Media Business News and Trends

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

Cassey Ho is not your average media mogul. She started out as a Pilates instructor, who used the web as a way to engage with her students by posting workout videos on YouTube. Eventually she started blogging as well, and she developed a following. FITNESS magazine named her the Best Healthy Living Blogger of 2012, and Sharecare called her the second most influential online personality. EContent talked to her about how the web enabled her to turn a passion into a career.

Posted Feb 15, 2013

A recent survey discovered that Americans are three times more likely to click on related links at the bottom of an article than content shared on social networking sites.The study, "Behavior Shift: Getting Content in Front of Consumers"-conducted online within the U.S., Oct. 3-5, 2012, among 2,512 adults by Harris Interactive-sought to find out more about the ways in which adults from the U.S. "discover and navigate the Internet's fire hose of content," according to nRelate, a content discovery platform that was behind the study.

Posted Feb 13, 2013

It seems that the DOJ's lawsuit against five publishers, which accused them of conspiring to fix ebooks prices using the "agency model" may finally be a thing of the past...sort of. Macmillan, the last holdout in the case, settled with the US Government, filing an agreement. The settlement, however, still needs to be approved by a judge, which has proved problematic in the past.

Posted Feb 12, 2013

Five years ago at the inaugural Intelligent Content Conference, there were 35 attendees. The 2013 ICC event, held in San Francisco on February 7 and 8, drew more than three hundred professionals from the disciplines of digital publishing, content management, content marketing, content strategy, mobile communication, and IT. It's as good a sign as any that corporate publishing-that is, businesses outside of traditional publishing using content to drive revenue growth-has moved to center stage.

Posted Feb 11, 2013

Even if you don't work in higher education, you're probably aware that most US universities are facing unprecedented challenges, and are, rightly, nervous about their future. The most immediate challenge, strained funding, has been well documented by the media since the recent recession. However, over the past year, a great deal of coverage has also been paid to disruptive models for delivering educational content. Many education experts predict that in the future, these new models will remove students from the traditional college track. This longer-term threat represents a huge concern for higher education administrators, as their approach to learning has been legitimately challenged by innovative solutions ready to meet the huge demand for quality educational content.

Posted Feb 08, 2013

Early adopters. We all like to pretend we're one of them. People love to be the first to discover something new: a new band, the latest cool app, the hottest social networking site. In the end though, not everyone can be on the edge of innovation.I always considered myself part of the early adopters group. I'm a "Digital Native" after all, shouldn't I, and my peers, be spearheading the search for the next big thing? I'm not so sure anymore...

Posted Feb 07, 2013

Zillow, Inc. is tackling home improvement with the launch of Zillow Digs, a free app available exclusively for iPad and as a web service. With Zillow Digs, home shoppers and homeowners can find visual inspiration and understand the potential cost of remodeling projects. Users can browse tens of thousands of photos and see Zillow's proprietary Digs Estimates for the estimated cost, based on where they live, of the actual bathrooms and kitchens they are viewing. They can create, save, and share Boards of ideas and décor, browse boards created by others, comment on photos, and follow people with similar interests.

Posted Feb 06, 2013

ICG Group, Inc. announced that one of its consolidated companies, Channel Intelligence, Inc. ("CI"), has entered into a definitive agreement to be acquired by Google Inc. for $125 million in cash. The transaction, which is subject to customary closing conditions, is expected to be completed in the first quarter of 2013.

Posted Feb 06, 2013

Bookish a one-stop online destination designed to connect readers with books and authors, launched, providing visitors with exclusive content and insider access to A-list writers. With the backing of Hachette Book Group, Penguin and Simon & Schuster, as well as the participation of 16 other major publishers, including Random House, Inc., Scholastic, HarperCollins Publishers, and Perseus Books Group, Bookish will provide readers with original and exclusive content about books and writers, while also allowing users to conveniently browse, discover and purchase new reads without leaving the site.

Posted Feb 05, 2013

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