The Boston Consulting Group has entered the paid content debate this month with a valuable contribution. It’s “Willingness to pay for news online” report presents key findings from an international survey.
On the Blog
Without a shred of doubt, 2009 has been the year of the e-reading device, and new models will come out quickly next year. But computer manufacturers are trying hard to shift consumer attention to the tablet PC.
Apple’s tablet is still a rumor, as is Microsoft’s in-process "tablet-booklet" Courier (in the "late prototype" stage of development, according to the CNET gadget blog). But ICD has released concrete information on its Vega Tablet, which will run Android 2.0:
CES (Consumer Electronics Show) Las Vegas, the world's largest consumer technology trade show is starting today (7 January). Two new e-reading devices, the Skiff Reader and the QUE proReader, developed with the press industry in mind, will be launched at the event. And it comes as no surprise that Amazon has chosen this very same week to announce that its Kindle DX (also designed for the press!) was ready for a worldwide shipment.
Intensifying Smartphone Competition: Google's answer is "Superphone"
On January 5, 2010, Google announced its Nexus One wireless handsets powered by Android 2.1, only slightly more than a year after the announcement of the first Android-powered phone, HTC's G1. The phone is sold by Google and manufactured by HTC.
Mobile Web usage in 2009: Report: Accelerating rise of mobile web consumption
Every month Quantcast measures more than 200 billion requests for Internet content. A growing portion of these requests originates from networked mobile devices. The boundary between mobile and PC (e.g the future tablets) is blurring, and Quantcast expects that it will push ‘web access on the go’ to new levels in 2010.
Above, mobile share of pageviews by continent
Mobile strategy: Charging for news apps: the Independent.ie experience
Independent.ie is the first Irish national newspaper publisher to launch an iPhone app on 22 October 2009. It also belongs to the the first wave of publishers worldwide to successfully charge for news apps.
In this interview, Patrick Lenehan, Chief Technology Officer for the digital business of Independent News and Media in Ireland, explains the launch process and customer feedback.
Digital distribution: Top players create a common e-reading platform in Japan
Instead of waiting for the Japanese launch of Apple's iPad, Sony, Toppan Printing, KDDI Corporation, and the Asahi Shimbun have announced they will establish a joint venture to develop an eBook distribution company that will build and manage a common distribution platform for books, comics, magazines and newspapers for the Japanese market. And the door is opened for other companies.
UK-based analyst firm Canalys, released its findings on smartphone market share based on Q2 2009 unit shipments : "Nokia maintains global lead, although its performance varies by region.Touchscreens become the preferred interface, representing 40% of all shipments. Apple’s success continues, as the iPhone takes 23% of the North American market. But RIM continues to gain share, succeeding with its push into the consumer market. Finally, Operating system choices are proliferating, primarily at Microsoft’s expense" are the main findings.
On September 2-3, Nokia held its Nokia World conference -- the biggest annual event for the Finnish giant -- in Stuttgart, Germany. Several announcements were made, including forays into new business areas for the company: the launch of a connected mini-PC called Booklet 3G and the start of a promising financial service called Nokia Money (based on Obopay’s mobile payment platform). On the "handset" side, Nokia is focusing innovation on the successful smartphones market, and its Ovi platform is now open to developers.
It’s all over the press this week: The Wall Street Journal will start asking for money to read its stories on BlackBerrys, iPhones and other mobile devices. It is working against a trend that shows that media companies are massively embracing mobile devices, but few dare to ask money for their news applications.
The good news is that media are massively “embracing the iPhone”, the worrying aspect is that not a lot dare to ask money for their applications. Following the announcement mid-July by Apple that customers have downloaded more than 1.5 billion applications in just one year from its App Store (the largest applications store with more than 65,000 apps), Ben Lorica, Senior Analyst at O'Reilly Media, checked the data warehouse of all apps available in the U.S. iTunes app store that O’Reilly maintains.
While Internet users are spending more and more of their time with social networks, advertising spend continues to be directed towards more traditional web uses. What are the reasons for this paradox? Jean-Nicolas Reyt analyses the situation*.
It might be that Apple just made life easier for publishers pondering if they should start developing for smaller-sized devices.
Apple Chief Executive Steve Jobs commented during the company’s quarterly earnings call yesterday (Monday 18) that he did not believe on an “avalanche of tablets” about to enter the market: “It appears to be just a handful of credible entrants, not exactly an avalanche”.
In U.S, Android, with its open platform, appears to have the best chance of mounting a comeback against Apple's platform. “With a wave of 18 more Android handsets shipping in 2009, the chase pack is growing and looking for signs of fatigue from the leader” reports Peter Farago, Vice-president marketing of Flurry.
Amazon has announced new revenue-sharing terms for magazines and newspapers wishing to join the Kindle platform. Publishers will keep 70 percent of the retail price (minus delivery costs) of each publication sold.
Anders Stenbäck, Business Development Manager at Hesingin Sanomat of Finland explained the secrets of making money from hyperlocal, in this case with a mapping/directory product called My Own City which answers such questions as where to find a good restaurant/plumber/tailor/hairdresser etc.
Philippe Jannet, CEO of Le Monde Interactif talked about that paper's mobile experience. Le Monde already has a paid for model online with a subscription scheme that sees some content published for free and other services, including the right to contribute UGC charged for. Jannet mused on the idea of charging users to write for the paper as he didn't invent the model but it works and ads sell for more on subscriber pages than free ones.
After weeks, if not months, of continuous rumours and leaks, last night Apple unveiled its new iPhone, the 3GS, the "S" standing for speed, as the company claims its new model is twice as fast as its previous one. Among the improvements, a three-megapixel camera and the possibility to take video, as well as a landscape keyboard and copy, cut-and-paste functionalities. Did it live up to its hype? Your take.
See iPhone 3GS description in Apple’s official site
Few knew what to expect when Inmaculada Martinez of Stradbroke Advisors took to the stage to talk about 'Positive Deviants and the Agents of Change' but what followed was a lively canter through media predictions and Generation Y – the generation that grew up with digital and which in 2010 will outnumber the baby boomers. 90 per cent of them have joined a social network and with that social media has overtaken porn as the number one activity online.
The Associated Press announced early this week the availability of an AP Mobile news widget preloaded or available for download on the new Nokia N97 mobile computer, as part of its strategy to be present with quality and up-to-date news on all major mobile operating systems – and all over the world.
AP Mobile for the Nokia N97 enables users to choose their news, offering personalised delivery of content.
AdMob, a company that serves graphical banner and text link ads on mobile web pages for more than 6000 publishers all over the world, just released its April 2009 report that offers a number of insights and trends regarding mobiles. Based on its own data, the AdMob April report compares market share of smartphones sold by operating system (OS) to that of mobile web and application usage in the AdMob network, as well as smartphone browsing of mobile websites vs. smartphone browsing of HTML sites.
Now that the debate about micropayments for online content is back and at full steam, USA Today Publisher David Hunke thinks mobile news is ideally suited for this strategy as well, reports AP. “I’m not sure we realized what we had,” he said about the successful iPhone application of the daily. “I think that is a value readers will be willing to pay for.”
Awards in more than 30 categories of mobile applications were presented at the First Annual Mobie Awards in New York on 18 March. The Awards were held in association with ThinkMobile, 18-19 March, a major mobile conference and expo produced by Mediabistro.com (a division of Jupitermedia Corporation). Among the winners, The New York Times took tops in the News category and Bloomberg Mobile in Finance.
World Press Trends: World Newspaper Congress: Digital ad revenues to remain miniscule
At no time in the foreseeable future will digital advertising revenues replace those lost to print, making the search for new business models including paid-for online access for news a pressing concern for the news publishing industry, the World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers (WAN-IFRA) said in its annual world press trends update.
“We are relaxing all restrictions on the development tools used to create iOS apps, as long as the resulting apps do not download any code” said Apple in a recent statement. Designers can now develop apps with Flash and compile them into a native iOS format. Apple also published for the first time its App Store Review Guidelines to help developers understand how they review submitted apps.
In the Wiki
The iPad is a crystal clear reminder of the news industry's failure to produce an effective news show online. The challenge facing newspapers today is not only to embrace the iPad's abilities in sophisticated apps, but to learn how to turn links into a consistent, continuous news show across all devices: web, mobile, and tablet. As the eyeballs leave the newspapers' web sites, this can be a major step in bringing them back.