We rate everything these days. From the inflatable water slide we bought on Amazon to the guy who gave us a ride to the airport. Hey, that Uber driver even rates us as passengers. I always ask the driver for mine.
So, as I think about how to satisfy audiences in a world in which our product is content, I struggle to understand why it’s so difficult to measure.
It may be we are using very imprecise measurements as proxies.
Here’s what I mean: With frequency of visit, a low measurement may have more to do with the person’s lifestyle and personal rhythm for seeking news and information than how much they like what we provide.
With time spent, I’ve heard content providers argue that a low amount of time means you are providing the user with what they want right away so they can ......[more]
30 July 2015 · By Kevin Curnock
“Journalist as rock star.”
I heard this phrase earlier this year at the INMA World Congress in New York City. The gist is that news media companies might reverse their current fortune if they could hire more rock star journalists … and fewer of the ho-hum type.
On the surface, this seems like a legitimate strategy. Imagine: Ms. News Reporter, formerly unknown and practically invisible in daily life, becomes Ms. J-Star. She gains the fame, and more importantly – the audience – that rock stars command.
Journalist as rock star. Hard-drinking, chain-smoking, and hotel-bashing can be legitimised as authentic audience engagement tools. Journalists rejoice!
Or maybe not.
Journalist as rock star makes a nice expression. But in reality, it is doubtful that the public will treat print news creators as stars. I’m not saying news creation is not important. Of course it is. Our business depends on it. What I mean is that there will never be throngs of newsies chasing down journalists’ tour buses in hopes of taking selfies with scribes.
On the other hand, perhaps ......[more]
21 July 2015 · By Jim Fleigner
19 July 2015 · By Emily Goligoski
Together with staff from The New York Times newsroom, our research team set out earlier this year to learn about audience needs during and after breaking news stories.
What do readers seek most in breaking news moments?
What role do devices play in shaping their news gathering decisions?
How important is social media as a news discovery mechanism?
To address these and other questions, we recruited 15 news consumers from across the United States who demonstrate a range of news interaction behaviours. We invited them to record their news consumption over the course of a week and share photos ......[more]
16 July 2015 · By Maria Terrell
I was getting my
grey-covered hair done with my long-time stylist the other day, and I asked her a few questions. To note, she is both a publisher’s and advertiser’s prime demographic: She (prime No. 1) is a Millenial (prime No. 2), and in a fantastic income bracket (prime No. 3). She is cool, travels, and lives an alternative lifestyle.
She is all the things that make most advertisers drool – and is the owner of the eyeballs that content providers are clamoring for.
Now, it is said that great truths come from bartenders and taxi drivers. Personally, I include stylists in that statement as well.
“So how do you get your news?” I ask. Her answers lead me to realise how much we, as an industry, have to do if we want to not only keep up with her, but keep up with the people who “get” her, already have her attention, and are going to fight to keep it.
- “I have a news app that pushes alerts ...
25 June 2015 · By John Newby
It is no secret the onset of the Internet and digital ages truly transformed and continues to transform the way news media companies conduct their business. In fact, most news media companies are still trying to gather their sea legs during the current storm of digital progress as they continue to figure that model out.
The saying “there is no rest for the weary” is certainly appropriate for the violent transformation storm that rages on. Even as news media companies are trying to stand back up from the storm, along comes the next wave of stormy change.
The storm of Big Data. Big Data will not only transform the way we think about our businesses just as the Internet and digital has, but, more importantly, it will change the way we view and think about our customers forever.
It will once again transform the entire landscape.
Big Data really isn’t the most appropriate term. It isn’t about Big Data at all, but rather many bits of small data with ......[more]
10 June 2015 · By Dan Johnson
My family recently moved back to our hometown of Denver, Colorado, after having been gone for just over 12 years.
During the time we were away, the world changed a great deal. When we left in 2002, there was no such thing as Facebook or YouTube. Google was still privately held, and the word “google” hadn’t even been used as a verb yet! Cell phones did little more than make calls and no one had heard of “smartphones,” “apps,” or “tablets.”
Many things changed in Denver while we were gone, as well. The city had grown a great deal and infrastructure development projects that were just in the planning stages in 2002 (such as a highways and the light rail system) had become a reality and are still developing.
As I pondered these changes both locally and across the United States, it occurred to me that these developments also represented the potential for new audiences.
When we talk in terms of audience, we are talk about demographics, psychographics, etc., but we also focus on culture, interests, and trends. As the pace of global change increases, so do the audiences that are available to media companies.
In addition, because of the pace of change, many audiences haven’t even ......[more]
08 June 2015 · By Dan Schaub
Today’s publishers have the opportunity to celebrate the deepest and most enriching relationships they’ve ever had with their consumers. While it’s been known for years that newspaper publishers have rich pools of data on their users, the pot of gold has gotten even richer.
Publishers don’t report the size of their audience by using magical black boxes in a small sample of living rooms. They don’t use a survey to estimate how many users might be absorbing their product as they drive to work.
Most publishers have actual names and addresses for the majority of their users. In fact, publishers receive payments from their users each month and they drive by the homes of these users on a daily basis. While this is impressive, this is old news.
Many publishers are developing three-dimensional type relationships with consumers. The modern day “all-access subscriber” often has several connections to a publisher’s products throughout the course of a day.
This can start with the consumer receiving the daily print newspaper. A little later in the morning, the consumer may receive a morning sports update covering scores and highlights from across all time zones.
Later in the day, this same consumer might receive a digital evening edition or ......[more]
04 June 2015 · By Claire Hawley
Staying up-to-date with your favourite brands and news sources is becoming ever easier. As technology evolves, the separation between platforms blurs and the communication stream steadily drones out messages regardless of whether you’re on a mobile device, tablet, connected television, or smartwatch, and whether you’re in your car … or on your lawnmower?
The downside to this seamless connection for readers is that, for publishers, connecting with our audience has become far more complicated.
In the past couple months alone, we’ve had several noteworthy launches from the big guys:
- Facebook launched Instant Articles amid a flurry of questions around whether the company’s intentions are good or bad, but leaving us with the conclusion that Facebook is every publisher’s best frenemy.
- The first car is now available with ...
25 May 2015 · By Dan Johnson
I was recalling recently how several years ago, when preparing to go to market with a new subscription model at a newspaper where I worked, we decided to put together focus groups to gauge reaction to the product offering, the pricing, and the marketing of our new model.
We did two focus groups: one with outside participants who signed up via our Web site, and a second focus group that included a cross-section of employees from different departments (and different demographics) throughout the company.
The feedback we received from both groups was valuable. Needless to say, it was nice to have an “outsider’s” perspective from the folks recruited from our Web site, although the group was not truly representative of our market, as the people who responded and signed up for the group were all over the age of 65 with one exception.
The comments and suggestions we received from the employees, though, were priceless for many reasons. Their working knowledge of our vision, our mission, and what we were trying to ......[more]