categories

HOT TOPICS

NEWSLETTER

If you are considering becoming a 1M/1M premium member and would like to join our mailing list to receive ongoing information, please sign up here.

Subscribe to our Feed

Newspapers, Roll Up!

Posted on Friday, Mar 2nd 2007

There has been a lot of coverage on the dwindling fortunes of old media, especially the newspaper industry. Some of mine are Media Shuffles and Newspapers, Wake Up!. But.

I am one of those people who believe that quality content will still need business models supporting it, and new media’s heavy reliance on FREE user-generated content has its limitations, and may not be sustainable. Thus, I have an interest in the survival of content producer companies, and would like to see them reinvent themselves, not die.

Jon Fine wrote a very nice piece recently in Business Week about Gannett (GCI), the largest newspaper company in the US. The nugget of the piece is that Gannett is doing a good job with a new media strategy that they call Pro-Am. Meaning, Professional writers produce the Anchor Content, and Amateur writers weigh in with User Content.

I believe, this will become the established formula for most newspapers and magazines in a few years, as the eco-system rearranges itself.

To give you an example, I have recently started syndicating some of my blog writings to a financial publisher called Seeking Alpha. Their value proposition is to aggregate equity research and articles, to make it the single most comprehensive destination for stock research for individual and institutional investors. They have a deal with Yahoo! Finance, whereby, if you plug in a ticker in Yahoo, you get a link to see what the financial blogs are saying about this company. The service is powered by Seeking Alpha.

Now.

Why would Wall Street Journal and Business Week not avail of such a service? Lots of readers already come to WSJ.com to read about various companies. Especially, about companies that they have stake in. It is a shame, that WSJ and Business Week loses this audience today, to Yahoo! Finance, or directly to Seeking Alpha.

Instead, I would like to see WSJ and BW reorient their offerings, such that they provide Anchor Content, and leverage something like Seeking Alpha for User Content.

Similarly, other categories like Travel (Lufthansa just bought a huge ad inventory across 100 Travel Blogs via Washington Post’s BlogRoll program), Book Reviews, Film Reviews, etc. could be rolled up into a Pro-Am / Anchor Content-User Content mode, and the Newspapers immediately would have a strategy to counter new media. NYT and Washington Post could roll up political writings from the blogosphere. The Economist could roll up economic analysis.

The other opportunity that a Seeking Alpha provides is for, say, Washington Post, to easily get into Financial coverage by licensing the Seeking Alpha content. In areas where a newspaper has gaps, like Business in the case of the Post, they could also selectively syndicate bloggers who specialize in that area.

There is so much Am-Content out there right now, it is a real shame that the big brands are not leveraging them.

Hacker News
() Comments

Featured Videos

Comments

[…] just as I wrote the Newspapers, Roll Up! piece, I read this one on Techmeme. Fascinating […]

Sramana Mitra on Strategy » Blog Archive » The Pro-Am debate Friday, March 2, 2007 at 10:52 PM PT

[…] wrote Newspapers, Roll Up! last week. Today, USA Today, one of Gannett’s (GCI) top holdings, announced a massive […]

Sramana Mitra on Strategy » Blog Archive » USA Today’s Step Forward Monday, March 5, 2007 at 12:24 AM PT

[…] change will be visible from 2008 onwards. They can also seriously expand their online position by rolling up various verticals, as well as adopting a more aggressive strategy wrt user generated content, by encouraging more […]

Sramana Mitra on Strategy » Blog Archive » NYT: Print to Digital Monday, March 19, 2007 at 12:31 PM PT

[…] albeit less aggressively than its peers like Dow Jones, Gannett, and McClatchy. Bottomline, the Newspapers need to Roll-Up online vertical businesses […]

Sramana Mitra on Strategy » Blog Archive » NYT : Try Web 3.0 Friday, March 23, 2007 at 12:18 PM PT

[…] success of this transition and the future growth of the company is how well McClatchy is able to roll up its online verticals and integrate Web 3.0, since by the time it gets its act together, Web 2.0 will be […]

Sramana Mitra on Strategy » Blog Archive » McClatchy: Focusing on Online and Local Monday, March 26, 2007 at 11:49 AM PT

[…] the online media space and TheEnvelope is a step in the right direction, but the company needs to roll-up many more relevant online verticals to save the […]

Sramana Mitra on Strategy » Blog Archive » Tribune: Will buyout save Tribune? Tuesday, March 27, 2007 at 11:24 AM PT

[…] in the various verticals of social media, and newspapers losing vertical revenues, I wrote Newspapers, Roll Up! and Newspapers Losing Verticals to […]

Sramana Mitra on Strategy » Blog Archive » Newspapers : Industry in Turmoil Friday, April 6, 2007 at 11:16 AM PT

[…] to take advantage of its excellent Anchor content to engage a vibrant User community. In my piece, Newspapers, Roll Up! I discussed how newspapers and magazines need to generate strong Anchor Content, but also layer in […]

Sramana Mitra on Strategy » Blog Archive » BusinessWeek: Crown Jewel or Achilles’ Heel? Tuesday, April 17, 2007 at 9:37 AM PT

[…] The Company needs to continue making small acquisitions to establish itself in each of its key verticals. The Company needs to integrate along the Web 3.0 framework and adopt a more aggressive strategy wrt user generated content, by encouraging more Anchor Content – User Content / Pro-Am interplay. […]

Web 3.0 & NYT (Part 5) - Sramana Mitra on Strategy Friday, October 12, 2007 at 7:57 AM PT