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.

Thursday, 30 July 2009

MOODY'S Economy.com has mapped the geographic spread of the worst global downturn since the Depression. All of North America is in recession now. In Europe only Norway, Slovenia and Slovakia have avoided a similar fate, although Moody’s reckons these countries are on the brink of a downturn. Emerging Asia looks cheerier, although the small export-led economies of Singapore and Hong Kong are shrinking, as are Malaysia and Thailand. Even the BRICs are looking a bit diminished, with downturns in both Brazil and Russia. At least India and China are growing (the latter at a pace that is causing worries about overheating). Data for Africa are spotty but the continent’s biggest economy, South Africa, is in recession. The IMF expects global GDP to shrink by 1.4% this year, with rich countries’ economies contracting by around 3.8%. (source: The Economist)

Tuesday, 28 July 2009

Friends Reunited on the way out for £15m?

Reports are circulating that ITV may be selling Friends Reunited for a knock-down £15million, a business it bought for £175million four years ago.

If true, even in these pressured commercial times it says a lot that they are prepared to consider selling the business and taking a paper loss of £160m, and that's before we add up the amount of additional investment, salaries and marketing that has gone into the site since 2005.

The likes of Facebook, myspace and Bebo made the paid-for subscription business model obsolete remarkably quickly, but in ITV's defence, these voracious competitors are not generating profits even now. While NewsCorp and the other social networking site backers are happy to wait and see what the profitability model is, ITV simply doesn't have the pockets deep enough to fight back. It's another example of ITV being a big UK player, but a tiny Global presence.

Stick to the knitting and you might eventually make a jumper to keep your warm in the winter - as someone famous used to say. Make some good TV and sell advertising, that's what you should be good at ITV.

Wednesday, 22 July 2009

FT snarls at Blogs

I was surprised (and delighted) to see the FT's Lex column baring its teeth today.

The object of their ire this morning was blogs. Not all blogs (they don't doubt the popularity of the media 'upstarts') but certain high profile political blogs like TPM and Huffington Post.

Why so cross?

Well, FT is frustrated by these types of blogs who win awards and attract lots of attention, but 'riff' much of their content on mainstream news stories published by 'desperate old media companies'.

Not stopping there the FT also reminded us just how limited blog audiences are compared with those for traditional media outlets.

Whilst the FT stopped short of outright criticism they left us in no doubt of how they felt in general about blogs.

Couple of things struck me about this Lex piece:

1. Overall the FT's tone was quite defensive and reactionary using words like 'upstart'. Not classic FT ‘high ground’ positioning.

2. Also rather surprisingly they continue to choose to distinguish between old/traditional and new media. As we posted yesterday (see post below) we feel its high time we did away with these tags. So called new media has been around a long time etc and surely its all media now.

3. That said its great to see a newspaper of note engaged in redressing the facts of the media market. The facts are that although popular and in certain cases authoritative blogs are still small compared to the newspapers like the New York Times. Its high time the newspapers stopped being so defensive about their own assets and influence and got on the offensive – as we have said on this blog many, many times before.

Samsung Wrist Phone

Looks like the wrist phone concept is finally becoming a reality. This one is available in the autumn in France.

Tuesday, 21 July 2009

Old Media versus New media

Wise words from Robert Campbell (see post below) from Campbelllacebeta blog

'A lot of people seem bothered by the difference between old media and new media. And which kind of agency does what.

We like to look at it this way.

The first cave paintings were painted by cavemen around 32,000 years ago. The first newspaper, The Relation, was published in Germany about 400 years ago. The first big poster campaigns appeared in France in the late1800s.

TV was invented in 1922. Twitter in 1935. Don't believe us? Check this link. http://thenextweb.com/2008/08/12/twitter-invented-in-1935/ The internet was invented by the American military in the 1960s. (They must have been taking acid.) Mobile phones in the 1970s. Etc.

So we figure, when you look at it comparatively, everything is new media except cave paintings. So let's just call it all media, shall we, and get on with it.'

Campbell Lace Beta Win Thomas Cook

Campbell Lace Beta, the ad agency set up by Robert Campbell and Garry Lace, has picked up the £9 million advertising account for the travel company Thomas Cook.

Congratulations to Robert and Garry who are both friends and business partners of ours

Newspaper Guild ends standoff with New York Times Co at Boston Globe

Newspaper Guild ends standoff with New York Times Co at Boston Globe by approving a $10m package of cuts

The Boston Globe's largest union has approved a $10m (£6.1m) package of salary and benefits cuts, ending a standoff with publisher the New York Times Company, which had previously threatened to close the title.

Friday, 17 July 2009

Thought for the day

"All charming people have something to conceal, usually their total dependence on the appreciation of others."

Cyril Connolly

Wednesday, 15 July 2009

Rich still giving (bless em)

Banknotes from all around the World donated by...Image via Wikipedia

On the day that saw Goldman Sach reported bumper earnings despite the recession another story caught my eye and warmed my heart.

THE global recession has failed to dampen philanthropic spirit, with many rich people increasing their charitable giving, according to a new report from Barclays Wealth. Among the 500 British and American individuals with at least $1m of investable assets, only education was considered a more important expense than charitable commitments. Some 28% of Americans say they are giving less money compared with 18 months ago, though 26% are giving more. A similar pattern is seen among those givers from both countries who inherited their fortune. But entrepreneurs are more likely to give their cash away—31% say they have increased their giving and only 17% have reduced it.

(Source: The Economist )

Lets hope some of the GS record bonuses will make its way to charitable causes

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Tuesday, 14 July 2009

ShortList gets a sister

It seems that the highly popular and (we believe successful) ShortList is going to joined by a sister.

The free upmarket women's weekly will be called Stylist and launch in late September/early October.

Former IPC executive Glenda Marchant has been appointed publisher and it will be edited by the editor of Bauer's More!, Lisa Smosarski.

The title will be handed out every Wednesday via a network of street vendors, initially in six cities including London, Manchester, Glasgow and Birming­ham, with a distribution of 400,000. (source: Brand Republic)

Good Luck to them. Ballsy in this market, but it goes to show get the product and the distribution right and the audience and then the ads will follow

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Monday, 13 July 2009

Old Media lead the blogsphere

A new study by Cornell researchers shows that traditional (old-media) news outlets lead the blogosphere by 2.5 hours when it comes to breaking news. It's a sign that the old guard should chill out about blogs and how they're destroying the news world.

The Cornell research took an innovative new approach to studying the news cycle. Instead of examining a few case-study pieces of news and extrapolating the behavior of the different media outlets from these limited cases, it used a powerful algorithmic search. 1.6 million mainstream media and blog websites were analyzed in real-time, and to see how news propagated through them all specific phrases were sampled from each site and compared to see how they appeared elsewhere--kind of a text-based fingerprint.

By comparing where these fingerprint phrases, or memes, first surfaced, and then watching for them to pop up elsewhere online, the Cornell team has uncovered how news propagates online. To see how this works, check out Barack Obama's "lipstick on a pig" soundbite's rise to newsworthiness -it was the most prominent fingerprint phrase, or meme, found during the study.

The main result of all this is the it's still the traditional news portals who tend to break the news. Blogs followed up the stories an average of 2.5 hours later.

That's actually no surprise--blogs don't have hundreds of journalists embedded in hotspots around the globe, and don't get special invites to government press interviews. That's just the professional blogs--the millions of amateur blogs tend to be just run by a single person, and these blogs often follow the major ones in a kind of "me too!" information propagation wave.

(Source: Fast Company)

Thursday, 9 July 2009

How the telephony world has changed

There are only four outdoor phone booths left in Manhattan, New York - and they’re all on West End Avenue. .

Wednesday, 8 July 2009

Google parks tanks on Microsoft's lawn

Google Chrome

Google has sensed a window of opportunity: The company is taking aim at Microsoft's Windows operating system by releasing an operating system of its own. "The system, based on Google's Chrome Web browser, is designed for all classes of PCs, 'from small netbooks to full-sized desktop systems', and will be available in machines from 'multiple' PC makers in the second half of next year," according to the Financial Times.

Google promised its OS would resolve many of the frustrations of Windows users, from slow start-up times to viruses. The Chrome OS will first appear on notebooks in the second half of 2010.

And this on the day Google announced the closure of its charitable Foundation. Oh what irony!

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Capitalist Fact

The largest McDonald's is in Beijing, China - measuring 28,000 square feet. It has twenty nine cash registers.

Sent from my handheld

Monday, 6 July 2009

Making money online - Murdoch's latest view

Thanks to Roy Greenslade's reporting of Rupert Murdoch's phone interview with thestreet.com on the subject of all things digital.

We work with a number of clients who are struggling with the challenge of making up declining offline revenues by growing new revenues online. It's a challenge to say the least, increasing X does not equal declining Y in this case.

A good, and very valid quote from the media mogul: "On Twitter: "It's an amazing phenomenon but I have no idea how they can monetize it. No one monetises the web today to any extent other than search.""

No one monetises the web today to any extent other than search - let's just think that one through for a moment. Rupert Murdoch is acknowledging that the hundreds of millions of pounds his global media brands have invested in digital media "solutions" is probably not going to pay back in a "non-search" way. Yes, he's looking at subscription and micro-payment models, but this is a very blunt admission from a man who has been investing in digital for a while now.

Subscription models can work, but only if the content is niche, specialist and unique enough to attract and hold onto the audience. Is this then a view from on high that mass media will not make money online? Interesting if it is.