Media stories of note for Wednesday, April 17, 2013:
Barry Diller, the veteran media executive and chairman of IAC, says death will come for irrelevant media and those who innovate will be fine. While that isn't a particular revelation, his views on newspapers are. For one, he notes they have a larger audience than ever due to their web reach. But more importantly, they have the ability to be "granular" in their look at communities. He told a conference
this week he is surprised they don't.
Meanwhile, paidContent looks
at a new Newspapers Association of America survey that indicates newspaper audiences are highly engaged. But it points to the need for a stronger presence in mobile to deal with declining advertising revenue. The survey looked at 11 metrics --- from ethics to effectiveness of advertising --- and newspapers and their online counterparts came out on top of all media.
Digital advertising revenue has climbed 15 per cent in the U.S. in 2012 to reach $36.6 billion, nearly half of which came from search advertising. A large growth area was display advertising, including video, which rose nearly 33 per cent in the year. The Interactive Advertising Bureau study was reported by Reuters.
Media stories of note for Tuesday, March 26, 2013:
An international study commissioned by the BBC examines the use of television and tablets in consuming news. It suggests a TV-first habit remains in the consumption of breaking news but that tablets and the Internet are increasingly the resource to dig deeper. Rather than take away from television, tablets are integrating into an environment of smartphones and laptops, says the study reported in TechCrunch.
Indeed, nearly have of the tablet owners say they are watching more television.
The BBC has created a database of "expert women" to increase the proportion of women seen and heard on its news programming. Poynter notes
the database is part of an initiative that recently saw BBC train experts in presenting their views at its BBC Academy. A YouTube channel was launched featuring some of these presentations.
Ken Doctor, the news executive who writes for Nieman Journalism Lab
, explores the recent State of the News Media report's assertion that most news companies may have missed the opportunity to capitalize on the emerging mobile and local digital advertising market. The strength of the so-called GAFA (Google, Apple, Facebook and Apple) in securing the front row may have precluded their significant presence.
Media stories of note for Tuesday, March 19, 2013:
The British House of Commons has passed measures
to establish a new press regulator. Press Gazette reports that judges will be permitted to award punitive damages against publishers who do not sign on to the new entity, which will be established by royal charter, seek arbitration of disputes, and be amended only by two-thirds support in both Houses of Parliament. Major newspaper firms have reacted critically
. The measures follow the Leveson inquiry into press conduct.The Atlantic delves into data from the new State of the News Media report and identifies the critical slide in advertising revenue for the newspaper business and their websites. In 2012, newspapers lost $16 in ad revenue for every $1 they gained in online ad revenue. Indeed the entire growth in the last decade of digital revenue does not make up for a single year of declines since 2003.The Knight Foundation is critical of many journalism schools, noting they haven't mastered the Web much less prepared their students for even more modern developments in gathering, telling and distributing their content. Where Knight is financing social and mobile applications, some schools haven't found ways to integrate the Web, Poynter's Andrew Beaujon reports.
Some media stories of note for Wednesday, Feb. 13:
Cory Bergman, the general manager of Breaking News, has a five-point brief
at Poynter today to accompany a live chat in which he asserts mobile will disrupt journalism in the same way the Internet did. He argues a mobile-first, not a mobile-too approach is necessary. In short, his points: responsive design is not a strategy; mobile will surpass, even erode, the desktop; desktop declines will hurt news revenues; news needs to solve problems; technology companies are getting the mobile-first idea.
Matthew Ingram, writing in GigaOm,
reports on the social network and hyperlocal site Nextdoor and its efforts to build an exclusive, verified service for specific neighbourhoods. He identifies the differences between Nextdoor and some other, more open hyperlocal services, and cites the closed nature of Nextdoor as one of the keys to its possible success.
Time Warner appears to be ready to sell portions of Time Inc., according to Fortune.
A meeting today will pursue the matter. It is possible that such titles as People, Real Simple and InStyle would be rolled into a new firm and sold, leaving Time Warner with Time, Sports Illustrated and Fortune. The publishing division is substantial, with $3.4 billion in revenue.
Jonah Lehrer, the author and literary journalist who was caught up in a plagiarism scandal last year, resurfaced publicly Tuesday to speak to the Knight Foundation
(his speaking fee was $20,000). He apologized, but Andrew Beaujon of the Poynter Institute suggests
Lehrer mainly stirred up more negative than positive response in a craft not quite ready to forgive and forget.
These are still early days, but the Apple iPad is the leading-edge tablet and it's worth understanding the early learning of its use in determining how devices will alter the consumption of media.
NPD has released its second study of iPad users. The main headline --- apart from substantial satisfaction with the iPad --- is that 20 per cent of usage takes place in bed. But the more significant findings indicate that netbooks and laptops are threatened by the tablet's incursion into email, browsing and software use.
The survey indicates, though, that the initial purchasers are more attached to their iPads than those who bought them more recently. It suggests that the core loyalist isn't necessarily indicative of the overall use. Indeed, there remains some criticism --- the lack of a USB port, for instance, or easy printing solutions.
A new report
from the Pew Internet & American Life Project suggests we have entered the era of the mobile application. The use --- and particularly the growth --- of apps is trending such that it now is where the industry action is.
The report indicates more than one-third of adults --- particularly men and young adults --- have applications on their smartphones, although only one-quarter of adults use them. It is, as the report suggests, pretty significant in view of the fact there weren't such applications only a couple of years ago (pre-iPhone and Android).
Among cellphone owners, 29 per cent have downloaded apps and 13 per cent have paid for them.
At a relatively early stage of his career, Vadim Lavrusik is articulating well the emerging nature of our craft in a voice that is nuanced and scholarly. His latest post
for Mashable is a good primer on the direction of journalism as it employs social media.
First off, he says, all media will be social.
Beyond that, though, is an array of features that will in broad outline define journalism:
1. Collaborative reporting.
2. Journalists will manage communities.
3. Social media will be integrated.
4. Online curation for the time-poor.
5. Social networks will be editors.
6. Social content will be monetized.
7. Social newsrooms will feature personal brands.
8. Mobile will engage.
A few weeks ago the Digital Media Test Kitchen at University of Colorado unfurled some impressive work on the early stages of mobile applications from newsrooms. It's worth taking another look at one element of its work on the specific challenges for news organizations as they embrace --- or don't --- mobile.
Author Lauren Seaton concludes
that the initial apps coming into the market are tepid, far less innovative than non-news organizations are producing, and she wonders why.
"While templates and layouts are similar from app to app, they generally lack originality and creativity," she writes. The smartphone offers opportunities for news organizations to reach audiences, but "most of the news applications that have been created by single news brands do not do enough to encourage interactivity, customization, or creativity."
In another chapter
on the far-reaching report, author Jordan Wirfs-Brock notes the new uses emerging with smartphones and suggests opportunities exist for news organizations in such areas as geo-location, augmented reality, voice-to-text, financial transactions, push reminders, social incentives, multi-touch, and gesture.
The Digital Media Test Kitchen, an intiative at the University of Colorado, has released a study today
at a major academic conference that outlines the challenges for newsrooms and mobile media.
In essence, the study says newsrooms are sluggish --- to be kindly --- about initiatives in mobile that offer immense opportunities for revenue and audience. It notes that entrepreneurs are creating cutting-edge applications and young people are absorbing them, yet newsrooms are tepid and ceding the ground to others.
It has some 15 recommendations in its extensive report. Among them:
1. Step up with exclusive content.
2. Leverage smartphone geo-location services.
3. Use augmented reality, text and photos as content.
4. Use bookmarks, cloud computing, and multi-device computing.
5. Use 2-D barcodes.
The report is the most broadly based of any on the prescriptions for newsrooms. The message: "There's a lot of power packed into the smartphone's small, portable form." The underlying message: Newsrooms need to harness it.
Eric Schmidt is not the first one to say it, but the Google CEO's view is meaningful when he pronounces the smartphone as the future --- indeed, the equivalent of the arrival of the television in terms of elevating the knowledge base of parts of the world.
Web search, smartphones and translation software are the keys to that knowledge-building, Schmidt says in an interview with The Guardian
in advance of a speech he's delivering this week.
At the moment, he believes the best engineering work is being conducted on developing applications and systems to deliver content across mobile devices.
"That's a big news thing – that's equivalent to the arrival of television," he says.