Monday, April 28, 2014

MediaWeek (V7, N17): GoldenAge of Media, Resilient physical books, Open Access, Mills & Boone + More

The flipboard version of this is here: FlipBoard

In the 'golden age of media' there are many new business models (HBR)
People with money are talking about the news business, too. The venture capitalist and Web pioneer Marc Andreessen (who has investments in three digital news operations) unleashed a spirited discussion on Twitter early this year with his visions of a bright digital future for news.
At one point Andreessen offered up the “most obvious 8 business models for news now & in the future.” After listing today’s staples, (1) advertising and (2) subscriptions, he continued with (3) premium content (that is, “a paid tier on top of a free, ad-supported one”); (4) conferences and events; (5) cross-media (meaning that your news operation also generates books, movies, and the like); (6) crowd-funding; (7) micropayments, using Bitcoin; and (8) philanthropy. Nicholas Thompson, the editor of The New Yorker’s Web site and a co-founder of the digital sort-of-magazine The Atavist, chimed in with two more: (9) “while building product you’re passionate about, create software you then license widely!”—The Atavist’s approach—and (10) “fund investigative business stories + then short stocks before publishing,” a reference to the billionaire Mark Cuban’s controversial relationship with Sharesleuth.
Physical books may be looking more resilient than we had expected (NYTimes):
So it is a funny thing, about this transitional era for the book, just how filled with bound pages it has been so far. A new kind of hard-copy bibliomania has without question sprung up along the banks of digital reading. I don’t really have a friend, either heavy reader or the sort still getting through the Malcolm Gladwell she got for Christmas, who doesn’t want, have or feverishly dream of floor-to-ceiling bookshelves. I am not sure that floor-to-ceiling bookshelves haven’t even become my generation’s — or at least my peer group’s — No. 1, most-desired décor scheme. Celebrities like Leelee Sobieski and Scarlett Johansson are now photographed in front of their vast spans of spines, the way woolly-browed rabbis and ponderous authors used to be. James Franco tweets shots of his bookshelves, and the landscape of 30-something lifestyle bloggers lights up like a stoner’s brain on an M.R.I.
In more paranoid moments, you might wonder if some marketing mastermind is behind any of this. In the 1930s, another era in which books produced greatly outnumbered books bought, Edward L. Bernays — the “father of spin” who more or less invented modern P.R. — was approached by a group of publishers, including Simon & Schuster and Harcourt Brace, to try to get people to buy more books, despite the tough economic times. Bernays is said to have pronounced, “Where there are bookshelves, there will be books.” He then went about getting top architects and decorators to put book shelving into the homes of their V.I.P. clients — clients encouraged to go forth and fill these shelves up, for the benefit of, among others, magazine photographers.
Certainly, you’d be hard pressed today to find a catalog from the likes of Restoration Hardware that doesn’t contain a photo with a swath of books within frame. Same with magazines like Elle Décor, the dense shelves of reading often found in unlikely places, like the dining room, the story being that you are peering into the inner sanctum of an eccentric and ebullient mind that just won’t quit. Even if it’s just canned soup and loneliness for dinner, it’s still a feast for the intellect.
The UCSF student newspaper did a series on Open Access publishing.  Here is the last installment on new business models:
Biomedical sciences journals charge the highest APCs of any science, technology and medicine (STM) discipline, with the average fee in 2010 running just over $1,000, according to an article by Drs. David J Solomon and Bo-Christer Björk published in the Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology. According to their calculations, the biomedical field spent over $64 million in APCs for open access journals, with many journals charging between $700 and $1800.
“I’m seeing some pushback from faculty, mostly to the ‘author-pays’ model of open access,” said UCSF Library’s Director of Serials Anneliese Taylor. “Those who are opposed think that the university is pushing costs off on researchers, while at the same time their research awards are decreasing.”
But this should not be a disincentive for scientists to publish in open access journals, according to Johnson.
“The critical thing is to look at the entire cost of a research project—and the journal publication charges are a very small part of that,” he said. “Compared to the salaries that are being paid to people and the cost of supplies and the infrastructure, it’s a very small percentage of the overall cost.
 A short video from BBC news on the new Mills and Bone romance book app.

More articles on Flipboard.

Data analysis tops publishers' priority for investment in 2014 (Guardian)
We are drowning in data about readers and attention, but which metrics really matter? You won’t like the answer. (GigaOm)
Major media publisher admits it is “afraid of Google” (ARS)
New Thai press museum in Bangkok (BPost)

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