Media2010: Notes from Jack Matthews, Richard Titus, Mark Frons


I am at the Media 2010 conference in Sydney, where there is an extraordinary line-up of speakers through the day. I am here to get my head back into gear on future of media strategy, which will be a major theme for me through this year.

Below are my notes taken on-the-fly from the first few speakers. Hopefully I will get hold of some laptop power to be able to continue after this.


We are at the point of singularity – beyond which we cannot see.

Highly recommend Yochai Benkler’s Wealth of Networks.

Scarcity of content and control of distribution are gone.

Independent journalism at the core is still the same. The monetization models are changing.

Smartphones are growing faster than any technology in history.

I believe transaction models are the new rivers of gold.

The new environment offers far more potential and opportunity than risk.


It’s now about delivering information and services that delight customers. Who are the customers?

Used to be difficult to distribute content, which enabled many ways to package and monetize.

PR is the most effective means of marketing digital properties, because the content and links last forever, whereas advertising is of limited duration.

There are 170,000 different kinds of digital devices in the UK.

Two spaces: mobile and fixed


Personal – rarely shared


Intermittent connectivity


Primarily Pull




Always connected


Primarily Push

The enterprise is dead. There are no barriers between enterprise and consumer tech.

The tech layer has gone away because of standards.

So where is the value?

Metadata is more valuable than the content.

– Data about behavior

– Ability to mash up the data to create new, rich, bespoke and highly relevant experiences.

– Across different platforms, networks

– Knowledge and for the benefit of all customers.

&AND is looking to create a single customer view across all digital properties

Classifieds is about inventory. However Google has commoditized that.

Attention is the greatest scarcity.

8 billion links clicked on search engines. 6 billion links clicked on social media.


– Passive and active

– Different media on multi-purpose devices

– One-demand and live

– Time shifting and place shifting

Still three ways to make money

– Subscription

– Transaction

– Indirect (Advertising etc.)

Want to create the most frictionless way for people to give you money

Classifieds revenue is going down (it will gradually disappear), data and display are going up.

The AnyMedia Network

The reality is you cannot monetize all your inventory, but you can increase it. Across networks you can scale the size of your audience.

Biggest pet peeve is cookie integrity. Sites delete others’ cookies. Need to share cookies with other publishers to maximize revenue.

Need new sources of scarcity and defensible advantage.


Rates and demand have rebounded in 2010

The future of quality journalism depends on achieving a balance between charging for content and advertising-supported models.

Will launch HTML5 version of NYT on iPad. Will have offline reading capabilities. Haven’t decided on content or model but expect it to be paid.

Have over 100 software developers and designers.

Own social network, Times People, has over 600K members. Shows recommended content.

Over 200 Twitter feeds.

NYT is most citied by bloggers, more than double next (CNN)

NYT Developer Network – 11,000 users, 10,000 API keys issued

Examined rationales for free and paid models.

Considered models:

– Subscription

– Purchase

– Micropayments

Rejected micropayments.

Key questions:

– How big is addressable market?

– How many people will encounter pay wall?

– How many people will convert at given price point?

– At a given conversation rate, what is the impact on traffic?

– Given traffic impact, what is advertising impact?

Will launch paywall in early 2011

Free access monthly article limit (not yet determined)

Bundled with mobile news readers

Free for paper subscribers


– Develop end-user revenue stream

– Preserve advertising

– Maintain scale and influence

– Most flexible of any approach that looked at – can adjust walls

Don’t’ think it’s a model for all newspapers. But believe will be success because of quality and engagement.