Results tagged “monetisation”
March 4, 2013
I would never decry any service as worthless. There are people who have caught mass attention via Tumblr, and sold great piles of things as a result. There's a use for everything, and an exception to every rule. The exceptions are the reasons that others try. But Tumblr sets the bar of success incredibly low. The payout will almost always be zero. Not beer money, nothing.
Just because somewhere is the easy place to get attention doesn't mean it's the right place...
(One of John's sketches made an appearance on this blog a long time ago...)
February 25, 2013
My, my. It's been an interesting few days for web publishers, hasn't it?
Interflora's Search Death
First of all, Google wiped Interflora from the search rankings:
Searching for the terms [Flowers], [florist], [flower delivery], [flowers online] and hundreds of other related search terms yielded the interflora.co.uk domain in first place – until yesterday afternoon. Now the website does not even appear for its own brand name:
Eeek! There's some suggestion that because it was using blogger gifts to garner links, it was penalised for that. However, at least one commenter suggests that it was involved in more direct paid linking:
I have to say at this point that I know quite a few bloggers who posted the interflora links and it wasn’t in return for flowers or products but paid for links from a rather well known SEO company… Totally against Googles t’s and c’s – to be honest the bloggers themselves could jepordise their own pageranks of they don’t remove the links too.
Punishing Local Papers
That sounds pretty prescient, because it turns out that Interflora had been buying links from local newspaper sites - and they got hammered for it:
David Naylor, a consultant who specializes in search-engine optimization or SEO, described in a post of his own how the Interflora content had broken the rules, and how the company’s own PageRank had declined sharply as a result — and he also noted that the PageRank of the local news websites that posted the content hadn’t just declined, but had actually dropped to zero. According to Naylor, such a massive drop for a single infraction is unusual.
What's telling is one of the comments:
So Google created a currency and is now pissed that people/entities trade it between themselves, am I getting this right?
No, she isn't. What people seem to be struggling with is what links actually represent to Google.
A link is a vote
The core innovation at the heart of PageRank - Google's system for assessing a page's relevance and importance - was that every link to that page can be counted as a vote for that page. The more votes, the better the page. If someone is taking the time or trouble to link to it, it indicates at least some level of significance.
The SEO profession tends to obscure that truth – intentionally or not – by use of the words "backlinks". Take that jargon out, and put the word "votes" in, and you see how this becomes uncomfortable. You're not buying or selling "backlinks", you're buying and selling votes. Feel comfortable about that?
From Google's point of view, people buying their way to the top of search rankings is a problem. It means that content which people don't feel is important enough to link to in the general run of things is placing higher than things which people do feel is good. That's undermining their core search business - so no wonder they're penalising it harshly. People want the best results from their search engines - or they'll go elsewhere. If you think your content is the best, but no-one's linking to it, you need to figure out if your assessment of content quality is wrong, or if you're so disengaged from the rest of the web that no-one thinks to link to you. (And this is where a decent SEO consultant can help you.)
You can't sell what you don't own
Your PageRank - and you ability to convey benefit to someone else's site via a link - isn't yours. You don't own it, and can't sell it. It's just Google's opinion of your site's worth. It's more akin to a credit rating than anything else - and try selling your credit rating and see what happens to you then…
Here's what you should bear in mind: you can sell the attention of your readers to others. You can sell the chance of traffic from your site to them. You just can't convey search benefit to them when you do so. That's why Google has guidance about using nofollow on those links.
If your bothered by that, think about this the next time you do a Google search - do you want the best result back, or just the one that someone has paid the most to get there?
Sarah from journalism.co.uk has been looking into this as well…
January 23, 2013
Andrew Sullivan isn't some pajama-clad mouth-breather toiling away in his mother's basement. He's an industry veteran who edited The New Republic before the word "blog" even existed.
David, 2003 called - it wants its anti-blogger insults back. Somehow Sarah Lacy has found the world's last person who believes in that stereotype, and allows him to write on her blog. The irony is somewhat tasty.
Incidentally, I signed up for The Dish's paywall immediately. Sullivan's blogging has been an inspiration to me for over a decade.
October 25, 2012
Firstly, let's talk money. I assume you are being paid at The Daily Planet? You are? Well being a blogger is slightly different. As a blogger, you are expected to eat your "raised profile" sleep under "increased traffic" and wear "more followers".
She has a point - I doubt even Supes can build a profitable blog at super speed. Perhaps he'll have to do it the Pete Cashmore way, and run it from his parents' basement in Smallville...
September 20, 2012
IFTTT CEO Linden Tibbets:
In recent weeks, Twitter announced policy changes* that will affect how applications and users like yourself can interact with Twitter's data. As a result of these changes, on September 27th we will be removing all Twitter Triggers, disabling your ability to push tweets to places like email, Evernote and Facebook. All Personal and Shared Recipes using a Twitter Trigger will also be removed.
I don't think anyone objects to the idea of Twitter going in search of a business model. Seeking to make that work by progressively making the service less and less useful to a subset of their users while chasing the mainstream seems like an odd decision to me.
Remember when TV shows had links to AOL keywords or MySpace pages on-screen? The mainstream is fickle, Twitter. You may live to regret this.
August 21, 2012
We’ve seen traditional publishers we applaud for beautifully designed print publications throw out their own rulebook for their web-based versions. High-end design, it seems, has been viewed as incompatible with amassing the glut of page views and ad impressions, required for commercial viability. And the more banner ad inventory prices have fallen, the greater the motivation to find ever more ways to push more ads to readers including such horrible tactics as the auto-refresh.
Thankfully, that trend is slowly reversing. A clean, uncluttered site is becoming a mark of quality - and people will pay more to be associated with that.
[hat-tip: Say Media]
June 14, 2012
Andrew Grill, talking about Skype's plans for in-call advertising:
"highlight unique and local brand experiences"- what?? Humans don't speak like this to to other humans. This is ad speak.
There is a clear phenomenon where people get so embedded in marketing and sales that they lose touch with normal humanity, and come to serve the abstract gods of marketing objectives. I am reminded of a marketing-written proposal for a mobile app I saw once, that required the user to go through two pages of data capture before they could start using it. Serves marketing goals, no sense of what humans actually do, doomed to failure.
Or, of course, this could just be Microsoft brining its "magic touch" to Skype. I fear for Yammer.
March 12, 2012
The internet has suddenly opened up new opportunities in archive content. Here's a few examples I've collected over the last few months:
- The New York Times has a Tumblr focused on its archive photos
- Marks & Spencer is using its archive of lingerie images on its social site
- Country Life is doing wonders with its photo archive (like this set of Eltham Palace images, found via Fur Coat & No Knickers)
- Vogue has a very serious business model for its archive content.
Around a decade or so ago, a new editor on a magazine I was working on pretty much binned the whole archive of photos the magazine had. Anything over three years old? Gone. Decades of built environments images swept away.
That's the sort of short-sighted, now-focused thinking that's crippling so many publishing organisations. For all our obsession with news and the latest thing, people have both a passion and, often, good business reasons for being interested in the past of an industry.
What value lies in your archives?
February 3, 2012
Alex Watson, head of app development, Dennis
Apple's Newsstand is a retail environment. Prior to it, you were just another app in the App Store. It is more of a retail shopping experience than we're used to with the rest of the web. $400,000 in consumer revenue since the launch of Newsstand. 17 titles, after the Apple cut and VAT. BUT - people want free samples, and the download costs of millions of free issues is expensive. They were over-whelmed by technical support from the start. iOS users expect bullet-proof reliability - and they expect platform-specific features and big production qualities. You will be judged against Flipboard - and it took more in VC than Dennis did in revenue last year.
Also, advertisers are very sceptical of "page turners" - PDF replicas of your magazine. Dennis's approach was a mix of quality and quality. Pretty much all their titles are on newsstand, bar those that there are content issues with Apple (Poker, alternative lifestyle). Some development of their own, some off the shelf solutions. They're using Pixelmags for the page-turners. (and The Week is PugPig-based).
Don't get carried away with the short term success of page-turners. $16,000 in revenue, 47k app download, no extra ad revenue.
The dedicated iOS designed one? 53k app download, $100,000 revenue plus advertising... Quality pays off here.
Next steps? Apple will sell more of these devices. People expect Newsstand. People will accept page-turners, but quality pays off.
Newsstand: Good for publishers, Apple and your users. But always think of your users.
Tom Standage, digital editor, The Economist
Not a magazine about economics - an attempt to be a weekly newspaper for the world. They're growing both print and digital circulations. 300k people using the app every week. One third of the print readers are using the app regularly. "digital is not a zero-sum game". The main reason people cancel the subscription is because they can't keep up with the issues coming through. With digital editions, they can consume the magazine in new ways - the audio edition, for example. You can listen to it while jogging, you can read it on an iPhone, you can read it on an iPad. Great for customer retention. They're encouraging people to think they're subscribing to a weekly bundle of content, not to a magazine.
77% of digital subscribers are new to The Economist. 12% are lapsed print subscribers. The Kindle? A bookshop in your bag. People carry it around,a nd pay for content. iOS users are happy to pap for apps. There's more opportunity here than there is on the web. Finishability is important - the catharsis of getting to the end of the magazine. The web has no end. Readers are creatures of habit, and they like to read at specific times of the week. It's lean-back 2.0. The iPad app is read for long periods. Most people spend between and hour and and hour and a half.
One the web? Metered paywall - essential for sharing on social media. 5 story a week meter. Search referrals went up. Really promising model - works well for them. You need to know who your readers are to get a good print/digital synergy going.
Chris Newell, Impulse Pay
If you get the "Buy Now" barrier wrong, you'll get low conversion rates. The average credit card takes 120 keystrokes to do a transaction. So their solution adds the cost to the mobile phone bill. Claims 50% conversion rate increase over PayPal. You get paid after 45 days, and get paid at least 75% of the tariff amount.
Francois Nel, researcher and academic
Alchemy of business models. Alchemists have a bad reputation. Most were well-meaning intelligent scientists. They were experimenting to find ways of changing elements. So it is with business model innovators. Can we find some underlying principles?
The key is reciprocity.
Sharing is caring - a key principle of personal AND business relationships. The core part of all business is the ability to give something back. Claude Lévi-Strauss's ideas: human beings are wired to follow rules, and reciprocity is the simplest way to create these rules that bind us together.
Media executives are planning on concentrating on new products and streamlining workflows. Write once, publish many - but with fewer people. The top five opportunities are about social, local, mobile - solomo. Media executives are smart - but at what price? To paywall or not to paywall is not a very sophisticated way of framing the discussion. We've always had different value propositions at different price points.
Business models are not just revenue - they're a way of thinking. Daily Mail - down 4.63% in print. One of the lowest declines. Online? Up 58.89%. Meteoric! The upshot is that they're making £75m profit. The Guardian is down 14.10% in print. Up 31.45% online. Huge amount of time and money on social, leaders on Facebook with their app. Operating loss is £55m. The Guardian's output is admirable, but we have to ask ourselves where the revenue is.
The Mail app is free for 60 days. No integrated newsroom - separate teams for the two products. News agenda is different. The digital staff is small. They supplement the newspaper with the digital channel. The Guardian is offering you a substitute. One is a complementary strategy, one is a displacement/cannibalisation strategy.
But - new Guardian Facebook app. All the content. Is is complementary or cannibalisation? Facebook advertising doesn't belong to The Guardian. There's not a lot of love going back there...
We need to grow up. Users will start to understand the need for reciprocity in online relationships.
"So what?" asks the audience. There are lots of ways the audience can give back - money, data... We can't build sustainable relationship by only giving or only taking. There's plenty of money online - just because we're not looking for it in the right places, doesn't it mean it's not there.
And the panel erupts into debate. Is The Guardian's model based on a Britain-only assumption? Do they need to cut journalism costs, as well as up their revenue? The Telegraph once made an offer for paper for a year and a huge discount. Yes, it got the guy fired who came up with idea - but it captured a huge database of readers, which was hugely valuable.
Will people realise that if they don't pay, these things they like will go away? Nel returns to the idea of growing up. Pity - a panel that started well ended up on "how do we save The Guardian?". There are bigger issues than that.
January 26, 2012
UK magazine publisher Future made $1 million in new tablet magazine revenue within a month of debuting 65 of its titles on iTunes' Newsstand
January 9, 2012
Interesting look at paywalls this morning from Frédéric Filloux on Monday Note. He analyses the reasons for the successes of the Financial Times and New York Times "progressive paywalls", and makes some good observations about what it takes to make these sorts of things work, for example:
Both are working hard at converting readers to the digital paid-for model. The FT is heading full steam into digital, furiously data-mining its 4 million subscribers base to convert them into paid-for subscribers (250,000 according to the most recent count).
But his overall conclusion is one I agree with strongly but which many don't want to hear, I suspect:
Of these three factors, the uniqueness of content remains the most potent one. With the inflation of aggregators and of social reading habits, the natural replication of information has turned into an overwhelming flood. Then, the production of specific content -- and its protection -- becomes a key element in building value.
I was involved in a significant amount of work in my final year at RBI looking at exactly what kinds of content people will pay for, through what mechanism, and how to create more of it. Uniqueness was certainly one key factor - as was the amount of business value that investment returns to the reader, which is exactly why the FT does so well.
December 9, 2011
1. Your talents emerge young, so follow your passions...
Sometimes entrepreneurship starts young. Bill Gross, Founder & CEO, Idealab was 12 when he started running candy arbitrage on his street, buying sweets in one place cheaper than the prevailing price, and then selling them at a profit, while undercutting the local shop. I started publishing a newspaper for the kids on my street when I was eight... Working at something you're passionate about makes a huge difference.
2. Mobile is replacing the web
Forester's research shows that more and more customers are choosing apps over the website of online retailers, according to George Colony, Chairman & CEO, Forrester Research. 45% of the companies are taking money from the web to apps. Bear in mind that the web is not the same thing as the internet. The web will be replaced just as other services have been before.
3. Context + Social Data = Useful Analysis
Is Twitter chatter around an event or a TV show just noise? Is it media? Or is it one of the best research tools you have? Take a wild guess...
4. Sometimes simple applications of technology fund more interesting research
5. A grown man in bunny ears is very distracting
I have no idea at all what that demo was about...
December 8, 2011
A panel discussion the changes in media wrought by the latest technology, moderated by Thomas Crampton. Not surprisingly, Paul-François Fournier, Executive Vice President, Orange Technocentre defines media as, essentially, businesses that produce content, which is a pretty broad definition. Brad Garlinghouse, President, Consumer Applications & Commerce Group, AOL thinks that keeping traditional media away from the innovative, digital media is vital to stop new efforts being crushed.
Is Techmeme media? Gabe Rivera, Founder & CEO, thinks it is, even though they don't write any of the content. The term "media" is overused, he suggests. When people say "media" they almost always think of broadcast media of various sorts. Bruno Patino, Senior Executive Vice President, Strategy Digital Director, France Télévisions Group & France 5 talks about the evolution of television and people start constructing social conversations online around TV shows as they watch them. This represents a loss of control for the media; they're still in the game, they just don't control it any more. And that's not a bad thing. It maximises the experience.
Rivera suggests that most social media isn't really integrated with existing media, just sort of bolted on the end. Very often tweets are just amplification or repetition. Fournier points out that media is changing on multiple fronts. TV is evolving into the multi-screen experience. Other media is now being published through social networks. There is lots of experimentation, and there will be failures and successes we learn from.
Patino argues that people don't "deliver" the news any more, you give up control of your news when you publish it, and people will absurd it into their networks. The context in which we are telling stories is changing.
Crampton moves on the conversation from social to local. Social is about scale; local is the response. Garlinghouse reminds us that traditional media has struggled to fund local coverage for decades. Patch is AOL's attempt to reverse that - targeted at areas of around 50,000 to 80,000 people. But he thinks Twitter is garbage - or at least he says as much before he starts back-peddling, throwing out the world platform instead. He thinks there's a huge opportunity at the intersection of the social graph, the interest graph and the local graph. Crampton challenges the sustainability of the Patch model, and Garlinghouse says that the experiment will play out over the next few years. Some Patch sites are already profitable.
Scaleability is the key question, says Patino. We used to call local 500k to 600k. That's not local on the web. The ground is changing everywhere, so the old volume business model just breaks.
Alexia Tsotsis from Techcrunch challenges the relevancy of local media. Patch is at about 10m uniques in 18 months - but it's clearly a challenge, says Garlinghouse. But to say that local community is irrelevant is short-sighted at the very least. Patino thinks that we have to find a solution, so that local powers continue to be monitored. But Rivera wouldn't do a local site. There are plenty already - and by definition, there isn't much to aggregate and filter. The abundance just isn't there. Garlinghouse points out that stories of national importance can start in local areas - it's something like citizen journalism curated. The question is: are local merchants interested enough to advertise on the platform?
Is mobile passing the desktop for media yet Probably not, says Rivera. However Twitter says that over 50% of its activity is on mobile, and it's over 30% for Facebook. Garlinghouse would like to see more customisation of news experience based on your social, mobile and interest graphs. Patino certainly thinks mobile is the new frontier for TV and very important. They're looking at iPhone and iPad appellations that allow you to catch up with, and share, TV. And Fournier suggests their DailyMotion deal was driven by similar considerations.
November 1, 2011
October 27, 2011
Given the eye-popping sales of the iPad, people are inclined to wonder out loud if tablets will "save" journalism. Wrong question. No platform or technology will "save" anything which depends so completely on the content and how good or bad it is.
August 27, 2011
What perhaps we need is for all the warring media factions to lay down their arms. Instead of The Times vainly pursuing online subscribers while its competitors watch it haemorrhage the kind of money only the Murdochs of this world have, why don’t the media bosses agree to simultaneously put up paywalls or micropayment systems? Picture the scene: 1 January 2012 and the country wakes up in a collective hangover, makes its way online to find pictures of Boris Johnson drunkenly swimming in the Trafalgar Square fountains from the night before. Sixty million muggy-headed readers scrabble for their credit cards and a new media landscape emerges.
- Look up the word "cartel"
- Believe it or not, the traditional media aren't the only people publishing on the web
Why do so many journalists find it hard to see the world beyond the traditional media?
August 23, 2011
http://t.co/sgyYTFF latest coal analysis from our new coal editor Manca Vitorino
Sorry, Katie, but it made me chuckle when I saw it. ;-)
Actually, joking aside, if you actually click through and read the link, you'll find the sort of in-depth analysis and reporting of something that actually matters - our power supplies - that make it clear why people are prepared to pay online for the work that the ICIS team do.
Knowledge, research, insight, analysis: these things makes paywalls work.
July 1, 2011
It's the tail end of the day, and I'm just emerging from a long meeting with my boss. It was a good meeting, but I'm tired and ready for a weekend.
And then reception calls. A very puzzled security guy tells me there's someone down there with some "pastries" for me. Uh, what?
As it happens, this:
Cupcakes. Cupcakes spelling out 100,000 in fact. And why's that?
Well, The Times paywall has crossed the 100,000 paying subscribers threshold. And understandably, they're celebrating. And they appear to be sending people who've written about it some cupcakes. Which is nice.
And, yes, this is something to celebrate. I have some issues with The Times approach, and some things I like. I can't be a paywall-sceptic, because I work for a business that makes money off them. But, in a more positive vein, I am in favour of business model experimentation, and some stuff they've done is really quite smart. So, in a spirit of celebration and experimentation, I'm about to stuff my face with a cupcake or two.
If you want more cogent analysis of the news, can I refer you to George Brock?
June 14, 2011
I'm having a bit of a ho-hum day at the Mobile Media Strategies event - my gut feeling is that I'm the wrong audience for the conference. It feels more like a conference for very senior level executives who kinda know that mobile is important, but want to be brought up to speed, rather than the mid-level do-ers, who are living and breathing mobile already. The fact there's far more paper notetaking, and a general paucity of mobile devices in use (see pic, right) suggests that my assessment is correct.
There have been some fair points - Ilicco Elia's point that not having a mobile optimised site right now is a huge fail is spot-on, as was Justin Moodie from Dorling Kindersley's exhortation to experiment and learn, as there's no established wisdom in this space to call on.
The Economist's Tom Standage made some interesting points - they have a strict limits on how many pages that the magazine carries, simply because of the readers' time limitation. They are (essentially) doing curation and aggregation for things you don't yet know that you wnat to know. They are selling the feeling of being "informed" - which a website never gives - you never get the catharsis of finishing the weeks' news. And that's a good reason for encapsulation on a mobile device.
I wasn't so keen on his focus on the integrated subscription - it's a very publisher-centric model, that actually disrespects the desires of the customer. Still, he was arguing for a strategy that was selling access to the content as a package, and allows you to access in in any way, rather than buying access to a particular channel. I'm not sure that mindset is prevalent amongst consumers, but they've had over 2m downloads, and 650,000 uniques devices using their content
weekly monthly, 50% of which are paying subscribers. 20% of their circulation are using the apps - and the same number again are trying them out on mobile devices.
May 17, 2011
Warning: Liveblogging. Here be inaccuracy, errors and typos
How similar are the Union Flag and the Tricolore? Both flags...
Bike and a ball? Not very. Expcept, they're both things people buy for their kids.
This is the problem data has right now. Measurable quantities are important, but easy and limited. Characteristics like brand held. But you also need to understand product categories.
You CANNOT handle all of the data out there. If you want to do things in real time, you have to choose the data you work with. Item to item? If one person bought a bike and protectors, you can recommend protectors to someone who buys a bike. But if they bought the bike for a performing monkey, and also bought bananas, you're going to get strange results.
So, you use social demographics, because people who share characteristics, tend to share habits. But not completely - would you recommend AC/DC to a mid-40s above average income guy (uh, probably :) )
All of this standard targeting is limited.
So... social media marketing. All friends! Similar likes! Except... grandma is a friend on Facebook. Very different tastes...
So...consumer action mining - similar customers who are interested in the same things. Segment all you customers into groups, without throwing away information. And algorithm based on the physics of complex systems. Physicists laugh at us - because they deal with way more data than we do.
We do data mining on the actions of your consumers - might be buying, might be surfing pages, might be listening to a track or playing a game. All good. All interesting. People have many dimensions. If we show the consumer something, and he doesn't click on it - we need to capture that. We need negative events, too.
What you need:
- raw data and anonymised data
- unique user ID, unique event ID
- 3 events per user
He gave us an example of four groups of users - who all looked the same. They had to go deeper to sub-categories of activities before they were able to spot differentiation. He seems to be suggesting a lot of pre-calculation, that allows you to match event tracks in real time to particular people.
Claus Moseholm, goviral
Let's talk video.
The audience is about engagement. You want them to spend time on your video, to engage with you. It's not about click through to an e-shopping page, it's about building emotional ties. Traditionally, we focused on the success of click-through - and the rates of click-through have been dropping almost since the internet began. So, there's been a shift from destination to distribution as a central plank of thinking. Video both gives you the opportunity to tell a story and gives you better click rates - but that's on the "play" button.
Media are shifting display and TV budgets into online and viral video. Your moving beyond brand awareness into engagement. CPM is giving way to CPE - cost per engagement or view.
Afterwards? Sure, you can put a click through there, but many people use that space for interactive overlays and other experiences at the end of the video. It's about persuading them that they want to spend time with us. Rates of people doing follow up actions after a video are going UP. <-- interesting.
However, engagement drops with video length - the median seems to be just under a minute, according to a graph he showed. Keep it short.
Ciaran O'Kane of exchangewire.com gave a quick update on what publishers are doing with modern ad models. Most interesting idea: Could publishers become media agencies? If they're inventory limited, could they start selling those extra ads on, using their own data and the trading platforms?
Wolf Allisat of ComScore is "the antichrist of clicks". He goes around telling people that clicks are the wrong thing to measure. Click-through rates on online ads. 0.11% click through in any month. People try to make up for this with volume. And we could, for a while, when growth rates were 200%. Clever advertisers are buying loads of PPC ads, because they get all the brand awareness with none of the costs... Publishers should change their models right now.
And who are the people were clicking? 62% of clicks from 3% of the internet audience... Do you really want those people?
Significant branding CAN be achieved, according to comScore research. It drives sales - and the offline lift is higher (!) than the online lift.