Monday, May 21, 2012

Facebook Facing the Music?
Online video continues surge

Face The Music   Now that the most public of companies is a public company, it looks like it’ll have to grow up a little. Shares of the newest kid on the Nasdaq block skidded again on their second day of trading. FB (Nasdaq) shares are now about 11 percent lower than the company’s initial offer price. Regulators and some investors who bought into the social network's public offering are now in the red (and seeing red) while raising questions about whether the company and its lead banker, Morgan Stanley, botched the deal. There were also some strangely-timed privacy suits against the company last week on top of GM’s decision to pull its entire $10 million ad schedule off the site two days before the IPO. 

It wasn't clear what role if any Morgan Stanley was playing in the stock's trading on Monday.
Disclosure: we’re neither long, nor short Facebook and don’t intend to be anytime soon.

Taking the long view

Regardless of whether FB (NASDAQ) succeeds as a public company, social media will be here to stay in one form or another. Social media’s probably not going to dominate all other forms of media, communication and human interaction—but it has earned a seat at the table. B2B marketers should make sure social plays some sort of part in your overall marketing mix. Let’s skip the hype and get back to business.

Online video growth continues surge

Internet users (and advertisers) can’t seem to get enough of online video. The amount of time spent watching online video grew about 46 percent in April 2012 compared to April 2011 according to comScore’s just-released April 2012 online video viewership figures. While comScore’s data indicates that the number of unique viewers rose only 5, viewers are watching a lot more video. Internet users watched about 21.8 hours last month -- up from 15 hours the year before, representing a 46 percent increase.
Meanwhile, the number of video ads viewed online rose to 9.5 billion for April, up from 3.8 billion the year before -- an increase of more than 2.5 times. Plus, the 9.5 billion ads is 14 percent higher than the 8.3 billion ads delivered just one month ago in March.

Our take: Analysts say most of the video viewership increase is coming from YouTube, but we think B2B markets should look closer at using dedicated video playlist tools that give your more control—Brightcove, Vimeo, etc.—with YouTube simply as your fill-in-the-gaps air coverage.

Macro view

Home construction rose to nearly a three-year high in April, the government reported last week and factory output rose in three of this year’s first four months. The two reports suggest growth in Q2 is off to a good start, helped by falling gasoline prices and solid hiring gains.
An AP report said manufacturing has become one of the strongest areas of the American economy since the recession ended nearly three years ago. Factory output is now 18.3 percent higher than its low hit in June 2009, the month the recession ended. It is only 6.1 percent below its prerecession peak.


Let’s stay focused on the fundamentals not FB’s daily gyrations. Things are getting better whether you meet your customers and clients face-to-face or Facebook style. Smart, relevant, targeted marketing will always win out in the long run.


TAGS: Housing construction, industrial output, Facebook IPO, Morgan Stanley, comScore, Nasdaq

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