In regards to SEM; according the research done by eBrand Media, Inc., paid search clicks are down considerably, while click-through rates, click to conversion rates, and CPC costs are higher. This probably means that search engine marketers are attempting to do what eBrand Media has done since 2005: expand keyword lists with low volume, low cost, but extremely targeted, and high-yield multi-word keyphrases while using “header” terms only to drive required volume, as part of a sustainable SEM eco-system.
The study followed online retailer clients in shoes, clothing, flowers and gifts, housewares, and a number of other industries, analyzing the performance of each category on a a daily, weekly, and monthly basis in Q1 2009. The data was then compared with the data with that for the same period last year.
On another front, the latest study by Arbitron and Edison Research shows continued growth in usage and ownership of various forms of digital audio platforms, including online radio, iPod/MP3 players, and podcasting. The weekly online radio audience increased significantly in the past year to 17% of the U.S. population age 12 and older; up from 13% in 2008. On a weekly basis, online radio reaches 20% of 25-to-54 year-olds; up from 15% in 2008.
Bill Rose, senior vice president of marketing, Arbitron Inc., says “The sharp growth in weekly usage of Online radio… provides compelling evidence that radio’s digital platforms may be reaching critical mass. We are… seeing encoded streams of AM/FM broadcasts with significant audience in local markets.”
Key findings from The Infinite Dial 2009: Radio’s Digital Platforms, include:
More than one in five radio listeners (21%) say AM/FM radio has a big impact on their lives; ranking second only to owners of the Apple iPhone in particular (23%) and cell phone owners in general (47%) as the audio platform/device that has a big impact on people’s lives.
Online radio listeners are more likely to be upscale, well-educated and employed full time;
* 54% of weekly online radio listeners are employed full-time (compared to 43% among persons 12 and older);
* 16% of weekly online radio listeners live in homes with an annual income greater than $100,000 (vs. 10% among persons 12 and older);
* 37% of weekly online radio listeners have a college degree or higher education level (vs. 29% among persons 12 and older).
Weekly online video viewing among persons age 12 and older is up significantly in the past year, from 18% in 2008 to 27% (approximately 69 million) in 2009.
* 34% of persons age 12 and older report having a profile on Facebook, MySpace, LinkedIn, or any other social networking Web site, up from 24% in 2008
* 63% of teens age 12-to-17 report having a profile on these social networking sites
* 64% 18-to-24 year-olds have a profile on these social networking sites.
iPod/portable MP3 player ownership and iPod use continues to grow dramatically.
* 42% of persons age 12 and older own an iPod or other brand of portable MP3 player
* 64% of 18-to-24 year-olds own a digital audio player
* 32% of teens age 12-to-17 and persons 18-to-24 are spending less time with over-the-air radio specifically due to time spent with iPod/other portable MP3 players
* 22% of Americans age 12 and older have ever listened to an audio podcast
* 11% (27 million) reported having listened to an audio podcast in the past month in 2009
Tom Webster, vice president of strategy and marketing, Edison Research, concludes that “… consumer use of new digital platforms… is becoming nearly ubiquitous… a window of opportunity for radio to… spread its content across the expanding choices consumers use to control their media experience.”