Thursday, September 10, 2009

Personalised content: the way forward for the news industry?

Mine magazine represents a further effort in the on-demand initiative to diversify the print industry. The Time Inc. publication professes to deliver a fortnightly magazine personalised to the subscriber's interests. Mine's content is an assortment of articles from a selection of Time's Inc.'s publications, of which the reader must chose five titles. Upon subscription the reader is asked four questions of personal choice to further gauge their tastes.
Its editors aim to provide a printed alternative to the wealth of online information that users habitually sift through to find pieces appealing directly to their own interests. It was also perhaps inspired by online services offering catered-to-taste provision of information and entertainment, such as the DailyME.
Mine magazine is currently in the experimental stages, and experiencing inevitable teething problems of timing and distribution. But the possibilities for future success along this format are there. According to Slate writer and recipient of the magazine, Farhad Manjoo:
"Mine offers a model for a smoother transition from print to digital. It gives readers much of what we like about the Web but in a package that--until a color Kindle comes along--is much more practical. Even though I've been cutting down on the number of magazines I get at home, I'd sign up for Mine, and I bet others would as well. The model will also attract advertisers, too: The same information that the magazine uses to pick out my articles can also be used to target advertising, which means the mag can charge much higher ad rates."
If personalisation is a prospect for the magazine and online media publications, could this concept be applied to the printed newspaper industry? Online versions of many US newspapers currently participate in the service provided by DailyMe, which uses licensed stories coming in from 500 different titles and wires. Moreover, DailyMe began negotiations in February with news publishers about licensing its technology so that they will be able to offer similar personalised services on their own news pages. It may be that printed versions of papers should await the outcome of the glossy experiment before launching their own ventures, whereas their online counterparts could grasp this opportunity more immediately.

Source: Slate

No comments: