The Future of Print

BlackBerry iPad, The “Blackpad,” Coming In November, Probably Toast

Posted in Tablets by futureofprint on July 30, 2010

Meanwhile, a few new bits on RIM’s efforts, via Bloomberg:

* It’s going to be called the “Blackpad,” according to a Bloomberg source. RIM bought the domain blackpad.com, a fact that was revealed earlier this week.

* RIM will introduce it in November.

* The Blackpad will be about the same size as the iPad, and will be able to use a BlackBerry’s internet connection (something Apple’s iPad can’t use an iPhone for — at least not yet).

So who’s going to buy this thing?

BlackBerry loyalists? It’s not like this is a situation where having a plastic keyboard is helpful. Or a situation where anyone would want to use their BlackBerry apps on a bigger screen.

via BlackBerry iPad, The “Blackpad,” Coming In November, Probably Toast.

Copia Plans Low-Cost 7″ And 10″ Tablets As Well As E-Ink Devices

Posted in Tablets by futureofprint on July 29, 2010

Just a couple hours ago, news broke of the $99 Copia Wave5 e-reader, or tablet, or whatever you want to call a 5″ LCD-based device focused on reading. That isn’t the extent of the lineup, however: Copia has two more LCD-based tablets coming out soon, as well as two E-ink-based readers with Kindle-esque designs.

As they’ve said since their CES debut, the draw is supposed to be their unique social platform, which allows a community of readers to exchange reviews, recommendations, and so on — and although it will start as an exclusive to Copia-branded devices, they’re trying to go OEM and make the Copia service the premier social layer for e-books.

In addition to the devices I am about to go over, I am told that iPad, Windows 7, and Android apps are planned for later in the year, in addition to a browser-accessible web app. Whether the Copia app and service can survive alongside the popular Kindle app as well as all the others, like Kobo is difficult to say, but as I have noted, consumers want as little fragmentation as possible in their experience.

via Copia Plans Low-Cost 7″ And 10″ Tablets As Well As E-Ink Devices.

Associated reveals improvement in ad revenues – Media news – Media Week

Posted in Boom by futureofprint on July 27, 2010

This helped to offset a further drop at DMGT’s regional division, which it has denied is up for sale.

According to a trading update today 27 July, DMGT’s Associated Newspapers unit, which includes the Daily Mail, The Mail on Sunday and freesheet Metro, suffered a 3% year-on-year drop in revenues to £201m for the third quarter of its financial year to 4 July.

The unit has continued to cut costs and, recently, folded its digital business into the wider group in a cost-saving move.

But underlying advertising revenues, which exclude the closed London Lite and the sold London Evening Standard, rose 13%, fuelled by a surge in digital revenues up 46% on the year and display up 15% on the year.

Retail, the largest display category, grew by 19% in the period. Associated’s pure-play digital activities were up 16%, including a rise in its jobs’ businesses.

The group said the advertising trends had broadly continued in July.Northcliffe Media, the group’s regional arm which houses more than 100 titles, including the Hull Daily Mail, reported revenues were down 4% to £66m.

Overall advertising revenues at the division were down 4% on the year.

Northcliffe Media, like other regional newspaper groups, has suffered from a tough market and has cut more than 1,000 jobs since 2008. A recent national newspaper report claimed DMGT was in discussions with Trinity Mirror and Johnson Press over the sale of the entire Northcliffe division.

However, DMGT’s finance chief Peter Williams said today it was not talking to with other publishers about offloading its troubled regional titles.Williams said: “We can confirm that we are not in discussions over proposals to offload them, nor do we have any expectation of entering any discussions over their sale.”

via Associated reveals improvement in ad revenues – Media news – Media Week.

Ex-Google News, Bing Engineers Set Out To Build ‘Newspaper Of The Future’

Posted in Doom by futureofprint on July 16, 2010

Delivering news digitally in a personalized manner is a nut many a startup – as well as many established Internet companies and publishers – are desperately trying to crack.

A newly-founded Palo Alto startup called Hawthorne Labs is one of them.Today, the company released their first application, dubbed APOLLO, for the iPad iTunes link – screenshots and video below. Their lofty ambition is to become the number one daily destination of top personalized news content from around the Web, build a genuine Newspaper of the Future™, and thus “deliver the final blow to the newspaper industry”.

Apollo is quite similar to Pandora in that it uses an algorithm using factors such as time spent on articles, sources favorited, articles liked/not-liked as well as social elements like Twitter and Facebook mentions and similar peoples’ tastes etc. to help users discover the best content for them in a variety of categories Top News, Business, Tech, Sports and so on.

via Ex-Google News, Bing Engineers Set Out To Build ‘Newspaper Of The Future’.

Michael Wolff: Behind the Times and Sunday Times paywall ‘it’s an empty world’ | The Wire | Press Gazette

Posted in Charge by futureofprint on July 14, 2010

Rupert Murdoch biographer Michael Wolff has used his latest Newser column to take a swipe at the chances of success for The Times and Sunday Times paywall.

“My sources say that not only is nobody subscribing to the website, but subscribers to the paper itself—who have free access to the site—are not going beyond the registration page. It’s an empty world.”

He also says:

“…it may be better to see the paywall as not about making more but about costing less. The paywall, and the integration of the Times and the Sunday Times behind it, becomes the deus ex machina by which (and this has long been a Murdoch dream) Murdoch and his son, James, the paper’s boss (with his eager corporate lieutenants, Rebekah Wade Brooks and Will Lewis), happily tear up several centuries of history and join the Times and the Sunday Times—and save a fortune.”

As I noted last week there are quite a few things which could be improved on The Times site. And for them to succeed they really do need to be the best newspaper websites in the world.

Looking closely at them, I’m increasingly thinking that the paywall gambit is not so much about extracting pound coins from Times readers but is part of a bigger ploy by Murdoch to challenge the increasing media hegemony of Google.

via Michael Wolff: Behind the Times and Sunday Times paywall ‘it’s an empty world’ | The Wire | Press Gazette.

A Quick Primer On The US Newspaper Collapse

Posted in Doom, Stop the presses by futureofprint on July 9, 2010

Earlier this week, we gave you a few staggering factoids on the state of the U.S. newspaper industry.

You know, cheery stuff like how there have been roughly 35,000 newspaper job losses or buyouts since March 2007.

Or how 166 newspapers have either shut down or stopped putting out a print edition since 2008.

Or the fact that the U.S. print sector lost more than 24,500 jobs between September 2008 and September 2009.

Good times.

It’s all from a new report by the World Association of Newspapers and Newspaper Publishers.

The stats seem even more bananas when viewed in the form of colorful charts and maps.

So we put together a little presentation to take you through it all.

via A Quick Primer On The US Newspaper Collapse.

Why Aren’t More Print Publishers Cozying Up With The iPad?

Posted in Boom by futureofprint on July 9, 2010

The iPad was announced on January 27, 2010 and was quickly heralded by many in traditional print media as a potential rejuvenator for their troubled businesses. Having used the device daily for the last six weeks or so, I must admit it is the perfect media consumption device, among many other things, for all of my reading (books, magazines, newspapers, blogs, tweets, FB feed, emails, web sites). Given my propensity to multitask, I crave multi-purpose devices and find the Kindle far too limiting a product, especially for the price. The iPad is perfect for email, calendaring, surfing, reading books, digesting RSS feeds, browsing real-time web feeds from Twitter and Facebook, watching movies while traveling, listening to music, checking weather, tuning in to baseball games, and countless other things. It is a far better way to consume magazines and newspapers than any other electronic device I have seen.

Given this, more than five months after it has been announced and the developer tools made available, and more than sixty days after shipping, why is Wired one of the few print publishers to make the leap and offer a version? The WSJ has a decent app (but downloads take forever), the NY Times has an anemic reader which showcases only a handful of stories each day (many duplicated in each section), the NY Post released an app which just offers pictures, and Vanity Fair offers a meager PDF of the print magazine for a whopping $5 per issue. USA Today seemed to step up with a nicely designed app. But it’s telling that so few of the traditional print publishers have taken the last five months to rethink the way a magazine or newspaper ought to be delivered digitally and devote sufficient resources to getting something great out on time. Wired’s editor Chris Andersen made some noise about how his staff did this, but frankly their implementation is also mostly a glorified PDF with some videos thrown in. Amazingly, URLs are not hot-linked in Wired nor Vanity Fair, email addresses are not clickable, text is not selectable nor are articles tweetable.

via Why Aren’t More Print Publishers Cozying Up With The iPad?.

Ad Industry Optimism Reaches Highest Point Yet: Improves For All Media, Especially Digital 07/08/2010

Posted in Boom by futureofprint on July 8, 2010

Advertiser optimism toward their media spending, which bottomed out a year ago, continues to rise and is now at the highest relative point since a well regarded research company began tracking it three years ago. Nearly a third (32%) of ad executives now expect to increase their ad spending over the next 12-months, marking the greatest percentage since Advertiser Perceptions Inc. (API) began asking that question in the spring of 2007.

Conversely, only 22% said they plan to decrease their ad spending, marking a positive 10 percentage point difference between those planning to increase or decrease their advertising budgets, which is the basis of API’s advertiser optimism index.

via MediaPost Publications Ad Industry Optimism Reaches Highest Point Yet: Improves For All Media, Especially Digital 07/08/2010.

Gawker Media Growth Explodes In First Half Of Year After Denton Starts Paying Writers For New Readers

Posted in Boom by futureofprint on July 7, 2010

Nick Denton has issued his latest memo to the troops on the state of Gawker Media. The first half of the year appears to have been very good to the leading blog network, after a flat 2009.

What’s responsible for the change? A new focus on unique visitors instead of pageviews. Writers are now compensated in part for how many new readers they bring in each month.

Gawker’s biggest story in June was Gawker.com’s Apple security breach scoop, with 594,962 uniques.

via Gawker Media Growth Explodes In First Half Of Year After Denton Starts Paying Writers For New Readers.

The Upshot: Search Powers The News At Yahoo

Posted in Boom by futureofprint on July 6, 2010

Yahoo is getting serious about the news. Today, it launched a new political news blog called The Upshot, written by a staff of six writers and two editors. The Upshot is a mix of original reporting, commentary, links, and licensed news photos. Rather than simply republishing stories from the news wires or other news outlets like rest of Yahoo News, the Upshot is trying to cultivate a Yahoo-branded point of view and set of voices around political, national and media news.

Yahoo is in the midst of expanding its original news footprint in an attempt to compete with AOL and Demand Media. Last May, it purchased Associated Content for its crowdsourced content platform. At the same time, it’s been hiring its own journalists and blowing out coverage in sports, finance, and news. Yahoo Media VP James Pitaro describes it as “trying to strike a balance.” The Upshot falls on the higher-quality end of the scale, and is part of Yahoo’s efforts to expand this kind of coverage from 10 percent to 20 percent of the news on its properties.

via The Upshot: Search Powers The News At Yahoo.