Date

Wed - 13.12.2017


January 2010

E-readers, like the Amazon Kindle, likely won't help newspapers hold on to audiences, as younger users think the Kindle is "old" compared to smart phones, while older users prefer the experience a print version offers, a new study from the University of Georgia has found.

The Kindle doesn't have a touch screen and it can't surf the Internet, young adults pointed out. Older adults, meanwhile, pointed out that features like comics and crossword puzzles aren't available on e-reader devices, according to the six-month study by the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication. For the study, participants read the Atlanta Journal-Constitution on the Kindle and gave feedback.

Regardless of age, cost was a major factor. The Kindle DX costs US$489, and being able to read a newspaper on one is not enough to justify spending that amount of money, according to the study.

"We are in the first phase of the project which compares e-readers, such as the Kindle, to traditional newspapers and online delivery systems," Dean Krugman, a professor of advertising, said in a news release. "Our focus is on the way people consume media in a rapidly changing environment. Earlier, we employed similar methods when studying the growth of the multi-channel television environment."

Of course, when the iPad hits the market, the Kindle will experience major competition, as the study found that features like colour and touch screens are likely to win over more readers.

Author

Leah McBride Mensching

Date

2010-01-29 23:41

U.S. newspaper publisher Media General Inc. yesterday announced a profit in the fourth quarter, thanks to cost cutting measures. Shares also rose up to 20 percent, Reuters reported. Net income for the quarter was US$27.4 million, compared to a net loss of $85.5 million the same quarter last year.

These earnings also "suggest that the chill in online ad spending at newspapers is starting to thaw," as the company also posted a 15 percent increase in online ad revenue, paidContent reported.

However, profit in the fourth quarter came mostly due to a 22 percent drop in operating costs, mainly a result of furloughs and cost cuts. It also cut 900 employees in 2009, according to Reuters.

In 2010, the company expects results to continue to get better, thanks to its reduced costs and the bettering condition of the economy, said Marshall Morton, president and chief executive of Media General, according to the Winston-Salem Journal.

Media General owns several U.S. papers, including the Journal, the Tampa Tribune and local TV stations.

Author

Leah McBride Mensching

Date

2010-01-29 23:20

South Africa's DLT Media is tapping into print revenue by targeting readers with no place else to go, and nothing to do but read. In many waiting rooms, magazines are old and the daily newspaper ends up scattered around. DLT has signed up about 120 businesses per month - from doctor's offices to hair salons - and as of July 2009 has provided a marketing arm for publishers to reach more than 3,000 business clients, BizCommunity reported Tuesday.

DLT Media gives publishers another way to offer premium media placement to get more visibility, thereby boosting circulation and readership.

DLT Media also operates in the Netherlands, where it was formed in 1998 to market and distribute magazines to businesses that have a lobby or waiting area, which proved to be successful and was soon followed by expanding its reach to United Kingdom, then Ireland and recently to South Africa in 2006. It is now Europe's largest specialist supplier of consumer magazines to businesses, distributing more than 400,000 magazines every month to over 20,000 businesses, reaching more than 8 million people, according to its Web site.

According to a McPheters study, published in February 2009 and commissioned by DLT Media, 58 percent of people are more concentrated while reading a magazine in a private place, compared to 51 percent in public places.

Author

Savita Sauvin

Date

2010-01-29 23:03

Google's plan to review its operations in China has caused a decline in online advertising orders this month, Bloomberg reported.

An unidentified external sales agent for Google said new orders from advertisers have dropped about 50 percent after Google released the possible exit plan, as customers are concerned about the uncertainty of the Internet company's operations in China.

According to an anonymous official at Google, the company's operations in China are normal. However, he refused to give any further informaiton, according to China Business News.

"We are operating as usual and are working hard to provide the best service to our partners," said Jessica Powell, a Tokyo- based spokeswoman at Google. She didn't disclose any revenue figures for China.

Author

Erina Lin

Date

2010-01-29 22:56

Newspapers have not only lost significant advertising revenue in the last couple of years, they have also been losing government support in the form of subsidies in the last forty years, concludes a new study by the University of Southern California.

According to Poynter, a new study of historic subsidies and emerging trends tracks various tax breaks, reductions in postal subsidies first enacted in 1792, and upcoming cutbacks in public notices that government regulations have traditionally forced into American newspapers. The study provides valuable insight, if not clear-cut recommendations for print media to follow, about the thorny issue of government funding for media.

For more on this topic, visit our sister publication, editorsweblog.org.

Author

Leah McBride Mensching

Date

2010-01-29 20:14

The launch of the iPad yesterday is the next step in the "device-based walled gardens," Randall Rothenberg, of the Interactive Advertising Bureau, wrote. Amazon's Kindle has built a higher wall, as anything capable of surfing the Web "still hints at the larger world." Other gated communities include the Sony Playstation, Microsoft's xBox, Netflix Streaming and more, he stated in his iab column/blog (which he has dubbed a "clog").

As walled gardens and gated communities are created, the big question that arises for content creators is: "How fragmented will the advertising supply chain become?"

Web-based marketing has grown thus far because everything is connected and the Web is standardized. When a company can't sell advertising across multiple devices, the advertising economy can become very splintered, Rothenberg stated.

Yet, others believe the launch of devices like the iPad only increase potential for marketers, Mobile Marketing Watch reported today: "The iPhone opened new possibilities in the areas of mobile advertising, branded mobile apps, in-app advertising and content distribution in general. Adding iTunes-based payments to the mix created the vibrant ecosystem we see today, and that success will parlay into the iPad as well- with a larger screen to engage users further."

Author

Leah McBride Mensching

Date

2010-01-29 00:23

Magazines are getting much-awaited audience measurement data to track responses of print ads, which ad measurement groups and publishers hope will allow them to track data just as online and TV content providers do, Mediaweek reported.

Mediamark Research & Intelligence began tracking the recall and response factor to ads with Ad Measure in every issue of 200 magazine titles that include those from Condé Nast, Hearst, Starcom, OMD, GroupM, Time Inc. and Meredith, while its rival Affinity plans to launch a competing print ad rating service called American Magazine Study on February 15 that will measure each issue of 125 titles.

Adding more accountability into each plan will help print see additional dollars in the long term, Brenda White, senior vice president and publishing activation director of Starcom USA told MediaWeek.

The new services also will provide more transparency, which means publishers can no longer hide weaker issues in larger six-month audience reports. This further means that each issue is accountable by the publisher and guaranteed for the buyer or advertiser to measure the response and recall factor.

Speaking on a condition of anonymity, one of the buyers told Mediaweek that, this "is the road the industry should be going down. At the end of the day, clients want to see results."

Author

Savita Sauvin

Date

2010-01-28 23:53

A bankruptcy judge yesterday overruled protests from a union representing workers and federal bankruptcy monitors and approved bonuses for Tribune Co. executives totalling US$45.6 million, Dow Jones Daily Bankruptcy Review reported.

The amount represents about 11 percent of the company's operating cash last year, according to Bloomberg. The bonuses will go to the company's top 720 executives, including its top 10 leaders.

Chicago-based Tribune is currently in bankruptcy protection for more than $11 billion in debt. It filed for Chapter 11 in December 2008, and Chairman Sam Zell said in mid-January said he expects the U.S. publishing company to exit bankruptcy in the first half of this year.

U.S. Bankruptcy Court Judge Kevin Carey did not decide whether another $21 million will go to executives.

Author

Leah McBride Mensching

Date

2010-01-28 23:13

Twitter has gained enormous popularity globally since its launch in 2006. According to Alexa, Twitter was ranked 29th in terms of Web traffic. A compete.com blog entry in February 2009 ranked it as the third most used social network, with about six million unique monthly visitors and 55 million monthly visits. However, only about four out of 10 users are retained, SFN's World Digital Media Trends 2009 reported.

Nielsen ranked Twitter as the fastest-growing site in the Member Communities category for February 2009, with a monthly growth of 1,382 percent, while Zimbio and Facebook followed with an increase of 240 percent and 228 percent, respectively.

According to eMarketer, in 2008, there were only six million Twitter users, or 3.8 percent of the U.S. online population, accessing the site via any platform on at least a monthly basis.

The number increased to 12.2 million, or 7.4 percent of all U.S. Internet users, in 2009, and will continue to rise to 18.1 million and 10.8 percent in 2010, eMarketer predicts.

Author

Erina Lin

Date

2010-01-28 22:51

Newspaper publisher McClatchy is going to try out charging for content online, Editor and Publisher reports.

Chief Executive Gary Pruitt said that McClatchy will trial a pay model on one of its newspaper websites, suggesting that a number of articles could be available for free before the reader hits a paywall. He added that the publisher will continue to focus on free online content supported by advertising, and that he believes that this will remain widespread. "We feel the model isn't broken," he said. "But we'll learn from everything - we wish them all the luck. If someone cracks the code, we'll copy it."

For more on this story, visit our sister publication, editorsweblog.org.

Author

Leah McBride Mensching

Date

2010-01-28 19:32

Apple CEO Steve Jobs has been compared to a real-life Willy Wonka many times, and today, with the unveiling of the much anticipated iPad, it's once again plain to see why. But will the iPad live up to all the hype it has attracted?

In a press release, Apple calls the iPad a "magical & revolutionary device at an unbelievable price." PC World's Melissa Perenson reported that she had time to play around with the iPad at the San Francisco unveiling, and was "a bit underwhelmed." She also wrote that she "can see a lot of really useful applications for the iPad, but the reality is that it looks and behaves like an iPhone on steroids. And that's not exactly a good thing."

The tablet-like device for browsing the Internet, reading and sending e-mail, watching videos, playing games, reading and more has a 9.7 inch (25 centimetres) LED-backlit display. It will retail for US$499 for the 16-gigabyte model, half the price of what some analysts predicted, Bloomberg pointed out. The 32-gig model will cost $599. It will be available in late March worldwide, and Wi-Fi + 3G models of the iPad will be available in April in the United State and other selected countries for $629 for the 16GB model, $729 for the 32GB model and $829 for the 64GB model.

Author

Leah McBride Mensching

Date

2010-01-28 00:18

A Google knock-off site, Goojje, has surfaced in China, two days after the Internet search giant announced it will exit from the country, according to a Reuters article posted by PC Mag.

The name of Goojje is a play on words in Chinese. The final syllable "jje" sounds like "older sister," while the "gle" syllable of "Google" sounds like "older brother."

The new site has been online since January 14, vying with Google while also pleading for its stay in the country, according to the Henan Business Daily.

"Sister was very happy when brother gave up the thought of leaving and stayed for sister," the Web site says, asking Google to keep services in China.

Goojje is a search engine and provides social networking services. Its home page layout is similar to Google, while its logo looks like a combination of its "older brother's" and the no. 1 search engine in the country, Baidu Inc.

Author

Erina Lin

Date

2010-01-27 22:33

Deseret Management Corp., the parent company of U.S. newspaper Deseret News in Utah, will launch a Spanish-language newspaper called El Observador February 9, publishing three times a week, with editions on Tuesdays and Thursdays featuring hard news, while a weekend edition will focus on family-oriented features, Editor & Publisher reported.

"The Hispanic/Latino community in Utah is a very important part of our future, of our 'now,'" said Jim Wall, the publisher of Deseret News, according to a Deseret news article. "They are under-represented. They have no voice." He said in the past, other Spanish-language newspaper efforts in the area had not been credible. "When we decided we would invest in this (endeavour), it was really out of a need to have a voice of trust and credibility."

The initial circulation of El Observador will be 10,000 home deliveries each week and another 15,000 on racks and by hand delivery, Wall said in a statement, ABC News reported.

The total 25,000 circulation give El Observador a 50 percent market penetration in its primary market. After the initial launch, home delivery will be offered at US$5 per month, Wall said, according to Deseret News.

Author

Savita Sauvin

Date

2010-01-27 21:58

Nieman Lab's Johnathan Stray has created a paywall calculator, Paywall!, that aims to juggle the different factors that could go into building a paywall and find the best combination that could generate maximum revenue. He takes the New York Times' proposed payment model as a basis: a certain number of articles per month can be viewed free, and after that readers will be asked to subscribe.

"The key to paywall revenue projections is to understand how different portions of the audience are affected differently," says Stray, and his model breaks the audience into five groups based on their number of page views per month: fly-by, occasional, weekly, daily, loyal. Depending on how many articles are offered free, it is unlikely that a huge number of visitors will be affected by a paywall, Stray points out, but the ones that will be are the loyal readers.

For more on this article, visit our partner site, www.editorsweblog.org.

Author

Leah McBride Mensching

Date

2010-01-27 21:47

A study carried out as part of an online survey by the research agency DECODE as part of an international benchmark project of the World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers in 2008, has found that Dutch youth (based on 1,000 people between the ages of 15 to 29) are neither interested in receiving news via mobile applications nor taking part in citizen journalism projects. They also do not find newspaper sections aimed at young people a compelling reason to regularly pick up a paper.

Whilst initially surprising, the results of the study "Youth, news media and civic engagement," are in line with findings of a new study by IBM's Media and Entertainment Group, which shows that online news consumption has dropped among young adults, but risen among older consumers, calling into question the assumption that young people read more online news and older people favour printed publications.

For more on this story, visit our sister publication, editorsweblog.org.

Author

Leah McBride Mensching

Date

2010-01-27 18:44

Apple is scheduled to introduce its tablet computer at an event in San Francisco Wednesday, and in doing so, may give the media industry "a chance to undo mistakes of the past," The New York Times reported yesterday. Apple is expected to market the tablet as a way for companies to charge for content, which could prove to be a valuable new revenue stream.

However, there is a catch. In making content available on the tablet, content creators could fall into the same trap they have with other devices, such as e-readers: losing their direct relationship with customers to Apple and having to follow pricing restrictions.

But there is optimism.

"The iPhone was a harbinger," Trip Hawkins, a founder of Electronic Arts and now chief executive of Digital Chocolate, which makes games for cellphones, told The Times. "When you have a device that is this convenient and fun for consumers to use, you can get a lot more people interested in paying for and engaging with the content. Big media companies should be all over this like a cheap suit."

Author

Leah McBride Mensching

Date

2010-01-27 00:12

Long Island, New York newspaper Newsday put its Web site behind a paywall at the end of October, and three months on, just 35 people have signed up for an online subscription, the New York Observer reported today.

However, print subscribers do get free access to the site, as does anyone who has Optimum Cable television, which is owned by Newsday's owner, the Dolan family and Cablevision. About 75 percent of Long Island's residents have either Optimum Cable or a subscription, which could point to why there are so few Web site-only subscribers.

Traffic to the Newsday site has also decreased by half, according to Nielsen figures, Crain's New York reported.

Publisher Terry Jimenez told the newsroom the number in a meeting last week when a reporter asked how many sign-ups the site had. Full access to the site costs US$5 a week, or $260 a year. The redesign and relaunch of the site cost $4 million, and so far the newspaper has made $9,000 from the 35 people.

Jimenez told staffers that the Web site was not meant to generate much revenue, but instead give loyal subscribers an extra benefit, according to the Observer.

If the Web site isn't making money, "why are we doing it?" one staffer asked at the meeting, according to Crain's.

Newsday's management is also in a dispute with the employees' union over a proposal to cut pay by 10 percent.

Author

Leah McBride Mensching

Date

2010-01-26 23:46

The first annual World Newspaper Future & Change Study is a global research study about newspaper publishers' business strategies moving forward for the next five years, with the key objective to inspire newspaper executives to invest and innovate their business units and business practices, the latest SFN's report, Charting the Course for Newspapers, reported.

The purpose of the study is to pinpoint the business and strategic challenges of the world's newspapers, and then to identify the publishers' strategies moving forward to turn the challenges into opportunities.

When asked to list potential areas to produce greater efficiencies and cost savings, by far, profitability was the survey's No. 1 response, rating almost two whole points higher than the next highest category on a 10-point scale.

This suggests good, old-fashioned revenue making as the way media companies can remain successful businesses. Profitability was followed by streamlining workflow and processes for cost savings, and investing in technologies to improve productivity as the next most important ways to achieve greater efficiencies and cost savings in the next year.

Author

Erina Lin

Date

2010-01-26 23:31

The Washington Post may be looking into providing readers with more news and information on local business. A source told the Washington City Paper that the Post is planning to launch a business publication called Capital Business, which would be issued weekly and cost US$1.99 per week.

This comes less than a year after the Post shuttered its daily business section to "save on newsprint - an important objective in these times." However, the Business Insider pointed out today that the prototype sent out to subscribers for their input is in print, not online.

Why? A focus on a target audience is a good way to sell "advertiser-friendly business coverage for niche, monied audiences," even when the ad market isn't doing so well, according to the Business Insider.

Along with the prototype, the Post sent out a survey to some subscribers, aiming to better understand their business interests, as well as asking for opinions and suggestions. The online poll to get subscribers input requests they take a closer look the prototype of Capital Business, stating "Please take a few minutes to look through the publication and focus your attention on the look, feel and types of stories within it, and less on the individual articles. Also, we ask that you disregard that the information within is old and out of date."

Author

Savita Sauvin

Date

2010-01-26 23:24

The Wall Street Journal print and online editions will be separated into different business groups under a Dow Jones corporate reorganisation, its president announced in a memo.

Under the restructure, president Todd Larsen wrote, five separate business groups will each operate with a clear profit and loss approach:

  • - The Wall Street Journal in print
  • - The Wall Street Journal Digital Network
  • - Dow Jones Financial Markets, which includes Newswires and products for financial professionals
  • - Dow Jones Corporate Markets, which includes Factiva
  • - Dow Jones Indexes.

For more on this story, visit our sister publication, editorsweblog.org.

Author

Leah McBride Mensching

Date

2010-01-26 19:53

The Huffington Post has benefited the most from the work of the Huffington Post Investigative Fund, according to John Cook of Gawker.com.

The Huffington Post Investigative Fund was founded as a non-profit independent journalism venture in March of 2009. Affiliated with and partly funded by Ariana Huffington's news website, it pledges to investigate "abuse, fraud or waste in government, business, and other institutions." The fund is also supported through tax-exempt donations from the Schumann Center for Media and Democracy and the Atlantic Philanthropies. All of its content is available to publishers for free through a creative commons license.

For more on this article, visit our sister publication, editorsweblog.org.

Author

Leah McBride Mensching

Date

2010-01-26 18:58

In December 2009, an average user spent more than five and half hours on social networking sites, up 82 percent compared to the same period one year ago. The overall traffic to social media sites has also boosted since December 2007, Media Post reported.

Social networks and blogs topped as the most popular online category in terms of average time spent in December worldwide, followed by online games and instant messaging.

Facebook was the leading global social networking site in December 2009 with 206.9 million unique visitors, or 67 percent of global social media users visiting the site.

Like the global pals, Americans are spending more time on social networking and blog sites - total minutes up 210 percent and the average time per capita up 143 percent year-over-year in December 2009.

Author

Erina Lin

Date

2010-01-26 00:10

The Wall Street Journal is diversifying its business, launching its very own travel agency, called WSJTravel on Thursday. When it launches, the agency will provide planned trips to 50 destinations, including Vietnam, Tuscany and California's wine country among others, Media Post reported.

"Just as you have come to rely on The Wall Street Journal's perspective of global events, many WSJ travel vacations will let you experience a destination from a completely new viewpoint," the announcement stated, according to Editor & Publisher. The WSJ travel agency promises trips around the world for "any range of budget" and destinations "inspired by articles' from the newspaper, according to a statement.

Since the WSJ was bought by News Corp. in 2007, many branded, high-end services to build consumer engagement and provide new revenue streams have been introduced, such as the launch of a mail-order wine club in partnership with Laithwaite's Wine Merchants, which was soon followed by an initiative to venture into travel book publishing with "The Wall Street Journal Guide to Power Travel," by Scott McCartney.

However, its not the only U.S. newspaper forging expansion.

Author

Savita Sauvin

Date

2010-01-25 23:29

Google founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin will cede their voting control of the company over the next five years through stock sales, netting US$2.75 billion each in the process, based on Friday's share price, Telegraph.co.uk reported.

However, they will still hold 48 percent of voting rights - about 15 percent of the equity - at the company between them, the Financial times pointed out Friday.

According to a statement from Google, the stock sale is part of a diversification plan that will "allow Larry and Sergey to sell a portion of their Google stock over time as part of their respective long-term strategies for individual asset diversification and liquidity."

Page and Brin have a similar stock plan that started in 2004, and allows them each to sell 7.2 million shares, Bloomberg reported.

Author

Leah McBride Mensching

Date

2010-01-25 23:08


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