“Shared News Matters More”, Say Results from CNN’s First International Study into Social Media Recommendation

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

New York, NY - CNN recently released key results from a ground-breaking study into the power of news and recommendation (POWNAR).

POWNAR comprised a global online study carried out on behalf of CNN by Ipsos OTX MediaCT, together with semiotic analysis, biometric testing and news tracking to demonstrate that shared news drives global uplifts in brand metrics. The Ipsos OTX MediaCT component of the study was unique in using an innovative, multi-stage approach to recreate the effect of sharing news content in a survey environment.

“The commerciality of the social media space is fast becoming apparent and this study means that for the first time, we are able to substantiate the value of shared news from an advertising perspective”, comments Didier Mormesse, Senior Vice President, Ad Sales Research, Development & Audience Insight at CNN International.

Through biometrics and eye-tracking techniques, POWNAR also aimed to measure emotional engagement associated with online news sharing. The results showed a “halo effect” of substantially higher engagement with “recommended” news content and embedded advertising, as opposed to “randomly” consumed content and advertising.

The overall uplift for brands who advertise around stories recommended in social media is significant. Data from the survey carried out for CNN by Ipsos OTX MediaCT showed that people who received news content from a friend or associate via social media were 19% more likely to recommend the brand that advertised around that story to others, and 27% more likely to favour that brand themselves.

More specifically, the survey included several advertiser case studies including one where a major European tourism board reported notably stronger campaign cut-through with aided ad re-call up 50% and brand favourability up 32% after advertising around news that was shared in social media.

The results from POWNAR also showed that video pre-roll advertising had overall a superior branding effect when appearing around news content shared in social media, in comparison to display banner advertising.

“Knowing the typology of shared content is significant as the information could be used by agencies as a guideline to mould creative and therefore make their advertising more effective to consumers”, added Mormesse.

What makes news “shareable”?
POWNAR identified a three tiered semiotic wheel that guides sharing patterns; comprising the three types of codes of narrative, theme and underlying message. For narrative, 65% of shared content comprises ongoing stories, 19% comprises breaking news and 16% of content falls into the “quirky or funny” category. In terms of theme, news recommendation is driven by content that is visually spectacular, stories about science and technology, human interest stories and money-related stories. The majority of stories being shared carry an underlying message of the “sharer” imparting knowledge.

Who is doing the sharing?
The 80/20 rule applies to the findings. 27% of all sharers* account for 87% of all news stories shared. Data from the survey carried out for CNN by Ipsos OTX MediaCT also showed that the average global user shares 13 stories per week and receives 26 stories through shared social media links or emails.

Which platforms dominate?
In peer-to-peer communication, 43% of news sharing comes from social media networks and tools e.g. Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, MySpace, followed by email (30%), SMS (15%) and IM (12%).

*“Sharers” defined as those sharing 6+ news stories per week.

For more information on this news release or the LMX study please contact:
Ian Wright
Head of Corporate Development
Ipsos OTX MediaCT
(212) 524-8270

About Ipsos OTX MediaCT

Ipsos OTX MediaCT is the market research specialization within Ipsos built to reach, engage and more effectively understand today’s digitally-driven consumer in the fast moving media, content and technology space. By integrating new technologies and immersive techniques with extensive traditional research experience, Ipsos OTX MediaCT’s market leading research solutions help clients better understand media and technology consumption, evaluate content, monitor the value of brands and provide guidance for successful innovation. The Ipsos OTX MediaCT approach results in deeper and more profound consumer insights that allow companies to maximize their return on investment.

To learn more, please visit, www.ipsos-na.com/media.

About Ipsos

Ipsos is a leading global survey-based market research company, owned and managed by research professionals. Ipsos helps interpret, simulate, and anticipate the needs and responses of consumers, customers, and citizens around the world.

Member companies assess market potential and interpret market trends. They develop and build brands. They help clients build long-term relationships with their customers. They test advertising and study audience responses to various media. They measure public opinion around the globe.

Ipsos member companies offer expertise in advertising, customer loyalty, marketing, media, and public affairs research, as well as forecasting, modeling, and consulting. Ipsos has a full line of custom, syndicated, omnibus, panel, and online research products and services, guided by industry experts and bolstered by advanced analytics and methodologies. The company was founded in 1975 and has been publicly traded since 1999.

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“Shared News Matters More”, Say Results from CNN’s First International Study into Social Media Recommendation

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Press Release


Ian Wright
Executive Vice President
Corporate Development

Ipsos MediaCT