Newspapers Digital First News Summary-7/25/14

DSC_0736Newspapers are maximizing the opportunities within their print audiences while growing digital audiences and engagement to develop a sustainable model for the future. See how newspapers are meeting that challenge including the report on Free Standing Inserts Still Holding Strong For Newspapers

Can Content Pay Its Way Through Social Shares And Tailored Email Newsletters?  Sharewall, as the name implies, gives users access to a site’s content based on how many people they share the stories with.

The Big Question: What is the future of online journalism?  Not long ago, many people thought of digital news as a race to the bottom

Engagement — not content — is key to building stronger media industry, world The time is now for media companies to create innovative digital environments and user experiences that not only encourage readers to engage with our content, but with society as a whole.

Mysterious newspaper carrier saves 5 people from fire Authorities in Texas wish they knew who to thank after a newspaper carrier for the Waxahachie Daily Light alerted residents their house was on fire Saturday.

The digital divide: why we’re underestimating how different the audiences of the future will be Are we underestimating quite how different the audiences of tomorrow will be?

Newspapers can’t merely dabble at digital If you work at a newspaper – or simply care about the health of these important institutions – then you need to read the 90-plus page internal report about how the Times is trying, with less than dazzling success, to retool its culture and business model.

Why Retail Will Face the Same Fate as the Media Industry Taylor Swift might be optimistic about the evolution of the music industry, but the Internet has only spelled troubled for media of all kinds.

Why are so many news organizations still worried about retweets by staffers?  Retweets are endorsements at NPR and AP, but not at NYT

Facebook, Twitter look beyond their own walls for ad revenue Facebook and Twitter are making new friends.

A 1976 Chicago Daily News article foresees electronic newspapers From the article-“This may sound like a futuristic vision straight out of Star Trek, and most of it, indeed, may be several decades away. But most of the technology is available right now for a totally electronic newspaper.”

Engagement doesn’t have to mean clickbait CNN recently named Samantha Barry as its new head of social news.

Free Standing Inserts Still Holding Strong For Newspapers As the push to digitalize many aspects of traditional print media continues, the free-standing insert, or preprint, is holding steady in its original form.

Own the device, own the customer — which publisher will make the first move? Which media company will be the first to follow retailers Amazon and Tesco’s lead to manufacture its own mobile device?

Native advertising: What is it, and why now? I want my ad to go right here,” Jerry Coolman said. He pointed at the middle two columns at the top of the newspaper page — right in the middle of an article. He wanted his ad for lawn tractors to hit readers smack between the eyes

 

 

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Newspapers Digital First News Summary-7/18/14

DSC_0736Newspapers are maximizing the opportunities within their print audiences while growing digital audiences and engagement to develop a sustainable model for the future. See how newspapers are meeting that challenge including the report on Defining the Viewable Impression

Brain research shows print ads have 0.3 seconds to prove their relevance to readers A Dutch study of the brain’s electrical responses to five different types of advertising offers insight into how quickly an ad succeeds or fails.

Gannett shares 5 lessons learned by asking advertisers what they want Gannett asked more than 1,000 decision makers at small- to medium-sized businesses across its national markets what they wanted from a media company.

Total US Ad Spending to See Largest Increase Since 2004 Mobile advertising leads growth; will surpass radio, magazines and newspapers this year.

Defining the Viewable Impression Advertiser Frustration Drove the Push to Standardize This Metric

DNA draws new subscribers with campaign focused on local presence Month-long “Home Grown since 1877” campaign centers on regional connections, reaches out through 4.4 million viewed ads, and brings in new subscribers.

The glass half empty: Has news publishing lost its mojo? And, if so, can publishers reclaim it from third-party vendors by digging into their own Big Data

As mobile ad revenue continues to soar, newspapers still struggle to catch the wave Digital giants like Facebook and Google continue to dominate the category (together more than 50 percent), while newspapers and magazine struggle to offer competitive ad buys on their mobile products.

What if The New York Times Went Weekly?  The leaked “innovation” report from The New York Times that made the rounds in May recommends that the company take more risks, move more quickly and consider radical steps to reinvent itself.

What will be the most dangerous threats to the Internet over the next decade? Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project is out with a report today based on a survey of leaders in information technology.

Advertisers Target Wearable Gadgets as Next Frontier  Even before wearable technology gains widespread popularity, advertising companies are devising ways to deliver marketing messages directly to people who don watches, glasses and headgear that double as computers.

Advertisements prove print can still pack a punch What was the last newspaper advertisement that stopped you in your tracks?

Forecast: This is the year mobile ads explode  It’s set to take off in a major way over the coming months

Why you can no longer expect that the news will find you The power that corporations like Google and Facebook have to influence the digital content you consume means that you shouldn’t necessarily depend on them to surface the things you need to know.

Tampa Bay Times to Distribute USA Today to Tampa Bay Market Starting in November, the Times will distribute about 10,000 copies of the daily print edition of USA TODAY, which publishes Monday through Friday, in Hillsborough, Pasco, Pinellas and Hernando counties.

The UX of homepages: Why do so many look like the front page of a newspaper? Amazon’s website won’t win any design awards but its UX does its job well – it facilitates your journey to the checkout.

 

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Newspapers Digital First News Summary-7/11/14

DSC_0736Newspapers are maximizing the opportunities within their print audiences while growing digital audiences and engagement to develop a sustainable model for the future. See how newspapers are meeting that challenge including the report on how Publishers want in on the content-recommendation game

AJC reorganizes newsroom for digital with topic teams inspired by Quartz’s ‘obsessions’ When Bert Roughton Jr. was tasked 18 months ago with reorganizing the Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s newsroom to better address the newspaper’s digital challenges, he looked outside his own newsroom — and outside the newspaper business — for inspiration.

Celebrating the influential power of the local newspaper What media is more influential to local audiences than the newspaper company? None. Local media associations worldwide are celebrating that fact.

Gallup poll: American confidence in the news media keeps getting lower Just 18 percent of Americans have “a great deal” or “quite a lot” of confidence in the TV news media, while newspapers perform a little better at 22 percent, according to the latest Gallup poll.

An intriguing ‘publishing platform for readers’ An unprecedented collaboration between two leading newspapers and the non-profit Mozilla tech community aims to build a “publishing platform for readers” that could go a long way toward revolutionizing the way we get and give news.

10 steps toward a mobile-focused culture in your media organization Is your news brand still trying to catch up to Google and Facebook in the mobile space? A new report from the American Press Institute offers concrete suggestions for transforming a company’s culture to one that embraces mobile.

USA Today Tries New Way to Keep Readers From Leaving USA Today is trying out a new content discovery tool to keep readers from leaving the site.

Publishers want in on the content-recommendation game  Building an online audience is tough for a publisher to do — if they care about having a reputable brand based on editorial content that people actually want to read and share

Online news more popular, just about, than news in newspapers The latest Ofcom report into how British people consume news shows, unsurprisingly, a rise in the numbers using digital devices.

Media companies: Hoard your data like it’s cash What magical formula did Amazon founder Jeff Bezos take with him to The Washington Post? The power of data — specifically other news brands’ data

Newspapers That Aren’t Dying  There is no “digital first” strategy at 169-20 Hillside Avenue

Mobile app usage hits 51% of all time spent on digital media With users now spending 60 percent of their Internet time on mobile devices — the majority of that within apps — Pandora, Instagram, and Facebook are seeing a surge in mobile use.

That Washington Post deal with local newspapers is generating decent numbers Lab More on the Washington Post’s effort to build its outside-D.C. audience through partnerships with local newspapers around the country

How The New York Times sped up its homepage Async” in this case meaning that ads load asynchronously — that is, a slow ad server is no longer allowed to block the loading of the rest of the page.

Wearables will prompt innovation  Tech giants like Apple, Google and Amazon have all recently rolled out new products and services that will further extend their reach across the consumer mobile landscape.

 

 

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Newspapers Digital First News Summary-7/4/14

DSC_0736Newspapers are maximizing the opportunities within their print audiences while growing digital audiences and engagement to develop a sustainable model for the future. See how newspapers are meeting that challenge including the report on how Attention and Timing Are the New ‘Clicks,’

The Anatomy of a Robot Journalist  It’s probably safe to say that automated journalism has finally gone mainstream — hey it’s only taken close to 40 years

Are you paying too much for the NYT? The New York Times has introduced three new digital subscription tiers in recent months — and added new benefits to others.

Apple predicted to sell ‘iWatch’ to at least 10% of existing iPhone users in 2015 With Apple widely expected to launch a wearable “iWatch” later this year, market watchers have begun to speculate exactly how many wrist-worn devices the company could sell

How Loading Time Affects Your Bottom Line Loading time is a major contributing factor to page abandonment.

Circulation Numbers- Where’s the Sense?” Ever since digital readership came into play, producing accurate and true circulation figures has become something of an exercise in quantum theory.

The NY Times preps new subscription offering The New York Times began testing a new cooking site to a small batch of users last month, and now, its plans to charge for it are starting to take shape.

Publishers Hope Threesome Will Perk Up Newsstand Sales Here’s proof that tough times make for strange bedfellows

The surprising state of digital ad spending in 5 charts Here’s a breakdown of where spending is today, and where it’s going in the next few years.

PC is becoming an “accessory” to mobile  Smartphones will continue to lead the charge in sales of computing devices, with tablets + hybrid laptops a distant second.

Attention and Timing Are the New ‘Clicks,’ As digital analytics have become more powerful, publishers have more choices to make about their content and how to maximize its impact — in readership, social sharing and revenue.

Busting The Time Spent Myth Of particular interest to the media and advertising business is a now-familiar chart which shows the percentage of total media consumption time by consumers compared against the percentage of advertising spending in each of those media

The Page View Just Won’t Die Every few months media types seem to loop back to a familiar question: How to measure media beyond the page view.

 

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Newspapers Digital First News Summary-6/27/14

DSC_0736Newspapers are maximizing the opportunities within their print audiences while growing digital audiences and engagement to develop a sustainable model for the future. See how newspapers are meeting that challenge including the report on Digital publishing metrics: What’s real?

All the opinion that’s fit to print: NYT app and cheaper subscription tier targets op-ed fans  The New York Times has launched a standalone subscription option for just opinion content. NYT Opinion subscribers get full access to op-eds and editorials on the Times website

The Newsonomics of the Orange County Register’s Swerving All Over the Freeway Pity Aaron Kushner’s poor driving instructor. We can easily imagine the then-16-year-old’s driving inclinations as he first took the wheel. Heavy on the gas. Lightning quick on the brakes. The art of the teenage lurch. We’ve all been there — but few of us have gone on to own and run newspapers.

iWatch due in October with iOS 8, curved OLED screen, report says Apple allegedly planning 3-5 million units per month

Want to know what a reader’s reaction is after he or she reads an article or watches a video?  A new annotation platform captures a reader’s reaction instantly with a click of the mouse. Readers can highlight a piece of text or click on an image, then select a reaction, such as “Love it!” “Not sure” or “Great idea!”

Austin-American Statesman activates its digital audience with day pass Cox moves to “One subscription. Total access.” model, enticing 55% of Austin American-Statesman subscribers to go digital and learning many lessons along the way.

Research shows if engagement is what it’s all about, print newspapers deliver A recent media and ad engagement study demonstrates the power of newspaper media. Print editions are the most engaging medium and have the highest advertising engagement, and newspaper Web sites easily outscore the Internet on both media and ad engagement.

The Day gets creative, data-driven about its audience engagement Day Passport programme is one of its strongest reader acquisition tools, putting the data captured to good use growing subscribers.

European newspapers search for ways to survive digital revolution From paywalls to web-only brands, media across the continent are belatedly looking at ways to make money as print sales plummet

News organisations face second wave of disruption  Many traditional news companies are struggling with a second wave of digital innovation that threatens to sweep away the relationships they have enjoyed with readers and viewers for a century or more.

Study Finds Internet Not Killing Newspapers  We all know that the Internet has killed the traditional newspaper trade, right? After all, until the general population started interacting with the web in the mid-90s, the newspaper business was thriving — offering readers top notch journalism and pages of ads.

Parade magazine said to be on the sales block Parade, the Sunday magazine, may be getting ready to march out of Advance Publications — the Newhouse family’s media empire.

Global digital news audience increased by 23% in 2013  According to the World Press Trends report, more people are reading the news than ever before – but news outlets need to improve audience engagement to make their businesses sustainable

Only about 10 percent of online readers pay for news Despite news organizations’ efforts to offer readers more ways to pay for digital news, only about 10 percent of online users worldwide are actually paying,

Indianapolis Star publisher: ‘We are not simply a newspaper company anymore’  The Indianapolis Star is moving to new offices in a downtown mall Sept. 8., leaving a building it has “called home for more than 100 years,

Digital publishing metrics: What’s real? The ecstasy of digital publishing is that it enables the granular measurement of everything from traffic to ad clicks. The agony is trying to figure out which metrics matter.

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Digital Subscription Growth-Four Engagement Initiatives

In my last post (Digital Subscription Growth-Engagement is the Key), I wrote about how higher levels of engagement ultimately lead to more sales. More page consumption equals more readers hitting the stop lightbox, which leads to higher conversion rates.

So how do you increase the level of engagement? What are the basic engagement strategies to implement or improvements to encourage more content consumption and more conversions?

In the end, answering that question is going to determine the level of success we experience. Reducing the maximum number of page views allowed, putting more content behind the meter, marketing aggressively and having the right pricing strategy are all critical parts of making a digital subscription strategy flourish.  But getting readers to stay longer and consume more content, obviously enjoying the experience and finding significant value in it, is the make it or break it part. We can do everything else perfectly and still miss the mark by not developing higher value content for our readers. High enough that they pull out their wallets and buy.

Data makes the importance of higher engagement levels crystal clear for me. While many in our company (including me) track the number of unique visitors that come to our websites (along with a multitude of other metrics-pageviews, time on site, return visits, platform type and much more), I track the number of uniques that see a stop light box and how many convert to a subscriber. The first time you see how few visitors consume enough content to actually fire a stop lightbox each month… is unnerving and is an issue for almost all newspaper websites.

For me, the guy charged with growing digital subscriptions, it makes the importance of higher engagement levels soberingly clear. So what do we do? What are initiatives we need to focus on first? I’ve studied this subject and discussed it with experts in order to develop the list below of critical needs to help grow engagement/subscriptions. This is my list, from a consumer revenue perspective. I’m sure there are many other solutions to consider and I’m all ears if you’d like to share your ideas.

Site Optimization-It’s critical that we deliver a great experience for the reader, specifically in how fast pages load. With ever-shortening attention spans, we have seconds in many cases to show the value of our content. Increasing amounts of code, video and slideshows to our sites in order to enhance the reader experience, slows the load time. On some sites, the pages load so slow that the reader has finished reading the story and left before the stop lightbox or subscription offer has been presented. Here is an interesting infographic on load time and abandonment.

Content recommendation-show me more of what I want. Content recommendation solutions are powerful tools in driving reader engagement. Providing a more personalized experience increases reader engagement levels and the amount of time they spend with your content.  Readers want an easy stream of next articles to choose from that doesn’t require much action on their part. The best content and sites keep you engaged because even though you came for just one article you were pulled into more with good content teases and easy navigation to the next item. Readers consume more page, reinforcing the value of your content and increasing the likelihood of purchasing a subscription.

Content presentation for different devices and platforms – Use and interests varies by device so we should have a different content/presentation strategy for each. It’s critical that, regardless of the device,  it’s an enjoyable experience and easy to consume more content. Here is a great read on headline writing for best interest piquing, social sharing, and SEO best practices.  These tips are especially applicable for mobile:

Aggregation and curation – the best sites showcase their content but also reference articles to other sites. Even if you send some of your visitors to other sites (even competitors) they will come back to you for the curation service you provide. Good headline writing and content judgement is key here.

While the math is simple, the solution itself isn’t. Higher engagement levels mean more sales. In order for that to happen, our websites (and the platforms they exist on) need to be better, smarter and faster, using the creativity, tools and technology to get them there.

Thanks to Craig Sims (Director of Mobile and Digital Initiatives at Morris Publishing Group), Conan Gallaty (Executive Vice President for Digital at WEHCO Media, Inc.), and Bharat Ayyar (Director of Analytics at Press+) for lending me their expertise in producing this post.

 

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Newspapers Digital First News Summary-6/20/14

DSC_0736Newspapers are maximizing the opportunities within their print audiences while growing digital audiences and engagement to develop a sustainable model for the future. See how newspapers are meeting that challenge including the New AAM Report Shows Positive Signs for Digital News Industry

Desktop/laptop computers still dominate sports consumption. The use of mobile devices to access sports content has doubled among sports fans since 2011, but……

Medium-pay-per-click isn’t best way to pay writers, still wrestling with being a platform vs. being a publisher  Medium says it is continuing to experiment with how best to compensate writers,

What iOS8 will bring to your iPad  At WWDC, Apple showed a huge number of small improvements which will come with iOS 8 when it’s available in the fall.

Aaron Kushner’s Register newspapers offer buyouts, order two-week furloughs  Employees at the Freedom Communications-owned Register newspapers got this Intranet message.

Newspaper carrier sees ‘house all torched up,’ alerts man inside  Nicholas Belanger was delivering copies of The (Woonsocket, Rhode Island) Call to the Li’l General store in Burrillville, Rhode Island, early Sunday morning “when he spotted smoke and flames coming from the back of a duplex.”

Publishers: There’s money in your archives In The New York Times’ Innovation report, one of the big missed opportunities called out was the use of its archived content.

Media outlets love to use citizen journalism, but don’t like to say where they got it or how  Many traditional news outlets are happy to have “user-generated content” or citizen journalism for their breaking news reports, a Tow Center study finds — but…

Future head of mobile content: ‘If content is king, we’re going to need a lot more crowns’ Given his role trying to drive mobile innovation at what is, to say the least, a troubled company, Future head of content strategy for mobile Mike Goldsmith knows a thing or two about how difficult it is for a publisher to invest in the right places.

Here’s how the recession affected jobs in newsrooms, publishing, advertising, and more  Interestingly, their findings suggest that, in addition to all print-related industries, radio, TV, and broadcast have also failed to recover from the losses of the recession thus far.

You put in a pay meter. Now what? Just having a meter on your content isn’t enough

New AAM Report Shows Positive Signs for Digital News Industry  The Alliance for Audited Media recently released its look at U.S. and Canadian newspaper circulation figures for the first half of 2014 and its annual newspaper snapshot had some positive takeaways for those in the digital news industry

Big Data — or “Better Data” — gives advantage to print publishers Print publishers are better positioned than most pure-play digital companies because they can analyse their readers’ online and offline reading habits.

Small Papers Must Seize Niche Lots of people know about the digital strategies of the New York Times, the Washington Postand other major metros, but what does the future hold for the thousands of smaller, community newspapers operating throughout the United States?

Things never learned at newspapers about making news on the internet  Over 21 months at Thunderdome, staff created a lot of great projects, from interactive graphics for the Newtown shootings and the Boston marathon bombings to deep-dive data analyses and visualizations.

 

 

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