Date

Wed - 13.12.2017


February 2008

Music Web site Last.fm announced Thursday that asking external developers to build complementary services has led to a boost in audience numbers to about 19 million users globally, who are using its services through applications and widgets on third-party sites, the Guardian reported.

These 19 million users are in addition to the 21 million users who access the site each month.

Last.fm, owned by CBS, opened parts of its services and code to developers in 2003, and has built a formal place for them at build.last.fm, according to the Guardian. Another popular site in which developers build tools for free to increase their profile and recognition is on Facebook.

Richard Jones, co-founder of last.fm, told the Guardian that opening the site up to developers “ allows anyone to create and distribute their own unique slice of the Last.fm experience on their own Web sites and platforms.”

In the future, Jones told the Guardian that the site will be moving onto other platforms, such as mobile, games consoles and partnering with other media platforms, “to guarantee that Last.fm continues to drive the best music discovery and listening on the Web.”

Author

Leah McBride Mensching

Date

2008-02-29 06:47

The Business Standard is aggressively launching Hindi and Gujarati editions, agencyfaqs! reported Thursday.

It launched its first Hindi business Daily on February 16 in Mumbai and New Delhi. Over the next 10 days, the Business Standard it launched Hindi editions in Lucknow, Chandigarh and Bhopal, and Gujarati editions in Ahmedabad, Mumbai and Rajkot. Two more editions of the Hindi version are scheduled to be launched in Patna and Kolkata in March.

The total of seven Hindi editions and three Gujarati editions launched in such a short time may be a move to compete with other business dailies who already have a footprint in those areas, such as the Financial Express, which launched its Gujarati edition in 1991, and Economic Times, which launched ET Gujarati in early 2007, agencyfaqs! reported.

“We have been planning the Hindi and Gujarati editions of BS since over a year now. It's just that we did not announce it officially in public,” Akila Urankar, president of Business Standard, told agencyfaqs!. “For the Hindi business edition, New Delhi and Mumbai form a crucial market. We could have concentrated only on these metros for the launch of the Hindi editions. But our research there indicated that these metros, however crucial, are cosmopolitan in nature and the Hindi heartland lies elsewhere, in other markets in the country. Therefore, we decided on the strategy to address these markets at the same time as the metros.”

Author

Leah McBride Mensching

Date

2008-02-29 06:33

Philadelphia's two largest dailies announced another round of job cuts - 68 non-newsroom employees lost their jobs as the recession of the newspaper advertising market continued, the Associated Press reported Thursday.

According to the union Newspaper Guild of Greater Philadelphia, the papers' parent company, Philadelphia Media Holdings, cut 68 jobs in advertising, circulation, customer service, finance, marketing and systems. The union said Wednesday that a "very small" number of managers will be laid off.

The layoffs take effect March 28, but employees have been told that they can leave immediately, according to chron.com.

Jay Devine, a spokesman for Philadelphia Media Holdings, said the slumped advertising market forced the company to make cuts. Devine added that the company has added editorial workers and is completing a plant investment that will put more color into the papers.

"We continue to make prudent investments in areas of growth that are critical to the organisation while also being as absolutely efficient as we can be in all other areas," said Devine.

Philadelphia Media Holdings just laid off about 100 editorial and advertising workers more than a year ago, chron.com reported.

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Author

Erina Lin

Date

2008-02-29 06:20

Trinity Mirror reported a pre-tax profit of £203 million for 2007, due to improvements in the ad market and selling off of its south-eastern titles and The Racing Post, Brand Republic reported Thursday.

In 2006, the publisher of the Daily Mirror reported pre-tax profits of a loss of £11.5 million. When adding in the sale of several titles, such as the Croydon Post, its sports division and the South London Press, the publisher made £263 total in 2007.

If the disposals of titles are factored out, pre-tax profits from continuing operations add up to £21 million, still up from a £88.9 million loss in 2006, Brand Republic reported.

Improvements have been made in the difficult advertising market, which hurt profits in 2005 and 2006, Trinity said. Monthly volatility in the ad market is expected to continue this year, and the economic outlook in the United Kingdom is uncertain, both of which have led to a weak start in ad revenues in 2008, Brand Republic reported.

Digital revenues at the company are also growing, representing 3.7 percent of total revenues, and 6.7 percent of advertising revenues, according to Brand Republic.

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Author

Leah McBride Mensching

Date

2008-02-29 06:14

Mobile ad spending in Western Europe is expected to skyrocket within next few years, according to research firm eMarketer.

The mobile ad spending will exceed US$3.46 billion in 2011, from merely $454 million in 2006. The growth in Western Europe is nearly sevenfold.

Mobile multimedia ad spending is growing strongly in recent years - jumping from a niche $84 million in 2006 to $634 million in 2011, according to eMarketer.

On the other hand, general mobile ad spending is still steady – up from $370 million in 2006 to $2.83 billion in 2011, with an over 600 percent growth.

Author

Leah McBride Mensching

Date

2008-02-29 05:51

Eighteen months after combining three publishing companies into one multi-media group, Belgium's De Persgroep is ready to report on the lessons of its transformation at the World Newspaper Congress, to be held in Göteborg, Sweden, from 1 to 4 June next.

Christian Van Thillo, chief executive officer of De Persgroep, will discuss what worked and what didn't after the merger of Aurex, De Morgen and Magnet Magazines into De Persgroep in November 2006.

"The main objective was not to improve the overall bottom line by cost-cutting through synergies, but to create a new, more flexible organisation that would be better suited to effectively develop our online strategy and that would be better adapted to serve our advertisers, who are asking for multi-media solutions," says Mr Van Thillo.

The transformation of De Persgroep is part of a larger transformation of the newspaper industry, sparked by the opportunities to offer newspaper content across many media platforms. This transformation is the foundation of the 2008 Congress, which takes the theme, "Newspapers: A Multimedia, Growth Business."

The Congress, along with the World Editors Forum and Info Services Expo, are the annual, global meetings of the world's press. More than 1,500 publishers, chief editors, CEOs, managing directors and other senior newspaper executives and their guests are expected in Sweden for the events.

Full details are available at www.wansweden2008.com.

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Author

Larry Kilman

Date

2008-02-28 22:08

Free daily 20 Minutos is the highest circulated daily in Spain, with distribution of 1,043,000 copies a day in 2007, Newspaper Innovation reported Wednesday.

Following in second place is Qué!, with 957,000 copies.

In third and fourth places are ADN, with 955,000 copies, and Metro, with 840,000, according to Newspaper Innovation.

All of the top four highest circulated newspapers in Spain are free dailies. The only paid paper to make the top five is El Pais, which had a print run of 560,000 and a circulation of 426,000 in 2007.

"Comparing paid and free circulation is not easy because both forms report different sorts of circulation. For free dailies 'distributed' copies are reported; paid dailies have a print run circulation and 'net circulation.' Also the paid papers last audit is on a different period: July 2006 / June 2007," Newspaper Innovation stated.

Author

Leah McBride Mensching

Date

2008-02-28 06:53

China's first English-Chinese mobile newspaper was launched Tuesday in Beijing, China Daily reported.

Zhu Ling, editor of China Daily, and Wang Jianzhou, chairman of China Mobile, launched the mobile news site in a joint ceremony. The mobile news site will be produced by both China Mobile and China Daily, and will be called China Daily Mobile News.

The mobile news site will send English-language and Chinese-language news to users' mobile phones as multimedia messages, China Daily reported.

It is hoped that the mobile news service will be a hit with athletes, officials, tourists and businessmen and women visiting China for the Olympics, and after the event is over, the report stated.

Author

Leah McBride Mensching

Date

2008-02-28 06:48

Roularta Media Group SA has bought Belgian freesheet Het Gouden Blad, for about one million euro, Thomson Financial reported Wednesday.

Het Gouden Blad publishes in the two towns of Waregem and Deinze.

Roularta also owns the highest circulated newspaper in Flanders, De Streekkrant/De Weekkrant, which has a weekly circulation of 3.5 million. It also owns De Zondag, which has two million weekly readers, Thomson Financial reported.

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Author

Leah McBride Mensching

Date

2008-02-28 06:41

Six out of ten Canadians say they prefer newspaper ads to TV advertising, according to a survey released by the Canadian Newspaper Association.

This survey was conducted by Ipsos Reid on behalf of the Canadian Newspaper Association from January 31 to February 4, 2008, with an interview sample of 1,428 adults equally proportioned across the demographic groups.

According to Marketing Charts, key findings from the survey include:

  • 45 percent indicate that there are some days when they read the newspaper as much for the ads as for the content. Women (48 percent) are more likely than men (41 percent) to say so. People within age group 35-54 (51 percent) are more likely than those age above 55 (41 percent) and those who are age 18-34 (40 percent) to say so.
  • 66 percent say they enjoy the advertising or product/service inserts that come with newspapers. Women (70 percent) are more likely than men (62 percent) to say so. Those aged above 35 are more likely than those between age 18-34 (71 percent vs. 55 percent).
  • 70 percent search newspaper ads for information on the latest offerings and sales in their area on a regular basis.
  • 68 percent say that they specifically look up to newspapers during weekends or holidays to find out about sales.
  • 49 percent say they get gift ideas for special occasions (birthdays, weddings, anniversaries) from newspaper ads.

Author

Erina Lin

Date

2008-02-28 05:41

The San Francisco Chronicle announced the launch of the new homepage SFGate.com, as part of a redesign.

The news site has simpler and top-of-the-page navigation, which allow users to access to multimedia features, and more search tools.

The homepage offers a variety of stories, including breaking news, entertainment, sports and features. It is intended to serve as the primary gateway to SFGate's content for Bay Area readers.

The new design also includes News, Sports, Business, Technology, and Living sections, Editor & Publisher reported.

Author

Erina Lin

Date

2008-02-28 05:24

The World Editors Forum has re-launched its Editors Weblog to increase functionality and make it easier to navigate.

The weblog, a sister publication of the SFN blog, now has new sharing and social networking tools and produces a daily e-mail newsletter that is sent to thousands of editors each day. It also has a new, modern appearance.

WEF, the organisation within the World Association of Newspapers for senior newsroom personnel, launched the weblog in 2004. It has since become the premier international weblog on newsroom issues, with more than 1,600 unique visitors each day.

To celebrate the relaunch, WEF is conducting a series of interviews with editors-in-chief from major publications around the world, about the future of newspapers and the news industry, on the theme of “News, journalism, newspapers: same past, different futures?”

Contributing publications include the Financial Times, the Washington Post, Canada's Globe & Mail, the Hindustan Times, Fairfax publications in Australia, Punch in Nigeria, and many others.

The series will begin running on the weblog this week.

Other recent posts include:

- From traditional to digital: Skyrock Blogs' phenomenal transition from French radio broadcaster to digital publisher, with more than half of its revenues coming from new media.

- Hindustan Times' integration: top-down, video-heavy, an examination of fundamental changes to the Times' organisation and working culture.

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Author

Larry Kilman

Date

2008-02-27 22:19

The Fiji Sun's publisher, Russell Hunter, was deported Tuesday after his paper printed reports that the country's finance minister, Mahendra Chaudhry, had engaged in tax evasion.

Hunter was described by the Fijian government as being a threat to national stability. He was given deportation documents Monday night by four soldiers and an immigration official and arrived in Australia Tuesday afternoon, the Sydney Morning Herald reported Wednesday.

He told the Sydney Morning Herald that he thought the document was a forgery, and he has “no doubt” his deportation was due to the coverage of Chaudhry's alleged tax evasion.

The media in Fiji is “under threat,” Hunter told the Sydney Morning Herald. “The trouble is there is no law in Fiji. The law is what certain people say it is on any given day and if you don't like it you can argue about it later.”

Netani Rika, editor of Fiji Times Online, said there is a growing “environment of fear” in Fiji, according to the Sydney Morning Herald.

Author

Leah McBride Mensching

Date

2008-02-27 05:45

Social networking has been booming in Australia and New Zealand, according to a recent Nielsen Online study.

According to the study, 55 percent of Australian and 62 percent of New Zealand's online users used a social network in 2007.

In addition, 33 percent of Australian and a quarter of New Zealand's social networking users had joined in the past three months.

Melanie Ingrey, Nielsen Online's market research director in the Asia-Pacific region, said she expects a further significant increase in the near future due to the viral nature of social networking adoption. "As many as one-half of current non-users have already indicated they will sign up within the next 12 months,” she said.

The study also pointed out that almost half of the users, 45 percent in Australia and 48 percent in New Zealand, spent one to four hours on social networking sites every day.

The most popular sites differ in the two countries. In Australia, MySpace was the most popular, followed by Facebook. In New Zealand, Old Friends was ranked on the top and Bebo was second, eMarketer reported.

Author

Erina Lin

Date

2008-02-27 05:28

Yahoo has finally announced the launch of its long-rumored Buzz portal, a social news site where users can vote on stories, and send the most popular stories to a featured spot on the Yahoo homepage, according to the Wired Blog Network.

It is obvious Yahoo Buzz is aimed to compete against Digg and Reddit. However, Buzz is not simply trying to imitate Digg, the Wired Blog Network reported.

The most obvious difference between Buzz and Digg is that the Buzz stories are not user-submitted, but the aggregated stories from select publishers, and users can vote them up or down.

Another difference is that rankings on Buzz are not determined by voting alone – it also includes search logs as one of the ranking criteria, the Wired Blog Network reported.

Similar to Digg, Buzz is divided by news categories, such as world news, sports, business, entertainment, travel and more. It has sections for image and video links as well.

Buzz is set to be launched today.

For more on this topic, visit our partner site, Editorsweblog.org.

Author

Erina Lin

Date

2008-02-27 05:27

Weekly business newspaper The Myanmar Times, which is closely tied to Burma's ruling junta, may soon be permitted to publish the country's first privately owned daily newspaper since the military took over power in Myanmar in 1962, The Irrawaddy reported Monday.

Sources in Rangoon told The Irrawaddy, a Thailand-based newspaper that covers Burma and Southeast Asia, that it seems “very likely” The Myanmar Times will receive permission to publish the new privately owned daily following a national referendum held by the regime, which is scheduled for May.

The Irrawaddy also reported that Burmese officials refused to comment.

Since 1962, private publishers have not been allowed in the country. Australian Ross Dunkley, who publishes The Myanmar Times, has “maintained close relations with regime officials since the paper was founded in 2000,” according to The Irrwaddy.

For a previous article on this topic, visit our partner site, Editorsweblog.org.

Author

Leah McBride Mensching

Date

2008-02-27 05:20

As part of a deal with a media watchdog group, Norwegian media group Schibsted ASA will sell its entire 34.3 percent stake in newspaper group Adresseavisen ASA in order to create its Media Norge newspaper group.

The Independent Media Ownership Council authorised Media Norge's establishment Tuesday, on the condition that Schibsted sell its Adresseavisen shares, Thomson Financial reported.

Schibsted said in a statement it will also reduce its ownership in Harstad Tidende to 40 percent, and that its Stavanger Aftenblad shares will be converted to Media Norge shares, according to a Thomson Financial article posted by Finanz Nachrichten.

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Author

Leah McBride Mensching

Date

2008-02-27 04:43

The print industry in India is preparing a list of demands for the Finance Minister, to be delivered before the Union Budget 2008-09 is presented.

The list will demand the removal of the Fringe Benefit Tax (FBT), and lower taxes on the buying and selling of newsprint, among others, exchange4media reported Monday.

“Newspapers merit special fiscal treatment so as to maintain a vibrant and free press so vital for the survival of our democratic polity. Newspapers are referred as the Fourth Estate and the Indian Constitution itself states that State Governments shall not tax the sale and purchase of newspapers, that there should be no sales tax, excise duty or VAT on newspaper sale. In keeping with the spirit of the Constitutional provisions, it is necessary to ensure that duties and taxes which impact newspaper production are done away with or compensated or minimised to the extent feasible. This alone will ensure a fiscal environment which sustains diversity and plurality of ownership in the press and encourages maximum coverage, readership and reach in the populace,” a delegation of the Indian Newspaper Society (INS) stated in a memorandum to the Finance Ministry, according to exchange4media.

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Author

Leah McBride Mensching

Date

2008-02-26 05:56

The American Press Institute's latest project, Newspaper Next 2.0, means newspaper companies “will have to venture farther afield and become the indispensable guide to everything that anyone in their local community needs to know to live there,” The Poynter Institute's media analyst Rick Edmonds stated Monday.

The report, a sequel to the original 2006 Newspaper Next report, was published online last week, and states that despite the problems plaguing the news industry, from circulation declines to online revenues that can't make up for them, newspapers can survive, and even see “dizzying growth rates” j – but not without dramatic changes in the way they think, the strategies they adopt and the innovation processes they use.”

The bar for newspapers keeps rising ever higher, and as time passes, it will take increasingly more than reporting the news to reach it.

For those on the business side, Edmonds recommends paying close attention to the report's 24 case studies, as well as the seven examples the report lists that show how some newspaper companies have organised and financed innovation.

Tags

Author

Leah McBride Mensching

Date

2008-02-26 05:43

Sales of traditional paid newspapers in Ireland are not being impacted by freesheets, Paul McCabe, head of media buying agency MCM told the Sunday Business Post.

McCabe's opinion is based on the Audit Bureau of Circulations data for July to December 2007, which showed only marginal changes for newspapers in the country.

“It's clearly not affecting sales at all,” McCabe told the Sunday Business Post, noting that The Irish Daily Star's average sales were up 6.3 percent, while the Mirror's sales grew 3.8 percent.

Tabloids also grew last year, due to high profile news cases, such as the Madeleine McCann case, the Sunday Business Post reported.

Author

Leah McBride Mensching

Date

2008-02-26 04:59

As television audiences become increasingly fragmented, traditional TV players are reaching out to online audiences, eMarketer reported Monday.

“It hasn't happened yet, but full-blown convergence between television and the Internet is on the way,” the company's latest report states.

One factor leading to convergence between online video content and television is that currently, most online video is “snackable video – bite-sized entertainment – rather than a complete meal of full TV episodes or full-length movies,” the eMarketer report states.

Online video watched by 40 percent or more of the online video audience in the United States are clips that last five minutes long or less, such as music videos, news clips, movie trailers or clips from television shows or entertainment news, the report states.

Meanwhile, better technology will mean online video content “will expand in both length and breadth, and professionally-produced material will account for a large part of the menu,” according to eMarketer.

Author

Leah McBride Mensching

Date

2008-02-26 04:48

Deutsche Bank cut its rating on shares of The New York Times Co. Monday, as the industry continues to battle soft U.S. advertising trends, the Associated Press reported.

Deutsche Bank's Paul Ginocchio cut his rating on the company from "Hold" to "Sell," and lowered his price target to US$15 from $17.

Ginocchio said advertising nationwide has softened, and he predicts national advertising will remain difficult, at least in the first half of 2008, Editor & Publisher reported.

Shares have risen recently in anticipation of New York Times' annual shareholder meeting in April, but Ginocchio warned that shares may drop if efforts by investment firm Harbinger Capital fail.

Last week, Harbinger increased its stake in the company to 15.6 percent, intending to seek seats on the company's board. A Goldman Sachs analyst also said the New York Times' asset sales advocated by hedge funds may not be financially practical, according to Bloomberg.

Ginocchio said the share price "more than discounts" operational benefits that may arise from the election of new board members, E&P reported.

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Author

Erina Lin

Date

2008-02-26 04:35

Could television be the next industry run over by the Internet? An article on Wall Street Journal pointed out the possibility - Online video has been a hit. In December alone, Americans watched more than 300 million videos on YouTube, and spent 34 percent more time watching it compared to the same period in 2006.

Although it has not been entirely at the expense of television viewing, the growth still comes as a shock to network executives. What's more, Google's new plans to squeeze money out of online video advertising could also cause broadcasters a lot of pain.

However, Google has yet to make money out of online video, although it has dominated the business.

Now, Google is trying two strategies. First, it plans to sell ads on videos appearing elsewhere online. The ads will be shown as the form of videos or clickable text, which appears on a small portion of the larger video image, the Wall Street Journal reported.

Second, it plans to place clickable video ads on the side of its search results. Google can generate revenue from video advertisers whenever the video ads are clicked.

Author

Erina Lin

Date

2008-02-26 04:31

Following the American Press Institute's release of its report Newspaper Next 2.0: Making the Leap Beyond 'Newspaper Companies,' the World Association of Newspapers will host the first-ever Newspaper Next event outside North America at the end of its UK Study Tour 2008.

Newspaper Next's Managing Director, Steve Gray from the American Press Institute, will present a day-long strategy session during the study tour's seminar in London at news agency Reuters.

The day-long programme, to be held Friday, April 4, will give an overview of the Institute's groundbreaking research and testing of executable new business models for newspapers, with hopes that newspaper companies can take away a set of practical concepts, tools and processes to navigate to a new future, according to WAN study tour information.

The workshop will provide a framework for understanding the disruptive forces facing the newspaper industry, offer a new way to look at growth opportunities, explain a clear process for testing and assessing those opportunities, and provide a structure within which to apply that process to the critical growth areas of an organisation.

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Author

Leah McBride Mensching

Date

2008-02-26 03:00


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