Lower-income households represent a high growth opportunity sector for retailers and manufacturers. Over the next ten years, more people will move into the lower-income group, which is expected to grow twice as fast as total households. Over the next ten years, the total number of households in the U.S. is expected to grow by eight percent; however, households closer to the poverty level will grow twice as fast, at 17 percent. To better understand consumers across the economic spectrum, Nielsen conducted an analysis of media usage and purchasing behaviors. Results revealed dramatic differences in the media consumption patterns and delivery platforms across income levels. The same differential was found in CPG shopping behavior, alongside notable similarities in some categories.
The Short Stories of Playboy and the Crisis of Masculinity (PDF)
Source: Utrecht University
We look at the world through media. They bring us the news; they bring us entertainment, science, art. They influence the way we view the world. In a way, they influence who we are. This does not mean that they change a person from one day to the next, but they co-determine structures of thought. One specific area in which the role of media becomes clear is gender – perhaps best described as the culturally defined and self-defined aspects of one’s identity relating to being a ‘man,’ a ‘woman,’ or perhaps something else. Different media propagate ideal images of what it means to be a man or a woman, and in our daily lives these ideal images are not often questioned.
This observation lies at the foundation of this thesis. My initial plan was to examine the ways in which media (re-)present gender identity. In particular, I wanted to examine male gender identity. The first ensuing issue was that as a historian, the historicity of gender and media needs to be acknowledged. In other words, media and masculinities are fluid and change over time. The second issue was that ‘media’ was too wide a category. Since this thesis is of a limited scope, I needed to demarcate the research further.
Ultimately, I chose one case-study of a magazine in a specific historical context: Playboy in 1950s America. The American 1950s were interesting given the subject, since a lot of literature discusses some sort of perceived ‘crisis of masculinity’ – it was a time where historical developments caused tensions with contemporary male identities that required a re-thinking of masculinity. Playboy was perhaps one of the most iconic examples of this re-thinking. The magazine offered a specific masculine identity that reacted to the contemporary gender identity crisis.
In a way, a magazine is a patchwork: It consists of differing elements, from articles to pictorials to advertisements. In order to explore male identity in the magazine in more detail, I chose to highlight one element: short stories. One of the features in Playboy that appeared from its start in December 1953 were short works of fiction. Moreover, these appeared on a highly regular basis. Therefore, the short stories made for an ample amount of source material.
The goal of this thesis is thus to answer the following research question: “How do the short stories in Playboy Magazine (re-)present a male identity in the context of the American 1950s?”
The Cross-Platform Report: How and Where Content is Watched
According to the latest Nielsen Cross-Platform Report, Americans spend nearly 35 hours per week watching video across screens, and close to another five hours using the Internet on a computer. Consumers are not turning off their devices, and there is no doubt that they are faced with more choices in terms of how they watch video content. Shifts in the distribution of time spent across all screens and devices demonstrate that more consumers are taking advantage of their increased ability to determine what, how and where they view content.
Free registration required to download full report.
TED tabulated data from its top sources including TED.com, YouTube, Hulu, iTunes, and several others. Sir Ken Robinson’s 2006 talk about how schools kill creativity tops the list with 13,409,417 views. It’s followed by brain researcher Jill Bolte Taylor’s epic story about suffering a stroke — and documenting her body shutting down. Next is Pranav Mistry, David Gallo and then again by Pranav Mistry and Pattie Maes with an astounding demo of SixthSense, a wearable projection computer. Further down the list is Tony Robbins, Steve Jobs, Stephen Hawking, and Mary Roach’s talk on 10 things you didn’t know about an orgasm. It’s an impressive collection of fascinating lectures.
Hat tip: PW
Further Decline in Credibility Ratings for Most News Organizations
Source: Pew Research Center for the People & the Press
For the second time in a decade, the believability ratings for major news organizations have suffered broad-based declines. In the new survey, positive believability ratings have fallen significantly for nine of 13 news organizations tested. This follows a similar downturn in positive believability ratings that occurred between 2002 and 2004.
The falloff in credibility affects news organizations in most sectors: national newspapers, such as the New York Times and USA Today, all three cable news outlets, as well as the broadcast TV networks and NPR.
Across all 13 news organizations included in the survey, the average positive believability rating (3 or 4 on a 4-point scale) is 56%. In 2010, the average positive rating was 62%. A decade ago, the average rating for the news organizations tested was 71%. Since 2002, every news outlet’s believability rating has suffered a double-digit drop, except for local daily newspapers and local TV news. The New York Times was not included in this survey until 2004, but its believability rating has fallen by 13 points since then.
These are among the major findings of a survey by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press, conducted July 19-22 among 1,001 adults. The survey asks people to rate individual news organizations on believability using a 4-point scale. A rating of 4 means someone believes “all or most” of what the news organization says; a rating of 1 means someone believes “almost nothing” of what they say.
The believability ratings for individual news organizations – like views of the news media generally – have long been divided along partisan lines. But partisan differences have grown as Republicans’ views of the credibility of news outlets have continued to erode. Today, there are only two news organizations – Fox News and local TV news – that receive positive believability ratings from at least two-thirds of Republicans. A decade ago, there were only two news organizations that did not get positive ratings from at least two-thirds of Republicans. By contrast, Democrats generally rate the believability of news organizations positively; majorities of Democrats give all the news organizations tested ratings of 3 or 4 on the 4-point scale, with the exception of Fox News.
FTC Tells Consumers They May Be Due a Refund If They Purchased Disney- or Marvel Hero-themed Children’s Vitamins
FTC Tells Consumers They May Be Due a Refund If They Purchased Disney- or Marvel Hero-themed Children’s Vitamins
Source: Federal Trade Commission
Have you purchased Disney- or Marvel Hero-themed vitamins for your kids during the last few years – vitamins that featured characters such as the Disney Princesses, Winnie the Pooh, Finding Nemo, and Spider-Man? If so, the Federal Trade Commission wants you to know that you may be due a refund.
The FTC is providing these refunds as a result of a settlement with a vitamin marketer named NBTY Inc. and two subsidiaries, which agreed to pay $2.1 million to settle charges that they made false health claims about their multivitamins.
The vitamins were sold by major retailers such as CVS Pharmacy, Wal-Mart, Target, Walgreens, Kroger, Kmart, Meijer, and Rite Aid, as well as online. The FTC urges consumers who believe they may have purchased them between May 1, 2008 and September 30, 2010, to file a claim online, or call 866-224-4336 and request a paper claim form in the mail. Eligible consumers will have until October 12, 2012 to file their claims.
Source: New America Foundation
In this study, we compare high-speed Internet offerings in 22 cities around the world by price, download and upload speed, and bundled services. We have included some of the most relevant findings from our research in the report that follows, as well as a discussion of policy recommendations for the U.S. The report includes:
- A comparison of "triple play" offerings that bundle Internet, phone, and television services;
- A survey of the best available Internet plan for approximately $35 USD in each city;
- A comparison of the fastest Internet available in each city.
The results indicate that U.S. consumers in major cities tend to pay higher prices for slower speeds compared to consumers abroad. For example, when comparing triple play packages in the 22 cities surveyed, consumers in Paris can purchase a 100 Mbps bundle of television, telephone, and high-speed Internet service for the equivalent of approximately $35 (adjusted for PPP). By contrast, in Lafayette, LA, the top American city, the cheapest available package costs around $65 and includes just a 6 Mbps Internet connection. A comparison of Internet plans available for around $35 shows similar results. Residents of Hong Kong have access to Internet service with symmetrical download and upload speeds of 500 Mbps while residents of New York City and Washington, D.C. will pay the equivalent price for Internet service with maximum download speeds that are 20 times slower (up to 25 Mbps and upload speeds of up to 2 Mbps).
The results add weight to a growing body of evidence that suggests that the U.S. is lagging behind many of its international counterparts, most of whom have much higher levels of competition and, in turn, offer lower prices and faster Internet service. It suggests that policymakers need to re-evaluate our current policy approaches to increase competition and encourage more affordable high-speed Internet service in the U.S.
We present the results of a multi-phase study to optimize strategies for generating personalized article recommendations at the Forbes.com web site. In the first phase we compared the performance of a variety of recommendation methods on historical data. In the second phase we deployed a live system at Forbes.com for five months on a sample of 82,000 users, each randomly assigned to one of 20 methods. We analyze the live results both in terms of click- through rate (CTR) and user session lengths. The method with the best CTR was a hybrid of collaborative-filtering and a content-based method that leverages Wikipedia-based concept features, post- processed by a novel Bayesian remapping technique that we introduce. It both statistically significantly beat decayed popularity and increased CTR by 37%.
Newspaper and Internet Display Advertising – Co-Existence or Substitution? (PDF)
Source: Research Papers in Economics
Newspapers have been experiencing declining circulation figures and diminishing advertising revenues for several years – both effects might pose a threat to the continuing existence of (print) newspapers. In an earlier paper, Lindstädt & Budzinski (2011) argued from a theoretical viewpoint that industry-specific patterns exist that determine substitution or complementation effects between internet and newspaper advertising. It was argued that retail advertising, in particular, may offer a niche for regional/local newspapers that can be expected to present a sustainable segment of complementarity along with the otherwise mostly substitutional advertising markets. This paper empirically tests these hypotheses by analyzing advertising spending data for newspaper and internet display advertising of 13 different industries in the U.S. from 2001-2010. We find evidence for some of the hypotheses. Whereas some industries showed clear substitution effects between internet display and newspaper advertising, the majority of our hypotheses could be only partly rejected: newspaper substi-tution effects could be observed, however, in the direction to traditional media platforms instead of internet display advertising. For two retail-sub-industries, the hypotheses could not be rejected for the analyzed period. The authors would like to thank the College of Communications at the Pennsylvania State University and in particular Anne Hoag and Dennis Davis for hosting Nadine Lindstädt as a Research Visiting Scholar in 2010/2011 which made it possible to access and use the Kantar Media Intelligence Ad$pender™ database for this research.
US advertising expenditure trends : long run effects and structural changes with new media introductions
In this paper we examine the historical time series of US advertising expenditure on different media, using a long-run equilibrium model, and whether the introduction of new media (TV, Yellow Pages, cable and the internet) created a significant structural change in the advertising industry. We use a multivariate vector error correction model allowing for broken trends. Our results show that internet and cable media cause a substantive shift only on the evolution of newspapers and outdoor, respectively, whereas TV and yellow pages entries create fundamental change in the spending levels of all incumbents, except for direct mail. We also find that the longrun elasticity between total advertising expenditures and the GDP is negative, implying that total advertising has counter-cyclical behavior. Furthermore, in the long-run, an increase in the internet investment results in a decrease in newspapers as well as magazines’ investment.
YouTube & News: A New Kind of Visual News
Source: Project for Excellence in Journalism (Pew Research Center)
What is the nature of news on YouTube? What types of events “go viral” and attract the most viewers? How does this agenda differ from that of the traditional news media? Do the most popular videos on YouTube tend to be videos produced by professional news organizations, by citizens or by political interest groups or governments? How long does people’s attention seem to last?
The Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism examined 15 months’ worth of the most popular news videos on the site (January 2011 to March 2012) — some 260 different videos in all-by identifying and tracking the five most-viewed videos each week located in the “news & politics” channel of YouTube, analyzing the nature of the video, the topics that were viewed most often, who produced them and who posted them.
The data reveal that a complex, symbiotic relationship has developed between citizens and news organizations on YouTube, a relationship that comes close to the continuous journalistic “dialogue” many observers predicted would become the new journalism online. Citizens are creating their own videos about news and posting them. They are also actively sharing news videos produced by journalism professionals. And news organizations are taking advantage of citizen content and incorporating it into their journalism. Consumers, in turn, seem to be embracing the interplay in what they watch and share, creating a new kind of television news.
At the same time, clear ethical standards have not developed on how to attribute the video content moving through the synergistic sharing loop. Even though YouTube offers guidelines on how to attribute content, it’s clear that not everyone follows them, and certain scenarios fall outside those covered by the guidelines. News organizations sometimes post content that was apparently captured by citizen eyewitnesses without any clear attribution as to the original producer. Citizens are posting copyrighted material without permission. And the creator of some material cannot be identified. All this creates the potential for news to be manufactured, or even falsified, without giving audiences much ability to know who produced it or how to verify it.
Source: British Medical Journal (open)
To determine the impact of sitting and television viewing on life expectancy in the USA.
Prevalence-based cause-deleted life table analysis.
Summary RRs of all-cause mortality associated with sitting and television viewing were obtained from a meta-analysis of available prospective cohort studies. Prevalences of sitting and television viewing were obtained from the US National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey.
Primary outcome measure
Life expectancy at birth.
The estimated gains in life expectancy in the US population were 2.00 years for reducing excessive sitting to <3 h/day and a gain of 1.38 years from reducing excessive television viewing to <2 h/day. The lower and upper limits from a sensitivity analysis that involved simultaneously varying the estimates of RR (using the upper and lower bounds of the 95% CI) and the prevalence of television viewing (±20%) were 1.39 and 2.69 years for sitting and 0.48 and 2.51 years for television viewing, respectively.
Reducing sedentary behaviours such as sitting and television viewing may have the potential to increase life expectancy in the USA.