Nov 13, 2012 (AME Info - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) --
NEW MEDIA AGENCY LAUNCHED IN MIDEAST BY IPG: IPG Mediabrands, part of Interpublic Group, has launched its third global media agency BPN, across several international markets including the Middle East. The new planning and media buying agency, Brand Programming Network (BPN), has been set up in partnership with Horizon Group. BPN will replace Horizon Group's media agency outfit, Brand Connection.
LEBANON'S ADVERTISING SPENDING SEEN TO DROP BY YEAR-END: According to a survey by ArabAd magazine and Zenith Optimedia, advertising expenditure in Lebanon is set to drop 9.8 percent by the end of 2012, The Daily Star has reported. Advertising expenditures in the country will stand at around $136m, the study said. Last year, spending fell 16.6 percent after growing 20.1 percent in 2010. Television stations would attract $53.3m in total ads this year, down 9.5 percent from around $59m in 2011, while newspapers ads will drop 5 percent to $28.6m in the same period. Billboards' advertising will decrease 19.2 percent in value to $27.3m, and ad spending in magazines will decrease 10.1 percent to $9.8m. However, cinemas and radio ad expenditures will remain unchanged from last year at $11.6m and $5.5m, respectively, the report said.
YOUTUBE TO FUND UP TO 40 percent OF ORIGINAL CONTENT PARTNERS: YouTube has announced it will provide a second round of funding to between 30 percent to 40 percent of its original partners, and will start notifying those getting more investment in the next few weeks, Ad Age has reported. The move comes a year after the video-sharing portal launched a programme to challenge the cable industry by investing $100m into the development of dozens of new YouTube channels, many of which will not receive a second round of funding. "Our biggest objective was to kick-start the ecosystem, to bring in great creators, to deepen our relationships with advertisers and to grow viewership," said YouTube global head of content, Jamie Byrne. "We looked at viewership they've been able to achieve, the cost of the content, and from that we are able to determine the channels that are delivering the best return on our investment."
UPCOMING $100M FINANCING ROUND VALUES SPOTIFY AT $3BN: Online music streaming service Spotify is set to close a $100m financing round that would value the company at a little more than $3bn, The Wall Street Journal has reported, citing unnamed sources. The capital would come from multiple investors, including Goldman Sachs, the report said, without disclosing the names of other investors Spotify, which was cofounded by CEO Daniel Ek in 2006, reported a net loss for 2010 of $37.5m on $97m in revenue. For 2011, the company's revenue increased to $244m, but losses also widened to $59m.
JOHNSON & JOHNSON AWARDS INITIATIVE REGIONAL ACCOUNT: US-based media communications firm, Initiative has retained the media account for Johnson & Johnson in the Middle East following a global review, Campaign ME has reported. The health and skincare conglomerate split its EMEA assignment between WPP's GroupM agencies and IPG's Mediabrands agencies following a four-month review, with UM and Initiative awarded the Middle East, North Africa, Afghanistan and Pakistan (MENAP), Balkans and Southern Europe (Spain, Italy and Portugal) clusters. The regional team handling the account will be based in Dubai and will continue to coordinate with markets in Egypt, Morocco and Lebanon.
QATAR TO INVEST $100M IN US MEDIA GROUP: Qatar Holdings has agreed to invest $100m in Chernin Group, a private media company founded by a former News Corporation president, Peter Chernin, the New York Times has reported, citing a source close to the deal. The investment by Qatar Holdings, a unit of the government-backed Qatar Investment Authority, means it will be one of the two largest backers of the Chernin Group, along with Providence Equity Partners, which invested some $200m in the group this year. "They're trying to give us more firepower," Chernin told the daily.
GOOGLE SAYS MOST ONLINE ARABIC CONTENT LACKS ACCURACY, QUALITY: Google has said half of the Arabic content on the internet is replicated on different websites and written in weak Arabic, Jordan Times has reported. Online Arabic content does not exceed 3 percent of all content on the web and about 33 percent of it is restricted to members of online forums inaccessible to the public, Fayeq Oweis, Arabic localisation manager at Google, said in the Content Arabia conference in Amman. "A large percentage of this content includes factual and grammar mistakes," Oweis added, noting that the lack of Arabic content affects the quality of online translation. "When internet users translate a sentence from any language into Arabic on search engines for example, they may not get a proper and grammatically correct translation because some of the existing Arabic content already has problems and is inaccurate," he said.
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