Where is the Green Stuff?

February 21, 2013

In the old days of publishing on paper, room for content was scarce and prices for advertisers would go up as audiences grew. In these days space for content is unlimited and in fact infinite. 

So, there is a problem for businesses who depend on advertising revenue. Not just for paper based products also for digital formats. Even more so in fact. Prices online are based on other metrics then the old fashioned supply and demand.

To make things more complicated prices are set by other parties. GOOG, as we all know makes quite a bundle every quarter.

Who will pay for good quality content?

In Europe an answer is popping up. Forces are gathering to get more money form GOOG.

Some interesting background info in this post from Frédéric Filloux, general manager for digital operations at Les Echos Groupe.


Back on the road again

January 3, 2013

Since my last post I have been launching a Big Data start-up and the coding & testing has finished.
It works quite well.
Business deals are underway.

Time again to write and share some of my thoughts.
Just as I enter the arena again, something happened.
Media companies are busy creating the role of Chief Digital Officer.


Gold Rush

April 14, 2011

My last post has been a while.


This time I wanted to take some time and think.

I was overwhelmed by the introduction of the Harry Potter newspaper, as Rupert Murdoch used to call it. Not because this bold move was unexpected, but because of the pricing strategy. A dollar a week is hard to beat. The Daily cornered the market. Who will enter next?

Market acceptance does not seem to be very positive. It’s hard to find trustworthy data and my first impressions are therefore just that and nothing more. But the general idea points towards the conclusion that The Daily is not a huge hit. Yet, one has to add.


The price is still very, very hard to beat.

By claiming land on this new frontier in the Media Wild West, competitors are hindered or even prohibited to join the Gold Rush.

I’m afraid.


December 8, 2010

During the last two days I had a rather strange experience. I enjoyed reading a magazine. I actually read every article of the last issue of Monocle, studied the design, looked at their website and tried to figure out their business model.

I was impressed by their advertisements. The magazine is packed with them, so advertisers know to find them. They are capable of producing or co-producing stunning new forms of advertising for their clients. I wonder if these brands work directly with the Monocle team or if they go through an agency, be it media or branding.

I bought the magazine at ABC in Amsterdam. The coverprice actually was more or less the same as it’s subscription price. Another innovation, one could say.

Besides the magazine, they produce a televisionshow for Bloomberg and publish a newspaper. How about that!

They own shops and of course sell through their webshop.

The editor already made his mark with Wallpaper* of course, but I think Monocle is top of the bill and a very fresh inspiration for publishers worldwide.

Yes, it can be done. It still is possible to combine surprising and interesting high quality content with 21st century business thinking.  A prime example.

Certainly worth my full attention for the 6 hours it took me to read. And I will keep the issue and reread it.

If you want to experience Monocle, you have to buy the magazine and hold it in your hands.

Paying off?

November 5, 2010

Today I discovered a few interesting facts in this recently released report on global internet trends.

  • Data consumption for real-time entertainment usage surpasses web browsing in the US.
  • Netflix alone constitutes more than 20% of downstream traffic.
  • P2P traffic in Europe is declining again.
  • Households with fixed lines in Asia Pacific consume 3 times more data than their US counterparts.
  • Skype is popular, but in Europe mostly.
  • Europeans watch a lot of soccer on the Chinese web tv platform PPLive.

Facts are facts, especially when the data can be measured, as in this case.

But it is more interesting of course to ask the right questions.

  • Why are Europeans more active browsing the web then Americans?
  • Is the US web turning into a sort of new TV?
  • Are anti download policies and actions really paying off for content industries in Europe?

What happened?

September 9, 2010

I started this blog last May, almost a year after the Chicago meeting of newspaper publishers discussing the common need for paid content models, because nothing seemed to happen and I wanted to keep an eye on things. Blogging forces me to keep up my research and check out the best sources and thinkers on a more regular basis than I used to do. And it is, I must confess, lots of fun and very satisfying to write and post. Thanks to Peter Bogaards for telling me to just do it!

I gave my view on the necessity to pay creators of original content several times. The reason for my point of view is very simple and old fashioned. If people have a talent and devote a lot of time, love and energy to create something, it should be rewarding from a financial point of view as well.  At least the creators should have the possibility to make some money. It should not be common practice to be not paid or be ripped of. The creators are doing all the hard work. If creators want producers to handle it for them, OK, that’s their decision. If creators want to give away their creations for free, it’s up to them as well. Fashionable terms like ‘ information economy, knowledge economy and creative industries’ quite simply can not function properly without the basic notions, concepts and laws of economics. The same applies for people who have experience and knowledge. As a self employed consultant I all too often must experience the expectation of potential clients that I will tell them what’s happening and what the future might bring for free. Like I could buy a pair of jeans, without paying.

Of course I like the concept of sharing, the open source movement and the basic notion that information wants to be free. But that’s up to the creator(s). Not to the (mis) users.

In my blogs I shared my belief that the iPad would turn out to become a catalyst and a turning point in the road to the acceptance of paid content. Just like the iPod was for music. I am sure it will take more time than with music and that we need more compelling forms of content in the long and bumpy road to paid content, but I take my hat off for Steve Jobs and his fellow workers. Again and again!

What happened since May?

  • The iPad became an overnight success.
  • Lots of other tablets have been announced and the first competitors will be launched before the end of this month.
  • A new breed of startups became operational and pretty well funded.
  • Some of these tablets, applications and companies are stunning!
  • The first well established newspapers announced they will put up paywalls, move to tablets and eventually stop using paper.
  • The first experiments with new forms of interactive content became available. Most were boring copies of websites and paper issues, some however were very inspiring, new and fresh forms of rich, enhanced content.
  • All the big players are moving forward aggressively on this new frontier.
  • The search for new business models continues.
  • Paid content made a few baby steps. 

At least in the US and UK. In my own country the mantra seems to be: wait and see. But we all read English anyway;-)

May the Force be with you

September 2, 2010

It has been a bit quiet and I have not been blogging as regular as I normally do. The reason is simple. Too much going on to sit down and think. Too much information. All big players were very active. Murdoch embraced the iPad. GOOG announced new services almost every week. Advertising seemed to be on the rise again. Many announcements of launches for tablets were made. Nokia is trying to catch up. Bookpublishers around the world are counting ereaders sold. iMagazines pushed.

Apple’s show is now behind us, I finished analyzing all the moves GOOG made recently and is planning to make in the coming weeks, I cleared a few bookshelves and I am beginning to get a clue. Myopia on my part, so to speak.

It is not the natural desire to make a profit while producing original content that has been the main driver of the changes. The very fast and enormous growth of the use of social media sure is a trend, but it is not the dominant one. And of course almost every company wants to copy Apple, and markets will become flooded with tablets and smartphones. It is neither the rapid powershift in the converging economic sectors IT, Telco and Media towards content.

It is all of it combined. And all of it happens real-time. A time when the impact of all economic and financial crises all around us are still unclear to most of us. It is all about power and money.

Good luck in the new season!