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By all appearances, the question isn't whether the New York Times will revisit paid subscriptions. The question is what those subscriptions will look like.
Last week, Gawker published documents purporting to detail two possible online subscription packages the newspaper company is mulling over, New York Times Silver and Gold.
Newspapers are currently involved in a struggle to protect and monetize their content online. The Associated Press, especially, has been on the offensive when it comes to trying to get paid for articles online. To that end, the AP board announced a plan today to tag and track every piece of text content for the co-op and its members — and eventually photos and video.
The move could be excellent step for the AP. If they can figure out how and what to charge for licensing their content online.
Hard to argue with a $5 CPM for advertising on a New York Times property, even if the ad run on its portfolio of hyperlocal properties. But what do the butcher, baker or candlestick maker know from CPMs?
The Times just announced on The Local, its clutch of microregional, citizen-journalism blogger sites, that it plans to make display advertising easy, self-service, and cheap. It's inviting nieghborhood dry cleaners and hardware merchants to design, post, and allocate a capped budget to ad campaigns targeted to neighborhood audiences.
While other media sites are struggling to increase page views, Gawker's Nick Denton is willing to get traffic the old fashioned way: by paying for it.
Major newspapers are contemplating putting their content behind a pay wall and testing the waters with micropayments, but Denton is committed to making money from free ad-supported content. And to do that, his sites will live and die by their page views.
So far, that's working well for the company. While online ad revenues have fallen on average by 5% this year, revenues at Gawker have increased 35%. To keep that trend going, Denton will return to giving his writers traffic bonuses. He's also reiterated his interest in paying tipsters for traffic earning scoops.
Assume for a moment that you're an artist. You get a call one day from somebody at Google. Good news: Google wants you to create a skin for its Chrome browser.
You ask, "What's the fee?" The response: "There's no money but you'll get lots of exposure". Deal or no deal?
If there's one thing that Michael Wolff is sure of, it's that people shouldn't listen to him. And that's a good thing, considering that his track record for accuracy is not exactly stellar.
The Newser.com founder and Vanity Fair columnist's predictions on the demise of newspapers may have yet to come to fruition, but that's not going to stop him from reiterating the failures of "Old Media" like the New York Times and "New Media" like, well, Newser.com.
Speaking at Barry Diller's IAC headquarters today, Wolff began by telling the audience that he hates the "relentlessly literal" nature of the Internet, which is especially a problem when you are prone to hyperbole and large declarations, as Wolff is want.
He continued by saying that "you shouldn’t take seriously what you hear from me."
Those opening comments at the Advertising 2.0 conference may have been aimed at his conference host and Diller's employee Tina Brown, considering that just a few months ago he was calling the IAC funded Daily Beast "preposterous" and Brown an "old magazine hack." Meanwhile, yesterday Diller spoke in the same space, saying that audiences better get prepared to pay for media content.
But Wolff doesn't think that old media will succeed in finding a successful paid model. Talking to Bloomberg News CEO Andrew Lack, Wolff said that newspapers will disappear: "And we won’t know the difference."
The journalism debates continue. In a New York Times piece this weekend, Damon Darlin takes aim at the blogosphere and accuses bloggers like TechCrunch's Michael Arrington of taking a "truth-be-damned approach".
Not surprisingly, it has sparked a flurry of responses, including from Arrington, who claims that Darlin took some of his comments out of context.
The New York Times, desperate to earn some money in these dire times for media sites, is experimenting with advertising online and seeing some positive results.
Unwilling, or perhaps unable to wait for advertisers to start pouring money into the web, The Times is using its own creative team — and its brand — to make itself more attractive to advertisers.
Newspapers of the world take note: The New York Times has hired its first social media ‘editor’.
Jennifer Peston, a new veteran with a quarter of a century’s experience, has been given the role to further embrace the likes of Twitter, Facebook, Digg and YouTube.
But a social media ‘editor’? Maybe a ‘manager’ or ‘evangelist’ would have worked better. As it stands it sounds a little bit like the NYT has brought in a social media censor.
Adobe Flash, the rich media technology that's pretty much ubiquitous on the internet, will soon have a second home: your television set.
Thanks to deals that will include the Flash software in the chips that go into televisions and set-top boxes, in the near future you may start coming across Flash while watching and using your TV.
Content may be king but many companies have found that producing and distributing quality content requires a royal bank account.
The plight of the newspaper industry is a good example: news hasn't gone out of style but, for many newspapers, the cost structures associated with producing the news is incompatible with today's market. Costs simply exceed revenues.
Sponsorship and internet marketing are proving to be a tough couple. But they need immediate attention and innovation if brands have a shot at finding an effective presence on social media networks.
Two recent datapoints illustrate the issue. Yesterday's IAB report of 2008's ad results showed a 40 percent drop in sponsorships online. That is a shocking plunge for a business that tracked a 10 percent overall increase. And IDCs report on social media advertising delivered last week showed sponsorships may be the only form of advertising social network users will tolerate. "Tolerate" is the operative word here. They will not tolerate any kind of traditional display approach.