Author Archive

All together to the Web

November 27, 2009

It is interesting this article from The New York Times in which the author writes about the merger of several companies for the Web. That means two things:

Firstly, as we said in a previous post, media are trying to fight against economic crisis through joint ventures. Advertising investment is still decreasing and does not seem that is going to stop in short term. Companies have to save costs and sharing expenses is a way to do it. If media enterprises work together they will be better afterwards.

Secondly, print circulations are going down and this is not only a temporary situation but a very deep structural damage related with new technologies. More and more people are getting used to obtain the information on Internet through iPhones, BlackBerrys and e-book. Now publications have to develop not only contents for Internet, but software standards for contents viewing on these platforms.

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20 Minutos and Metro join forces

November 25, 2009

The economic crisis is forcing free dailies to become partners. Metro International and 20 Minutos closed a deal wherebythe Swedish Company will manage the international advertising of SchibstedSpanish free daily.

The agreement means that every advertising campaign managed byMetro in the world could include Spain as a country and 20 Minutos as a medium. Until now, international campaigns had very little representation in the Spanish paper.

During the third quarter of 2009, the advertising income of 20 Minutos shrunk 12.5%. These figures complicate the future of Schibsted in Spain. Even though the free daily reduced costs dramatically, including staff, the effects are still not evident.

Schibsted and Metro International maintain good relations since May 2008,  when Metro divested 35 percent of MetroSweden to Schibsted, who then decided to close their title Punkt.se.

The deal with Metro will not only support advertising incomes of the Spanish free daily, but will also allow it to trade with important European brands. The same agreement was signed by Metro UK (Associated Newspapers), so Global Sales of Metro International will negotiate the international advertising packages of both publications. This is one of the strategies free dailies are implementing to fight the crisis.

52% would pay for online contents

November 19, 2009

Yesterday I asked some students if they would be disposed to pay for online contents. They said “no”. But today I read that a Boston Consulting Group research affirms that, in Spain, 52% of Internet users would pay for those contents.

Rupert Murdoch, who is convinced that the future of Internet depends on charging for the contents, is gaining more and more supporters. London Times already charges for their contents in its portal and many other editors are planning to do the same.

Boston Consulting Group has studied nine countries and in every one of them the results have been positive in favor of paying. The nature of the contents for which people would pay is especially local, although in EE.UU and U.K. Internet users prefer to pay for the breaking news service.

However, Boston Consulting Group research explains that even though a lot of people would give money for those contents, they are not disposed to pay a lot. In Spain, people would pay four Euros per month for “premium contents” on Internet, and only 11.3% of the Internet users would reach to ten Euros for them.

One of the walls that difficult the operations is that people do not like online transactions through credit card, because they have to give some bank details.

The role of the contents producers

November 2, 2009

Mercedes Medina.

I would like to share some comments with you. There are many changes that affect the media and are transforming them. I´ve heard this morning in a Conference in Neuchatel, Switzerland, about Media Interactivity: Economic and Managerial Issues, that the revenue from interactive services of the television channels, Mediaset and BSkyB, has grown in the last years. On the other hand, users of media are now dialoguers, debaters, messengers, testers and content producers. Furthermore, in El País, October 28, there was a report about the DTT where was said that the future of television goes through the interactive services such as income tax statement, taxes payment, medical services, shopping, that overcome the digital divide of households without Internet access.

With all these changes, media companies are not any more companies that only deliver contents. Media managers have to set departments of marketing, retailing, and stores, or to signed agreements with external firms. So, in this new context what is the role of the content producers? How do they have to produce or create media goods? What is going to be the core business of media companies? Will be still important to have good contents that satisfied the information and entertaining needs of the audience?

The Spanish media in the NBA

October 29, 2009

Marca and NBA

*marca.com* has been publishing much information about NBA since last year:
videos, photos, statements of players, reports… The reason is that some amazing Spanish basketball players are playing there, the  best basketball league in the world.

Pau Gasol, after winning a ring, the European basketball cup and the MVP, attracts the attention of several media and many people who want to know more about the basketball star.

Rudy Fernández is another important Spanish player. Although he is not playing very much in Portland, the media loves him because he is a very good dunker and has a great personality.

José Manuel Calderón is currently one of the leaders in Toronto Raptors. He is the main guard and, after Gasol, is the Spanish with the best perspectives in this season. Marc Gasol is doing very good, but he has not team (Memphis Grizzlies) to win many matches. Sergio Rodriguez plays for Sacramento Kings and is trying to improve.

The point here is that the Spanish media (Canal +, Marca, As, El Mundo Deportivo, El Mundo) and the NBA have found a new market in each other. The basketball supporters in Spain are now looking forward to seeing the best Spanish basketball players playing in the best basketball league in the world. And that is something the NBA wanted to happen. The signing of European players gave them what they desired: the attention of the European media.

Facebook and Google insert music in their business model

October 23, 2009

Both companies expect to offer music as a part of their business on Internet. http://www.nytimes.com/2009/10/22/technology/internet/22google.html?_r=1&ref=media

Is advertising in crisis?

October 21, 2009

The question has a double answer. On the one hand, taken into account the current economic situation, we could say that advertising, as the rest of economic activities, is in the middle of a period of severe crisis. However, if the last data on advertising investments are analysed in detail, we can see that the situation of the advertising industry is much worse that what could be expected in this situation.

It is well known that advertising is a sector that overreacts to the economic cycle. When the economy grows, advertising expenses grow above the average. When recession is in place, the advertising sector suffers more strongly than the rest of industries.

The explanation is quite simple. When firms face bad times, one of the first expenses to be cut are those allocated to the advertising budget. This indicates that, in spite of the large importance given to communication in society, many companies consider that advertising is an expense and not an investment aimed to achieve better performance in the long term.

A good example of this behaviour is provided by the recent new on the cut in advertising made by Catalonian firm Freixenet regarding her Christmas campaign. http://www.abc.es/20091020/gente-tv-radio/freixenet-completo-200910192016.html

Post edited by Cristina Etayo.

“elmundo.es”, the first digital newspaper in Spanish

October 15, 2009

elmundo.es” reached more than 23 million unique users in September, confirming this medium in the first place in the rank of digital newspapers in Spanish. Around 1.6 million people visit “elmundo.es” per day. 58,2% of the users of “elmundo.es” come from Spain, Mexico comes second with 10,1% of the visitors, followed by Argentina (3,8%), Venezuela (3,3%) and Colombia (3,2%).

elmundo.es” belongs to Unidad Editorial which also owns “marca.com”, with almost 20 million unique users, and “expansion.com”, with more than two million unique users. The group has a total of 41 million unique users in its different websites. Other important Spanish digital newspapers are “20minutos.es”, with more than nine million unique users per month and “telecinco.es”, with 6.7 million unique users per month; these two are the third and fourth digital information media in Spain respectively.

But the hegemony of the group on the Internet started with “elmundo.es”. The digital newspaper was launched in 1996. Then only a few people knew about the existence of the Internet. Much fewer had the possibility of using this media. In Spain, only 680.000 had Internet access; most of them used Internet only for the email.

A few number of journalists in El Mundo realized that Internet could mean a very important media in the world. Some of them started to upload some contents in the online version. The aim of “elmundo.es” consisted of informing quickly, constantly and permanently.

Four designers worked with several options considering the future of the Internet. Some of these options dropped and others made alterations. The project pursued the following ideas: more information, increased participation, better navigability, higher interaction and more services.

In June 2000, “elmundo.es” offered twenty million pages per month. From that date onwards “elmundo.es” didn´t stop growing. That same year “elmundo.es” became the leader of the digital information media in Spanish.

In early 2001 “elmundo.es” was redesigned but the most important episode, which changed the history of “elmundo.es”, happened on the 11th of September: the terrorist attack against U.S. That day “elmundo.es” competed against other media such as TV and radio, supporting an historical traffic figure of over ten million pages in a day.

The coverage of the terrorist attempt in Madrid on the 11th of March was another important moment that influenced in the impact of “elmundo.es” in the world.

The key facts which explain the success of “elmundo.es” are the following:

– They arrived first.

– “elpais.es”, their main competitor, did not manage its online business model very well and lost many users because it charged fees. When they changed this policy it was too late. Now, “elpais.es” is recovering.

– They addressed the international public, not only the Spanish one.

The aim now is to manage to make a profit with this business model. How to turn 23 million unique users into money.

Online charging helps quality

October 9, 2009

Charging fees for online content has been one of the most interesting debates for the last few years. The problem of how to make money through the Internet has taken publishers to consider the possibility of charging fees for their online content.

Companies that want to be profitable on the Internet currently need to atract millions of visitors because it is the only way to get good advertising contracts. However, many enterprises are anticipating a change of paradigm and rethinking their business model and planning a shift to getting money directly from the visitors, through micropayments or subscription (http://www.mediaweek.co.uk/news/944161/Online-charging-work-AOP-delegates-told/).

Charging for content would have a very positive impact on media industry because it would force the journalists and people who work producing and delivering information to make better products. When one competes against a company which distributes free information it becomes imperative to make an effort to differentiate one’s product and convince the public that it is worth paying for higher quality content.

No advertising in RTVE

October 1, 2009

RTVE, the Spanish public television, will finish its current business model in January of 2010. Until now, RTVE had financed the public company by advertising and state subsidies. In the last year, the incomes in advertising was around 700 million Euros, 58% of the total budget.

The first of January RTVE will not broadcast advertising anymore. The public TV will be financed by state subsidies (580 million €) and funds obtained from the companies which use the radio electric space and a percentage of the incomes of the private televisions.

One of the questions now is where the advertising of RTVE will go. Supposedly, the majority of this amount will move to the private televisions, which have been putting pressure on the Government to stop the advertising in the public television. However, other media also want to profit from this decision. Free dailies think that they can gain some of the advertising because their readers are very similar to TV watchers.

Anyway, the decision of the Government getting the ads out of RTVE has produced that all the marketing departments of the media companies are working to get the best advertising contracts in 2010.