Hot Topic - The Paywall
Every publisher considers, studies, business models. Confounding some, there is no grand unifying vision for a sustainable, successful business. The rise and rise of digital media has produced many models. There will be many more.
By most accounts, print circulation seems to have bottomed out. Losses from the digital decades are starting to reverse, albeit slightly. Print advertising, however, may never recover. Digital advertising, which benefits Facebook more than publishers, seems to have stalled except for mobile ads, expected to overtake TV sometime soon, maybe, unless the ad blockers take over. All of this is just opportunity.
Digital transition has spawned great creativity. Ideas - all kinds - spring up anywhere. Markets ready to exploit them are obvious magnets.
Encouraging signs for the year ahead are everywhere. Gone, mostly, are the forecasts of gloom and doom for the media world. Much of this year and last looked like bouncing on the bottom, not much to cheer but at least business wasn’t getting worse. Like that well-known proverb about interesting times, the digital era has so much more to offer.
Every new path bares exploration in the search for that digital dividend. The straight and narrow gives way to the winding and worrisome. No ideas are bad but some can go terribly wrong. Sifting through the good, the bad and, yes, the ugly, of online revenue models keeps the conference venues filled.
As newspaper publishers met this past week in Thailand for their annual World Newspaper Congress business models were again front and center. Declining paid circulation and advertising revenues continue to plague the printed medium, except in Asia, giving attention at its fullest to the hard battle for online success. Publishers have embraced paywalls almost universally.
Even for the most conservative media executive, balancing the need to innovate with operational reality requires a leap of faith. As the new media people chant “the whole world has changed” there are reporters and editors to feed. Executive instinct is to do something, sooner preferable to later. Executive survival instinct is to re-package and re-name.
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Rupert Murdoch and News Corporation
News Corporation is a highly competitive media giant a global, multi-media footprint. From paywalls and pay-TV to tabloid troubles and new ventures the media industry watches Rupert Murdoch. Update includes family ties, succession plans and other News Of The World. 210 pages PDF (September 2012)
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The Campaign Is On - Elections and Media – new
Elections campaigns are big media events. Candidates and issues are presented, analyzed and criticized in broadcast and print. Media is now more of a participant in elections than ever. This ftm Knowledge file reports on news coverage, advertising, endorsements and their effect on democracy at work. 84 pages. PDF (September 2017)
Fake News, Hate Speech and Propaganda
The institutional threat of fake news, hate speech and propaganda is testing the mettle of those who toil in news media. Those three related evils are not new, by any means, but taken together have put the truth and those reporting it on the back foot. Words matter. This ftm Knowledge file explores that light. 48 pages, PDF (March 2017)
In the media sphere nothing is more important than knowing the audience. Once in a generation a target group evolves to catch the attention of publishers and broadcasters, advertisers and media buyers, social critics and politicians. The Millennials, also known as Generation Y and digital natives, are it, with unique characteristics and behaviors. They have already reshaped everything we do. 35 pages, PDF (December 2016)
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