Sunday, November 27, 2011

Independent site predicts record month following relaunch

newmediaage reporting:
The Independent’s daily average unique browsers dropped 7% in October to 611,488, according to the latest ABC audit, but the online newspaper predicts visitor numbers to surge following the relaunch of its website at the beginning of November.
Zach Leonard, The Independent’s MD, digital, said, “The October dip was driven by a couple of things. First, there was less headline news than in the previous month, and second, all our resources were focused on the relaunch so we spent a little less time on the day to day.”
There are no concrete figures for since the relaunch on 31 October, but Leonard said it has had several “record days” over the past ten days, which is partly down to the redesign using a lot more contextual and behavioural targeting, provided by Leiki.
... held its spot in second place after breaking the 3m unique browser mark, again following a drop back to 2.9m in September.
The site hit the 3m mark for the first time in August, which it attributed partly to its live coverage of the riots around England ( 3 September 2011). has also seen good progress from September to October, up 14.9% to 2.3m average daily visitors.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Mobile Devices Boost Magazine Subscriptions

onlinedailymedia reporting:

The magazine industry has placed much of its hopes for growth on selling digital editions of its titles via tablets, e-readers and other connected devices. This fall, publishers such as Conde Nast and Hearst have announced adding hundreds of thousands of digital subscribers to date across various devices, including the iPad, and Kindle and Nook e-readers.
But to get a better idea of how readers are responding, MPA -- The Association of Magazine Media -- earlier this month surveyed more than 1,000 people who read digital magazines via apps designed for tablets and e-readers.
The study found that owning one of those devices boosted magazine reading, with 90% saying they are consuming as much -- if not more -- content than before.
Beyond that, nearly two-thirds (63%) want more magazine content in digital form, more than half (55%) like to read back issues digitally, and 86% want to share issues or articles.
According to the study, conducted by research firm Affinity on behalf of the MPA, nearly three-quarters (73%) engage with magazine ads at least some of the time. That high interaction rate could be partially driven by the novelty factor of tablet editions, as well as the larger size of ads compared to mobile phone screens.
Six in 10 say they want to be able to purchase products and services directly from ads, while 70% want to be able to do so from editorial features. Eight in 10 would like to be able to include a gift card pre-loaded with a digital magazine subscription when giving a mobile device as a gift this season.
The study also had welcome news for the growing array of digital newsstands, including Yahoo’s Livestand, AOL Editions, Apple’s Newsstand and the Kindle Fire’s newly announced newsstand, boasting 400 magazines and newspapers. It found that most of those surveyed (76%) want more electronic newsstands, as well as the ability to easily find specific titles to download (79%).
Users are also looking for consistency -- nine in 10 want the same functions and navigation schemes across all titles. When it comes to video, less is more. Seven in 10 want videos in digital editions to run a minute or less.
Publishers are counting on the release of new tablets like the Kindle Fire and Nook Tablet to boost digital magazine circulation. But according to the survey, only 12% of device owners surveyed said they had already pre-ordered the Amazon tablet as of Nov. 8. Some analysts have estimated that up to 5 million Kindle Fire devices could be sold before year’s end.

13 Ways to Jumpstart Digital Revenue

Foliomagazine reporting: To conclude min day's Digital Summit at the Grand Hyatt in New York City this week, three digital publishing executives shared actionable tips on how to ramp up revenue, regardless of company scale. Here, John Haskin, VP digital sales and marketing with Bonnier; SVP/GM, digital food platform at Meredith Dan Hickey; and Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia's SVP of digital Missy Forestall share what worked for their companies and what may work for yours.
1. "Spend money to make money. Invest wisely in measurement tools to enable yourself to play digital Darwinism," says MSLO's Forestall. She suggests measuring ideas at the end of execution. After this analysis, start feeding what's working for you, and killing what's not.
2. "Leverage the new Facebook analytics, especially ‘people are talking about this' for better social/website integrations. Use this social content to support earned/owned media platforms," suggests Bonnier's Haskin. The trick is to think about content development, and who is developing that content. He asserts the difference between online editorial teams: those who specialize in getting increased page views for the month, and those who create content that encourages sharing.
3. "Include marketers into social. Get advertisers into conversations on Facebook and help clients drive fans," says Hickey of Meredith. He cites the success of a recent social campaign for Boca Burger, a division of Kraft Foods...

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Amazon’s Kindle Tablet Pulling Sales From IPad, E-readers By Patrick Seitz

Click reporting: 
Amazon’s  Kindle Fire is drawing away sales from Apple’s (AAPL) iPad, other tablets and e-readers, ChangeWave Research said Monday.
Among consumers who plan to buy a Kindle Fire, 23% put on hold or canceled plans to buy an Apple iPad and 9% did the same for other tablets, a ChangeWave survey shows.
But Amazon also is cannibalizing the e-reader market, where it dominates. Of consumers planning to get a Kindle Fire, 12% said they put off or canceled getting an Amazon Kindle e-reader and 5% did the same for the Barnes & Noble (BKS) Nook e-reader, ChangeWave said.
The presence of the $199 Kindle Fire on the market also could mean fewer notebook PCs being sold this holiday season. The survey indicates that 7% of Kindle Fire buyers are delaying or canceling plans to get a laptop. PC manufacturers have said the Apple iPad has cut into demand for notebooks overall.
“This is the holiday season of the tablet,” said ChangeWave analyst Paul Carton. “It’s going to outperform any other electronic item on sale over the holidays.”

How Blogs Influence Purchases and Recommendations

emarketer reporting:
Bloggers, from hobbyists to professionals, influence readers and other bloggers when it comes to purchases and recommendations. Many of these bloggers are discussing their experiences with brands through product reviews and descriptions of their experiences in stores, and promote their work on social networks, creating even more buzz.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Nook, Zinio Tie iPad For Magazine Publisher Take-Up

paidcontent reporting:
The tablet magazine opportunity is not all about iPad apps.
Although nearly half of U.S. magazine publishers have launched iPad apps, about the same proportion are also on the Nook device’s Newsstand and Zinio’s cross-platform newsstand.

That is according to The State Of The App, a report by McPheters & Company comprised from its iMonitor database of information about 4,000 news and magazine apps.
That makes Nook Newsstand and Zinio the second most popular platform for publishers after iOS (not including the web). And Nook added the most publishers between May and August.
Where does that leave Android apps? Still languishing. only 21 percent of U.S. magazine publishers are currently distributing through Android apps, according to McPheters.
However, it may be true to say that other platforms like Nook and Zinio are more likely to play host to replica page-turners than dedicated interactive app editions, as iPad editions are.
“Unfortunately, the majority of magazine apps are still minimally enhanced PDF replicas, and it seems as if the advent of the iOS Newsstand – and perhaps the Kindle Fire – may be contributing to an increasing trend in this direction,” according to the McPheters report. “The publications available on the Fire are likely to skew heavily towards replicas.”

The Atlantic Now Gets ‘More Than Half’ Of Its Ad Revenues From Digital

paidcontent reporting:
While every established print publisher is trying to find a way to build up digital advertising revenue to offset eroding print dollars, few have been as aggressive as The Atlantic, which now says that ad dollars derived from its website and apps now generates more than half of its total ad revenues.
The Atlantic, which was founded 154 years ago, posted its first profit just last year, in part the result of its emphasis on digital. And while most publishers say that digital is an increasing part of their revenue pie—for major publishers, digital dollars make up a less than 20 percent slice, generally—The Atlantic says it’s not because its print side is getting weaker. In fact, it claims that October was actually a “record” month for print revenues. Overall, ad revenue was up by 5 percent compared to a year ago, the previous October high, the company said.
Collectively, major magazines lost ground in terms of the recovery in the number of ad pages over the first nine months of the year. And The Atlantic certainly did worse, seeing its ad pages drop nearly 4 percent from January to September, according to the most recent Publishers Information Bureau figures.

New Stats Show Tablet Gender Gap Shrinking

paidcontent reporting: More women are using tablets as the devices become more popular, according to new stats from eMarketer, but men aren’t making it up on the e-reader side: The company forecasts that women will continue to make up the majority of e-reader users through 2014. And the company has revised its e-reader ownership figures upwards again.
These demographic shifts come at a time of rapid growth in tablet usage. eMarketer estimates that over 33 million Americans will use a tablet at least monthly by the end of this year, an increase of 158.6 percent over last year. By 2014, the number of tablet users will rise to nearly 90 million, or 27.7 percent of the U.S. populatio
Most of those tablets will be iPads, eMarketer predicts, but their growth will slow as other tablets enter the market. eMarketer predicts that the number of U.S. iPad users will increase to 60.8 million by 2014, up from 28 million now. But iPad market share will fall from 83 percent this year to 68 percent by 2014.
eMarketer also gave me some new data estimating that e-reader use will increase by 57 percent by 2014—up to 22 percent of the U.S. adult population. Note that the company estimates that 14 percent of U.S. adults now own e-readers—a higher percentage than it or Pew reported earlier this year.

Meanwhile, more women will start using tablets. They’re predicted to make up 49 percent of tablet users by 2014, compared to 45 percent today.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

FT Web App registers one million users

FT reporting:
The Financial Times has registered another digital milestone with the FT Web App seeing over one million users since its launch in June.
Available on the iPhone and iPad by visiting directly from the device’s web browser, almost half of its users have downloaded a shortcut to their iPad or iPhone home screen, replicating a native app experience.
The launch of the FT Web App has significantly boosted mobile and tablet traffic. now sees 20% of total page views and 15% of new B2C subscriptions each week coming directly from mobile and tablet devices. These readers are also more engaged, with users who register on mobiles and tablets 2.5 times more likely to subscribe, as well as being more active in giving feedback.
The Financial Times was the first major news publisher to launch an app of this type, which allows readers to access its award-winning journalism easily and quickly direct from the phone’s browser.
Built using HTML5 technology, it features continual and automatic content downloads and improvements. It ensures that FT customers can access FT content anytime, anywhere, on a PC and multiple devices, with one login and one subscription payment.
Recent updates to the app include the inclusion of FT Special Reports and blogs including the A-List, featuring exclusive and original comment from the FT’s network of globally renowned leaders, policymakers and commentators. Users are also able to customise the start-up screen with a home page of their choice.
For more visit

Everything is a grid reporting:
When you design or build a website, app, icon or UI element, you’re designing to a grid. It doesn’t matter if that grid is pixels, points, percentages, inches, centimetres or some other kind of measurement. It can be as abstract or specific as you like. It’s still a grid.
The unit of measurement, the positioning and how the design grid relates to the way things are eventually displayed on the screen make a big difference to the image quality of the result. This is true if you’re drawing everything in code, everything with vectors, or using bitmaps. The important factor is how the design grid relates to the screen grid.

If the design and screen grids don’t match, pixels get blurred. Quality is lost. Every single element on the screen is subject to these rules — elements drawn in code, as a vector or as a bitmap (if they’re scaled, bitmaps lose even more quality than things drawn in code or as vectors).
The rise of mobile OSs like iOS, Android and Windows 8 Metro have ushered in a large range of display sizes and pixel densities, as well as various methods to cope with the variations. Mobile device pixel densities range from about 160ppi to 320ppi. Apple took the high road and limited UI scaling to two sizes, with newer displays being exactly double the pixel density of the first generation of their devices. This is ideal for scaling. Android and Windows 8 can’t easily do that, due to the range of devices they’re run on. Their business model dictates variety. Variety dictates non-ideal scaling. Non-ideal scaling dictates blurry pixels or non-ideally placed pixels.
Android uses density-independent pixels as its preferred design grid, and scales UI to match the resolution of the device’s screen. Assets are often created at 160ppi, 240ppi and 320ppi, which relates to scales of 100%, 150% and 200%.

Interactive migration graphics

Forbes reporting: Interative migrations statistic 19.11.2011

Newsstand’s Few Early Adopters Have Stolen A March On Laggards

paidcontent reporting:
Magazine and news publishers who have not yet joined iOS Newsstand have lost out to the system’s early adopters, according to research data.
“As of the end of October, 8% of apps tracked had migrated to the Newsstand,” says McPheters & Company‘s The State Of The App, a monthly digest compiled from its iMonitor, a premium database which tracks 4,000 tablet and mobile news apps in English-speaking and western European countries.
“It has without question contributed to substantial increases in volume for those publishers who have chosen to migrate. Publications heavily promoted on the Newsstand have reported sales 2.5 to 10 times higher than previous levels.
“Those who have not moved – such as Time Inc. (NYSE: TWX) titles in the U.S. – have seen declines in downloads relative to other publishers.”
Company founder Rebecca McPheters explained to paidContent:
“In the U.S. app store, the number of publications among the top 200 highest grossing apps overall increased substantially. But the Time Inc. apps, which are not in the Newsstamd, lost position to those that had migrated to the Newsstand.
“Since only about 8% had moved at the end of October, there was considerably less competition in the Newsstand, affording greater visibility to those who were there.”
Here are the early publisher gains we have reported at paidContent:
  • Exact Editions: Downloads of freemium sample editions jumped by 14x in just a few days, whilst some titles’ actual sales more than doubled.
  • Future: Free taster mag apps (previously unavailable as iOS apps) downloaded more than two million times in three days, “consumer spending well in excess of normal monthly revenues”.  Digital magazine sales +750 percent because Future added 55 new iOS apps to iTunes.
  • Guardian: 145,880 week-one downloads for its debut iPad app through Newsstand.
  • Metro: 155,000 downloads in first 11 days for new app, 800,000 to 1 million daily page views.
  • Condé Nast:  Weekly subscription sales across all nine digital editions +268 percent compared with previous eight weeks, single-copy sales +142 percent.
  • Condé Nast Britain: GQ +94%, Wired +169% and Vanity Fair +245% in October compared to September’s daily average sales pre-iOS 5.
  • New York Times: New weekly iPad downloads up from 27,000 to 189,000 in week after Newsstand launch. iPhone downloads up 85x from 21,000 to 1.8 million.
  • Zinio CEO:  “If you measure by revenue, (Newsstand) hasn’t had any impact. In fact, it’s gone up.”

Friday, November 18, 2011

Could data save newspapers?

inma reporting: The world is entering a new era of “Big Data” according to a new McKinsey report which claims that businesses that can get their heads around how to harness the constant flow of information are winning the race of profit and competition.
The news is likely to offend many die hard traditionalists in newsrooms, who are still enraged by the Internet making the word “content” a synonym for journalism. But as obnoxious as it was for purists to contemplate the idea that the poetry of beautiful writing and stunning photography could be belittled by a collective noun, “content” has stretched our perceptions of journalism now. The word has helped us to visualise story telling environments that incorporate rich picture galleries, video, and interactive graphics and information that is both spontaneous and curated. Calling journalism “content” broke an old perception and allowed us to see our product in a different light — the light of our readers and customers (who are now called users, by the way, but we’ll leave that for now).
And so, to data. Data is an interesting one. A big one. Bigger than “content” because data could describe not just what we produce, but, if we get smart very quickly, considering that what we do is data could be our new business model.
It’s even a model that many media companies have proven themselves to be extremely adept at — Dow Jones, Financial Times, Reuters. And when you look at the phenomenon of Google and Facebook, it’s actually the fuel in their tanks that makes us so jealous. The two online monoliths showed us that data is not just for financial boffins and the big end of town — data packaged in a warm and friendly way can change everyone’s lives.
So, “Are you ready for the era of big data?” ask Brad Brown, Michael Chui and James Manyika in the latest McKinsey Quarterly.
“Emerging academic research suggests that companies that use data and business analytics to guide decision making are more productive and experience higher returns on equity than competitors that don’t,” the report says.
It claims that “networked organisations can gain an edge by opening information conduits internally and by engaging customers and suppliers strategically through Web-based exchanges of information. Over time, we believe big data may well become a new type of corporate asset that will cut across business units and function much as a powerful brand does, representing a basis for competition.”
And this is where the idea becomes extremely attractive: data as a brand. Surely companies whose core business is creating stories, photos, images, and video on a 24/7 news cycle — most of it original or a unique understanding of recent events — would know a thing or two about content.
But newspaper companies have always had a lackadaisical attitude to data. While companies such as Google and Facebook — and even Flipboard and Welt — make it their business to hoover up information — much of it ours — and regurgitate it in new formats and contexts, newspaper companies have been happy to throw it out each day — turn it into fish and chip wrapper. For us, the excitement has come not from understanding how what we have done could work in new ways so that we could extract additional value, but on the lure of the next story and doing it better all over again tomorrow.
We even pay extraordinary amounts to third party organisations to provide industry insights and reports into markets which our reporters cover every single day. That’s a huge irony when you think a lot of the information the consultancies are using has come from our own news pages. When it comes to making business decisions, newspapers are insecure about trusting our own insights, nor do we have the best technology for capturing and analysing what we’ve done.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

WSJ Reporting Top Ebook Sales

Connected world reporting:
With this week’s launch of the Kindle Fire, there’s no question the tablet and ereader markets continue to gain momentum. Add with Amazon’s recent launch of the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library—a service that allows Kindle owners to borrow books for free if they have an Amazon Prime membership—and it is pretty evident ereading is here to stay.
Perhaps nothing is more telling than the fact the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) has now added digital book sales to its weekly Nielsen BookScan best-selling list. As of the end of last month, ebook sales now appear weekly as part of WSJ Weekend, the paper’s weekend edition, in print and on
To compile the data, Nielsen is having all major ebook retailers contribute information for four new charts that include self-published digital releases, children’s books, and perennials. The combined print and ebook charts for fiction and nonfiction, and ebook-only charts for fiction and nonfiction will also include books priced at $0.99 and above.

According to Jonathan Stolper, vice president and general manager of Nielsen BookScan, the expanded list reflects what consumers are truly buying and reading and “will most definitely advance the industry’s understanding of ebook best sellers.” 

Harper Collins to explore selling interactive ad space in factual books

newmediaage reporting:
Book publisher Harper Collins is making its first foray into interactive online advertising as it prepares to ramp up its digital offering.
The publisher will explore interactive and contextual ad formats for the first time for factual based books in the coming months.
HarperCollins group digital director and publisher David Roth-Ey told new media age the ad market is “untapped” in the book publishing market.
The legacy of book publishers has always been free of ads, and while it should continue for fictional books, Roth-Ey said there is definite potential to explore digital ads for books such as information guides.
“Certain kinds of books create immersive reading experiences whereby ads would be too interruptive for readers, and publishers and even advertisers aren’t likely to put a premium on that. But information books, for example a Collins birds guide, could provide very valuable real estate for contextual advertising - in this case potentially a binoculars manufacturer.”
His comments come as Harper Collins kicks of an internal, company-wide DigiFest conference aimed at addressing digital challenges including discoverability of content.
“Bookstores have traditionally been the most successful way to discover books, but as those dwindle in importance and significance we need to tackle how we recreate the sense of discovering books in an online environment.”
The book browsing effect, where publishers rely on beautiful book covers to attract buyers in-store needs to be replaced, he added.

Gartner: Android Now Over 50 Percent Of Smartphone Sales, The Rest Decline

paidcontent reporting:
Android may have some shortcomings, but Google (NSDQ: GOOG) has made enormous advances with manufacturers in terms of getting its OS on their smartphones, and in subsequently getting consumers to buy them. According to figures out today from Gartner, more than 50 percent of all smartphones bought by consumers in Q3 were built on the Android OS. That growth has been at all other platforms’ expense: the figures indicate that every other smartphone platform has declined in marketshare over a year ago.
Android’s current share of 52 percent is a big gain on last year when it only had 25.3 percent of sales. But as you can see from the table below, Android’s gains are outstripping the growth of the overall smartphone market, which is up by 42 percent to total sales of 115 million units.
That’s not the case for another big handset maker, Apple: Although iOS grew in actual unit terms by some four million devices, Apple (NSDQ: AAPL) has actually lost market share to Android overall. It accounted for 15 percent of handset sales compared to 16.6 percent in Q3 2010. RIM (NSDQ: RIMM) saw a similar decline but on a smaller scale, its sales grew by 200,000 devices but it still lost about four percent of its market share in sales.
Gartner includes Samsung’s feature phone OS, bada, in its smartphone category (a sign of things to come from Samsung, perhaps?). It was the only other OS besides Android in the rankings that saw a gain in market share, up to 2.2 percent from its previous share of 1.1 percent, as sales more than doubled to 2.5 million units in the quarter.
Meanwhile, Microsoft (NSDQ: MSFT), Symbian and “others” (covering webOS) all declined both in sales and market share.

Newsrooms can buy Facebook friends, but user engagement is not for sale

Poynter reporting:
The WFSB-TV Eyewitness News Team really wants to be liked. So much so that the Hartford, Connecticut television station is offering a generous reward for its newfound friends.
The CBS affiliate is running a contest this month on its Facebook page. Visitors who click the page’s “like” button can enter a drawing to win a new Nissan Maxima. So far, the station says about 20,000 people have responded, driving up the total number of likes on the WFSB Facebook page to more than 75,000.
“Facebook in general is a promotion tool to get people to watch us and go to our website,” said WFSB’s Executive Producer of Digital Content, Shannon Kane. “You want as many people to like you on Facebook, just like you want as many people to watch you on TV.”
While WFSB’s giveaway features an unusually extravagant prize, many TV stations are using contests and rewards to attract likes. This month (a “sweeps” month for Nielsen TV ratings), an Oklahoma City station is offering free DVDs to new Facebook likers, Baltimore’s ABC affiliate is handing out gasoline gift cards, while a Fort Myers, Florida station is giving away iPads each day through November 18.
There’s little doubt that the contests succeed in attracting likes. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported that the local NBC station doubled its Facebook likes with an iPad promotion this month. And a Cleveland station last year attracted 44,000 likes by providing a different kind of incentive: It offered to donate money to the Animal Protective League and give pets “a second chance at life” if 100,000 viewers friended the station on Facebook.  (Though the station fell short of its Facebook goal, it donated $2,500 anyway.)
But less clear is whether the contests and incentives increase stations’ television ratings, website traffic, or level of engagement with their viewers.
“Just because you have a million likes, that doesn’t necessarily equal real results,” said Eric Kuhn, a social media agent for United Talent Agency and a former Audience Interaction Producer at CNN.

Contests may bring short-lived gains

Monday, November 14, 2011

Kobo announces $99 e-reader with ads, taking on Amazon and Barnes & Noble

Mediabeat reporting:
There’s yet another $99 touch e-reader joining the fray this holiday shopping season. Kobo has announced its $99 Kobo Touch with Offers, which is the same device as a regular $130 Kobo Touch, but the screen will display ads when it is in sleep mode or turned off, as well as in what the company mysteriously refers to as “discreet places.”
The 6-inch e-reader will be a direct competitor to Amazon’s Kindle Touch with Special Offers and Barnes & Noble’s Nook Simple Touch. All three are $99 e-ink touch devices with 6-inch screens that display content in 16 levels of grey. Sony also has an e-ink product, the $130 Sony Reader Digital Book, and Amazon carries the $79 Kindle, which doesn’t have touch navigation.
Because the hardware is so similar, consumers may end up choosing between the products based on their familiarity with the content ecosystems. The Kindle benefits from its association with Amazon’s giant collection of e-books. The Nook has the Barnes & Noble name and library in its corner. Barnes & Noble is also hoping its new free, in-store customer service centers will appeal to gadget lovers used to Apple’s Genius Bar.
Kobo, however, isn’t as well-known of a name in the U.S., even though it has deals with large book chains in Canada and Europe. Just last week, the Canada-based e-reader manufacturer was acquired for $315 million in cash by Rakuten, the largest online shopping mall operator in Japan, which may help the reader become an international hit. As for this season’s e-reader wars in the U.S., it’s still a scrappy underdog.
The Kobo Touch does offer a few unique features. It can support more file formats than the competition, including HTML, RTF and various image files. And its “Reading Life” feature gives you awards for reading and collects stats on your reading habits.

Kindle Fire: ‘Also, Barnes & Noble, We Will Have A Newsstand’

moconewsnet reporting:
Amazon and Barnes & Noble  have sent out so many press releases about their respective upcoming tablets this week that I have begun to imagine both devices snapping back and forth at each other like squabbling children. In the latest round of this, Amazon is launching the “Kindle Fire Newsstand.” In case you weren’t clear on that, it is like the Nook Newsstand, but for the Kindle Fire.
The Kindle Fire Newsstand contains over 400 newspapers and magazines optimized for reading on the Kindle Fire. While the Kindle Store launched with books, newspapers and some magazines, the launch of the Kindle Fire gives Amazon the chance to expand its glossy and color offerings considerably.
Kindle Fire customers who sign up before March 1 get an exclusive three-month trial of 17 Condé Nast magazines.
The Newsstand page doesn’t have live links yet but shows magazines from Condé Nast, Hearst, Meredith , and Rodale, among others. Amazon had announced the Conde Nast, Hearst and Meredith partnerships at the Kindle Fire launch. Time Inc.  titles appear to be missing and Time Inc. is not mentioned in Amazon’s press release, so I’ve asked about that. The Nook Newsstand does sell Time Inc. titles. By my count, it contains 234 magazines and 36 newspapers, a total of 270 titles compared to Amazon’s “over 400.”

Newspapers’ Digital Apostle

NYT reporting: Last week, John Paton met with executives of the MediaNews Group, the second-largest newspaper chain by circulation in the country, home to papers like The Denver Post, The Detroit News, The Salt Lake Tribune and a broad swath of dailies throughout California, including The San Jose Mercury News.
Mr. Paton was given control of MediaNews by its owners in September based on his success operating the smaller Journal Register Company after it emerged from bankruptcy in 2009. Among other feats, he increased digital revenue by over 200 percent in his first full year as chief executive.
According to Mr. Paton, his new employees at MediaNews were hoping to discern the silver bullet that would enable them not only to survive, but prosper. Instead, he worked his way through a detailed presentation about outsourcing most operations other than sales and editorial, focusing on the cost side that might include further layoffs, stressing digital sales over print sales with incentives, and using relationships with the community to provide some of the content in their newspapers.
“When I finished, they looked crestfallen,” he said, adding that they seemed to be asking, “No secret sauce? No magic program to make us go from print to digital? Anyone can do what you’re talking about.”
Except few have. Mr. Paton has become something of a darling among media thinkers for putting his business where his rhetoric is. He issued Flip cameras to all the reporters at Journal Register papers, helped create a newsroom cafe that’s open to the community in Torrington, Conn., and has been pushing to dump ancient proprietary newsroom software in favor of free, Web-based publishing tools. He has financed a lab to foster employee innovation, and the company has formed partnerships with a number of Web companies to provide news and information.
What began as a tidy little experiment has become perhaps the single biggest bet in the whole newspaper business: The Journal Register and MediaNews are now in 18 states, with over 800 print and digital products, with revenue of over $1.4 billion and 10,000 employees. The second-largest newspaper chain in America is now being run by someone who thinks that print is, if not exactly dead, dying a lot faster than anyone thought...

Do Marketers Feel Isolated from Industry Trends?

emarketer reporting:  
Marketers report trends like social media affect 'the industry,' but not their own organizations
It’s no secret that the marketing world is changing. With digital channels reaching ever more consumers, more online ad and marketing formats being created to help reach them, and more measurability offered to marketers to justify the budgets they are devoting to new tactics, practitioners must stay abreast of a steady stream of new trends.
Research from branding firm Mechanica and Fast Company found that, while many marketing decision-makers see these trends affecting the broader industry, not so many think their own organizations are feeling the same impact. Most starkly, 70% agreed that the rise of social media mattered for the industry, but just 49% said it had influenced their own companies.

Teen Girls Twice as Likely as Boys to Tweet

emarketer reporting: Girls ages 12 to 17 take to Twitter

Teens have some of the highest social networking penetration of any age group. eMarketer estimates that 81% of internet users ages 12 to 17 will use social networks at least monthly this year, rivaling the 90% of online 18- to 24-year-olds and the 82% of 25- to 34-year-olds who will do the same. And while usage increases overall may be low at such high levels of saturation, that doesn’t mean teen social media activity is stagnant.
Pew Internet & American Life Project, in partnership with the Family Online Safety Institute and supported by Cable in the Classroom, found in July that 16% of online teens used Twitter, doubling the 8% figure found in September 2009.
Teen girls were more than twice as likely as boys to use the microblogging service, at 22% vs. 10% of the respective populations. Moreover, black internet users were more than three times as likely as whites to do so, and also significantly more likely than Hispanics. Older teens were also more active, as were those with lower household incomes. In each respect, Twitter usage mirrored the demographic differences in overall teen social network users—but amplified them significantly.

Demographic Profile of US Teen Internet Users Who Use Social Networks, July 2011 (% of respondents in each group)

Older teens’ increased social participation extended to every activity Pew studied, except gaming... 

Saturday, November 12, 2011

The Jekyll and Hyde problem: What are journalists, and their institutions, for?

niemanlabs reporting: One of the surprisingly pleasant things about Starkman’s piece is that it brings questions about what “journalism is for” back into a debate that often stops at the bleak shores of basic economics. To quote no one in particular but many people in toto, “changes in journalism are really about advertising; they are not about what journalism ‘should be’” — and, therefore, “the key is to find a business model” and “the rest will work itself out” and “we can’t really control what is happening anyway so we might as well not try.” Tow Center director Emily Bell’s own response to Starkman actually shows the simplicity of this materialistic hopelessness, and does a good job providing an initial answer to the question of what ideas actually do when they become embedded in messy materiality:
Ideas, in short, have consequences, and fighting about ideas is important. Which is why I’m so happy Starkman picked this particular fight.
Starkman’s basic argument is simple: The ideas promoted by what he calls the “Future of News” consensus have been pernicious for journalism insofar as they:

Texas newspaper begins printing Twitter, Facebook contacts with each story

Poynter reporting: The Monitor of McAllen, Texas, is turning reporters loose to act like real people on social networks, relaxing traditional concerns about objectivity and formality.
Bylines by local staff writers in The Monitor now include the reporter’s Twitter username.
The paper, with a daily circulation of about 45,000 and a news staff of 42, this week began attaching reporters’ social contact information to every story in the printed edition. Twitter usernames appear next to their bylines, and the end of each story lists how to reach them via Facebook, email and phone.
The obvious goal is to get more people to follow, like or friend the reporters. But that wouldn’t be much help unless the reporters are ready to engage on these platforms. So, Executive Editor Steve Fagan says he is “encouraging reporters to show a little more personality through the social networks than they do normally in print or even online reporting, to make our people a little more human.”
The reforms grew from conversations between management and the publisher about how to strengthen the paper’s social media presence, as its parent company, Freedom Communications, is pushing all its papers to build digital-first strategies.
Fagan also is giving the staff more freedom to express opinions — or at least display some emotion — as they use social networks for reporting and distributing stories. That doesn’t mean there are no boundaries, he said. The newspaper’s publisher this week redistributed copies of the SPJ code of ethics, and the staff is still expected to adhere to “normal guidelines for good-taste reporting,” Fagan said.

Friday, November 11, 2011

CHART OF THE DAY: Amazingly, Ringtones Are Still A $2 Billion Business

businessinsider reporting:
Here's a breakdown of online music sales from Gartner, by way of Peter Kafka at All Things D. The most insane thing about this chart? How important ringtones are.
Kafka says it better than we can:
"To sum up: More than 10 years after Napster, one of the key pillars of the music business is ringtones, a business that peaked around 2005, when some of you would have recognized the image at the top right of this post.
If you’re reading this, you probably haven’t paid for a ringtone since 2007, and you probably don’t know anyone who does. But there it is, generating two-point-one-billion dollars."