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Piano Sponsors first-ever Slovak MeasureCamp

Feb 12, 2016

MeasureCamp, to those in the know, is an “unconference” dedicated to data and analytics and has a worldwide following. Piano’s Lead Data Scientist Roman Gavuliak helped bring MeasureCamp to the Slovak Capital, Bratislava, last week so the burgeoning community of data analysts and scientists plus developers who rely data, could get together and share their experiences with each other and other interested parties.

All MeasureCamps start out chaotically as organizers and participants agree on a program, find rooms and kick off sessions. Piano wasn’t the only sponsor, Google and Telekom sponsored sessions as well. Many local Slovak marketing agencies and product developers from the best online dev shops shared their lessons learned, tools and processes and best practices. Roman led a session on various data sources and alternatives to the ubiquitous Google Analytics.

At the end of the day, when all the 30 minute sessions had expired, the Afterparty got swinging and, as those who are familiar with Slovak party habits, it wasn’t over until the wee hours of the morning.

MeasureCamp was a huge success and Piano was proud to sponsor this initial effort. The sessions were great for enlightening local developers, analysts, data scientists and will naturally contribute to improving the quality and utilization of data for software companies worldwide.

Since Piano is so heavily involved in big data and analytics, we were super excited to see the interest generated by the “unconference” and hope that there will be more Slovak MeasureCamps in the future.

You can read more on the Bratislava’s MeasureCamp Facebook page.


Industry Insights: Are micropayments the next big thing?

Feb 11, 2016
Industry trends

With the rise of ad blocking, more publishers are considering micropayments as an alternative revenue stream. However, the solution to the primary barrier that deterred publishers from micropayments previously, decision fatigue, has yet to be found. Readers already bothered by tracking software and invasive ads will not spend time deciding whether an individual article is worth paying for. Until digital wallets or some other paradigm defines an easy micropayment standard that eliminates constant decision making, micropayments remain a hopeful dream rather than a real revenue stream.

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

Piano holds Digital Strategies Workshop in Bogota

Feb 10, 2016
Kweli Washington listens to a question at the Piano Digital Strategies Workshop

Kweli Washington listens to a question at the Piano Digital Strategies Workshop

Bogota, Colombia, Feb. 10, 2016 – Almost 40 top Colombian digital news media executives attended a Piano workshop today on developing premium product strategies. The main focus of the workshop was showing the group how to approach and ask their audiences to pay for access to content on both desktop and mobile. In attendance were executives from top national Colombian news sites, specialized publications and top regional sites, including those from Medellin, Cali, Bucamaranga, Cartagena and other cities from the interior of the South American nation.

The executives gathered at the Bogota headquarters of the Colombian newspapers association, Andiarios, for an all-day session led by Piano’s Global Director, Talent & Culture Kweli Washington, who informed the group about global revenue trends in digital media and the need to develop alternatives to advertising-based revenue.

With these trends in mind, several Colombian publishers requested anonymous audience analyses to identify characteristics within their website audience consumption patterns with an eye to designing new commercial strategies tailored to the opportunities afforded in each case.

Kweli also talked about how declining CPMs, the spread of ad blocking software and successful subscription strategies have made it incumbent upon publishers to begin to, or re-evaluate alternatives to their digital business models, most of which are based entirely on advertising.

Later, Piano’s Latin American Sales Director, John Reichertz, addressed the gathering, stressing the need to urgently confront the challenge posed by the smartphone “revolution.” Just as the Internet drained revenue from print publishers’ coffers earlier in the decade, mobile is now undercutting existing digital business strategies, further impairing revenue streams.

According to Andiarios, Colombian publishers reported that about 50% of their overall digital traffic comes from smartphones, a percentage that is growing daily. Nevertheless, mobile traffic, like most mobile traffic worldwide, generates only a small fraction of overall digital revenue.

Reichertz also demonstrated the cutting-edge sales and marketing capabilities of Piano VX, the SaaS commerce-for-content platform and Composer, Piano’s sleek new drag and drop interface that lets publishers create tailored experiences for different audience segments and produce personalized offers to specific audience segments like mobile or search and social referral traffic.

Piano would like to thank all those who attended the workshop for their time.

The trouble with growth

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By Damaris Colhoun, Columbia Journalism Review

A VOLATILE MARKET, plunging tech stocks, and fears of a looming recession (or at least, a major correction) are sending jolts through the media world. Last week Bloomberg reported that in December The Fidelity Blue Chip Growth Fund had cut Snapchat’s holding by 2 percent—its second write down of Snapchat in three months—and that Yahoo had reduced its valuation of Tumblr by $230 million, amid cost-cutting plans of its own. Meanwhile, The Guardian News & Media, publisher of The Guardian, recently announced it’s looking to cut more than $70 million in costs over the next three years, after losing more than that in 2015—despite its vast of flows of traffic and digital growth.

For media start-ups running off the fumes of their VC investments, and legacy newsrooms making the move to digital, these stumbles are a crucial reminder that traffic alone won’t keep them out of the red. As digital ad sales soften, investing in other channels of revenue—be it  branded content, events, membership programs, or paywalls—will become increasingly important. These recent tech market tumbles also point to the trouble with growth: namely, that unless it generates revenue, it may not have much value. Not when investors are getting nervous and tech unicorns may be facing leaner times.

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