Neil Thackray’s Business Media Blog

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www.themediabriefing.com 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 patrick.smith@briefingmedia.com

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 bugs@briefingmedia.com
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 enquiries@briefingmedia.com


P.S. If you think this site is cool please tell your friends about it. We’re on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/mediabrief 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

Get ready for www.themediabriefing.com

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 www.themediabriefing.com

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

Business to Business £1.3billion Smaller

The PPA conference played host this week to PWC who paintd a grim but familiar picture about the future of B2B media. The presentation argued that £1.3billion of revenue has been wiped from the revenues of business media companies since 2007 and much of this is structural not cyclical. They see little prospect for near term recovery and say that the only hope is in new digital services.

None of this is a surprise, at least not to those of you who have been reading this blog or Rory Brown or Paul Conley and others. What is left unsaid is the implications of this. The digital model requires a very different construct from the traditional model, not least the absolute necessity to build an enterprise which has much lower content creation and overhead costs. Although most companies have cut costs, I think it could be argued that none have yet really tackled the stuctural issues of business engineering.

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May 5, 2010 Posted by | b2b media, business media strategy, Uncategorized | , , | 1 Comment

The Tend to Zero Risk

One of the reasons so many media companies are in trouble is the simultaneous crisis in all revenue streams.  It seems to many, that whatever strategy is deployed, the size of the potential revenue pot keeps falling. 

Back in the sixities, almost all business to business titles were paid for.  News about your industry was valuable and that value could be measured with money.  Today nobody charges for news.  In print, yields have been under pressure for some years.  Online display advertising with it’s transparent measurability has given advertisers a legitimate stick with which to beat media owners.   Where there has been success in selling online display the achieved CPM has been falling.  Too much traffic, too little of it useful or enaged, consequent poor click through rates mean that much inventory remains unsold – a growing proportion for many – and what does get sold is at rates that are falling.  Where once the choice advertisers had was limited by the number of titles in a market, today they are confused by so much choice.

We lost our way with recruitment.  Where we used to charge thousands of pounds for a page of advertising, the job board model now offers an ad £100.  In the recession prices here too are falling.

However we solve the current strategic conundrum, it seems pretty clear that unless we can push back the tide of prices tending to zero we don’t have a business.    The truth is, whilst there are things we can do to make a difference the price of a transaction in the new world is unlikely to reach the heady heights of the old world.  There are  four steps that all media companies must take:

1) Set the fixed cost base at a  level which is supportable by the new model.  This means attacking some sacred cows and stripping away layers of management costs.

2) Improve the value of your advertising proposition.  Seth Godin says,

“As long as your site is about something else and the ads are a distraction, you’ll see CPM rates drop. As soon as you (or the advertisers) figure out that creating online communities aligned with the advertising, where attendance is a choice by the consumer, then you’re creating genuine value.” 

In B2B that means making ads relevant and targeted.  Don’t give up on vertical search solutions.  Keep experimenting – there are riches ahead for the media company that gets it right.

3) Audit every activity that leaves the building and assess it for value.  Use that value audit to establish the prices that could be achieved.

4) Give up on the idea that you are going to survive by doing the stuff you used to do.  News products supported by advertising are going to be very small businesses.  Plan and implement a series of new product developments that will help you scale your business.  Buy some expertise to help you do it.

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July 20, 2009 Posted by | Advertising Sales, b2b media, business media strategy, Search | , , , | Leave a comment