Monthly Archives: November 2009

Pay wall day – Johnston Press begins charging for content

Today is a big day. Not only is it some huge online shopping day, but regional newspaper firm Johnston Press has switched on its online pay wall and is now charging readers to access content on some of its websites.

In all six weekly newspapers are in the Johnston Press pilot news of which broke last week, but not its bigger and better known dailies like The Scotsman and the Yorkshire Post.

The papers involved in the pilot are the Whitby Gazette, Northumberland Gazette, Worksop Guardian, Ripley and Heanor News and two Scottish titles: The Southern Reporter and Carrick Gazette. Oddly only the first two in that list have the story that they pay wall goes up today on their home page.

Here’s what The Northumberland Gazette is saying on its website:

“The Northumberland Gazette has been chosen to pioneer a new way of accessing its premium content online. Its parent group Johnston Press has selected three of its weekly titles to offer its news, sport and other ‘live’ content only to subscribers.

“From today (November 30), readers of the Gazette website will only be able to view the first few words of a story before they will be asked to pay £5 quarterly for all premium content on the site. They will then receive access to the whole site for three months, which still works out at less than the cost of the paper.”

Clearly, the particular payment model is going to vary from title to title; from weekly to daily, to regional and to national, but for this market £5 a quarter (5.5p a day) seems like a good price point. To me at least and it is going to be interesting to see what readers of these local titles think of it. And more importantly whether they will in sufficient numbers pay the modest sum being asked to access the website of their local newspaper.

There aren’t any comments on the stories announcing the move to a pay wall and none elsewhere that I could find so there is no real way of knowing what readers think. Clearly, Johnston Press will have done local market research and had enough positive feedback to convince it that these markets would (in some form) support its move.

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TheLondonPaper to be relaunched (kind of, but not really)

Hard to believe but someone has raised £5.5m and is to spend it on launching a free newspaper in London. Better still this paper (to be published two days a week) looks like TheLondonPaper…well the logo at least as so far that’s all we can see.

It’s being reported that a media pack for “the London Weekly” claims 250,000 copies will be distributed on Friday and Saturday outside rail and tube stations.

Clearly, having seen what happened to London Lite, TheLondonPaper and how Sport crashed and burned it has still struck someone as a good idea to try again.

It will compete with the London Evening Standard, but that paper has advertising and resources and a 500,000 strong circulation. Sounds like Belgium taking on Germany again. News of this “launch” comes on the day that the Evening Standard says it will drop its midday News Extra edition and cut 20 jobs.

There is no launch date, but the story suggests that it could “appear in February” a holding page stating that the London Weekly website will go live on December 20.

A report on Media Guardian says that the media pack for the London Weekly suggests it will borrow “heavily from the editorial model of now-defunct freesheets theLondonPaper and LondonLite”. No kidding. That’s not borrowing. Take a look at the logo.

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#Bobt The power of negative thinking – Malcolm White’s presentation

Krow founder Malcolm White’s presentation at the Battle of Big Thinking won him The Big Thinking in Planning session and was one of the most well received on the day. It was packed: not one big idea but 15. Here are the slides. Full coverage/links here.

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#Bobt The business of happiness – Big Thinking Mobile

Peter Sells (BBH) won the Big Thinking mobile session partly by not saying that 2010 is going to be the year of the mobile (that was 2008) and by telling the audience that the mobile is in the business of making people happy.

Sells, the creative/head of mobile development at BBH, scored more than a few laughs with his presentation: titled: “Is it just me or is mobile marketing a bit shit?”

Sells added he’s a bit tired of the future evangelism schtick (talks about cult of future); quoted Keynes and urged the audience to focus on the now not the future.

He said that all we know is this: more people are using the mobile. He’s took the piss out of the idea that every year for the past six years has been the “year of mobile” (Todd Tran argued further down that this was 2008…).

Sells argued that he doesn’t want to be interrupted by mobile interruption. He said the advertising business has been seduced by the size of the mobile market.

But the joke, he said, is the mobile industry doesn’t care about you or your clients as it is so big and getting bigger by the day (Tesco and the iPod).

He said this offers the ad industry a path to change to get out and understand what consumers want.

Sells was a former professional gambler. He loved horse racing and the numbers that bookies deal out. He said form data (that bookies provide) has some truth in it – it’s a case of just finding it. He called gambling a “knowledge market”. For Sells, Betfair then came along and showed where the money was going. He found that what the experts (owners/trainers) know is more useful than what bookies or punters know.

So what’s the relevance here? Sells said that the ad industry is in the gambling/prediction business as well. He reckoned that agencies back the favourites based on conventional return (i.e. TV campaign over mobile). He said mobile is less risky than you think. How so?

He argued that mobiles are so popular as they have the potential to make us happy.
 
He said that if you want to be successful with mobile you have to create engagement; provide happiness. He gave examples of how iPhone allows that frictionless engagement. When he thinks about BA now he said he is thinks about BA from his holiday balcony.

Sells reckons everyone is miserable and that there is a massive market for happiness. So if you realize your job is to make people happy you’ll succeed.

Scott Seaborn’s (Ogilvy) presentation was about the mobile future, but really his idea is personal power. An extended metaphor for how the mobile will power so much of our lives because of it will be hyper connected.

He shows the audience the first TV ad – Bulova Time (a ticking clock face before it was back to the baseball). To highlight how it failed to live up to the medium and how this was first true of mobile.

He showed the Apple store app wall and that explosion of downloads. You could watch it for hours (okay several minutes).

Looking at the Ogilvy, IBM, and Mobilizy developed AR system based on Wikitude for Wimbledon. (It is very cool.)  He said it was similar to the tools that Arnie used in Terminator (you know where he walks naked into a bar and scans it for clothes et cet in T2).

Read more on #Bobt The business of happiness – Big Thinking Mobile…

#Bobt – Online advertising sucks aka Big Thinking in free spaces

Online advertising came in for a bit of a beating in this session that buried display ads and pushed the idea that the
concept of “free” is not viable – this was all about freemium, which
could well be the future of content of all types.

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#Bobt Social media: a fad or the wrong term? Big Thinking in Social Media

Good line-up here. A bit of a run off between Jeremy Ettinghausen, digital publisher at Penguin, his anti social media line and VCCP’s Amelia Torrode airing concerns about social media being like a snake oil fad.

Read more on #Bobt Social media: a fad or the wrong term? Big Thinking in Social Media…

Battle of Big Thinking (5) – Steve Wilson, ex Diageo head of innovation

Steve Wilson, ex Diageo head of innovation. Talking guerilla innovation. Talking vodka. Slide of lot of bottles.

 

Quotes McKinnsey coming to Diageo a few years back and saying it would cost five million pounds to launch a new brand and it might fail. Not anymore.

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#Bobt – Is social production the future? Big Thinking in Innovation

John V Willshire PHD – He asks how do you socialise the mass production model? Great question. Says social production is blue print for future.

 

Six examples:

Nelson beer in Australia; product is only crowd sourced.

Read more on #Bobt – Is social production the future? Big Thinking in Innovation…

#Bbot – Have fun with your brands – Big Thinking in Planning

Guy Murphy JWT talking about a threat to brands.

 

Quoting research about how much time consumers are willing to spend with brands. Chart with enthusiasm for brands. Indians, Thailand and South Korea love brands at one end and Netherlands, UK, US at the other end (hate brands – gag about Rizzla).

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Battle of Big Thinking (2)- Jonathan Mildenhall, VP global advertising, Coca Cola.

Jonathan Mildenhall, VP global advertising, Coca Cola. Says brand’s content has to become more relevant and more recent.

 

This means embracing user generated content and participation.

 

Five principals in global thinking (oh no chart break down…clock is ticking)

Read more on Battle of Big Thinking (2)- Jonathan Mildenhall, VP global advertising, Coca Cola….

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