How media can profit from new iPad
Unfortunately, as discussed previously here, most media companies already are late in developing editorial and advertising strategies to meet this new challenge.
Significantly, publishers and broadcasters should be single-mindedly focused on finding ways to charge (checklist at left) for all the exciting new content, services and advertising opportunities that will be enabled by the ’Pad and the imitators that follow.
As media companies scramble to catch up, here are seven “ates” to help them gear up for the formidable task of tablet-izing themselves:
Invigorate – Cross-media content has to take full advantage of the bigger screen and richer multimedia capabilities of this highly portable new platform. This not only means that static words and pictures must be augmented by audio and video but also that the active media must be fully and seamlessly integrated into storytelling. Even data can be marshaled graphically to tell a story or a map to tell a compelling story. Sticking a video next to several gray columns of type won’t cut it. Here’s something that’s on the right track.
Ingratiate – Like it or not, consumers are likely to be tightly tethered to these highly portable, always-on devices. They will use them not only to soak up startlingly increasing amounts of news and entertainment but also for work, play, shopping and socializing. To remain relevant and top of mind amid the ever-proliferating array of offerings, next-generation media applications will have to make themselves indispensable by providing calendars, shopping guides, social applications and similar consumer tools. If you have never seen the “Scope” feature in the Urban Spoon app for the iPhone, check it out now. You’ll never dine in a dive again.
Triangulate – Tablets make it possible for publishers to know not only where a consumer is, but also where she has been and – very likely – where she is going. This not only makes it possible to customize content delivery based on a customer’s location and interests but it also will be a bonanza for advertisers, who can intercept prospects at or near the point of purchase with exquisitely targeted offers. Geo-adverts are about to start at the Metro newspapers in Canada.
Curate – There never again will be a respite in the 24/7 news cycle. The good news for media companies is that the relentless flow of information is absolutely overwhelming consumers with information. That means they will need more help than ever to find what’s important to them. Media companies can make themselves indispensible – and charge handsome monthly fees for their services – by creating tools to organize, prioritize and customize the tsunami of in-bound info. A number of earnest science-fair projects (example) are under way to curate the news algorithmically and – who knows? – some of them eventually may succeed. Meantime, I have heard that certain human beings called “editors” are known to have this capability.
Propagate – The reason we call the interactive media “interactive” is because it is possible for users to interact with them. This distinguishes the modern media from such lean-back formats as television, radio, newspapers, magazines, books and skywriting. Tablets, like the web and smart phones before them, will turn these two-way, information-consuming devices into increasingly vital platforms for personal expression and social interaction. New applications make it possible for users not only to take active control of their experiences but also to provide ample incentives to share them with others. It was one small step for mankind when newspapers made it possible a dozen years ago for readers to email day-old articles to their friends. Now, we need some giant leaps.
Integrate – For most users, the right commercial message in the right place at the right time is as welcome as any other type of content. Journalists should not fear – or at this point, anyway, cannot afford to fear – tighter integration of editorial and commercial content. Most consumers are smart enough to grasp the distinction between news and advertising; subtle but explicit labeling can clue in the rest. For one example of how artfully advertising can be integrated into an interactive editorial package, click here. Note that this particular representation cleverly sells iTunes along with shampoo.
Celebrate – This stuff is cool. Let’s have some fun with it.