Written by Ι Stock Market Media Group Staff — March 16, 2015
NEW YORK, NY – SPYR, Inc. (OTCQB: SPYR), formerly Eat at Joe’s, Ltd., has quietly been undergoing a transformation in 2015, so much so, that the company has acquired its way into the lucrative digital publishing and advertising industry. Since January, SPYR, Inc. has seemingly come alive with a number of big announcements that include the recent name change, and the naming of a new CEO, who immediately made it clear that the company was heading in a new direction. In late February, that new direction was unveiled to shareholders in the form of the acquisition of Franklin Networks, Inc.
Timing is everything and SPYR has chosen to enter one of the hottest areas of advertising – digital publishing. The company acquired Franklin Networks and its eight established online brands which include: Flawless.com; Entrée.com; Grubbr.com; GuiltyTravel.com; Gladiators.com; Crumb.com; ParentingPad.com; and Nutristic.com.
These eight websites cater to a number of different audiences. By building a diverse portfolio of branded websites with engaging, high-quality content that spans a spectrum of topics and industries from travel to food to fitness, the company is able to capture a wider consumer base for advertisers. And, when advertisers see that vast consumer base, they see dollar signs.
As media giant Condé Nast has proven with brands like GQ, Vogue, Vanity Fair and Glamour, that vast consumer base is a prime target for advertisers looking to introduce their products through well-placed advertisements right where readers are spending time.
Digital advertisers promote products and brands over electronic media using online sites with brand recognition and inviting content. For SPYR, this will mean monetizing its eight online brands and others it may acquire using the relationships that Franklin Networks has established with advertising partners. Consumers will access SPYR’s websites and the advertising of its partners using personal computers, laptops, smartphones and tablets, which is very appealing to advertisers. This appeal should make this new direction for SPYR a big win for its investors.
Why is online advertising so popular? Well, the idea is to speak to consumers where they will hear you and, as eMarketer showed in a 2014 study, U.S. adults are spending more time each day using digital devices (computers, mobile phones, tablets) than they are watching television, listening to the radio or reading newspapers and magazines. According to eMarketer, as the percentages of time spent per day on digital devices grows, uses of other forms of media rapidly declines.
The dramatic shift away from television, radio and print media and toward digital media, explains why big companies are changing their marketing strategies and increasing their digital advertising spending. Peter Minnium stated in an article titled 8 Reasons Why Digital Advertising Works for Brands that consumer goods giants like Proctor & Gamble and Unilever have increased their spending on digital advertising. Proctor & Gamble spends a third of its U.S. advertising budget on digital media, while Unilever increased its spending on digital advertising by 40 percent starting in 2013 with approximately 35 percent of its U.S. advertising budget directed toward digital advertising.
These trends explain why internet ad revenues have passed those of broadcast television. In a report published by the Interactive Advertising Bureau and conducted by PricewaterhouseCoopers, it was found that online ad sales continue to register double-digit percentage growth year over year. In 2013, online ad sales rose 17 percent to $42.8 billion up from $26 billion in 2010 and only $9.6 billion in 2004.
eMarketer reports that in the U.S., the total spent on digital advertising alone will rise to more than $52 billion in 2015 and will climb to more than $61 billion by 2017. It is numbers like this that explain why the transition by SPYR into the digital publishing space makes a whole lot of sense.
With this exciting new business model, investors should appreciate the company’s new name, which better reflects the new direction and business of the company, and should allow SPYR to compete in a space where it appears to have made a strong initial push.