Monday, April 20, 2009

Where are the markets of versioned newspapers Part 5

"Where?" is actually an empirical question. but "Why?" is pretty clear. The answer is at Harvard, in a post by Martin Langeveld,
The daily work flow of most newspaper employees is organized around the central event of the daily press deadline. That culture is hard to change, even in the few newspaper firms where top leadership understands the need for reinvention as a digital enterprise.
When a manufacturing process is organized for peak workflow, it's very, very inefficient. Once load is distributed over the full 24 hours of a day, the same equipment can become unimaginably efficient. Take the "daily press deadline" out of the picture and the all-in-marginal cost of newspapers becomes very low when compared to the number of print ads that can be sold.

If you do versioned newspapers with versioned ads, you can sell the same real estate X times. The marginal cost of the real estate gets very, very low. But the value to the local advertiser goes up with local distribution. Costs get lower, value gets higher. Now there's a business model an investor could love!

A hint for "Where?"
Look for people like the publisher in Spain that just purchased the Oce system instead of investing in offset heavy metal. Figure out why he made that decision. Then make a list of what kind of pressures he is under and how the Oce equipment helps him reduce those pressures. Then look for other people who are under similar pressures.

Then do a deal that makes sense for everyone. Maybe instead of selling the box, go in for a revenue share of the new pr0fits that you say he will get. If you're right, it should be a good deal. If you're not, then don't try to sell it in the first place. If you're right, it will be much.much easier to sell more equipment, since most newspaper publishers are under similar pressures.

And don't forget about textbooks
Since textbook time is about 2 years, 1 month or two is super-duper fast. If you can deliver Print in a couple of days, that gets to WOW! Delivering print in a couple of days is easy for us, very, very hard for them. Since every teacher on the planet wants specific content delivered in a couple of days, it passes the "why wouldn't I do that" test.

The remaining hard part is crafting the win-win-win deal.

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