This evening I went to the latest Agile London event, hosted at Thomas Cook, at a supremely convenient location about quarter of a mile away from the Endava office.
Our host for the evening was Jesus Fernandez, the Development Manager at Thomas Cook. In a concise introduction he described how Thomas Cook has been consolidation pretty much everything – from its management team to the brands it was selling, to its technology platforms.
It’s true… as you get older, time seems to accelerate. It feels like only a few weeks ago I was writing last year’s Happy Birthday post.
I started this blog because I found myself telling several people the same piece of news and opinion. I took their advice and created this blog.
Last year I said that there had been “a step change in traffic, with pretty much double the level of traffic as two years’ ago”. This year, traffic almost doubled again, with almost 20,000 sessions on the site over the last year.
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:
(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?
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.
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.
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.
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?