Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Future shock for the media

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  • Rich of Observationz,

    while I do not at all begrudge expat New Zealander Victoria Ransom's success in selling her company

    Would you be so generous if she were male, American and ran a hedge fund? Just exploring thought patterns.

    [digital circulation revenues will] go from $1 million last year to $59 million in 2016.

    Sounds like a figure a management consultant pulled out of a hat - do these guys advise John Key? I don't know anyone who spends a bean on non-professional media subscriptions. If content's behind a paywall, that means I'll read something else. Those dollars might be easier to collect if they came through an ISP-linked (micro-)payment system, but the biz has been round that loop many, many times with very little success. My guess is that that those revenues will be in the low seven figures indefinitely.

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 5550 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Rich of Observationz,

    My guess is that that those revenues will be in the low seven figures indefinitely.

    So you're doubting a 60-fold increase in revenue in five years? Surely not ...

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22830 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Rich of Observationz,

    Would you be so generous if she were male, American and ran a hedge fund? Just exploring thought patterns.

    Oh, it's not anywhere on the level of evil as a hedge fund, and it's a consequence of the environment as much as anything else. But I did find all the cheerleading about the sale a bit unpersuasive. It's not like Wildfire makes anything or improves the human experience.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22830 posts Report Reply

  • ppjamieson,

    I am interested in the Consumer.org model which has the magazine and the internet subs, with a small difference between either one and the cost of both encouraging keeping the mag and having the internet availability complementing each other. I suspect in future something like this more often with limited free acess and paid subs in conjunction with the prin sub.

    christchurch • Since May 2012 • 2 posts Report Reply

  • patrick mcmillan,

    Hi Russell
    Looking forward to the show, I have got ‘mysky’ ready to record the show, what time on thursday for the recording?
    Patrick

    north shore • Since Aug 2012 • 3 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to patrick mcmillan,

    Looking forward to the show, I have got ‘mysky’ ready to record the show, what time on thursday for the recording?

    Oops -- I've just added that to the post. We'll need you there at 5.30pm.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22830 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to ppjamieson,

    I suspect in future something like this more often with limited free acess and paid subs in conjunction with the prin sub.

    The New Yorker and Vanity fair both do this well too -- and for non-US subscribers!

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22830 posts Report Reply

  • patrick mcmillan, in reply to Russell Brown,

    thanks

    north shore • Since Aug 2012 • 3 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz, in reply to Russell Brown,

    the level of evil as a hedge fund

    Yeah, but I don't really buy the idea that corporations are on a scale of evil/not evil.

    If you have capitalism, then you actually need agressive financial market participants like hedge funds to make it work. A consequence of a dearth of these is the kind of backdoor dealing that went on with NZ finance companies (and is, I notice, being repeated on a larger scale in China. That won't end in tears, right?)

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 5550 posts Report Reply

  • Andre,

    Magazine publishers now make money through data sales (dm and email data, email newsletters etc), events, exhibitions and online. An annual awards night might see their 5 largest advertisers spending tens of thousands more a year in sponsorship. Publishers have adapted to the new environment by expanding new revenue streams beyond printing magazines. I predict those that do this best will survive and grow.

    New Zealand • Since May 2009 • 365 posts Report Reply

  • Lilith __,

    cost-per-click performance-based advertising that really only works at scale. (And, I might add, is particularly ill-suited to audiences like you lot, who are too clever to click on ads.)

    Speaking for myself, here on PAS, I'm usually too preoccupied to click on ads!

    Printed newspapers and magazines allow your eye to rove and dawdle and be distracted by captivating advertising copy and nice graphic design.

    But here, we're so busy interacting with each other that anything else becomes irrelevant.

    Dunedin • Since Jul 2010 • 3891 posts Report Reply

  • Lucy Telfar Barnard, in reply to Rich of Observationz,

    Would you be so generous if she were male, American and ran a hedge fund? Just exploring thought patterns.

    To me the critical difference is that Victoria and her partner developed the basis for Wildfire as part of a tool they needed for running an existing business, rather than just looking round for something to make them money. And as a fellow UWC graduate, I am confident that Victoria has core values that make her different from the stereotypical hedge fund manager.

    Disclaimer: I am also Chair of UWC New Zealand.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 585 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz, in reply to Lucy Telfar Barnard,

    United World Colleges, University of the Western Cape or United World Capital? Or even Ultimate Warrior Challenge?

    (I did a stint in marketing once, and besides horn care and lying by omission, I was taught to spell a three letter acronym (TLA) out in full before use).

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 5550 posts Report Reply

  • Lucy Telfar Barnard, in reply to Rich of Observationz,

    Yes, United World Colleges. I would agree about the TLA thing, but the International Office has told us to just use the acronym. It's a branding thing, apparently.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 585 posts Report Reply

  • FletcherB,

    And then you get the silliness where what was once an acronym becomes the name, and the marketing department refuses to admit or acknowledge that the letters actually mean or stand for anything.

    I used to work for a company called NCR. That was it's name, and it did not stand for National Cash Register, no-siree!

    ASB does not stand for Auckland Savings Bank. (how could it, its called ASB Bank and no one would be silly enough to call it Auckland Savings Bank Bank would they? :)

    Nor NZI Insurance, or KPMG-Peat Marwick Group.... oh hang-on, that WAS their name before they realized how redundant it was and dropped back to just KPMG. Does anyone even remember what the K stood for? Oh thats right, it doesn't stand for anything, the letters are the name.

    sorry- pet peeve, could you guess?

    West Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 889 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes, in reply to Russell Brown,

    It’s not like Wildfire makes anything or improves the human experience.

    But isn’t that the new business model? work for work sake, money for God’s sake?
    The whole mantra of “dole bludgers” and the undeserving getting their “hard earned money” for nothing and sending solo mothers out to “work” doing menial meaningless tasks is the exact opposite of the promise of the better future we were promised as a consequence of automated factories. That just threw the workforce on the scrapheap and created a new underclass.
    The new “Movers and Shakers” are supposedly those that control the transport and logistics framework, that is the significance of the new roads but they are just the middlemen shifting the glittering prizes for the gullible consumer. Those that actually watch the adverts are the new commodity, the millions of suckers that buy the crap that the dealers wheel around on the roads we paid for.
    But wait, there’s more…
    Do you know that Trade Me is now charging almost 7% as a sales fee when you sell that thing you no longer want or need?. TradeMe is mostly owned by Australian co. Fairfax,who are slashing jobs and cutting expenditure on print, who needs to sell advertising when Google does it for you?.

    Somebody said to me many years back that “You cant live by doing each others washing” meaning that if there is no production of worthwhile goods then there is nothing gained so nothing earned, it’s just a money go round with those with their fingers firmly rammed in the pie clipping the ticket every time it passes their way…
    GRRRRR!!!!
    </rambling rant>
    Good night and god bless.
    ;-)

    Peria • Since Dec 2006 • 5521 posts Report Reply

  • Islander, in reply to Steve Barnes,

    it’s just a money go round with those with their fingers firmly rammed in the pie clipping the ticket every time it passes their way…
    GRRRRR!!!!
    </rambling rant>
    Good night and god bless.
    ;-)

    Agreed Steve...hooray for the creative & productive in whatever field that does NOT involve currency manipulation or irrational exploitation of the environment - and anything, any project that lessens human health or our home's health (and what other home do we have but Papatuanuku/Gaia?)

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

  • Danielle, in reply to FletcherB,

    ASB does not stand for Auckland Savings Bank. (how could it, its called ASB Bank and no one would be silly enough to call it Auckland Savings Bank Bank would they? :)

    Perhaps you could ask the members of Auckland University of Technology University (or as I like to call it, They Doth Protest Too Much University) to answer that question.

    Charo World. Cuchi-cuchi!… • Since Nov 2006 • 3828 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz, in reply to Danielle,

    Auckland University of Tautology.

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 5550 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel, in reply to FletcherB,

    acronympholepsy?

    Does anyone even remember what the K stood for?

    Kap in hand I'm guessing not potassium in this case...
    ...it was Klynveld Main Goerdeler apparently
    I guess the MG serves dual service...
    - being convertible and easy to park -
    oh, hang on...

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7943 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Lucy Telfar Barnard,

    To me the critical difference is that Victoria and her partner developed the basis for Wildfire as part of a tool they needed for running an existing business, rather than just looking round for something to make them money. And as a fellow UWC graduate, I am confident that Victoria has core values that make her different from the stereotypical hedge fund manager.

    Of course. I was really trying to not make it about her. It's just a trend that isn't particularly good news for people in my line of work.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22830 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Steve Barnes,

    if there is no production of worthwhile goods then there is nothing gained so nothing earned

    You're missing most industries since the 19th century that may produce value in services and non-physical creativity, not stuff you can pick up and fondle. The finance sector is a warped and parasitic expression of that, but it doesn't mean we can ignore all the others.

    Wildfire is valued because of its potential to disrupt an entire industry - which is also why it's not good for any who rely on that sector's traditional funding and production models. Unfortunately that includes friends like Russell, which is why it makes sense he'd be unimpressed. Not because they aren't cloth-capped workers toiling in factories to produce lumps of steel.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19707 posts Report Reply

  • Geoff Lealand, in reply to Danielle,

    I always get confused by the motorway sign for M.I.T. When did they move here? Maybe the Manukau Institute of Technology doesn't sound as grand.

    Screen & Media Studies, U… • Since Oct 2007 • 2557 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Rich of Observationz,

    one of my favourites

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19707 posts Report Reply

  • Gareth Ward,

    Firstly, it pushes creativity out of advertising in favour of mechanical accounting.

    How so? The ads delivered still need to be creative and couldn't you see a wider range of creative output as multiple ads need to be created for the more granular segmentations?

    Second, it is very bad for independent editorial publishers, because they are small and this is now a business all about scale.

    Yes, although it probably always has been about scale - there just wasn't the tools and metrics to make it work that way.

    Third, it steadily disengages advertising revenue from the creation of content, and editorial content in particular.

    Unfortunately we will see generic ads served to your "social graph" rather than to the specific site, but IMO the successful ads will (still) be the ones that work in the context of when/how/why you're viewing them...

    Auckland, NZ • Since Mar 2007 • 1727 posts Report Reply

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