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Reasons to be cheerful? Seattle paper, Roanoke Times and magazine publishers turning a profit

August 11th, 2009 | 2 Comments | Posted by in Magazines, Newspapers

In addition to reporting on plummeting profits for some newspaper groups, Journalism.co.uk thought it was about time we shared some better news or at least some examples of titles that aren’t making a loss.

  1. As the city’s only surviving daily newspaper since the decline of the Post-Intelligencer, the Seattle Times posted a rise in daily circulation of around 30 per cent for June. According to the New York Times, publisher Frank Blethen says the title is operating ‘in the black’ on a month-to-month basis now.
  2. “We are a profitable, debt-free enterprise,” says Debbi Meade, publisher of the US’ Roanoke Times, in this letter to readers.
  3. New figures from the US’ Publishers Information Bureau (PIB) suggest that 12 titles managed to attract more ad pages in the first six months of this year than in comparison to the same period in 2008. Newsweek looks at which titles are managing to buck the trend in this way.
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YouTube and Google News come together for publishers

July 1st, 2009 | 1 Comment | Posted by in Advertising, Multimedia

YouTube is offering news outlets featured in Google News the opportunity to become an official partner of the site – with an aim to increase video views on both YouTube and Google News.

According to a post on the Google News Blog, a partnership will offer the chance of prominent placement of a news organisation’s videos on YouTube’s news page; and, if the videos are embeddable, the opportunity to appear as a featured video on Google News.

News outlets can apply to be part of the YouTube Partner Program, which will also include an advertising revenue share program – as explained by the program’s ‘partner benefits’ page:

  • “Share revenue from relevant InVideo ads overlaid on your videos and banner ads running next to your videos to earn money
  • Participate in co-marketing & branded entertainment opportunities with top brand advertisers.
  • Utilize your own sales to sell your own ads.

Meanwhile, as reported by MediaWeek, Bauer and IPC Media have become two of the first magazine publishers to sell ads around their YouTube content on the site. They follow Channel 4, which struck a deal with the video-sharing site last month.

Google News Blog: A Call to News Publishers: How to Share Your Video.

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AP: Journalism Online says 10 per cent will pay for news

June 26th, 2009 | 2 Comments | Posted by in Editors' pick, Online Journalism

Journalism Online, the recently launched project aimed at creating online pay walls/subscription packages for newspaper and magazine publishers, says it expects 10 per cent of internet news readers will pay for content.

The organisation has set an average of $25 a month, or $300 annually, as the figure it believes consumers are willing to pay for ‘professionally produced stories on the web’, based on research.

If it reaches this target the new venture would generate significant income for newspaper and magazine partners, the AP reports.

“Journalism Online thinks it can help by serving up a smorgasbord of online newspaper and magazine content that enables readers to pay a single vendor for coverage pulled from multiple Web sites. The subscription packages, for instance, might cater to Web surfers willing to pay for the best stories about entertainment, business or even something even more specialized like California politics,” the AP states.

Full story at this link…

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The new news subscription system from Journalism Online: what the web says

So here’s the story, from a range of open-to-all sources:

[as told by the AFP]: “Three veteran US media executives teamed up and launched a company designed to help ailing US newspapers and other publications make money on the web by charging readers for news.”

[as told by the AP]: “Three media veterans plan to bundle the internet content of newspaper and magazine publishers into a subscription package that will test web surfers’ willingness to pay for material that has been given away for years.”

[as told by Jeff Jarvis]: “…[F]ormer online publisher Steven Brill, former Wall Street Journal online exec Gordon Crovitz, and former cable exec Leo Hindery had teamed up to to create a company to enable news companies to huddle behind a wall and charge for their content.”

[as told by its founders]: “Citing ‘the urgent need’ for a comprehensive, immediate plan to address the downward spiral in the business of publishing original, quality journalism, experienced journalism and media industry executives Steven Brill, Gordon Crovitz, and Leo Hindery today announced the formation of Journalism Online, a company that will quickly facilitate the ability of newspaper, magazine and online publishers to realize revenue from the digital distribution of the original journalism they produce.”

[as told by Gawker]: “Now he’s [Steven Brill] launched Journalism Online Inc, whose goal is to make it easy for technologically-challenged newspaper companies to sell online subscriptions and individual stories.”

A sample of what else is available outside the wall on the launch:

  • The first part of an interview with paidContent – Staci D. Kramer reports: “The biggest surprise so far? Brill says that every publisher they’ve met with has asked about picking up an equity stake.”
  • Mark Potts’ blog post titled ‘Herding Cats’: “I think the whole online subscription idea is harebrained and doomed to failure, and I’ve ranted about that more than enough,” he writes.
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French publishers vs Google: ‘You are becoming our worst enemy’

December 16th, 2008 | 5 Comments | Posted by in Magazines, Newspapers, Online Journalism, Search

The headline quote comes from a round-up up by Eric Scherer of a meeting involving French newspaper and magazine publishers and Google. The meeting suggests some heavy anti-Google feeling on the publishers’ part.

According to one executive at the event, magazine and newspaper publisher Lagadère is on the brink of reporting Google to the EU Commission for ‘predatory practices’.

Watch the video below (courtesy of Adrian Vanachter Damien Van Achter of Scherer’s tweeted coverage of the meeting and make your own mind up as to which party you agree with.

One quote that grabbed my attention, however, was newspapers reported remark: “You are accepting the end of news as we know it.”

Google, secrecy about its algorithms and dominance of the online ad market aside, is looking forward; newspapers are trying to protect and control what they perceive as news and the news business. The problems they are facing, some related to Google and others not, should show them that this self-interested attitude can’t be maintained and their perception of ‘news as we know it’ is out-dated.

Jeff Jarvis sums this up in a blog post reacting to Scherer’s report:

“This anti-Google attitude comes from an apparent sense of entitlement that we see clearly in France but also elsewhere: Google owes us (…) They – like other publishers and journalists – think a market should be built around what they need and that there is a fair share that belongs to them even though they did not innovate and change so those who did should rescue them. But as Scott Karp has said, no one guarantees them a business model.”

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