Early this year I caught up for a coffee with Stephen Browning, Director of Corporate Affairs at News Digital Media and The Australian. During our conversation he told me about a weekly digest of what’s happening globally in digital news and paid content that he compiled for executives at News Limited, to keep them informed about all of many rapid changes in the space.
In the wake of News Limited’s recent blogger briefing on its paywall plan, which showed a dramatically more open attitude than the company had evinced in the past, it is now making its internal business intelligence report available to the general public.
Anyone can sign up for the weekly update at its Future of Journalism site. There is of course no really good reason why a company wouldn’t share with the world its internal business intelligence reports. However the reality is that almost none do. So once again hats off to News Limited for sharing this useful information with the world at large.
Below is the latest update from earlier today, showing the most interesting developments in paid content over the previous week, from the perspective of News Limited. (Apologies if the formatting doesn’t work properly – I just pulled in the HTML.)
Friday November 25, 2011
General… oh, the irony – chief sceptic of paid content, The Guardian, is selling the Paidcontent.org website…. will HTML5 kill apps or not? here are both sides of the argument….. there may be ramifications for publishers of multiple publications in Apple's decision to approve, then remove, an app which allowed players to access multiple games for a single monthly fee…. looks like RIM, Apple and Microsoft are all testing NFC Mobile Payment Technology…. Google says there are now 200 million Android devices activated, with over 550,000 activated every day…. Apple has put in a patent application for shock-proof screens…. Australia's first high-speed LTE 4G mobile devices will be available before the end of March next year… upgrading to iOS5 has screwed with some people's wi-fi…. Apple has started publishing weekly iPhone and iPad apps charts in the UK….
Research…. some interesting graphs here showing news consumption by American tablet owners through weekdays and at the weekend (replicating what we found at News Limited)…. among prospective tablet purchasers the iPad comes first and the Kindle Fire second…. according to comScore in October 2011, 95.5% of all tablet web traffic in the U.S. comes from iPad (which begs the question, WTF are Android tablet owners doing?!)…. the most likely iPad buyer is a male, pet-owning gamer (who may be a scientist) – and here is a fabulous infographic of that data… 2/3 of people who read magazines on tablets and e-readers think they’ll be spending more time with digital issues over the next year. 46% are consuming more magazines — both in print and digital form — than they did before they got their hands on an iPad. And 63% of them want more digital stuff to read….
Patent Wars…. Apple is now suing Samsung in 20 countries…. which may explain why Apple is shifting display production to Sharp for the iPad3…..Apple has also managed to stop imports of the Samsung Galaxy 10.1….. meanwhile, Samsung's bid to block sales of the iPhone 4S in Australia is on hold for four months at least…. Apple is going after Amazon again….
Mobile…. remember that question I posed last week about why Amazon isn't building a smartphone? Turns out I'm psychic…. Nokia's Lumia 800 handset, billed as a make-or-break return to the smartphone race, is set to sell fewer units by Christmas than Apple took in pre-orders in a single day for its latest iPhone… China has overtaken the US to become the world's largest smartphone market by volume although the US still leads in terms of revenue….
Apps…. ebay's American iPad app now lets you purchase items seen in TV shows and movies….Google launched a new Search app for the iPad that adds instant search and preview panes to its results…. Philips has just released an app for the iPad2 which can detect heart rate and respiratory rate (ie a lie detector!)…. the Windows Phone Marketplace now has 40,000 apps…. British mag The Week has launched a new iPad app…. al.com, Alabama’s largest web site has launched a free iPad app….
Tablet…. the geeks have discovered a Retina Display reference for iPad 3 in the iOS 5 developer code…. Q – are Acer, Asus and Dell planning 'to exit Android tablets'? – 'NO!' says ASUS and Dell…. the original Samsung Galaxy Tab 7 was a bit rubbish, so is the Galaxy 7 Plus any good?… here is a review of the Barnes & Noble Nook tablet….will Q2 2012 see the Kindle Fire 2 and iPad 3 go head-to-head?… here in Australia, Optus is launching the Acer Iconia Tab A501 and the Dell Streak 7 in time for xmas…. here is a list of 13 tablets you've never heard of (unless you've been clicking on all those 'another week, another random tablet' links I post each week)…. some geek has managed to put Kindle Fire OS onto a Samsung Galaxy Tab 7….
Here's a new section, entitled 'will they ever learn?' aka 'let it go guys, Apple and Amazon have this one covered'…. having had their Xoom and Galapagos arses kicked, Motorola and Sharp are back with the Droid Xyboard and smaller Galapagos…. HTC is also refusing to quit… and Lenovo reckons what the world needs is a 5" tablet….
A wave of price-slashing suggests we can say buh-bye to a bunch of tablets - Blackberry's PlayBook is down to $199…. HTC's Flyer has dropped to US$299, Lenovo's A1 is also $199, and ViewSonic's Viewbook 730 is just US$169
Digital Subscriptions…. The New York Times is expanding its subscription offers to companies that employ 50 or more people. The current three tier subscription system will be discounted to companies depending on their size…. here is a digi subs success story from Finland….
And finally…. the US government managed to blow $200,000 on a smartphone app that an Android developer described as ‘completely horrible in every way'…. Steve Wozniak, who co-founded Apple with Steve Jobs, has accepted a new Samsung Galaxy Nexus from rival manufacturer Google….Microsoft's $8400 table-sized tablet is now available for pre-order…. this is vaguely amusing…. Airplane x 1300ft – (iPad + case) = OK!