Long Island's newsday set its pay wall firmly in place in November, becoming one of the few local newspapers to charge for all online access to its content. MediaNews also joined the club, charging for its content in Chico, Calif. and York, Penn. The theoretical gymnastics of figuring out the right trade off between eyeballs and fees has been one hurdle. Newsday began charging $5 a week, arrived at, easily enough, to achieve exact parity with home delivery. Of course, Newsday is in a unique situation.
With all the hype about the growth of online video viewing, I decided to check it out for myself by watching all my TV shows online for an entire week. My plan was to watch Hulu or abc.com and to supplement with iTunes on the big screen via Apple TV. I also wanted to experiment with Boxee, a start-up company that aspires to provide a common user interface for enabling consumer viewing of online video on a TV screen.
I left my iphone in the cab." it was both the panic in our usually stoic analytics director and the scramble to locate the phone that said everything. Mobile phones are not just devices, they are 24/7/365 lifelines. (BTW: Phone was recovered and returned by a NYC taxi company. Thanks.)
A magazine is a product. It's a tactile object. It's designed for a purpose. Thought of as a spoon, a magazine is a pretty good spoon, we posited, and asked some influential designers -- Walter Bernard, George Lois, and Luke Hayman -- how magazines can keep doing what magazines do best.
The news that the November issue of Gourmet magazine would be the last in the storied publication's history hit a certain segment of the populace with a wallop. The loss seemed incomprehensible. To them, Condé Nast's squandering of 68 years of equity seemed, not to put too fine a point on it, incredibly shortsighted.
All media are vehicles for persuasion and influence; TV power, however, was, until recently, assumed to be bordering on magic. Under a spell - this is how some nostalgic advertisers choose to remember consumers subjected to TV advertising in the time before TiVo. Back then, it seems, only the first Newtonian law - that bodies at rest stay at rest - prevented consumers from dashing, like Harold and Kumar, to a burger joint at the moment its commercial faded.
Most have it wrong. the digitization of media isn't today's critical issue. Today's critical issue is how the digitization of media has transformed consumer behavior and influenced successful business practices. While analog best practices are not wrong, they are incomplete and therefore they are less relevant.
Economic conditions being what they are, my agency partners have begun asking, "How can we justify branding budgets to our clients?" I generally answer their question with a question: How do you define "branding?" If their answer doesn't include short-term response metrics, I tell them they need to get a new definition of branding.
Consider this counterintuitive economic event: Currently, new cars can be cheaper than used cars of the same model. According to edmunds.com: "... Deals on some new cars are so generous that they actually make the new car less expensive than the year-old version of the same model."
Michael Wolf is one of the smartest and most influential figures in the media industry that most people have never heard of. If you have, it's probably for his stint as president-COO of MTV Networks, where he presided over a number of high-profile digital media acquisitions and revamped the sales organization.