Filed under: media monitoring
Knowing the lay of the land — inside and out — is key to winning. Top runners walk their course ahead of time. Battle commanders reconnoiter the countryside. Sports teams scout their opponents.
Business is no different.
Customers need to be scoped out and understood. A great thing about living in 2013 is that, while some may hide, people are expressing themselves publicly on social media. Talking with them is easier than ever before.
With ease of monitoring and engagement increasing, one might think that everyone is doing it. Infosys has put together an infographic of how businesses are monitoring social media that shows this isn’t the case.
It’s surprising how few people have started. If you haven’t, there’s good news. You’re not too late. Only 24% of companies are actively tracking social media efforts. You could get a leg up on the competition through monitoring the spaces your customers inhabit.
Don’t delay too long, though, because 60% are looking to increase their social media monitoring by 2014.
What do you think about these numbers? Let us know in the comments.
April 26, 2013
Last week, a US Federal Court ruled in favor of the Associated Press in their lawsuit against media monitoring company Meltwater. We have written previously about BurrellesLuce filing an amicus brief and reactions around the web.
At stake is the definition of “Fair Use” as it relates to content published online. It has ramifications for the business models and legal strategies of publishers, as well as media monitoring companies and their clients.
Jeff John Roberts at BusinessWeek summarizes how the court arrived at its judgment (links in the original):
To decide if something is fair use, courts apply a four-part test that turns in large part on whether the defendant is using the copyrighted work for something new or unrelated to its original purpose. Famous examples of fair use include a parody rap song of “Pretty Woman” and Google’s display of thumb-size pictures in its image search. In the AP case, however, Meltwater’s fair use defense failed.
Judge Cote rejected the fair use claim in large part because she didn’t buy Meltwater’s claim that it’s a “search engine” that makes transformative use of the AP’s content. Instead, Cote concluded that Meltwater is more like a business rival to the AP: “Instead of driving subscribers to third-party websites, Meltwater News acts as a substitute for news sites operated or licensed by AP.”
Cote’s rejection of Meltwater’s search engine argument was based in part on the “click-through” rate of its stories. Whereas Google News users clicked through to 56 percent of excerpted stories, the equivalent rate for Meltwater was 0.08 percent*, according to figures cited in the judgment. Cote’s point was that Meltwater’s service doesn’t provide people with a means to discover the AP’s stories (like a search engine)—but instead is a way to replace them.
The judgment also points to the amount of content that Meltwater replicated. Whereas fair use allows anyone to reproduce a headline and snippets, Cote suggested Meltwater took “the heart” of the copyrighted work by also reproducing the “lede” and other sentences:
“A lede is a sentence that takes significant journalistic skill to craft. [It shows] the creativity and therefore protected expression involved with writing a lede and the skill required to tweak a reader’s interest.”
How the ruling affects publishers
Publishers and media monitoring companies haven’t always worked together and this is going to change. Newspapers are needing additional revenue streams and the clients of media monitoring outfits have been a neglected source of money.
Publishers are going to have to work together to exploit this income source. To an end user tracking mentions of their company or attempting to do competitive analysis, it is quite a lot of effort to piece together a total national or international catalog of licensed sources. Media monitoring companies are the natural connection between publishers and end users.
This court decision gives content publishers a strong position in this partnership. Companies that try to get around their wishes have this legal precedent working against them.
You’re a Media Monitoring Company (MMC), now what?
As I alluded to above, the key to survival is acquiring licenses to monitor and distribute content from publishers. This will protect you from legal actions like the Associated Press took against Meltwater.
Groups like NewsRight and companies such as BurrellesLuce in cooperation with Moreover Technologies have developed one solution, Metabase Premium. Before the dust settles, others will likely emerge, as well.
Whatever you do, complying with the publishers’ wishes is key. Some are satisfied with the value of MMC’s driving traffic to their sites. Others, like in the Meltwater case, see it as an infringement. Protect yourself and your clients.
You’re a client of a Media Monitoring Company, are you protected?
While this lawsuit has defined some parameters of Fair Use, what’s less clear is what happens if you are distributing content without permission from the publisher. Ask the company that you’re using if they have licenses for the content that they are distributing to you. Make sure that you are protected from lawsuits yourself.
What does the future hold?
I’ll leave you with the words of Corynne McSherry, director of intellectual property at the Electronic Frontier Foundation, which opposes the ruling:
“What we’re going to see now is a lot of litigation over what is a legitimate search engine or not,” said McSherry, whose organization filed an amicus brief backing Meltwater. “I think this opinion muddies the water.”
*UPDATE: These click-through stats refer only to the 33 articles being disputed and not to the rates of the services as a whole.
March 29, 2013
Last time, we talked about major newspapers backing the Associated Press against media monitoring company Meltwater. Today, let’s look at some of the responses from around the web:
ArsTechnica has a balanced summary of the dispute:
Last week, the nation’s largest newspapers lined up to tell the New York federal judge considering the case that they support the AP. An amicus brief [PDF] was filed by The New York Times, The McClatchy Company, Advance Publications, and the Newspaper Association of America, which represents 200 newspapers around the country. In the brief, they argue that Meltwater isn’t a search engine—it’s a competitor.
The Brief discusses the suit’s implications:
The outcome of the lawsuit will depend on how convincing Meltwater’s search engine argument is. They use the same pieces of information—a headline, link, and short snippet—and are generally agreed to be covered by fair use provisions, but the legal precedents against them are racking up. And if the AP manages to get a favorable ruling over Meltwater, other search engines could find themselves being asked for licensing fees too.
Meltwater responds to the filing of the amicus brief:
Plaintiff’s claims are barred in whole or in part by the doctrine of copyright misuse. Through this Complaint and through other means, Plaintiff seeks to misuse its limited copyright monopoly to extend its control over the Internet search market more generally, thereby improperly expanding the protections afforded by U.S. copyright law. Among other things, AP has misused its copyright monopoly by demanding that third parties take licenses for search results, which do not require a license under U.S. copyright law, and AP has also formed a consortium (called NewsRight) with the purpose of further misusing its copyright monopoly to extract licensing fees that exceed what the law allows.
BurrellesLuce weighs in with their perspective:
[W]e curate content on behalf of our clients and charge a royalty. Those royalties go back to the publishers. PR professionals are understanding, more and more, why these measures are necessary. They recognize the difference between a genuine media monitoring service and an aggregator. They realize they may be exposing their organization, as well as their clients, to substantial copyright liability by using the latter.
Of course, this ruling will affect more than PR professionals. Anyone that analyzes the news and other media to understand their competitive landscape has an interest in this court case.
How do you think this will play out?
March 15, 2013
New developments are unfolding in the Associated Press lawsuit against monitoring company Meltwater. The suit alleges that Meltwater is copying and selling licensed content without compensating content publishers. This week, several papers have filed amicus briefs on behalf of the AP, saying that their business would be adversely affected if companies are allowed to redistribute content without appropriate licensing fees.
As CBS reports:
The Times and other companies — including USA Today publisher Gannett (GCI), The McClatchy, (MNI) and Advance Publications — said in court papers filed late Monday that their businesses would be jeopardized if Meltwater’s activities were allowed to continue. The publishers argue that their websites and other digital businesses that generate revenue through advertising, subscriptions and licensing fees are threatened if other companies can distribute their content without paying licensing fees.
“None of these revenue streams can be sustained if news organizations are unable to protect their news reports from the wholesale copying and redistribution by free-riders like Meltwater,” the filing said.
Also joining in the friend-of-the-court brief was BurrellesLuce, a Meltwater competitor, that says it is at a disadvantage because it pays to license content that Meltwater takes for free.
Moreover Technologies is developing Metabase Premium in conjunction with publishers, which provides full access to premium content without any legal, compliance, or administrative wrangling.
We will be commenting here as the case progresses.
February 27, 2013
While media marketers might not put themselves into the same camp as internet trolls, they both have similar goals: getting seen and engaging the audience.
Gigaom’s Martin Belam discusses how sites have deployed countermeasures against drones.Some sites use real IDs (e.g. Facebook) or voting mechanisms (e.g. DISQUS) to shape the comment conversations, but these don’t seem to largely affect the tone or engagement of the commenters.
As Mary Hamilton says:
“In the end, it appeared that actually the tone set early on in a comment thread looked like it influenced comments much more than anything intrinsic about the format or identity system used.”
Being one of the first commenters is the most important factor, whether you are seeking to legitimately engage the author and audience or troll them.
I encourage you to read the entire article, especially if you are running a website with user comments enabled.
Tell us what you think in a tone-setting comment below.
February 8, 2013
People want to define the terms of the relationships they have with companies. This includes where, when, and how interactions take place.
Companies that attempt to influence potential purchasers have an interesting dilemma. People researching products utilize publicly available data, but their behavior changes once they’re about to pull the trigger.
Buyers “go dark” once they reach this important step. That is, once they have informed themselves, they turn to personal social media to get confirmation of the choice. These are often in private channels and beyond the reach of monitoring companies.
Even if you have the ability to communicate in some of these channels, potential purchasers may find your influence off-putting.
So what can be done?
David F. Carr, taking inspiration from a presentation given by R2Integrated’s Matt Goddard, covers this issue in a discussion of the purchasing behavior of social media users.
Where Goddard ultimately sees the most potential is the use of social media for product research. The closer people get to making a purchase, the more they tend to turn to those ‘dark social’ networks where they get more private advice from close friends, family or business peers. Still, enough is visible to give businesses a better understanding of how their products are perceived and what new products might be brought into existence to serve unmet needs.
Because social media users listen to each other more than they listen to brands, offering them the right thing is critical. “Companies that have the best products are going to win. Those that don’t have great products are going to lose,” Goddard said.
It may be that your tactics should change from attempts to directly influence consumers to indirectly influencing them through acting on the results of good competitive analysis.
How do you do that?
- Get data about your potential consumers, competitors, and yourself;
- Analyze that data to identify important trends;
- Get it into the hands of people who can make decisions.
Read this article on Competitive Analysis for more information on how to do all of those steps.
January 17, 2013
A feature article by Moreover’s Senior Product Manager, Brian Mackie, appears in the latest issue of IntranetsToday explaining how companies can find and exploit opportunities within the challenges of Big Data.
His article, “Actionable Media Intelligence: Delivering a Competitive Edge”, argues that companies should be using the proper tools to turn unwieldy “mass media” into actionable “meaningful media”.
Great companies make decisions driven by data, not by gut feelings alone. The problem is that available “big data” is increasing very quickly. How does an organization make sense of it all and get it to the relevant people?
Employees are going to talk- to each other and to people outside the company. Are they informed? They should be reading targeted and relevant news every day without spending too much time seeking it out. Do you know how to get them there?
In the feature, Mr. Mackie gives a checklist of points to consider while evaluating tools for internal communication to solve these problems.
- What media sources does the service cover, does it match your particular industry needs, and can new ones be added on request?
- Check the news filtering options to make sure they will support the precisely tuned results you need (test with real-life news requirements)
- Look for flexible media distribution options: A user portal, newsletters, RSS feeds, possibly an API to integrate news search directly into an intranet
- Ensure it includes editorial control features to manage the content that flows out to the organization (e.g. the ability to quickly remove articles from an RSS feed on the intranet)
- Confirm whether customer service includes editorial support for building out searches
- Ask about their software development processes and how often they roll out new features (ideally at least monthly)
- Know the pricing – avoid ballooning content licensing costs, and beware the sweet entry level deal that is followed by a sudden not-quite-explained price hike in year two!
- Lastly, always run a trial and push the vendor to prove, not just promise, targeted business news that demonstrates value. If they can’t provide this during a trial, it’s probably because they can’t provide it full stop.
Companies can leverage their internal communication to gain an advantage in the marketplace. It is difficult, but there is opportunity in this challenge to rise above the competition:
Turning mass media it into meaningful media intelligence is a fascinating challenge – it is for vendors, publishers, and especially for the companies chasing productivity gains and competitive advantage. And therein lies the good business news: It is not too late to be an early mover and gain that edge.
Read the whole article here while it’s still free!
August 16, 2012
This week we have been exploring how the top Olympic sponsors having been benefiting from their advertising budget. As a change of pace, today we’ll be looking at how Moreover Technologies is powering coverage of the Olympics through the BBC website.
The British Broadcasting Corporation(BBC) has some of the best Olympic coverage in the world and Moreover Technologies, Newsdesk and Search Engine Toolkit, help provide value to the BBC visitors.
There are 3 levels of Olympic coverage offered through the BBC website:
Every country has their own news page, listing key facts, records, medal counts, and more. The “Around the Web” news is powered by Moreover and is a part of every country’s page.
Great Britain’s page:
Just like countries, each sport being showcased in the Olympics has its own dedicated page. Moreover’s tools allow the “Around the Web” section to be populated with relevant news with minimal manual intervention.
A portion of the swimming page:
Top individual Olympians also have their own pages supported by Moreover’s news. Hundreds of pages at www.BBC.co.uk showcase how information can be automatically displayed using a robust taxonomy to create value for visitors.
“Around the Web” section for Tony Martin:
What has been your go-to source for Olympics coverage?
August 1, 2012
Over at commpro.biz, Todd Murphy, the Vice President of Universal Information Services explores how PR professionals should view the role of traditional news in the current media monitoring landscape dominated by Twitter and Facebook.
The main takeaway is that even if traditional print and online news don’t have the buzz, you ignore them at your own peril.
Recently, changes within the news monitoring industry have prompted some to question the value of the individual mediums [sic] that news tracking services monitor. [Only] a couple of us [are] now tracking all media and providing true measurement of those results…
Social media are where stories break and people discuss the news, but these discussions are typically anchored around traditional news content. Keep this in mind when determining priorities for media monitoring.
…the evolving landscape of all news media has changed the way news monitoring services track your news. However, this causality isn’t because one medium is less valuable, but rather our change in monitoring and measurement has been precipitated by an equal shift in how PR professionals and communicators should be earning their media exposure. Think in terms of just “media”, instead of mainstream vs. new media.
Looking at the engagement in spheres of social media without also monitoring the news is to have a large blind spot in your Public Relations vision.
With the exception of a few dozen online sources and blogs, mainstream media is still driving the public relations train. Perhaps, though, it is better for more people to realize that we’re no longer riding a train. We’re cruising at light speed. Monitoring where a story first pops in the mainstream media, and then mapping the engagement of that story as it resonates through newer mediums [sic], is now the standard for public relations.
It is worth the time to read it all.
Tell us in the comments if you agree or disagree that social media complements, rather than supplants, traditional news?
July 25, 2012
We have just rolled out new changes to Newsdesk to facilitate your media monitoring efforts.
Improvements to User Comments on the Dashboard
You can now see which articles have comments from other users directly on the Dashboard widgets. Click the icon next to an article to see the discussion from colleagues about a news topic and to add your own comments.
New Article and Source Metadata in Feed Export
The Rich Atom feed now provides additional metadata about the source and the article. It can be used to build up a client-side index of articles for more detailed media analytics.
It also allows clients to offer a richer end-user experience by displaying more information alongside article headlines, such as the country of a source.
Here is an example of an article with the new tagging:
<title type=”html”>Olympic and Paralympic Values – Excellence week</title>
<link rel=”alternate” href=”https://newsdesk.moreover.com/linkToStory/ />
<link rel=”enclosure” href=”http://site.com/image.png” />
<summary type=”html”>Olympic and Paralympic Values: Excellence week. On June 11, World Class kicked off seven weeks of Olympic-themed content in our buildup to the London 2012 Olympic Games…
<title>BBC</title> manually indent these a little more
<link rel=”alternate” href=”http://www.bbc.co.uk” />
<m:publisher>British Broadcasting Corporation</m:publisher>
<m:topic>Sports: London 2012 news</m:topic>
To see how you can take advantage of these new features, contact your client services representative.
July 24, 2012