Wednesday, March 16, 2011

A few thoughts about media surveys

A new report from Project for Excellence in Journalism says that more people are reporting they get news from the Internet at least three times a week than report they get news from printed newspapers.

I don't see it as a bit surprising since I think people reading print newspapers are, for the most part, solid news consumers who get news from a variety of places. So far today (and it's only 8:32 a.m.), I have: 1) read a printed newspaper cover to cover, 2) scanned another printed newspaper, reading six stories, 3) listened to a radio newscast, 4) scanned five Internet news sites, one several times, 6) checked in on Facebook.

I do numbers 3 through 6 several times a day. I also generally read other printed newspapers, especially the nine free weekly publications I read each week, and that's not to mention the magazines and books. I am a news junkie. But so are lots of others. Yes, I'll show up in the survey's listing of people who get news online -- but I get it in other places as well, so when you read these surveys, think hard about the questions.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Switch from print to app isn't as easy as thought

A British group reports data showing that tablets are not substitutes for print newspapers, undoubtedly disappointing many newspaper executives who looked for tablet apps to fill in for print circulation declines.

The Telegraph newspaper reported (this from a story from that: "On average, the Telegraph iPad app was being used only seven times a month, when users ... were unable to buy a paper. The devices were being left at home or at work – not being carried everywhere.” interprets this as meaning that the hoped-for straight-line switch from print to tablets is "more complex" than hoped.

Media landscape grows more complex

New Pew report outlines the complicated media landscape with more reporting getting their news digitally than online. Report findings are mixed for newspapers with print revenues continuing to drop while online revenues continue to grow.

A worrisome finding is that newspapers no longer control their own destinies. Pew reports, "Online, news organizations increasingly depend on independent networks to sell their ads, on aggregators and social networks to deliver a substantial portion of their audience, and now, as news consumption becomes more mobile, on device makers (such as Apple) and software developers (Google) to distribute their content. And the new players take a share of the revenue and in many cases, also control the audience data." That dependency on others reflects an industry weakness.

Those iPad app are beginning to pay off

Evidence is beginning to mount up that theories of paid subscriptions on iPads and similar tablets may be correct. The latest is the announcement that the Wall Street Journal has 200,000 paid subscribers to its digital applications. That may not be huge, but does indicate that consumers will pony up for perceived value.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Adding tiger blood to new media mix

We talk a lot about how new media is reshaping the entire media landscape, offering users a host of new venues. One of them is offering direct access to celebrities where fans can find their own news.

It also offers celebrities the opportunity to shape their messages, and more and more of them have moved into the direct news route with their sites spreading views, news and, often, direct sales of products. For example, sports celeb Mark Cuban (a millionaire who owns the Dallas Mavericks) has long offered his views on all sorts of things directly, via Twitter and his website.

It was almost inevitable that Charlie Sheen -- currently the hottest name in the blogosphere -- would open his own site, and with the announcement that " is finally in the hands of its Warlock owner," that opportunity became a reality. It promises to be fun to watch, although I'm not sure how much solid information will be added to the global intelligence cache.