Three months after the Dolan family (owners of Cablevision) bought Newsday for $650 million and put the website behind a paid subscription wall, only 35 people have coughed up the $5 per week fee.
Subscribers to the print edition and to Cablevision’s Optimim Cable package can read the site for free, which, as one Newsday reporter put it (via The NY Observer), makes Newsday.com “the freebie newsletter that comes with your HBO.”
One: While it might suggest that publishers can slow the abandonment rate among print subscribers by giving those subscribers more value for the buck (generally a good business practice!), it’s another data point in the argument that paid online news models (NYT, for example) will struggle.
Two: The above model is broken. If news audiences are migrating to digital formats, publishers that — come on, let’s be honest — erect a pay wall around the digital product as a ploy to save print (or cable) subscribers are eating their own children. It’s a tactic to buy more time to figure out digital. But while traditional print publishers are “buying more time,” their competitors (especially the native digital publishers) will win the game. In other words, buying time before you have to deal with your digital strategy is the opposite of what publishers should be doing.
Back in November, the NY Times reported that Apple filed a patent for un-skip-able ads for iPhones and iPods. Speculation at the time by ChasNote reader RolfSF:
“methinks this is geared more toward some of the ad-supported software models, perhaps giving some ‘free’ iphone apps a means to be free for a price.”
RolfSF was listening in on Apple’s earnings call earlier today and heard something that confirms his speculation: Peter Oppenheimer said the company had acquired Quattro to “offer developers a seamless way to make more money” in their apps, particularly free apps.
You have to wonder if Apple plans to staff an ad sales team.
Simply wear this headband after applying your Ryan McSorley Skin by Chanel:
And — voila! — all your friends will know you use only the finest skin-care products because they’ll see the Chanel logo that’s temporarily embossed on your forehead.
“It did get me thinking about the future of branding and technology. Imagine if the lotion itself had the ability to create those branded impressions. Or if the samples created a brand on your cheek… unlocking the full version gave you the full experience brand free? Much like software? Or what if tattoos came in creme form? Or imagine if you are what you eat, and small symbols appeared on the skin of your wrist showing what you are made of — fun motivation to get some eating healthier?”
Creme tattoos? Certainly a much better idea than Ray Bans tattooed around your eyes or the Golden Palace Casino logo on your forehead.
“Search engine marketing firm Efficient Frontier has upped its estimates for search ad spending this year. The company now expects spending to increase between 15 and 20 percent, up from its earlier estimates of 10 to 15 percent growth, in part due to the economic recovery. By contrast, Efficient Frontier says search ad spending increased six percent in 2009.”
In Q4 2009 Google added to its enormous market-share lead:
“That was a shift from previous reports, which had indicated that Google was losing ground to Bing. Efficient Frontier says Google’s share of overall search ad spending increased to 74.5 percent from 73.9 percent during the previous quarter. Bing’s share, meanwhile, shrunk to 5.1 percent from 5.3 percent.”
If you weren’t already hooked on the Golden Globes by the red carpet and drunken celebrities, now there’s an angle for geeks. From Geek Sugar:
“Since yesterday, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association and NBC have been gearing up for the big show by streaming events on Facebook and Ustream to bring you retrospective recaps of all the award-show goodness you can handle, and have also partnered with Digg and Mashable for daily updates and countdowns. “
Digg’s daily videos and other Golden Globes stories here.
Rupert Murdoch is getting lots of attention by calling sites such as Google and Digg “content kleptomaniacs” for making money as they point new readers to newspaper sites and content publishers. Here’s another article on the topic from . It’s hard to tell, though, if his rhetoric is earnest or if he’s just stoking the Google-Bing rivalry so that Newscorp can extract subscription fees from online distribution channels (Google, Bing, Digg, etc) similar to the fees cable networks like Fox News collect from the cable operators like Comcast and Time Warner.
To me it feels a bit like Conde Nast and Time Inc suing the guys who run newsstands — making a profit selling gum and chapstick by luring people into their stores with the glossy covers of magazines. But the magazine publishers didn’t do that. Instead they let newsstand owners give away some of their content for free (cover photography and headlines) in hopes that some percentage of the browsers would pay to buy the whole magazine. If potential readers collectively decided that a glance at a magazine’s cover was enough — that there wasn’t any value to actually opening the magazine to read it — I’m guessing that magazine’s publisher would halt the presses, maybe even issue an apology to readers for failing them so deeply. They certainly wouldn’t sue newsstand owners for robbing their cover art as a ploy to sell Snickers bars.
Meanwhile, the French government has taxing digital ad revenues in order to subsidize traditional media. I’m going to go out on a limb here: That won’t save traditional media. Let traditional media companies save themselves. A bit of hardship will actually help the best media companies rethink the value they deliver to readers, viewers and advertisers. Deliver value and you’ll get paid for it. If you’ve stopped delivering value, don’t blame it on the competition.
Which means they have the furthest to fall as ad dollars follow audiences to the Internet. From SAI’s Chart of the Day.
“For the first time in its history, Facebook was the number one most visited website in the United States on both Christmas Eve and Christmas Day this year, according to traffic analyst firm Hitwise today,” reported Read/Write Web on December 29.
And they did it again on January 1.
The search era officially makes room for the social-media era.
The 18 best print and outdoor creatives, according to Bloggermint. It’s an eclectic collection, and the picture of the boy peeing on a Nike billboard isn’t an ad at all, but there’s some clever stuff from Samsonite, Firefox, Mini and others. My favorite among them is this bus stop ad for Windex.
ChasNote’s Asia bureau chief passed through India over the holidays and was impressed with the indomitable persistence of the advertising sales community there.
Ads were everywhere, from the front page of the Times of India — Yahoo’s ad was the front page; news started on Page Two that day — to private cement fences in rural towns, like this one for Vodafone in Alleppey in the southern state of Kerala. Made me feel that Times Square isn’t taking full advantage of all its opportunities.