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June 05 2013

Print goes digital – und welche Leser gehen bei Paid Content mit?

Viele deutsche Zeitungs- und Zeitschriftenverlage digitalisieren ihre Strategien mit aller Kraft – und manchmal auch mit dem Mut der Verzweiflung. Die Erfahrungen der Vergangenheit haben gezeigt, dass bei der digitalen Wertschöpfung für redaktionelle Inhalte viel Fingerspitzengefühl gefragt ist. Längst haben sich die deutschen Internet-Nutzer an kostenfreien Content gewöhnt. Nun gilt es, zahlungsbereite Zielgruppen zu identifizieren und ihnen die »richtigen« digitalen Inhalte anzubieten.

Jeder dritte deutsche Internet-Nutzer liest die Zeitungen und Zeitschriften, die er regelmäßig konsumiert, inzwischen nur noch digital! Trotz »Mobile-Boom« kommt dabei stationären PCs sowie Laptops die größte Bedeutung zu: 28 % der befragten Internet-Nutzer lesen auf diesen Geräten »ihre« Zeitung bzw. Zeitschrift. Es folgen Smartphones bzw. Internet-Handys mit 15 % und Tablets (z. B. iPads) mit 13 %.

Lesen von redaktionellem Content auf digitalen Geräten

Trotz steigender Zahlungsbereitschaft gewinnt Paid Content keine Freunde

Ein positives Ergebnis ist, dass die Hälfte der befragten Internet-Nutzer nach eigenen Angaben bereit ist, für digitale Inhalte zu zahlen. Gut ein Viertel dagegen lehnt Paid Content grundsätzlich ab. Ungeachtet der öffentlich geführten Diskussionen über die Notwendigkeit, digitale Inhalte kostenpflichtig anzubieten, ist bei diesen Werten über die Jahre keine positive Tendenz zu verzeichnen – eher im Gegenteil. Innerhalb der letzten drei Jahre hat sich der Anteil der zahlungsbereiten Online-Nutzer rückläufig entwickelt.

Zahlungsbereitschaft von Paid Content im Zeitverlauf

Ein weiterer wichtiger Aspekt: Der relativ hohe Anteil der zahlungsbereiten Internet-Nutzer ist größtenteils auf die aus Nutzersicht attraktiven multimedialen Inhalte zurückzuführen, so z. B. auf Musikdownloads sowie das Herunterladen, Streamen und Ausleihen von Filmen. Zahlungsbereitschaft für digitale redaktionelle Inhalte in Form von Nachrichten, Artikeln und Informationen signalisiert dagegen lediglich jeder sechste Befragte.

Zahlungsbereitschaft für Paid Content

Die Hoffnungsträger für kostenpflichtige Inhalte

Wie so oft kommt es auch bei der Zahlungsbereitschaft für Paid Content auf das Produkt und auch auf die Zielgruppe an. Hoffnungsbringer für die erfolgreiche Vermarktung digitaler Redaktionsprodukte sind den W3B-Befragungsergebnissen zufolge männliche Nutzer sowie die zahlungskräftigen Tablet-Besitzer. Unter ihnen würde gut jeder Fünfte für redaktionelle Online-Inhalte zahlen. Als besonders attraktiv wurde zudem die Altersgruppe der 30- bis 40-jährigen Internet-Nutzer identifiziert: Hier zeigt sich sogar fast jeder Vierte zahlungsbereit.

Zahlungsbereitschaft für Paid Content im Zielgruppenvergleich

Das Lesen von Zeitungen und Zeitschriften auf digitalen Endgeräten ist bereits weit verbreitet und wird zukünftig weiter zunehmen. Nach wie vor steht jedoch dem steigenden Interesse, redaktionelle Inhalte digital zu lesen, nur eine überschaubare Gruppe zahlungsbereiter Nutzer gegenüber. Für Verlagshäuser gilt es, die für die eigenen Inhalte relevanten, zahlungsbereiten Zielgruppen zu identifizieren, ihre Bedürfnisse genau zu kennen und gezielt zu bedienen.

Der W3B-Report »Trends im Nutzerverhalten« befasst sich daher mit dem Thema digitaler Mediennutzung und Zahlungsbereitschaft für redaktionellen Content.

March 25 2013

The media-marketing merge

I ran across a program Forbes is running called BrandVoice that gives marketers a place on Forbes’ digital platform. During a brief audio interview with TheMediaBriefing, Forbes European managing director Charles Yardley explained how BrandVoice works:

“It’s quite simply a tenancy fee. A licensing fee that the marketer pays every single month. It’s based on a minimum of a six-month commitment. There’s two different tiers, a $50,000-per-month level and a $75,000-per-month level.” [Discussed at the 4:12 mark.]

Take a look at some of the views BrandVoice companies are getting. You can see why marketers would be interested.

BrandVoice exampleBrandVoice example

BrandVoice exampleBrandVoice example

An arrangement like this always leads to big questions: Does pay-to-play content erode trust? Is this a short-term gain that undermines long-term editorial value?

Those are reasonable things to ask, but I have a different take. When I look at BrandVoice posts like this and this, I’m indifferent toward the whole thing — the posts, the partnerships, all of it.

In my mind, these posts don’t reveal a gaping crack in The Foundation of Journalism. Nor do I have an issue with Forbes opening up new revenue streams through its digital platform. Rather, this is just more content vying for attention. It’s material that’s absorbed into the white noise of online engagement.

Now, if a piece of content earns attention — if it has real novelty or insight — that would change my view (I’m using the word “would” because this is all theoretical). I’d still need to know the source and be able to trust the information, and see clear and obvious warnings when content is published outside of traditional edit norms. But if all of those must-haves are present, is there anything wrong with interesting content that comes through a pay-to-play channel?

Heck, TV advertisers pay to spread messages through broadcast platforms, and from time to time those ads are entertaining and maybe even a little useful. Is that any different?

I’ve been neck-deep in media and marketing for years, and it’s possible my perspective is obscured by saturation. That’s why I’d like to hear other viewpoints on these media-marketing arrangements. Please chime in through the comments if you have an opinion.

Disclosure: O’Reilly Media has a blog on Forbes. It’s not part of the BrandVoices program, and there’s no financial arrangement.

Sponsored post

March 18 2013

Why I’m changing my tune on paywalls

The Pew Research Center is out with its annual “State of the News Media” report. Much of it is what you’d expect: newspapers and local television are struggling, mobile is rising, digital revenue hasn’t — and can’t — replace traditional print revenue, and on and on.

But read carefully, and you’ll find hope.

For example, Pew says the embrace of paywalls might improve the quality of the content:

“The rise of digital paid content could also have a positive impact on the quality of journalism as news organizations strive to produce unique and high-quality content that the public believes is worth paying for.”

I used to criticize paywalls. I thought they could only work for specialized content or material that’s attached to a desired outcome (i.e. subscribe to the Wall Street Journal, use the insights to make money).

My concern was that publishers would slam walls around their existing content and ask people to pay for an experience that had once been free. That made no sense. Who wants to pay for slideshows and link bait and general news?

But content that’s “worth paying for” is a different thing altogether. Publishers who go this route are acknowledging that a price tag requires justification.

Will it work? Maybe. What I might pay is different than what you might pay. There’s that pesky return-on-investment thing to consider as well.

However, my bigger takeaway — and this is why I’m changing my tune on paywalls — is that value is now part of the paywall equation. That’s a good start.

January 01 2012

The Rise Of The Digital Is Changing Just About Everything About Curation | - David Weinberger

[Curated by Giuseppe Mauriello]


I excerpted some interesting pieces from this article by David Weinberger. He wrote:


"The rise of the digital is changing just about everything about curation, mainly for the better but not entirely.


Collections themselves used to be physical assemblages of works. Now, not only are the works unassembled, the collection consists of metadata about the works. The metadata includes not only where the object exists (usually a clickable address), but also information designed to help the user evaluate whether it's worth the click.


You know you have to include the standard reference works, but for most of the works there's no right answer and probably no uniform agreement among the curators themselves. Now every curator can have her own digital collection even if other curators disagree.


Digital curation often only brings an item to our attention and reduces the number of clicks to get to it. The items outside the collection are still available on the Web and may show up at the top of a search results page or on someone else's curated list. The cost is in discovering the item; once discovered, items generally are only one click away.


Finally, curation protects us from works that are a waste of time, works that would mislead us or works that are objectionable. In a digital world, we have lots of other ways of accomplishing these goals: We use recommendation systems of various sorts, and a wide variety of evaluative tools have emerged to help us decide what is helpful and what is misleading.


Curation is thus changing at its core. It's curating metadata, not primary materials. Multiple curations can exist in the same space. We are losing the sense that there is a right curation for almost anything, and are also losing our sense of mastery of topics. And collections often are not as safe as they once were. Because of its strengths, curation will be with us forever. Indeed, as the welter of content continues to increase, we'll have more of it than ever.


In some areas—medical information, legal text—it will retain its old virtue of providing a reliable, authoritative source. In most areas, though, it has already been transformed, simultaneously transforming our idea of what constitutes a topic, what constitutes expertise, what constitutes authority and what constitutes a collection."


[read full article]

September 15 2011

The work of data journalism: Find, clean, analyze, create ... repeat

Data journalism has rounded an important corner: The discussion is no longer if it should be done, but rather how journalists can find and extract stories from datasets.

Of course, a dedicated focus on the "how" doesn't guarantee execution. Stories don't magically float out of spreadsheets, and data rarely arrives in a pristine form. Data journalism — like all journalism — requires a lot of grunt work.

With that in mind, I got in touch with Simon Rogers, editor of The Guardian's Datablog and a speaker at next week's Strata Summit, to discuss the nuts and bolts of data journalism. The Guardian has been at the forefront of data-driven storytelling, so its process warrants attention — and perhaps even full-fledged duplication.

Our interview follows.

What's involved in creating a data-centric story?

Simon RogersSimon Rogers: It's really 90% perspiration. There's a whole process to making the data work and getting to a position where you can get stories out of it. It goes like this:

  • We locate the data or receive it from a variety of sources — from breaking news stories, government data, journalists' research and so on.
  • We then start looking at what we can do with the data. Do we need to mash it up with another dataset? How can we show changes over time?
  • Spreadsheets often have to be seriously tidied up — all those extraneous columns and weirdly merged cells really don't help. And that's assuming it's not a PDF, the worst format for data known to humankind.
  • Now we're getting there. Next up we can actually start to perform the calculations that will tell us if there's a story or not.
  • At the end of that process is the output. Will it be a story or a graphic or a visualisation? What tools will we use?

We've actually produced a graphic (of how we make graphics) that shows the process we go through:

Guardian data journalism process
Partial screenshot of "Data journalism broken down." Click to see the full graphic.

What is the most common mistake data journalists make?

Simon Rogers: There's a tendency to spend months fiddling around with things that are only mildly diverting. It's so easy to get sidetracked into statistical curiosities rather than telling stories that really matter. It's much more important to strive to create amazing work that will be remembered. You won't always succeed, but you will get closer.

Does data journalism require a team, or is it possible for one person to do all the work?

Simon Rogers: You can go solo. I set up the Datastore and ran it for more than a year on my own. But having a team you can call on is very useful. We have access to people who can scrape sites, people who can work with databases, and graphic designers who can make the results look beautiful. We also work with people out there in the world, bringing their expertise into what we do. With the web, you never have to operate on your own.

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Are the data-driven stories you create updatable?

Simon Rogers: It's a constant issue. The clever thing is to try to make stuff either incredibly easy to update or something that happens without having to think too much about it. We aren't quite there yet, but we're working on it.

What data tools do you use?

Simon Rogers: It's a very personal thing, that. For us it includes: Excel, TextEdit (it's amazing how many times you just need to work on code or formulas without formatting), Google Fusion Tables, Google Spreadsheets, Timetric, Many Eyes, Adobe Illustrator, and Tableau.

This interview was edited and condensed.


September 01 2011

Subscription vs catchment

Recently I was filling out an OSCON feedback survey and arrived at a question that stumped me:

Which of the following industry publications and/or blogs do you read on a regular basis?

Following it was a very long checkbox list, starting with ARS Technica and ACM Queue and ending at ZDNet:

OSCON survey

I started going down the list, answering as best I could, but what I really felt was: "The world doesn't work this way anymore!"

As far as subscriptions go, the main thing I subscribe to these days is Google Alerts and other filters for the topics I care about. Things just float through my alerts, or my Twitter feed, or whatever the catchment du jour is. Subscribing would feel like over-commitment to a single source. If the feedback form had asked "Which of these do you find yourself clicking on most often?" that would have been much closer to reality.

I still have an RSS reader, somewhere around here, but the only two items from the survey list actually in my reader are, I think, Slashdot and O'Reilly Radar. Yet, I read articles from the others all the time. In fact, I'm pretty sure I've read more ZDNet articles than Slashdot articles in the last month, even though I'm "subscribed" to Slashdot but not ZDNet.

As I'm usually not in the advance guard of technology trends, I'm pretty sure I can't be the only person who's basically given up on old-fashioned subscriptions [1]. Is the "subscribe to X" model on its last legs?

Active source loyalty may just not be a thing anymore on the Net. Who evaluates sources as sources now? We're looking more at the cloud of endorsements and references around the sources. This gives us subtle clues as to whether we should go the whole way and click through. More and more, this is true even with publications that have a good reputation and that have spent effort to build that reputation. I like Linux Weekly News (LWN), but I'm not actually going to go to their front page. I'm going to wait until the generalized social waves coursing through the Net bring LWN to me.

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The catchment model means that the urgent task, for those trying to get your attention, is to look enough like what your friends and colleagues endorse to fool your filters. (Of course, one way to do that is to enter into partnerships with the filters, or just be the filters. The rest of this parenthetical aside is left as an exercise for the reader.)

In the past, the sources were a destination all on their own. But as the sources become inputs into a larger filtering system, the filters are the next natural target for those seeking influence — or as we prefer to say in the technology field, the next site of innovation. When people are trawling so many sources, it no longer pays to concentrate on sources at all. It makes much more sense to start studying how the trawlers work and how to become part of the filtering infrastructure.

Perhaps this is all obvious. It just struck me because I've filled out similar evaluation forms for years, and only lately has that question felt like it's based on an obsolete model. And that model doesn't just go away: it gets replaced with something else, something in which broad data collection and pattern discernment matter far more than the reputation and branding of any individual source.

Thanks to Andy Oram for his helpful comments on earlier drafts of this post.

[1] Subscriptions on the Internet, that is. I'll still get my paper copy of The New Yorker until they make it illegal to chop down trees to support East Coast intellectual elitism — a day I hope never comes.

Associated photo on home and category pages: email_subscribe by derrickkwa, on Flickr


July 22 2011

Open question: Which streaming services do you use?

Netflix Watch InstantlyIn a New York Times article on Netflix's new plans and pricing, a customer quote toward the end of the piece jumped out at me:

"Netflix’s streaming video selection is horrible," [Shelia] Haupt said. "What I can get on demand from my cable company is so much better."

I found this notable for a couple reasons. First — and less important — I disagree about Netflix's selection. The company's streaming catalog was horrible when the service first launched in 2007, but it's improved to the point where I'm often surprised at what's available. More often than not I can find something interesting to watch. (And while I have an unabashed appreciation of low-grade pop culture, I also like "quality" content.)

Second — and relevant to this open question — Haupt's comment about using her cable company's on-demand selection hints at a usage pattern I'd like to explore. Specifically, are folks putting their time and money behind particular streaming services? Or are they sampling from a streaming buffet? A Hulu show here, a Netflix movie there, and perhaps an acoustic Pandora station for Sunday mornings?

So with that in mind, here are the questions I'd like to dig into:

  • Which streaming services do you use most often?
  • Do you use services for specific things (Hulu for TV, Netflix for movies, etc.)?
  • Do you pay for any streaming services?
  • Would you prefer to pay for multiple services from different providers or one super-service from a single provider?

Please weigh in through the comments.

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March 10 2011

Flipboard and the end of "sourciness"

Today's Flipboard update sports increased speed, an improved design layout, a partnership with Instagram, and the ability for users to search across several social platforms, including Flickr, Twitter and Facebook.

The shiny new features are drawing plenty of attention, but the really cool thing here — and what likely will fuel Flipboard's success — is the platform's ability to seamlessly present the newly integrated social content without overly focusing on the original source or platform.

In a recent interview, Craig Mod, designer and publisher at Flipboard, stressed the importance of putting the content first. By making content the focus of the presentation, users can experience a seamless stream of information rather than jumping from platform to platform:

I think the thing that Flipboard is doing particularly well is that the integrations become seamless. One of the main goals at Flipboard that we really try to drive home is that [users] plug in these [integration] sources and we remove the "sourciness" from it.

When I'm reading stuff in Flipboard, it's not like I'm engaging Twitter or engaging Facebook. I'm just aware of the great content that's being micro-curated by my social groups. There's an obfuscation of that social network layer — what we're building is a comfortable consumption layer, as fed by human curation.

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In the interview, Mod also discusses the most important elements of app design and how Flipboard is, at this point, a great big experiment. The full interview is available in the following video:


November 30 2010


Lesepflicht für alle: 17 Fragen zum neuen JMStV » t3n News 20101129

Dieser Artikel richtet sich an alle in Deutschland, die im Internet Inhalte anbieten. Seien es private Blogs oder große Social Networks. Sie alle müssen sich ab dem 1. Januar 2011 mit dem in Kraft tretenden neuen Jugendmedienschutz-Staatsvertrag (JMStV) befassen. Dieses Gesetz bringt zwar nicht viele neue Regelungen mit sich, dafür aber viel Verunsicherung. Die Anbieter erhalten eine Wahl, Inhalte wie Texte, Videos oder Forumsbeiträge nach Eignung für bestimmte Altersstufen von Kindern und Jugendlichen zu kennzeichnen. Alternativ können sie den Zugang zu diesen Inhalten einschränken oder sie nur zu bestimmten Zeiten zugänglich machen.


May 14 2010

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