“The internet should be a supplement to reading the newspaper,” Dan Rather said on Monday night on Real Time with Bill Maher. ABC correspondent Martha Radatz agreed. Newspapers are a primary resource, online second.
I have a confession: The internet is my primary source for news. I scan headlines in dozens of newsletters. I go to several news websites a day. TV is my secondary source. Newspaper third. I only read it on Sunday. Also, I have a masters in Journalism, several journalism awards, and have worked at ABC News. With all these sources for news at my finger tips, I feel much better informed than I did when I just had newspapers and newsmagazines.
With all the real and digital ink these days about dying newspapers, dying movie industry, dying record industry, one has to wonder about key stakeholders such these two who so clearly don’t get it. In fact, in one point during the interview Martha Radatz noted that during the day, the front page of the New York Times online edition changes. This she clearly portrayed as a negative. Because the “top story,” which used to be so static, so controlled, is no longer.
Yep. And guess what? Newsies like me check in with the New York Times several times a day to see what is currently leading the news as opposed to buying it once and throwing it away. That’s good for the paper, and its advertisers. The goal must be to get ad rates to reflect this value.
NBC and News Corp. Announce Plans to Tackle YouTube–(NYT) The two media giants announced a joint venture that as yet has no name but may go live as early as this summer. The online video site would be both ad-supported and allow users to pay for content. CIQ: AOL, Yahoo, MSN and MySpace are distribution partners, so this startup is in a good position to compete with YouTube’s audience.
CD Sales Down 20% in Q1–(WSJ) It’s a huge plunge. The worse news, online downloads do not make up for the drop in CD sales. Why? Because of piracy. 800 music retails stores have closed. According to one executive, “Sales are so down and so off that, as a manager, I look at a CD as part of the marketing of an artist, more than as an income stream.” CIQ: The producers of video content (see news item above) are making attempts to coopt the digital download trend. And success for them is by no means guaranteed. One wonders if it is simply too late for the music industry. An aggressive ad-supported push is necessary.
Condensing Takes Place at Readers Digest–(NY Post) Three top execs are fired, including publisher, associate publisher and group publisher. CIQ: The Post article quotes people calling Mary Berner’s house cleaning as the “Conde Nastie” way. And yet, here is another print publication in danger of becoming irrelevant in the digital age. With the right strategy, a strong brand like RD could compete online with iVillage.
Headlines are a little sparse this week, as the CIQ staff suffers with the flu. We have been very smugly healthy this year. And we have gotten our come-uppance.
Ad-Supported Model, Harder than You’d Think— (LightSpeed Venture Partners Blog) This Silicon Valley VC runs several scenarios, each with the moral: You have to generate a LOT of page views to reach $50m in ad revenue. CIQ: Many good points. Another consider: Many sites are destined to be sold (Reddit, NeoPets, YouTube) to beef up established companies weak in digital. “In the last year, Viacom spent about $1 billion buying Web sites specializing in games, user-generated content and other entertainment likely to be popular with its young audiences.” (NYT 3/19)
Can Media Companies Compete with You Tube?–(NYT) Viacom’s web properties have a quarter of YouTube’s videos and a third of the audience. But they are trying to build up both to compete. CIQ:Yesterday’s NYT Viacom/YouTube article suggested the two companies were negotiating.
J&J Makes Huge Digital Ad-Spend Shift— (Ad Age) A $250 million drop in traditional ad spending last year corresponds with the 20% increase in non traditional that experts expect this year. CIQ: From the movie Innerstate to BabyCenter.com, this giant is turning its back on old ways of advertising.
Girl Scouts on My Space— (Chicago Tribune) This article asks the question: If Thin Mints has a MySpace profile, has social networking jumped the shark? CIQ: Evidently Thin Mints only has only 200 friends. When it comes to digital media, marketers are always looking for the Next Big Thing, often without regard to results.
Podcasting to Quadruple in Next Four Years–(eMarketer) The report preducts that by 2011, ad revenue on podcasts will reach $400 million with an audience of 55 million. CIQ: It’s an opportunity for publishers of all content (book, video, text) to get their feet wet and learn how to repurpose content for this new medium.
Hachette Filipacchi & Rodale Up the Ante–(AdAge) Publishers announced an alliance with Brightcove to provide video on online titles. “Although most publishers probably would have been happy to remain in the print business for the rest of their lives, the changing media landscape has compelled them to figure out video, too — or risk losing consumers.” CIQ: The cry we hear from print publishers, “Don’t take away my print.” Moves like this increase the stakes for publishers who choose to stick their heads in the sand.