Blogs from Beyond the Printed word Madrid Online publishing conference

Did these late from Tegel Airport on my way back to South Africa. (Third time in two weeks I find myself wiling away my time at this nasty airport). Day 2 was a much better day for the conference, with stronger speakers. I was actually blown away with some of the talks and the enthusiasm and passion some of the speakers had. In the UK, online advertising has 6% of the total adspend…. and it is growing rapidly. In SA there are signs we will rise above 1% (unnofficial, non-quotable figure from me), which is still not good enough, but the online advertising revenue graph is pointing upwards and we all know what will happen when the telecoms market open up here (which is inevitable). This is definitely the industry to be in
Here are some summaries of the speakers I liked on Day to of the Beyond The Printed Word conference… I also posted them to Poynter too.

Cellphones give news media the edge
It’s well-known that the Scandanavian countries are world leaders when
it comes to innovation with online media and mobile phones, and
Norway’s largest online publisher VG
Nett is no exception. At the href=””>Ifra/WAN/FIPP “Beyond the Printed
Word” conference in Madrid VG Nett managing editor Espen Egil
Hansen warned that newspapers were sitting on a “demographic timebomb”
— he noted that readership profiles are generally getting older and
their challenge is to attract a new generation of readers — a
generation of readers that want to be actively involved in the news
process. He believes use of mobile phone and internet media is a key
way for newspapers to attract a younger demographic and to strengthen
their relationship with readers, transferring them from passive
readers to active contributors. Both his newspaper and website call
for SMS and MMS feedback and tip-offs from readers and even relay
questions from readers via SMS to their interviewees. Referring to his
publication’s coverage of the tsunami crisis, he says that instead of
relying on helicopters and satellites to do the reporting, his
publication relied on their readers to SMS and MMS through news
snippets and pictures. Their first news picture of the tsunami was not
from a news agency, but from a reader stuck on a roof in Phuket who
had MMSed through a picture of the scene. He says they were first
alerted to the tsunami when a reader SMSed through the message to
them: “floodwave at Thai beach”.

Magazine’s upbeat about their online properties
President of the International
Federation of the Periodical Press (FIPP) Don Kummerfeld whose
organisation conducted a survey this past year of several hundred
magazines in more than 70 countries says there is more optimism in the
magazine sector about online media. At href=””>Ifra/WAN/FIPP’s “Beyond the Printed
Word”, he said 54% of magazines surveyed indicated that their
online divisions were profitable (up from 36% in 2003). He says he
“has no doubt” that in the next two years profitability will be around
the 70% mark. He went on to say that only 33% of magazines feared
“weak returns” from their websites (down from 60% in 2003). About 55%
had increased their investment in online in the last twelve months. He
says the increased profitability was as a result of growth in the
online advertising sector. Kummerfeld noted that only about 22% of
magazine publishers, mainly business-to-business titles, offered a
digital version of their magazines for download and that these
circulations were generally quite “modest”. He said the advantages of
digital editions include faster delivery time, cheaper costs for the
content provider and archiving ability. However major drawbacks were
lack of standardised software (Newsstand, Olive Software etc) for
viewing digital editions, a need for broadband accessibility, and that
they were generally difficult to read and navigate.

‘Incredible, unstoppable’ online advertising
Danny Meadows-Klue, CEO of href=””>Interactive Advertising Bureau –
Europe, says that in some European countries, online advertising
is more-or-less on the verge of a tipping point that will result in an
“incredible, unstoppable” upward trend. Although progress has been
much slower than initially thought, the progress made has been much
larger than originally predicted, he said at href=””>Ifra/WAN/FIPP’s “Beyond the Printed
Word” conference. Danny Meadows-Klue says that the internet now
makes up an average of 15% of the European population’s media
consumption. According to Meadows-Klue, part of internet media’s
success is that it is a daytime channel, which means it has become
part of our working lives. He says that in the UK alone, online
advertising in 2005 was worth £1-billion, an industry that is
now five times larger than its 2000 levels. The UK online advertising
market now attracts almost six percent of total adspend. But, he says
“that six percent doesn’t tell the full story, and that some marketers
may be spending hardly anything online, while others, those early
adopters, could be spending 40% of their ad budgets online.”

Comment (1)

  1. 8791 – good site. PeterPan

    Friday, December 14, 2007 at 4:26 am #

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