Posts Tagged ‘Kindle’


In PR and Media: September 19, 2011

Monday, September 19th, 2011

Kindle Gets AmazonLocal Offers (MediaPost)
“Those barely discounted Amazon Kindles with Special Offers that launched earlier this year have become the hottest commodity for Amazon in the e-reader market. Who would have thought that discounting a Kindle just $30 or so in return for getting sponsor messages on your screensaver would be so appealing?”

Adbusters-Organized Protest Occupies Wall Street (MinOnline)
“It wasn’t quite the turnout Adbusters magazine originally had expected, but the counter-cultural activist magazine helped organize a march on Wall Street on Saturday Sept. 17. Dubbed “Occupy Wall Street” by the magazine, the effort to assemble people via mobile phones, Tweets and web site notifications had hoped to organize thousands to join the protests.”

In Kabul, It’s Not MTV, It’s a Mission (New York Times)
“Tom Freston is a pretty mellow guy, but sitting in the corner of a downtown Manhattan restaurant last week he was getting very excited as he talked about his new project. ‘Every time I go there, there are kids doing a bunch of new things, making all kinds of interesting programming,’ he said.”

Associated Press Teams With 40 Newspapers On Mobile Coupons (PaidContent.org)
“With newspapers having suffered through 20 straight quarters of decline—and no end in sight—a collaborative effort on the part of the Associated Press and 40 newspapers is designed to play on two of the industry’s last advertising strengths: digital and pre-print circulars.”

Breaking: Netflix Splits DVD And Streaming Businesses; Creates Qwikster For DVDs (TechCrunch)
“Netflix CEO Reed Hastings just dropped a bombshell. In the wake of a rapid decline in Netflix’s stock price last week, Hastings is taking a bold step by separating the DVD and video streaming services. The DVD-by-mail service will now be called Qwikster, and the streaming service will maintain the Netflix brand.”

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Entertainment Companies Step Up: Online Video Watching Now More Popular than Social Networks

Monday, August 17th, 2009

The good folks at Facebook and Twitter can rest easy, the fact that online video watching edged out social networking in a recent survey by Pew Internet and American Life Project is just a testament to how wildly popular online video watching has recently become. According to the survey 62 percent of American, adult Internet users said they watched online video on sites like YouTube compared to 46 percent who said they were active on social networking sites.

More fuel will soon be added to this surge in online video watching as more content providers latch on to an already booming space. With more people cutting back on their cable subscriptions, 23 percent who watch TV and movies online are connecting their computers to their TVs and bringing web video into their living rooms. Big name content providers are taking notice and are positioning themselves to take advantage of this trend.

video-search-engine_id371299_size430.jpgNetflix, through its “Watch Instantly” feature, already offers access to 12,000+ TV shows and movies on a variety of devices from content providers such as Disney, CBS and MTV Networks. Multichannel News wrote a story a few days ago of a rumor that “Netflix’s ‘Watch Instantly’ streaming service will soon be offered on Apple iPhones and iPod touch devices and the Nintendo Wii gaming console.” 1

YouTube recently decided to add a feature called “News Near You,” where they use the Internet address of a visitor’s computer to determine the user’s location, and if any “news outlet partners” are located in a 100 mile radius. If so, news sources that have agreed to become video suppliers display seven days of local videos. The site is promoting videos from ABC News, Associated Press and Reuters.

CBS, HBO, and Cinemax have all recently agreed to participate in Comcast’s “On Demand Online” trial (part of Time Warner’s “TV Everywhere” initiative) by providing online content to its subscriber base. “The trial is aimed at testing out authentication technology which asks pay-TV subscribers to identify themselves before allowing access to online content at sites such as Comcast.net.”

In an interview Tuesday, Quincy Smith, chief executive of CBS Interactive said, “The company thinks of this deal as a way to extend the broadcast universe online by marrying the reach and frequency of the broadcast business with the ROI metrics of the online world.” 2 This is a way to extend the TV economics online. The other three major TV Networks, Fox, NBC and ABC, are already providing shows and movies through online service Hulu.

Whew! That’s a lot of online content coming our way (Even BurrellesLuce is getting in on the act — We recently announced the addition of robust online video to our monitoring set). It certainly will be interesting to watch how all of this unfolds over the next year or two. This 24/7 smorgasbord of online videos is sure to cause a little indigestion, so please practice moderation and remember to unplug every now and then and read a book… Sorry, eBooks, using Kindle, don’t count.

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I’m Not Going to Pay A Lot For That Content!!!!

Friday, May 22nd, 2009

Steve Shannon
316929914_238392ea55_m.jpgThe headline of this post paraphrases the great boxer and pitchman George Foreman. Before he got into the grilling business, George “wasn’t going to pay a lot for a muffler.”

Apparently, he and countless others don’t want to pay a lot for the electronic editions of books either. Motoko Rich of The New York Times writes, in this article, that customers of Amazon have balked at paying $15 for the electronic edition of David Baldacci’s newest novel “First Family.” Most e-editions for Amazon’s Kindle reader are priced at $9.99, while the average hardcover book has a cover price of $26.

The argument advanced by these consumers: the costs of paper, printing, and distribution are out of the equation and the price of the electronic edition should reflect it. Sounds right to me. But Rich reports that such expenses generally run 12.5 percent of a hardcover’s average retail price. If that is the case, then $3.25 should cover those costs.

Continuing to follow the logic advanced by the consumers, an e-book should then have an average retail price of $22.75, not $15 or even $9.99. What’s going on here? It turns out that Amazon is likely subsidizing the books – paying publishers $13 for each $9.99 book it sells. Thirteen dollars is the same price Amazon also pays publishers for a hardcover version. The subsidy from Amazon probably encourages adoption of its Kindle reader, which then makes the owner beholden to Amazon for their e-book purchases.

Who’s right?  Publishers? Retailers? Consumers?  Who knows, but that’s the beauty of capitalism.

More importantly, for those of us in PR, what does it mean for the news media, which faces a similar conundrum in the pricing, revenues, and profits of the print versus electronic realms? Personally, I think it means that publishers and news consumers will both have to give a bit to continue to create, sell or receive quality news.  For news publishers, it means finding a way to charge for content they’ve so far given away for free on the web. New consumers will have to acknowledge and pay for the quality of that content with their wallets, their demographic info and/or consuming advertising, along with the editorial. Much like the book publishing example above, the market will take a while to find its equilibrium, but find it, it will.

My bet is that we’ll see a plethora of free and paid news (and topic) sites, and perhaps hybrids of both. My other bet: paid audience will be prized by PR professionals and marketers. That is where the ever-desired “influentials” will reside, as quality content for news (or any topic) will likely be monetized rather than free.

One thing you can be sure of, no matter what models news media sites end up with, BurrellesLuce will be there to monitor them.

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The Kindling Crisis …

Tuesday, January 13th, 2009

No, I am not referring to the Amazon reading device.

Actually, I was reflecting on an experience I had this past weekend while getting a fire started in our living room fireplace. The first thing I reached for was the short stack of newspapers held back from the recycle police to assist in the ignition phase of my un-eco practice of enjoying a wood fire. It was then that I experienced a bit of panic realizing that in the future I may have to rely on fatwood kindling purchased from LL Bean instead of The Washington Post. The is a simple by-product of a relatively inexpensive bonding experience with one of my trusted news sources.  The former, well, it’s definitely going to cost me.

Not only will they no longer provide me with kindling, but I won’t have any fish wrappers either. (In my 30 years in the operations side of the media business, the expression when we ran late in production was always that we were printing “fish wrappers”).

Seriously, though, this expected trend of newspapers forgoing ink on paper does present another unfortunate consequence. What is becoming more common is issuing newspapers fewer days per week – some publications have decided to print four days out of seven, for example. This presents an interesting evolution: originally newspapers had transitioned from printing one or two days a week to printing seven days per week. The New York Post finally started Sunday publication in 1996. Nowadays, if they don’t fold, perhaps we will see papers in print only on Sundays.

In looking for the bright spot, it occurred to me that, as I have said here before, newspapers will never go away entirely. We may need to come up with a new name, though, because I still have a problem with talking about an “online newspaper.” As there’s no paper involved, it’s a bit of an oxymoron.

The real point to my little lament isn’t kindling or fish wrappers. Rather it lies in the difference between publishing and printing. Printing is merely a delivery channel that is preferred by an ever-decreasing number of consumers. This move away from print is decidedly generational. However, consumers still need the format of the print publication, even online. This is evidenced by the growing success of “online readers” and services such as Zinio, PressDirect, the aforementioned Kindle and those based on Microsoft’s Vista technology and used by The New York Times, Hearst and others. These devices allow consumers to view the publications in the traditional print format, but offer the ability to manipulate the views and navigation to accommodate personal preference. I do believe this signals the media’s is alignment with the consumer’s need for reliable news and information, and demonstrates their shift to an agnostic position on delivery channel and even format.

So, I guess I will place my LL Bean order and settle in with my Kindle to read The New York Post by a roaring fire.

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