Guardian announces ‘open newsdesk’ — paper will publish (not all) of the stories it is working on, and hope to get early guidance from readers. Definitely trying to swim upstream ahead of curation into creation.
Ken Doctor via
The print world ends not with a bang, but with price increase after price increase.
These economics of transition have a second, big piece for publishers that Netflix doesn’t have to worry about: advertising. With advertising accounting for 70 percent of newspaper revenues worldwide, the huge question for publishers is how much ad revenue they can make from purely digital customers. In the U.S, newspaper publishers know they make more than $500 a year on a Sunday print subscriber. With reduced digital product cost (like Netflix’s reduced cost of streaming), newspaper and magazine publishers won’t need the same level of revenue, but they will need a substantial part of what they are getting today. Those economics are just being modeled now in 2011, as the promise of higher-priced and higher-value tablet (and smartphone) advertising looks like it may be real and buildable.
Magazine and newspapers aren’t yet ready to more forcibly shift the audience in the direction of digital-only.
Timing is a big question here. Reed Hastings is flipping the Netflix switch more heavily toward digital, even though fewer than half his revenues are yet there. For newspaper publishers, with no more than 20 percent of their overall revenues in digital, the time may be one to three years away.
When publishers flip that switch — pushing customers more heavily toward digital — they want the force to be with them, not against them. The news and feature businesses are different than Netflix’s. Yet the strategies involved — make the old business a division, model out the new business model, move to it as quickly as you can once you’ve got it figured out — all apply. In mid-2011, Netflix is a canary in a (circulation) coalmine, with lessons to be learned.
I bet the future is unequally distributed (as Gibson said), and we will see some — like the Guardian — adopting the Netflix one-two punch pretty quickly.
Dave McClure stirs the pot at Google I/O conference, stating ‘Open Is For Losers’. Looks like he was just taking one side of an argument as a rhetorical device, though.
Maybe McClure was channeling Steve Jobs, because Apple was completely absent from Google I/O, the elephant in the room no one was talking about, according to Louis Gray.
Mark Zuckerberg just can’t get out of the limelight. Today’s news is possible securities fraud, a claim brought by the founders of ConnectU, who won a settlement against Zuckerberg and Facebook in 2008 but who are claiming he manipulated stock prices to make the settlement less than agreed.
The Guardian’s Open Platform launched today, perhaps the best support for my argument that in the future successful media companes will look and act like software companies.