 2009 from

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Does Turner Have a Winning Strategy?


As the upfront season progresses, Turner has announced a new sales strategy. Rather than selling their individual networks (TBS, TNT, CNN, etc.) as stand alone opportunities they are reaching across all their properties and selecting programming that reaches a specific target, and selling those as a package.

So, for advertisers seeking to reach Men 18-34, they suggest the following line-up: “The Office” (TBS), “Family Guy” (TBS), “Operation REPO” (TruTV), and Adult Swim (Cartoon).

They are also including their digital properties in the packages, which can be further customized with selected movies or other programs that advertisers believe are suitable for their audiences.

And, they are providing companies with creative help to develop advertiser-sponsored content, e.g. microseries.

Clearly, they have recognized that most advertisers these days are interested in niche audiences, not mass ones.

What do you think? Will advertisers respond?

Steinberg, B. (2009, June 29). Turner Lets Marketers buy Shows Rather Than Networks. Retrieved, July 1, 2009 from