http://sfnblog.com/feed en What does it mean to go native? http://sfnblog.com/2012/11/16/what-does-it-mean-to-go-native <div class="teaser"> <div class="blog-entry-image"> <div class="field field-type-image field-field-blog-entry-image"> <div class="img-col img-col-2"><img src="http://sfnblog.com/sites/default/files/imagecache/default_col_2/sites/sfnblog.com/files/field_blog_entry_image/native.png" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-default_col_2"/></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-blog-entry-content"> <p>By now you’ll have heard an awful lot about native advertising. Like the fact that it will save us all (<a href="http://pandodaily.com/2012/10/03/native-advertising-will-save-us-all-maybe/">maybe</a>), that news companies see a financial <a href="http://www.poynter.org/latest-news/top-stories/195458/news-companies-see-a-financial-future-in-brand-sponsored-digital-content/">future</a> in it, and that it while it sure can attract a whole lotta <a href="http://www.forbes.com/sites/jeffbercovici/2012/11/14/ads-that-get-more-love-than-the-stories-around-them-pulse-has-them/">love</a>, alas, the time has not come for <em>The New York Times</em> to <a href="http://paidcontent.org/2012/11/14/is-it-time-for-the-new-york-times-to-embrace-sponsored-stories/">embrace</a> it.</p> <p>A quick recap: native advertising is independently compelling content (text, video or other) that is paid for by a brand, and semi-camouflaged in a publication’s natural editorial environment. It should neither stick out like a sore thumb nor dupe the reader, somewhat like how the model in the picture above blends prettily into her bed of leaves, without leading anyone to believe that she herself is plant-based.</p> <p>“Interruptive” ads, for a bit of contrast, are the opposite of native; clumsy, unengaging and intrusive, these still-lucrative squares and rectangles are like an uninvited party guest who makes everyone else feel uncomfortable. These days, with “turn mobile audience into ad revenue” at the top of many a to-do list, this is becoming increasingly awkward; having an interruptive ad appear on your smartphone screen is like getting stuck with that guest in a narrow hallway while you wait in line for the powder room.</p> <p>As <a href="http://www.digiday.com/publishers/display-ads-might-never-work-on-smartphones/">Digiday</a>’s <strong>Jack Marshall</strong> has put it, if analogue advertising brings in dollars, and digital advertising brings in dimes, then mobile— for all its <a href="http://marketingland.com/meeker-mobile-advertising-a-20-billion-opportunity-in-us-13273">famously bar-graphed opportunity</a>— brings only pennies. But a look at the companies that are managing to roll these pennies and take them to the bank reveals an element of common ground: “they’ve shunned standardized smartphone display units in favour of native or content-driven ones,” Marshall writes.</p> <p>One example is <strong>BuzzFeed</strong>, a native advertising advocate, whose revenues are <a href="http://www.niemanlab.org/2012/10/buzzfeed-adapts-its-branded-content-approach-to-political-advertising-and-obamas-in/">apparently</a> “on track to be three times higher than last year,” and which sees <a href="http://www.digiday.com/publishers/display-ads-might-never-work-on-smartphones/">higher rates of audience engagement with marketer content on smartphones than on desktop platforms</a>, according to Marshall. Another is <strong>Facebook</strong>, which went from making almost nothing from mobile ads in the first quarter of this year to bringing in <a href="http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/10/23/us-facebook-results-idUSBRE89M1D820121023">over $150 million in the third</a> quarter – equivalent to a higher-than-expected 14 percent of total ad revenue. Sponsored Stories, the <a href="http://adage.com/article/digitalnext/future-belongs-native-ads-agency-ready/236481/">cornerstone</a> of its revenue model, were generating around <a href="http://venturebeat.com/2012/07/26/facebook-sponsored-stories-rev/">$500,000 a day</a> on mobile platforms by June.</p> <p>So native ads blend into content, are more palatable than interruptive ones, and can even work on mobile platforms. But what do they look like? And is it… ethical?</p> <p><strong>If the publisher is BuzzFeed and the brand is Obama…</strong></p> <p><object width="560" height="315" data="http://www.youtube.com/v/6rGaE5je7vE?version=3&amp;hl=en_US" type="application/x-shockwave-flash"> <param name="allowFullScreen" value="true" /> <param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always" /> <param name="src" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/6rGaE5je7vE?version=3&amp;hl=en_US" /> <param name="allowfullscreen" value="true" /> </object></p> <p>In the weeks leading up to the U.S. presidential election, <strong>Obama for America</strong> had the honour of becoming the first political campaign to give native advertising a go on <em>BuzzFeed</em>. Above is one example of a post. Others involved Jay Z and those notorious binders filled with females.</p> <p>As is the case with all of&nbsp;<em>BuzzFeed</em>’s Featurd Partners, the Obama campaign had the option of either working with the media outlet's ad team to develop a concept, or of simply posting existing content on the site. They chose the latter. And as is always the case for <em>BuzzFeed</em>, this sponsored content is clearly labeled as such: a yellowish box above the headline marks the video “Paid Political Content,” and another box below the blurb re-emphasizes “Political Ad Paid For By Obama for America."</p> <p><strong>If the publisher is Atlantic Media, and the brand is IBM…</strong></p> <p><strong><a href="http://www.theatlantic.com/sponsored/ibm-power-data/ "><span class="inline inline-left" style="width: px;"></span></a></strong></p> <p>Above is an elaborate infographic on&nbsp;<em>The Atlantic</em>'s website that offers users information about social media adoption by Fortune 500 companies, the prevalence of technology in the marketing sector, and the use of data in police work. The mentions of <strong>IBM</strong>, the sponsor, are sparse: an IBM SmartCloud plug here, a quick reference to IBM analytics there…&nbsp;</p> <p>Leading to this graphic is a boxed title on the home page that reads, “<a href=" Using Data to Keep the Peace.”" target="_blank">Sponsored Content: Infographic: Using Data to Keep the Peace</a>,” and whose font and colour differentiate it from the rest of the day’s headlines. Within the sponsored section, a red stripe proclaiming SPONSORED CONTENT in small white text separates <em>The Atlantic</em>’s menu bar from the paid-for post’s headline.</p> <p><strong>If the publisher is Boston.com and the advertisers are local businesses…</strong></p> <p><strong>T</strong><strong>homas F.X. Cole</strong>, the Executive Director of Business at <em>Boston.com</em> and <em>The Boston Globe,&nbsp;</em>has seized an opportunity for sponsored blog posts from local businesses on <em>Boston.com</em>. As he&nbsp;<a href="http://adage.com/article/media/sponsored-posts-boston/238276/">said to Ad Age’s Nat Ives</a>: “Our advertisers and particularly our smaller advertisers have been creating their own content. They need to get it exposed. As much as 50% of small businesses are blogging. The one thing they want is to have people see their material.” Here is how it works:</p> <p><object width="420" height="315" data="http://www.youtube.com/v/B5I1K16rlr4?version=3&amp;hl=en_US" type="application/x-shockwave-flash"> <param name="allowFullScreen" value="true" /> <param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always" /> <param name="src" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/B5I1K16rlr4?version=3&amp;hl=en_US" /> <param name="allowfullscreen" value="true" /> </object></p> <p>In this case, too, church and state are firmly divided. “Insights,” as the sponsored posts are called, are in a box outside of the main column of headlines, in different font, and under the label: “Special Advertiser Feature.”</p> <p><strong>If the ad agency is Sharethrough and the product is&nbsp;</strong><strong>Sour Patch Kids...</strong></p> <p><object width="425" height="350" data="http://www.youtube.com/v/tw7uhVtpI5I&amp;feature" type="application/x-shockwave-flash"> <param name="src" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/tw7uhVtpI5I&amp;feature" /> </object></p><p><strong>&nbsp;</strong></p> <p>San Francisco-based native ad agency <strong>Sharethrough</strong> specialises in sponsored videos for brands that are “equal in intellectual value to ‘real’ editorial on a publisher’s page,” rely on a “choice-based interaction” whereby the user clicks on them very much on purpose, and are visually integrated into publishers' websites. I do not know on which publisher's website (if any) the above clip has appeared or how transparently it was marked (I found it via Sharethrough's&nbsp;<a href="http://www.sharethrough.com/">site</a>). One publisher that the agency has worked with, though, is&nbsp;<em>Forbes</em>;&nbsp;indeed, Sharethrough and Forbes Insights put together a joint 18-page report on native advertising entitled “<a href="http://www.sharethrough.com/native-ad-research/">Going Native</a>.”</p> <p>Will native advertising become a common source of revenue for news organisations in the near future, as it already has for several social networks? Perhaps, but there are some complications, even beyond the the many-shades-of-grey question of how integrated is too integrated.</p> <p>One is scale: creating such content is costly, labour-intensive, and usually requires a partnership between a brand and one publisher; and the finished product does not lend itself well to being run across several different websites. For publishers, additional challenges include the figuring out how best to valuate and charge for custom content, as <em>The Atlantic</em>’s Publisher <strong>Jay Lauf</strong> has <a href="http://adage.com/article/digital/native-advertising-media-savior-custom-campaign/238010/">expressed</a>, and the difficulty of striking when the iron is viral, as <em>BuzzFeed</em> has <a href="http://adage.com/article/digital/native-advertising-media-savior-custom-campaign/238010/">found</a>.</p> <p>On the bright side, they can bring in a lot of pennies. <em>BuzzFeed</em>, for instance, currently charges $8,000 per day for the slot to the right of the main headline—a price that will increase to $10,000 per day in 2013 due to growth in home-page traffic, according to <a href="http://adage.com/article/digital/native-advertising-media-savior-custom-campaign/238010/"><em>Ad Age</em></a>. The stories that fill this slot are visually distinct from the rest, and have headlines like, “13 Animals Who Know It’s Business Time.”&nbsp;From the user’s perspective, let’s be honest— invited or not, he'd be great fun at a party.&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>Sources</strong>:&nbsp;Ad Age (<a href="http://adage.com/article/digitalnext/future-belongs-native-ads-agency-ready/236481/ ">1</a>) (<a href="http://adage.com/article/media/sponsored-posts-boston/238276/ ">2</a>) (<a href="http://adage.com/article/digital/native-advertising-media-savior-custom-campaign/238010/">3</a>), <a href="http://www.niemanlab.org/2012/10/buzzfeed-adapts-its-branded-content-approach-to-political-advertising-and-obamas-in/ ">Nieman Lab</a>, <a href="http://www.digiday.com/publishers/display-ads-might-never-work-on-smartphones/">Digiday</a>, <a href="http://www.poynter.org/latest-news/top-stories/195458/news-companies-see-a-financial-future-in-brand-sponsored-digital-content/">Poynter</a>, <a href="http://pandodaily.com/2012/10/03/native-advertising-will-save-us-all-maybe/">Pando Daily</a>, <a href="http://www.forbes.com/sites/lewisdvorkin/2012/11/13/inside-forbes-journalists-need-to-understand-the-ad-business-not-sulk-and-go-home/">Forbes</a>, <a href="http://www.mediapost.com/publications/article/184085/the-natives-are-restless-news-publishers-move-lin.html#ixzz2CDPflrXw">Media Post</a></p> <div class="image-clear"></div> </div> </div><!-- /teaser --> http://sfnblog.com/2012/11/16/what-does-it-mean-to-go-native#comments ad revenue content marketing digital mobile advertising Native advertising sponsored content Advertising Fri, 16 Nov 2012 16:48:43 +0000 Emma Knight 6352 at http://sfnblog.com France’s digital kiosk boosts revenue four-fold, secures new financing http://sfnblog.com/2012/11/14/france-s-digital-kiosk-boosts-revenue-four-fold-secures-new-financing <div class="teaser"> <div class="blog-entry-image"> <div class="field field-type-image field-field-blog-entry-image"> <div class="img-col img-col-2"><img src="http://sfnblog.com/sites/default/files/imagecache/default_col_2/sites/sfnblog.com/files/field_blog_entry_image/Screen%20shot%202012-11-14%20at%2016.44.48.png" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-default_col_2"/></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-blog-entry-content"> <p><strong><a href="http://www.lekiosk.com/">Lekiosk</a></strong>, the French virtual newsstand app that lets readers subscribe to several magazines for a flat rate, has just been refuelled, and is ready to grow. The company is moving forward with €5.6 million in <a href="http://paidcontent.org/2012/11/14/le-kiosk-raising-e5-6-million-to-make-bundled-tablet-mags-social/">second-round funding</a>, <em>PaidContent</em> has reported— an investment that will serve “to fuel growth and global expansion and to invest in product development,” according to co-founder <strong>Michael Philippe</strong>.</p> <p>We <a href="http://www.sfnblog.com/2012/06/11/frances-lekiosk-virtual-newsstand-app-launches-in-britain">last wrote about the startup</a> in June, when it launched an English version for the UK market. There, Lekiosk partnered right off the bat with publishers such as <strong>IPC Media</strong> and <strong>Condé Nast</strong>, offering British users its characteristic bundle of ten magazine subscriptions at the price of £9.99 per month (in France it is ten for €10). Philippe told us at the time that they were off to “a very good start.” He said that they were preparing for further international expansion, with plans to conquer Italy by the fall, and additional European countries in 2013.</p> <p>The new capital, which should help to make this possible, is coming from two French investors: <strong>CM-CIC Capital Privé</strong>, which has also backed music-streaming website <strong>Deezer</strong>, and the state-affiliated <strong>CDC Enterprises</strong>. The investors were no doubt attracted by Lekiosk’s success; it is France's highest-grossing iPad app, and its revenue has more than quadrupled over the last year, from €1.4 million to €6 million. “We have had over 700,000 downloads of our app,” Philippe told <em>PaidContent</em>; “there are around 30,000 subscribers to our 10-magazine bundle and we have 100,000 paying active users on the platform.”</p> <p>There is still, however, much room to grow. Besides reinforcing their position in Europe, beginning with the long-anticipated Italian launch, Lekiosk is seeking to broaden its roster of publishers, and to adapt to new platforms. It is seeking to tailor its iOS and Android apps to the screens of smaller tablets (such as the Nexus 7 and the iPad Mini), and to build a Windows 8 version for the Microsoft Surface. It is also planning to “socialise” (Hollande detractors, stop snickering) the magazines it offers. “Putting social interactions into our app is our main development for next year,” said Philippe. Although he declined to go into detail at this stage, Philippe told us that this would likely involve adding features that permit readers to comment on and share magazine articles, and stimulating interaction not only between readers and the magazines, but also among the magazines themselves.</p> <p>Lekiosk’s model is similar to that of <a href="http://www.nextissue.com/">Next Issue</a> in the United States or <a href="http://www.pianomedia.eu/about-us">Piano Media</a> in Eastern Europe: by offering a reasonably priced prix fixe content menu, it allows those readers who may be reluctant to purchase several individual subscriptions at top dollar a much more affordable way to read their fill. According to Philippe, bundling ten magazines also encourages readers to diversify their tastes. “Eighty-five percent of subscribers are subscribing to magazines they would never have read in paper or digital without the bundle,” he <a href="http://paidcontent.org/2012/11/14/le-kiosk-raising-e5-6-million-to-make-bundled-tablet-mags-social/">said</a>. And where pricing is concerned, 9.99 appears to be the magic number; in the US, Next Issue’s basic pricing plan similarly asks for one penny shy of a tenner.</p> <p><strong>Sources</strong>: PaidContent (<a href="http://paidcontent.org/2012/11/14/le-kiosk-raising-e5-6-million-to-make-bundled-tablet-mags-social/">1</a>) (<a href="http://paidcontent.org/2012/06/11/ipad-magazine-bundler-lekiosk-tries-to-crack-uk-italy/">2</a>), <a href="http://www.sfnblog.com/2012/06/11/frances-lekiosk-virtual-newsstand-app-launches-in-britain">SFN Blog</a>, <a href="http://www.boursier.com/opcvm/actualites/generales/cdc-entreprises-apporte-son-soutien-a-lekiosk-506675.html">Boursier</a></p> </div> </div><!-- /teaser --> http://sfnblog.com/2012/11/14/france-s-digital-kiosk-boosts-revenue-four-fold-secures-new-financing#comments bundle pricing digital magazine digital newsstand Lekiosk Michael Philippe tablet magazine news distribution Wed, 14 Nov 2012 15:45:32 +0000 Emma Knight 6351 at http://sfnblog.com Flipboard and Pulse try two very different tactics for tilling the mobile revenue landscape http://sfnblog.com/2012/11/12/flipboard-and-pulse-try-two-very-different-tactics-for-tilling-the-mobile-revenue-landsca <div class="teaser"> <div class="blog-entry-image"> <div class="field field-type-image field-field-blog-entry-image"> <div class="img-col img-col-2"><img src="http://sfnblog.com/sites/default/files/imagecache/default_col_2/sites/sfnblog.com/files/field_blog_entry_image/Screen%20shot%202012-11-12%20at%2018.34.15.png" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-default_col_2"/></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-blog-entry-content"> <p>When aggregation/news-reading apps are first launched, their founders tend to emit a hazily rose-tinted view of future revenue prospects. Flush with venture capital, a fledgling startup’s first priority is not to decide whether a lucrative future lies with a freemium model, paid subscriptions, and/or targeted advertising; its initial goal is to provide the best possible service and to build an “<a href="http://www.digiday.com/publishers/can-nowthis-news-crack-mobile-video/">audience of significant scale</a>”– the rest will (hopefully) fall into place. This is no longer the case for <strong>Flipboard </strong>and<strong> Pulse</strong>, two major apps in this category, which have each been around for over two years and have attracted 20 million users respectively. No longer hatchlings, these companies are entering the phase of concretizing their revenue plans, and the strategies they have selected are sharply divergent.</p> <p>Where revenue from advertising is concerned, both companies are having to confront the same off-putting odds: despite a great deal of <a href="http://www.businessinsider.com/mobile-advertising-charts-2012-6">optimism</a> about the untapped opportunity to be found in mobile advertising, it is projected to represent less than two percent of all U.S. spending on marketing this year (or approximately $2.6 billion), even though ten percent of Internet traffic is now coming from mobile devices, reports the <a href="http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10000872396390444083304578016373342878556.html"><em>Wall Street Journal</em></a>. Furthermore, mobile ad space goes for peanuts: while an ad in a national newspaper can be priced at $50-$100/1,000 viewers, it costs an average of $2.85 to reach 1,000 viewers through a mobile advertisement, according to <strong>Opera Software ASA</strong>, a mobile-browser firm.</p> <p>Undaunted, both news-reading apps are plunging into different areas of mobile advertising. Flipboard, true to its social, magazine-like approach to aggregation, is opting for <a href="http://adage.com/article/digital/levi-s-ads-flipboard-giant-catalogs/237077/">magazine-like ads with social elements</a>. An example is this autumn’s <strong>Levi</strong>’s campaign, which <em>AdAge</em> describes as both a “<a href="http://adage.com/article/digital/levi-s-ads-flipboard-giant-catalogs/237077/">branded magazine</a>” and a “<a href="http://adage.com/article/digital/levi-s-ads-flipboard-giant-catalogs/237077/">social catalogue</a>.” The ad lets users browse through— and purchase from— the denim company’s fall collection within the app, and allows them to share images on <strong>Facebook</strong> and <strong>Twitter</strong>. The campaign ran within nine publications’ Flipboard feeds throughout October, including <em>Vanity Fair</em>, <em>Glamour</em>, <em>Elle</em>, and <em>Marie Claire</em>. According to the recent <strong>GkF MRI iPanel Report</strong>, a quarterly examination of Consumers, Tablets and E-readers, this is in line with tablet users’ wants. The study found that over half of tablet owners said they were “very interested” in the advertising that appeared within their apps, with 66 percent of millenials calling themselves “very interested” in the advertising that appeared within at least one genre of app, the most popular being shopping/retail.</p> <p>Pulse’s approach, on the other hand, eschews invasive ads in favour of <a href="http://adage.com/article/digital/news-app-pulse-bets-big-sponsored-content-bite-size-content-subscriptions/238192/">sponsored content</a>, which it is embracing as its sole source of advertising revenue. Sponsored posts can come in text, image or video form; an example is an article in the business category entitled “The Next Big Thing in China: Coffee," paid for by global investment management firm <strong>T. Rowe Price</strong>. Publishers get a slice of ad revenue if sponsored content is posted inside their content feed, or if they bring the advertiser on board. In the near future, Pulse is planning to let advertisers embed sponsored posts that allow readers to purchase tickets for the cinema or schedule test drives from within the app. So far, this approach has been earning Pulse approximately $300,000 a month— a modest sum that co-founder <strong>Akshay Kothari </strong>expects to see increase considerably, given that the company has just hired its first advertising executive, <strong>Jordan English</strong>.</p> <p>“It’s tempting to just put a banner ad at the end of each story,” <a href="http://adage.com/article/digital/news-app-pulse-bets-big-sponsored-content-bite-size-content-subscriptions/238192/"><em>AdAge</em></a><em> </em>quotes Kothari as saying; “we’d be profitable and making real money.” Indeed, banners account for almost $1 of every $5 spent on mobile advertising in the U.S. However, readers tend to consider this “spray and pay” approach to be “cheap, crude, and annoy[ing],” according to the <a href="http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10000872396390444083304578016373342878556.html"><em>Wall Street Journal</em></a>, not to mention ill-suited to the mobile experience. “The canvas is getting smaller,” wrote <strong>Dmitry Shevelenko</strong>, the Head of Monetization Products at Pulse, in an email to<em> </em><a href="http://adage.com/article/digital/news-app-pulse-bets-big-sponsored-content-bite-size-content-subscriptions/238192/"><em>AdAge</em></a>. He added that invasive advertising tactics such as full-page “takeovers” are “largely irrelevant on intimate devices,” asserting that “brands are at their best when they are unshackled and can focus on being powerful storytellers.” However, while they may be less irritating than “takeovers,” sponsored posts come with their own caveat; if insufficiently marked, this form of marketing can be misleading for readers, and potentially damaging to a publication’s reputation.</p> <p>As for subscriptions, Flipboard and Pulse are once again on different tracks. The former announced a deal with <em>The New York Times</em> in June that marks the first time <em>The Times </em>is feeding its metered paywall protected content through a third party, but sees the app pocket none of the revenue from subscriptions. Pulse, meanwhile, <a href="http://gigaom.com/2012/06/26/pulse-vs-flipboard-which-will-win-subscriptions-or-ads/">almost simultaneously</a> struck a deal with the <em>Wall Street Journal</em>, allowing it to offer three low-priced packages ($0.99-3.99/month) of highly specified content (editor’s pick, technology or politics). In this case, the revenue is divvied three ways— between the platform provider, the publisher, and Pulse. So far, the sales are “decent,” said Kothari, who expressed a desire to expand to an entire category of paid content on the app within a year.</p> <p>It is too soon to tell which elements of these strategies, if any, will allow Fliboard and Pulse to successfully dig into mobile news’s mythical revenue potential. Still, anyone with an eye on the mobile news landscape would do well to pay close attention.</p> <p><strong>Source</strong>: <a href="http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10000872396390444083304578016373342878556.html"><em>Wall Street Journal</em></a>, <em>AdAge </em><a href="http://adage.com/article/digital/news-app-pulse-bets-big-sponsored-content-bite-size-content-subscriptions/238192/"><em>(1)</em></a> (<a href="http://adage.com/article/digital/levi-s-ads-flipboard-giant-catalogs/237077/">2</a>), <a href="http://gigaom.com/2012/06/26/pulse-vs-flipboard-which-will-win-subscriptions-or-ads/">GigaOM</a>, <a href="http://www.businessinsider.com/mobile-advertising-charts-2012-6">Business Insider</a></p> </div> </div><!-- /teaser --> http://sfnblog.com/2012/11/12/flipboard-and-pulse-try-two-very-different-tactics-for-tilling-the-mobile-revenue-landsca#comments advertising aggregation app Flipboard mobile news-reading app pulse mobile Mon, 12 Nov 2012 17:29:29 +0000 Emma Knight 6349 at http://sfnblog.com Looking to engage your audience on a new platform? Why not stage a magazine. http://sfnblog.com/2012/11/09/looking-to-engage-your-audience-on-a-new-platform-why-not-stage-a-magazine <div class="teaser"> <div class="blog-entry-image"> <div class="field field-type-image field-field-blog-entry-image"> <div class="img-col img-col-2"><img src="http://sfnblog.com/sites/default/files/imagecache/default_col_2/sites/sfnblog.com/files/field_blog_entry_image/Pop%20Up%20Magazine.png" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-default_col_2"/></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-blog-entry-content"> <p><em>A Streetcar Named </em><a href="http://www.wired.com/">Wired</a>?&nbsp;<em>The Real Inspector </em><a href="http://www.horseandhound.co.uk/">Horse &amp; Hound</a>?&nbsp;In San Francisco, periodicals are leaping off the page and onto the stage with&nbsp;<strong>Pop-Up Magazine</strong>. Last night at Davies Symphony Hall, the 7th "issue" was performed before a privileged and proactive audience— the 2,740 available tickets sold out in around half an hour.</p> <p>The men and women on stage were not actors, or even “<a href="http://www.motherjones.com/media/2012/11/pop-up-magazine-san-francisco">well-known literary performers</a>,” but the architecture critic for the <em>Los Angeles Times,</em> a technology writer for the <em>San Francisco Chronicle</em>, an illustrator whose work has appeared in <em>The New York Times</em>, an international correspondent for <em>Vanity Fair</em>, and… you get the point.</p> <p>Pop-Up Magazine is journalism, performed. In each issue, contributors who have made careers out of writing, producing radio, taking photographs, or making documentary films present “short moments of unseen, unheard work” before a live audience.</p> <p>It <a href="http://www.popupmagazine.com/about.html">calls itself</a> the “world’s first live magazine,” and while the set-up may sound similar to a more dynamic, quirkier version of <a href="http://www.ted.com/" target="_blank">TED</a>, with a dash of <a href="http://walrusmagazine.com/tv/" target="_blank">Walrus TV</a>— a Canadian initiative whereby original documentaries are created around feature stories from <em><a href="http://walrusmagazine.com/" target="_blank">The Walrus</a></em>&nbsp;magazine— there does not appear to be anything else quite like it.</p> <p>“It’s kind of the experience of reading a great general interest magazine, only live there in the room. And then we have a party afterwards with drinks,” <a href="http://vimeo.com/15740775">said</a>&nbsp;Editor-in-Chief&nbsp;<strong>Douglas McGray&nbsp;</strong>as he introduced the concept during the&nbsp;<a href="http://soex.org/about.html">Southern Exposure</a>&nbsp;"Art Publishing Now" summit back in 2010.</p> <p>McGray, a past editor of <em>Foreign Policy </em>magazine and radio producer for <em>This American Life,</em> who has written features for the <em>New Yorker</em> and <em>The New York Times Magazine</em>, first came up with the idea to stage a live magazine in late 2008, against the backdrop of a publishing industry in turmoil, according to&nbsp;<em><a href="http://www.motherjones.com/media/2012/11/pop-up-magazine-san-francisco">Mother Jones</a></em>’ <strong>Michael Mechanic</strong>.</p> <p>The plan came together with the help of collaborators <strong>Derek Fagerstrom</strong>, <strong>Maili Holiman</strong>, <strong>Evan Ratliff</strong>, and <strong>Lauren Smith</strong>, and by April 22, 2009 the curtain was going up on the first issue of Pop-Up Magazine at the Brava theatre in San Francisco. “We thought it was a ludicrously huge space,” McGray told Mechanic of the theatre— but all 350 seats were filled, and three years later Pop-Up Magazine remains one of the most coveted tickets in San Francisco.</p> <p>Each evening is different, with each new lineup kept secret. The features— which start out short and get longer, as in a magazine— can include music, interviews, <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/media/2012/11/pop-up-magazine-san-francisco">demonstrations of strap-on pregnancy suits for men</a>, and even a <a href="http://www.sfgate.com/style/article/Pop-Up-Magazine-3584220.php">recipe for pickled mustard greens complete with a grandmother-singing-gospel impression</a>— are not rehearsed. More astonishingly, “everybody gets paid,” according to Mechanic. There are even ads— “which tend to involve cocktails” (Skyy Vodka and Anchor Brewing are sponsors). In the lobby after the show, audience members and contributors are invited to sip and mingle late into the night.</p> <p>Along with tangibility, one of the major differences between Pop-Up Magazine and its print (and mobile) counterparts is transience; audiences are forbidden from filming, photographing, or live-tweeting the performances. As Fagerstrom puts it in the following video: “You’re there, or you miss it.”&nbsp;</p> <p><object width="500" height="281" data="http://vimeo.com/moogaloop.swf?clip_id=15740775&amp;force_embed=1&amp;server=vimeo.com&amp;show_title=0&amp;show_byline=0&amp;show_portrait=0&amp;color=00adef&amp;fullscreen=1&amp;autoplay=0&amp;loop=0" type="application/x-shockwave-flash"> <param name="allowfullscreen" value="true" /> <param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always" /> <param name="src" value="http://vimeo.com/moogaloop.swf?clip_id=15740775&amp;force_embed=1&amp;server=vimeo.com&amp;show_title=0&amp;show_byline=0&amp;show_portrait=0&amp;color=00adef&amp;fullscreen=1&amp;autoplay=0&amp;loop=0" /> </object></p> <p><strong>Sources</strong>: <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/media/2012/11/pop-up-magazine-san-francisco">Mother Jones</a>, <a href="http://www.sfgate.com/style/article/Pop-Up-Magazine-3584220.php">SF Gate</a>, <a href="http://www.popupmagazine.com/about.html">Pop-Up Magazine</a></p> </div> </div><!-- /teaser --> http://sfnblog.com/2012/11/09/looking-to-engage-your-audience-on-a-new-platform-why-not-stage-a-magazine#comments audience generation Douglas McGray magazines performance art Pop-up Magazine theatre Engagement Fri, 09 Nov 2012 15:31:31 +0000 Emma Knight 6348 at http://sfnblog.com Sale of the FT: Does Pearson protest too much? http://sfnblog.com/2012/11/08/sale-of-the-ft-does-pearson-protest-too-much <div class="teaser"> <div class="blog-entry-image"> <div class="field field-type-image field-field-blog-entry-image"> <div class="img-col img-col-2"><img src="http://sfnblog.com/sites/default/files/imagecache/default_col_2/sites/sfnblog.com/files/field_blog_entry_image/ft_1.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-default_col_2"/></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-blog-entry-content"> <p>A £1bn sale of the <strong><em>Financial Times</em></strong> is under active consideration, <a href="http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-11-06/pearson-said-exploring-financial-times-sale-as-ceo-leaves.html"><strong><em>Bloomberg</em></strong><em> </em>said today</a>&nbsp; – only for the story to be immediately denied by its owner.&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>Pearson</strong>, the FTSE 100 media group, issued a statement in response to the article saying that, though <a href="http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2012/nov/06/financial-times-owner-denies-sale">‘not in the habit of responding to rumours, speculation or reports about our portfolio’</a>, it was obliged to point out that ‘this particular Bloomberg story is wrong.’ <strong>Dame Majorie Scardino</strong>, the outgoing chief executive of Pearson, once said famously that the <em>FT</em> would be sold ‘over my dead body’ but her impending departure from the company in January lends added credence to the report, as does the fact that the story comes just weeks after <a href="http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/newsbysector/mediatechnologyandtelecoms/media/9639925/Penguin-and-Random-House-to-merge-in-2.4bn-deal.html">Pearson agreed to merge <strong>Penguin</strong> with Bertelsmann’s <strong>Random House</strong></a> in a deal to create the largest book publisher in the US and the UK.&nbsp;</p> <p>For the rest of this story, please see our sister publication, <a href="http://www.editorsweblog.org/2012/11/07/sale-of-the-ft-does-pearson-protest-too-much" target="_blank">www.editorsweblog.org</a>.</p> </div> </div><!-- /teaser --> http://sfnblog.com/2012/11/08/sale-of-the-ft-does-pearson-protest-too-much#comments Bloomberg Financial Times Mergers & Acquisitions Mergers and acquisitions Thu, 08 Nov 2012 09:13:04 +0000 Frederick Alliott 6347 at http://sfnblog.com The Telegraph places a porous paywall in path of international readers http://sfnblog.com/2012/11/02/the-telegraph-places-a-porous-paywall-in-path-of-international-readers <div class="teaser"> <div class="blog-entry-image"> <div class="field field-type-image field-field-blog-entry-image"> <div class="img-col img-col-2"><img src="http://sfnblog.com/sites/default/files/imagecache/default_col_2/sites/sfnblog.com/files/field_blog_entry_image/Screen%20shot%202012-11-02%20at%2013.13.30.png" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-default_col_2"/></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-blog-entry-content"> <p>Britain’s <strong>Telegraph Media Group </strong>(<strong>TMG</strong>), publisher of <em>The Daily Telegraph </em>and <em>The Sunday Telegraph</em>, has instated a metered digital subscription model for international visitors to its website and users of its apps.&nbsp;The new system, modeled on that put in place by <em>The New York Times</em> last March, lets readers from outside the UK view 20 free articles per month before they hit the wall.&nbsp;Here’s what we know so far:</p> <p><strong>Who:&nbsp;</strong>Readers situated in Britain, you may breathe a sigh of relief— TMG claims that it has no plans thus far to charge you for content. The new modus operandi affects only far-flung Telegraphites.</p> <p>The <em>Telegraph</em> is the <a href="http://www.journalism.co.uk/news/nrs-telegraph-combined-print-and-website-readership-lead-quality-newspapers/s2/a550999/">most widely read quality daily national newspaper in the UK</a>, according to the latest <strong>National Readership Survey</strong>, with 9.23 million readers across print and online platforms.</p> <p><strong>What:&nbsp;</strong>International readers who have exceeded their 20 article quota are offered two options.</p> <p>1) The £1.99 ($3.20) /month “Telegraph Web and Mobile Pack,” including unlimited website and mobile app access, or</p> <p>2) The £9.99 ($16) /month “Digital Pack,” offering the same plus iPad access to the <em>Daily</em> and <em>Sunday</em> <em>Telegraph</em>.</p> <p>Readers will be given a month-long free trial before having to commit to either plan.</p> <p><strong>When:</strong>&nbsp;The paywall was introduced at noon GMT on November 1. Plans to charge for digital content had been in the works for two years, according to the <a href="http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2010/nov/30/telegraph-online-charging">Guardian</a>.</p> <p><strong>Where:</strong>&nbsp;TMG claims that two-thirds of its digital readership comes from outside Britain. A quick scan of home page (“<a href="http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/northamerica/usa/9648540/The-Big-Apple-survives-Sandy-and-shows-how-to-live-with-climate-change.html" target="_blank">New York: How to live with climate change</a>;” “<a href="http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/economics/9651178/Boost-for-Barack-Obama-as-US-adds-171000-jobs-in-October.html" target="_blank">Boost for Barack Obama as US adds 171,000 jobs</a>”) shows that, like the <em>Guardian</em> and the <em>Daily Mail</em>, the <em>Telegraph</em> is courting American readers. Some wonder whether it will take a hit, now that it is playing hard to get.</p> <p><strong>Why:</strong>&nbsp;Several hypotheses have been circulating, such as:</p> <p>“Today’s move is no more than a litmus test ahead of an expected roll out across UK&nbsp; users and grabbing a large slice of the holy grail: customer data. What TMG wants-in the long term-is transactional data on its UK readers so it can start flogging them as many products as possible. And any boost in revenues from the venture is just a welcome byproduct.” <strong>John Reynolds</strong>,<strong> <a href="http://mediablogged.mediaweek.co.uk/2012/11/01/telegraph-metered-paywall-is-all-about-getting-the-data/#ixzz2B4o7HZps%20">Media Week</a></strong></p> <p>“International markets, particularly the US, have become a major new battleground for British publishers including the Guardian and the Daily Mail in attempting to expand and generate revenue from online news.” <strong>Josh Halliday</strong>, <a href="http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2012/nov/01/telegraph-paywall">The Guardian</a></p> <p>It also bodes well that <em>The Times</em>, which has a more restrictive paywall applicable to Britons and foreigners alike, increased its number of digital subscribers by 56 percent in its first 13 months, and the <em>Sunday Times</em> by 66 percent, according to <a href="http://www.pressgazette.co.uk/mail-online-biggest-and-fastest-growing-press-website-101m-browsers">Press Gazette</a>. And the <em>Financial Times</em>, which also charges both locals and overseas readers for digital content,<em> </em>reported last week that it now has 313,000 online subscribers—up 17 percent from last year.</p> <p>The <em>Independent</em>, on the other hand, is considering knocking down the paywall it erected in the path of readers in Canada and the U.S. claiming that it “has not delivered on the ambitions from a revenue standpoint,” reports <a href="http://paidcontent.org/2012/11/01/the-telegraph-brings-web-meter-mobile-subs-to-overseas-readers/">PaidContent</a>.</p> <p>Finally, it is worth noting that the <em>Daily</em> <em>Telegraph</em>’s print edition had an average circulation of around 584,000 in August 2012— down 7.6 percent from last year according to the <a href="http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/table/2012/sep/20/abcs-national-newspapers">Audit Bureau of Circulation</a>. Print circulation for the <em>Sunday Telegraph</em> was down 7.2 percent. The website, meanwhile, attracted an average of 2.7 million daily unique browsers in September— up <a href="http://www.pressgazette.co.uk/mail-online-biggest-and-fastest-growing-press-website-101m-browsers">34 percent</a> from last year.</p> <p>Will it be possible for the <em>Telegraph</em> to improve upon the <em>Independent</em>'s score and capitalize on this growing readership? It appears that Britain's best-read quality paper is trying to find out by testing the international waters before rocking the boat at home.</p> <p><strong>Sources: </strong><a href="http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2012/nov/01/telegraph-paywall">The Guardian</a>, <a href="http://mediablogged.mediaweek.co.uk/2012/11/01/telegraph-metered-paywall-is-all-about-getting-the-data/#ixzz2B4o7HZps%20">Media Week</a>,<strong> </strong><a href="http://paidcontent.org/2012/11/01/the-telegraph-brings-web-meter-mobile-subs-to-overseas-readers/">PaidContent</a>, <a href="http://www.marketingweek.co.uk/news/the-telegraph-introduces-international-paywall/4004582.article">Marketing Week</a>, <a href="http://www.journalism.co.uk/news/nrs-telegraph-combined-print-and-website-readership-lead-quality-newspapers/s2/a550999/">Journalism.co.uk</a></p> </div> </div><!-- /teaser --> http://sfnblog.com/2012/11/02/the-telegraph-places-a-porous-paywall-in-path-of-international-readers#comments Daily Telegraph digital subscriptions payall Sunday Telegraph Telegraph Media Group digital Fri, 02 Nov 2012 15:26:32 +0000 Emma Knight 6346 at http://sfnblog.com Steady circulation figures disguise rising weight of digital subscriptions in U.S. newspaper industry http://sfnblog.com/2012/10/31/steady-circulation-figures-disguise-rising-weight-of-digital-subscriptions-in-us-newspape <div class="teaser"> <div class="blog-entry-image"> <div class="field field-type-image field-field-blog-entry-image"> <div class="img-col img-col-2"><img src="http://sfnblog.com/sites/default/files/imagecache/default_col_2/sites/sfnblog.com/files/field_blog_entry_image/Screen%20shot%202012-10-31%20at%2017.29.45.png" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-default_col_2"/></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-blog-entry-content"> <p>Digital subscribers are accounting for an ever-more-generous slice of American newspapers’ circulation pumpkin this Halloween, according to the <strong>Audit Bureau of Circulation</strong> (<strong>ABC</strong>)’s <a href="http://accessabc.wordpress.com/2012/10/30/the-top-u-s-newspapers-for-september-2012/">latest biannual study</a> of 613 daily newspapers and 528 Sunday titles.</p> <p>Overall, daily circulation has remained flat in the six months ending September 30, dropping by a mere 0.2 percent compared to the same period last year. But behind this placid mask, digital circulation— encompassing paid and restricted-access websites, mobile apps, PDF replicas and e-reader editions— rose as a proportion of total circulation by over 5 percent. It now accounts for an average of 15.3 percent of newspapers’ total circulation, up from 9.8 percent a year ago.</p> <p>Leading the digital pack is <em>The New York Times</em>, with a circulation of over 896,000 across its digital platforms (with the data measurement <a href="http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-10-30/new-york-times-weekday-circulation-jumps-40-on-digital-readers.html">caveat</a> that one user accessing NYT content from multiple digital platforms may be counted more than once). Over half of subscriptions to The Times are now for digital editions.</p> <p><strong>The New York Times Media Group</strong> reported in its quarterly earnings results last week that it had seen an 11 percent increase in paid digital subscriptions from the end of the second quarter; the silver lining in an overall <a href="http://www.sfnblog.com/2012/10/25/the-new-york-times-companys-third-quarter-earnings-ad-revenue-down-digital-circulation-up">sombre</a> report. This helps to explain why the newspaper’s Monday to Friday circulation has jumped by <a href="http://accessabc.wordpress.com/2012/10/30/the-top-u-s-newspapers-for-september-2012/">40 percent</a> between March and September, even while quarterly results showed that weekday print circulation had dropped by 6.9 percent in the same period.</p> <p>Close behind <em>The Times</em> in digital circulation is the <em>Wall Street Journal</em>, owned by <strong>News Corporation</strong><strong> </strong>subsidiary <strong>Dow Jones &amp; Company</strong>, whose paywall-restricted digital content has a circulation of nearly 795,000. Following <em>The Times</em> and the <em>Journal</em> by a several-hundred-thousand gap are the News Corporation-owned <em>New York Post </em>(178,000), and <strong>Digital First Media</strong>’s <em>Denver Post</em> (176,000). In fifth place is <strong>Tribune Company</strong>’s <em>Los Angeles Times</em> (152,000), which implemented a paywall in <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/02/24/la-times-paywall_n_1299997.html">March</a>.</p> <p>When print and digital are combined, the <em>Journal </em>rises to the top of the podium as the country’s most widely circulated daily newspaper, with an overall average circulation of nearly 2.3 million— up 9.4 percent since March. The runner-up is the recently redesigned <em>USA Today</em>, with almost an overall circulation of 1.7 million—down 3.9 percent. <em>The Times</em> is in third, with a total circulation of<em> </em>1.6 million.</p> <p>Meanwhile, across the pond, digital subscriptions at the paywall-protected <em>Financial Times </em>are “growing strongly,” according to parent company <strong>Pearson</strong>, which earlier this week <a href="http://www.journalism.co.uk/news/pearson-financial-times-digital-subscriptions/s2/a550975/">reported</a> a 17 percent increase on last year’s figures. The salmon-coloured daily’s digital subscriptions outpaced its print circulation in July of this year, and have now reached 313,000.<em> </em>However, like its American counterparts, the <em>FT </em>is facing rough financial times: its CEO John Ridding sent an email to staff today headed “Cost control/profit protection” that outlines austerity measures, from a recruitment freeze to a ban on non-vital travel, the <em>Guardian</em> <a href="http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2012/oct/30/financial-times-recruitment-freeze">reported</a> today.</p> <p>So paid digital circulation may account for a growing proportion of circulation’s neutral jack-o-lantern, but it is not enough to compensate for losses elsewhere. Fortunately, for the Americans at least, it will all be pie by Thanksgiving.</p> <p><strong>Sources: </strong><a href="http://accessabc.wordpress.com/">ABC</a>, Poyner (<a href="http://www.poynter.org/latest-news/mediawire/193612/new-york-times-circulation-up-40-as-newspaper-growth-generally-flat/">1</a>) (<a href="http://www.poynter.org/latest-news/business-news/the-biz-blog/193003/newspaper-circulation-stays-the-same-but-the-mix-is-shifting-to-digital/">2</a>), <a href="http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-10-30/new-york-times-weekday-circulation-jumps-40-on-digital-readers.html">Bloomberg</a>, <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/02/24/la-times-paywall_n_1299997.html">Huffington Post</a>, <a href="http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2012/oct/30/financial-times-recruitment-freeze">Guardian</a></p> </div> </div><!-- /teaser --> http://sfnblog.com/2012/10/31/steady-circulation-figures-disguise-rising-weight-of-digital-subscriptions-in-us-newspape#comments ABC digital circulation New York Times paywalls print circulation USA Today Wall Street Journal digital Wed, 31 Oct 2012 16:30:25 +0000 Emma Knight 6345 at http://sfnblog.com Recommended reads: Newspapers in India, Hurricane Sandy and editorial standards on Twitter http://sfnblog.com/2012/10/30/recommended-reads-newspapers-in-india-hurricane-sandy-and-editorial-standards-on-twitter <div class="teaser"> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-blog-entry-content"> <p>It has now been said repeatedly&nbsp;that India – together with Brazil – is a booming market for newspapers. Factors include economic growth, urbanization, an expanding middle class and rising literacy rates,&nbsp;<a href="http://www.editorsweblog.org/2012/10/15/ten-years-that-shook-the-media-world-but-legacy-media-are-still-relevant-reuters-institut">as a recent report by the&nbsp;<strong>Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism</strong>&nbsp;has said</a>. As much has been written recently on the Indian news media, last month&nbsp;<a href="http://georgebrock.net/indian-media-expanding-alright-but-in-the-wrong-directions/">Professor&nbsp;<strong>George Brock</strong>, Head of Journalism at&nbsp;<strong>City University</strong>, collected</a>&nbsp;the links in one place.</p> <p>During catastrophes, reliable data is an essential part of news coverage.&nbsp;<a href="http://www.guardian.co.uk/news/datablog/interactive/2012/oct/30/superstorm-sandy-incidents-mapped?CMP=twt_fd"><em>The Guardian</em>&nbsp;Datablog mapped every verified</a>&nbsp;event when&nbsp;<strong>Hurricane Sandy</strong>&nbsp;hit the US East Coast.</p> <p>When it comes to quality and accuracy of information, 140-character limits and time constraints are no excuse for lower standards. This was the decision of the&nbsp;<strong>BBC Trust</strong>'s&nbsp;<strong>Editorial Standards Committee</strong>&nbsp;in relation to a tweet that reproduced a shorter version of a story’s headline. The story linked to in the tweet was about<strong>David Cameron</strong>&nbsp;attacking Labour's handling of NHS Wales, but the Committee has found that the shortened version was inaccurate.&nbsp;<em>Journalism.co.uk</em>&nbsp;reported the story<a href="http://www.journalism.co.uk/news/bbc-editorial-standards-committee-upholds-twitter-headline-complaint/s2/a550991/">here</a>, and&nbsp;<a href="http://downloads.bbc.co.uk/bbctrust/assets/files/pdf/appeals/esc_bulletins/2012/ESC_bulletin_Sept_2012.pdf">here</a>&nbsp;you can read the words of the BBC Editorial Standards Committee.</p> </div> </div><!-- /teaser --> http://sfnblog.com/2012/10/30/recommended-reads-newspapers-in-india-hurricane-sandy-and-editorial-standards-on-twitter#comments recommended reads recommended reads Tue, 30 Oct 2012 17:58:08 +0000 Federica Cherubini 6344 at http://sfnblog.com In the bloody battlefield of regional journalism, can Monty out-general the rest? http://sfnblog.com/2012/10/30/in-the-bloody-battlefield-of-regional-journalism-can-monty-out-general-the-rest <div class="teaser"> <div class="blog-entry-image"> <div class="field field-type-image field-field-blog-entry-image"> <div class="img-col img-col-2"><img src="http://sfnblog.com/sites/default/files/imagecache/default_col_2/sites/sfnblog.com/files/field_blog_entry_image/Montgomery460.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-default_col_2"/></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-blog-entry-content"> <p>After the high-profile merger of publishing giants <strong>Penguin</strong> and <strong>Random House</strong> comes a development in regional news with a significance that belies its parochial implications. Former <strong>Mirror Group</strong> chief executive <strong>David Montgomery</strong> is <a href="http://paidcontent.org/2012/10/29/local-news-super-roll-up-uk-publishing-rivals-may-face-future-together/">reportedly involved</a> in talks to consolidate the local news assets of <strong>Northcliffe Media</strong> (regionals arm of the <strong>Daily Mail &amp; General Trust</strong>), <strong>Trinity Mirror</strong> and <strong>Iliffe News and Media</strong> (parent company <strong>Yattendon Group</strong>) within his own venture, <strong>Local World</strong>, which he would lead, and of which he would be a part stake-holder. Such a scheme would not only provide evidently beneficial economies of scale, but would combine the number one, four and eleven publishers in UK regional news in an industry that is barely keeping its head above water.</p> <p>With an advertising downturn even more marked than national trends, and audiences’ ‘digital migration’ ever more pronounced, bosses could be forgiven for signaling a retreat from the frontlines of local print journalism. It is to his credit, therefore, that Montgomery has resolved to march to the sound of gunfire. Described by <strong>Roy Greenslade</strong> on his blog as a <a href="http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/greenslade/2012/oct/29/david-montgomery-northcliffe-media">‘consistent cold-blooded cost-cutter’</a>, the practical advantages of a consolidation of this size are self-evident; though, as <a href="http://paidcontent.org/2012/10/29/local-news-super-roll-up-uk-publishing-rivals-may-face-future-together/">Robert Andrews notes</a>, regulation violation may prove to be Montgomery’s unguarded flank. Uniting <strong>Northcliffe</strong> (South West Wales Publications including South Wales Evening Post) with Trinity Mirror regionals (The Western Mail, South Wales Echo and Celtic Weeklies), for example, would give Local World a near exclusive lock-up on south Wales readers. Montgomery must beware this potential monopolistic red flag to the often bovine <strong>Competition Commission</strong>, which has form in stymying plans for mergers and acquisitions of this kind (notably Northcliffe media’s own attempt to sell titles to the <strong>KM Group</strong> in Kent).</p> <p>As Greenslade <a href="http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/greenslade/2012/oct/29/david-montgomery-northcliffe-media">observes</a>, however, ‘Monty […] is just the kind of newspaper manager who will be willing to confront the authorities.’ Consensus among media professionals suggests that mere tinkering will not stem the flood away from traditional local titles, and wholesale structural reform must be accompanied by a coherent approach to localized media in the digital age. Whether Montgomery will resemble King Canute ordering back the tide remains to be seen; other local media operations are surely hoping that his robust style of leadership might provide a blueprint for success in a field henceforth marred by downsizing, failure and defeat. Monty will certainly be hoping he can deliver his own El Alamein.</p> <p><strong>Source</strong>: <a href="http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/greenslade/2012/oct/29/david-montgomery-northcliffe-media">Guardian</a></p> </div> </div><!-- /teaser --> http://sfnblog.com/2012/10/30/in-the-bloody-battlefield-of-regional-journalism-can-monty-out-general-the-rest#comments Daily Mail & General Trust future of newspapers Greenslade regional newspapers regional newspapers Tue, 30 Oct 2012 16:50:52 +0000 Frederick Alliott 6343 at http://sfnblog.com Confetti in the House of Random Penguins http://sfnblog.com/2012/10/29/confetti-in-the-house-of-random-penguins <div class="teaser"> <div class="blog-entry-image"> <div class="field field-type-image field-field-blog-entry-image"> <div class="img-col img-col-2"><img src="http://sfnblog.com/sites/default/files/imagecache/default_col_2/sites/sfnblog.com/files/field_blog_entry_image/PEnguin%20House.png" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-default_col_2"/></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-blog-entry-content"> <p>It’s official: <strong>Penguin</strong> and <strong>Random House</strong> are betrothed, their parent companies <strong>Pearson</strong> and <strong>Bertelsmann</strong> announced today.</p> <p>As is often the case with arranged marriages, it is hoped that this union will allow the two houses to consolidate their power: together, the book publishers are expected to control over one quarter of the U.S. and British markets, and to generate approximately £2.5 billion (or $4 billion) in annual revenue.</p> <p>And as with so many weddings these days, theirs is “<a href="http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-20120485" target="_blank">subject to regulatory approval</a>;” if all goes well, they will likely tie the knot in the latter half of 2013.</p> <p>The idea of huddling together was no doubt influenced by the increasing need for publishers to puff out their chests against retailing giant <strong>Amazon</strong>, which has cornered 90 percent of the UK ebook market, and nearly 40 percent of the market for all books, according to <a href="http://qz.com/21051/e-books-to-star-authors-six-reasons-penguin-and-random-house-make-more-sense-together/">Quartz</a>.</p> <p>Analysts are saying that this could be the first of many marriages among big publishers. "We have already seen a bit of consolidation, for example [French group] <strong>Lagardère</strong> buying [UK publishers] <strong>Orion</strong> and <strong>Octopus</strong>, but it is likely to accelerate as publishers need all the buying power they can get," said media analyst <strong>Theresa Wise</strong>, according to the <a href="http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-20120485">BBC</a>. "Amazon is so big that [at the moment] they don't have much power."</p> <p>“Together, the two publishers will be able to share a large part of their costs, to invest more for their author and reader constituencies and to be more adventurous in trying new models in this exciting, fast-moving world of digital books and digital readers," <a href="http://www.theweek.co.uk/books/49796/murdoch-snubbed-penguin-random-house-deal-struck#ixzz2AhwTDwMt">said</a> <strong>Marjorie Scardino</strong>, the outgoing CEO of Penguin parent Pearson, which also owns the <em>Financial Times</em>.</p> <p>The deal will give Pearson, a British company, a 47 percent stake in the new entity; German company Bertelsmann will take 53 percent. The new group’s Chairman will be <strong>John Makinson </strong>of Penguin, with <strong>Markus Dohle </strong>of<strong> </strong>Random House assuming the role of CEO.</p> <p>This deal represents the first time that two of the book publishing world’s “big six” have shared ink, although a third may still try to speak now rather than forever hold its peace: <strong>Rupert Murdoch</strong>’s <strong>News Corp</strong>, owner of big sixite <strong>HarperCollins</strong>, apparently was eying Penguin to the tune of £1 billion over the weekend, according to <em>The Sunday Times</em>.</p> <p>While the title of the new joint venture – <strong>Penguin Random House</strong> – is less original than some <a href="http://www.mediabistro.com/galleycat/captain-random-house-responds-to-publishing-merger_b59771">Twitter users</a> had hoped, we know better than to judge a book by its cover.</p> <p><span class="inline inline-left" style="width: px;"></span></p> <p><strong>Sources</strong>: <a href="http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-20120485">BBC</a>, <a href="http://qz.com/21051/e-books-to-star-authors-six-reasons-penguin-and-random-house-make-more-sense-together/">Quartz</a>, <a href="http://www.theweek.co.uk/books/49796/murdoch-snubbed-penguin-random-house-deal-struck">The Week</a></p> <p><em><a href="http://www.mediabistro.com/galleycat/captain-random-house-responds-to-publishing-merger_b59771">Images from meme masters via Media Bistro<br /></a></em></p> <div class="image-clear"></div> </div> </div><!-- /teaser --> http://sfnblog.com/2012/10/29/confetti-in-the-house-of-random-penguins#comments Amazon book publishing ebooks Murdoch News Corp. Pearson Penguin Random House ebooks Mon, 29 Oct 2012 17:24:06 +0000 Emma Knight 6341 at http://sfnblog.com