Why It's ALL About Ads: Another sign of the ad-dominating future. Google is dropping pay-by-viewer video downloads on its site, in this Bloomberg report. With YouTube ad monetization, the wave of its future, this consumer-pay business is just a distraction. And Rupert's talking about taking down the WSJ wall in comments soon after the sales agreement. Which in turn could push competitor FT.com to do the same. I'm in agreement with Larry Kramer on this one. It's better to do a segmentation strategy of milking sub revenue for the Journal while using Marketwatch as the free online (and Fox Business Channel partner), as I wrote last week.
Why It's ALL About Access: Making the rounds recently is a quick five-pager from McKinsey, entitled "What Online Readers Want From Online News." Lots of consultant speak packed in -- "brand promiscuity," "digital cynics," and "citizen readers" -- but the points made are clear. They reinforce much of what we're learning about web news reading. Access -- finding lots of sources easily through an easy-to-use interface -- is number one with readers, polling up the 50% percentile range. Quality's the least valued, at 20% and less. The study reinforces the need for news publishers to both get into best content wrappers -- online and on the phone -- and to better understand that digital use isn't at all the same as print. Worth taking a minute to register, for the report, here.
Why It's ALL About Innovation: The Knight News Challenge's next deadline is coming in a couple of months. The Knight Foundation is one of the few good funding sources for innovative online journalism. I've written about its first set of awards -- lots of good potential there. Next deadline is Oct. 15. I think it's a great chance for younger and older (okay, experienced) journalists to get together and put together projects and winning business models. Link here.