Sunday, July 27, 2008

Media Week30

NY Times looks at textbook piracy:
The transition has already begun, even while publishers continue to sell print editions. They are pitching ancillary services that instructors can require students to purchase, just like textbooks, but which are available only online on a subscription basis. Cengage Learning, the publisher of Professor McMurry’s “Organic Chemistry,” packages the new book with a two-semester “access card” to a Cengage site that provides instructors with canned quizzes and students with interactive tutorials.
A lengthy article in The NY Times showing the battle to win over younger readers to books.
Books are not Nadia Konyk’s thing. Her mother, hoping to entice her, brings them home from the library, but Nadia rarely shows an interest.

Reuters suggests that a deal for Informa could be imminent.

The Observer writes about the biggest website you have probably never heard of:
The invisible hand behind many memes, apparently including the googled swastika, is a website called 4chan. From semi-literate cats to the 'ironic' comeback of singer Rick Astley, this online community is building a reputation as a nursery of all that is weird and wacky and likely to be landing in your inbox tomorrow.

NYTimes on the growing instance of product placement in broadcast news.
In recent weeks, anchors on the Fox affiliate in Las Vegas, KVVU, sit with cups of McDonald’s iced coffee on their desks during the news-and-lifestyle portion of their morning show. The anchors rarely touch the cups. Executives at the station, one of 12 owned by Meredith Corporation, say the six-month promotion is meant to shore up advertising revenue and, as they told the news staff, will not influence content.
S&P (Yes,the same folks that missed the credit crisis) have placed the NYTimes on negative credit watch.
The CreditWatch listing reflects an accelerating pace of total revenue decline and a rate of decline in EBITDA in the first half of 2008 that indicates the company may have difficulty achieving our expectations for the current rating.

The Telegraph notes that Thomson Reuters will launch news channel to compete with Bloomberg, Fox and CNBC.
The Daily Telegraph understands that the plan is for the channel to appear on both the internet and some form of cable or digital platform. The launch could be as early as January but may be pushed back as the company is conscious of Reuters' earlier unsuccessful foray into television.

MediaPost has a round-up of a very bad 10days for newspapers and magazines.
While all three mainstays of the traditional media have scrambled to adapt to the digital age with more online features and services, their Internet businesses still contribute just a small fraction of total revenues. Even more ominous, the rate of growth in online revenues is slowing, making it unlikely that they will ever be able to offset losses in the core business.
On the other-hand, MediaPost also reports on the rise of newspaper-distributed magazines.
It's one of the weird paradoxes in current media trends: While newspapers and consumer magazines are both taking it on the chin in 2008, some magazines distributed via newspapers are doing quite well. Among the leaders are American Profile and Relish, from the Publishing Group of America--which have seen year-to-date ad pages increase 12.58% and 19.69%, respectively, according to MIN Online.

The Independent looks at E-books as retail items and assesses whether they are threats or favors.
The long-term danger for publishers is if they don't invest in digital technology for their content. They could also lose out if they just make classics available for e-book readers and not the most recent popular titles. Henry Volans, head of digital publishing at Faber, said: "There is no reason whey people who have e-books should suddenly only be interested in Dickens. They will want the big new titles as well."

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