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Steve Yelvington
8 April 2005
What business are you in?
The audience business
• Aggregate an audience that is of
commercial interest
• Sell the attention of that audience to
an advertiser
• On the web, that means targeted
marketing, not just mass marketing
Forget about paid content
• Charging for content works only when
there is a shortage of content
• We now live in a world where
information is in extreme surplus
• The very few paid-content success
stories all exploit spot shortages
• Print is going free
Info scarcity <-> Info
overload
Our products, processes,
organizational structures and basic
journalistic forms all evolved in an
environment of scarcity
Today's scarce resource isn't
information ... it's time and attention
2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015
0
10
20
30
40
50
60
70
80
90
100
Compound growth is a cool thing
Column B
Column C
Column D
A $1.5 billion business in 2005
• Most reporting profit margins > 50%
• Targeting, search, CPC-based “mom
and pop” ads still largely untapped
potentials
• Most laggards have internal issues in
committment, compensation
Source: Phillip Meyer, “The Vanishing Newspaper
Take it seriously, but don't panic
• Even if practically nobody reads a
paper every day, newspapers are still
likely to be the strongest mass ad
vehicle, because all other media are
suffering the same way
• Supporting the print edition is still a
viable business model for the web
Why targeted advertising is key
to our future
We must break the connection between
sponsorships and content
We can now focus on building an
audience with features the audience
wants and delivering that audience in
ways the advertiser wants
News junkies are a niche
market
12-17 18-24 25-34 35-49 50-64 65-74 75-84 85-up
0
5000
10000
15000
20000
25000
30000
Registrants vs actives, 1 week, Athens
Registrants
Audience Population
The participative network
It's a many to many world. Anyone can
play. Eventually anyone will play.
An emerging view
It's all about ME!World
Local
ME
It's all about ...
• Me
• My family
• My friends
• My neighborhood
• My little circle
ME
Participation
• 'Citizen journalism'
• User-contributed content
• Weblogs
• Photo blogging
Bluffton, SC
• Adjacent to Hilton Head
• 15,000 households, mostly high-end
• Extraordinarily high broadband penetration
• Explosive growth – planned/gated developments,
golf courses
• Morris plan of attack: Free daily newspaper with a
participative website, flowing web content to print
 Major Communities
Bluffton
Beaufort
Hilton Head
Rural Areas
Everything has changed
Guides not gatekeepers
Facilitators and participants

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Yelvington

  • 3. The audience business • Aggregate an audience that is of commercial interest • Sell the attention of that audience to an advertiser • On the web, that means targeted marketing, not just mass marketing
  • 4. Forget about paid content • Charging for content works only when there is a shortage of content • We now live in a world where information is in extreme surplus • The very few paid-content success stories all exploit spot shortages • Print is going free
  • 5. Info scarcity <-> Info overload Our products, processes, organizational structures and basic journalistic forms all evolved in an environment of scarcity Today's scarce resource isn't information ... it's time and attention
  • 6. 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100 Compound growth is a cool thing Column B Column C Column D
  • 7. A $1.5 billion business in 2005 • Most reporting profit margins > 50% • Targeting, search, CPC-based “mom and pop” ads still largely untapped potentials • Most laggards have internal issues in committment, compensation
  • 8. Source: Phillip Meyer, “The Vanishing Newspaper
  • 9. Take it seriously, but don't panic • Even if practically nobody reads a paper every day, newspapers are still likely to be the strongest mass ad vehicle, because all other media are suffering the same way • Supporting the print edition is still a viable business model for the web
  • 10. Why targeted advertising is key to our future We must break the connection between sponsorships and content We can now focus on building an audience with features the audience wants and delivering that audience in ways the advertiser wants
  • 11. News junkies are a niche market 12-17 18-24 25-34 35-49 50-64 65-74 75-84 85-up 0 5000 10000 15000 20000 25000 30000 Registrants vs actives, 1 week, Athens Registrants Audience Population
  • 12.
  • 13. The participative network It's a many to many world. Anyone can play. Eventually anyone will play.
  • 14. An emerging view It's all about ME!World Local ME
  • 15. It's all about ... • Me • My family • My friends • My neighborhood • My little circle ME
  • 16. Participation • 'Citizen journalism' • User-contributed content • Weblogs • Photo blogging
  • 17. Bluffton, SC • Adjacent to Hilton Head • 15,000 households, mostly high-end • Extraordinarily high broadband penetration • Explosive growth – planned/gated developments, golf courses • Morris plan of attack: Free daily newspaper with a participative website, flowing web content to print
  • 19.
  • 20.
  • 21.
  • 22.
  • 23.
  • 24.
  • 25. Everything has changed Guides not gatekeepers Facilitators and participants