paidContent 2012

An FJP overview of the day's events.

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  1. Yesterday the FJP attended GigaOM's paidContent 2012 held at the TimesCenter in NYC. This year's theme was At the Crossroads, and a host of notable speakers discussed hits, misses, opportunities, and strategies in the digital media industry.
  2. Here is paidContent's intro to the event:

    We are at a critical point in the transformation of the media business. The past year has seen the rise of tablets and the accelerated transition of magazines from print to digital; the rapid ascent of e-books and the slow descent of bookstores; more viewing of online video than ever but in ever-decreasing lengths. Digital advertising growth is maturing—and in some cases, slipping. If your responsibility is to make money from content, what should you do next? If the answer was easy, we’d all be on vacation. It’s not—so join us at paidContent 2012, our acclaimed media industry forum, for top-level discussion about what’s working, what hasn’t and what’s showing the most promise.
  3. Here's some of the feedback on Twitter:
  4. Here are our highlights: Tweets from the day (#pc2012) coupled with quoted selections from paidContent's live coverage.
    (We did a bit of our own Tweeting as well over
    @the_FJP.) 
  5. The platform is the new throne where content reigns and content is king,” he [James McQuivey, VP, Principal Analyst, Forrester Research] notes. “And the platform promise can make or unmake a king at any time.” The iPad might be sitting on the throne now, but as competitors build up the promise of their platform, the game of thrones rages on. [Full Article]

  6. The biggest challenge for a media company like Meredith is shifting the focus from customer acquisition to customer engagement across platforms, Meredith chief digital officer Liz Schimel said at paidContent 2012 this morning. Part of that means making the brands available on the right platforms, but not all of them. “We get approached by a lot of companies and say no,” Schimel said. “HP knocked on the door, and we said no, we’re not going to do that one.” Most of Meredith’s readers are “mass-market women,” so if a platform or device is “too male-centric or too niche, we don’t do it.” [Full Article]

  7. [Jim] Bankoff [CEO and Chairman of Vox Media] was speaking at a paidContent 2012 panel with incoming USA Today publisher Larry Kramer and John Paton, a longtime newspaper veteran who is now CEO of Digital First Media. Kramer and Paton addressed the familiar challenge for newspapers of how to manage legacy structures while trying to keep pace with nimbler digital natives like Vox. Paton described newspapers’ longtime practice of repurposing existing content as a lousy strategy and predicted that papers’ cost-cutting phase would last another five years. [Full Article]

  8. The pitched war between content owners and technology companies doesn’t have to persist if media companies would acknowledge and adapt to the new realities of digital distribution, said Fred Wilson, managing partner at Union Square Ventures. “I think those (traditional media) industries will survive and thrive, they just need to move from a fairly monopolistic distribution system to a wide open distribution system,” Wilson said. [Full Article]

  9. For many news sites, HTML5 has become the default form of coding. Even if a publisher is pushing out a mobile app, it’s often an HTML app in a native wrapper. When deciding whether to follow an app or a Web browser model, the decision isn’t a technology one — native code versus HTML5 – instead, it’s a distribution decision, said Mark Johnson, CEO ofnews aggregator Zite. [Full Article]


  10. Thinking of what they produce as information rather than content to be packaged, (John Borthwick) the Betaworks CEO said, puts the focus on the value of that information to users, and the package or delivery system — whether it’s a magazine or a newspaper or a mobile app — becomes secondary. Only that way can media companies figure out what and how their users want, he said. [Full Article]

  11. [John] Marshall [editor and publisher of TalkingPointsMemo.com] appeared with Vivian Schiller, chief digital officer of NBC News at thepaidContent 2012 conference, where the two talked about how social media has influenced and reshaped the news business. Marshall said social media is part of a larger continuum that began with the Internet and the rise of blogs. With social media, he said, the news business has become frictionless and fluid and, in some cases, chaotic. But it’s helped wrest control away from traditional news powers and helped do away with the notion of a news cycle. [Keep Reading]

  12. The quotable Matt Mullenweg, founder of Wordpress and Auttomatic, received much praise and many Twitter mentions: 
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