Tag Archives: traditional media

Trends snapshot: Blockchain, self-service and digital platforms

Blockchain, self-service and single digital platforms are the key trends we are seeing across industry verticals (media, financial services and insurance) at the moment.

Blockchain

Get your Blockchain T-shirt here while it's still cool
Get your Blockchain T-shirt from Zazzle to show the World you know what it is

Blockchain is a centralised, distributed ledger. Its most famous use is Bitcoin to track all the individual ‘bits’ of Bitcoin.

In Insurance it might be a list of all insurable assets. In media the chain can store media assets. In Financial Services it can store equities. Continue reading Trends snapshot: Blockchain, self-service and digital platforms

A British review of US sports and media offerings

Possibly the easiest signup form, presented by Fox Soccer
Possibly the easiest web signup form, implemented by Fox Soccer

This week I’ve been working from our newest sales office in Atlanta, USA. It’s been a great week, and we’ve met some really interesting (and super friendly) people and companies.

During the visit, I spent some time looking at the consumer media offerings over here. The US has often been ahead of the UK market when it comes to television, but the UK leads the world in some web offerings – such as grocery shopping and BBC’s iPlayer, so I wanted to see what the US has to offer. And it’s difficult to do this from the UK because so many sites are geo-blocked. Continue reading A British review of US sports and media offerings

11 lessons about innovation from the New York Times

The BBC Newsroom. Currently peaceful. And sometimes less peaceful.

Whilst doing some research at work on innovation within the Publishing industry, a colleague of mine found a leaked report from the New York Times from March this year (the full article is at the end of this page).

At 94 pages, it’s a must-read for anyone within Publishing. I took 11 key points from the document:

  1. (page 16) Hallmarks of disruptors… number 4: “Initially inferior to existing products.” This is so true. Almost every time we work on a new innovative project, there will always be someone criticising that product A does things better, or product B is more comprehensive. The answer is twofold – firstly, you can have something more superior, but it will take a lot longer and cost a lost more money; and secondly, it’s part and parcel of developing something new. Remember Twitter’s outages? Remember how basic Facebook looked?
  2. Only a third of NYT readers visit the homepage. Just think of the effort in designing the homepage! Google is great at providing users links directly into articles, and users share articles not homepages. This is the proof. Continue reading 11 lessons about innovation from the New York Times

The licensing business model

This is the eighth part of the monetisation series. We started discussing advertising and marketing monetisation techniques, and now we’ve moved on to other areas. This post deals with licensing.

Licensing is a specialist area and requires a particularly strong brand. In the past I’ve used football teams as good case studies of licensing, but nowadays I use Angry Birds. Continue reading The licensing business model

The Advertising business model

In today’s Western digital businesses, advertising is the main source of revenue for websites, mobile sites, mobile apps and anything in between:

In the first quarter of 2013, Google advertising revenue was $11.9 bn. Advertising revenue was 92% of Google’s revenues for the quarter.

For the fourth quarter 2012, Facebook’s revenue from advertising was $1.33 billion, representing 84% of total revenue.

Personally, I believe the advertising industry is in a bubble which is ready to burst. It is a semi-self-fulfilling industry that has been growing at a rate out of proportion to the businesses revenue which support it.

Organic revenue growth of the big four advertising companies, 2010-2012
Organic revenue growth of the big four advertising companies, 2010-2012. From Statista

Continue reading The Advertising business model

The Freemium business model

The Freemium business model works for Spotify
The Freemium business model works for Spotify

This post is the second of a multi-part article describing methods to monetise large digital audiences. The freemium model is one of the most modern monetisation methods in the series.

The concept of freemium is to offer a free service, and if users want more content or functionality, they must buy a subscription.

One of the most common freemium products is the music service, Spotify. Users can download Spotify and immediately listen to music. If users want to be able to listen to the music when an Internet connection is unavailable, or they want to listen to ad-free music, they need to pay a monthly subscription.

Continue reading The Freemium business model

The Content Subscription model

PaywallThis post is the first of a multi-part article on methods to monetise large digital audiences. The subscription model itself requires high quality content more than a large digital audience.

The digital subscription model is similar to a paper magazine subscription – users periodically pay to keep receiving content, whether it’s daily, monthly or annually. The digital version is often called a paywall.

In order to implement a paywall, the website owner requires a registration mechanism and a payment system. The registration system can range from Facebook Login to a proprietary implementation.

For the payment system, there are systems which can be tailored, to third-party providers such as Apple’s App Store. The issue with the latter, is the commission can be as much as 30% of the value of the subscription. The upside of course, is that the content owner doesn’t need to worry about the billing, the integration is often easier, and the third-party (such as Apple of Google) handles chargebacks and user support.

Continue reading The Content Subscription model

11 ways to monetise large digital audiences

The Mail Online homepage - it's ain't pretty, but it attracts a huge audience
The Mail Online homepage – it ain’t pretty, but it attracts a huge audience

The UK’s Mail Online newspaper website now has 189.5 million monthly unique visitors, that’s two and a half times the population of the UK.

Working on a month of 22 weekdays plus 4 weekends, the Daily Mail sells 52.1 million newspapers, read by 129.4 million people. Whilst it’s difficult to compare those readership figures with the website’s monthly unique visitors, there’s probably the same level of inaccuracy in both figures, which can make them ballpark comparable.

Back to the website for a moment – how can a monthly readership of almost 190 million users be turned into revenue?

Continue reading 11 ways to monetise large digital audiences

An introduction to 4K television, and why it’s more than a better picture

In the next couple of years, TV will change significantly, both from a distribution, content and rights point of view.

From the rights point of view, UK customers have until now enjoyed a single provider for all their television. This has slowly moved to multiple providers, for instance Netflix and a Sky subscription. With BT winning the Champions League rights from Sky, this leads us further down the path of more subscriptions – similar to the US television model.

Netflix stock price since broadcasting House of Cards
Netflix stock price since broadcasting House of Cards

On the content side, we’ve’ve seen new companies commission (the TV word for “fund and then produce”) new shows. The leading example here is Netflix and their House of Cards production. See the stock price chart above – House of Cards was released on Netflix in February 2013. Netflix’s share price has doubled since then, and the second series is being released on Netflix next month.

While traditional broadcasters are churning out low-quality reality TV, Netflix are hiring A-list celebrities to produce high-quality drama. Which one is likely to attract the most viewers?

For the latest new television technology, 4K, it’s the distribution method more than the screen technology that I find interesting. I’m not playing down the advanced engineering and manufacturing to get 4,000 pixels working completely separately resulting [finally] in pure black.

4K will be the first television media technology distributed over the Internet before physical media.

In the past we’we’ve used DVDs to introduce HD technology (before satellite and then digital terrestrial broadcast).

With 3D TV (I never saw the point personally and I think we’ll see 3D services being quietly shut down this year), it was available on DVD and then satellite too.

The first 4K broadcaster will be Netflix. Think about that… a seven-year old company is beating the BBC and Sky to a new consumer broadcast technology.

And the reason for this is straightforward. The infrastructure required to support 4K is already in place. 4K “only” requires a (stable)  8 Mbit Internet connection. To distribute this over satellite television would mean removing some other channels – there isn’t the remaining bandwidth to broadcast all of Sky’s existing channels and a new 4K one. This is also why so many of Sky’s SD channels seem low quality – they have been compressed to squeeze the data into the broadcast.

Digital cinemas have been using the internet to download 4K movies for some time. A 4K movie is between 90 Gb and 300 Gb. Although, a cinema can afford to take a long time to download the film if it is only allowed going to be viewed in a few days’ time. With Netflix, which is currently streaming only, you’ll need that stable 8 Mbit connection.

What does this all mean for consumers?

Two things. The first is that we are moving ever toward non-physical content: think rental, or Spotify, not buying DVDs.

The second, is if you are planning to buy a 4K TV, make sure you’ve got a decent Internet connection.

Google Chromecast: This Puppy Changes Everything

This puppy changes everything
This puppy changes everything

In a technology trends report that I produced earlier this week I included a slide called “This Puppy Changes Everything” next to a picture of Chromecast, the USB dongle designed by Google which plugs into TVs and makes it really simple to watch web TV on a TV. Hours later, Iolo Jones also released a blog post called “This Changes Everything”.

My nephew has just competed in the Maccabia games. The opening ceremony was streamed live using a proprietary Flash player, so our family and extended family sat around a computer monitor in our house. 10 metres from the computer is our 40-something inch TV (with a comfortable sofa instead of chairs!), but hooking the computer up to the TV is a nightmare.

Chromecast changes all this. It will stream content from any iOS, Android or computer on your home network. There are apps for Netflix and YouTube, but the most powerful function is to duplicate your web browser (well, as long as it’s Chrome) on any device, on to the TV.

And Chromecast is a one off cost of $35 (less than £25). One of the reasons it is so cheap is that no remote control is required – the unit is controlled using your smartphone or computer.

Chromecast is a game changer because using a web browser is by far the most flexible and easiest interface available. Why would you subscribe to a premium TV channel if content is available on the web for a cheaper price?

Concentrating on legal content for a moment, monthly web subscriptions to say, sports content, is cheaper than equivalent TV subscriptions. When you include illegal content as well (I’m including YouTube here) makes it the game changer.

This is the most disruptive piece of hardware I’ve seen in the media industry since Sky+.