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New Zealand Newspaper jumps on the Paid Content bandwagon

Mar 16, 2016
Industry trends

By Tim Murphy, The Spinoff

Its masthead describes it as the “Independent Voice of the South.” Others, affectionately, call it the Oddity.

Now the Otago Daily Times lives up to both labels with its decision to charge readers to use its website.

From mid-April, Dunedin’s leading newsroom will introduce a metered paywall offering between 15 and 30 free stories a month before readers have to cough up about $27 a month as a subscriber. Print subscribers already pay that figure monthly and will get the digital subscription free.

It will be the first major news publisher in New Zealand to do so, following many in the United States, Europe and Australia. And it could be in the right place, at the right time, to make it work.

Keep reading

Three Thoughts on Publishing Frequency

Mar 15, 2016

This is another article from Piano’s Lead Data Scientist Roman Gavuliak written last year and re-posted here for the edification of our faithful readers. To read all of Roman’s articles please click here.

Recently Colin Morrisson, a media and marketing consultant, published an article on his blog, Flashes & Flames, that got us thinking. Among other things he talks about is the fact that the Times of London is considering publishing articles on an edition schedule rather than “as it happens.” This is not terribly unusual, he points out that network TV faced the same conundrum when it first went on the air, inventing the morning, noon and evening news programs. In fact, many news sites still publish their articles in batches in morning & noon or morning & evening cycles. But there is another approach that newspapers and especially magazines are considering. We have already entertained requests from publishers to help them sell content in issues rather than time- or meter-based. This looks like publishers are thinking about print rather than about the digital audience they now serve. While we can not provide a definitive answer to which approach is better, here are a few thoughts on what we’ve seen in the data so far related to this topic. Keep reading

GMG’s David Pemsel: Membership will make up a third of the Guardian’s revenue within three years

Mar 10, 2016

By Chris Sutcliffe, The Media Briefing

The Guardian has not been agile enough to respond to the challenges faced by the publishing industry over the past few years, according to Guardian Media Group CEO David Pemsel.

Speaking at Digital Media Strategies 2016, Pemsel said that an overly narrow focus on the “big number” of its global audience masked some of the strategic issues that the Guardian was facing:
“I think all those big numbers are a proof point about how fast and innovative we’ve been in getting to digital [but] monetising anonymous reach is essentially over. To be able to parade around and say ‘we’re big’ is not good enough. We want to convert our anonymous reach into a known audience.”

That conversion of its unknown audience to a known one is a “massive opportunity”, based around a refinement and reinvention of The Guardian’s membership scheme, which Pemsel believes could make up one third of the Guardian’s overall revenue within three years.

Continue reading…

Industry Insights: Facebook, the publisher’s friend or enemy?

Mar 09, 2016
Industry Insights

Industry Trend of the Week

Piano sponsored the Digital Media Strategies 2016 in London this week and the most talked about topic was how consumption habits are changing – where people are reading and how they are engaging with content. Facebook’s Instant Articles, Google’s AMP and Apple News are all pieces figuring into this new puzzle, but there are other pieces too, like lock screens on people’s phones as the new “home page” for content pushed from Snapchat Discover or similar apps. The landscape is evolving quickly and media businesses will have to stay on their toes to keep up and retain their users and influence.

Story of the Week

Facebook is eating the world

This thoughtful essay by Emily Bell, the Director at the Tow Center for Digital Journalism at The Columbia Journalism School talks about how the rise of distributed platforms – Facebook’s Instant Articles, Apple News, etc. – are affecting journalism and what it could mean down the line for those in the news business. Keep reading

More News from Digital Media Strategies 2016

“It’s better to compete with yourself and disrupt yourself, rather than have a competitor do it.” –  Schibsted CEO Rolv-Erik Ryssdal

IMG_3657The photo above shows the emergence of push notifications on a phone’s lock screen as a distribution channel from the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism presentation

Today is the final day of the Digital Media Strategies 2016 summit in London and Piano CRO Peter Richards had fruitful discussions with folks from Haymarket Media Group and Johnston Press plus he watched some informative presentations from Schibsted’s CEO Rolv-Erik Ryssdal, The Reuters Institute’s Nic Newman and Johnston Press’ Jeff Moriarty and others.

Most of the presentations focused on how consumers are changing their consumption habits, where they are reading and how they are engaging with content. Peter said, most notably that:

– Push notifications that appear on a mobile lock screen are becoming the “new homepage”
– Messaging apps like Snapchat Discovery are evolving into news platforms that deliver news as text messages
– Distributed video is experiencing exponential growth and there is a rise in people watching video without sound
– Agility, everything is about speed, the ability to rapidly prototype, test and iterate
– There is increased focus on the importance of getting users to register and login, to turn anonymous users to known users

Peter attend the presentation by David Pemsel, The Guardian’s CEO, who said said, “it’s no longer possible to monetize anonymous reach,” referring to declining CPM prices. Thus, the focus of their new membership program will be around getting anonymous users to register so they can create offers tailored to their needs can provide more value to advertisers. (What Pemsel is talking about is Value Exchange, a Piano specialty where we help publishers move anonymous users down an engagement funnel with data being the currency. We believe that exchanging content for data allows publishers to understand their users better and then segment them, which leads to higher engagement, more value for advertisers and ultimately subscription).

The summit has been really interesting with key industry learnings and trends being shared. Piano has been proud to sponsor such an amazing event and we will share the lessons learned with all our colleagues at Piano to make sure that our products offer tools that enable media businesses the opportunity to take advantage of how the market is moving.