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Rolling Stone Loves the Internet October 28, 2002

Posted by David Card in Uncategorized.
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In an effort to look hip, Rolling Stone took out an ad in the New York Times blasting the record industry for its anti-file sharing attitude. The ad is plastered all over NY streets today. This, from the company that made probably the best – if cynical – old media Internet deal ever, selling the online rights to its name for a cool $2M/year. Assuming Emusic (now part of Universal) keeps paying.

SEC document Under an agreement with Rolling Stone LLC we are required to purchase $1,100,000 of advertising and other services annually in Rolling Stone magazine until February 2011 and to pay Rolling Stone an annual license fee of $1,250,000, which increases to $1,500,000 in 2006.

Dueling Chicago “Reds” October 28, 2002

Posted by David Card in Uncategorized.
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Both Chicago papers are aiming new print pubs at 18-34 year olds. Crain’s Chicago Business is full of laughers. The Trib’s is called RedEye; the Sun-Times’ is Red Streak. (The RedEye sample) included shorter versions of many of the Tribune’s top news stories of the day as well as previews of the weekend’s football games written by “Whizzer: your prognosticating pooch.”

I can’t wait.

… The name is a reference to the slang term for late-night, continent-crossing airline flights, says Mr. Smith, adding, “It’s an overnight express of news and entertainment” for young commuters. “Plus,” he says, “there’s a play on the word ‘red,’ as in ‘R-E-A-D.’ ”

The kicker: neither is online. And you thought television was screwy.

Buddy Icon Nirvana October 25, 2002

Posted by David Card in Digital Home & Personal Tech.
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If you’re looking for Nirvana buddy icons, I couldn’t find too many good ones, but here’s a Nirvana theme . Try googling images for Kurt.

The way Apple’s iChat software handles buddy icons is simply brilliant. Drag any image file – any size – onto a spot where your buddy icon rests and you get tool that lets you crop and resize remarkably easily. Move the image around within a target window, and resize it with a slider bar. iChat takes care of the AIM size restrictions and file format when sending the icon on to your chat buddies. All software should work this well.

Now if only they’d preserve your AIM buddy groups….

Wishful Thinking on Online Entertainment October 23, 2002

Posted by David Card in Uncategorized.
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Original programming smiles on dot-coms again One reason for the spurt of creativity may be that ”consumers are willing to pay for things now,” says Mika Salmi, CEO of AtomFilms parent AtomShockwave. Uh, no, they’re not.

Consumer resistence to paying for online entertainment is huge. Survey data and best-practice analysis show near-term opportunities are in exclusive content that people want, not animated shorts, music – maybe – and games.

Consumer Reports, RealNetworks & American Greetings are notable successes. The Wall Street Journal taps corporate, not consumer, budgets.

The USA Today story goes on to talk about BMW’s ads, animated shorts, and paid email under the same headline. That’s a dangerous mixing of apples & oranges.

2003 Online Ad Forecast October 23, 2002

Posted by David Card in Uncategorized.
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At Jupiter’s annual Advertising Forum, my panel’s consensus was that our 2003 US online ad forecast is too aggressive. Jupiter is forecasting about 9-10% growth in online media buys (that figure doesn’t count online Classifieds, which will grow 16%) for 2003. Online Advertising Forecast

The panel comprised sr. execs from NY Times Digital, American Greetings, Weather.com, and CBS Marketwatch. Their consensus was flat to 5% growth.

There are two overriding factors that could play havoc with our forecast: 1) macroeconomics & war and 2) AOL. AOL makes up such a big of online ads that a slight movement in its performance affects the whole market. That, by the way, is what the panel said – they’re bearish on AOL near-term.

Portal Revenues October 18, 2002

Posted by David Card in Uncategorized.
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MSN had a solid quarter, as did Yahoo!
WSJ.com – Microsoft Net Doubles As Sales Rise by 26%

WSJ.com – Yahoo’s Refocus on Searches Paid Off in Its Latest Results

Back of the envelope estimates suggest that if you strip out MSN’s access business, what’s left over is just a little behind Yahoo!’s apples-to-apples Qly revenue. AOL has been posting ad and marketing results in the $400M range lately, which is less than two times Yahoo!’s or MSN’s business. (Back in 2001, AOL could get $600-$700M per quarter.) AOL has three and a half times more subscribers than MSN, and its share of digital media time is three times that of MSN or Yahoo!. Its marketing revenues should reflect that, but don’t. They did in back in ’01. See: Jupiter Metrics: Audience and Programming, 3Q 2002

And PS, that Journal headline on the Yahoo! quarter is plain dumb. Paid search was a big reason for the good quarter, but even more impressive were Yahoo!’s revenues from services fees, including HotJobs but also consumer and business paid services. Yahoo! may be re-focusing on search, but it’s not moving away from being a full-service portal – as the Journal story implies – nor should it be.

Dueling Online Services October 16, 2002

Posted by David Card in Uncategorized.
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I went to the AOL 8.0 extravaganza yesterday. MSN is later this month. Both products are slick, polished, and have tons of new features. But neither is enough to jump-start subscriber growth. To do that would take either 1. a major pricing action or 2. a major effort to jump on the broadband transition, which is where all the growth is.

I don’t think either will steal market share from the other, although they both should continue to outgrow the industry.

AOL has successfully concentrated on “making it cool again,” especially for kids, and – even though this sounds like hype – bringing the focus back on its community. MatchChat and enhancements to IM and email are solid. And bringing the battle back to a “network-effect” battle, where its network dominates, is smart.

AOL’s approach to customization – ie, not going whole-hog – is also smart. We’ll see how its programming & dayparting play out.

MSN has focused on 1. parental controls – where it closes the gap on AOL, and 2. email – where it’s always been way ahead and continues to be. If its anti-SPAM approach works, it will be a major win.

But this war won’t be won by a features battle as much as by content, services, and customer base combat.

I Love Martha Too October 16, 2002

Posted by David Card in Uncategorized.
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In I Love Martha Michael Wolff calls Martha Stewart the first postmodern media empire.

I agree but for different reasons: Martha is the very definition of a postmodern media company because it 1. is inherently multimedia and 2. drives its audience cross-media, and 3. has multiple revenue streams, and 4. was online from day one, and 5. has a well-defined target audience.

World Wrestling Entertainment , that, in a bizarre feat of media synchronicity, went public the same day as Martha, is another. ESPN too. Oxygen might be, but hasn’t executed.

Welcome October 16, 2002

Posted by David Card in Uncategorized.
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Welcome to my section of the Jupiter Weblog. I direct Jupiter’s research aimed at media companies, and our coverage of advertising/marketing and content/programming. I’ve been an analyst covering the intersection of media, consumers & technology for six or seven years, and a technology analyst for another 10.

I’m still fascinated by those topics and my commentary will reflect that. I went to J-school, so I’ll also comment occasionally on how the press covers media and technology.