RJI links 3.16.12

By Brian Steffens on March 16, 2012 0 Comments Ideas

Are national paywalls the future of online news?
Slovakian online news sites have seen an increase in profit without a drop in traffic after the implementation of a flat rate paywall for all major news sites in the country. Is this type of national paywall a preview of the future?

10 newspapers that are finding success
Editor & Publisher
took reader suggestions of newspapers that have found unique ways to maintain success in a difficult economic climate. They profile ten of the most interesting success stories here.

Digital coupons are the new digital ads
While digital ad sales are still up by a small percentage, the use of digital coupon pages increased by 30.7% and coupon events increased by 40.4% in 2011.

Paid-for content will form majority of Financial Times’ annual revenue
Rob Grimshaw, the managing director of the Financial Times announced that paid-for content will overtake advertising as the company’s primary source of revenue in 2011. Grimshaw also announced FT’s plan that mobile would become the main form of news distribution.

Promising paywall models for the future
Around 20% of U.S. daily newspapers will have some form of paywall implemented by the end of this year, a trend that received even more attention after the nation’s third largest newspaper site, the Los Angeles Times, went paid this week. Nieman Lab looks at some of the most promising paywall models to date.

Digital Ads Gain Won’t Offset Print Ads Losses
According to the experts at eMarketer, U.S. spending on print newspaper ads will keep dipping in 2012 after years of dramatic declines, while digital ads sales are expected to rising sharply. eMarketer predicts that this situation will last in the future and the continued decline of print ads will still outweigh digital gains.

Hearst paper plans for major revenue increase
A new sales and marketing initiative has the Dallas Morning News planning for a $20 million increase in annual revenue by 2014. Along with other Hearst companies, they plan to work with services offered from LocalEdge apps.

Profits decrease, daily deals and paid content increase
Trinity Mirror is another example of newspapers turning to daily deals and tablet payments because their profits are shrinking. “Happli” is expected to bring annual revenue of £20 million by 2014.

Social media engagment

Digital editions aren’t just hijacking print readers
A magazine exec panel at this week’s SXSW event in Austin discussed the opportunities for audience growth for tablet editions, as well as keys to personalization and user experience.

Facts About Paid Content Model
How are newspapers doing with the paid-content model? The study conducted by the Project on Excellence in Journalism revealed detailed facts about the revenue situations under this new model. All newspapers prefer meters to full paywalls. And 90 percent of the media are charging more from print subscribers, although the print subscribe fee is still much lower than digital-only access fee.

Reframing the conversation about hyperlocal sites
While the death of hyperlocal sites is exaggerated, almost half of the local sites in J-Lab’s community news database are now inactive. A SXSW panel discussed the need to reshape the conversation on hyperlocal.

Prep sports getting increased playing time in news coverage
All but the largest markets are seeing significant increases in high school sports coverage, which is helping to distinguish their sports blocks from big-name channels like ESPN. Stations are also boosting on-air broadcasts with interactive websites.

The benefits of SEO for breaking news
Although search engine optimization has traditionally been used for evergreen keywords, a new study by software developer Optify suggests it can be extremely helpful for breaking news stories as well. The survey results explain how companies can use SEO to improve breaking news story rankings.

Patch: One former employee’s reflections on AOL’s hyperlocal experiment
In the wake of massive employee cuts nationwide, one former AOL Patch editor (who resigned) reflects on the potential and failures of the hyperlocal experiment, concluding that it provides some hope for hyperlocal in the future.

Take advantage of the Pinterest ‘abuse’
With the newest player to the game, Pinterest, taking eyeballs off of other social media sites, media owners are urged to take advantage of this tool. A new level of engagement is at stake including adding more visuals to your site, tapping the women demographic, and taking each story further.

Headline writing will always be important
Old school ways tell us that to get readers to click and read more, headlines need to be considered before something is posted. Especially with the rise of social media, this context is even more important as ‘instagram is killing storytelling.’

New real-time insights will drive engagement to Facebook
Facebook will launch its real-time version of Page Insights which is aimed to drive immediate action. Insights will not only help brands to attract more access and engagement, but also provides immediate updated information about what content or what types of interactions people prefer.


Top techniques for digital media writing
Writers usually have a specific style that characterizes their print writing – but a challenge for authors trying to make the switch to digital is putting that style on hold until all the right visual and informational elements are in place. Here’s a guide to key principles of digital media writing.

What do users want from tablet editions?
Top digital executives Liz Schimel and Chris Wilkes, of Meredith National Media and Hearst Magazines, sat down with eMedia to talk about what readers of tablet editions are looking for in their digital magazines.

Touch applications increase need for intuitive design
As the popularity of “tap-worthy” mobile and tablet apps increases, so does the need to make them user friendly and simplified. Global Moxie’s Josh Clark discussed his new model of application design at SXSW.

Paypal enters the mobile payments market
Paypal plans to announce a new mobile payments service for small businesses. It faces tough competition in the established mobile payment provider Square, but perhaps its most difficult competition is consumers’ perceived fears about security.

Will the new iPad display challenge the Magazine Model?
A complaint users have long had about tablet editions of magazines is the large file size. With the doubled pixel density and resolution of the new iPad, will magazines begin to unbundle their content?

How to shoot news with a smartphone
Journalists can now gather news on-the-go with the high resolutions and quality of smartphone cameras. Advancing the Story offers some tips on how to get the best video for a story using a smartphone.

Free Chicago tabloid tests digital market with $1.99 tablet edition
Chicago area tabloid RedEye has just launched their first digital edition, a native app that charges a $1.99 per month subscription fee. The tabloid, which is free on the streets, will test whether readers are willing to pay a small fee for a digital version of the free content.

Are tablets outdoing e-readers?
If you take a look at shipment rates and numbers, the answer is yes. However, it is too early to tell with only three months worth of data if these new e-ink devices are quickly taking over.

Angry Birds starts a custom publishing business
The tablet newspaper, The Daily, is releasing a new Angry Bird app. The real purpose of it is getting the newspaper into the custom publishing business, which, as the News Corp. execs said, would bring more revenue without more costs.

Business models

Vox Media raises $17 million as they grow their digital empire
Vox Media, owners of the SB Nation sports blog network, tech news site The Verge, and new gaming news outlet Vox Games, have raised $17 million in their latest fundraising round. The company is expanding quickly and hiring several experienced writers in the process.

Village Soup closes all operations effective immediately
Village Net Media announced March 9th the company would shut down all operations except ones necessary to complete the closure process immediately. The company operated four weeklies and a monthly in New England.

The ethics of aggregation
The increasing popularity of aggregating online content has led to disgruntled writers who feel their pieces aren’t given proper attribution by the major sites that use their content. Simon Dumenco of Ad Age has formed a council to develop a code of conduct for attribution.

Media Camp: New Program to Promote Media-Focused Startups
Turner Broadcasting has launched a new accelerator program “Media Camp,” which is designed to help early-stage media-focused startups. The article explains how this 12-week program works and its benefits.

NYT Joins Knight-Mozilla OpenNews Program
The New York Times, along with Propublica, Spiegel Online and La Nacion are joining the Knight-Mozilla OpenNews fellowship program. Four news organizations including BBC, the Guardian, Zeit Online, The Boston Globe and Al Jazeera English will spend a year working with these reporters and developers. The editor of interactive news at the Times Aron Pilhofer said this program will enable them to dig deep on a subject of critical importance and enhance the impact of journalism.

Chicago ad network changes things up to cater to agencies
The Chicago Independent Advertising Network began with 15 partner sites, but after discussions with local advertisers and agencies, says it now needs “dozens upon dozens” of new partners to provide a product agencies want.

Don’t write for free: one author’s take on online publishing
John R. MacArthur, a publisher of Harper’s Magazine, recently wrote an essay on the need for writers to demand their work is protected by at least some sort of paywall – even blogs. He explains further in this essay.

Village Soup: Hyperlocal Modal Proves Not Successful As Expected
Village NetMedia’s newspapers and their related websites were shut down late Friday, which showed a declining trend of the print/online hybrid strategy. The owner Richard Anderson said the closure is due to the profound changes in the newspaper publishing business, the weak economy and their financial challenges caused by investment on new products.

NewsRight: A Small Step in Market, A Valuable Try in News Aggregation Industry
NewsRight, the news licensing agency launched by the Associated Press and 28 other news organizations, wrapped up its first deal after two months of operation. It will sell electronic news summaries and analysis to a big private company, Moreover Technologies. Along with online paywall plans, this type of licensing deal will be able to provide a big picture of how a news story is playing out and collect royalties from aggregators.

Retail advertising does most business online
Traditional newspapers continually lose revenue to other sources. With over $25 billion in losses of ad industry revenue for newspapers lost in about 5 years, newspapers need to find a way to get back into this mix before its too late.

News organizations are urged to lead by doing
Just knowing that the culture in a newsroom needs to switch to digital is not enough, making the change and showing your employees how to join is the key. Constant communication, reward programs, and other routine changes have to be made in order to keep an entire organization together in the shift.

Students are loyal to campus newspapers
Don’t say “newspapers are going to die” too early. There are some loyal supporters. They are college students, most of who are utilizing their smartphones and tablets. Although the tight education budget pushes campus newspapers to go online, print still rules on college campus. Advertisers are also among the loyal.

A talk about the future of journalism
It is not unusual that the Los Angeles Times follows the paid content trend. But there is more than a switch of business models. A deep discussion at the paper is considering a paid iPad version of the newspaper.


Most people use iPads after office hours
Recent research shows that most consumers view video via their tablets between the hours of 7-11p.m.. This statistic makes sense as people switch from their desktop to tablet screen at home. The study also shows that video viewing perks back up in the early morning hours.

The CMO Survey: Social Media Integration Gap
Duke University’s CMO survey shows a gap in the integration of social media and companies’ marketing strategy. Only 7% respondents think social media are very integrated with their companies’ strategies, while an increasing spending does not affect such integration. The Director of the CMO Survey, Professor Christine Moorman advises that companies could take social media more seriously as an outlet and a more hands-on approach to align it with corporate goals.

Tablet ads expect A boom
The NPD Connected Intelligence research suggested that tablet computers will become more like PCs in function and design, without losing the portability and appeal. The blurred line between tablets and PCs indicates a positive future for advertisers who are preparing for new tablet forms ads.

Benefit for advertisers from Conde Nast: Regular readership reports
Advertisers are getting readership reports of iPad magazines from Conde Nast. The reports provide not only the regular readership of every issue, but also information of access to specific ads. These metrics will be useful for advertisers working on their strategies.

Feedback or suggestions about the RJI Links?
Contact Kelly Peery, communications coordinator peeryk@rjionline.org, 573-882-9650

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