Tuesday was a big day for YouTube. It announced a subscription streaming service, as well as a music streaming app. The membership is called YouTube Red and costs $9.99 per month for desktop, Android, and $12.99 per month on iOS. Eventually it will include access to exclusive content, and features a "save" feature.
Posted Oct 22, 2015
Software programs masquerading as humans and controlled by criminals are decaying trust in the ecosystem - and these bad bots are getting smarter by the day. It may sound like a mediocre movie plot, but the drama is all too real for advertisers, publishers, agencies and others in the digital advertising marketplace who are falling victim to bot fraud. Now, combatting the multipronged menace has become a priority for many stakeholders.
Posted Oct 21, 2015
Are you tired of having to leave your Facebook app to buy something? Is shopping on your mobile device a bit of a pain? Well, the social media giant hopes to solve those problems for you. Facebook announced it is working on new features to help sellers make the mobile shopping experience easier.
Posted Oct 13, 2015
DRM means different things to different people. In popular perception, DRM is often associated with controlling access to proprietary content--for instance, preventing music or video file-sharing. To be clear, this article is not about content protection technologies that prevent viewing or using digital assets. Instead, we take an enterprise perspective, and the focus here is on enterprise DRM tools to manage the rights and licensing information associated with digital assets.
Posted Oct 07, 2015
Despite this popularity, the BBC's model has come under increasing attack, particularly from the traditional news media. Speaking on TV, Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne called the BBC's website "imperial" and voiced concerns about the BBC's potential to crowd out the online operations of traditional newspapers.
Posted Oct 06, 2015
According to the U.S. Copyright Office, "It is a principle of American law that an author of a work may reap the fruits of his or her intellectual creativity for a limited period of time." "Copyright" literally means the right to copy. There are more than 300 years of history and legal cases that developed copyright law in the U.S. It all began in England in the late 15th century, with the introduction of the printing press. In 1710, Parliament passed the Statute of Anne, which "established the principles of authors' ownership of copyright, preventing a monopoly by booksellers," according to the Library of Congress (LC).
Posted Sep 28, 2015
Several publishers have made headlines over the past few years as they battled Amazon.com for the right to set their own ebook prices. Amazon.com wanted to contractually obligate the companies to set the prices at $9.99 or less. Big-name authors got involved, as did Stephen Colbert-whose publisher, Hachette, was in one of the longest and most contentious contract negotiations with Amazon (which, for its part, tossed its weight around by taking pre-order buttons off of Hachette books, and purposely filling books for Hachette books late). But Hachette and other publishers, like Harper-Collins and Simon & Schuster-as well as the rest of the so-called "Big 5"-eventually won the right to set their own prices. But as the Wall Street Journal points outin "E-Book Sales Fall After New Amazon Contracts," that may be coming back to haunt the companies now, which have seen their ebook revenue fall.
Posted Sep 08, 2015
Web users are showing a willingness to pay for content through subscriptions, but publishers and apps are seeing mixed results with premium tiers, according to a March report from BI Intelligence that explores categories increasingly relying on recurring payments to monetize content. The report finds that while some companies use a purely subscription-based model, such as Netflix, many others employ a "freemium" plan. Under this structure, all users gain basic access to content-which is often supported by ads-but can pay to upgrade the experience, perhaps unlocking certain features or accessing an ad-free version.
Posted Jun 29, 2015
If you were measuring by the size of the headline fonts, 2014 looked as if it were an inflection point for venture capital (VC) investment into the digital content industry. According to Preqin, which tracks data on the investment industry, VC funding in the digital content industry reached $683 million in 2014, more than double the $286 million invested in 2013. A series of discussions with VCs already active in the digital content space revealed a real appetite for further digital content opportunities-provided those companies searching for funds bring with them scalability, engaged users, revenue, and quality.
Posted Jun 22, 2015
What happens when five powerful publishers band together to form a programmatic ad network, allowing advertisers to buy advertising space on The Economist, CNN International, The Guardian, Reuters, and Financial Times? The short answer is Pangaea. A longer answer, or at least longer-term one, is that no one is quite sure yet.
Posted Jun 08, 2015
There are many lessons to be learned from the rise and fall of Gigaom. The thing that struck me, though, was that this seemed to be an argument for ad-supported media. You don't hear many of those these days. We're used to hearing about newspapers and websites shutting down after dwindling ad revenue is not enough to keep them afloat. We see The New York Times and its ilk instating paywalls to help pad the bottom line. Rarely, however, do we hear cautionary tales of companies that dared to experiment with different monetization strategies and lost.
Posted May 26, 2015
A new report from Juniper Research has found that the value of the global digital content market will reach $154 billion annually by 2019, an increase of nearly 60% on 2014. The research, Digital Content Business Models: OTT & Operator Strategies 2015-2019, observed that mobile and online games would account for the largest share of content sales (38% of cumulative revenues), with game formats continuing to transition from physical to digital.
Posted May 05, 2015
After Jay-Z announced his newest venture--a streaming music service called Tidal that he bought a majority stake in for $54 million--with the help of a lot of very famous musicians, there was a bit of a backlash. Meanwhile, Spotify raised $400 million from Goldman Sachs and Abu Dhabi's sovereign wealth fund. And Apple's Beats Music service is pursuing artists for exclusive deals.
Posted Apr 14, 2015
Piano Media, a paywall providers revealed the signing of a new OEM partner agreement with Cxense enabling the company to provide a content recommendation engine to its clients, increasing audience engagement to help publishers convert site users into paying digital subscribers. Piano will integrate several Cxense products with its paywall enabling publishers to better identify, segment, and convert site users.
Posted Apr 09, 2015
IPR License, a rights and licensing trading platform, and Digi-Rights, a provider of automated rights solutions, have announced the launch of a promotional campaign to help greater numbers of US-based self-published authors to showcase and monetize the rights they hold to their works.
Posted Mar 31, 2015
In its quest to dominate your online experience, Facebook has revealed--or, rather, the New York Times has reported--its plans to start hosting media sites' content, rather than simply being a repository for links to outside content. According to the New York Times, the social media giant has been talking to media companies about hosting their content.
Posted Mar 25, 2015
For a while now, I've been asking people the same question over and over: "Why does anyone still pay for a DVR?" At first, the answer probably seems obvious. "A DVR allows me to save my favorite shows to watch later, at my convenience," you say. And that's true. But when you take a closer look, the actual value proposition is not so clear cut.
Posted Mar 24, 2015
Several publishers have come together to form an ad alliance, pooling audiences to combat the like of Google and Facebook, whose massive audiences often draw ad dollars away from content providers. The Economist, CNN, The Guardian, Reuters, and The Financial Times have formed a programmatic ad network in order to pool their audiences and allow advertisers to buy up space across all of these audiences. That audience is about 110 million readers, according to the alliance's website.
Posted Mar 19, 2015
For traditional print media, the digital revolution has been a full-frontal assault on the fundamentals of their editorial and business models. Digitization has been a disaster for most of these companies. So it is noteworthy that one of the oldest magazines in the U.S.--The Atlantic--is among the handful that are truly thriving.
Posted Mar 10, 2015
Smartphones, tablets, and other devices have made it easier than ever to tap into on-demand digital music and online radio. But more convenient consumer access to streaming audio causes a conundrum for artists, content creators, and publishers seeking to be fairly compensated for their efforts.
Posted Mar 09, 2015
When it comes to content, it's all about monetization. Content commerce is a big deal with not only new devices, but also with new payment modalities that are emerging to make the process simple and seamless. When just a single click can complete the transaction, both consumers and marketers benefit.
Posted Jan 28, 2015
FastSpring,an e-commerce solutions for digital products and subscriptions, has announced a new opportunity for both merchants and content experts, with its brand-new Affiliate Program. FastSpring provides an all-in-one e-commerce, merchandising, and fulfillment platform that's designed specifically to meet the needs of software, SaaS, and other online service companies. Its new Affiliate Program will enable participants to grow revenues by signing up either as affiliates or as merchants, gaining significant access to increased sales and customers worldwide.
Posted Jan 20, 2015
Pixbi, a developer of product discovery solutions, announced the launch of its mobile application to empower consumers to discover, scan, and purchase products in print magazines. The mobile application scans products featured in print publications to enable real time purchases while consumers flip through their favorite magazines.
Posted Dec 23, 2014
As the line between editorial and advertorial continues to blur, so does the public's confidence in content from publications versus brands, as evidenced by new industry research that explores this topic-with some unexpected results. A new study by Vibrant shows that only 2% more of consumers trust content from publications (35%) than from brands (33%); and yet, there are more consumers who distrust content from publications (18%) than there are who distrust content from brands (15.5%). Additionally, the number of consumers that distrust content from media titles they know (12%) is double the number who distrust content from brands that they know (6%).
Posted Dec 17, 2014
As is our custom, we end each year of Follow the Money columns anticipating what content monetization trends will drive growth in the coming months. It doesn't seem as if there will be many surprises on this front in 2015 so much as there will be next major stages in models that have already been evolving for publishers. Overshadowing all of it is the unprecedented migration of user attention to devices. "Mobile first" is not a trend or a slogan. It is the reality of modern content.
Posted Dec 03, 2014