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Don’t Try to Be a Publisher and a Platform at the Same Time

Harvard Business Review

In the wake of digital disruption, new media companies are seeking scale and legitimacy, while old media companies explore new business models.

The “platform” is a new media company model that has been perfected by the tech industry. Platforms can easily scale to serve gigantic audiences, and their lucrative possibilities beckon to established players that are often called “publishers.” Meanwhile, many publishers have solid brand identities that are alluring to platforms. So publishers and platforms are experimenting with new combinations — but is it really possible to combine a publisher with a platform over the long term?

Typically, publishers are considered to have editorial judgment, while platforms lack it. From this perspective, the Harvard Business Review, The Atlantic, and The New York Times are classic “publishers” — they present highly-curated content, and their editors invest a lot of time in its creation. Google, Facebook, and Twitter are classic “platforms” — they distribute other peoples’ content without as much editorial oversight. But these differences are largely cultural. It’s not technologically difficult for publishers to add platform-like elements, and vice versa.

Publishers seeking new business models are often tempted to become more platform-like by enabling their audience to post user-generated content; they hope to increase revenue by selling ads on this “extra” content. Sometimes, they also hope to develop a content management system that other publishers can license and use to distribute their content.

On the other hand, the technologists looking to differentiate their platforms are drawn by the voice and influence of publishing. Plus, platform-builders can capture more value if they own content on their platform, and not just the platform itself.

Continue Reading…

 

Submit your application for the 28th annual CIO 100 awards!

cio100 logo Submit your application for the 28th annual CIO 100 awards!

These prestigious awards honor the many innovative ways that IT delivers competitive advantage or accelerates business success in the enterprise.

To tell us about the most compelling IT project you’ve led in the past year, follow the steps to purchase an application here: http://bit.ly/1zAuIAX. (Fee is $75.) The deadline has been extended to Monday, February 16 (midnight EST).

Contact cio100@cio.com with any questions.

What Digital, Social & Mobile Will Look like in 2015

We Are Social

The Headlines

Slide006 500x375 What Digital, Social & Mobile Will Look like in 2015

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As we’ve seen in our on-going series of Digital Statshot reports, mobile increasingly dominates the digital world, and we’re confident that ‘ubiquitous connectivity’ will gather even more pace during 2015, as cheaper handsets and more affordable data connections reach further around the world.

What’s more, with mobile-oriented services like WhatsApp, WeChat and Facebook Messenger achieving the top social media ranking spots in some of the world’s biggest economies, it’s clear that much of our digital behaviors now converging around mobile devices.

Based on the trends within this data, we expect that mobile will help to push internet penetration beyond 50% of the world’s population during mid to late 2016.

Before that, though, we  expect to see social media penetration reach one-third of the world’s population – likely by the end of 2015 – with new users in  developing nations accounting for almost all of this growth.

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Media Companies Need to Wake Up to the Digital Advertising Mess

Quartz

Digital media are stuck with bad economics resulting in relentless deflation. It’s time to wake-up and make 2015 the year of radical—and concerted—solutions.

 Trends in digital advertising feel like an endless agony to me. To sum up: there is no sign of improvement on the performance side; a growing percentage of ads are sold in bulk; click-fraud and user rejection are on the rise, all resulting in ceaseless deflation. Call it the J-Curve of digital advertising, as it will get worse before it gets better (it must–and it will.).
Here is a quick summary of issues and possible solutions:
 The rise of ad blocking systems, the subject of a Dec. 8, 2014 Monday Note. That column was our most viewed and shared ever, which suggests a growing concern for the matter. Last week, AdBlockPlusproudly announced a large scale deployment solution: with a few clicks, system administrators can now install AdBlockPlus on an entire network of machines. This is yet another clue that the problem won’t go away.
 There are basically three approaches to the issue.
The most obvious one is to use the court system against Eyeo GmBH, the company operating AdBlockPlus. After all, the Acceptable Ads agreement mechanism in which publishers pay to pass unimpeded through ABP filters is a form of blackmail. I don’t see how Eyeo will avoid collective action by publishers. Lawyers—especially in Europe—are loading their guns.
The second approach is to dissuade users from installing ABP on their browsers. It’s is up to browser makers (Google, Microsoft, Apple) to disable ABP’s extensions. But they don’t have necessarily much of an incentive to do so. Browser technology is about user experience quality when surfing the web or executing transactions. Performance relies on sophisticated techniques such as developing the best “virtual machines” (for a glimpse on VM technology, this 2009 FT Magazine piece, “The Genius behind Google’s browser” is a must-read.) If the advertising community, in its shortsighted greed, ends up saturating the internet with sloppy ads that users massively reject, and such excesses lead a third party developer to create a piece of software to eliminate the annoyance, it should be no surprise to see the three browser providers tempted to allow ad-blocking technologies.

Software Marketers Blaze Trails in Data-Driven Marketing

IDG Connect 0811 Software Marketers Blaze Trails in Data Driven Marketing

Technology is changing marketing in a hurry, and some CMOs have acknowledged that the unrelenting pace of the transformation intimidates them.

In a survey conducted by Forrester Research and Erickson Research, 85% of 117 CMOs surveyed said their responsibilities had changed significantly in the past few years. Amazingly, 97% of respondents only expected the pace of change to accelerate. The change is coming so fast and so furious, in fact, that 34% of the CMOs in this survey described the changes as “overwhelming.”

There’s one group of CMOs, however, that seems undaunted by the pace of change, and that’s software marketing executives. Because of their comfort with the world of technology, software and tech marketers, in fact, are far ahead in embracing marketing technology and the data-driven, customer focus this technology enables.

A study we conducted last year at my company, Bizo, before it was acquired by LinkedIn, provided some insight into just how far software marketers are ahead of their peers. Software companies have long been pioneers in B2B digital marketing. They were among the first to build websites back in the early days of the World Wide Web in the mid-1990s. They blazed trails with display advertising and were among the first to see the value in search advertising, content marketing, and social media. Even when they made missteps, such as jumping on the MySpace bandwagon, the experience of these early adopters allowed them to quickly grasp the significance of other social media launches, such as LinkedIn, Facebook, or Twitter.

The Bizo special report, “The Data-Driven Marketer,” indicated software marketers are also leading the way in adopting data-driven marketing practices. In The Data-Driven Marketer survey, Bizo queried more than 850 marketers. The responses showed that the subset of software marketers is far ahead of all respondents in virtually every aspect of data-driven marketing.

Read more… 

CES 2015 Coverage: The Latest Tech Stories

The International CES is a global consumer electronics and consumer technology tradeshow. It’s the largest of its kind in North America and takes place in Las Vegas January 6-9th. If you can’t attend make sure to follow our page with the latest updates on the innovative technology being featured.

Another year, and another CES is over. This year’s event featured every kind of gadget you could think of: Mini-PCs of varying shapes & sizes, personal Clouds and over-elaborate hard drives, questionable crowdfunded health gadgets and brain scanning things, expensive music players,microchips for smartcars, Bitcoin, weird hats and all sorts of 3D printers. There was also wearable tech for fitness freaks, fashionistas, animals and people who like modularity, as well as a whole range of VR/AR-based headsets on show: the Avegant Glyph, the Razer OSVR and the Seer fromCaputer Labs.

Announcements from the show included Intel’s promise to spend a hefty $300 million to increase diversity of its workforce, while BlackBerry is looking to muscle in on the Internet of Things andWearables. Also Iron Maiden’s mascot Eddie – the only guy bigger than Shaq – was in attendance.

Outside of CES, BlackBerry has teamed up with Boeing to create a “self-destructing” smartphone for spies. It probably won’t explode Mission Impossible-style, more likely just to wipe the device if need be.

View a slideshow of the 10 best business gadgets

ces smart board CES 2015 Coverage: The Latest Tech Stories

Smart home trends that took CES by storm

Front-facing Oculus Ocular Projection

Witricity’s wireless charging beams power through wood, stone, and even your head

OfficeIQ adds sensor intelligence to your standing desk

HomeKit Compatible iDevices Switch lets you control your house with Siri

For more videos and written reviews of CES exhibits, click here
Check out photos from IDG’s client appreciation party at the Stratosphere Hotel, Las Vegas: http://on.fb.me/1FQYdoj
For videos of volunteers jumping 108 stories off the Stratosphere Hotel in Las Vegas while being GoPro-ed, click here

Marketers: Storytellers or Scientists?

According to this 2014 Tech Marketing Priorities study by IDG Research, a successful marketer needs to be the proper balance of storyteller and data scientist.  This is a challenge media companies can assist with on several fronts through the design of custom marketing programs to fuel the “storytelling” … to help with the “science” of designing and managing data-driven marketing strategies.

Marketers Claim to Be More Mobile Than We Might Think

MediaPost

While social media was the top area for expanding budgets in 2015, according to 5,000 marketers polled in Salesforce’s 2015 State of Marketing report, mobile took up the rear.  Seventy percent of marketers said they would be expanding spend for social media marketing and advertising, and 67% would further support social media engagement. But 67% also said they were bullish on location-based mobile tracking, with 66% increasing spend in mobile apps.

While only 58% of those surveyed said they actually had a dedicated mobile marketing team, at the same time a surprising 71% claimed mobile marketing is core to their business. While 68% say they have integrated mobile marketing into their overall strategy, still  43% still say mobile or app traffic is the most important mobile marketing metric.

Really? That makes me wonder what stands for mobile marketing sophistication at many companies. In fact I would take as somewhat naïve the additional finding that 57% of marketers think mobile apps are most critical to creative a cohesive customer journey. Really? In all business segments? If this belief had any remote base in the reality of mobile use, imagine how many apps consumers would have to carry around with them?

From marketers’ responses, it seems that everything looks equally promising to them. When asked to rate the effectiveness of the many digital channels open to them, everything from branded web sites to podcasting, text messaging to blogging fell into a similar range of acceptance, with 58% to 68% finding them very effective/effective. Still, only 27% say they are actually using mobile apps, 24% using text messaging, 19% using mobile push, and 18% using location-based mobile tracking.

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Global Insurers Expected To Increase IT Spend to Over US$100 Billion in 2015: IDC Financial Insights

IDC PMS4colorversion 1 Global Insurers Expected To Increase IT Spend to Over US$100 Billion in 2015: IDC Financial Insights

Singapore and Hong Kong, January 15, 2015 – IDC Financial Insights reveals that global insurers will increase IT spending to almost US$101 billion in 2015, a Year-on-Year (YoY) increase of 4.4% compared to 2014, with rigorous investments in technologies to boost efficiencies and innovation.

This was unveiled in the recently published report by IDC Financial Insights, “Global Insurance 2015 Top 10 Predictions: Perils and Prospects for the New Year” (January 2015, IDC Financial Insights Doc #AP250896), that presents its top 10 perspectives on the perils and prospects for the global consumer and commercial, life and non-life insurance markets for 2015.

Li-May Chew, CFA, associate research director, and global lead for IDC Financial Insights’ Worldwide Insurance Advisory Service, sees investments centering around new core applications development and management such as data warehousing, claims and policy administration systems. These replacements or refreshes are required as legacy IT systems become increasingly complex, inflexible, and archaic, to the point of negatively affecting technology integration and interoperability.

Insurers are further spending on change transformation and business optimization initiatives to augment productivity and support intermediaries, as well as in knowledge management, business analytics and customer relationship management applications to improve underwriting insights, raise customer centricity and intimacy. Also critical is the need to enhance not just the intermediated distribution channels comprised of insurance agents, brokers and bancassurance, but also newer, disintermediated digital portals of the Internet, social platforms and mobile delivery.

“Global insurers need to know where and how to seek pockets of growth amidst economic uncertainty. In order to regroup and focus on sustainable, profitable growth, organizations will have to confront multiple perils – ranging from reengineering or rebuilding legacy applications, to countering mounting insurance fraud – and still ensure they are well positioned to embrace growth prospects as these present themselves.”

“We expect the global insurance industry to invest more rigorously in technologies, and project global IT investments rising to almost US$101 billion this year as these support campaigns to boost efficiencies and innovation. Geographically, the emerging markets continue to shine. While cumulated spending for these nations may still be a comparatively smaller US$19 billion, this will rise at a 3-year CAGR of 6.7% between 2015 to 2018, which is double that of mature nations,” says Chew.

She expects the 3-year CAGR in mature nations to be 3.1% and globally to be 3.8%.

Herein, IDC Financial Insights sees especially noteworthy IT developments within the insurance sectors of the Big Five BRICS economies (of Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa); Chile, Colombia, Mexico, and Argentina in LATAM; and the Southeast Asian countries such as Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia, and the Philippines.

Chew added that insurers are cognizant that strategic execution needs to be technology-enabled and are hence proactively embracing technology-driven innovation. She is thus confident that their budgets for such deployments will continue to rise alongside, and oftentimes, quicker than annual premiums growth.

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Technology’s biggest challenge is how to connect with people

South China Morning Post

The emergence of the Internet of Things (IoT) will extend the sphere of IT even further into everyday life

The word “technology” leaves many people cold, but its pervasive presence in daily life is only going to make it even more important.

Individuals, businesses, governments and countries are completely dependent on information technology to drive greater productivity and efficiencies.

The challenge for the information technology industry is how to make this dependence more enjoyable and intuitive for users to access content and applications.

This is imperative because in 2015, the emergence of the Internet of Things (IoT) will extend the sphere of IT even further into everyday life. The premise for IoT is that devices of any nature can now be interconnected and used to communicate with each other or with humans in real-time, enabling a raft of new possibilities around data, new ways of interacting and new services.

IoT will be big in 2015, with research firm Gartner predicting 4.9 billion “connected things” to be in use, up 30 per cent from 2014.

Every possible device imaginable is being connected in some way, from Bluetooth-enabled toothbrushes to medical devices, cameras, printers and of course the many wearables that are hitting the market. The reality of a hyper-connected world is here today.

In the business world, Gartner predicts IoT will digitize everything and enable any industry to manage, monetize, operate and extend products, services and data.

Researchers at IDC make similar predictions, forecasting rapid expansion of the traditional IT industry into areas not typically viewed as within IT’s universe.

The whole electronics industry, city-wide infrastructure, auto and transport systems as well as the home, are just a few examples of where IoT is disrupting operations today.

IDC predicts that IoT spending will exceed US$1.7 trillion in 2015, up 14 per cent from 2014, and will hit US$3 trillion by 2020. One-third of spending for intelligent embedded devices will come from outside of the IT and telecom industries.

“This amounts to a dramatic expansion of what we would consider IT,” said Frank Gens, chief analyst at IDC.

This implies a fundamental commitment to innovate and explore new applications of technology with the potential to transform how we live and work – whether through the rapid rise of mobile applications, or the increasingly myriad interactions between machines and human users.

 

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