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Industry Insights: the problem with analytics

Jun 09, 2016
Industry Insights

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Industry Trend of the Week

Who is really looking at online content? How do publishers know that a page view is a story that’s read, an ad that’s viewed and not just someone who has clicked through from social media or a search engine and then bounced? Current analytics tools return page views, but do they really show how users are engaging with, reading or viewing content? Page views were established as a metric to help online publishers sell advertising, why has it been adopted by the newsroom and isn’t there something better? Thomas Baekdal addresses this issue in the story of the week.

Story of the Week
Accurate Analytics is Painful
Baekdal sums up why analytics, like Google Analytics, used by most publishers, simply don’t tell the whole truth. Baekdal argues that if you want to get a better feel for what people are reading, then there are different ways, much different ways, to look at the metrics being returned.

Shoptalk: Can Publishers Step Away From the Brink of Peak Content?
There’s been a lot of disparagement of publishers who employ clickbait. Though the definition has shifted from its origin as a term for the gap between what a publisher promises and what the article actually delivers to a more generic term for lazy reportage or crummy lists, nobody wants to be seen endorsing a model that prioritizes empty clicks.

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Industry Insights: Silicon Valley stealing away publishers’ lunch money

Jun 02, 2016
Industry Insights

iu
Industry Trend of the Week

Last week saw a number of publications announce they were culling staff to cut costs; this week the buzz is all about how much ad money Silicon Valley is removing from online publishers’ coffers. The $60B that Google collected in advertising revenue last year dwarfs the entire publishing industry, including print, which clocked in at somewhat less than $25B. Sadly it doesn’t seem like either Google or Facebook will be returning ad revenue to publishers – ever – leaving publishers to cut staff and figure out different monetization methods to stay afloat.

Story of the Week
Can anyone save The New York Times from itself?
As noted last week, seismic waves are rocking major publications; this story details what’s going on behind the scenes at The NYT two years after Dean Baquet became editor, and the deeper changes that are coming from changes he’s already implemented.

Silicon Valley’s hoover leaves newspapers hunting for profit
In the last year there has been an unprecedented exodus of spending, as the UK’s top 10 newspaper advertisers, which includes names like Sky, British Telecom, Tesco and Asda take their business elsewhere. This is forcing unprecedented cost cutting by newspapers, laying off journalists, decreasing office space and reducing scale. Keep reading

Industry Insights: It’s a tough time to be a reporter

May 26, 2016
Industry Insights

youre_fired_no_really
Industry Trend of the Week

Journalists are again in for a tough time as their employers are cutting yet more reporters and editors. First The Daily Telegraph announced it was culling senior newsroom staff including their Deputy Editor. Then new media darling Vice axed both London-based foreign correspondents and another 18 people in the UK and the US as they restructure. Finally, The New York Times announced buyouts as part of its overall effort to remake their entire organization. Even with more digital revenue filling the coffers, sadly it’s not enough to prevent a dramatic loss of talent from top news organizations.

Story of the Week
Looking for a sustainable business model for a regional newspaper? Start at the Minneapolis Star Tribune
The Star Tribune’s revenues are up in 2016 after holding even for the past couple of years. This news won’t provoke envy at Google or Vox, but it’s good news for a newspaper publisher nonetheless. CEO and publisher Michael Klingensmith talks about how the Star Trib is keeping ahead of trends to keep their ROI up.

Fee or free? When to charge for online content
An interesting look at how to charge for content under different online subscription models – focusing on how content appeals to audience in cycles. For instance, when a sport is in season, there is more demand for content surrounding that sport and subsequently, it becomes easier to charge for related content. Keep reading

Industry Insights: Change the silos in industry reporting

May 19, 2016
Industry Insights

Tune-study
Industry Trend of the Week

This past week a lot of different reports were released with different but similar emphases like: mobile users won’t pay to block ads or for content, or online news consumption is reaching a plateau. Yet industry commentator Tomas Baekdal makes an important point, most studies being done today are still reporting digital content in print verticals and thus aren’t accurately reflecting the true state of the industry. While print is still an incredibly important part of publishing, it needs to be differentiated in reports from digital because increasingly, the two are completely separate, disconnected products.

Story of the Week
We Need Better Digital Media Studies
Another really great call to action from Thomas Baekdal, this time asking the media industry to stop doing study after study that break down digital content into print verticals and instead redefine digital media into specific digital verticals that can be used to understand the industry better going forward.

The Washington Post tests personalized “pop-up” newsletters to promote its big stories’
An idea the WP is testing is personalized email newsletters that are based on readers’ interests and behavior. Right now the tool is outsourced, but it will be moved in-house soon using Amazon’s personalization engine. Thus far the approach seems to be working as click through rates are three times above average. Keep reading

Starting today, Dallas Morning News’s digital readers will see limit on free articles

DMNMeterBy Brandon Formby, Dallas Morning News

Less than two years after shutting down a short-lived paid website, The Dallas Morning News plans to again start charging digital readers for access to online content.

DallasNews.com and SportsDayDFW.com on Tuesday moved to a metered model that will allow local digital consumers to read 10 free articles in a 30-day period. Once that limit is hit, readers can either purchase a digital subscription or wait for the 30-day clock to reset.

High school sports site SportsDayHS.com and entertainment sites GuideLive.com will remain free for all readers.

Mike Wilson, editor of The News, said the move to a meter will have little to no effect on how the organization approaches its coverage of the Dallas-Fort Worth area.

“It just seems like an appropriate business move,” Wilson said. “Our journalism is going to be what I hope it always has been: essential to people in North Texas.”

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