Neil Thackray’s Business Media Blog

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Is your business a Migrant or a Native?

Julian Turner, the CEO of Electric Word made the second Key note speech at the Sipa conference. He began by asking how many of the delegates thought their business was a “digital native” rather a digital migrant. Just two hands claimed to be native and the conclusion is that most media businesses are the same. No wonder media companies are struggling to understand what is happening to them.

Back in 1999 what we now call the SIPA conference was called “Newsletters 1999” and since then the organisation has had three different names. The rate of change has been huge and the impact is that the markets we operate in are a mix of opportunity and fear. The dotcom bust in 2000 bought media companies some time and relief (but I wonder if most media companies wasted that time and are only now, in teh middle of a crisis, dealing with the issues).

One of the problems that digital migrants have is understanding and learning a new language and what it really means. We no longer talk about journalism, we talk about content. We talk about users not readers and thesse terms are not directly interchangeable.

Content is king, was the mantra of the early digital revolution. But content as a concept has changed its meaning. Content is no longer made by us. It is not distributed by us and it often isn’t words. No wonder the migrants struggle. Turner argues that content is a raw material not the end point of our endeavours. The question we have to answer is what to do with content and how to “productise” it.

There are three stages to content development.
1) Basic Content – making free and paid content available to users.
2) Digitally enhanced content – more niche, faster, updateable, UGC
3) Premium paid access – Tools, data, closed communities

Similarly there are three ad stages.
1) Basic – print ads onine, online display and simple classified
2) Digital Appropriate – Contextaul, affiliate deals, targetted ads
3) Monetising relationships – Surveys, sponsorship, databuilding, ecommerce

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November 23, 2009 - Posted by | Uncategorized | , , ,

1 Comment »

  1. […] pointed to the way that terms like content and advertising were changing in a digital media world. Neil Thackray has already provided a good write-up of some of the themes […]

    Pingback by Highlights from SIPA’s Online Marketing and Publishing Summit last week « Rory Brown | November 23, 2009

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