Tag Archives: ContentNext

Founder Rafat Ali quits paidContent and Content Next

Founder of ContentNext, the publisher of digital media news site paidContent.org, Rafat Ali has announced he will leave the company in early July.

ContentNext, which also publishes paidContent:UK, mocoNews,net and contentSutra.com, was bought by Guardian News & Media in July 2008. The deal marked the next step in GNM’s US expansion plans, the group said at the time. But in a farewell post on paidContent.org, Ali hints at the difficulties of moving from start-up to big media ownership:

The last two years under Guardian have been illuminating, to say the least. Being part of a big company brings its own level of complexities; during a huge financial crisis, it makes for a roller-coaster ride. The high of the sale dissipated quickly, and pulling back and hunkering down isn’t fun, much less entrepreneurial. To Guardian’s credit, amidst the mothership’s own perfect storm, they stood by us, and we have survived, though much smaller.

I am leaving the company while the editorial is still at the peak of its reputation, even though we are half the team we used to be. It really is a miracle. And the edit leadership under our ME Ernie Sander and my longtime partner-in-crime and co-editor Staci D Kramer gets the full credit for it, as do our scrappy group of talented journalists. The business side is a rebuild-in-process that I hope Guardian continues to support in kind and spirit.

The sites will continue under managing editor Ernie Sander.

Full post at this link…

AdAge: News sites can survive with 200m page views a month, says report

A report from ContentNext suggests news websites, from independents to newspapers, can turn a profit if they generate more than 200 million monthly page views.

According to the research, a site such as NYTimes.com would need to record 1.3 billion page views a month – this could lead to $300 million in quarterly ad revenues.

Rafat Ali: More job losses and major product closures for media industry in 2009

For those that haven’t seen it, here’s Bloomberg’s interview with ContentNext/paidContent founder Rafat Ali, in which he forecasts more job cuts in January and February for the media industry and major product closures by publishers and broadcasters. Ali also predicts the end of one UK or US national newspaper in the next few months.

AOP 2008: At yesterday’s digital sweetshop – best of the rest

It was all a bit kids in a sweetshop at yesterday’s AOP Digital Publishing Summit, if we forget all the problems with wifi, of course.

The main aim, for most attendees, In all likelihood, was to talk to all the people they know in online life, but rarely get the chance to talk to in person – over coffee (and odd looking cake/pastries) and lunch during the day, and drinks in the evening.

The programme ranged from panels to energetic speakers with a broad range of digital publishing topics covered – though perhaps not as much new discussion was initiated as some participants hoped, despite Peter Bale from Microsoft attempt to get some answers from YouTube’s Jonathan Gillespie.

A few additional highlights to add to our coverage so far:

Emily’s Bell’s vision for Guardian’s international reach: In the panel introducing ‘the digital pioneers,’ Bell, director of digital content for Guardian News & Media, said the group sees now as a ‘uniquely’ timed opportunity for the brand to expand internationally – and to do so before their rivals do.

Speaking to Journalism.co.uk afterwards, Bell elaborated on her example of the Economist’s well-established grasp of the international market.  Although it happened for the Economist over a 20-year period, she told me that a similar endeavour in 2008 is ‘compressed’ by the web.

Bell also pointed out during the panel that the Chinese words for ‘crisis’ and ‘opportunity’ are one and the same (I tried to keep that in mind as my laptop charger physically broke and the wifi went down).

The Guardian’s move stateside was also referred to by Saul Klein, partner of Index Ventures and moderator of later panel ‘Growing in the Digital World’.

Quoting Simon Waldman, Guardian Media Group’s director of digital strategy and development (and Emily Bell’s boss), Klein said the Guardian’s acquisition of ContentNext was ‘well set up to exploit’. Waldman explained how moves like that prepared the group for a US audience.

The ‘Unlocking the mobile internet’ panel: In the spirit of the thing, TechCrunch’s Mike Butcher gave out his mobile number for questions before probing the panel on their respective views on mobile internet’s future.

Is 2009 the year of mobile? Melissa Goodwin, controller of mobile at ITV says not: “I don’t think it’s next year, I’m hoping it’s 2010.”

“We just want to give you anything you may want,” she said of ITV’s mobile strategy, though she admitted that building advertising revenue was very much an ongoing issue.

Goodwin also revealed that consumers can look forward to Friends Reunited on two iPhone applications in the first part of next year, as reported in more depth over at PaidContent.

Stefano Maruzzi, president of CondeNet International, on outlining Conde’s digital development: As reported over at MediaGuardian and PaidContent, CondeNet, the online arm of Conde Nast, has got lots of ideas about lots of things:

  • Rolling out a Wired website worldwide (and in different languages, he told PaidContent)
  • Keeping Tatler’s online presence minimal
  • Engaging with the iPod user audience

Guardian material on paidContent:UK

As a result of Guardian News & Media’s acquisition of ContentNext, Media Guardian content has started to appear on paidContent:UK. Just recently the same occured vice versa: the appearance of Paid Content articles on the Media Guardian site.

In July, Journalism.co.uk reported that Guardian News & Media had bought ContentNext, behind paidcontent.org, paidContent:UK and the Indian news site contentSutra.com.

An early report by the Wall Street Journal’s AllThingsD column reported that according to sources it was a figure ‘north of $30 million.’

The deal marked a ‘significant expansion’ of GNM’s US presence, a press statement said at the time.

ContentNext begins UK expansion with paidContent recruitment

Publishing firm ContentNext, which was recently acquired by Guardian Media Group, is recruiting for its UK digital media news site paidContent.

According to a post on the site by publisher and editor Rafat Ali, paidContent UK is looking for a London-based reporter to work on the site and across its international platforms – paidContent.org, mocoNews.net and contentSutra.com.