Welcome to Market Revolution's blog

Thank you for visiting Market Revolution's blog.

We live and work in exciting times - revolutionary times. Technology continues to recast the media industry.

The extraordinary advance of affordable personal digital technology and the stellar rise of social networks are both distrupting and transforming the media market making this a unique moment to be involved in the convergence sectors we focus on.

This is also our place to ruminate and comment on the world as we see it, we hope you enjoy and please join in.

Wednesday, 17 December 2008


Many papers around the world are taking radical steps to cut costs and improve efficiencies. Times are extremely tough and cuts are unavoidable but the industry has to be careful where it cuts and not cut a main artery.

Cutting distribution is sensible but now two high-selling Detroit newspapers have taken it a step further - by eliminating home delivery on four days of the week.

This is madness. This would be like the UK industry cutting subscribers but worse as home delivery folks pay full price. Yes they do.

Home delivery customers are the absolute lifeblood of US newspaper industry. These folks are the loyalists. They buy everday. They read everyday. Dont punish them. Reward them.

Don't take them for granted and absolutely don't expect them to go from paper to digital. They won't.

For all those UK Newspaper managers who are considering the full range of cuts learn from this and please leave the subscriber and home delivered customer alone. Broaden the relationship with them don't end it. Open up new revenue streams through transactions.

be careful where you cut

Monday, 15 December 2008

Radio bags another senior management figure from newspapers

Stuart Mays has quit Associated Newspapers where he was head of strategy to join his former Associated colleague Stephen Miron at Global Radio. Miron is the former Mail on Sunday managing director who was appointed Global's chief executive of radio in August.

Mays will work across all commercial aspects of Global Radio, taking up his new role on 5 January.

This is interesting on 2 levels:

Firstly, Mays is the second senior manager to leave Associated recently (Miron being the first). This presents a challenge to remaining management who have been used to a uniquely stable top table. We are seeing the most long standing management team in newspapers come unstitched right when experience and stability are most necessary.

Secondly, we have another senior newspaper man leaving for radio - surely out of the frying pan into the fire but from what we hear Global pay very well so hey who cares!

Mr Madoff - rounds off a very bad year

Ok - we've had collapsed banks, big bailouts, melt down on wall street but now we have (alleged) fraud and on a massive scale.

A $50bn scale!

''Mr Madoff told senior employees, including his sons, that his investment management firm had lost $50bn over a number of years, according to court documents. Prosecutors alleged that he said his operations were “just one big lie” and “basically a giant Ponzi scheme” – where investment managers pay old investors with money raised from new investors.''

Whats absolutely incredible about all this is not so much the size of the fraud but the extent of it.

Mr Madoff conned a huge number of very very experienced people, institutions and authorities big time.

HSBC, BNP Paribas, Nicola Horlick (!) Grupo Santandar. RBS (£400m exposure); Man Group ($360m exposure).

To name but a few.

More astonishingly he also conned the authorities over many many years (which is far more worrying)

How could this happen?

Who knows but there must be lots of egg on alot of important faces this morning. And more shame and embarrassment for the financial sector.

I have one word of explaination: GREED

The investors are not victims they are mugs! Didnt it seem odd to them that Madoff's fund continued to post stellar returns even in these really challenging times?

To perform this well over so many years he was either a genius or a crook and surprise surprise ............!

Thursday, 11 December 2008

Newsweek - making right (but painful) moves

The rumors appear to be true: Newsweek will amputate up to one million copies from its 2.6 million circulation, according to Wall Street Journal sources.

This sounds sensible.

All 'dead tree' publications have to slim down. They have work harder on rewarding their loyal subscribers rather than casual purchasers. And rely more on digital channels.

Clearly a big, big change for the 73 year old magazine and a painful one, but its a strong and established brand and I for one think its future is bright

City AM expansion on hold - Thank God

Expansion outside London of free business daily City A.M. is put on hold until the economy “gets back to something like normal” according to chief executive Jens Torpe in Press Gazette.

Our old friend Lawson Muncaster (City AM, Managing Director) announced the intended expansion at a Conference in early October 08. We thought at the time that it was an unlikely to happen and we felt that the claim was more of a Conference headline that a serious aim.

Lets keep in mind that the economy was hardly 'normal' in October when the announcement was made.

Jens and Lawson are serious players. They have the knowledge and talent to weather the storm and the absolute last thing they need to do right now is expand.

'Next Christmas the iPod will be kaput' - the 10 worst technology predictions



Made in 1878 by Sir William Preece, chief engineer at the Post Office.

'The Americans have need of the telephone, but we do not. We have plenty of messenger boys,' he said.


Lord Kevlin, President of the Royal Society was clearly unconvinced when he made his comments in 1883.


The maiden flight of the Boeing 247 took place in 1933.

Speaking after the happy event, an engineer reportedly said: 'There will never be a bigger plane built.'

The world's biggest plane is currently the Airbus A380 can carry up to 853 people.


Darryl Zanuck, 20th Century Fox movie mogul was responsible for this clanger back in 1946.

He claimed the technology had a short shelf life because people will 'soon get tired of staring at a plywood box every night.'


Back in the 1950s, Alex Lewyt, president of the Lewyt Corp vacuum company, claimed it was only a matter of time before nuclear power was used in the home.

'Nuclear-powered vacuum cleaners will probably be a reality within ten years,' he said.


'We stand on the threshold of rocket mail,' said U.S. postmaster general Arthur Summerfield in 1959.


In 1977, Ken Olsen, the president, chairman and founder of Digital Equipment Corp (DEC) claimed there was no reason for anyone to want a personal computer.


Bill Gates's first entry into the chart with his 1981 claim that no personal computer would ever need huge amounts of capacity.

He has since denied making the statement,,,


... though there's no doubt he said this one.

Speaking at the 2004 World Economic Forum he claimed a solution was in sight.


And rounding off the technology hall of shame is Sir Alan Sugar.

He made his claim in 2005, telling an interviewer: 'Next Christmas the iPod will be dead, finished, gone, kaput.'

T3 technology magazine

Wednesday, 10 December 2008

Shrinking value of media companies

Trinity Mirror, Johnston Press and Mecom will fall out of the FTSE 250 today in a sign of the rapidly diminishing value of media companies.

The three newspaper groups have seen their shares hammered in recent months as they fall victim to the worsening advertising slowdown and fears about the long-term prospects of print media.

Tuesday, 9 December 2008

Harnessing the brand-reader relationship to full effect

We are very focused here on the power of community, harnessing the brand-customer relationship in a dynamic and interactive way - it is the future, it's started already and businesses that embrace this wholeheartedly will undoubtedly create a competitive advantage in their markets.

Bild, the largest selling newspaper in Europe (think The Sun in German but with a bit more mid-market aspiration) has announced a deal with Lidl to sell pocket-sized cameras to shoot still and video pictures for £60. While this sounds quite a high price in today's high street market, the vision of the deal is to be applauded. If Bild can motivate its audience to buy the cameras and then use them to send content to the newspaper, it will exponentially grow its reach and influence.

While there are obvious issues of quality preservation that surround the use of any content, whether professional or amateur, this shouldn't distract from the potential here. Strengthening the relationship between brand and customer, on as many platforms as possible, has to be a positive move, and in any declining market holding onto your most loyal customers has to be the main focus.

Innovation should be applauded, it will be interesting to see how this develops over the next 12 months, and whether UK newspaper brands will adopt something similar.

Wednesday, 3 December 2008

Piers Morgan's view of the future of newspapers

Piers Morgan, former editor of the News of the World and the Daily Mirror, and now a successful TV-personality said to the British Journalism Review that all newspaper should go free in the future.

“I think within 10 years every Fleet Street paper will be free” Morgan added. (Press Gazette).

Well, Piers certainly knows his newspapers and his opinion should be listened to.

That said free isnt a catch all/ 'get out of jail' card for all. The model has its place for sure but newspapers need to crack digital above all else.

We do see a model somewhere down the line where frees could simply be marketing for digital versions. In this scenario the commercial model is part advertising but mostly audience explotiation (commercial explitation that is!). All the marketers would surely say that this is a very expensive marketing channel. Indeed it is, but nothing works harder for keeping your audience together and engaged than being able to touch and feel your product every day.

That said surely where we are going (and fast) is towards an electronic version of the printed paper or epaper as its called. Readers get the all important portability of todays printed paper with all the 'always on' advantages of digital. can this piece of kit be free. Yes it can for subscribers. Not it cant for casuals.

The future of newspapers is a fascinating debate; one that will run and run