Friday, October 30, 2009

The Rise and Fall of AOL: a fascinating perspective.

SAI's Chart of the Day is among my favorite items to read because of charts like this that show you just how out of wack things can get. Think of this is early Sub-Prime in the Media sector.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Does your pay measure up!

And you wonder why healthcare
costs are too high?

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Has America's business lost its "Soul"

I want to thank my good friend Phil Melnik for passing along the following by By Paul B. Farrell, MarketWatch;

A fascinating read listing the top 20 reasons American capitalism has lost its soul and a heads-up re: the pending economic collapse in 2012...there's that date again! I look forward to your thoughts.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Good content will win in the battle of "New Media"

I found the following Q & A from an interview with Knight Kiplinger , and especially the last two (2) sentences (below) in an interview by Dara Pettinelli for Magazine Publishers of America insightful re: the importance and value of good content for media.[Photo]Magazine Publishers of America most interesting re: why and how quality content that monetizes the buy-side will continue to grow.

Question: What makes the newsletter model work? How has it survived this long?

Answer: Subscribers pay 100% of the costs of publishing newsletters because there is no advertising support. The newsletter model requires high editorial quality, which results in high renewal rates.After decades of under-pricing their magazines to subscribers (due to an over-reliance on ad revenues), many magazine publishers are now studying the newsletter model because of declining ad pages. I foresee a new era in which magazines will charge their loyal subscribers much more and accept the fact that circ levels will gradually drift down to more-appropriate, sustainable levels. Gone will be the revolving door, low-renewing readers who were initially lured in by agent-sold subs at rock-bottom prices. Advertisers will win, too, by getting a more committed audience of magazine readers who are more likely to actually see their ads.

Monday, October 12, 2009

"Sell-side" vs. "Buy-Side Media business models; look who'se winning.

A recent article in Ad Age by Bradley Johnson gives a good perspective on the ongoing upheavals taking place in the media industry but what caught my eye was one of his charts - shown at right - which shows that two (2) of the top three media categories that grew in 2008 vs. '07 - and which also grew in the first half of '09 - were from business models that monetize the "buy-side" via subscriptions. There are many factors impacting traditional ad supported media not the least of which is the shrinking ad budgets due to the down turn in the economy but what is most interesting to note is that consumers (e.g. professionals, homeowners, etc.) remain willing and able to pay for good, useful high quality content and will continue to do so. The Ad supported business model is not dead, far from it but it will remain under extreme pressure for years to come thanks to the more measurable, ever improving and less costly digital media. However, in the years to come I believe that there will continue to remain an opportunity for profitable, long-term growth for those media firms that can transition (no easy task) from a strictly ad supported business model to some combination of both ad and subscription or perhaps even a pure subscription-based business model. This transition won't be easy for many who have grown up and existed solely via an ad supported business model but those who can and will change will survive and grow.

Monday, October 5, 2009

E-Media Reality Check - IAB Ad Rev Report -

Below is the Exec Summary from the full IAB report re: Key trends underlying 2009 year-to-date results

  • Revenues Decreased 5.3% in first half of 2009 —Internet advertising revenue in the U.S. totaled $5.4 billion in the second quarter of 2009, a decrease of 0.7 percent from the 2009 first-quarter total of $5.5 billion, and an decrease of 5.4 percent from the 2008 second-quarter total of $5.7 billion.

  • Year-to-date Internet advertising revenues through June 2009 totaled $10.9 billion, down 5.3 percent from the $11.5 billion reported for the same six-month period in 2008.

“We are in one of the most difficult economic slumps in decades. Interactive is one of the advertising sectors that has been least affected,” said Randall Rothenberg, President and CEO of the IAB. “In recent years the digital revolution has driven a transformation of how consumers experience advertising and media. As the economy improves, we’re confident that brands will devote an even greater share of their budgets to reaching consumers as they make interactive media a larger part of their lives.”

  • Search Continues to Lead, followed by Display Banners and Classifieds—Search revenue accounted for 47 percent of 2009 second-quarter revenues, up from the 44 percent reported in the second quarter of 2008. Display advertising, the second largest format, accounted for 35 percent, followed by Classifieds (10 percent), and Lead Generation (7 percent) of 2009 second-quarter revenues.
(Note: I was particularly intrigued with the chart on page 10 in the IAB report showing the difference in growth between Search vs. Lead Gen.)

Folio's Matt Kinsman has put together a thoughtful summary on the state of the eMedia Ad Rev business titled "E-Media Reality Check" that's certainly worth reading for all of us who are thrashing about in the world of "NewMedia".

One quick thought re: both of these articles is that I wonder about the impact Google and the other search engines are having on the ad rev / lead gen market given that more and more advertisers are able to track the conversion of keywords on their respective web sites. Advertisers do in fact have a worthy though somewhat limited alternative for generating leads and when you factor in the info they can derive from Google Analytics the story becomes even more compelling...for them.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

My friend Andrew

My friend Andrew was afflicted with ALS a few years ago. Struck down in the prime of his life at age 42 he and his wife Kelly have 2 young boys Briggs and Quintin both of whom are under the age of 10. Andrew's only mobility is via a wheel chair. The manner and speed in which ALS ravages one’s body and their family is truly terrifying.

In the summer of ’08 I brought Andrew’s plight up to our Men’s Prayer Group, a group of 6-7 who meet regularly on Monday mornings. Peter, an engineer with GE who leads our group suggested that we pray not only for Andrew’s physical restoration and family but most importantly for his salvation. I did not know where Andrew had ever heard the good news of salvation or had asked Christ to come into his heart [life]. A few months later I purchased a Bible and asked our group if they would sign it for Andrew. I had no idea whether Andrew would want to read it but when I stopped by to drop it off his wife Kelly was most grateful . For the next year our group continued to remember Andrew in our prayers.

Last Thursday afternoon Andrew’s wife Kelly called me out of the "blue" to say that Andrew would like me to could come over and read to him from the Bible that I had dropped off the previous year; I said “yes”! On the way over I called Bo Matthews, Sr. Pastor of Brandywine Valley Baptist Church in Wilm DE and Peter Mason, Sr. Pastor of Faith Baptist Church in Rexford, NY for advice on where to start when reading the Bible to someone for perhaps the first time - they both said start with Romans 8. I added John 3:16-17, Matthew 5 (first chapter of Jesus’ sermon on the mount) and two of favorite Psalms; 19 and 23.

After reading I asked Andrew if he would like to invite Jesus into his heart to receive the gift of eternal salvation and someday soon a whole new body. To do so all he would have to do is pray in his heart acknowledging to Jesus that he’s a sinner and to ask for forgiveness of those sins and believe that Jesus came and died on the cross to offer that forgiveness.

“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

I John 1:

There was no formal religious ceremony, just Andrew and the Lord. I closed by praying with Andrew and asked the Lord to wrap His arms around Andrew and to hold him and bring him the joy, peace and hope that can only be found through a relationship with the Lord.

I can’t wait to go back and read some more.