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.

Monday, 21 December 2009

World map of Social Networks

Italian writer, blogger and photographer Vincenzo Cosenza has for the second time put together a visualization that shows the most popular social networks around the world on a map, based on the most recent traffic data (December 2009) as measured by Alexa & Google Trends for Websites.

Friday, 18 December 2009

Evening Standard and Indie talks back on

Independent News & Media said Friday that it has entered into an exclusive in principle - but non-binding - agreement with London Evening Standard newspaper owner Alexander Lebedev. The firm said it is "currently engaged in discussions with regard to the future ownership of The Independent and Independent on Sunday."

We are surprised by this news. We thought this deal was off - sensibly dead and buried. As we said last time we just don't see the commercial sense of it or what possible good will come from these two loss making papers joining together. We'd love for someone to help us understand the rational.
Toby Constantine
Director | Market Evolution Ltd

Research | Analysis | Insight | Advice | Action

Sent from my handheld

Tuesday, 15 December 2009

Murdoch visits newsagents

A typical newsstand in New York City.Image via Wikipedia

Fantastic story in The Guardian about Rupert Murdoch visiting newsagents.

I'm not surprised at all by this (although few billionaires would have the same inclination). Murdoch remains totally committed to and focused on newspapers. He remains energetically interested in the dynamics of the business and where the faultlines are and where improvements can be made and what better place to hear it as it actually is than from the the mouths of newsagents.

He,also, loves to wrong foot his management with first hand experiences of the market place. It reminds of an story from the early days of Sky when Murdoch evaluated Sky dish sale success on the number of dishes he had counted from the back of his car on the journey into London from the airport!

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Promiscuity - part of the human condition

The researchers at media consultancy Oliver & Ohlbaum surveyed 2,600 readers about their news-reading habits. And it discovered a deep seated human characteristic: promiscuity!

Even the print loyalists the researchers found, have almost no loyalty when seeking out news (or comment and analysis).

For example, it found that readers of our client the Daily Telegraph got just 8 percent of their online news from its website. They spent twice as much time visiting the BBC’s news website and more than twice as much reading other quality papers.

They were also more likely to read tabloid papers, like The Sun and the Daily Mirror, online than their own favourite paper. Others were no more loyal. Sun readers, for example, visited the websites of quality newspapers about as often as they did those of tabloids, including their own Sun.

Now come on. What's surprising about this? Nothing! We are promiscuous at heart aren't we? Especially if are allowed to be or moreso when we can afford to be ie it doesn't hit us in the pocket!

Browsing, search and book marking technology coupled with fast internet connection speeds and the allure of free quality content has made it extremely easy for us (its encouraged us) to enjoy multiple (content) partners.

But promiscuity is itself a fragile beast. Like bubbles and soap promiscuity dies when confronted with the commitment that comes with a pay wall or even registration.

My conclusion to all this is simple. The online content market place is growing up. And it’s painful. It’s coming to the end of the ‘teen’ period of discovery and exploration i.e. multiple partner 'hook ups' and is entering the more responsible phase of fewer partners and greater commitment!

Now some users will attempt to hold back the tide and try to remain in multiple relationships. Some will just settle down with the BBC. The rest will be content to choose a limited number of paid high quality partners who will provide them with all they need for a committed and informed life.

Now I am hoping that publishers will adopt micro payments to encourage me to have my chosen few trusted content sources with whom I have a paid relationship rather than pay walls which force me to make a single partner commitment. Pay walls won't work because they presuppose that consumers can get all they need from one mega 'ikea' content site. It doesn't work like that. As the O&O research says readers are promiscuous not just because they can afford be right now but more importantly because they get specific things from different trusted sources. I, for example, use BBC online for breaking news, Sun for Sport, FT for business and IHT for the World! I'm not normal but we all know that single sources don't (can't) satisfy and it’s a na├»ve and dangerous assumption to think they can. 'All you can eat' paid for 24 hour access doesn't do it either. I don't want to come in - gorge - and leave only to have to pay again next time. I want specifically what I want when I want it (and jettison the rest) . I would, therefore, advocate a service where I can choose and pay for the bits of content from various publishers that do it for me and have then ‘housed’ on a platform that allows me access from whatever device I choose.

Surely in this technological age this isn’t too much of an ask??

Monday, 14 December 2009

Google phone - confirmed

Finally we have confirmation that Google is entering the mobile handset business.
Speculation has been rampant for months that the Google would begin to ship their own handset. Its a controversial move as they have been successfully pushing their mobile operating system Android to handset manufacturers and this move takes them from partner to competitor. Its also heralds a rare venture by Google into hardware.

The phone will appear in January 2010 and will be made by HTC of Taiwan.

2010 going to be a very interesting year for mobile.

Friday, 11 December 2009

Apple counter sues Nokia

Way back in October 2009 we wrote about Nokia suing Apple for alleged patent infringement and we suspected that Apple would respond with a counter claim. Well it appears that we were on the money.

Apple has today filed a counter suit against Finnish handset maker Nokia,

In its response lawsuit, Apple says Nokia infringes on 13 of its own patents, and even outright accuses the company of theft:

“Other companies must compete with us by inventing their own technologies, not just by stealing ours,” said Bruce Sewell, Apple’s General Counsel and senior vice president.

We will continue to watch this one as these two giants square up. Both have a huge amount at stake and neither is likely to throw in the towel easily. Meanwhile it sure is a happy Christmas for their lawyers.

Wednesday, 9 December 2009

Sports Illustrated shows us the future

Please watch this video. Its a graphic illustration of whats coming and why we should be so excited to be in media. Strong brands with original high quality content are going to be set free by technology and will thrive in the digital era.

Tuesday, 8 December 2009

Newspapers - time to co-operate?

If magazine publishers can get together and cooperate why can't newspapers?

At this infection point it has to make sense for newspaper publishers to work collaboratively on setting standard models for content charging, digital access and a united front in debate with content aggregators.

Doesn't it?

In the magazine world the greatest names in publishing Hearst, Time Inc, Conde Nast and Meredith will next week launch an independent digital consortium supported by News Corp, to develop a digital news stand. Last week Hearst with support from others launched "Skiff", a standard technology platform and planned electronic reader, promising to give publishers more control of their digital fortunes.

"For the first time the publishing business are way ahead of the trend" says Mark Ford, Time's publisher.

There are so many great minds beavering away inside newspapers trying to figure out the way forward - alone and isolated from the rest of the industry. Surely its time for the newspapers greatest names to swallow their pride and cooperate? To work on the problems and opportunities together. To develop and execute a cohesive plan to together. To emerge from this crisis stronger and ready for the digital era.

Alas it won't happen. There will continue to be a collectively hand wringing and tub thumping at newspapers industry get togethers like the recent World Newspaper Congress in Hyderabad, but self interest will keep the titles and their businesses apart. And the industry will suffer longer than it needs to as a result. The frustrating thing is that standards will emerge eventually they always do, but not for awhile longer.

Ironically I think the industry might coerce (rather than cooperate) around an 'no charge' for content position. There will be publishers that will choose not to rally to Murdoch 'pay walls' battle cry choosing to wait it out and see whether they benefit from a customer upswing away from paid sites to their free sites. I wonder whether this is driven by a desire to ‘get Murdoch’ or a genuine strategic position. Additionally, I foresee publishers coalescing around the aggregators (especially Google and Yahoo) with some like Murdoch choosing to fight and others like Germany's Axel Springer choosing to work together to create a “one-click marketplace solution” for their online content.

Monday, 7 December 2009

Resurgence in sale of Vinyl

Sales of vinyl albums have been climbing steadily for several years, proving its a trend not a fad.

Through end of November, more than 2.1 million vinyl records had been sold in 2009, an increase of more than 35 percent in a year, according to Nielsen Soundscan. That total, though it represents less than 1 percent of all album sales, including CDs and digital downloads, is the highest for vinyl records in any year since Nielsen began tracking them in 1991. Rock on.
Toby Constantine
Director | Market Evolution Ltd

Research | Analysis | Insight | Advice | Action

Sent from my handheld

Friday, 4 December 2009

£850 billion bank bailout

LONDON (Reuters) - The price tag for bailing out UK banks has hit £850 billion pounds according to the independent National Audit Office (NAO)

No further comment ..............

Wednesday, 2 December 2009

Facebook hits 350m users

The incredible growth of Facebook has taken us all by surprise. It gone from 150 million to 350 million in less than one year trouncing its competitors (including the once mighty MySpace) in the process..

Google blink first in battle with Murdoch

Mr Murdoch's aggressive stance against search engines and news aggregators seems to have paid off (abit). Google appears to have conceded (alittle)

LONDON (Reuters) - Google is offering news publishers a way to attract paying subscribers without having to remove their content from Google News search results, after some media companies accused it of profiting from their online news.

The Web search giant said it would adapt its so-called First Click Free program to prompt online readers to register or subscribe to a news provider's site after reading five free articles from that publisher in a day.

Previously, the user's first click on any article would be free for an unlimited number of articles, provided the user did not click through any more links from any article.

Newspaper's digital device

I hadnt seen this so thanks for our friend Lopo (www.wahanda.com) for sharing.

Its amusing, but its also restates the case for why newspapers are relevant in this digital world

Quote of the day

"Producing journalism is expensive. We invest tremendous resources in our project from technology to our salaries. To aggregate stories is not fair use. To be impolite, it is theft.

Rupert Murdoch, the chairman and chief executive of News Corporation, in an address to US media regulators

Tuesday, 1 December 2009

Quote of the day

"We were promised that eyeballs meant advertising, clicks meant cash. Free costs too much. News is a business and we should not be afraid to say it."

Les Hinton, the chief executive of Wall Street Journal publisher and News Corp subsidiary Dow Jones, at the first session of the WAN-IFRA World Congress of Newspapers in Hyderabad.

Read the whole speech here. Its well worth it

Big Companies blow up start-ups

I thought this article was interesting and worth a read. Its all about how many great start-ups have been acquired and ruined by the hugh tech companies (Yahoo, Microsoft, Google etc)

Its well worth a read

Its also a lesson to big companies everywhere - acquiring smart young companies isnt the answer to future proofing. Its like daddy dancing at the disco!