Content marketing in 2013- Blurring the lines between advertising and entertainment


YouTube ramps up contextual advertising and paid content to rival success of Netflix, as Google becomes world's largest media owner

iTunes and Google adopt Spotify model, signalling a new era of ad-funded streaming music

Marketers getting smarter with content marketing as analysts predict rise in native advertising in the years to come


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The fall and rise of Yahoo

From YouTube and Netflix to Spotify and iTunes, consumers are continuing to replace their traditional media with digital platforms- and smart marketers are switching their budgets accordingly. This year we saw YouTube expand into paid content while simplifying its ad tools. Indeed, video virals and comedy skits continue to prove a hit for what has essentially become the world’s first global TV channel.

In the UK, the success of Spotify helped the music industry turn its first profit in 15 years, despite online piracy and the steady decrease of physical CD sales.

Meanwhile Yahoo continued its surprising turnaround, buying Tumblr for over $1bn and even overtaking Google for traffic in the US. However, new products, redesigned e-mail and a spending spree on engineers and media figures so far haven’t translated to financial growth- whether Marissa Meyer can achieve this remains to be seen.

View the top 10 headlines that shaped content marketing below, in the year that Google became the world's largest media owner in terms of revenue...

YouTube takes on Netflix with paid content

January 2013


YouTube is set to offer premium channels later this year, as Google looks to take on the likes on Hulu and Netflix in the paid video content sector, according to a news report. According to a report in Advertising Age, YouTube has asked several of its contributors to submit applications to create paid-for channels. The first channels will be available to users by the spring for between $1 and $5 per month, the marketing magazine reports. gets $90m ad campaign ahead of mass Hotmail migration

February 2013


Hotmail users will soon be forced to switch over to, as Microsoft looks to regain lost ground to Google’s Gmail with the largest ever ad campaign for an email service. Microsoft has set aside $90m for a US campaign promoting as it exits its ‘preview phase’. As part of the process, all users of Microsoft’s Hotmail and other email services operating under different domains such as will be automatically converted to by the summer, if they don’t voluntarily switch before then.

Spotify helps UK music industry turn first profit in 15 years

February 2013


Streaming services such as Spotify and YouTube have given the UK industry its first increase in profits recorded in 15 years, according to new reports. The details emerged in two reports that were released this week. The IFPI Digital Music Report showed a 0.3% rise, amazingly the biggest rise since 1999. Meanwhile, a report by the NPD group showed that peer-to-peer music download services dropped by 17% globally. According to industry bosses, this could set them back on the road to recovery, after online piracy and the decrease of physical CD sales saw the industry struggling.

Google Reader users flock to Feedly: RSS tool gets 500,000 new users in two days

March 2013


As Google Reader winds down, users are flocking to several RSS alternatives- with rival Feedly becoming one of the biggest beneficiaries. Last week, Google announced it would pull the plug on its Reader RSS feed this summer, causing much outcry among its loyal users. However, Feedly, a free Web-based RSS service that also offers iOS and Android apps, has added half a million new users in just two days after Google’s announcement.

“We promise not to screw it up”: Yahoo buys Tumblr for $1.1bn

May 2013

Yahoo has bought blogging platform Tumblr for $1.1bn (£725m) in cash, with CEO marisa Mayer pledging “not to screw it up” in a blog post.

Watch Wikipedia's Jimmy Wales speak to the BBC about what the deal could mean for Tumblr:

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Google takes on Spotify with $10 music streaming service

May 2013


Google has launched a streaming music subscription service, taking on the likes of Spotify and Pandora. Announced at the firm's I/O developers conference in San Francisco, ‘Google Play Music All Access’ lets users listen to millions of tracks in addition to the ones they already own. However, unlike many of its rivals, there is no free-to-use option beyond an initial 30-day trial period.

Apple debuts ad-funded music streaming- new channel for marketers

June 2013

Apple has launched its much-anticipated iTunes Radio music streaming service, as the firm looks to rival the likes of Spotify, Pandora and Google Music.

Watch this video from Bloomberg with highlights from the launch event here:

Top 30 media companies in the world: Google makes number one

May 2103


Google is now the world’s largest media owner, with Yahoo, Microsoft and Facebook also making top 30, according to new research. The report, from ZenithOptimedia ranked the firms in the world by media revenue, which it describes as “all revenues deriving from businesses that support advertising, not just the advertising revenue itself.” Google stands alone at the top of the list, with an estimated $37.9 billion in revenues, more than $10 billion ahead of its nearest competitor, The DirectTV Group.

Amazon owner buys Washington Post

August 2013

Jeff Bezos, founder of Amazon, has personally bought The Washington Post and other newspapers for $250m (£163m).

Watch this video report from Bloomberg here:

UK marketers ‘getting more confident with content marketing’

December 2013

UK marketers rate themselves more highly in terms of effectiveness when compared with North American and Australian marketers, according to new research.

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