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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.

News From Digital Media Strategies 2016

Mar 08, 2016


Piano is sponsoring  Digital Media Strategies 2016 conference in London and our CRO, Peter Richards, is in attendance. In addition to meeting with colleagues and clients he is going to some very interesting presentations.

On Monday The Atlantic share some learnings and strategies they are using to grow audience. The magazine and digital property is focused on “audience first” (as opposed to digital or mobile first). There are a lot of new dynamics to address with mobile page views now at 53% and 10% of visitors going to the homepage! A few of their new strategies include doubling down on data, reorienting their offers around around audience and re-imagining how they incorporate video. Current publisher nemesis Ad blocking is an issue, and the publication is in test mode, offering users with ad blocking software enabled  the opportunity to register for a free newsletter or subscribe to the magazine in order to access content. This is in line with what Forbes and GQ are doing.

Peter will be at the conference until Wednesday evening, if you would like to meet with him, please send us an email and we’ll arrange a get together.

Industry Insights: Paid content back in the limelight

Mar 03, 2016
Industry trends

Paid content is back in the news largely because one of the world’s largest newspaper sites recently reported losses forcing them to reconsider their online revenue model. At the same time, the American Press Institute has released a study detailing the emergence of paid digital subscriptions across the biggest 98 newspapers in the US. And with the use of ad blocking software continuing to escalate, not just on mobile, but also on desktop, paid subscriptions are again becoming the plat du jour.

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

Paying for Digital News: The rapid adoption and current landscape of digital subscriptions at U.S. newspapers

Mar 02, 2016
Industry trends

By Alex Williams, American Press Institute

Screen Shot 2016-03-02 at 10.45.10

Newspaper publishers in the United States have moved rapidly in recent years to create subscriptions for digital access to their news, and according to an in-depth analysis the landscape is converging around a couple leading models and price structures.

As the traditionally dominant revenue streams of print and advertising come under pressure, almost all newspapers are looking to their readers to contribute more. As of 2015, 77 of the 98 papers we examined have some form of a digital subscription plan that requires readers to pay for unlimited online access.

Seventy-one of those 77 have been launched within the past 5 years.

This exponential growth would have seemed unfathomable in 2009. Publications like The Guardian, The New York Times, Time Magazine and The Atlantic published op-eds questioning whether readers would be willing to pay for news online — and whether digital subscriptions would cause steep losses in readership and digital advertising.

Keep reading…