Monday, April 6, 2009

Can't we all just get along? Newspapers, newspapers, newspapers

The window to reinvent newspapers is now. It will close in about a year. See the snippet from the Wall Street Journal below. Bankruptcy creates many teachable moments.

Digital only newspapers can't make enough money to survive. That means versioned, hyperlocal news-on-paper. The window is open now because when everything else fails, it's time to do something new. Within a year, newspapers will figure out that the way to make money is to sell print/web ads to local business. Once they do, the window will close. Then it will be business as usual.

Anyone who helps the newspapers sell local advertising, at a very low cost of sales, is the real solutions provider. The cost of the boxes are just the add ons, when the window is open. The cost of the boxes will be the primary issue when the window closes.

In the lead is HP. They have a machine in place on the West Coast. If they start selling newspaper ads through Staples they may turn out to have a first mover advantage that is going to be unbeatable. Given the functionality of mediabids it's a pretty easy add on.

Kodak has Screen to come. But Screen inkjet heads on web offset now. Oce has DNN now. Kodak has the newspaper workflow, the contacts and MicroZoning. Oce has a 30" full color web that produces newspaper product. More interesting is the black only boxes and the excess capacity on the installed base of black and white equipment all over the place.

Newspapers will come out of this tunnel producing many versions of their product and sell ads to local business to keep it afloat. is the technology to sell those ads. Commercial print sales people could sell newspaper ads as affiliates. Or as likely, Staples will offer newspaper print/web advertising at retail. HP can incorporate it as part of MarketSplash.

Local business learns how to do multichannel marketing. Regional and local economies start to regenerate.
Ten Major Newspapers That Will Fold Or Go Digital, An Update - 24/7 Wall Street
Over the last few weeks, the newspaper industry has entered a new period of decline. The parent of the papers in Philadelphia declared bankruptcy as did the Journal Register chain. The Rocky Mountain News closed and the Seattle Post Intelligencer, owned by Hearst, now publishes only online. Hearst has held off closing The San Francisco Chronicle after making massive cuts at the paper. The property still may not be profitable. Advance . . .
Free advice for Oce and Kodak
Do the deal. I have a feeling that HP is going to try to go it alone. This is going to move too fast in the States for either of you to benefit from the disruption occurring. And both of you should call Quincy at Vertis. Do a deal that leverages their print infrastructure to do interest group, instead of geographical, versioning. it's about news stories in FSI's.

Oce, call the local papers in Florida around your innovation center. Do a proof of concept as soon as you can. It's a joint experiment, so keep the cost as low as you possibly can. Find a paper that is already gets it with a hyperlocal web site. Get the person who is managing the hyperlocal site to select the most interesting content to create 2 or 3 pages that have excerpts of that content in the versioned edition.

Call your local PSP's. Talk to the sales managers. Then call mediabids and get the paper set up on their website. Get the PSP sales force to prospect in small business. They make the contact by walking into the store. Their first exchange will be to sell them a brochure or more likely a newspaper ad. The sales person can place the ad through mediabids so it will only take a couple of minutes.

Kodak, call the Chicago Tribune and then call the PSP's who are in the micro versioned regions. Then do the same thing as Oce. Get in touch with your PSP's in those micro versioned areas.

No comments:

Post a Comment