In Uncategorized on April 3, 2010 at 6:51 pm


Ready for another Mirage?

In Analysis on February 14, 2010 at 2:14 pm

Tintin’s friends Dupond in the desert : “What about a good bath? rich idea!”

After the Ipad Introduction, the dust is slowly going to the ground .
Is the Ipad going to provide the advertising/circulation platform tool that Print Medias have been expecting for two decades?

Some are very doubtful. Read this blog :

Richard Tofel : How the iPad Could Kill Newspapers

“Thus, it has been clear, for perhaps three to five years, that any sudden conversion of all print readers to web readers, while greatly reducing costs, would reduce revenues even more, deepening losses at unprofitable papers and throwing those that remain profitable into losses—losses that would likely be impossible to reverse except through huge further expense cuts, especially in newsrooms. The downward spiral in product quality would be accelerated, likely leading to fewer readers and more cuts.

Unfortunately, nothing about the iPad, as wonderful as it looks and feels, holds out the promise of avoiding this problem. It is hard to imagine how ads delivered on an iPad could garner a price three, four, or five times that for today’s online ads. But that is what would be required for a profitable transition.

On the circulation side, things look better, but not better enough. iPod apps, the analogy on which charging for content on an iPad will likely be based, are amazingly inexpensive; many powerful apps are free, and ten dollars a year buys robust services—with Apple keeping a big cut for itself. It may be easier to charge iPad subscribers than it has been on the web, but charging them even a decent fraction of what the Times, for instance, charges print subscribers—more than $600 per year after introductory discounts have expired—seems like a pipe dream.”

Pretty scary isnt’it?

the following comments are very interesting :

“Your essay appears to assume that Newspapers aren’t already in free-fall mode. I’m afraid that the template of advertiser-driven content support that used to work in print media is over. The advertisers are not coming back, and only a few newspapers will survive, and in a much-reduced format. I think Apple, with its innovation, has the potential to help monetize content delivery with fees for subscriptions. That’s about all we can hope.”

another one:

Online advertising is actually the problem. The limitations of human vision and ad size have created a serious problem for advertisers. They can’t say much in a tiny space. If headlines or images or combinations of these are required how do you put them in front of someone? Do you compress them to the size of a matchbook cover? or elongate them into a banner? Do you make them annoying and force people to look at them by getting in their way? (…)
If you control the content, and present advertising in a non annoying way, larger (more like print), add more tools that provide more value to the advertiser, the architecture of how print works will be preserved.

this one too :

“Yeah wait as second while I abandon the 1000’s of free news sources online and fork our $3.45 a week for the NY Times Online … News Agregators baby. That’s what we should be talking about.”

Once again it appears that The Reader (the real King) wants to have access to a multitude of sources, the ability to access transversally to these sources and as long as possible to get that for free.

In that case there is not much choice for Media companies to survive.

a) go united to the Itunes ecosystem on the Ipad (and on the Web?)

b) enable reading about subjects across multiple sources (competitors) simultaniously, transversally (like in Google News or Fast Flip)

c) STOP FREE ACCESS on the Web to force users to go to the paid platform

d) involve readers into a “pay for unlimited access to multiple sources” model like in the TV industry where you access channels “collections” via subscription

That means also that there should be a very very strong position where content would not be free anymore, suddendly, meaning WHITE PAGES ! A sort of strike from the publishers against free content. The total refusal to die for free access journalism.
A real war.

It’s easy to say and not easy to do.

Otherwise another Mirage is very likely. It would be the last one for the publishing industry.

The new Business: Conferences about Paid Content!

In Uncategorized on February 11, 2010 at 1:16 pm

Every single week there is a new conference somewhere about “the Ecosystem for Media in the Digital Age”, about “Business Models” and so on. It seems to be a great way to make money! out of people trying to find a way to make money!

Last week it was AlwaysOn OnMedia 2010 conference, where Mac Cubain (HDNet) said that Google is a digital vampire to Media. By the way, Google is becoming the new Evil Empire. (See what some Germans do to the Google Street View car drivers ! )

Next week it is Paid Content 2010 and is intended to discuss about questions that I didn’t even know they could exist :

“One area we’ll cover is less about paid content—and more about the challenges created by the expanding class of free-content distributors, or, as we call it, The Rise of Content Super-Distributors.

Content-generating machines like Demand Media, Associated Content, Mahalo, About.com—and now AOL’s new Seed.com—are fueled by the role of search as a content discovery tool and heavy doses of SEO. Is this the future for a big subsector of the content industry? Will this mass amount of content swamp the smaller scale work of traditional and new outlets and their chances for new pay models or provide a new source of inexpensive content?  How can super-distributors avoid being viewed as content farms? “

Content Super Distributors! If you didn’t realised yet that Media was in a big mess, beware! there is another Iceberg in front of the Titanic! Content Super Distributors!…

From all those conferences, Is there any new ideas in this post Ipad introduction period?
Meanwhile, the Ipad Skepticism is growing. I don’t like that. The Ipad is a real chance for publishers. If it fails, that would be dreadful.

Come on. All this is insane.

A few years ago, You could come up with a new concept for a Magazine (paper) and hire, design, launch, advertise, and more than often make a success in a matter of months. By success I mean creating revenues, profits, jobs, customer satisfaction.


And now? what have we got?

A Continent size Minefield !

Not only you STILL need  Enormous Publishing skills to survive (super good editors, art designers, production and marketing people etc…) but now you ALSO NEED to be a Multimedia super brain, able fast enough to catch up the new waves in a matter of weeks and immediately find the way to produce and to (monetize) revenues from it. Otherwise you get killed by competition as fast as in a First Person shooter Game. Nice industry, isn’it?

Gentlemen, If Steve hasn’t got a solution for us, then it’s going to be really tough.


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