Interesting piece from Peter Kirwan on news organisations developing mobile apps that don’t allow users easy access to alternative sources of news:
In the way of all love objects, apps do suggest that something satisfying lies on the horizon for news organisations. Readers may not be prepared to pay for content, but they do seem willing to pay for software and services that improve their lives (…) Promiscuity is limited by the opportunity for discovery. Searching for alternatives to stories that pop up inside your app will cost you time. And for most mobile users, that’s a commodity in short supply. On this basis, it’s a racing certainty that some news publishers perceive apps as a way of putting Humpty-Dumpty back together again, on the mobile web at least.
How long will this model last when confronted with devout RSS feed users and those who favour the sharing of multiple sources and links via social media sites and networks?
Full post at this link…
PDA looks at an article in the forthcoming edition of Wired UK from Nick Bilton, a user interface specialist and lead researcher at the New York Times, who has been analysing the growth in linking from newspaper websites’ homepages.
“So we’re showing people online 300 more options on one page than we show them in print. And we wonder why people have information overload of content,” writes Bilton.
Some interesting stats pulled out by PDA on its own site, Guardian.co.uk, which has 1,941 words on its starting page, 350 individual links and 1,222 linked words.
Full post at this link…
Media consultant Arnon Mishkin argues that the value of linking between sites is getting captured by aggregators rather than by the news sites that they scrape and link to.
“Even in an absolute best-case scenario for producers of original content, the aggregators get at least as much traffic on linked stories as the creators of those stories because anyone who clicks on the link does so from the aggregator’s site (so each site gets a page view),” he writes.
“[E]ach aggregator gets to build a ‘front page’ to target and win over their chosen segment, or enable each user to tailor a front page perfectly suited to his or her needs. And they can do that by leveraging all the resources of the global journalistic community without paying any part of its cost.”
Looking at the link economy from the perspective of making money and getting the most out of initial traffic bursts generated by aggregators linking to a news site, Mishkin suggests three tactics:
- News sites should seek ‘an equitable economic relationship’ with aggregators and drop links if they don’t get a fair deal;
- Partner with other content providers to create their own aggregation sites;
- Look at ‘wadgets’ – a combination of content and advertising – rather than ‘widgets’ purely offering a site’s material. This would allow them to monetise some of the traffic on the aggregators site.
The AP’s recent suggestion that it will creating landing pages for members’ news content and introduce a advertising revenue share arrangement seems to go some way to meeting Mishkin’s recommendations.
Interesting thoughts in a week where user-powered aggregator Digg introduced its new ad system. The question of how much revenue aggregation sites are generating should also be considered.
Full paidContent.org post at this link…
Related: see Publish2 founder Scott Karp’s thoughts on newspapers and the link economy.