The Future of Print

Can Newspapers Create New Revenue Stream with ‘Digital Malls’?

Posted in Boom by futureofprint on August 19, 2010

Newspaper consultant Jim Chisholm has looked five years into the future and sees the industry’s best bet for vitality in digital shopping. Updating a futures report he did 18 months ago for the Newspaper Association of America, Chisholm predicts nominal growth for the industry 3.4 percent, probably less than inflation through 2014 in its current lines of business. That is a bleak forecast — unless an infusion of new revenue comes to the rescue.

Chisholm’s concept is “a digital news hub,” combining traditional and nontraditional content, that would be the equivalent of a flagship store that draws people to a bricks-and-mortar mall. The key would be getting them to stay on newspaper websites much longer than most do now.

hoppers would be lured by a critical mass of discounts and links to local stores and national retail sites. The newspaper mall sites eventually would get into direct transactions, taking a small cut of the proceeds. For all this to work, Chisholm concedes, the typical newspaper website would need a higher level of functional technology for mobile, for instance.

The idea has more potential if the industry can unite on common platforms or sales initiatives. However, newspapers often have a hard time working together in business ventures, even as they try to stave off their new digital competitors. My own take is that newspapers are edging toward this model, first cousin to the Newspaper Next concept of reorganizing as a local information utility. Local shopping looks like a hot prospect. As an example, newspaper organizations are rushing to partner with Groupon, Shoutback and other deal-of-the-day vendors.

via Poynter Online – The Biz Blog.

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For Owners, iPad Is Now Go-To Reading Device

Posted in Tablets by futureofprint on August 13, 2010

According to a survey of UK iPad owners put forth by Cooper Murphy Webb, people who own iPads are now using them as their preferred device for reading newspapers, magazines and books. Of the 1,034 iPad owners polled via telephone between July 28th and August 10th, 43% use the iPad for more than 10 hours per week, with most of those usage hours taking place in home.

While the iPad dominates among users for text based activities like perusing magazines and books, the laptop still holds strong as a primary entertainment device — perhaps due to the iPad’s lack of Flash support. I know that I have been discouraged from readily picking up an iPad to watch online video from the Pavlovian effect of those disappointing little blue legos.

Giving ammunition to the “iPad Will Save Reading” camp, 31% of iPad users prefer their iPad to their laptop, mobile phone, e-reader and print media for reading newspapers and magazines, perhaps due to the innovative presentation of news put forward by aggregator iPad apps like Flipboard and Pulse.

via For Owners, iPad Is Now Go-To Reading Device.

IPad Ads: Marketers Looking for More Data, Lower Costs – Advertising Age – Digital

Posted in Tablets by futureofprint on August 11, 2010

NEW YORK (AdAge.com) — As early data on iPad apps trickle in, one thing is clear: It’s going to require mountains of metrics for advertisers to pony up for the new platform’s ads — and their high prices.

But early data from Conde Nast will bolster the argument the iPad is worth a premium, as it’s delivering on reader attention better than other media channels. The publisher reports users are spending more than two hours on average with its Vanity Fair and GQ apps — that’s double the average hour spent with print magazines. Interaction times are also growing with subsequent issues. Vanity Fair’s interaction times jumped more than an hour from June to July; GQ’s jump was much more modest at only few minutes, according to metrics firm Flurry. Time spent with iPad apps also beat digital channels: Two hours with an iPad app trumps an average of 15 minutes on websites and 75 minutes on mobile apps per month.

via IPad Ads: Marketers Looking for More Data, Lower Costs – Advertising Age – Digital.

Forecast: Digital bits poised to overtake print in 2014 – USATODAY.com

Posted in Doom, Tablets by futureofprint on August 11, 2010

Now we can put a date on it: 2014 will be the year when consumers begin to spend more for digital media than they will for print, according to a forecast out today from private-equity firm Veronis Suhler Stevenson.

The company projects that the average person will spend $159.59 in 2014 for Internet and mobile services — including broadband subscriptions for smartphones — up 89.2% from last year. But that same person will spend $158.88 on consumer books, newspapers and magazines, down 1.5%.While VSS is far from infallible, the projection is worth noting: After 24 years of soothsaying, the VSS’ annual Communications Industry Forecast is one of the few industry projections that media executives and investors respect.

Overall, the firm expects consumers to fall more deeply in love than ever with media and communications. The average person will spend a little more than $1,080 in 2014 to be connected, informed and amused, up 27.6% from last year.

via Forecast: Digital bits poised to overtake print in 2014 – USATODAY.com.

New York Times To License “DNA” Of Its Mobile Apps To Other Publishers

Posted in Tablets by futureofprint on August 2, 2010

As one of the world’s leading media publishers, it’s critical for The New York Times Company to stay ahead of the curve in the digital space, or die trying. Hence, its efforts on the desktop with Times Reader 2.0, as well as its mobile website and multi-platform applications.

But the company has now come up with an additional way of deriving sorely needed revenues from its mobile apps apart from selling or slapping ads on them: licensing.

The NYT is reportedly experimenting with a platform dubbed Press Engine, which will allow other publishers to produce their own apps for devices such as the iPhone and iPad, apparently because they kept asking for a decent way to do so.

According to AdAge, which gained insights about the platform straight from a Times spokesperson, publishers will pay a one-time license fee for the platform at first, followed by a monthly maintenance fee. Any revenues generated from advertising or distribution of the apps, the publishers will get to keep for themselves.Update: the press release is up. The iPhone and iPad application templates will include the following features:

– partial offline reading and the ability to save articles;

– share functionality;

– photo gallery, audio and video;

– horizontal and vertical reading;

– simple search; and

– device-standard advertising units.

via New York Times To License “DNA” Of Its Mobile Apps To Other Publishers.