Media Business News and Trends

If you are not prepared for the wild ride through the digital landscape that 2013 will provide, it's either because you believed the Mayans or because you don't know where to begin. Well, you should probably start with multichannel publishing. Simply put, your content needs to be displayed on the device of your user's choosing, not your own. Therefore, every single one of your digital properties needs to be accessible on a desktop browser, tablet, smartphone, and laptop.

Posted Mar 26, 2013

Content providers are no strangers to the free versus fee debate, but over the past few years some newcomers have entered into the fray. Third-party companies have started offering media passes, often allowing users to manage a variety of digital subscriptions in one place. While some options, such as R.R. Donnelly & Sons Co.'s Press+, have seen measured success, others-offered by big players in the digital media space-have failed.

Posted Mar 25, 2013

One year after the acquisition of Texterity by Godengo, the digital and mobile publishing provider (formerly known as Godengo+Texterity) announced a new name and corporate vision as GTxcel.

Posted Mar 22, 2013

It wasn't long ago that the position of "chief content officer" was merely a glimmer in the eye of a few particularly tech- and trend-savvy marketing executives. Some time around the turn of the century, as digital media was beginning to cement its foothold in the worlds of marketing and commerce, and as the social media revolution was in its most nascent stages, the idea that a company should employ a director -- or a team, or even a whole department -- to create custom branded content to compellingly and coherently represent their organization in all of its prospective media channels was born.

Posted Mar 22, 2013

Maybe it's the cachet that comes with increased media attention. Often it's the quick opportunity to reward eager venture capitalists and other money seeders. Likely it's the promise of liquidity and a quick infusion of cash. But whatever the reason, the allure of going public is hard to ignore for a privately held digital content company that has its sights set on bigger, better things.

Posted Mar 18, 2013

Ernie Smith, social media journalist with TMG, a content marketing firm, focuses on writing and running AssociationsNow.com, the online presence for ASAE's (American Society of Association Executives) Associations Now. Smith says, "I work directly with ASAE staff in shaping the tone and the style of the content, which is largely curated with daily blog posts and a strong focus on visuals. I design my own infographics and illustrations, I help post to social media, I played a key role in designing the look of the newsletter which we publish Monday through Friday-and a key role in writing it, too."

Posted Mar 15, 2013

LinkedIn has been the focus of lots of attention lately. Rumors that the social networking site is looking to buy Pulse, probably for its free reader, have been swirling. CMSWire reports that the purchase price is somewhere between $50 and $100 million. Pulse recommends reading based on your interests, its most well-known competitor being the popular Flipboard app.

Posted Mar 14, 2013

In an increasingly challenging publishing world where authors see their prospects fading, Tim Sanders saw opportunity. So he and a team of fellow entrepreneurs recently founded Net Minds, an ambitious new Pasadena, Calif.-based startup that seeks to transform the industry by offering an entirely new model for book writers to bypass traditional and self-publishing.

Posted Mar 13, 2013

There have been many studies of consumer shopping habits and what drives the purchase of unplanned items. Product displays, sales, placement, packaging, signage: These all play a part in driving purchases, particularly for items that were not part of the reason the consumer went to that store. Emotion and instant gratification play a big part too. But do these same rules apply when it comes to ebook shopping?

Posted Mar 12, 2013

Facebook users have grown used to the griping of fellow users who are upset over the latest changes to the layout, but the News Feed changes proposed last week seem to be flying under the radar. With these changes, CEO Mark Zuckerberg promised a "personalized newspaper" - which seems like a wise decision, considering the popularity of tools like Flipboard, that create personalized newspaper by pulling in content from users' social media accounts.

Posted Mar 11, 2013

While the newspaper industry has been embracing the need to charge readers for online content, bloggers have been more hesitant to take the paywall plunge-for good reason. More often than not, bloggers just don't have the audience or name recognition needed to convince readers that their content is worth paying for. But on Jan. 2, 2013, pioneering blogger Andrew Sullivan announced that his popular blog The Dish was leaving The Daily Beast to move to its own subscription-supported model. The media pounced on the news, debating the merits of Sullivan's move. While the discussion continues, it's likely that it will be a while before we know if his bold move will pay off.

Posted Mar 11, 2013

Fifteen years ago, Thea Selby and Linda Ruth founded the Exceptional Women in Publishing organization to address what Selby referred to as "the vacuum in women's leadership in the magazine industry." On March 6 at EWIP's fifth annual Women's Leadership Conference, held in San Francisco's elegant Art Nouveau City Club, more than 250 attendees took a moment to reflect back on the massive changes that have taken place in the publishing industry since 1998. But the primary focus of the event was how to leverage the technologies and trends, from video integration to mobile monetization to social media partnering, that stand to radically impact the industry's future.

Posted Mar 08, 2013

Get ready for another wave of complaints from Facebook users upset about the latest changes to their news feeds. At 10 a.m. PT, Facebook is holding an event, the invitation to which says, "Come see a new look for News Feed." Yesterday, Google+ got a head start on its social media rival with a profile overhaul of its own.

Posted Mar 07, 2013

Last week, the new CEO of Yahoo, Marissa Mayer, gave her employees an ultimatum: come to the office or quit. The statement sent shockwaves through the business world, inciting visceral reactions from media outlets and workers alike, and perhaps rightfully so. It seemed many companies were just beginning to get used to their employees working from home, and now, one of the most powerful figures at one of the most powerful companies was denouncing the idea.

Posted Mar 07, 2013

Lately, I've been listening to a lot of Marc Maron's WTF. It makes for fascinating conversations, but it's also interesting from an econtent perspective. Maron has used this podcast to reach a whole new generation of fans; he has parlayed this connection into new opportunities in TV and beyond. More importantly, he's not the only comedian taking his act straight to fans.

Posted Mar 07, 2013

According to new survey data from Constant Contact, Inc., small business owners are evaluating their technology tools through an engagement lens. Over half (60%) of respondents said online survey tools were the most effective at engaging existing customers, followed closely by digital loyalty tracking systems (56%), with customer relationship management systems (46%), email marketing (45%), and contact management tools (38%) rounding out the top five responses.

Posted Mar 06, 2013

As I write this column, the Newtown, Conn., shooting tragedy is still a raw, gaping wound in the national consciousness. We have seen the face of evil, and those of us in the press who cover breaking news have been left to report on the horror. I'm sad to say we haven't always done it elegantly or with compassion for the victims or their families. What's worse, in an effort to be first, blatantly wrong information was published.

Posted Mar 05, 2013

Digital data has not only gotten "big," as we now put it. Data has gotten fast, unstructured, and overwhelming. According to IBM, 90% of the data in the world has been produced in just the past 2 years. Feeds from social media, offline transactions, user video and image posts, and more all converge into massive dashboards that give marketers and now publishers increasingly real-time, unmediated, and holistic views of the consumer. The big impact of Big Data is only beginning to be felt among content providers, but many in the industry see it as both a threat to the traditional ownership media companies had over audiences and an opportunity to reinvent content as data-driven products and services and to give a struggling media industry new business models.

Posted Mar 04, 2013

We all know the risk you take whenever you agree to a software update, especially when it comes to mobile operating systems. One day you're happily using Google maps and the next day Apple is getting you lost with its inferior mapping system. Well, it seems Kindle app users have something to complain about now. According to reports, yesterday Amazon warned users that there was a glitch in its 3.6.1 update for iOS that could, in a worst case scenario, wipe out the user's library.

Posted Feb 28, 2013

When you think of the word "book" there are two distinct and different versions: the first is the physical item with pages, a cover, etc; and second, the story contained therein. The nature of ebooks, whether they are thing or e-thing, has been hotly debated since their inception. Are they a physical entity or disembodied story? Now, a new wrinkle: can you resell a used ebook?Amazon seems to think so.

Posted Feb 28, 2013

Barnes & Noble's future is once again up in the air, with the company's founder and chairman, Leonard Riggio, reportedly telling the board of directors that he's interested in buying the retail business - and only the retail business. Barnes & Noble put out a press release confirming the speculation. Riggio wants the stores, and the website but not Nook Media. The news of a possible split led to stock prices jumping, and seems to be a hit with investors.

Posted Feb 26, 2013

If you're lucky enough to still have an independent bookstore in your area, you've probably wondered what would happen to it in the age of e-books. Well, those little shops aren't waiting to find out. Instead independent booksellers have banded together to file a class action lawsuit against Amazon and six publishers. According to the complaint, the Bookhouse of Stuyvesant Plaza, Fiction Addiction, and Posman Books at Grand Central have filed against Amazon, Random House, Penguin Group, Hachette, Simon & Schuster, HarperCollins, and Macmillan "on behalf of themselves and other similarly situated independent brick-and-mortar bookstores."

Posted Feb 21, 2013

In a world of free content -- from app to university classes from the likes of Princeton and MIT -- the consumer is making out like a bandit, while content producers wring their hands over the prospect of finding a way to make money. Companies are being forced to find new ways to market their services to encourage people to pay. How? Increasingly, it's through customized experiences.

Posted Feb 20, 2013

It seems that 2013 is turning out to be a big year for blogs. First, Andrew Sullivan announced he was taking The Dish and leaving The Daily Beast behind to go it alone. Now, Reuters is reporting that tech blog AllThingsD -- run by Kara Swisher and Walt Mossberg -- is in talks with NewsCorp, Inc. about leaving the media giant when AllThingsD's contract is up.

Posted Feb 19, 2013

If you are in the business of digital content-and in this day and age, we all are-you have undoubtedly heard the phrase "content strategy" tossed around lately. You've heard how important strategy is to any content endeavor, but you may still be wondering what that means to you.Content strategy defines how a company is going to use content to meet the needs of a business, guides decisions about content from creation to deletion, and sets benchmarks against which to measure success. Deciding to post a YouTube video is not content strategy, nor are the myriad and growing numbers of features that your CMS offers. A strategy sets a vision for the future. Although it can be revised, it is perennial, not seasonal.

Posted Feb 18, 2013

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