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What today’s media can learn from EMAPs launch success

Monday, May 21st, 2018
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What made EMAP so great at launching magazines? And what can today’s media learn?

 

In the 80s and 90s, EMAP was a force of nature in the magazine world, launching an endless stream of lifestyle, sports and hobby magazines, from Q and Empire to Today’s Golfer, More and heat. One of the architects of this stream of creativity was Dave Hepworth, who was interviewed in a rather dark and stuffy room by Colin Morrison recently in an event organised by The Media Society.

As a former EMAP staffer (16 years all told) I have to declare a slight interest, and bias, but this nostalgia trip did set me thinking about exactly why EMAP was so successful then, what has changed and what lessons if any, are still relevant to media organisations in 2018? (more…)

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Posted in business strategy, consumer, content, marketing, news

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Will publishers still provide value to advertisers in future?

Wednesday, May 16th, 2018
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How will publishers provide value to advertisers in future?

As B2B marketing becomes more targeted, and marketers focus on creating their own content and generating and nurturing leads, do they really need traditional media brands? What exactly is the role that a publication plays for marketers and advertisers, whether in print, digital or live formats?

At the Marketing in Maritime conference last month I chaired a panel of established print and start-up digital media owners, plus a major advertiser to explore this issue. The conversation raised some interesting questions for both B2B media owners and B2B marketers about how they can work together which I believe are applicable to all markets. These were the main themes:

(more…)

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Posted in b2b, marketing, news

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Ethical issues in tech: what it means for media businesses

Wednesday, November 15th, 2017
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artificial intelligence robot sophia

This article on ethical issues in tech is part of a series exploring key tech themes raised at the web summit and how they might affect media brands.  Read about all the themes here.

Technology has been evolving faster than our ability to develop ethical codes and regulation.  Social platforms and algorithms can be gamed for political ends.  Technology will destroy some jobs (including truck drivers and call centre agents) and create new roles, causing social disruption.  Large global tech corporations have enormous power and governments struggle to collect taxes and control monopolistic practices.  And as AI starts to surpass human intelligence, how can we ensure its power is not exercised to the detriment of human values?  But tech can also be used for good, to counter inequality and fight climate change.

So how should media brands react to these ethical issues? (more…)

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Posted in business strategy, news, technology

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How digital is changing learning and work

Wednesday, November 15th, 2017
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digital changing learning

This article on how digital is changing learning and work is part of a series on major tech trends and the impact on media brands based on ideas from Web Summit.

Read about the other tech themes here.

How is digital changing learning and work? Rapidly changing job roles mean that school and university students must acquire different skills, with some calling for more “code literacy.” Those already working will need to accept the need for lifelong learning, using a mix of online tools and face to face. The proportion of freelance workers will grow, gaining flexibility in hours and location, and providing on-tap expert skills for larger organisations.

So what are the challenges and opportunities for media brands created by this new landscape of work and learning? (more…)

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Posted in business strategy, content, news, technology

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Building trust in media brands in the age of social and algorithms

Tuesday, November 14th, 2017
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Building trust in media brands

This article on building trust in media brands is part of a series exploring the key themes in new technology for media brands from the Web Summit 2017.  Read about all the themes here.

The furore over fake news on social media and its influence on political change has sharpened the focus on which media brands to trust.  Several high profile newspapers have built resources in investigative journalism (but bringing new digital tools to bear) to enhance their reputation for independence and accuracy.  The debate on the value of human curation versus algorithms is still fiercely raging.

So how can news media brands encourage a fickle online audience to trust their reporting?

(more…)

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Posted in business strategy, content, news, technology

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New frontiers in tech: what media brands can learn from web summit

Monday, November 13th, 2017
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Web Summit Lisbon 2017

Technology is enhancing and disrupting every sector of business and society, in every part of the world. Like a benign virus, technology can worm its way into any value chain, find efficiencies and share information transparently, automate and simplify processes. Startups are endlessly seeking markets that might pay for new and better services.

Web Summit in Lisbon in November 2017 brought together 60,000 people working in tech businesses, from aspiring startups to large corporations, from marketers to developers, plus investors and policymakers. New products were showcased and ethical problems explored in hundreds of talks and panel sessions. Hundreds of startups hustled for investment and partnerships. The energy, ingenuity and ambition of the movers and shakers in the tech ecosystem was awe-inspiring.

Nobody can ignore the pace of technology change, and what may seem futuristic and far-fetched on stage here will be affecting consumers and businesses in a matter of years, or maybe months.

So what trends should media brands be monitoring? I have summarised six key themes to be aware of:

(more…)

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Posted in agile publisher, b2b, business strategy, consumer, news, technology

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Brexit: how to mitigate the risk to your publishing business

Wednesday, June 29th, 2016
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So it looks like political and economic uncertainty is the new normal. What might the implications be for your publishing business and how can you lessen the risk?

These are my thoughts on what to look out for and some ideas on managing the impact in the short term, and making your business more resilient to economic shocks over the longer term… (more…)

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Posted in b2b, business strategy, consumer, implementation, marketing, news, people and culture

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10 smart digital media strategies

Friday, March 11th, 2016
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With dramatic shifts in how digital media is consumed, how can publishers evolve their digital strategy to keep up, or even to stay in business? I spent two days at Digital Media Strategies listening to a wide range of old and new media businesses sharing their experiences, from Washington Post to Al Jazeera, and from Schibsted to The Economist. This article is my take on the most important trends and smartest digital media strategies. (more…)

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Posted in advertising, agile publisher, b2b, business strategy, commerce, consumer, content, marketing, news, people and culture

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Surfing the chaos wave – 8 insights for the future of B2B media

Wednesday, October 28th, 2015
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Markets are changing ever faster: technology cycles are speeding up, customers are becoming ever more demanding, competition can come from any region of the globe and completely unexpected directions, and advertising and marketing spend is evolving away from traditional media.

This wave of chaos can seem overwhelming to B2B media organisations, but maybe rather than being swamped by the deluge, there are ways to successfully surf it and discover new sources of value.

At the IIN Conference on 22 October, media business leaders from the likes of WGSN, Bloomberg, Incisive, Centaur, Euromonitor, Sigaria, CRU and other progressive ambitious B2B publishers, shared their experiences and provided guidance on not only surviving but thriving amid the technology deluge.

These are the eight main themes I took away from the day…

(more…)

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Posted in agile publisher, b2b, business strategy, content, marketing, news, people and culture

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How publishers can side-step ad blockers: 10 ideas

Tuesday, September 8th, 2015
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While b2b publishers can charge high prices for premium subscription services, or make money from marketing paid conferences, it’s always been harder for consumer publishers to extract as much cash from their digital audiences.

Most have until now focussed on advertising-funded models, but with the growth of online ad inventory from the likes of Facebook and the resulting collapse in CPMs, that’s no longer enough.  And now the next nail in the consumer advertising coffin is ad blockers – for large publishers this is reducing their available audience quite severely. (more…)

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Posted in advertising, agile publisher, business strategy, consumer, content, events, news

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10 quietly revolutionary trends in digital news from RISJ

Wednesday, June 17th, 2015
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The way we all consume news is a strong indication of digital trends across the whole publishing and media sector. So the latest Digital News Report from the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism (RISJ) is definitely worth a read. I believe it unearths some subtle trends in consumer behaviour and corporate moves that could be quietly revolutionary. (more…)

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Posted in agile publisher, business strategy, consumer, content, news

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Does Facebook instant articles risk undermining publisher digital model?

Monday, May 18th, 2015
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Big online publishers like the Guardian, BBC, the New York Times and National Geographic have recently announced that they will be publishing content directly onto Facebook, so users don’t need to click a link to go to a separate website when a friend shares a headline – they can read the full article within the Facebook mobile app.

Now this seems like quite a small step, solving a user journey problem – having to wait for a second site to load when following a link from a friend.  But could it have longer-term repercussions for the currently accepted publisher model? (more…)

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Posted in advertising, agile publisher, b2b, business strategy, consumer, content, marketing, news

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A new commercial model for digital magazines?

Friday, December 5th, 2014
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Digital Magazines are gradually evolving from their origins as indie art project, agency showcase, PDF shovelware or vanity publishing to become a viable commercial publishing business.

Accepted, the challenges are still substantial …

  • the high cost of adapting print content to digital
  • the overcrowded and badly indexed App Store
  • the growth of smartphones and fragmentation of platforms and standards
  • the difficulty of persuading advertisers to invest in a complex medium with limited reach….

But there are some pockets of innovation and isolated stories of commercial success, which are worth exploring to identify strategies that could just help the medium to take off. (more…)

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Posted in advertising, b2b, business strategy, consumer, content, marketing, news

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Next generation digital magazines: 10 evolutionary trends

Wednesday, November 26th, 2014
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Digital magazines are finally diverging from their print siblings, and evolving into a new, more interactive and tactile medium.  The finalists for the 2014 Digital Magazine Awards have largely left print replicas behind, and are merging graphics, animations, audio, video, data and user content in with traditional long form feature articles, to create products that engage readers more in the style of interactive games or TV programmes than print derived page-turners.

So what are the key trends in the evolution of the next generation of digital mags?

(more…)

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Posted in consumer, content, news

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10 ideas for next generation B2B media

Tuesday, October 28th, 2014
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B2B media were first into the digital melting pot, and are now emerging with some inventive new business models.  I picked up some interesting ideas and practical tips from the Business Media Insights conference last week. Here are ten of the best insights from the day – applicable I believe to a wide range of markets… (more…)

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Posted in advertising, b2b, business strategy, content, marketing, news

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How to think digital: tips for all publishers from the New York Times

Wednesday, May 28th, 2014
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Last week an honest, 96 page internal report on digital innovation at the New York Times was leaked, and provided some real-world, real-time insight into the challenge for established print publishers in fully grasping the digital opportunity.  From the outside NYT looks like it is innovating in digital, but this report shows that making it work in practice is tough even for well-funded publishers.  You can read the full NYT digital report here but here is my take on the lessons that publishers of all sizes should learn…

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Posted in business strategy, consumer, content, implementation, marketing, news, people and culture

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Save the Date: Digital Media Innovation Conference 7-8 April 2014

Sunday, January 26th, 2014
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Innovation is the future of media: to thrive in a changing world, we need to radically reinvent how we package content and services into new products plus how we market to our customers, and create inventive marketing solutions for our advertisers.

So that means looking outside our own market and picking up ideas from smart publishing and media owners.  And working out how to create the right environment for innovation; spotting the emerging opportunities, acquiring new skills and marketing creatively to elusive audiences.

The Digital Media Innovation Conference on 8 April in London examines this challenge in detail, showcasing media businesses who are successfully pushing the boundaries and embracing innovation. (more…)

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Ten insights for publishers from SIIA Digital Content & Media Summit

Sunday, October 13th, 2013
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How can publishers make sense of the digital environment?  And what new skills do they need to acquire?  At the SIIA Digital Content & Media Summit in London we heard from innovative media businesses on how they are tackling mobile, data, communities, video, freemium, globalisation and more … and what they have learnt along the way.  Here’s my top ten insights from the event:

(more…)

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Posted in b2b, business strategy, consumer, content, events, news

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The borderless world – and what it means to publishers

Sunday, October 28th, 2012
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Media has always been national.  The limitations of print production and physical distribution, state control of TV and language and cultural boundaries have meant each national media landscape evolved separately.  But with the relentless growth of internet connections and ability to access information instantly, globally, even bypassing state controls, the media world is becoming borderless.  So what does this mean for publishers?

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Posted in b2b, business strategy, consumer, content, news, opinions

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Top ten ideas from the Media Pioneers

Sunday, June 10th, 2012
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The 2012 Media Pioneer Awards were presented on 24 May at the Specialist Media Show.  They recognise innovation and entrepreneurial spirit in niche consumer and b2b markets.  I’ve always found reviewing the entries really inspiring, with some great inventiveness shown by the very smallest publishers even on tiny budgets.  There’s plenty of inspiration for other niche media businesses – so here are my top ten clever ideas…

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Posted in b2b, business strategy, consumer, content, marketing, news

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