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, 24 June 2009

WPP and Zimbabwe

Did you happen to catch last weekends Sunday Times?

Lots in it as always but something caught my eye concerning an old favourite Sir Martin Sorrell. Specifically that Sir Martin had been amongst business leaders assembled to hear pleas for help by Morgan Tsavangirai prime minister of Zimbabwe.

So what?.

Well isn't this the very same Sir Martin who was at one point (and not that long ago) co owner (through WPP) of an ad agency in Harare that worked on Mugabe election campaigns.


WPP was forced to divest of its share when the story broke. Sir M claimed in his defence that he didn't know that WPP had a stake.

Anyway its good to see him looking to make amends and perhaps he will do something to help the embattled people of Zimbabwe (as opposed to helping to prolong the misery).

Sent from my handheld

Tuesday, 23 June 2009

BBC2 outguns ITV on Sunday - time for back to basics in the autumn?

Looks like BBC2 out-rated ITV over the entire day on Sunday, helped by Top Gear's 7 million strong return to prime time.

Another blow for the beleagured commercial broadcaster, though reports that they are moving closer to the recruitment of a new leader will no doubt be well received.

Announcements that Primeval and Demons will not be recommissioned for further series also broke last week. Again, no real surprise given their reported cost of £1m an hour for the CGI heavy entertainment dramas. Looks like Saturday night will have to be X-Factor and gameshow night for ITV if they are to build ratings over Q4. No bad thing in our view, there's always a place in the nation's heart for a good gameshow.

Monday, 22 June 2009

Bo kick starts Water Dog ownership stampede

WASHINGTON - APRIL 14:  U.S. President Barack ...Image by Getty Images

The Wall Street Journal reports that

“Ever since the Obama family anointed Bo the country's First Dog, requests for Portuguese water dogs have been soaring, jumping by about 100% in the U.S. and 122% in the U.K. from a year earlier, according to officials at the Portuguese Water Dog Club of America.”

Only about 1,400 or so water dogs are born a year, making for a rigorous adoption process—applicants must fill out several forms, running as many as 11 pages, and sit for interviews. The increase in demand has led to new standards. One breeder “will sell only to people who can stay home with the dog or take it to work, who have a fenced-in yard and don't have children under the age of 6.”

Goldman Sachs - bonuses bigger than ever!

Image representing Goldman Sachs as depicted i...

The Guardian reports that Goldman Sachs is set to pay out the biggest bonuses in the company’s 140-year history. In April, the firm set aside over $1.5 billion to pay its 28,000 employees, most of whom will receive their largest bonuses ever.
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Friday, 19 June 2009

Market Evolution - new website

We are very happy to announce our new website

The old one was awful and we are glad its dead.

This one is much better.

Please do take a look and let us know what you think.

Our thanks to our web wizard Toby Kay for the design and build.


Thursday, 18 June 2009

Twitter - more nails in the coffin

I hope that our blog isn't becoming a 'Twitter Hater' because I as - followers of this blog will know - love twitter (not)

Well here is some more august evidence that the thing is dead. Read on ......

A new Harvard Business School study of 300,542 individuals found that “most people” only tweet once in their lifetimes.

“Twitter remains the preserve of a few, despite the hype surrounding it"

Among the precious few who stick with it, “half of all the people using Twitter updated their pages less than once every 74 days,” according to the study.

“It looks like a few people are creating content for a few people to read and share,” said Bill Heil, who carried out the work.

New York Times - makes you laugh, makes you cry

Watch this clip from The Daily Show.

Its very funny, but also rather sad

End Times

Believe Nothing

Evening Standard - dereliction of duty?

This economic recession has put heaps of pressure of newspapers and thus there has been much debate about the importance and role of newspapers. Would we miss them if they were gone? etc.

We've always come down on side of the newspaper saying they are important and society would be affected if they were is disappear (not that we think they will). We've also recognised that they need to evolve their model and raise their game otherwise they do not deserve to flourish.

In the last few weeks we've seen two excellent examples of the best and worst of newspapers......

1. The Telegraph with its MP Expenses Scandal has reminded us what newspaper can and do better than any news media.

2. The Evening Standard - on the other hand - with its weak and lamentable position on the recent Tube strike showed us that when newspapers are bad they are really bad.

Now I recognise that the Evening Standard is under staffed, poorly funded and is edited by a former editor of monthly society magazine Tatler but come on! For the newspaper that is positioned as the voice of London to stand by in silence whilst 3.5m Londoners lives were hugely inconvenienced by a wholly unnecessary industrial action is little short of dereliction of duty. The Standard should have been outraged (in line with public sentiment, Boris, Transport For London, and common sense). Instead they covered the whole sorry episode as a news story. Pah.

Perhaps something else to apologise for in the next wave of their sorry advertising?

No editorial balls - Sorry

Friday, 12 June 2009

The importance of checking with consumers

One of the (few) positives to come out of the economic recession is a return to evidence based marketing. When the economic climate was balmy marketers didnt feel such a need to go to the trouble of concept testing. They were comfortable to rely more on gut instinct. Now that the climate is distinctly stormy marketers feel more secure checking in with consumers first.

We think this is good news and heralds a welcome return to best practice.

In our view there is no excuse to turn a blind eye to the consumer. The machinery of market research is such these days that consumers views and options can be gathered quickly and inexpensively. Its a brave (and somewhat foolish) marketer that goes to market without first checking in with consumers.

Bar Mitzvah in an nyc jail upsets Major Bloomberg

After the rain sodden tube struck week from hell we've had (in London) I thought we could all do with a little light relief.

Read this hilarious 'truth is stranger than fiction' piece in the New York Post.

Thanks to our friend Alex Shapiro for the tip off

Thursday, 11 June 2009

Standard owner Lebedev set to buy Independent newspapers

Russian oligarch Alexander Lebedev, majority owner of the London Evening Standard, is understood to be in advanced talks to buy The Independent and Independent on Sunday.

We hear that the deal is a long way from getting done. Seems that the Indie management has unrealistic aspirations about their own importance in any merged entity.

The old phase of 'beggars cant be choosers' springs to mind!

We have been scratching our heads trying to work out the strategic sense of this deal.

Vanity publishing aside both are ailing, both have no more costs to cut......its hard to see where the efficiencies are going to come from.

Anway Im sure the great minds behind this deal have this all figured out.

Wednesday, 10 June 2009

Boston Globe For Sale

The New York Times Co. has hired investment bank Goldman Sachs Group Inc. to shop around the Boston Globe, the Boston daily newspaper reported Wednesday, citing two potential bidders. Times Co. plans to solicit bids for the Globe in the next couple of weeks, according to the story. The Globe's largest union earlier this week voted to reject pay and benefits cuts proposed by company management, triggering speculation the 137-year-old newspaper may be closed.

How dare they?

I am officially grumpy this morning. Grumpy with the Rail Maritime and Transport (RMT) union and their 48 hour tube strike.

The action which was called over jobs and pay has disrupted millions of us this morning casting us in to the rain and the misery of an impossible journey to work.

Above is a picture of my alternative method of transport - the bus stop!

Not viable.

Quicker to walk which I did (in a grump).

At a time when we are all thinking about our jobs and our pay and when the economy need us to be working and spending the RMT decide to strike (over jobs and pay) costing the economy millions. How dare they.

Apologies for the politics but Bob Crow (below) should be
hung, drawn and quartered

Tuesday, 9 June 2009

Murdoch gets it right (again)

"Communications are changing totally and we're moving into the digital age and it's going to change newspapers. But if you've got a newspaper with a great name and a great reputation and you trust it, the people in that community are going to need access to your source of news.

"What we call newspapers today, I call 'news organisations,' journalistic enterprises, if you will. They're the source of news. And people will reach it if it's done well, whether they do it on a Blackberry or Kindle or a PC."

From interview on Fox News Network

Of course no-one - not even Rupert Murdoch - knows what the future holds for newspapers but its clear that the industry will have to change considerably. I agree with what the old guy says here. The greatest asset is the organisation itself not the distribution or access. Its the manufacturing of quality news content and the trusted brands behind it that is the critical factor here.

Don't care how people choose to access the content

Boston Globe determined to die?

The Boston Globe may not be saved after all..........

The paper’s largest union rejected $10 million in wage and benefit cuts, and afterward its owners The New York Times Co. imposed a 23 percent pay cut on its members. The 700-member union now plans to file unfair labor practice charges with the Labor Relations Board and hopes to block the cut.

The Boston Newspaper Guild is the only one of the paper’s four unions to reject the deal.

The Boston Globe is projected to lose $85 million this year.

Thursday, 4 June 2009

Twitter's rocketship ascent more mirage than moonshot.

We've been pretty sceptical about Twitter on this blog. We've never really got it. We've think its mostly hype.

Here is an important stats led piece in TIME magazine that seems to concur........... that Twitter is a mirage!

Twitter on the cover of Time magazine

Have a read by clicking here

Put the Consumer first

American Press Institute presented a white paper to a small group of senior US newspaper executives that offers a step by step plan of how newspapers should move forward with paid content.

Here is their recommended five pronged business plan, divided by “doctrines,” to charge users for content:

1. True Value Doctrine: Newspapers should create value by beginning to charge for it.

2. Fair Value Doctrine: In order to maintain the value of content, newspapers should aggressively enforce copyrights and right to profit from published content.

3. Fair Share Doctrine: News orgs should start to negotiate with the technology industry for higher prices for content that is aggregated, redistributed, broken up, and linked to.

4. Digital Deliverance Doctrine: Newspapers should invest in technology and digital platforms that could “provide content-based e-commerce, data sharing and other revenue-generating solutions” at “premium prices.”

5. Consumer Centric Doctrine: Newspaper need to refocus their content from advertisers to readers/consumers.

Its all good 'theoretical' stuff but of the 5 number 5 is absolutely critical.

Much more attention should be paid to the quality of the content and the relevance of the content.

Get that piece right and:

a) you'll maintain an audience


b) you might get 'em to pay