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Amazon closing in on Google, Facebook digital ad market duopoly, Philly's Harmelin agency says

Erin Arvedlund, The Philadelphia Inquirer on

Published in Business News

PHILADELPHIA -- Advertisers and companies trying to expand their marketing, take heed: There's a new way to reach customers, starting with something called "advanced television."

That's when advertising on television is customized, much like online ads, using consumers' viewing habits, purchases and location data.

Advanced advertising on TV was one of the insights that the Philadelphia ad agency Harmelin Media shared with clients at a Wednesday event.

"Consumer data is now being matched with viewership data to follow your audience wherever they live," Harmelin Media's Dan Cox, vice president and head of planning, told the crowd of about 100 guests at the Barnes Foundation's auditorium.

For example, cable and satellite providers such as Comcast and DISH network now show highly customized TV ads to one household that owns a cat, while a different ad broadcasts at the same time to a household next door owning a dog, based on credit card data, GPS phone location data, and other tracking data, he said.

Currently, advanced TV advertising is only 3% of the United States' $70 billion in total ad spending per year, but it's expected to grow exponentially.

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Audio marketing is also changing, with terrestrial radio still accounting for four hours per day of consumers' time, said Brooke Reynolds, Harmelin media manager. While AM/FM radio accounts for 50% of listeners' time, online music services such as Pandora and Spotify have grown to 16% of the audio market, she said. Spotify is more popular with the 18-to-34-year-old demographic, while Pandora and its subsidiary SoundCloud are more popular with older listeners.

Podcasts represent only 4% of the audio advertising market, and "it's been hard for advertisers to break in until recently," she added. "That said, podcast listeners tend to be consumers with incomes over $100,000 annually."

Mobile phones, meanwhile, have since replaced TV as the most valuable source of consumer data, said Garry Herbert, associate media director at Harmelin.

"We're now incapable of giving up our phones, because of the dopamine rush" every time we access them, he said.

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