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Panpa Bulletin : November December 2006
Newspapers throughout the world continue their rapid expansion into online, mobile and other digital platforms. And they're discovering each day just how much more there is to that than simply shifting existing print content across. With the forging of so much new terri- tory, a whole new knowledge base is growing exponentially around the development and delivery of new content alongside new strate- gies for sales and marketing and new pricing models. Held at the Hilton Metropole Hotel in London and themed The Multi-Platform Newspaper: Winning Content & Business Strategies, the conference brought together 300 participants from 53 countries. The two-day event saw a dazzling caval- cade of experts sharing their experience and insights on every facet of the digital media business. Here's a summary of the sessions, starting with the keynotes from Guardian CEO Carolyn McCall and Scripps interactive division chief Bob Benz. Carolyn McCall, CEO, Guardian Media Group (UK): Brave New World. This is an era of huge opportunity for major media brands, not loss. Impart a clear vision from the top down -- and make it one that drives revenue growth from the outset. Translate that vision through software development, and give your software people the same star billing you give your scribes. Snuggle up to your users -- focus on what they want, not just what you can pro- vide. And remember that in territory this new, you will make mistakes. Learn from them. Bob Benz, GM Interactive Media, Scripps Newspapers (US): Be a Venture Capitalist. Stop acting like prey and start being a predator. Don't look at the likes of Google and Yahoo and weep about missing the boat -- start looking for opportunities of your own. Scripps actively supports this with an "entre- preneur fund" attached to "start small, learn and grow" strategy to mitigate risk. Martha Stone, WAN Special Projects Manager, Shaping the Future of the Newspaper: Focus on the Audience. The media explosion is giving audiences the chance to wrest control of what they see, hear and read back from media outlets. With particular emphasis on youth for that group's massive shift to online and mobile media, she cited examples of how newspaper companies are using ethnographic and demographic research to help reshape and grow their prod- uct as readerships head online. In her other presentation, Trends in Paid Content, Ms Stone noted several key shifts. While some media companies in the US and Europe continue to succeed in pay- ment for news, business and entertainment content, the market is patchy. In the US and UK, investment and business information revenues gained slightly from 2004-05, while payments for general on-line news subscrip- tions dropped significantly. Overall, the single articles and archive content category fell from 40.9 pc in 2004 to 38.7 pc of all publishers' content sales in 2005. Entertainment video opens up myriad new opportunities to com- mercialise content. Alexander Burmaster, Internet Analyst, Nielsen/NetRatings (UK): Understanding the Online Consumer. Burmaster came up with a big surprise in presenting Nielsen's world- wide snapshot of internet usage: more people over 50 use the internet than do people under 18. Other points of interest: news is the second fastest growing online category after search, and interest in a/v content is growing exponentially. Takashi Ishioka, Digital Business Project, Asahi Shimbun (Japan): Focusing on the Loyal Customer. Ishioka saw new media as solution to two problems facing an otherwise 26 | PANPA BULLETIN November--December 2006 WAN CONFERENCE WAN World Digital Publishing publishers pan for gold in a whole October s WAN World Digital Publishing Conference & Expo brought together a raft of groundbreaking strategies and practical ideas in how to ride rapids and nd new paydirt in those rivers of gold Brave New World: Guardian CEO Carolyn McCall gave one of two keynote presentations