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Piano’s Industry Insights: Are Distributed Platforms Working?

Jan 28, 2016
Industry trends

Most publishers are now comfortable making their content available on distributed platforms. Some, like the Washington Post, put all their content on Facebook’s Instant Articles while others are more selective and parcel out their content more slowly. Does distributed content drive greater loyalty and by extension, greater revenue? And are the problems, poor metrics and poor monetization, inhibiting publishers from using these platforms? A number of articles look at these issues this week in an effort to gain a greater understanding of where publishers stand with regards to distributed content platforms.

Read more about what publishers are discovering  in this week’s Industry Insights, available now!

While ‘open’ Guardian faces financial meltdown, paywalled Times is breaking even

Jan 27, 2016
Industry trends

Screen Shot 2016-01-27 at 09.16.48Well, maybe the old subscription model has more legs than is given credit. In the UK, both the Times and the Sunday Times opted to put up an opaque paywall in 2012 while the Guardian went with the advertising model. Pundits were siding with the Guardian as it piled on page views and offered quality journalism for free. After three years though, there were grumblings from users about invasive ads and tracking software that has given rise to the ad block phenomenon that has dominated industry news since June, 2015.

The upshot? The Guardian lost  £100M in 2015 while the News Corp. publications appear to be profitable. What was once inconceivable in the Guardian’s HQs, a paywall, is now being discussed. Meanwhile the Times is adding for-profit digital subscribers and new low-priced apps to further drive revenue.

Click here to read Dominic Ponsford’s entire article.

Piano’s Industry Insights: How Will Google’s AMP Affect the Industry?

Jan 21, 2016
Industry trends

As Google gets set to launch the Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) project next month, publishers are increasingly focusing on page load speed. Those who implement AMP will see a boost in search traffic from Google because their algorithm takes into account load speed when returning search results and those with AMP will load faster than those without. Google is also working with various companies to make sure that AMP pages will properly monetize, something that neither Facebook nor Apple’s walled gardens support. Piano is working with Google to spec out paywall integration with AMP.

Read more about what publishers are discovering  in this week’s Industry Insights, available now!

Google launching AMP at the end of February

Jan 19, 2016
Industry trends

Screen Shot 2016-01-19 at 09.40.02

Frederic Filloux at the Monday Note writes this week about Google’s Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP); how it will take a chunk out of both Apple’s and Facebook’s walled Gardens and how it incorporates with paid content. Google expects the system to have rapid take-up among publishers and will spread even more quickly as as specifications for more mobile components become available.

For revenue streams with AMP, most ad servers will work although Google will constrain the formats allowed in AMP. Paid content will also be incorporated into AMP, Google is working with both publishers and paywall providers to make sure that the most popular E-commerce system, the meter, will function properly. This project enables users to have a better mobile browsing experience while making sure that publishers retain their revenue from their engaged users.

You can read Filloux’s entire article here.

Newspaper bosses ‘paralyzed’ by change…

Jan 18, 2016
Industry trends

The late aughts saw the beginnings of the paid content industry with Press+ leading the way. They didn’t get much traction until the New York Times launched paid content, but then the industry took off. Steve Brill and Gordon Crovitz were co-founders of Press+ (purchased by Piano in 2014) and Poynter’s James Warren interviews Brill about what happened back in the early days of paid content and where he thinks the industry is headed now. It’s a fascinating read.

Read the article.