18 Mar 2010

Growth in 2010?

UK Association of Online Publishers (AOP) recent released their census results. AOP members are drawn from digital publishing and include the likes of BBC, Channel 4, Sky, Reuters, Telegraph, Times, Guardian and Daily Mail as well as niche B2B publishers.

The AOP forecast that in 2010 the growth in digital revenues is expected to be 10 percent.   Online publishers seem to be losing confidence as the ad downturn continues. The survey also concluded that: 

  • 75% of respondents plan greater digital investment
  • 60% plan to do more technology-partnering
  • 50% of respondents expect to increase staff this year
  • Nearly 50% say ad sales is a top-three priority
  • Almost 33% also put editorial skills in that bracket
  • 25% say that database skills are a top three priority

So, it's a mixed picture.  Most investment is taking place in the development of pay walls.  However, the broadband boom of recent years presents publishers with a new growth opportunity - video advertising.

The end of publishing as we know it?

Think again.  

The simple truth is that there are now probably more means of distribution and more ways of generating hype around a book or newspaper exclusive than ever before.   The trick is in how it's done.   This video tickled me because of the simple, logical and highly intelligent creative.

7 Mar 2010

Paid-for content: Why it may not work

A salutary lesson in what people really are prepared to pay for online has come my way from Nielsen.

In summary, consumers are most likely to fork out cash for online movies, music and games rather than socially created content or communities or existing free news content tha is repackaged. Seemingly, consumers are also more likely to pay for online theatrical releases, music and games - in short, things they already pay for. The Nielsen survey consulted 27,000 consumers across 52 countries.

  • 85% prefer that free content remain free
  • 79% would stop using a web site that charges them, especially if they can find the same information at no cost
  • 78% believe they should be able to use newspaper/magazine web site content free if they are offline subscribers
  • 71% of global consumers say online content will have to offer considerably more value than that which is freely available before they will pay
  • 64% of those surveyed believe that if they must pay for content online, there should be no ads
  • 62% agree that once they purchase content, it should be theirs to copy or share as they choose
  • 47% of respondents are willing to accept more advertising to subsidise free content
  • 43% say an easy payment method would make them more likely to buy content online

The consumers surveyed remain ambivalent about whether the quality of online content would suffer if companies could not charge for it.

Forrester research seems to bear out the Nielsen findings too.