Comcast Emphasizes the Importance of Free Content–(NYT, free with registration) Once given up for dead, Comcast’s stock rose 60% last year. Their strategy involves giving content away for free and then converting happy customers to paid services. Our CIQ thoughts: Too many content providers fear “giving away content.” Comcast is another company that suggests the power of free content.
Social Networking Fad— (NYT, free with registration) Big media has a “crush” on social networking and UCG, this article asserts. The internet space has an unfortunate gold-rush aspect, in our opinion. Things heat up too fast, then unable to sustain all the hype, they crash. Can’t a nice idea be a nice idea, not the next Google? How about just solid quality content that people enjoy?
And How to Sell it to Clients— (MediaPost) Along the same line of thinking, this writer notes, “You’re damned if you do and damned if you don’t” promote UCG and Social Networking to clients. Clients want what’s hot, AND they want it to work. That’s the rub. See today’s article.
Feel the M&M; Be the M&M–(USA Today) Marketers are trying viral tactics like an online tool that lets users superimpose their image on an M&M and send it to friends. Also, through CareerBuilder, you can take your picture, age it 50 years and send to a freind. The CIQ phenomenon: A closer melding of content/entertainment creation with advertising.
Get Over Yourself–(CNN Money) “You” were the time magazine person of the year. This article discusses the trouble with monetizing user-generated content. It misses one important CIQ point: In our view, YouTube and MySpace are about the democratizing of content, taking the creation of content out of the hands of a powerful few. But they are not end points in themselves. We believe that new forms will emerge from this, capable of carrying ads and making money in a more long-tail way.
Advertising.com Pays Off for AOL— (Financial Times) Hardly noticed when it happpened, the AOL acquisition of Advertising.com in 2004 was a great decision, and now drives much of the growth at AOL. The CIQ angle: Advertising.com is an ad network that buys inventory on “long tail” niche sites, bundles it, and sells it to advertisers.
Robo Creation— (AdAge) Pick-N-Click is a new technology that allows people to create banner ads through drop-down menus. Its most obvious use would be to allow a franchise to customize standard creative for very little cost. We wonder about this sort of application expanded to other uses. For example, I am using blog software right now to become a web publisher. Could I employ some similarly easy-to-use software to create animations and webisodes?
Brightcove gets $60MM–(MediaPost) A chunk of that was from the New York Times. The melding of print, user-generated content, and online video is a cats-living-with-dogs CIQ phenomenon.
3 Networks Vie for Online Traffic— (Media Daily News) Don’t touch that…er…address bar. The major networks are streaming shows from their websites and competing for traffic. This is a convergence trend where computer becomes TV. The iphone combines phone and ipod. What will the devices be for the future? Will we read, or listen? On what device? Will we make trips to the movie theater, or just to the big, surround-sound, flat-screen TV in our living room?
Social Networking Subscription Model–(SiliconRepublic.com) Deloitte’s Technology Media & Telecommunications Practice in Ireland predicts trends for 2007. One of which is that older people will use social networking sites more and will be willing to pay for privacy. We agree, and believe that a cable TV model– where you pay one subscription fee and get access to varios “channels”– will come to the internet.
Bigger, Not Better for Advertisers– (eMarketer) New research suggests that so-called long-tail sites, niche sites with 1,000,000 or fewer viewers, are more effective for advertisers. A true CIQ phenomenon, democratising content and suggesting that small niche content can be monetized.
Needed in Viral: Good Storytelling– (Business Week) London Firm the Viral Factory is consulting with advertisers to make sure their viral efforts don’t backfire. We see this as a CIQ phenomenon. The principles for “good viral,” are the principles for good content or storytelling. It must be entertaining. It must have humor and conflict. In other words, it must meld advertising messages with what screenwriters have known forever.
There’s a business proposition that we think the New York City Public Library, and other similar large research institutions, are missing:
What if I were not a resident of NY City? What if I were in Wisconsin? Now let’s say that the book I was looking for was critical to my research. (Here’s a secret about book writers doing research: They believe that EVERY book is critical to their research, most especially those ones they can’t get their hands on right away.) What would I be willing to pay for 30 pages of juicy content?
In answer, here are the services that the NYPL could provide…
1. Research assistance to identify the pages in the book critical to the research. ($70/hr, estimated time: 30 min)
2. Scanning services to digitize those pages. ($35/hr, estimated time 1 minute per page, estimated 30 pages.)
3. Rental of secure digitized document, delivered to your inbox, 15 uses permitted (NYPL already has this policy with audio books.) $15.
4. Total Cost: $70. Yes. I would be willing to pay that. In fact, a research budget of $500 on a book is a very reasonable cost. That gets me seven researches with NYPL. That’s a LOT of good content.
For the project outlined above, The NYPL didn’t have to invest in any new technology. Until demand built up, it is likely that existing staff could handle the requests. They could also easily be outsourced. In addition, the NYPL now gets a lot of digitized content they didn’t have before. This works especially well with articles, which are self contained. But maybe the person scanning a portion of abook might scan more than the client requested, netting a whole chapter. Now, there is no up-front cost to renting this digital download again.