How Much is a Magazine’s Content Worth? (http://www.foliomag.com/2009/how-much-magazine-s-content-worth-part-one)

Blogs survive as scavengers

News-gathering is expensive. (Read previous posts on this theme here (The (read) sky (between) is (the) falling (lines)) and here (Pornographers don’t sell pornography).) That’s why I present this from Simon Dumenco for AdAge.com:
“unlike Salon, which… pays for its content, HuffPo [HuffingtonPost] has an ethically questionable content-generation scheme: It doesn’t pay most of its bloggers at all. Worse, it sometimes even lifts content wholesale from other sites that do pay for their own content…” (http://adage.com/mediaworks/article?article_id=133541)

The (read) sky (between) is (the) falling (lines)

AdAge.com opens an article with these dismal facts:

Newspaper ad revenue fell almost $2 billion in the third quarter for a record 18.1% decline, according to new statistics from the Newspaper Association of America. What’s worse, newspapers’ online ad revenue fell for the second quarter in a row.

Link

In another, companion article titled “Huffington Post More Valuable Than Some Newspaper Cos.,” AdAge.com offers this regarding blog value versus newspaper value:

The [$100 million] funding means Arianna Huffington’s news blog is now considered more valuable by its backers than quite a few publicly traded newspaper companies…

Link

The irony is that The Huffington Post “rarely provide original content” (to quote myself) but “select and repackage… information.”

In a CJR piece by Robert Kuttner with an urgent deck that reads “Newspapers have a bright future as print-digital hybrids after all — but they’d better hurry,” he writes of an interview with a 21-year old colleague. In their conversation he attempts to establish an argument in defense of the printed newspaper. Mr. Kuttner writes:

By now I was feeling very last century. And then Ezra… handed me a trump. You have one thing right, he volunteered. The best material on the Internet consistently comes from Web sites run by print organizations.

Link

My take away is this:

  1. Newspapers that don’t adapt to the print-digital hybrid should go the way of the buffalo.
  2. Newspapers that embrace the print-digital hybrid should do so quickly and reorganize as a news organization using the full depth of the new media platform. After all, newspapers are content providers who have been relying on a single (print) platform too long.
  3. The Huffington Post is funded. In a little known interview, the publisher of World magazine made the following statement:

As public companies that do most of the news-gathering cut back on their investments… We see an opportunity to increase news resources in the non-profit world. We may be looking at a paradigm shift in this industry from for-profit news-gathering to non-profit news-gathering.

Pornographers don’t sell pornography

AdPulp provides this:

“42.7% of consumer time online is spent with content sites, 28.6% is with communication sites, 16.1% with commerce sites and 5% on search sites.” Link

(For more detailed analysis visit OPA Link)

While a lot of content provider sites (i.e. news and entertainment sites) feel pressure to offer their content for free (and some have already removed their firewalls—i.e. TNYT and WSJ) the question remains—how does an organization provide “free” content without going bankrupt?

Jake McKee’s post—You’re selling the wrong thing—sited the McGuire HuffingtonPost Porn Knows What It’s For—Do You? as an answer to that question. To excerpt some notable quote from McGuire’s article:

“Pornographers… don’t seem to care much about how they do it—they’ll just find ways to give people the orgasms however people want them given… magazines… online photos, online videos… why are newspapers… having such a hard time?… they have a fundamental misunderstanding of what they do.

“The value of a newspaper is not that it gives me information; the value of a newspaper is how it selects information…”

And here’s a necessary mainstream-media-sucks, blogs-rule rant from McGuire:

“Blogs are excellent selectors of information, while newspapers are pretty clunky at it—because for the past 300 years they existed in an ecosystem where information was scarce. Now information (and access to it) is abundant.”

McGuire misses the point in the steam of his own blog-rant.

Blogs survive as scavengers of info. Blogs select and repackage recycled information. Blogs—with the exception of maybe 50 techno-intelligentsia sites—rarely provide original content. The mainstream media behemoths still provide the bulk of online content. Here’s were McGuire is correct: pornographers don’t care about how or by what vehicle they deliver the content—online or offline. Pornographers bank on three basic actions: consumption, evangelism, purchase (and repeat).

Or to put it another way: “delivering anticipated, personal and relevant [content] to people who actually want” it. (Source). Do people still consume news? Yes. Do the majority of people want to pay for it? No. How does a news/entertainment organization earn revenue online? IMHO, online advertising + products = revenue. Translation: offer ad rates (dictated by web traffic) plus and an online store with shopping cart for souvenirs related to the content the consumers want.

How to keep your job in journalism

According to Ashvegas:

1) Create killer content

2) Pimp your work

3) Brand yourself

Link