Wednesday, April 20, 2005

The real reason behind Murdoch's turnaround?

[Keyword: ]. There's been a lot of analysis of Murdoch's speech asking newspapers to embrace the internet, but Roy Greenslade's angle makes a particularly salient point about the growth of online advertising revenue in publishing (previously reported here). To quote liberally:
"the Murdoch theme was prefigured in a statement about Trinity-Mirror's preliminary results on March 3 by its chief executive, Sly Bailey. Hers was less philosophical and dealt more with advertising than editorial because she was talking to financial analysts rather than editors. [...] The central plank of T-M's strategy, she said, involved the development of digital media.

"In our regional business, she said, our goal is to become a multi-platform local publishing and advertising business. "What we want is simple: to win strong, profitable positions in key classified markets online."

"T-M's move into online classified advertising has seen a staggering turnaround in revenue. [By 2004] the digital business generated a turnover of £6.3m and produced a profit of £700,000. "And we expect that trajectory to continue", she says.

"But journalists will ask, naturally enough, where the future lies for editorial. [...]

"During the National, the [Trinity-Mirror-owned] Post teamed up with Racing UK, the leading racing channel on digital TV, to enable website visitors to benefit from the Post's tipsters giving their views of the runners on pre-recorded videos. It was only a pilot but it looked and sounded impressive.

"Are we far from the moment when we see another stage in the multi-skilling of print journalists as they video themselves in order to tell the story behind the stories they write for their papers?"

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