Neil Thackray’s Business Media Blog

Just another weblog is live

We’re live!
(London, 28th september 2010)
The switch is on!

After many hundreds of hours work we turned the site on 5 minutes ago and hope you like it.

There are 3 main sections to TheMediaBriefing.

1) Semantic analysis and indexing of web content
Our bespoke algorithms trawl and index thousands of specialist sources of information for the global media industry. All of this information is automatically tagged and sorted allowing you to track the people, companies and business issues of most relevance to you. This content is then fed into channels – B2B, Newspapers, Digital etc. and you can click on the navigation bar at the top to receive this view. Please sign up for those newsletters you’re most interested in (down the right hand side of the page).

2) Expert intelligence and opinion
You will see a carousel of images half way down the page that contains some exclusive and expert commentary about the media industry. there are other pieces in the general newsfeed that are tagged as “expert” in red. We are delighted by the contributions we have received so far. Contributions from the likes of:
David Gilbertson, CEO, emap
Tim Weller, CEO, Incisive Media
Alex Connock, CEO, Ten Alps
Greg Hadfield, former head of digital at Telegraph Media Group and now director of special projects at Cogapp
Matt Kelly, digital content director, Mirror Group Newspapers
Peter Bale, executive producer, MSN UK
and many more.
If you would like to discuss writing something for the site we’d love to hear from you. Simply e-mail our editor, Patrick Smith

3) In-depth research
The research arm of TheMediaBriefing publishes a range of strategic intelligence reports. Our first covers Paywall Strategies for Online Content and is currently being written by Peter Kirwan – Wired and Press Gazette columnist. This major report explores the various models for charging for content online and is currently available at a special pre-publications price during the month of October saving £200 off the standard rate. A range of other reports covering topics like Apps; Ad Networks; Pay TV Models and Performance-based advertising models are in the pipeline.
So that’s it, we’re live. My colleagues and I hope you enjoy the service. Please do be aware that the site continues its development over the coming weeks. If you spot and glitches or errors please e-mail
If you would like to submit your content for indexing, contribute an opinion piece, partner with us commercially or just have a question to ask about what we are doing we’d love to hear from you

P.S. If you think this site is cool please tell your friends about it. We’re on Twitter at and have evolving LinkedIn and Facebook groups / pages.
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September 28, 2010 Posted by | B2B Journalism, b2b media, Paid content, Search | 1 Comment

Where did magazine readers go?

A friend of mine was moving house and found an old copy of Media Week in his attic.  He gave it to me because it contained an interview with a rather youthful me.  I laughed, as you do when faced with an image of yourself from more than twenty years ago, and then I began to read, not the interview with me (which is toe curling) but everything else.  The year was 1988.

On page three IPC were being roasted for a decline in their paid circulations.   There was no Internet in 1988 – not even email.  Back then we were fighting with the unions to introduce something called “New Technology” – which meant a computer on the desk.  The unions were demanding more pay in return for co-operating with this initiative.  We had no idea just how fundamental the technology was to become to the future of publishing.

In the period Jan to June 1988 the dreadful circulation results of which Media Week complained, were astonishing.  I had forgotten how far we had fallen.  Back then Woman had a circulation of 985903.  Today the same title sells 318301.  Womans Weekly has a circulation today of 338577.  Back in 1988? You won’t believe it.  1240009!

Essentials? 815565 in 1988 but just 115432 today.  Pratical Parenting – surely not a topic that has gone out of fashion, was selling 130000 in 1988.  Today, no longer owned by IPC but by Magicalia, it sells just 23127.

It is not just the consumer titles where readers have fallen out of love with the magazine.  The same issue of Media Week reported that The Grocer had a paid circulation of 54503.  Today it sells 30124.  Caterer & Hotelkeeper, which I published for many years, had a sale of 45632 a week in 1988.  Today it sells just 11234.

So why am I telling you this?  Well nostalgia is always fun but I guess I wanted to share the shock of reading something from more than 20 years ago.  We talk about the changes happening to our industry in measured terms, but we often forget just how far we have come.  The revenue impact of the fall in paid circulation revenue is huge.  Caterer will have lost at least £2m in circulation revenue a year.  Woman’s Weekly perhaps £15-20m.  Add to that the impact on display advertising.  Wow. I don’t have a wonderful insight to share with you about this – just wow!

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September 27, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , | 2 Comments

Get ready for

If you have been wondering why there have not been many posts here in the last couple of weeks, it is because I have been busy with the team at Briefing Media getting ready for the launch of our first business to business site for the media industry.  Early next week we plan to flip the switch when for the first time you will be able to explore our blend of intelligent semantic technology and original writing from industry experts.

We are releasing in Beta so do let us know if you spot a glitch or have a suggestion.  We already have a raft of enhancements in the pipeline and have begun the planning for the release of more sites for other business verticals.

There are plenty of ways you can get involved.  If you have an insight into the media industry why not become one our Experts and share your knowledge with the media industry.  If you’re shy, then you can sign up now to be one of the first to see the site when it goes live next week.  When we are live you will be able to register for specialist newsletters and pre order copies of our first special report.  The topic of that report couldn’t be more pressing.  If you are thinking about the impact of pay walls you will want to get a copy.  We explore the different models for implementing paywalls and give you all the knowledge you need to build, refine or review your approach to the pay wall challenge.

If you want to explore working with us and getting your business in front of our audience then just call and we’ll talk about how we can work together.

In the meantime you might want to take a look at a short video presentation about what we are doing here

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September 24, 2010 Posted by | b2b media, business media strategy, Paid content | 1 Comment

Registration Open for

It has been a very busy few weeks, getting ready for the launch of our first Briefing Media product.  Thanks to everyone who has been in touch  and to the army of folk who have been helping with the technical build and those who have agreed to write expert commentary about the industry.  What industry?

We plan to launch a series of Briefing Media sites in several vertical markets over the next few months, but our first is focussed on our own industry, the media business.  Our approach is to combine the old and the new to present a compelling lens on the business of media.  Original content contributed by experts combined with a search tool that enables users to explore topics of importance to them.  Our semantic search technology looks for relationships between topics and organises stories into intuitive categories and channels.

In addition we have begun to commission a series of detailed, practical and expert reports about the key issues facing decision makers in media today.  Or first report is almost complete and is available to order at a  prepublication discount as soon as the site goes  live.

We are also planning some new media events and commissioning a series of training programmes.  Much of this is to come in the next few weeks. In the meantime take a look at the site, give us your feedback, sign up for one or more of our  free weekly newsletters.  If you spot something missing,  or have an expert thought you want to share, or have thought of ways you would like to work with us, then do get in touch.

The Media Briefing updates 24 hours a day 7 days a week so we hope to see you often.  If you want to be one of the first to see the live site visit now and register your interest.  We will let you know just as soon as we are ready to go live.


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September 20, 2010 Posted by | b2b media, Search, Uncategorized | Leave a comment