The business platform for digital media

Coffee with Piano at the Digital Media Strategies 2016

Mar 01, 2016

Screen Shot 2016-03-01 at 14.57.36
Piano’s Chief Revenue Officer Peter Richards is going to be attending Digital Media Strategies 2016 in London next week. Now in its fourth year, Digital Media Strategies has become the key event for addressing the big-picture challenges facing the industry, focusing not on PR pitches, but instead on honest, in-depth case studies which go deeper than the surface trends. Peter would be happy to meet for a coffee during the event and talk about how Piano’s innovative user segmentation and business rules engine is being used by Time Inc.,  NBC Universal and others. Piano eliminates the technical hurdles so publishers can focus on what they do best — build great brands, dedicated audiences and sustainable revenues.  If you would be interested in meeting with Peter, please send him an email.

Lessons in Paid Content IV: Making sense out of it all

This is another in a series of articles from Piano’s Lead Data Scientist Roman Gavuliak that were written last year and are being re-posted here for the edification of our faithful readers.

Lessons in Paid Content I: Not all content is created equal
Lessons in Paid Content II: The size of your audience
Lessons in Paid Content III: Don’t just slap a meter on it
To read all of Roman’s articles please click here.

Throughout this series, there have been a lot of numbers and graphs illustrating particular examples that might be more or less relatable. The understanding is that as a publisher, you do not always have the capacity to carry out all these calculations and some data sources might not be available to you. Most probably you lack a database needed to benchmark against other publishers / titles. What you can do, though, is compare different content segments of your site against each other. Here is a simple framework of how to think about your content:

The graph depicts content segmented into two dimensions – loyalty and content consumption. Niche content with a small yet loyal audience is more suited for a hard paywall; flagship content that has high user traffic that remains loyal would do well under a metered paywall. Content with lots of traffic consisting of one-time visitors – search engine and social media traffic – is a space that can be commodified; it’s ideal for advertising. Content with no traffic and no loyalty, “thrash,” is obviously something you do not want on your site. Keep reading

Editorial Analytics: news organizations embracing analytics and metrics, but most have far to go

Feb 29, 2016

Screen Shot 2016-02-29 at 13.40.53

News organizations are increasingly embracing the use of analytics and metrics as part of editorial decision making, but what constitutes a sophisticated analytics strategy? And why are so many media organizations still using such a rudimentary approach to analytics?

A new report by the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism looks at which organizations are building a competitive advantage over less advanced competitors through a better understanding of their audience, and what lessons others can take from their approaches.

Piano believes that analytics are one of the ways that publishers can more effectively engage with their audiences, segmenting users into cohorts and checking messaging efficacy with sophisticated multivariate testing. To learn more about our software, please check out our VX product page.

If you wish to read the entire report, you can download it.

Jon Skinner (ESPN) and Shane Smith (Vice) share thoughts at Code/Media

Feb 18, 2016

Piano’s David Restrepo is at the Code/Media conference in Dana Point, CA and listened to ESPN chief Jon Skinner talk about the future of ESPN. Apparently, David says, ESPN is working on getting its channels on more OTT streams across the web. He noted that Skinner said  the customer won’t get just ESPN, but a “skinny bundle” that would include some other Disney channels.
Screen Shot 2016-02-18 at 18.20.31
ESPN President Jon Skinner at the Code/Media conference

David also had the opportunity to see Vice’s Shane Smith participate in a discussion about starting up a new cable TV channel called Viceland. Smith told the audience he thought it was a pretty great time to be starting a new channel as quality content is dominating user engagement.

David also sent this photo of a band playing (he didn’t say who) that was sponsored by Vevo. Turns out that Vevo could soon jump into the subscription race. CEO Erik Huggers told the crowd that a “more premium” subscription product is something that he’s mulled since taking the helm of the music video portal last April and that a fully ad-supported model is not sustainable in the long run.

Industry Insights: The Independent ditches print

It came as a surprise last week when the owner of the London quality daily, The Independent, announced he was shuttering the paper’s presses and going fully digital. Given the loss of print advertising revenue, declining subscriptions and sinking CPMs, is this really so shocking? Digital is cheaper to produce, there is no paper, no ink; there are no printing presses, no delivery trucks. By dumping print the Indy extends its opportunity to produce quality journalism and if you compare journalism to music, it make sense (from vinyl to MP3s). Let’s hope the Lebedevs are true to their word, reinvest the money they receive from the sale of the Indy’s sister paper i, back into the digital Independent.

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