An interesting and reflective article by Laurence Kaye of Shoosmiths on some of the legal issues prominent in the digital revolution.
From Paul Johnson’s FT column: “There are a host of websites and magazines for entrepreneurs, but no one who works for themselves can afford to spend hours a day surfing. So I have selected a handful of my favourite sites to save you time.”
The list is here.
“How paywalls are evolving” – Felix Salmon. Refers to MediaPass.
“…it’s a mistake — at least from a purely financial perspective — to treat all readers equally. Some readers have a much greater propensity to pay than others; ideally, you want to extract a lot of money from those readers, while also allowing the vast majority of your visitors — the ones who will never pay you anything — to still consume your content and view the associated ads…
…And certainly it seems to be a good idea to offer a range of subscription lengths, priced so that there’s a strong incentive to go for the longer-dated annual subscription, even if again that means a substantially lower rate on a per-month basis.
I’s not all that hard to tell who’s likely to be willing to subscribe, and who isn’t. Print subscribers, for instance, are much more likely to be willing to pay for a digital subscription than a reader who doesn’t already pay for the print version. And people who visit frequently, and who read a lot of local news, or sports news, are also more likely to subscribe.
In general, the trick is to get as many subscribers as you can — because once a person subscribes, they generally turn out to be surprisingly loyal and price-inelastic. You can keep on charging their credit card, even at steadily-rising rates, and they’re not going to unsubscribe. And then, for the 90% of readers who don’t subscribe, it’s a good idea to find content for them, too. The paywall shouldn’t just be a “pay here or get nothing” option: the “no thanks” button should take you to valuable free content…
…the act of putting up a paywall is the act of “essentially harvesting revenue from a loyal long-term audience” — people who have been reading the publication for years, and have turned it into a habit they don’t want to give up. That’s fine, as a short-term means of maximizing revenues. But it’s dangerous in terms of getting new loyal readers. Which is one reason why online media startups almost never have paywalls: they want as many people as possible to discover them.”
“Law offices will get smaller and more expert, and sell on their expertise alongside and within the workflow that they place with contractors”
Just come across this astute January 2013 analysis from The Media Briefing of Thomson Reuters’ acquisition of Practical Law Company:
From today’s New York Times:
“Bloomberg Place, soon to be enshrined on the London map, is currently a mud pit crawling with cranes and bulldozers. By 2016, it will be home to a futuristic campus designed by the architect Norman Foster: it is to include a pair of undulating office buildings, pedestrian plazas, spaces for 390 bicycles and, if the mayor gets his way, branches of New York restaurants.
“It’s not a timid building,” Mr. Foster said, on the phone from his home in Switzerland. “It will leave a large impression on London.” (Some neighbors are less generous, calling the development “a bulky, impenetrable mass.”)
The development represents Mr. Bloomberg’s future, but he is also buying a piece of London’s past.
In one corner of the development sits the Temple of Mithras, Walbrook, a relic from London’s days under Roman rule. First uncovered in 1954, the temple, a sacrificial altar for an ancient religion, is being restored at Mr. Bloomberg’s expense.
Last month, a team of 55 archaeologists from the Museum of London were combing the temple site. Their efforts, paid for by Mr. Bloomberg, have turned up dozens of artifacts, including coins, pewter bowls, jewelry and, preserved just where it was found, a human skull.
When the plaza is finished, visitors may descend from Bloomberg Place to view the temple in its original setting. The artifacts, however, become the property of Bloomberg L.P., spoils of an expanding modern-day empire.”
Cambridge researchers find way to use DNA to store digital data:
“Researchers at the EMBL-European Bioinformatics Institute (EMBL-EBI) have created a way to store data in the form of DNA – a material that lasts for tens of thousands of years. The new method, published today in the journal Nature (“Towards practical, high-capacity, low-maintenance information storage in synthesized DNA”), makes it possible to store at least 100 million hours of high-definition video in about a cup of DNA.”
More here (Nanowerk).
A thought-provoking infographic on Internet use and Internet addiction here.
See also: The Shallows: what the Internet is doing to our brains – Nicholas Carr
“Reigniting the entrepreneurial spirit in Europe”: The Commission’s proposed measures on finance, digital business and business transfers in its “Entrepreneurship Action Plan”
The European Commission today published its “Entrepreneurship Action Plan” aimed at – in the Commission’s words – ”reigniting the entrepreneurial spirit in Europe”. The full Plan is here and the press release here.
The braod areas addressed by the Plan are:
- Entrepreneurial education and training to support growth and business creation.
- Creating an entrepreneurial environment:
- Access to finance
- Digital business
- Transfer of businesses
- Bankruptcy procedures
- Regulatory burden reduction
- Role models and reaching out to different groups.
All quotations below are taken from the full Plan document.
Access to finance – a new EU capital market for SMEs:
“The terms of the deal were not disclosed” – boo!
“Collider12 is looking for 10 ‘B2Brand’ Startups. These companies will receive £100,000 each and be coached by Pembridge Partnership Ltd, the Brands and selected experts intensively over 13 weeks in order to deliver their ‘Execution Plan’ for ultra-high growth.
The Startups will achieve customer validation and product market fit in the fastest possible way – by working with the big brands early in their lives and throughout their product development.”
Here, 8 December 2012.
- Points out the increasing erection of paywalls by newspapers in the US and internationally;
- Highlights the importance of tablets and mobile in supporting paywall acceptance by users;
- Discusses technological advances that facilitate cheaper paywall imposition by publishers; and
- Comments on the low-take up by UK newspapers of paywalls.
Implicitly condemns the Guardian’s historic error that content must be free.
See also: Paywalls and the future of print and online media – Gawker
Good article from Gawker on online paywalls and the future of media:
“Examples of media outlets that can support paywalls: high quality national newspapers (NYT, WSJ, probably the WaPo, and… ?), sites that offer quality financial news to an audience for whom a paywall’s cost is negligible (WSJ, FT, Bloomberg), sites that cater to very specific niche audiences with highly specific news that can’t be easily found elsewhere (Politico, trade publications of all types, small local newspapers), sites offering very high quality proprietary longform journalism published on a frequent basis. Additionally, magazines that maintain their quality should be able to offer online subscriptions to their loyal subscriber base.
Examples of media outlets than cannot support paywalls: mediocre or shitty newspapers that have decimated their newsrooms, shitty magazines with little quality content, sites full of mostly opinions and listicles and other entertaining but easily reproduced things of that nature, most blogs. For example, Gawker Media—a fine, fine company that entertains millions of readers online every month—would not be a good candidate for a paywall, simply because no matter how good our content is, a paywall would immediately cause readers to go and seek out similar (lower quality, of course) content elsewhere online, where it is freely available. The situation is different for, say, Jane’s Defence Weekly. The fact that readers like you is not enough to support an online paywall; readers must need you.”
In a speech on 21 September 2012 Clive Gordon, Head of Conduct Risk at the Financial Services Authority, gave some guidance on the regulator’s approach to using digital media for making financial promotions. Mr Gordon specifically discussed Facebook, risk warnings (particularly “roll-over” risk warning), image advertising, the absence of a “one-click rule” and the unsuitability of Twitter for many financial promotions. Excerpt (our emphasis added):