Tag Archives: business

MediaGuardian hacks now write for paidContent

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Cross promotion is inevitable when one content site buys another, but it gets a little complicated when the publisher of a big content buys another smaller content site which covers the same sector – and decides to keep the smaller one going as a standalone entity.

Such is the case with the paidContent site and its recent acquisition by the Guardian. The mainstream media owner has wasted no time at all in pulling paidContent, er, content, into the MediaGuardian’s own digital news pages. Not sure how this impacted the existing digital news team there, namely Jemima Kiss, but hey, who are we to second guess one of the most successful publishers in the UK?

But integration and cross promotional thingies have increased even more with today’s inclusion of a post from the MediaGuardian’s own PDA digital news blog on paidContent’s site. Not sure if the byline format works for me, but it’s interesting how this is slowly developing into something interesting. Assuming this is step two in a defined long term game plan.

Separately, the paidContent blog talks about a new website by the creators of Dazed & Confused called Dazed Digital. Not a magazine extension site it appears, but a destination in its own right. Quite nice, but no obvious sign of comments or UGC services for us fickle read/write/rip consumers of content. Also, most of the videos seem to suffer from poor lighting, making each interviewee look like they’re in silhouette. Artistic fancy or handycam hitch?

Should men’s mags ‘upscale’?

Media Week recently asked four key media players (as in key people, not software) whether they agreed with reports that many publishers are now upscaling men’s mags to attract a more affluent reader and advertiser.

Three said ‘No’, while one said ‘Yes’. I’m still undecided. ‘Yes’, because more lower end readers are getting their fix online (hence the popularity of Dennis’ Monkeymag and IPC’s Nuts.co.uk and NME.com). But then I also say ‘No’ because there’ll always be an audience for men’s mags in the lower end. They perhaps just need to make them less embarrassing to read in public. The Sun, which is still going strong, is a perfect example.

So, if by upscale, we mean put less pics of bikni clad women on the cover a la GQ and Esquire, then I say ‘Yes – kinda’. I blogged about men’s mags upscaling a while back (and probably contradict myself).

Still on the topic of lads mags, great article by the Mirror’s Brian Reade today which pointed out the irony in Michael Gove MP blaming lads mags like Nuts, Zoo and Loaded for objectifying women. Brian wondered why Gove missed The Sun off the list, given that Page 3 was also a big offender. Surely nothing to do with Gove being a columnist for the Times, The Sun’s sister paper?

Web traffic growth for Nuts, Loaded et al

NME.com doing well in the fiercely competitive music sector

NME.com doing well in the fiercely competitive music sector

No real surprise for IPC Media given that the lads mags demographic is made up of heavy internet users. But the growth stats are impressive – Nuts.co.uk gained 121 per cent more users year on year, while Loaded grew by 51 per cent. NME.com continues to gain strength on the web with 107 per cent year on year user growth. The growth has been attributed to the integration of video and social networking features.

[via MediaGuardian]

New Comet website dabbles in publishing

Comet's beta site ramps up content production

Comet's beta site ramps up content production

Comet’s released its beta e-commerce site. Why is it this interesting? Well, they appear to be doing a bit of a ‘Which?’ magazine and become a content producer in their own right. A large part of the site is dedicated to a ‘Knowledge centre’ of articles which looks like an attempt to help their core audience navigate their way around increasingly hi-tech (and increasingly confusing) consumer goods.

You’ll be pleased to hear they’ve resisted the urge to include a carousel of washing machine products on their homepage. Well, nearly. Alas, there are still no prominent Amazon-like ‘warts and all’ product reviews, which would have been brave but brilliant. Instead they’ve teamed up with independent reviews site reevoo, which I can only guess they’ve done to avoid any flack from its suppliers. But how will this work exactly? Will Comet select which reviews to show from this third-party site? How would customers react if not all positive AND negative reviews were shown?

Take a look at the Comet beta site: http://www.comet.co.uk/shopcomet/betahomePage.do?zone_id=13