Whether you agree with Matt Kelly’s well-documented views on Google and search engines vs. publishers, there’s no doubting the Mirror Group digital director’s way with words.
Take this soundbite from the Association of Online Publishers’ (AOP) interview when asked what is holding journalists and news organisations back from digital?
Apart from the big 800lb gorilla of the fact that there’s no money there (…) if you accept philosophically that digital has to be a part of your business going forward if you’re going to survive and you accept that at some point there will be a reconnection with the investment and reward that is necessary to pay for all this content, then the next question is are you creative enough? Sure. Have you got enough guts to innovate and to develop create compelling propositions online? Of course we have. I don’t think there’s anything holding us back. It would be nice to bring the revenues forward a bit, but I think we will certainly get there.
Video on the AOP website at this link…
Digital content director for the Mirror Group Matt Kelly is well-known for his provocative speeches – see his talk to the World Association of Newspapers’ annual congress in December in which he said online newspapers had prostituted themselves online and treated SEO as “the be-all and end-all of online publishing”, devaluing readers in the process.
We’ll be reporting his remarks in full shortly from today’s Westminster Media Forum event ‘The Future of News Media’ (as well as Channel 4 News presenter Jon Snow’s optimistic note for journalists), including what he told Journalism.co.uk about Mirror.co.uk’s plans for more niches building on its Mirror Football and 3am.
But for starters:
- “The general news business is dead. If all you have to peddle is general news, then rest in peace.”
- “Newspapers aren’t in the sharp news game; we haven’t been for some time. We are in the audience business.”
- “Thirty million customers [online] and no profit isn’t what I’d call a business.”
- “Publishers need to re-establish in our online businesses that sense of value, brand and uniqueness that we have taken so much trouble to do in print.”
- “The newspaper industry is far from blameless in this situation [free content online]”
More to follow…
Roy Greenslade reports on Daily Mirror associate editor Matt Kelly’s presentation at this week’s World Editors Forum conference in Prague.
Much has already been made of Mirror.co.uk’s decisions to launch separate sites for its main traffic drivers (Mirrorfootball.co.uk and 3am.co.uk) – in particular the sites’ attitude towards search engine optimisation (or lack of it).
Speaking at the industry event, Kelly challenged the metrics used to measure web traffic:
“According to Kelly, ‘users’ (a sterile description) are people who discover content through Google, devour it, and then return to their search engine to look for more elsewhere,” writes Greenslade.
As a result users car less about the sites they visit and advertisers are less willing to spend cash to attract them, Kelly added.
“Until we bite the bullet and forget about this mad race for users, and focus instead on building engaged, loyal audiences, we will continue to see the value of our content erode online,” said Kelly, who added that slow growth of engaged audiences should be the aim for news groups online.
Full post at this link…