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, 29 December 2010
"Groupon filed a request with Delaware authorities to raise as much as $950 million by offering preferred shares, The Wall Street Journal reported."
We all thought Groupon were nuts to turn down Google and that they should have taken the money.
Having so publicly declared and demonstrated their independence they now need big funds to defend their territories and to grow. It's not going to be easy. Competition is growing from a raft of players that include newspapers who scent an opportunity for themselves in the Groupong model. And then they is Google who having been rebuffed are unlikely to sit idly by and let Groupon succeed. And lastly there is the growing negative buzz that surrounds Groupon. Merchants and customers who have had a poor and unprofitable experience are increasing vocal.
Sure all makes for an interesting story in 2011.
Tuesday, 21 December 2010
Online advertising spending will finish the year with a 13.9 percent increase to $25.8 billion, compared with an 8.2 percent decline to $22.8 billion for print newspaper ads, New York-based researcher eMarketer said today on its website.
"It’s something we’ve seen coming for a long time, but this is a tipping point," Geoff Ramsey, chief executive officer at eMarketer, said in the statement. "The bad economy has actually accelerated the shift to digital advertising."
Online ads are typically seen as more reliable, he said, because their effectiveness can be measured, whereas print ads “are often difficult to tie to a measurable financial result.”
Newspapers will end 2010 with a 7.8 percent gain in online ad spending, to $3 billion, leaving them with an overall drop of 6.6 percent, to $25.7 billion, eMarketer said.
Total ad spending in the U.S. is expected to increase 3 percent to $168.5 billion in 2010, the research company said. Expenditure on newspaper print ads will continue to decline next year by 6 percent to $21.4 billion, and total online spending will rise 10.5 percent in to $28.5 billion, eMarketer estimated.
Sunday, 19 December 2010
Bomber Command's Operational Research Section (BC-ORS), analysed a report of a survey carried out by RAF Bomber Command. For the survey, Bomber Command inspected all bombers returning from bombing raids over Germany over a particular period. All damage inflicted by German air defences was noted and the recommendation was given that armour be added in the most heavily damaged areas. Their suggestion to remove some of the crew so that an aircraft loss would result in fewer personnel loss was rejected by RAF command. [Patrick] Blackett's team instead made the surprising and counter-intuitive recommendation that the armour be placed in the areas which were completely untouched by damage in the bombers which returned. They reasoned that the survey was biased, since it only included aircraft that returned to Britain. The untouched areas of returning aircraft were probably vital areas, which, if hit, would result in the loss of the aircraft.
Wednesday, 24 November 2010
The 20p weekday daily launched on 26 October with a flurry of media coverage helping to drive paid-for sales of about 180,000, according to several sources.
In the third week after launch, the week commencing 8 November, average daily sales ranged from about 75,000 to 85,000; by the end of last week average daily sales appeared to be hovering close to 70,000 to 73,000, according to industry sources.
Sunday, 21 November 2010
This new newspaper is likely to be named Daily and it would not have a print or a web based edition.
They are likely to price it cheap at around 99 cents per issue.
Daily could be launched as early as later this month.
Sources say that Rupert Murdoch is very excited about this project as he believes that people spend more time with their portable devices on their beds and couch these days rather than on a regular computer for checking out news.
Thursday, 11 November 2010
Monday, 1 November 2010
New Social Rules for Living in a Digital Age
Tuesday, 28 September 2010
Also as an avid Blackberry user (it just works!) I'm a natural to get one of these as I just know it won't let me down and I'm prepared to compromise on the entertainment capabilities to safegaurd my professional needs.
Sunday, 26 September 2010
The poll revealed below isn't great news for regional/local newspaper publishers as it shows an aggressive swift away from newspapers by local business. Perhaps not new news in trend terms but the level and extent is ominous. This news comes hard on the heals revenues being sucked out of local ad budgets by social shopping sites like Groupon.
Monday, 20 September 2010
Its clear from all the hype around Groupon that social shopping is a cash cow --- for Groupon but how is for the merchants?
The challenge with the model as far as we see it isn’t making money for Groupon, but making money for its customers, the recession-pinched merchants giving away their products and services at a loss. The web is full of stories of merchants who have had negative experiences and have sufferred the consequences of suddently having too many customers (looking for a bargain).
Lets be honest for those of us that understand regional and local advertising we know that building sustainable partnerships with low-margin small businesses is hard; it probably involves some level of shared risk, with pricing based on long-term profits rather than short-term revenues. Groupon and the other social shopping 'me-toos' can do this if they want but currently the 50% revenue share is probably too expensive for the merchant in the long term.
We worry that the merchant is vulnerable in the current model despite the cap 'control' element and the payment on success model. They still have to finance the deep discount. And as we know discounting doesnt bring loyalty it brings thrill seekers on a once only basis. Might be good for getting customers to the door and short term cash flow but not for longer term profits.
Its here in part that we see an opportunity for local media companies. They understand small businesses having traded with them for many decades. They understand better than anyone the dynamics and realities of low-margin business and they well placed to fashion an equitable commercial agreement on a more sustainable basis.
One suggestion could be to develop activity that combines traditional classified ad formats with deal of the day activity. This sounds sensible to us as it covers revenue generation and the need to develop return customers and customer relationships.
Footnote: we had heard that Groupon was curremtly only able to service 1 out 8 requests from merchants wanting to use the deal of the day service. There is obviously lots of demand out there and therefore a big opportunity for local media owners to do what they know how to do - namely deliver a tip top service business and readers alike for the long term
Wednesday, 15 September 2010
Partnering with Loopt (the location-based social mapping service that allows individuals to use their location to discover the world around them) Virgin America offerred people two-for-one tickets to Cancun or Los Cabos from California. The offer proved a smash with consumers and Virgin America recorded its fifth highest revenue day ever.
This is significant stuff. It illustrates that the deal-of-the -day mechanic which uptil now has been the exclusive domain of regional and local brands can work for national brands on a countrywide basis!
We've blogged here on the threat from the rise of social shopping to local and regional newspaper groups advertising revenues but maybe national newspapers should be worried too? How long will it be before Groupon or livingsocial start offerring national deals in the UK and why wouldnt they it looks like great money!!
Saturday, 11 September 2010
Social shopping represents a real challenge to newspaper companies. Social shopping companies like Groupon are growing fast here now and are aggressively scooping up local advertising revenues that traditionally have been the domain of regional media. This is a clearly problem. These are revenues and relationships that once gone are not coming back and all at a time when regional media owners cant afford further declines in their revenues.
So what to do?
Well the first thing is regionals have to act. They cannot afford to sit back and allow yet another clever non-traditional company to swoop into the market and plunder these revenues. This cant be allowed to go the way of recruitment, automobiles, property and personals revenues. They have to act and swiftly.
We see 3 'action' options:
1. Partner Groupon (or other major player) and let them commercialize your audience with you at no cost to yourself
2. Find a white label social shopping partner and set up a branded service at limited cost and low risk to yourself
3. Develop your own a 'deal of day' platform and launch the service for your self and pocket the incremental revenue without having to share it with a partner.
There are as always advantages and disadvantages to each of these and the best fit route is dependent on individual market circumstances. The good news is that which ever way regionals choose the result will be positive. Market take up has proved that merchants like the social shopping model (why wouldn't they there is no money to pay until there is revenue through the door) and millions of consumers are loving the deep discounts and the social "all join in' aspect aspect of the service.
The other significant advantage about social shopping for regionals to consider is that the service is good at building brand relevance/role and reader engagement - both in shortish supply these days.
Friday, 3 September 2010
According to Nielsen people watch 3 hours of online video per month compared with 158 hours of old-style TV.
There you go.....
Tuesday, 31 August 2010
So what is Groupon? It's official tag is that its the 'leading social commerce site' or put another way its the 'leading social shopping site' or even 'collective buying'.
Ok but what does that all mean? Well actually its a pretty simple concept. You sign up for the service. The service emails you a deal of the day (or many actually). If you like the deal and want it you pay upfront. The deal only takes effect if the specified number of customers buy-in (thats the social bit). The deals expire after a day.
So why so popular?
Well for merchants its a results driven no cost ad meduim (they dont charge up front, it shares the proceeds)and for punters its another targetted deep discount channel.
We are very interested in what the effect of this fast growing meduim will be on business. There are clearly opportunities for media owners to joint forces with Groupon to leverage the hyper local ad market (or to offer their own perhaps?)
More on the opportunities and challenges posed by Groupon soon, but in the meanwhile watch this space.
Friday, 30 July 2010
pretty appropriate defination we say
and if you are involved in the tech patent business we could add ".......whilst monkeys try and steel all your tools"
Wednesday, 21 July 2010
Amazon has sold 143 digital books for every 100 hardbacks sold over last 3 months.
Does this spell the end of the musty old book shop? Well it appears not. The growth of ebooks is not damaging sales of physical books. According to the Association of American Publishers, hardback sales are still growing in the US, up 22% this year.
The US market is 2 to 3 years ahead of UK where digital books are still small. The kindle has only been available here since October and it still has to be shipped from US. The books catalogue is available only through the US site and the books are priced in dollars. That said the US market dynamics must be a sign of things to come here.
Tuesday, 6 July 2010
Monday, 21 June 2010
Rupert Murdoch has acquired Skiff from Hearst and a stake in Journalism Online. These two deals are significant because Skiff is an online store for content and an e-reader and Journalism Online is a platform that alllows content producers to charge for content. This is clearly Mr Murdoch buying up the pieces or building blocks required to let people buy and enjoy content online from a wide range of producers over a wide range of access devices. Sound strategy
Google looks likely to launch its own content payment platform newspass. This was rumoured last year but now it appears that its happening and will be live by end of the years according to PaidContent.org.
As the battle hots up the race is on to get the access platform and the payment technology out there and adopted by consumers. Who would you back to win that race?
Tuesday, 8 June 2010
Wednesday, 2 June 2010
First off comedy star David Baddiel is debuting in FA Dave, a web-only series on (yes you've guessed it) UKTV's Dave channel.
Fashionistas Trinny and Susannah are back on screen with a web-only series entitled Trinny and Susannah - What They Did Next.
Their 16 episode mockumentry goes out exclusively on ivillage.co.uk and is then available across the web via a group of super distributors.
You can view the trailer of the show right now on their website.
The T&S model might give us a clue about how future commercial models might work. Producers TM5 have sensibly underpinned the show with sponsor money from ivillage and Westfield and are augmenting with ad sales.
Let's see how these two perform but I suggest that if these shows go well they might provide some much needed impetus for the web-only format.
Thursday, 27 May 2010
After more than three decades of rivalry between Steve Jobs and Bill Gates, the founder of the iPad maker saw his company take the lead on Nasdaq.
When the New York markets closed on Wednesday, Apple was worth $222bn – short only of ExxonMobil. Microsoft was valued at $219bn.
The moment says much about how technology and business strategies are changing. But it is above all a triumph for Mr Jobs who has consistently defied conventional wisdom and taken big risks in new industries with entrenched powers, overthrowing the establishment in the music and mobile phone businesses and staking out new ground.
This clearly says alot about Apple but what does it say about Microsoft? After 3 decades on top and once so powerful it was viewed as anti-competitive and many thought it should be broken up its stumbling.
Beaten in mobile, beaten in games consoles and with software moving to a pay-as-you-use service in the cloud its truly a gloomy moment for them.
Wednesday, 19 May 2010
The mobile iterations follow closely the model used in GQ. The full contents of the magazine can be thumbed in facsimile format when the iPad is in landscape mode.
Apparently recognizing recent complaints by iPad users that the single issue pricing of these apps is multiples higher than a subscription rate, Vanity Fair is giving a price break to customers. Once one buys the first iPad edition for $4.99, subsequent months will cost only $3.99. This is still extremely expensive if you consider their current 20 week (2 year) print copy subscription offer is $20.
Having given their content away online for years for free are publishers in danger of now over charging for it!
Maybe? Maybe not?
I suggest that they are pricing high to capture those who will pay a premuim for digital access whilst using high price to illustrate the value of their print subscription offers.
Remember that however well the iPad sells its penetration will never give enough coverage to sustain a digital only model so publishers have to grapple with subscription versus digital price comparision fro years to come.
I dont mind premium prices for the digital format and low prices for the print subscription model particularily for magazines not least because magazine print subscription prices have been historically extremely low and now is certainly not the time to raise subs prices
Tuesday, 18 May 2010
Its proud parent, Google announced that its video-sharing site now has more than 2 billion views -- a day. Amazing
What's more, YouTube, is the third most visited Web site in the world according to Alexa and offers local versions in 23 countries across 24 different languages (70% of its traffic is from outside the United States), receives 24 hours of uploaded video every minute, and garners 45 million home page impressions every day.
Whilst it yet to turn a profit its future looks very bright indeed.
Monday, 17 May 2010
We've been suggesting for a while that the Independent and Standard would end up sharing editorial resource, though in our view, it may go further than the reports this morning that the process may be starting. Currently this looks likely to extend to a shared foreign reporting presence at the World Cup, cutting the cost of content generation for both loss making titles.
Well, it makes sense, and would be a good start in combining the newsroom. Rolling forwards, would Standard readers mind if their content was written with an Independent hat on? Probably not, but vice versa?
Reports also that the Indy will be going free within the M25 - presumably piggybacking the existing Standard distribution network. Lebedev is saying that the Standard should be profitable in 2011 as the new ad reveneues gained since the Standard went free are starting to beat previous combined ad+circ rev. If so, well done, a brave move that has paid back, and one that I doubted would work out. But, and it's a big but, the Independent spent the best part of 20 years "breaking even next year" without ever quite making it.
Tuesday, 4 May 2010
I dont intend here to add to the rave reviews but rather point out something that startled me.
As you've read elsewhere Apple and Adobe don't like each other and as a result there is no Flash on the iPad (nor the iphone). You know what this means - no BBC iplayer! and what that means is the millions and millions of users who now use hugely popular iPlayer weekly will not ne able to so on their shiny new iPad.
In many ways this is a shame. The iPad is a device that might as well have been made for the iPlayer. It's absolutely perfect for it.
So whats the BBC to do? Two choices:
They could create a non flash version of iPlayer for the soon to be millions of iPad customers or as is more likely stick with Adobe and lose the custom of the iPad crowd.
So long iPlayer my loyalty is with the iPad.
Thursday, 29 April 2010
Wednesday, 28 April 2010
4 billions Apps downloaded
10 billion songs downloaded
33m movies downloaded
250m tv shows downloaded
iPhone users who represent 2.2% of total mobile phone market but chug 64% of all browsing minutes
500,000 iPads sold since launch
185,000 apps on App store
125,000 app developers on contract but effectively working for free
iAd which lets advertisers make inventive messages appear inside apps launches in summer
Share price $3 to $247
Thursday, 15 April 2010
I have high hopes that even in the completely de politicised UK the debate will cause a wave of interest and excitement amongst voters. The Independent suggests this morning from a poll it commissioned that 30 million people will tune in and of those 50% say that the debate could influence the way they vote. Wow - thats 15m votes up for grabs.
Inspite of the oh so very typically British need for rules (and in this case 70 rules) to govern the event I am looking forward to a contest that reveals more to the public about each of the candidates than we are able to glean from PR prepared set pieces and carefully orchestrated policy statements.
The Q&A will be dull. All possible chance of excitement killed off by Candidate preparation, schooling and spin. The part that interesting is the debate itself where the 3 of them are let loose on each other. Its a relatively short segment so make sure you're back from making cup of tea or you risk missing it.
Alongside 30m others we will be listening in but not just as voters but as insight managers. We will be monitoring, analysing and reporting on all the chatter on Twitter and Facebook to see how the candidates are performing. We will be recording personal sentiment and comparing it regionally. With the stakes so high its going to be fascinating evening.
Social media channels and clever insight technology is giving us the opportunity - for the first time - to listen to the groundswell and to reveal actual sentiment. Check back with us as we will be posting results from all 3 of the live debtaes on a specially created Market Evolution election blog.
Wednesday, 14 April 2010
In what shouldn't come as a shock to readers of this blog, the two key trends driving this latest shift are mobile and social networking.
Within the next five years "more users will connect to the Internet over mobile devices than desktop PCs," according to Meeker.
Also -- based on adoption rates of iPhone/iPod touch compared to that of AOL and Netscape in the early 1990s -- Meeker says that mobile Internet usage is increasing substantially faster than desktop Internet usage did. Indeed, adoption of the Apple devices is taking place more than 11 times faster that of AOL, and several times as fast as that of Netscape.
Supporting this trend is 3G technology, which Morgan Stanley says recently hit an "inflection point" by being available to more than 20% of the world's cellular users.
Read the whole story at GigaOm.
Here’s the official announcement:
“Although we have delivered more than 500,000 iPads during its first week, demand is far higher than we predicted and will likely continue to exceed our supply over the next several weeks as more people see and touch an iPad™. We have also taken a large number of pre-orders for iPad 3G models for delivery by the end of April.
Faced with this surprisingly strong US demand, we have made the difficult decision to postpone the international launch of iPad by one month, until the end of May. We will announce international pricing and begin taking online pre-orders on Monday, May 10.
We know that many international customers waiting to buy an iPad will be disappointed by this news, but we hope they will be pleased to learn the reason—the iPad is a runaway success in the US thus far.”
Wednesday, 7 April 2010
If memory serves it was the hottest property around and was fought over by the likes of Yahoo only to fall to AOL on an exuberant valuation for $850m two years ago.
Well its no longer seen as 'core' at AOL and as they readily admit they don't have the money for the fight against Facebook.
Here a snip from the AOL memo:
“Bebo, unfortunately, is a business that has been declining and, as a result, would require significant investment in order to compete in the competitive social networking space. AOL is not in a position at this time to further fund and support Bebo in pursuing a turnaround in social networking"
All this is a long way from what was said at the time :-
"This is a tremendous acquisition and one I think is game-changing for AOL," said the company's chairman and chief executive, Randy Falco. "Bebo will be the cornerstone of our strategy."
Monday, 5 April 2010
Sunday, 4 April 2010
Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster puts the number at 600,000-700,000 this weekend, including pre-orders.
By comparison, it took Apple more than 70 days to sell 1 million iPhones after the initial launch.
Monday, 29 March 2010
We've all been thinking about pay walls for months and months now so it feels quite a relief that Murdoch's strategy for The Times and Sunday Times is finally out in the open.
The payment mechanism makes sense to me. At £1 a day or £2 a week they've priced it 'to go'. Its priced absolutely to encourage people away from the daily spend into the weekly committment. Why spend £1 a day when I can spend £2 for the whole week etc
The reason this is sensible is that there is an increasing recognition amongst publishers that its good business to have fewer people comitted to spending something and than large numbers comitted to spending nothing at all!
I know this sounds obvious but its taken publishers some time to get here. Lifetime value is finally becoming more central to the way publishers look at customers . For too long publishers ignored the value of relationship with readers. Now they are wide awake to the fact is of critical importance and its where the value lies.Hooray
With this payment structure they are incentivising readers through low weekly prices to make a committment. Once committed they are hooked and can be sold other bits and pieces.
Its going to be fascinating to see how many sign up and on which of the two tariffs.
I'm less concerned by the damage to visitor numbers as the advertising led commercial model around eyeballs was not working. I'm glad its moving on.
I had another thought.
Why would I continue to buy a newsagent copy of the TT and ST paying £1 a day, £1.50 on saturday and £2 on sunday when I can simply pay £2 for the week for digital access and save £5.50 a week (a massive £250 a year).
Am I alone in thinking that the digital offer might infact impact on cover price revenues as people do the maths and swap to digital access. Would'nt that be something?
Now this may not matter as its obviously far cheaper to produce a digital 'copy' and therefore the margin on £2 is probably greater that it is on the £5.50 physical copy (not paper, no printing, no distribution etc).
Lets see. Whatever happens the market is moving and its a relief
Wednesday, 24 March 2010
Tuesday, 23 March 2010
In an attempt to eat into The New York Time's mass market audience and tempt away some of its luxury advertisers The Wall Street Journal is launching a local news section for New York.
The daily news section, starts on 12 April, will average 12 pages and include daily real estate, culture, business and particularly sport.
Its unlikely that it will cause the NYT undue pressure in circulation sales but that's not the intention. This is about local retail premium advertisers.
At best this gives advertisers an opportunity to attack ad rates which is not to be encouraged and at worst its provides a viable alternative and a chance to switch.
This is unwelcome and uncomfortable for NYT who alongside all newspapers is having a hard time of it.
Its another front in the escalating turf war between these two titan titles.
News Corp (owner WSJ) is quite open about its expansion plans.
We will watch with great interest
Full story can be read here
Monday, 22 March 2010
The first day, the woodcutter brought in 18 trees, and of course his boss congratulated him. Motivated by his boss' words, the woodcutter tried harder the next day, but he could only bring in 15 trees. The third day he tried even harder, but he could only bring in 10 trees. Day after day he was bringing in fewer and fewer trees.
The woodcutter thought he was losing his strength, and he went to the boss and apologized, saying that he couldn't understand what was going on. His boss then asked, "When was the last time you sharpened your axe?" Appalled by the question, the woodcutter harshly replied, "Sharpen my axe? I have no time to do that. I've been busy cutting trees."
The paper will employ a subscription model, while a deal with Marriott Hotels has the hotel chain funding its iPad presence from day one. The sponsorship will last for the first four months after the device's April debut.
Whilst this is an rather traditional and dare i say it old fashioned approach its a practical one and one that newspapers know how to arrange and negiotate.
David Hunke, USA Today's president and publisher says the tie-up will
"do a lot to get ... our designs in front of many, many people,"
"Our guys were very excited about the opportunity -- we will be there," said Hunke in a gathering with analysts last week. "It will be classic, very unique USA Today design that was built for this device, as it was for the iPhone in a previous generation."
Friday, 19 March 2010
Also, according to the report, the number of mobile Internet users in China will grow to reach a jaw-dropping 957 million by 2014.
Of course, those mobile Internet users don't presently "monetize" as well as Western audiences, i.e., mobile advertising spending in China is still low relative to the size of the mobile Web user base. But its only a matter of time
Tuesday, 16 March 2010
New data released from analytics service Hitwise today names Facebook the largest website in the U.S. with 7.07% of all U.S. visits. Google is second at 7.03%. Yahoo Mail is third with 3.8% and Yahoo is fourth at 3.67%
This is the first time Hitwise has named Facebook the top site in the U.S. Comscore still ranks Google the top site by reach at 81% of the U.S. population. Facebook, at 53%, is still behind Google, Yahoo and Microsoft sites in the U.S., according to the most recent Comscore data from February 2010. Source: Techcrunch
News Flash -- Tiger Woods will return to golf and play at the Masters Tournament in Augusta, Ga., in April, according to media reports Tuesday. Woods last played in November winning the Australian Masters before going on hiatus because of a widely publicized sex scandal.
Wow imagine the viewing figures for his tee-off. They are going to be a vast.
All the buzz swirling around social app Foursquare is good news for mobile advertising.
For years we've been promised location based services and the ability to match location with personal offers. Now with apps like Foursquare and Gowalla users are happy to reveal their location by 'checking in' giving advertisers permission to hit them based on location.
The check-in model is more attractive than constant tracking because it gives people more choice in disclosing their locations. And its gathering pace.
Foursquare has swelled to more than 500,000 users and has more than 1.6m 'check-ins' a weeks from around the world. Gowalla says it has 100,000 people using its application. Facebook is expected to adopt the 'check-in' method when it introduces location features in coming months.
One drawback with 'check-in' as opposed to constant monitoring is that people have to remember to use a service, but just as people have successfully got into the habit of tweeting they'll learn the habit of checking in.
If 'checking-in' goes mainstream its going to be good news for advertisers as it allows them to do some interesting things like coupons and offers based on location.