Five on Friday: Micropayments, Content Marketing and OTT Ad Fraud
Featuring PaymentsJournal, Pixalate, Business2Community, Computerworld and YourStore
To help get your new year off to a good start, we’ve got some great information about subscriptions, payments and ad fraud for you. In this week’s Five on Friday, PaymentsJournal explores ways publishers can overcome objections to paying for media with micropayments, Pixalate shares its estimates about the potential for over-the-top TV ad fraud new year, Business2Community shares 2019 content marketing trends, Computerworld looks at what Microsoft could be looking at for Windows 10 subscriptions, and Your Story explains how focusing on subscribers, not products, will make for a better business model.
Micropayments and Media
Have you ever used micropayments to pay for a news article online? The idea behind them is that, while a reader may not be willing to subscribe for access to an entire publication, they might be willing to part with a few pennies – or dollars – for a specific article of interest. Though they have been around for a while, they have not exploded in popularity as a form of payment for media.
In “Micropayments & Media – Where There’s a Will, There’s a Way” for PaymentsJournal, Hal Bailey explained how to overcome readers’ resistance to the tiny payments. Here is a brief summary of two his suggestions:
- Make paying for articles easier. Because more readers are accessing content on their mobile devices, running across a paywall or a requirement to pay for an article can be challenging. They are already on the go and not likely to input their credit card. Give them quick access to the content by making paying for articles easier.
- Minimize the impact of processing fees. While publishers and consumers are probably not able to eliminate transaction fees from processing small debit or credit card transactions, they may be able to reduce the sting by batching many small transactions into one big one.
For more of Bailey’s analysis of micropayments and how publishers can overcome them, read the full article on PaymentsJournal.com.
Pixalate: What to Expect with OTT Ad Fraud in 2019
According to Pixalate, more than 80 percent of U.S. households have an over-the-top TV devices to stream video from subscription services like Amazon Prime, Netflix, Hulu and CBS All Access. As OTT popularity and ad spending has grown, so has the opportunity for OTT ad fraud. eMarketer reports that digital video ad spending will grow at double-digit dates through 2021, reaching as many as 250 million viewers by 2020. Estimates by Tru Optik predict that OTT ad spending could reach $50 billion by 2020, including $20 billion in the U.S. alone.
“This rapid growth in OTT has opened the door for fraudulent intenders to profit from the rising advertising spend being directed toward Connected TV/OTT audiences,” says a recent Pixalate report. “This is a perfect fraud and security storm occurring in OTT today. This reality is driven by the increased demand for OTT advertising and is accompanied by the misconception that OTT channels are free of ad fraud.”
Pixalate explains that the more OTT ad buying grows, so do the opportunities for fraud. The company estimates that global OTT ad fraud rates are approximately 19 percent, while U.S. rates are slightly lower at 18 percent. By 2020, advertisers could lose as much as $10 billion by 2020. Fraud can come via higher CPMs, a decentralized app ecosystem, lack of industry standards, to name a few.
Learn more about OTT ad fraud and how your subscription company may be at risk in Pixalate’s report, “Ad Fraud in OTT: 2019 Guide” available for download from the Pixalate blog.
3 Content Marketing Trends to Try in 2019
If content marketing is one of your subscription company’s marketing strategies – and it should be – you may already be following the latest trends. In a December 30 article for Business 2 Community, Emily Sidley shares eight content marketing trends to follow in the new year. Here are three we plan to try:
- Establish authentic connections with your customers. Customers want to buy from brands they trust, and what better way to build trust than to get to know your customers personally? Whether you are communicating directly on social media or are hosting a one-hour “Ask Me Anything Q&A” with your CEO on Facebook, you have an opportunity to really connect with people one-on-one.
- Mix it up. Don’t rely on one format for content marketing. We writers tend to love long-form content, but we know that shorter attention spans, visual learners and audio learners all have different preferences. Try a podcast, post a video or a case study. Offering variety will appeal to different types of customers and keep them coming back for more.
- Leverage social commerce. Have you ever scrolled through your Instagram feed and been served ads for products that seem to be made for you? Have you ever purchased any of those products? Me too. Often. Why? Because Instagram knows my purchase history and the kinds of posts I look at. This is social commerce. Why does it work? Because shopping on Instagram is easy, and anytime an online seller can make shopping seamless, the more likely you will attract and retain customers.
Read all of Sidley’s suggestions in the original article, “8 Content Marketing Trends You Need to Know About for 2019” on Business 2 Community.
Is Microsoft Working on an Office 365-Windows 10 Combo Subscription?
Is Microsoft preparing a Windows 10-Office 365 subscription for consumers, similar to what it currently offers for enterprise customers? Maybe. Computerworld certainly thinks so. In a December 14 article, senior reporter Gregg Keizer said that Microsoft job postings from October and December could be a hint of things to come. According to one of the listings, Microsoft is building a subscription product marketing team “to build and scale the Microsoft 365 consumer subscription.”
Keizer said that Microsoft is currently pushing its Microsoft 365 product to enterprise customers. This subscription-based product includes corporate-level Office 365 and enterprise-level Windows 10, along with a few bells and whistles that promise mobility and security.
Keizer doesn’t believe a consumer product would be packaged quite the same way though. It would have to be affordable and offer consumers something they aren’t getting from Microsoft now. According to Microsoft’s first quarter report of fiscal year 2019, it already has 32.5 million consumer subscribers to Office 365. What could Microsoft offer to consumers that would not cannibalize its existing subscription revenue? Maybe that’s why they need a new team – to figure out exactly what they’re building and why.
Read more about what this could mean for Microsoft in Keizer’s article, “Microsoft May Pitch Windows 10 Subscriptions at Consumers” on Computerworld.
Subscribed: A Book Review for YourStory
In a new book, Subscribed, by Tien Tzuo, CEO and co-founder of Zuora, and Gabe Weisert, managing editor of Zuora’s Subscribed magazine, the subscription experts talk about how subscription companies should center their business models around their customers, not solely on their products. In a book review by Madanmohan Rao, we discover Subscribed is 15 chapters and 246 pages long, filled with their take on how the subscription model has changed and littered with examples of how successful companies have evolved along with the model.
“Companies that survive over a long period of time follow their customers, and they do not expect customers to follow them,” said the authors in Subscribed.
The authors go onto explain that while products and services used to be first and foremost in a business model, subscribers should be viewed as partners for long-term relationships. Today’s consumers are smart and demanding, and they expect a relationship with their brand in exchange for their monthly subscription fee. Subscription companies can stand apart from their competitors by really understanding their customers, regardless of their industry. If you truly want your subscription company to be successful and you want your customers to stay for the long haul, your customers must be happy.