I had the pleasure of attending Networked Journalism Summit , excellently moderated by Jeff Jarvis. I got a couple of minutes to speak about some of the transition strategies that have happened at IDG – Jeff has highlighted the comments on my blog previously - the light at the end of the press and Print Sucks (his headline) so I won’t repeat them here. The key point is that IDG is not emotionally invested in print – it’s invested in providing quality information to readers - no matter in which form they want to receive it - print, online or mobile. It’s about making audiences and their eyeballs available to marketers in appropriate ways. Longer term, some of the strategies that need to be pursued by publishers should include:
1. Continuing to build digital audiences - today, that's online - tomorrow increasingly mobile - I expect to seen significant mobile revenues towards the end of 2009 early 2010.
2. Focus on audience engagement - using KPIs to monitor improvement in engagement- IDG's Market Fusion program and the developments of the Engagement Intensity Index are solid examples of this approach.
3. Drive performance based solutions for marketers - especially around premium lead generation services, custom publishing, events and mobile- the launch of IDG Connect, http://www.idgconnect.com/ IDG’s central database to drive response programs has been extremely successful and now responsible for significant revenues.
4 Extend audiences and inventory via the development of a Vertical Publisher Network - the launch of the IDG Technology Network http://www.idgtechnetwork.com/ recognizes it's not all about being a destination site but rather focusing on the aggregation of content and audience fragmentation.
5. Look to build end-user revenue streams online - via appropriate e-commerce. A successful example is the Macworld SuperGuides
6. Managing the print properties for "profit" - or at least ensuring there is positive contribution to overhead.
7. Preparing for the Web 3 - the Semantic Web - thinking about content as objects and the relationships between content, companies, people and places - viewing the web as interconnected data and rich applications
8 Continuing to stay close to readers and advertisers - using research to help identify products that meet the needs of the marketplace.
The workshop discussions were illuminating, I sat in on the one focused on revenue lead by Fred Wilson – while around 20 different revenue streams were identified – generally my sense was that publishers still are too focused on revenue model that are associated with print and are leaving opportunities associated with the data associated with their audiences and content.