seriously. Aside from launching mobile apps across various mobile platforms, perhaps the most notable exampleis News Corp’s plan to launch The Daily, an iPad-only news organization that is set to launch early 2011. Eachnew edition will cost $0.99 to download, though Apple will take 30%. But that’s not the only hurdle, as thepublication relies on an iPad-owning audience. There will have been 15.7 million tablets sold worldwide in 2010,and the iPad represents roughly 85% of that. However, that number is expected to more than double in 2011.Despite a business gamble, this positions news organizations like The Daily for growth, and with littlecompetition, besides news organizations that repurpose their web content. We’ve also seen the launch of an iPad-only magazine with Virgin’s Project and of course the soon-to-launch News.me social news iPad application fromBetaworks.But it’s not just an iPad-only approach, and some would argue that the iPad isn’t actually mobile; it’s leisurely(yes, Mark Zuckerberg). In 2011, we’ll see more news media startups take a mobile-first approach to launchingtheir companies. This sets them up to be competitive by distributing on a completely new platform, where usersare more comfortable with making purchases. We’re going to see more news companies that reverse the typicalmodel of website first and mobile second.
Location-based news consumption
In 2010, we saw the growth of location-based services like Foursquare, Gowalla and SCVNGR. Even Facebookentered the location game by launching its Places product, and Google introduced HotPot, a recommendationengine for places and began testing it in Portland. The reality is that only 4% of online adults use such serviceson the go. My guess is that as the information users get on-the-go info from such services, they’ll becomes morevaluable and these location-based platforms will attract more users.Part of the missing piece is being able to easily get geo-tagged news content and information based on your GPSlocation. In 2011, with a continued shift toward mobile news consumption, we’re going to see news organizationsimplement location-based news features into their mobile apps. And of course if they do not, a startup will enterthe market to create a solution to this problem or the likes of Foursquare or another company will begin to pull ingeo-tagged content associated with locations as users check in.
Social vs. search
In 2010, we saw social media usage continue to surge globally. Facebook alone gets 25% of all U.S. pageviewsand roughly 10% of Internet visits. Instead of focusing on search engine optimization (SEO), in 2011 we’ll seesocial media optimization become a priority at many news organizations, as they continue to see social close thegap on referrals to their sites.Ken Doctor, author of
and news industry analyst at Outsell, recently pointed out that socialnetworks have become the fastest growing source of traffic referrals for many news sites. For many, social siteslike Facebook and Twitter only account for 10% to 15% of their overall referrals, but are number one in growth.For news startups, the results are even more heavy on social. And of course, the quality of these referrals is oftenbetter than readers who come from search. They generally yield more pageviews and represent a more loyalreader than the one-off visitors who stumble across the site from Google.
The death of the “foreign correspondent”
What we’ve known as the role of the foreign correspondent will largely cease to exist in 2011. As a result of business pressures and the roles the citizenry now play in using digital technology to share and distribute newsabroad, the role of a foreign correspondent reporting from an overseas bureau “may no longer be central to howwe learn about the world,” according to a recent study by the Reuters Institute for the Study of of Journalism. Thelight in the gloomy assessment is that there is opportunity in other parts of the world, such as Asia and Africa,where media is expanding as a result of “economic and policy stability,” according to the report. In 2011, we’ll seemore news organizations relying heavily on stringers and, in many cases, social content uploaded by the citizenry.
The syndication standard and the ultimate curators
Syndication models will be disrupted in 2011. As Clay Shirky recently predicted, more news outlets will get out of the business of re-running the same story on their site that appeared elsewhere. Though this is generally true,the approach to syndication will vary based on the outlet. The reality is that the content market has becomehighly fragmented, and if content is king, then niche is certainly queen. Niche outlets, which were once curators of original content produced by established organizations, will focus more on producing original content. While
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