IFRA Trend Report for June 2008
BusinessThomson Corp’s $16 billion purchase of Reuters Group Plc takes the new entity, Thomson Reuters, to a higher plane, where it will now rub shoulders with Google, News Corp, and Microsoft.
After Microsoft walked away from its Yahoo! acquisition proposition in early May, Yahoo! watched its share price tumble 15 percent the following Monday, leaving the company’s CEO to defend his strategy with Microsoft. Now it appears AOL is throwing overtures at Microsoft. Meanwhile, Google might come out of the entire deal smiling as it was one of the driving forces behind Microsoft’s bid, i.e. a combined Microsoft-Yahoo company to go toe to toe with ever-growing Google.
A 40 percent rise in newsprint prices in six months has created a storm in the newspaper publishing industry worldwide. The price rise has affected paper mills in China, Korea and Europe, companies in North America, and newspaper publishers in India.
Before putting up advertisements and monitoring them online, do companies need to obtain users’ consent? Should there be limits on behavioural targeting of children, for example, or on gathering information about matters connected to health and sex? While the U.S. Federal Trade Commission is keen to bring some sort of regulation, the Newspaper Association of America (NAA) is against government interference in formulating advertising standards.
In the first quarter, some of America’s top newspaper publishers saw a downswing in online revenues, mainly due to online classifieds doing badly. The culprit: print classifieds.
The Associated Press will soon deliver stories, pictures and news videos to high-end mobile phones. The user interface being developed for the service will be supported by advertisements from participating newspapers and ad networks. AP will now have a web-based licensing system for its content, made possible by its association with iCopyright.
TechnologyPrinted electronics is no longer just a buzzword. Research is on at LG to produce an electronic portable newspaper almost as thin as the normal newspaper, complete with the capability of displaying video clips. (IFRA Magazine featured a Flash Report on Printed Electronics in its May 2008 edition on page 38, and more can be found at www.ifra.com/flashlight.)
In March 2008, FT.com recorded a rise of 33 percent in the number of unique users; and 72 percent for page views. The website’s recipe for success: bring technology closer to business.
Technology helps you cross one frontier after another. Now, thanks to Google’s initiative, you could receive on your mobile phone advertisements in the form of images as well.
ReadershipIt is now the age of compacts, tabloids and Berliners. India, for instance, saw the launch of several small compact dailies in 2007, and the focus of newspaper publishers: young readership.
Is it worthwhile for reporters to be running newspaper blogs? Not really, if they do not attract a readership and there are no conversations going on. So, what stories attract readers? A Readership Institute study reveals that people are interested in stories that matter to them as citizens, stories that are easy to understand and encourage participation.
In the age of the Internet, readership and interactivity go hand in hand. Interactivity or participation online is all about giving the user control. The Dutch news website www.en.nl seems to be getting it right, with a potpourri of news, social networks, Wikis, and other indicators.