Future of Newspapers
Innovation Opportunities
June 2014 – Turin, Italy
Amy Webb: 3 Things
1. Digital Media Futurist. Founder + CEO of
Webbmedia Group, a digital strategy agency.
3. Trends for t...
Story
Your
Future
In three acts
Can you build a better thermostat?
1
Act One
In 2005, New Media Companies Barely Registered
Don’t worry. Google needs journalism
more than consumers need Google.
But they were growing.....
courtesy of eTeknix
€2.34 billion
The nest: 3 things
1. It’s very pretty.
2. Control the temperature.
3. Learns your behavior.
Consumers
Excited!
Climate
Activists
Excited!
90 Countries
How does this inform your
work as an editor or
publisher?
Google Calendar
Google Now
HUNGRY?
Google is the invisible information
layer we rely on more each day.
Soon, our society will not be able
to function without...
Must a product fail in order to
fulfill its destiny?
How can newspapers
fulfill their destinies in
the next 10 years?
(Segue for Act 2...)
Why This Matters
Your Future = Like Google, news
organizations must also become invisible
and visible information layers t...
Newspapers become
technology companies.
2
Act Two
Think about how news
content is distributed
The most
successful media
companies don’t
produce any news
Acquisitions, Partnerships =
opportunity
webbmediagroup.com
Cue
($50 million)
virtual personal
assistant
PrimeSense
($345 million)
semiconductors
Topsy
($200 milli...
Historic Evolution
of a media company
highlights.....
Platform First Digital First Tech First
Pre-Internet Era Early Internet Era Future Internet Era
Single Pla...
Platform First Digital First Tech First
Pre-Internet Era Early Internet Era Future Internet Era
Single Platform (newspaper...
Case Study: VOX
Tech Stack
Definition:
Layers of components
used to create an
application or provide
a service.
Tech Stack
Tech Stack
Tech Stack
Newsroom Tech Stack
Vox’s Media Stack
•Platform for digital-native authoring
and distribution.
•Native format for real-time news
coverage.
•Li...
Which helped Vox create a
new kind of digital
storytelling template
Cards
Google Now Cards
Glass Environment
Response to
smaller screen size
and desire for
sharable nuggets
Which is a bad
design environment
for longer NEWS stories
But! Cards are a good
design template
for NEWS explainers
Platform First Digital First Tech First
Pre-Internet Era Early Internet Era Future Internet Era
Single Platform (newspaper...
digital first ≠ tech first
“digital first” describes a
workflow and an
integration that should be a
part of every journalism
operation.
Current News Story Dimensions
Digital LEGACY
mobile, web,
social, app,
database, etc.
newspaper, TV
broadcast, radio
broad...
great UI design ≠
a great experience
Consumer
Future Story Dimensions
App or HTML5?
Screen size?
Home location?
New location?
Work location?
Commuting?
At the ...
Why This Matters
Your Future = Your news organization
must transition into tech a organization
that also produces exceptio...
News organizations must anchor
our future tech communities.
3
Act Three
Confluence of...
•Research universities
•R&D labs (government, commercial)
•Highly educated workforce
•Wealth (venture capi...
Tech & Innovation Hubs Worldwide
They just lack a
community anchor
.....and a Niche
London
new global hub
for
cyber security
• Report on stories
• Adapt tech for storytelling
Near-Term Guardian Benefits...
Long-Term Guardian Benefits...
• Smarter, tech savvy workforce
• R&D for news products
• Extended collaborations as
tech di...
London
new global hub
for
bitcoin
• Report on stories
• Opportunity to own this hot
topic
Near-Term FT Benefits...
Long-Term Guardian Benefits...
•New FT profit center R&D
•Experiment with new payment
systems for FT news products
•Extended...
Why This Matters
Your Future = The future of news
innovation hinges on creative partnerships.
Newspapers should be the tec...
Epilogue
How to future-proof
your newsroom
Does your project pass our F.U.T.U.R.E. Test?
Will your new project, acquisition or digital strategy endure as technology ...
Foundation. Do you
have support from key
stakeholders within
your organization?
Can your project
continue to function
and ...
Thanks!
webbmediagroup.com hello@webbmediagroup.com @webbmediagroup267-342-4300
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WAN-IFRA 2014

  1. 1. Future of Newspapers Innovation Opportunities June 2014 – Turin, Italy
  2. 2. Amy Webb: 3 Things 1. Digital Media Futurist. Founder + CEO of Webbmedia Group, a digital strategy agency. 3. Trends for the World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers. Three opportunities for innovation within your organizations. 2. Online News Association. Former board of directors, conference organizer.
  3. 3. Story
  4. 4. Your Future
  5. 5. In three acts
  6. 6. Can you build a better thermostat? 1 Act One
  7. 7. In 2005, New Media Companies Barely Registered Don’t worry. Google needs journalism more than consumers need Google.
  8. 8. But they were growing.....
  9. 9. courtesy of eTeknix
  10. 10. €2.34 billion
  11. 11. The nest: 3 things 1. It’s very pretty. 2. Control the temperature. 3. Learns your behavior.
  12. 12. Consumers Excited!
  13. 13. Climate Activists Excited!
  14. 14. 90 Countries
  15. 15. How does this inform your work as an editor or publisher?
  16. 16. Google Calendar
  17. 17. Google Now
  18. 18. HUNGRY?
  19. 19. Google is the invisible information layer we rely on more each day. Soon, our society will not be able to function without Google.
  20. 20. Must a product fail in order to fulfill its destiny?
  21. 21. How can newspapers fulfill their destinies in the next 10 years?
  22. 22. (Segue for Act 2...)
  23. 23. Why This Matters Your Future = Like Google, news organizations must also become invisible and visible information layers that we cannot live without. What is your “Nest?”
  24. 24. Newspapers become technology companies. 2 Act Two
  25. 25. Think about how news content is distributed
  26. 26. The most successful media companies don’t produce any news
  27. 27. Acquisitions, Partnerships = opportunity
  28. 28. webbmediagroup.com Cue ($50 million) virtual personal assistant PrimeSense ($345 million) semiconductors Topsy ($200 million) analytics Waze ($966 million) crowdsourced GPS navigation Flutter ($40 million) gesture recognition tech Boston Dynamics robotics Nest Labs Inc ($3.2 billion) connected home DeepMind Technologies ($650 million) artificial intelligence Wavii ($30 million) natural language processing Nokia ($7.2 billion) mobile phone unit Yammer ($1.2 billion) social networking Skype ($8.5 billion) telecommunications Xobni ($40 million) CRM Qwiki ($50 million) automated video production Tumblr ($1.1 billion) blogging Summly ($30 million) news summarization Oculus VR ($2 billion) virtual reality tech Instagram ($1 billion) photo sharing WhatsApp ($19 billion) mobile instant messaging Bluefin Labs ($80 million) social analytics TweetDeck ($40 million) desktop client Goodreads social network IMDB movie database Patch.com majority stake transferred to investment company Hale Global Who Owns What 10.0 The New Media Landscape in 2014 Newsweek sold to IBT Media Boston Globe sold at a loss Storyful news aggregation Dow Jones news corporation Myspace sold at a loss Size of bubble corresponds to the number of overall acquisitions and partnerships. Examples are notable deals. you can download the full chart after
  29. 29. Historic Evolution of a media company
  30. 30. highlights..... Platform First Digital First Tech First Pre-Internet Era Early Internet Era Future Internet Era Single Platform (newspaper, TV) Traditional Platform (newspaper, TV) + Web, Social and Mobile Media Tech Stack Focuses on legacy media content Focuses on multimedia content Focuses on building/ acquiring the tech that powers multimedia content Relies on traditional advertising, word of mouth and social obligations to subscribe/ watch/ listen Reacts to changes in search algorithms Anticipates and plans for changes to search algorithms Relies on traditional advertising, word of mouth and social obligations to subscribe/ watch/ listen Reacts to changes in social media platforms Anticipates and course-corrects for major changes in social media partners Optimizes traditional content creation workflows Optimizes digital content creation workflows Optimizes all content distribution workflows Develops content for the legacy media channel Develops content for the device Develops content for the consumer experience Customizes content via location Customizes content via responsive design Personalizes content for the individual consumer Anticipates competition from other media companies Anticipates competition from traditional and new media companies Anticipates competition from external digital networks, algorithms, content marketing, search engine marketing Monetizes the platform it offers Monetizes the content it is creating and its platform offerings Monetizes the technology, processes, audience and data it is creating webbmediagroup.com The Evolution of a Media Company For each category above, plot your media company using this spectrum. What does this tell you about your organization’s future?
  31. 31. Platform First Digital First Tech First Pre-Internet Era Early Internet Era Future Internet Era Single Platform (newspaper, TV) Traditional Platform (newspaper, TV) + Web, Social and Mobile Media Tech Stack Focused on legacy media content Focused on multimedia content Focused on building/ acquiring the tech that powers multimedia content Optimizes traditional news workflows Optimizes digital content creation workflows Optimizes all content distribution workflows Develops content for the legacy media channel Develops content for the device Develops content for the consumer experience Customizes content via location Customizes content via responsive design Personalizes content for the individual consumer Monetizes the platform it offers Monetizes the content it is creating and its platform offerings Monetizes the technology, processes, audience and data it is creating
  32. 32. Case Study: VOX
  33. 33. Tech Stack Definition: Layers of components used to create an application or provide a service.
  34. 34. Tech Stack
  35. 35. Tech Stack
  36. 36. Tech Stack
  37. 37. Newsroom Tech Stack
  38. 38. Vox’s Media Stack •Platform for digital-native authoring and distribution. •Native format for real-time news coverage. •Liveblogging platform that uses Amazon’s Cloudfront CDN in S3 requests.
  39. 39. Which helped Vox create a new kind of digital storytelling template
  40. 40. Cards
  41. 41. Google Now Cards
  42. 42. Glass Environment
  43. 43. Response to smaller screen size and desire for sharable nuggets
  44. 44. Which is a bad design environment for longer NEWS stories
  45. 45. But! Cards are a good design template for NEWS explainers
  46. 46. Platform First Digital First Tech First Pre-Internet Era Early Internet Era Future Internet Era Single Platform (newspaper, TV) Traditional Platform (newspaper, TV) + Web, Social and Mobile Media Tech Stack Focused on legacy media content Focused on multimedia content Focused on building/ acquiring the tech that powers multimedia content Optimizes traditional news workflows Optimizes digital content creation workflows Optimizes all content distribution workflows Develops content for the legacy media channel Develops content for the device Develops content for the consumer experience Customizes content via location Customizes content via responsive design Personalizes content for the individual consumer Monetizes the platform it offers Monetizes the content it is creating and its platform offerings Monetizes the technology, processes, audience and data it is creating
  47. 47. digital first ≠ tech first
  48. 48. “digital first” describes a workflow and an integration that should be a part of every journalism operation.
  49. 49. Current News Story Dimensions Digital LEGACY mobile, web, social, app, database, etc. newspaper, TV broadcast, radio broadcast Long Short
  50. 50. great UI design ≠ a great experience
  51. 51. Consumer Future Story Dimensions App or HTML5? Screen size? Home location? New location? Work location? Commuting? At the gym? Eating dinner? Lean forward? Lean back? Driving? Jogging? Researching? Looking for social media posts? Trending for her? Will she engage? New content recommendation?
  52. 52. Why This Matters Your Future = Your news organization must transition into tech a organization that also produces exceptional content. You must build or acquire, and develop true partnerships.
  53. 53. News organizations must anchor our future tech communities. 3 Act Three
  54. 54. Confluence of... •Research universities •R&D labs (government, commercial) •Highly educated workforce •Wealth (venture capital, angels) •Highly engaged businesses who want to innovate, collaborate and test new ideas
  55. 55. Tech & Innovation Hubs Worldwide
  56. 56. They just lack a community anchor .....and a Niche
  57. 57. London new global hub for cyber security
  58. 58. • Report on stories • Adapt tech for storytelling Near-Term Guardian Benefits...
  59. 59. Long-Term Guardian Benefits... • Smarter, tech savvy workforce • R&D for news products • Extended collaborations as tech diaspora spreads
  60. 60. London new global hub for bitcoin
  61. 61. • Report on stories • Opportunity to own this hot topic Near-Term FT Benefits...
  62. 62. Long-Term Guardian Benefits... •New FT profit center R&D •Experiment with new payment systems for FT news products •Extended collaborations as tech diaspora spreads
  63. 63. Why This Matters Your Future = The future of news innovation hinges on creative partnerships. Newspapers should be the tech anchors in their communities, as well as a trusted source of news.
  64. 64. Epilogue How to future-proof your newsroom
  65. 65. Does your project pass our F.U.T.U.R.E. Test? Will your new project, acquisition or digital strategy endure as technology and consumer behavior evolve? Is it future-proofed and able to withstand changes both inside your organization and in the marketplace? This F.U.T.U.R.E. Test should be used to assess your project’s strengths and weaknesses, regardless of its size or scope. Foundation Unique Track Urgent Recalibrate Extensible
  66. 66. Foundation. Do you have support from key stakeholders within your organization? Can your project continue to function and evolve, even as key stakeholders transition away from your organization? Do you have a reasonable amount of time, money and desire to shape, launch and maintain your project? Have you set initial benchmarks to measure levels of support? Are your short-term and long- term timelines realistic, given your available resources? Foundation Unique Track Urgent Recalibrate Extensible Unique. Is your unique value proposition clear to your customer, whether that’s another business or an individual user? Is your IP difficult to replicate? As competitors emerge, how will you help others continue to understand what differentiates you? Track. Do you have complete access to the data your project is creating? Given your organization’s current or planned structure, are you able to set meaningful benchmarks and to measure outcomes? Can you use that data for reliable analysis for customer retention and acquisition, as you scale and for your long-term development cycle? Urgent. Does your project communicate a sense of urgency, both to your staff and your intended audience? Will there be continued demand for your project in the marketplace? Can you create demand within your customers? Will customers see your project as indispensable and invaluable, even as the marketplace evolves and new competitors emerge? Recalibrate. Can your project evolve along with its intended customer segments as they upgrade their personal/ corporate technology? Do you have a realistic budget to continue along a reasonable development cycle? Do you and your staff have the time to comprehensively evaluate the project every two or three months, in order to make adjustments? Do you and your staff have the desire to continue working on the project after it has launched? Extensible. Does your project rely on third- party software, tools, devices, content or code that you and your staff cannot control? Will you be able to recalibrate your project internally, or must you rely on another company to implement necessary changes? Can your project still operate independent of device, software or network upgrades? As consumer tastes and preferences change, can you adapt your project without pivoting from your original idea?
  67. 67. Thanks!
  68. 68. webbmediagroup.com hello@webbmediagroup.com @webbmediagroup267-342-4300

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