Morgan Stanley, the US research firm, released a report this week titled “How Teenagers Consume Media“. Written by a 15 year-old summer intern, the document explains what is relevant and what is not in today’s media/technology world from a teenager’s point of view.

Highlights:  

On newspapers: “No teenager that I know of regularly reads a newspaper, as most do not have the time and cannot be bothered to read pages and pages of text while they could watch the news summarised on the internet or on TV. ”  The intern adds that most of his friends do read the free newspapers like Metro.

On radio: “Most teenagers nowadays are not regular listeners to radio. ” They listen to online radio though.

On social networking: ” Most teenagers are heavily active on a combination of social networking sites. Facebook is the most common, with nearly everyone with an internet connection registered and visiting >4 times a week. Facebook is popular as one can interact with friends on a wide scale. On the other hand, teenagers do not use twitter.”

On directories: ” Directories Teenagers never use real directories (hard copy catalogues such as yellow pages). This is because real directories contain listings for builders and florists, which are services that teenagers do not require. They also do not use services such as 118 118 because it is quite expensive and they can get the information for free on the internet, simply by typing it into Google. “

On mobile phones: ” Mobile Phones 99% of teenagers have a mobile phone and most are quite capable phones. “

What it means: more anectodal than data-driven evidence, this report nonetheless confirms many things we take for granted now but it still holds a few surprises. The observation that teenagers don’t listen to radio regularly is, to a certain extent, a surprise to me. Radio used to play a very important social role when I was young but this might explain why we hear so much ’80s music on commercial radio these days. The industry don’t cater to youngsters. They’re trying to hold on to listeners from 20 years ago. A bit of a surprise on the cold reaction to Twitter as well but then again, they’re not prepared to build a second social graph after having spent so much time building one on Facebook.

On the other side, I’m not surprised at all by newspapers and business directories usage. I suspect very little teenagers (except for me!) used to read print newspapers in the past and Yellow Pages usage is usually driven by life events, most of them happening after you leave your parent’s house. So, no surprise there. I think what should concern directory publishers is two-fold. First, teenagers think that Google will provide them with the answers Yellow Pages used to provide to their parents on business searches. So, in effect, as Seth Godin said, “Google is the Yellow Pages”. Second, because they’re heavy users of Facebook, teenagers now bring their network of friends (their social graph) along with them wherever they go (including with their mobile device). That proximity enables easy word-of-mouth recommendations. So, what does that mean for publishers? It means they need to embed themselves wherever these kids will go for references as you might not be able to convince them to use your core web site.

Morgan Stanley, the US research firm, released a report this week titled “How Teenagers Consume Media“. Written by a 15 year-old summer intern, the document explains what is relevant and what is not in today’s media/technology world from a teenager’s point of view.

Highlights:  

On newspapers: “No teenager that I know of regularly reads a newspaper, as most do not have the time and cannot be bothered to read pages and pages of text while they could watch the news summarised on the internet or on TV. ”  The intern adds that most of his friends do read the free newspapers like Metro.

On radio: “Most teenagers nowadays are not regular listeners to radio. ” They listen to online radio though.

On social networking: ” Most teenagers are heavily active on a combination of social networking sites. Facebook is the most common, with nearly everyone with an internet connection registered and visiting >4 times a week. Facebook is popular as one can interact with friends on a wide scale. On the other hand, teenagers do not use twitter.”

On directories: ” Directories Teenagers never use real directories (hard copy catalogues such as yellow pages). This is because real directories contain listings for builders and florists, which are services that teenagers do not require. They also do not use services such as 118 118 because it is quite expensive and they can get the information for free on the internet, simply by typing it into Google. “

On mobile phones: ” Mobile Phones 99% of teenagers have a mobile phone and most are quite capable phones. “

What it means: more anectodal than data-driven evidence, this report nonetheless confirms many things we take for granted now but it still holds a few surprises. The observation that teenagers don’t listen to radio regularly is, to a certain extent, a surprise to me. Radio used to play a very important social role when I was young but this might explain why we hear so much ’80s music on commercial radio these days. The industry don’t cater to youngsters. They’re trying to hold on to listeners from 20 years ago. A bit of a surprise on the cold reaction to Twitter as well but then again, they’re not prepared to build a second social graph after having spent so much time building one on Facebook.

On the other side, I’m not surprised at all by newspapers and business directories usage. I suspect very little teenagers (except for me!) used to read print newspapers in the past and Yellow Pages usage is usually driven by life events, most of them happening after you leave your parent’s house. So, no surprise there. I think what should concern directory publishers is two-fold. First, teenagers think that Google will provide them with the answers Yellow Pages used to provide to their parents on business searches. So, in effect, as Seth Godin said, “Google is the Yellow Pages”. Second, because they’re heavy users of Facebook, teenagers now bring their network of friends (their social graph) along with them wherever they go (including with their mobile device). That proximity enables easy word-of-mouth recommendations. So, what does that mean for publishers? It means they need to embed themselves wherever these kids will go for references as you might not be able to convince them to use your core web site.

Yelp's Monetization Strategy

February 19, 2009

Big fracas in the local social media space today with the publication of a long anti-[praized subtype="small" pid="ef0b9b94446693e82f569cf40375566a" type="badge" dynamic="true"] article, “Yelp and the Business of Extortion 2.0″, in the East Bay Express. Jeremy Stoppelman, Yelp’s CEO, has many issue with the article and answers on the company blog. You can read Greg Sterling’s analysis on the whole situation here.

What I found interesting in the East Bay Express article is the description of the package Yelp is selling to small merchants.  According to an e-mail sales pitch that was forwarded to the journalist, advertisers receive the following:

  1. Advertisers “can highlight a favorite review to appear at the top of the page about their business.”
  2. “They also show up first in search results for similar businesses in their region (for example “coffee” near “Alameda, CA”).”
  3. “Ads for that business appear on the page of local competitors, while competitors’ ads do not appear on their page.”
  4. “Owners can post photo slideshows, add a “personal message” about their business, and have the ability to update info on special offers and events.”
  5. They also can find out how many users visit their web site, update their page, contact Yelpers who’ve reviewed their business, and have access to an account manager who will help “maximize” their experience with Yelp.”

You can see some of that info on the Business Owner section of Yelp.com.

What it means: people often ask me how you can monetize social media in a local search context.  Yelp seems to have found a combo of items that could be attractive to merchants in such a context. Ranking a review, appearing as a “related merchant”, the ability to upload additional content, and some tracking and reporting appears like an interesting social media ad bundle.  Does this package monetize as well as the traditional “advertiser ranking” model we find in many local search sites?  I don’t think so, but it’s the delicate balance between users and advertisers’ needs that Yelp is trying to maintain.  Not easy!

Yelp's Monetization Strategy

February 19, 2009

Big fracas in the local social media space today with the publication of a long anti-[praized subtype="small" pid="ef0b9b94446693e82f569cf40375566a" type="badge" dynamic="true"] article, “Yelp and the Business of Extortion 2.0″, in the East Bay Express. Jeremy Stoppelman, Yelp’s CEO, has many issue with the article and answers on the company blog. You can read Greg Sterling’s analysis on the whole situation here.

What I found interesting in the East Bay Express article is the description of the package Yelp is selling to small merchants.  According to an e-mail sales pitch that was forwarded to the journalist, advertisers receive the following:

  1. Advertisers “can highlight a favorite review to appear at the top of the page about their business.”
  2. “They also show up first in search results for similar businesses in their region (for example “coffee” near “Alameda, CA”).”
  3. “Ads for that business appear on the page of local competitors, while competitors’ ads do not appear on their page.”
  4. “Owners can post photo slideshows, add a “personal message” about their business, and have the ability to update info on special offers and events.”
  5. They also can find out how many users visit their web site, update their page, contact Yelpers who’ve reviewed their business, and have access to an account manager who will help “maximize” their experience with Yelp.”

You can see some of that info on the Business Owner section of Yelp.com.

What it means: people often ask me how you can monetize social media in a local search context.  Yelp seems to have found a combo of items that could be attractive to merchants in such a context. Ranking a review, appearing as a “related merchant”, the ability to upload additional content, and some tracking and reporting appears like an interesting social media ad bundle.  Does this package monetize as well as the traditional “advertiser ranking” model we find in many local search sites?  I don’t think so, but it’s the delicate balance between users and advertisers’ needs that Yelp is trying to maintain.  Not easy!

In  a op-ed column titled “While Detroit Slept”  in the New York Times this morning, Thomas Friedman talks about the US auto industry on the eve of a massive government bailout.  He says:

As I think about our bailing out Detroit, I can’t help but reflect on what, in my view, is the most important rule of business in today’s integrated and digitized global market, where knowledge and innovation tools are so widely distributed. It’s this: Whatever can be done, will be done. The only question is will it be done by you or to you. Just don’t think it won’t be done. If you have an idea in Detroit or Tennessee, promise me that you’ll pursue it, because someone in Denmark or Tel Aviv will do so a second later.

What it means: The troubles of the US car industry remind me of the issues facing traditional media today. US car manufacturers have (had?) a very profitable product line (SUVs, trucks), media publishers have a very profitable product line (print, TV, Radio).  Along comes a very disruptive environment created by a perfect storm of elements (credit crunch + high price of gas + lack of innovation in smaller cars & renewable energy technologies) and it creates a death spiral requiring government interventions to save jobs and companies.

Traditional media is also potentially at risk and might be facing that same perfect storm in the near future. Elements like high growth of Internet usage & revenues, slow decline in offline reader/viewership, high level of debt in many media companies, lack of innovation online (in some cases) and a negative perception (TV is dead, Newspapers are dead, Yellow Pages are dead, etc.) introduce challenges, that combined together make it difficult to surmount. I believe media publishers need to work on two fronts to avoid this situation: 1) they need to invest massively in online & mobile, increase innovation, reward risk-taking and allow project failures (but fail quickly if needed). 2) they also need to win the PR/communications war. Media need to embrace the Web, join the online conversations, prop-up successes but admit failures as well. I’m a firm believer in (and a staunch defender of) traditional media but the time for action is now!

In  a op-ed column titled “While Detroit Slept”  in the New York Times this morning, Thomas Friedman talks about the US auto industry on the eve of a massive government bailout.  He says:

As I think about our bailing out Detroit, I can’t help but reflect on what, in my view, is the most important rule of business in today’s integrated and digitized global market, where knowledge and innovation tools are so widely distributed. It’s this: Whatever can be done, will be done. The only question is will it be done by you or to you. Just don’t think it won’t be done. If you have an idea in Detroit or Tennessee, promise me that you’ll pursue it, because someone in Denmark or Tel Aviv will do so a second later.

What it means: The troubles of the US car industry remind me of the issues facing traditional media today. US car manufacturers have (had?) a very profitable product line (SUVs, trucks), media publishers have a very profitable product line (print, TV, Radio).  Along comes a very disruptive environment created by a perfect storm of elements (credit crunch + high price of gas + lack of innovation in smaller cars & renewable energy technologies) and it creates a death spiral requiring government interventions to save jobs and companies.

Traditional media is also potentially at risk and might be facing that same perfect storm in the near future. Elements like high growth of Internet usage & revenues, slow decline in offline reader/viewership, high level of debt in many media companies, lack of innovation online (in some cases) and a negative perception (TV is dead, Newspapers are dead, Yellow Pages are dead, etc.) introduce challenges, that combined together make it difficult to surmount. I believe media publishers need to work on two fronts to avoid this situation: 1) they need to invest massively in online & mobile, increase innovation, reward risk-taking and allow project failures (but fail quickly if needed). 2) they also need to win the PR/communications war. Media need to embrace the Web, join the online conversations, prop-up successes but admit failures as well. I’m a firm believer in (and a staunch defender of) traditional media but the time for action is now!

Robert Scoble is Media

July 14, 2007

I’ve been thinking about Robert Scoble’s post on Facebook since I blogged about it yesterday. In it, he invites people to become “friend” with him on Facebook (and he does it again in his last post yesterday night). Intuitively, I knew he was unto something and I asked the Praized blog readers to do the same thing (you can do it by clicking here).

Now, I’ve been “friends” with Robert ever since I met him at Google Zeitgeist 2005. We were sitting at the same dinner table and had the occasion to exchange a few words (he’s a great guy BTW!). For those who don’t know him, Robert was one of Microsoft’s technical evangelists. He was part of the Channel 9 MSDN Video team, walking around the Microsoft campus and shooting very informal new product videos. He became extremely popular by having a more balanced view about his employer (more balanced than traditional PR people), sometimes congratulating and sometimes criticizing Microsoft. More info can be found on his Wikipedia profile

Since meeting Robert, he’s been part of my LinkedIn network, and recently I added him in my Pownce network. I obviously added Robert to my Facebook network yesterday afternoon after reading his post (and he accepted it quickly).

Now, if you look in his Pownce public feed, you’ll see that Robert has been micro-blogging about stuff he’s doing. He currently has 1253 “friends”, all early adopters as Pownce is still in beta. In Facebook, he now has 2702 “friends”. Yesterday night, I got a message in my Facebook news feed section. Robert had uploaded a video and
I got an alert about it because he’s in my friends list.

It made me wonder: why would Robert Scoble accept “friends” invitation from people he does not know? Why do you want to be connected to people you don’t know and alert them to stuff you’re doing? And then it hit me! Robert Scoble is media. He’s building his own broadcast network. He understands that media is completely fragmented and, by participating in all these new social communication vehicles (blogging, Twitter, Pownce, Facebook), he’s aggregating readers and viewers,
thereby increasing his penetration and his worth as a media. I’m convinced Robert reaches close to 100% of all early adopters in Silicon Valley (and a good chunk in North America). He now has tremendous influence on “influencers”.

Now, I finally understood why I invited people yesterday to connect to me in Facebook. I am media as well. By writing the Praized blog every day since October 2006, I have become media. And if you are media, you want to build up your “circulation” to increase your influence and by extension, your value. But be aware: you have to accept the reciprocal conversations though. Robert Scoble receives updates from 1253 Pownce friends and 2702 Facebook friends. The noise level is very high. This conversation is not unidirectional.

I have seen the future of media and it’s Robert Scoble.

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