Alan Mutter's latest Reflections of a Newsosaur post points to the looming mobile news trend. Given the growth spurt of smartphones and the shift to consumption of content from them, Mutter believes this 2014 will be a crossroad year for the news business as it attempts to capitalize.
Mutter, the former editor turned Silicon Valley analyst, notes the advantage that local media have in capturing the mobile market, particularly in their understanding of their markets. It's an important opportunity, a do-over in a sense, and Mutter believes there won't be a third such opportunity.
The New York Times will later this week roll out a new online design, and part of the ambitious initiative is its entry into so-called native advertising, content that has an editorial appearance and is sponsored directly. It has been part gold mine, part minefield for media, and the Times has said it wants to strike the right balance so consumers are not deceived and advertisers are not underwhelmed.
Digiday today reveals some of the Times' strategies in the space, particularly how it intends to place these ads to be effective for sales and unintrusive for editorial. Some will be within a stripe of headlines, some will be nestled into longer-form stories, and the Times will create a "content studio" to produce some of the ads. It wants an "organic" and not "disruptive" approach. Much is riding on what the organization does and how well it does, because basic online advertising is not proving as lucrative as initially thought and native advertising is considered the hot growth spot.
David Carr's latest Media Equation column looks at a curious effort by former Wired editor Kevin Kelly to create a vital print media product, in this case a catalogue of reviews of great products, and he concludes that print is settling into some niches.
Carr notes that the catalogue has been selling impressively and that, even though it is plucked from online reviews, it couldn't be presented as an online product with anything approaching the same impact.