ny times

Brilliant insights at the NYT

“If they start making products people don’t want, and start losing users, then Apple’s strategy will run into problems.” You can see the full NYT Business section story here. My wife and I love to read the papers in the morning. French-born, we still marvel at this American icon: the newspaper route, the nice deliveryman in his beat-up truck throwing the paper on our doorsteps in the wee hours.

But enough Norman Rockwell.

‘Who is this guy?’ My spouse is pointing at the NYT story. I had avoided it because we’re a couple of days away from Apple’s WWDC. Every year, in San Francisco, Apple holds the Worldwide Developers Conference for individuals and companies writing programs (applications) for its computers and, now, its smartphones. The rumor mill makes too much noise. Writers, bloggers, anal-ysts, pundits and kremlinologists attempt to top one another with predictably bad results.
Still, who is this guy? Is Brigitte referring to the article’s author, Brad Stone, a respected writer, or to Benjamin Reitzes, the Barclays Capital analyst quoted above? The doubt points to an all-too-common problem with business writing in our Valley: Cut-and-Paste stories, formulaic and, if not content-free, bland and devoid of insight or explanatory value. More

Providing oxygen to publishers

22% of Internet users in the United States said they stopped their subscription to a printed newspaper or a magazine. Why? Because they could access the same content online, according to a study released last week by the Center for the Digital Future. And it was only one in a string of bad news for the industry. Most of these items came from the US but, to a large extent, apply to European media as well.

Newspapers need to regroup and take a breath. Both in Europe and in the United States. They need protection. Not the temporary protection of a bankruptcy, but a durable one based on alternate business models and a drastic change in their capital structure. More

Some Quick Links

A Few Quick Links to Monday Note #42

Newspapers Downsizing – NYTimes and Herald Tribune to merge sites. The move was meant to happen. A growing number of NY Times stories are appearing in the Herald Tribune, the NYT Co. is bleeding ad revenue. There is no longer room for duplication. The merger on the web is the first step (pretty easy to take), and the newspapers will follow. It is a matter of when, not if, the IHT
brand disappears. (Story in the IHT )

Online Advertising – Publicis Group launches VivaKi, a weird name (how much they paid for such an neologism breakthrough?) for a global initiative in which the n°3 advertising group will combine all its digital forces. Says Maurice Levy, Publicis Group Chairman: “Digital revenue should represent more than 25% of the group’s total revenue by 2010 compared with 18% in the first quarter of this year”. (Story in the FT)

Social Networks – LinkedIn worth $1bn. At least according to VCCW (Venture Capital Common Wisdom). This is based on the $53m investment coughed up by a group of VCs including Bain C
apital Ventures, Sequoia Capital, Greylock Partners and Bessemer Venture Partners. (story in Condé Nast Portfolio )

Aggregator – Slow Growth for Google News.
In May, Google News got only 11.4 million users. It ranked No. 8 among news sites, far behind Yahoo News, which was No. 1 with 35.8 million visitors. Its growth rate of 10% over the last two years is far slower than, for instance, MSNBC.com that grew by 42 percent, adding 10.4 million users. Proof that algorithm is not everything. (Interesting story in the New York Time )

(Finally) — The best bang for the buck. Find out how the clever tiny advertising agency Lastfool (no website in sight, sorry) made a funny viral movie for a cell phone earpiece maker. Small budget, many viewers. The funny thing is the counter strike of an anonymous member of the French mobile phone lobby…