Archive for the ‘Technology’ Category

NY Times to introduce paywall

March 17, 2011

As expected, the New York Times is to start charging online readers at the end of this month.

Beginning March 28, readers who access more than 20 articles during a one month period will be asked to become a digital subscriber. This will give them full access to the site. Should you choose not to, then you will not be able to access further content until the following month. However, if you come to a story on the NYT website via a search engine, then you will be able to read that story even if you’ve reached your monthly limit.

Smartphone and tablet users will be have limited access to via the apps. The top news is to remain free of charge, but all other sections will require a digital subscription. It will be very interesting to see how many people opt to become a subscriber as opposed to not doing so. This is going to be a real test of weather online readers are willing to stump up the cash. The Times newspaper in the UK went behind a paywall last year. However, that newspaper does not have the reach and pull of the NY Times.

Pricing info. It will cost $15 a month for those who wish to access and the smart phone app. It will cost $20 a month for access to the main website and the tablet application. To access the NYT site using all devices, the cost will be $35 a month.

*Masthead from the NY Times website


New York Times Chairman plans paywall

March 3, 2011

Arthur Sulzberger, speaking at the Financial Times Digital Media conference on Wednesday, said the plans to charge readers accessing the NY Times website, are still on track. He said that full details will be revealed in the near future. Sulzberger spoke confidently about keeping hold of online readers and increasing their advertising income.

“We’re not looking at a massive drop in traffic. By having a metered model you’re still allowing people to engage with your journalism when they’re not deep loyalists. We’re allowing people to share and we’re still going to make advertising dollars out of that.”

He also announced plans to charge for their i-Pad app. “The iPad app is a spectacular, great experience. But we can no longer have that being free”. The spectre of Apple looms large over applications and their 30% cut of subscriptions revenue  through the i-Pad. Steve Jobs released a statement last month trumpeting their subscription charges for magazines and newspapers.

“Our philosophy is simple – when Apple brings a new subscriber to the app, Apple earns a 30% share; when the publisher brings an existing or new subscriber to the app, the publisher keeps 100% and Apple earns nothing.”

Sulzberger countered this by saying: “We have our relationship with Apple – which I’m not going to get into the specifics of – but welcome to the world of news stands. We’ve had news stands for hundreds of years, they’ve always taken a cut of sales – this is not new.”

Steve Jobs swoops in for i-Pad 2 launch

March 2, 2011

Picture from The Guardian

Newspaper publisher rejoice! The i-pad 2 is here. Sleeker, lighter and faster than it’s older brother, this upgrade model also now comes in white. Steve Jobs, was the surprise host as many expected him to stay away after taking indefinite medical leave last month.

As rumoured, i-Pad 2 comes armed with two cameras. The one in front allows for video recording, whilst the back facing camera is for taking photos. It will be available to buy in the UK on March 25 and two weeks earlier in America. It will be interesting to see how strong sales are for this new model. The more people that buy it is good news not just for Apple, but also for newspapers and magazines. The idea being that many will use tablets to access their news.  And with other tablets challenging the mighty i-pad, it may very well prove to be a rebirth for print jounralism.

March 2 is Apple day

February 24, 2011

*Picture from NY Times

Next Wednesday, the media will gather in San Francisco at the invitation of Apple in what is expected to be the launch of the new i-pad. Consumer will watch with much anticipation as what changes have been made to the new model and what upgrades have been included. There is rife speculation that new member to the family will have front and back facing cameras an weigh less than its predecessor.

Meanwhile Motorola have fired shot across the bow of Apple by lauching their Xoom tablet. Available to buy in the U.S at a very steep $799, it hopes to make a serious play for the hearts and minds of tablet lovers everywhere. You can knock $200 of this if you are willing to sign a two year contract with Verizon. For that you pay $20 a month for 1 gigabyte of data.The xoom has a 5 megapixel camera on the back which records high definition video. The Xoom  uses android 3.0. Google’s software specifically designed for tablets. You can read all about it here. One interesting aspect is the ability to play flash videos online. You just have to wait for Motorola to release the download in order to do so. Xoom has one over on the i-pad as it doesn’t have this capability just yet

Twitter trending powered by traditional media

February 18, 2011


“Rumours of my death have been greatly exaggerated”

Yes folks. There is life in the bones of traditional media still. For all the hype surrounding Twitter as a groundbreaking and leading force in social media, it has been discovered that all of its trending is actually inspired by traditional media and not bloggers.

HP Labs conducted a survey which found that news outlets CNN and the BBC were responsible for 72% of  the 22 Twitter streams for most retweets.  In their research paper entitled ‘Trends in Social Media: Persistence and Decay, they also discovered that only 22 users were responsible for  the majority of retweets when a topic was trending. It also showed that trending issues only last an average of 40 minutes.

“You might expect the most prolific tweeters or those with most followers would be most responsible for creating such trends,” said Bernardo Huberman, HP senior fellow and director of HP Labs’ Social Computing Research Group. “[But] we found that mainstream media play a role in most trending topics and actually act as feeders of these trends. Twitter users then seem to be acting more as filter and amplifier of traditional media in most cases.”

AOL buys the Huffington Post

February 10, 2011

Arianna Huffington, the co-founder of the influential news website The Huffington Post, agreed to selling the company to AOL this week. The deal, reportedly worth $315 million, is be seen by some as AOL muscling its way into the market of digital journalism. You can watch an interview with Arianna Huffington and AOL CEO Tim Armstrong here.

AOL do not have a good track record in recent years with partnerships. Their purchase of Time Warner didn’t work out as planned, but this recent purchase could prove to be a success. The Huffington Post has strong name recognition in the U.S and in other parts of the world. So this move will allow them to use the resources of AOL and reach even more with it’s combined content.

“By uniting AOL and The Huffington Post, we are creating one of the largest destinations for smart content and community on the Internet. And we intend to keep making it better and better.” So says Arianna Huffington speaking about the future of this partnership. The move may allow AOL to take control in the content farms world as it will amass large amounts of quality content that will help it attract users who are fed up with being bombarded with rubbish content and spam from search engine results. Search engines are looking at putting a stop to this, so Demand Media would be the loser and AOL the winner with this move.

AOL’s Patch, a network of  local news sites, will get a boost from this partnership. People logging onto the Huffington Post will be more inclined to check out local news in their area rather than using newspaper and TV websites. It will be interesting to see if this marriage sinks or swims.

The tablet of doom

February 10, 2011

I keep reading how it’s just a matter of time before the printed newspaper is in its  final death throes. Since the launch of the iPad in 2010, a countdown has begun to the day the last printed newspaper is produced. I beg to differ on this and there is an interesting counter argument from Jason E. Klein, president and CEO of the Newspaper National Network.

Sales of the iPad in the U.S have been moderate at this point and although it may seem as though many print junkies have discarded their newspapers in favour of an iPad, but the majority have yet to do so and may never make the switch. Hewlett Packard announced this week that they plan to make a table called the the Touchpad.

*Picture from the NY Times website

The newspaper industry is excited by the possibilities the iPad and otherfuture tablets have to offer, but it’s diffusion may not be rapid.

Here in the UK, sales of newspapers continue to decline, but I don’t see many people pulling out tablets on their commute to work or on a leisurely weekend in the park.

iPad 2 rumours

February 3, 2011

The twittersphere is abuzz with rumours of an ‘eyewitness’ spotting an iPad with front and back facing cameras. This had led many to speculate that it could be the latest version of the much vaunted iPad. Reuters reported that an unknown person saw it during the launch for Rupert Murdoch’s The Daily in New York on Wednesday. No pictures have emerged of the object in question, but that hasn’t stopped some people salivating at the prospect of owning this piece of fantasy techware.