Hearst Way or News Corp way?
October 4, 2010 Leave a comment
Although, I have been dealing with the online media companies like Washingtonpost.com, NYTimes.com, CNN.com for the past 4 years and have been a blogger for almost a year, I am still puzzled with the right model for these companies.
Last week, I attended the IAB Mixx Conference & Expo in Manhattan, Hearst Vice Chairman and CEO Frank Bennack discussed his plans in changing landscape of media. His plans are quite different than News Corp. How could two well known and successful giants have such a disagreement on the right model? Although Hearst is still seeking ways to get audiences to pay for content, unlike News Corp, Hearst has no plans to put up paywalls around the online News sites.
Frank Bennack believes Tablet devices offer even greater opportunities. He estimates that up to 30% of newspaper consumption will occur on devices like the iPad in the future. Hearst has already released more than 20 apps, bringing many of the company’s magazine titles, such as Popular Mechanics to Apple’s iPad. This August, Hearst opened a think tank of sorts, dubbed the “App Lab,” to explore further opportunities in the space.
Although he’s excited about the prospects offered by tablet devices, Bennack repeated that it’s important to diversify across all kinds of media — not just one. He noted that a tried-and-true method, local TV advertising, was very strong this year.
So, what is it that Mr. Bennack sees, that Rupert Murdoch doesn’t? or vice versa? The fact that paywalls on internet sites don’t work is a lesson I thought publishers learned a few years ago. What makes them think they’ll have a better go at it now. I think Hearst is smart in trying other alternatives to generate revenue.