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.
IPC Media’s portfolio of youth websites has registered welcome growth in unique users.
Sites like Nuts recorded a growth of nearly 50 per cent between June and November 2007 (according to an ABCe audit).
Take note website marketers thinking of exploiting free social network opportunities: IPC claimed that putting NME video content onto other sites like YouTube has attracted over 2.5 million viewings. No doubt this has helped reciprical traffic to NME.com.
I can’t find any mention of this anywhere other than his newsletter, so I’m either way behind here or this is new news.
Okay, I’m not gonna lie to you. I don’t know much about Ben Perreau’s career apart from a page long NMA case study on NME.com, but I do know he’s a big deal. Why? Because he’s developed one of the best perfoming publisher sites in the world. One which squares up to the likes of MySpace Music and other broadcasting heavyweights.
Instead of seeing the web as a threat, Ben’s exploited NME’s equity in the print market and transferred that online. He looks to have used the classic approach of breaking universal and soon to be dead news on the web, and keeping exlcusive news and features for the money making print edition (not that the web isn’t making money – it is).
Ben mentions his departure in this week’s NME e-newsletter:
Hello for the very last time good friends,
This being my final week at NME, I’ve decided to be truly self-indulgent and write the newsletter myself. I’m leaving to find ways of inflicting my music tastes (among other things) on a whole new bunch. But don’t worry, NME.COM remains in very capable hands – ready to fly the flag as the world’s greatest music news destination without me, so make sure you keep coming back. In fact, we’re already working on masses more improvements in the NME.COM basement bunker, ready to drop in the coming months.
But you’ve not got rid of me yet, not before I’ve had a chance to tell you just what’s going on this week on NME.COM. It’s razor-sharp, as always: we’ve got the whole of Kate Nash’s debut album ‘Made Of Bricks’ to hear from Thursday, the whole of The Coral’s new album, ‘Roots And Echoes’, Dan Martin’s Too Much Information blog gets jiggy with Arctic Monkeys up at Old Trafford and there’s the new video from Paramore. Whatever your eyes and ears need: it’s all there, I assure you.
The magazine is chock-full too. There’s the first verdict on Babyshambles’ new album, the chance to get on the bill at Carling Weekend: Reading or Leeds Festival, reviews of new music from The Courteneers, Tiny Masters Of Today, Love, Franz Ferdinand and erm… Eddie Argos’ other band. Plus there’s the full-on moshpit report from Arctic Monkeys’ greatest moment yet at Old Trafford this weekend.
There’s shedloads more – but that should be enough for starters. And that’s me. It’s been a blast – the greatest ever. Sail on, sailors. (sob)
Ben PerreauEditor, NME.COMxxx PS. Until Friday, you can still email me with any suggestions – I’ll make sure they get passed on.
Blimey. Dry your eyes mate. No idea where he’s going though. Is he staying within IPC Media? Launching an online only music magazine brand (if so – why?)? Or is he doing a James Carter of Monkeymag.co.uk fame and leaving the publisher to launch his own content venture?
Either way, Godspeed Ben. Oh, and watch out for the beginning of the dotcom slowdown in September.
He’s going to Sky to work on content strategy / build some new websites.
Interesting coverage of the Cannes Advertising Festival by Mark Sweney of MediaGuardian.co.uk, in particular his notes on a talk by Professor Jeffrey Cole, director of the Center for the Digital Future at Microsoft.
I totally agree that publishers of mags and newspapers shouldn’t think they have a god given right. But I do think they have a prayer – as long as they get up to speed with their nearest online competitors asap.
If print publishers migrate all of the best bits of their popular mag, go on to tweak these features to exploit the web AND ensure they’re offering a similarly rewarding experience to the new generation of online only rivals, then all should be well.
A good example is NME.com. The likes of MySpace are snapping at its heals, but its mix of UGC, user profiles, video content and quality journalism means it’s easily capable of being a major player online as well as off. But it’s also reaping the rewards of early web investment.
Anyone offering a strong vertical portal and ‘owning’ a niche area of interest I think has more than a fighting chance against the please-all dotcom behemoths. MySpace knows this too – which is why its site is cut up into niche interest ‘passion centres’. This also explains MTV and Yahoo’s recent decision to develop hobby/interest led microsites and focus efforts on ‘owning’ a space.
Print publishers, like NME.com, just need to hit the ground running asap. If not, shoestring upstarts (e.g. Monkeymag.co.uk) begin to scoop up everyone you’re not catering for on the web (e.g. Loaded).
Another day, another commentator discussing the potential perils of merging your web and print production teams.
Who knows if the Telegraph’s current wheel and spoke newsroom strategy will work? Will newspaper publishers in the north of England really be able spread their news across print, web and video?
Allow me to venture a guess: combined web and print newsrooms work.
As shown by the hugely successful NME, which merged its print and web newsrooms back in 2000, it’s a no brainer. Working in a merged newsroom myself (also back in 2000), one news editor with responsibility for both ‘channels’ simply keeps the following in mind:
Keep all exclusives (ie news and interviews no one else is likely to have) for print. When the mag comes out, then release them online – allowing time for newstand sales.
Report all news agency output, PR’d and diary items – ie anything that’s public domain – on your site. But report items with your own unique twist / flavour.
There. It even works for video and radio content. Treat them the same way as all globally breaking news. If you’re lucky enough to have users signed up to a premium service, then again hold back the exlcusive content for that money making operation.
Separate news rooms can be frought with problems. As well as competing for news, these teams are competing for ad revenue. But it’s obivous that an ad sales team’s position is stronger if they can offer slots across both operations.
Okay, the Telegraph is a case in point – it has issues with perceivably going down market / trying to appeal to a younger audience – but the question of ‘whether to merge or not to merge’ content production teams has to be put to rest. Please?