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E-reading: : Wrap up CES Las Vegas 2010

CES (Consumer Electronics Show) Las Vegas, the world's largest consumer technology trade ended on January 10. Two new e-reading devices, the Skiff Reader and the QUE proReader, developed with the press industry in mind, were launched at this 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.





Skiff, formerly known as FirstPaper, launched the Skiff Reader (see photos left and on top of the page) and Plastic Logic targets business professionnals with the QUE proReader.


Mobile Web Usage: Trends 2009-2010

Every month Quantcast measures more than 200 billion requests for Internet content. A growing portion of these requests originate 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.

Intensifying Smartphone Competition: Nexus One, first Google phone

Google announced its Nexus One wireless handsets powered by Android 2.1. The phone is manufactured by HTC. It will rely on Google online marketing power to make its way to consumers.


What's the strategy for Google in the mobile world?

This is not only about becoming successful and profitable in the handset business...

“To date, Google has pushed for three main avenues to enter the mobile arena..." read how CreditSights' Senior Analyst -Telecom and Telecom Suppliers- Zhiping Zhao comments the launch.

“Google is serving its own direct interests: grow the use of the web (mobile or otherwise) in order to continue to grow its revenues to 98% advertising. How to do this: lower the entry barrier (= handset + subscription) by starting with the handset, as it is the only one of the two components within its reach at present".
says Didier Durand, head of Architecture & Technology / Business Engineering at Publicitas who believes in a promising long term strategy (his full article in French)

Mobile : Sharing best practices

More than 80 percent of the billions of applications that will be downloaded this year by mobile phone users will continue to be offered free of charge and belong to the “entertainment” category. The offer is too limited to attract all mobile users. Media companies can get things moving here. Some have started already and we will relate in this best practices corner their experiences.

: Digital Media Asia 09 provided a forum for an intense exchange of ideas

Summaries of the presentations will be posted soon!
For inquiries, please contact Gilles Demptos at

Mobile Media Day 2010: Echoes from the conference

The 85 participants of Mobile Media Day shared best practices on mobile marketing and were, naturally, curious to learn more about the iPad strategies already launched or under development.

The new mobile Apple iAd advertising network was also a topic of discussion for an audience that is interested in tapping into mobile advertising in order to monetize mobile platforms.

Soon after the conference, Apple announced that it had already secured some 60 million ad dollars for the iAd launch in July.
Should iAd be considered as a danger for publishers? asked Stig Nordqvist, Group director Emerging Digital Platforms and business Development WAN-IFRA and chairman of the MMD conference?

• For Florian Gmeinwieser, managing director of the German advertising agency, Plan.Net Media, "iAd will allow advertisers to reach attractive demographic target audiences" but he also told the audience that, as an advertising agency, he was against the technology and commercial rules that Apple was introducing with iAd.
• A concern that Omar Hamoui, CEO of AdMob formulated on June 9 :"Apple proposed new developer terms that, if enforced as written, would prohibit app developers from using AdMob and Google’s advertising solutions on the iPhone. These advertising-related terms target both companies with competitive mobile technologies (such as Google) as well as any company whose primary business is not serving mobile ads. This change threatens to decrease – or even eliminate – revenue that helps to support tens of thousands of developers. The terms hurt both large and small developers by severely limiting their choice of how best to make money. And because advertising funds a huge number of free and low cost apps, these terms are bad for consumers as well".

The Apple voice

Many clever iPhone applications were presented at MMD this year and Stig Nordqvist took the occasion to share with the participants a recent discussion with Paul Burford, Apple Technical Evangelist (held within the framework of the eRev executive programme):


  • "Among things people often forget are very basic elements: design a gorgeous app icon for the iPhone and register properly the application" advices Stig Nordqvist.
  • “One of the pieces of advice that Apple often provides regarding the development of applications is to start with the smallest amount of functionality possible but to do them well (does it help deliver the solution, is it fun?). Then do an update that does a little bit more. Crucial to designing an app is to have a clear idea of its purpose: a serious app should provide a lots of content to navigate though and be very consumption-oriented; a utility apps (e.g. financial news) should be graphically rich, single screen and simple navigation and if you want to be in the entertainment category it should be graphically rich but mainly suitable for interaction. You need to stay away from a development process based on the features you want to include in the app and adopt a more proven formula: what is your differentiator; your solution and for which audience? People love freshness and improvements and when you push out an update you get a chance to tell users about what it does. Think of having an in-app purchase to generate incremental revenue for impulse purchases but consider free content in your in-app store as it will draw the customer’s attention”.

Times zones and Simplexity
Among the tips given by Philipp Sugai, director Mobile Consumer Lab, International University of Japan, two greatly enlivened the discussions of the mobile experts present at the conference. The first proposed defining time zones as the basis for designing services and applications: “Our lives today have become fast-paced and largely calendar-driven. We hustle between appointments and meetings, home and work, work and play but there are always “In-Between Times” as we move from one thing to the next. By definition, the content and services we use during these bursts must be concise, easy to access and understand, and easy to drop and pick up again later. At the opposite end of the spectrum is the “Golden time” zone, characterised by longer term, when the most “dedicated” mobile use occurs. In this time zone, content and services can have more depth and breadth. From the consumer’s perspective, depending on time constraints and user needs, in-between or golden time can occur at exactly the same place and time of day. While mobile consumers appreciate “in-between” content and services, what is geared for “golden time” should take priority”. Last but not least, another major principle developed by him is that of Simplexity: “The average mobile user is not a geek. Mobile Simplexity should combine technology, integrated services, intelligent analysis (preference, behaviour-based) and an easy-to-use interface driven by user needs and capabilities”.

Some slides, reflecting a small part of what has been discussed this year at Mobile Media Day...

Edipresse uses all the mobile possibilites and Marc Lamarche head of mobile services at Edipresse has put the focus on mobile-based advertising in his presentation. “Most of our contents are on free access, with the exception of two niche products. And we will keep it that way because we believe in the mobile advertising potential”.

  • Niche applications might have a limited reach but they provide the targeted audience mobile advertisers are looking for. Two examples given at MMD. Femina from Edipresse and AutoPilot from Gannett/USA Today
  • According to Matt Jones, vice-president Mobile Strategy & Operations Gannett Digital/USA advertisers recognize the efficiency of vertical applications: "As an example, the 40000 regular users of our AutoPilot application are an attractive target for some of our advertisers".



Matt Jones described in depth at MMD the recent launch and the business model of the iPad USA Today application. Several weeks after the launch of this iPad application in the U.S.A., it already registered some 375,000 downloads.
"Our goal is to increase our audience and the time people spend in the environment of our brand. This is not about using another platform".

RCS group, publisher of Corriere Della Sera and Gazzetta Dello Sport offers the possibility to subscribe to the contents of its daily newspapers on the iPhone, though also via the ovi boutique (Nokia), Blackberry, Vodafone, Samsung applications. And Federico Vittadello, head of mobile activities is satisfied with the first results of his pay-for offerings launched this year.

But the iPad is something else thinks Federico Vittadello and he explains why in the slide below:










In the Wiki

Wed, 2010-03-03 17:03 — Charlotte Janis...

The newspaper and commercial printer NDC Grafisch Bedrijf in the Netherlands decided to buy a combination of web cleaning and blanket washing systems from Baldwin for their plant in Leeuwarden, the Netherlands. Managing Director Koos Tamminga speaks about his experiences with the systems to date.

Thu, 2010-04-08 16:42 — Anton Jolkovski

The Polanco family reduces its participation in the Prisa group in exchange for an injection of liquid assets from the Liberty Acquisition Holdings investment funds.

Fri, 2009-11-06 11:13 — Valerie Arnould

Wolfgang Blau, editor in chief of Zeit Online in Germany came to talk about user-centric design but as he quickly pointed out “all design should be user centred”.

Thu, 2010-02-25 17:07 — Valerie Arnould

Matt Jones, Vice President of Mobile Strategy and Operations for USA Today/Gannett Digital, updates with fresh data and perspectives the discussion he had with us a year ago about USA Today's strategy for publishing on mobile platforms.

Will the Apple iPad create a need for a redesign
of your app or will you wait and see for a while?

Fri, 2010-09-10 10:40 — Valerie Arnould

Amazon’s mantra has always been to provide an “uncompromising approach to the reading experience”. But the success of the company lies also in its obsessed focus on responding to users expectations. So when Andre Vrignaud, Microsoft Director of Game Platform Strategy, announced he was joining, speculation started on what his mission could be. "Can't really talk about details at this point, but it'll become pretty evident soon enough… and you all know where my passions lie," Vrignaud wrote in his blog Ozymandias.

Fri, 2009-11-06 10:55 — Valerie Arnould

“We like to call ourselves the newspaper of a new generation; faster, shorter, clearer” explained Tomislav Klaric, MD of Croatia's 24sata MMM brand (“MMM stands for anything, anytime, everywhere”), a hybrid of website, paid editions and a free afternoon edition.

Tue, 2010-03-16 16:26 — Alexei Pankin

Лидируя среди платных приложений (с новостями) в британском App Store и успешно распространяясь в ряде других стран, The Guardian App, разработанное совместно международной командой и фирмой 2ergo, создало интересный прецедент в газетной отрасли. The Guardian App, без рекламы, уже в первый год может получить доход до 2 млн фунтов стерлингов. Джонатан Мур, глава отдела мобильных продуктов The Guardian, делится опытом.

Fri, 2010-09-10 16:04 — Valerie Arnould

“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.

Fri, 2009-11-06 14:29 — Valerie Arnould closed two weeks ago so when its director, Gumersindo Lafuente, stepped up to talk about the future it was as the head of 'an exquisite corpse' rather than a live online paper. That certainly didn't take away from his message however, as he explained the importance of new ways of working for journalists who “must understand how technology works so that technologists don't end up setting the agenda.

Wed, 2010-03-17 11:39 — Valerie Arnould

A lower price (0.50 Euros), new design, new team, and a huge investment – that is France-Soir's ambitious way of breathing new life into this French national newspaper that in its golden years was among the most circulated newspaper in Europe.

Wed, 2010-09-22 11:00 — Valerie Arnould

As its “Capital Markets Day 2010” starts today, Schibsted, the Norwegian-based publishing group, announced it is buying the remaining 50-percent share in the third-largest online classifieds site in Europe, in France. Schibsted also confirmed that it is pushing development of models for online user payment and is testing them with the iPad.

Fri, 2009-11-06 14:35 — Valerie Arnould

Every year someone say's this is the year of the mobile and somehow it never is but I'm going to say now that this is the Telegraph Media Group year of the mobile.....

Tue, 2010-03-23 16:43 — Valerie Arnould

On 29 March, French daily Le Monde launched a new subscription promotion that the management presented as a “quadruple-play” offer because it includes print, web, iPhone app and iPad app for 19.90 Euros per month*. The paper is following its new mantra: adapt to its audience’s lifestyle.

In January, Le Monde celebrated the 100,000th subscriber to its paid-for website, which was launched in April 2002 at a price of 5 Euros per month (it now costs 6 Euros). That comes on top of a substantial audience for the free part of the site (40 million visits per month).

Tue, 2010-10-19 13:36 — Valerie Arnould

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”.

Fri, 2009-11-20 15:11 — Valerie Arnould

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.

Wed, 2010-03-24 13:21 — Valerie Arnould

Ringier AG and Axel Springer AG have announced today that they will combine their operations in Poland, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Slovakia and Serbia and create a new company to be headquartered in Zurich.

Tue, 2010-11-09 17:39 — Valerie Arnould

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.

Fri, 2009-11-06 14:46 — Valerie Arnould

Paul Jansen, CEO of SPH Search in Singapore told us about going up against Google in one of the world's most wired islands. is a local search and directory engine which produces more relevant local results than Google. “The great thing is that users reveal more and more about themselves when they type in a query, click on a result, go online at a certain time, use their phone in a particular street, everything.

Mon, 2010-04-12 11:25 — Valerie Arnould

In April 2009, Mediebedriftenes Landsforening (MBL)*, the Norwegian publishers’ association, initiated an e-reading project that will lead to a large-scale field test this year.

Wed, 2011-01-05 17:35 — Valerie Arnould

“In Russia, the internet – as an ad medium – under-performs and over-promises; that’s a good thing,” says Vasily Gatov, vice president of the Russian Publisher's Guild and owner/publisher of "625 Publishers."

The year 2009 hit the media industry in Russia particularly hard. Was there a significant rebound in advertising expenditure in 2010?

Fri, 2009-11-20 15:12 — Valerie Arnould

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.

Mon, 2010-04-12 11:29 — Valerie Arnould

Gary Cosimini, business development director at Adobe Systems, answers two questions important to the future of e-reading devices.

Apple's iPad does not run Flash. Is HTML 5 an alternative?

Fri, 2009-11-20 15:13 — Valerie Arnould

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.

Mon, 2010-04-12 11:30 — Valerie Arnould

In a recent interview with US journalist Charlie Rose, Mathias Döpfner, chairman and CEO of Axel Springer, explains why he believes the iPad really marks a new era.

We have selected two interesting quotes from the long interview Mathias Döpfner gave to Charlie Rose on April 6:

Fri, 2009-11-20 15:21 — Valerie Arnould

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.

Fri, 2010-05-28 11:13 — Valerie Arnould

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.

Tue, 2009-12-01 13:58 — Valerie Arnould

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.

Fri, 2010-01-08 12:47 — Valerie Arnould

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.

Fri, 2010-06-25 14:20 — Valerie Arnould

Several leading Swiss daily newspapers: Blick, NZZ am Sonntag, Weltwoche or 20 Minuten have been offering their readers the possibility to use the Kooaba paperboy app since the beginning of the year.

And now it is the turn of their French-language counterparts of Le Matin Dimanche, La Tribune de Genève, 24 Heures and the Femina magazine (all of which belong to the Edipresse group) to adopt this original visual recognition system, starting the end of June.

Fri, 2010-01-08 12:47 — Valerie Arnould

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.

Thu, 2010-08-19 11:31 — Valerie Arnould

Selling must become more “scientific” in order to convince advertisers and adapt simply to the methods of the Internet pure players. The U.S. supplier DTI is testing a solution that involves all the business processes of a newspaper groups.

Mon, 2010-01-11 17:24 — Valerie Arnould

e-reading devices: Wrap up CES Las Vegas 2010

The number of announcements in the e-reader area confirms, should that be necessary, that the race is now on between all major electronics manufacturers.

Wed, 2010-01-13 16:57 — Valerie Arnould

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

Tue, 2010-08-24 15:15 — Valerie Arnould

"Global sales of tablet PCs will quickly increase to 50 million units per year in 2-3 years, with open-platform vendors expected to have a combined global market share three to four times that of the Apple iPad, according to Acer chairman JT Wang who is also president for the Taipei Computer Association (TCA)".

Thu, 2009-11-05 13:27 — Valerie Arnould

“I'm not going to talk about these black times, but instead about opportunities;” with these words Stig Nordqvist, Executive Director,Emerging Digital Platforms and Business Development for WAN-IFRA kicked off Beyond the Printed Word in Barcelona 2009.

Wed, 2010-02-17 14:03 — Valerie Arnould 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.

Tue, 2010-08-24 16:08 — Valerie Arnould

Advertisers will increase their spending in 2011 by less than 5% above this year's projected level, bringing U.S. ad spending totals to $238.6 billion. "We're expecting total online ad spending to grow almost 14%, from $45.6 billion, in 2010, to $51.9 billion, in 2011. By next year, local online advertising should grow by almost 18%, from $13.7 billion, in 2010, to $16.1 billion, in 2011" predicts Borrell Associates’ 2011 Ad Forecast Memo

Fri, 2009-11-06 11:15 — Valerie Arnould

Mariam Mammen Mathew, CEO of Manorama Online painted an altogether brighter picture drawn from the other side of the world. Being from India “best known for its technology boom and the film Slumdog Millionnaire”, Mathew sketched a market many in the room could only dream of; 1.2 billion citizens, 60,000 publications, more than 4,000 daily newspapers selling 100 million copies and the only market where newspaper circulation is rising– the numbers were staggering.

Wed, 2010-02-24 15:16 — Valerie Arnould

In a gloomy French market, the property advertising group has achieved an advertising turnover of EUR 61.7 million in 2009 (representing a growth of 3.5 percent). Its flagship is the website But its mobile extensions (site and applications) are an integral part of the service offered to its customers. "This service fits nicely our core mission to facilitate connection between buyers and agents" explains Frédéric Toquin, head of the group’s Internet and mobile portals.

Wed, 2010-08-25 13:05 — Valerie Arnould

Singapore Airlines will progressively introduce an electronic version of magazines on its KrisWorld inflight entertainment system. As a first step, the Airline will offer in electronic format its three inflight magazines - SilverKris, KrisShop and KrisWorld – as part of a trial with a privately held Singapore-based company, SmarttPapers Aviation Pte Ltd.


Tue, 2010-07-06 16:43 — Valerie Arnould

ADGA, The Financial Times' effort to calculate the net number of readers that access daily its content (online and in print), answers one of the most frequently questions asked by the sales team of any newspaper: how many people will see my ad today? Anita Hague, global research director at the FT, explains.

Tue, 2010-08-24 14:08 — Valerie Arnould

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*.


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