Digital Concepts to Serve the Newspaper Industry


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Digital Concepts to Serve the Newspaper Industry

  1. 1. Digital Concepts to Serve the Newspaper Industry – Leverage social media technologies that embrace the concept of active reader engagement – Embrace new mobile solutions that deliver content in context to a person’s preferences and/or location – Provide hyper-local content that is a platform of individual communities
  2. 2. Guiding Principles
  3. 3. The Challenge Walter Isaacson – TIME – February 2009 The problem is that fewer of these consumers Newspapers and magazines traditionally have are paying. Instead, news organizations are had three revenue sources: newsstand sales, merrily giving away their news. According to subscriptions and advertising. The new a Pew Research Center study, a tipping business model relies only on the last of these. point occurred last year: more people in That makes for a wobbly stool even when the the U.S. got their news online for free than one leg is strong. When it weakens — as paid for it by buying newspapers and countless publishers have seen happen as a magazines. Who can blame them? Even an result of the recession — the stool can't possibly old print junkie like me has quit subscribing to stand. the New York Times, because if it doesn't see fit to charge for its content, I'd feel like a fool Another group that benefits from free journalism paying for it. is Internet service providers. They get to charge customers $20 to $30 a month for access to the Web's trove of free content and services. As a result, it is not in their interest to facilitate easy ways for media creators to charge for their content. Thus we have a world in which phone companies have accustomed kids to paying up to 20 cents when they send a text message but it seems technologically and psychologically impossible to get people to pay 10 cents for a magazine, newspaper or newscast.
  4. 4. Guiding Principles Digitally Powered Emerging Media for Newspapers • In Web design, convenience and simplicity of user experience rules the day – Personalization and local relevance is key to staying top of mind (niche sites – e.g. SAHM, Teens) – Customizable homepages pertaining to personal preferences/data exchange • If national and international news is being commoditized, hyper-local is still the dominion of local newspapers – Help me know whatever it takes to live here (Source: Newspaper Next 2.0) • Master long and short form journalism – Micro blogging tools like Twitter especially important to deliver real-time updates – What are my friends reading? What is my favorite reporter doing right now? • Destination sites and distributed content equally important – target your readers where they live online – Atomization of content via RSS feeds, syndication, widgets, mobile apps
  5. 5. Guiding Principles (con’t) Digitally Powered Emerging Media for Newspapers • Layer in social, mobile and utility that helps readers and advertisers – Apps that connect me with other likeminded people in my community, help me find things to do, help me to better know my community, help me find a job/a used car/a date (Nike + model) – Explore new emerging consumer platforms such as the iPhone = new advertising platform – GPS aware devices can find the restaurant review of my paper; provide coupon to local coffee shop or directions to the nearest happy hour – Others: Early Edition iPhone app; podcasts of important articles; video reporting • Respect the “wisdom of the crowds” – Dell IdeaStorm and implications for journalism – what would you like us to report about? • Best content wins – Embrace the concept of citizen journalism and allow (enforce) community collaboration – Deliver content that can’t be found elsewhere; syndicated + UGC + original • Provide better integration with print by understanding cross channel behavior – Online comments or guest community bloggers published in the print edition
  6. 6. Social Media Examples Implications
  7. 7. Personalized Preferences Customizable Homepages – Facebook Example Newspapers can learn something from Facebook’s design by making their user experiences  more personalized by providing customizable home pages for readers – whether it is a stay  at home mom in a suburban community interested in her local school board and  connecting with other moms, or the downtown hipster more interested in daily nightlife  options. 
  8. 8. Micro-blogging & “Short-Form Journalism” U.S Airways Hudson River Crash and Community Collaboration Janis Krums from Sarasota, Florida scooped the mainstream media by posting the first photo of  U.S. Airways flight 1549 on Twitter from his iPhone. Newspapers could bolster local coverage by  embracing multiple Twitter feeds for breaking local news, and enhance that coverage with  traditional pieces that provide more analysis. Newspapers should also promote the opportunity  to “follow your favorite reporter” via Twitter.
  9. 9. Long & Short-Form Working Together Article, Blog and Comments Integration for Breaking News The Toronto Globe and Mail uses Cover It Live, a live‐blogging/discussion tool that provides interactive  coverage of breaking news and live events such as conferences and hearings. Real‐time comments, audio  and video postings, and polls are among the types of content that can also be recorded.
  10. 10. Community Collaboration & Citizen Journalism Short-Form vs. Longer-Form Analysis Subject: Recent rash of downtown accidents having a major impact to the evening commute. Tweet about recent traffic accident downtown + Newspaper analysis on reasons behind the recent rash of accidents & the Mayor’s task force to investigate solutions Decide in which cases readers could do just as good a job, and in doing so become more engaged with the paper The key would be to acknowledge that while “scrapbook news” is news, certain kinds of news might not carry the same burden of expertise, professionalism, polish or objectivity. Journalism should leverage the crowd to create a combined truth reached from all perspectives, rather than a single truth that found its way to the surface among other latent ones. Source: Publishing 2.0
  11. 11. Reserve Budget for Experimentation Embrace User‐Generated Content & New Content Types Those who don’t want to actually read the news on handheld devices—what about listening to their  favorite newspaper through podcasts and audio recordings? Reporters should file mp3s of their articles  along with their print stories, so people listening in their cars can participate. There’s already a slew of  podcasts on sites like the, but there are none based on the newest of the new  information—like a radio station. Source: New York Observer
  12. 12. Implications In Sum … • In Web design, personal relevance is a stronger draw than one size fits all • Respect the “wisdom of the crowds” and their participation in the process • Best content wins – Develop a three-pronged content strategy • Master long and short form journalism – When do I want a snack vs. a whole meal? Factoring in longer stories, with frequent blog updates, and “micro” updates via applications such as Twitter • Destination sites and distributed content equally important – Focus on where your audience already lives online (RSS) • Don’t deliver an “e-edition” of the print product. Maximize the inherent capabilities of the interactive channel
  13. 13. Mobile Examples Implications
  14. 14. Explore Emerging Consumer Platforms Mobilize, Don’t Miniaturize A page from USAToday’s mobile‐optimzed site, which isn’t as customized as its iPhone  app, but does provide a better experience than most newspapers on mobile devices. It  uses an innovative tap‐to‐expand feature to show mobile‐optimized video commercials.  While the iPhone offers a full‐fidelity experience, it is important to offer WAP and iPhone  versions to ensure maximum coverage.
  15. 15. Explore Emerging Consumer Platforms New Distribution & Advertising Platform iPhone Especially Powerful New Ad Platform Maps: drive traffic to a retail location as users can input their location to launch Google Maps. Video: direct users to a YouTube video and maximize the video assets you've already created. iTunes: send users straight from your ad to the iTunes Store where they can preview and buy music, games, or video files. Click to call: initiate a voice call immediately when they engage with your ad. Mobile sites: create mobile sites where you can engage their users in multiple ways by offering downloads, galleries, videos. App Store: drive users to download your app by directing users to Apple's App Store when they engage with your ad.  Source: AdMob
  16. 16. New York Times’ Mobile Strategy iPhone First, Android & Kindle Next Many of the most popular iPhone applications in the news category come from traditional  organizations such as the AP, New York Times, USA Today, and CBS. Meanwhile, London’s  Telegraph launched the first news app for Google’s Android platform. The New York Times  reportedly has over 10,000 readers paying $13.99/month for access to the NYT Kindle edition.
  17. 17. Don’t Miniaturize, Mobilize Explore Free & Premium Versions Provide Personal Context • Provide local content in context to what the reader needs at a given time – mobile device could find restaurant reviews from the newspaper, along with syndicated content from user-generated review sites like Yelp to get suggestions on the best espresso flavor from your friends. • This could be combined with geo-targeted coupons or location sensitive apps that tell you where the nearest happy hour or restaurant deal is. Source: New York Observer Don’t Give it Away for Free Free “lite” version of smart phone app • This would serve local news in a traditional macro feed and utilize the same basic code to serve micro niches, e.g. Chicago Tribune News Reader and Chicago Tribune Sports Reader. • Include robust and easy-to-use features in addition to the typical news feed users would expect, including content that’s geographically tagged. • Links to purchase event tickets would appear with related content, prompting easy one-touch purchases. Expanded-value version of app (pay model) • Users would pay a one-time access fee for richer functionality – they would not pay for content, just the enhanced features. Source: Society of News Design
  18. 18. Implications In Sum … • Layer in social, mobile and utility that helps readers and advertisers – Apps that connect me with other likeminded people in my community or help me to better know my community – GPS aware devices can find restaurant review of my paper; provide coupon to local coffee shop or directions to the nearest happy hour – Early Edition iPhone app; podcasts of important articles • Optimize mobile solutions for both WAP/Smartphones and the iPhone • Consider new advertising platform from mobile advertising • Consider free and premium iPhone versions – what is the killer app people really need and would pay for? • Explore other emerging mobile platforms such as the Kindle
  19. 19. Hyper-Local Examples Implications
  20. 20. Help Me Know Whatever it Takes to Live Here • If national and int’l news is becoming commoditized, hyper-local is still the dominion of local newspapers. The key is to offer helper content and applications: – Help me know whatever it takes to live here – Help me connect with others in my community – Help me find things to do – Help me get to know my community better (Localpedia concept) – Help me find a job/a used car/a date Source: Newspaper Next 2.0 • Become community information portals by allowing readers to participate in news collection and dissemination • Hyper-local combined with mobile applications can provide content in context to what the reader needs at a given time. Key is to be the provider of useful tools: – Taking a pit stop at the coffee shop? Your hand-held device could find restaurant reviews from the newspaper, along with syndicated content Source: New York Observer
  21. 21. Branded Hyper-Local Communities Find Opportunities for Online & Print Integration “Get Involved. Share your stories, photos, videos and thoughts. Each week we publish excerpts  in the St. Louis Post‐Dispatch”.
  22. 22. Patch & Coovents Opportunity to Become the Local Site or Application Each individual site combines hard‐nosed journalism from professional reporters, information from  local government on everything from health department services to volunteer opportunities and  various platforms for user participation with pictures, stories and blogs. Patch’s sites don’t just  dispatch news articles—they are information portals. Source: New York Observer
  23. 23. Gannett’s MomsLikeMe Network Serve Specific Niches & Create Rich Profile Data Great opportunity for publishers to create a fair value exchange – the reader gets personalized  news and content with contextual advertising and can interact with a community of likeminds.  Publisher gets deeper customer profile data to better target advertising, upsell and cross‐sell  services and deeper engagement from increased time/visit.
  24. 24. For Your Consideration New Web Layout Considerations Convergence Scenarios Monetization Opportunities
  25. 25. New Web Layout Considerations The old web publishing model has grown exponentially by adding more and more functionality but has lost focus. Usability and relevance decreases once we have a “one size fits all” view for every visitor/reader. vs. New online experience powered by rich personalized profile data that accentuates… – Personalized preferences – Socially aware features – Hyper-local or niche news focus
  26. 26. Personalized Content In-Town Edition geared towards social Suburban Edition aimed at busy stay-at- single life and specific news interests home-mom with neighborhood focus Both versions optimized for iPhone and smartphones.
  27. 27. Interactive Map Interactive Map can be zoomed and panned to a specific area of the city that is of interest. Icons on the map represent: –traffic problems (cars) –sales ($) –events (calendars) –news stories (!) Clicking on any one of the icons would open an overlay that would provide basic details and a link to the full story, or complete details about the sale/event. The paper may be able to gain additional ad revenue with each click that is made on a sale or calendar event.
  28. 28. Integrating Multiple Information Sources In-depth reporting from the editorial department is combined with blog entries and reader updates (tweets, SMS messages, etc.) within each category of interest. The latest information is shown on the home page with a link to see all information about a particular area of interest.
  29. 29. News Visualization News can be visualized in segmented columns, telling users when reports were posted in news, business, sports, entertainment, traffic, etc. Users can customize the columns by adding or removing topics of interest. The most current news items appear at the top of the columns and other major time markers (e.g., noon, 7 AM) are indicated further down the columns – giving users a sense of when news items were posted in each category. The height of each item gives an indication of how in- depth the report might be. Very tall stories represent in-depth analysis, short items are quick items. Color-coding might also be used to differentiate articles, blog entries, photos, video, reader updates (tweets, SMS messages). Users could then choose which types of items to appear in the visualization via the filters at the bottom of the page.
  30. 30. Convergence Scenarios Would People Pay for a Great Holistic Experience? People will not pay for one-off articles displayed online, but would they pay for a converged product that offers hyper-local news (most relevant to me), social media tools that help me connect with my peers and mobile options that enhance my on-the-go-on- demand lifestyle? Plan integrated reader experiences across the print edition, website and mobile device. Don’t simply miniaturize the print edition for the Web, and the Web edition for mobile, rather think about optimizing the reader’s experience across all three platforms that take advantage of the inherent capabilities of each platform. Consider interactions from the reader’s context – they want info while out shopping, hope to better connect with their peers, need an aggregated set of data that assists in making an important decision, desire thoughtful analysis on the problems plaguing their community, want coupons or deals when they’re ready to buy. Newspapers are uniquely positioned to help.
  31. 31. Convergence Scenarios First Step to a Unique, Personalized Experience “Subscription management tool” would allow for personal preferences including topics/news of interest, frequency of communications, time-of-day and channel preference – via the Web, email, & mobile devices… Web (free/premium) SMT Email Mobile (free/premium) NYT article skimmer
  32. 32. Monetization Opportunities
  33. 33. Consumers Will Pay for Specialized Info They Can’t Find Anywhere Else
  34. 34. Monetization Summary Explore free and premium versions with free version supported by advertising and premium (paid) version offered advertising free. Subs/micropayments for premium content that serves a niche – not general content, but personalized financial reporting, hyper-local news, fantasy sports, “insider” services, mobile apps, customized news, bundled converged product. Embrace an easy-to-use iTunes method of one-click micropayments (e.g. EZPass). Explore new advertising formats: hyper-local deals of the day, mobile advertising, multimedia or video ads, premium sponsorships. E-commerce – aggregate data and other important content into fee-based products; target at various life stages such as going to college or buying a home. Affiliate marketing commissions – as long as it is delivered in context – in fashion section, link over to Nordstrom for purchase and accept affiliate fees. In books, link over to Charging for content forces discipline on newspapers: they must produce things that have real differentiated value
  35. 35. Let the Users Choose How they Pay With Their Attention or Their Credit Card A series of full-screen interactive ads allows infrequent consumers to experience the newspaper's site without paying, whereas the subscription option allows frequent consumers to access their favorite sites free from advertising/interruption. One of the big upsides of this model is that it creates an on-going trial-and-usage program, that has proven itself able to convert readers from 'free' to paid.“ quot;Give them the option to 'pay with their attention' instead of paying with their credit card. This keeps the content 'free' to the reader, and it provides big benefits to the advertiser, such as a guaranteed engagement, a full-screen canvas, total-time- spent metrics, and an historic click-through rate above 4.0%.“ Source: “Ultramercial can save newspapers with proven business model”
  36. 36. Will Local Residents Pay for Aggregated Data? Local Data Could be Delivered On-Demand EveryBlock filters an assortment of local news by location so you can keep track of what’s happening on your block and in your neighborhood. “What’s happening in my neighborhood?” In dense, bustling cities like Chicago, New York and San Francisco, the number of daily media reports, government proceedings and local Internet conversations is staggering. Every day, a wealth of local information is created — officials inspect restaurants, journalists cover fires and Web users post photographs — but who has time to sort through all of that? We make it simple for you to keep track of news in particular areas. We’re a geographic filter — a “news feed” for your neighborhood, or, yes, even your block. Source:
  37. 37. Build a Better Ad Mousetrap Build an effective advertising model for news content delivered on smart phones such as the iPhone. Create a better Craigslist for classified advertising. First, make it more aesthetically pleasing. Could provide premium and free listings in search results as Google does and provide a supercharged classifieds section with a lot of extras (SF Gate). Better meet the needs of small and medium-sized businesses via deals of the day versus the more bothersome skyscraper ads. Provide richer Yellow Pages experience with business profiles, reviews, coupons, video, photos, etc. Re-imagine the homepage and display advertising approach. Ads better served at the story level where the ad could be contextually relevant to the editorial. Source: RevenueTwoPointZero).
  38. 38. Contextually Relevant Advertising How Much Would Polaroid Pay For This Display Ad on the Right? While you need to be careful separating advertising from editorial, why are not online ads more contextually  relevant to the actual article? Could ads stop interrupting natural consumer behavior and actually become  content we seek out? And a source of affiliate commissions? Graphics source: RevenueTwoPointZero
  39. 39. Advanced Advertising Formats Streaming video or overlays that leverage current consumer interest with video Interstitial ads offer maximum creative flexibility for advertisers and new inventory for the paper Classifieds/DIY video classifieds that create a unique destination differentiated from Craigslist Lead generation widgets allowing direct interaction with advertisers for direct response Other Ideas: – Online exclusive custom guides or packages (wedding expert, best of, fall festival guide) – Scrolling carousel ads, paid search, embedded video player with advertising – Reverse publish – online to specialized print – API fees for companies wishing to tap into your database – Monetize the brand via vanity URLs – Pay to be guest blogger on the homepage
  40. 40. Strategy “Experiment a lot, fail fast” Executive Producer Michelle Nicolosi on … We don't feel like we have to cover everything ourselves. We'll partner for some content; we won't duplicate what the wire is reporting unless we have something unique to offer; we'll continue to showcase the great content from our 150 or so reader bloggers and we'll link offsite to content partners and competitors to create the best mix of news on our front page. We just sealed a new partnership with Hearst Magazines that will give us great new health and wellness and @home content from Cosmopolitan, Country Living, Esquire, Good Housekeeping, House Beautiful, Marie Claire, Popular Mechanics and Redbook. We've also signed up dozens of prominent local leaders to write columns for us. We’re going to be creating a tremendous amount of original content. We'll spend our staff time where we know we have something unique and civically important to offer. A lot of our staff efforts will be on coverage of government, spending, crime, and harder news in general. Online traffic patterns and a recent survey of readers tell us that readers are most interested in breaking news and hard news. Readers are also interested in photo galleries for all kinds of news and features. Our strategy moving forward is to experiment a lot and fail fast—that's how we've been operating the Web site for years, and it's been a very effective formula for growth.
  41. 41. Thank you! Robert Manning