Making Over Media: Combining the Best of Old and New Media

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The Right Content For Every Occasion

Local news content coming in from traditional media outlets-TV, radio, or newspapers-is highly targeted by nature, but rethinking the local user experience presents new challenges in a digital environment, according to Jeff Kimball,COO of Internet Broadcasting, which partners with local media outlets to increase site traffic and revenue.  

The key to doing that, Kimball says, is adding new context-local ads, narrowly targeted topics, responsive SEO-optimized headlines, and community-based tools-to traditional content to make it relevant no matter how it is consumed.

Internet Broadcasting works with CoreMedia's web content management systems to help local media outlets understand why and how new media tools can enrich their traditional content and how to integrate the tools into the creation and consumption processes. It's not just about slapping a Facebook widget onto a newspaper's homepage-it's figuring out how to leverage the site content to attract and engage readers via social platforms and a variety of devices. "Consumers on an iPad want a different experience than they want on a laptop, and the same can be said for mobile phones," Kimball says. "The difference in these applications isn't the consumer, or the content, which is still key to every experience. It's the context in which the content is presented."

Some companies have been slow to realize and address the challenges of managing large files of old media content while optimizing it for heavy web traffic. To address this, CoreMedia allows content creators to manage all types of media from one central location and give on-the-fly context to content based on a user's individual references, history, location, social media, and other factors.

While traditional media companies may be hesitant to abandon the old ways, some users are just as wary. For instance, CoreMedia's product manager, Christian Weichelt, still enjoys the Sunday morning ritual of reading The New York Times with a fresh cup of coffee, not for the convenience but for the experience.

Online, however, that brand loyalty does not necessarily transfer. "Now that people can digest media at their own convenience, many organizations are having trouble presenting content when users will be most receptive, and that will engage them as much as the inky newspaper or fresh smell of a new book does," Weichelt says. "If content is not relevant to a reader's context at that given moment, they will search online until they find content that is. We've seen many media companies struggle to retain the interest of their readers because they are unable to deliver relevant content in context. That's the pivotal aspect of online engagement that has led to large declines in readership."

Attempting to bridge the context gap by creating one-off applications for every hot device that rolls onto the market can lead to fragmented management that leaves publishers unable to keep up with the real-time demands of the digital news market, Weichelt says. He adds,"Groupon learned that a great deal in the wrong context is simply not a great deal. Today, the same can be said about content, because context, not content, is key."

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