ANALYSIS: iSPY - www.inside.com

If you read the US media, you’ll already be familiar with Inside.com.

If you read the US media, you’ll already be familiar with

Inside.com.



Almost every US journo from New York to San Francisco has penned a few

paragraphs on this fledgling media and entertainment information

site.



Kurt Andersen, former editor of New York magazine and founder of Inside,

has spent dollars 25 million putting it together and American hacks have

been unable resist sniping about his chances of recouping the

investment. Their argument is that the site’s business model - providing

information for a fee - has few successful precedents on the net.



But if you put the profit argument to one side and check out the site,

you’ll discover an enviable resource for anyone working in US media.

What’s more, Inside is good enough to be a one-stop shop for those in

the UK media business who want to check out what’s going on across the

Atlantic.



Staff plucked from Vanity Fair, Rolling Stone and The Wall Street

Journal break a handful of news stories on the main pages of the site,

which are headed TV, film, music, media and books.



The news and analysis tends to be rather highfalutin board-level stuff,

but it is accompanied by some top bits of gossip, mostly under the

heading, ’Inside Dope’. This mud-slingers’ corner includes an allegation

that godfather of soul James Brown makes his female staff have sex with

him, and also claims that a top US book publisher has been stealing

writers’ ideas (shock, horror).



If this is all too flippant, there is a range of media data on

offer.



The TV database lists the ad rates for every show. Magazine and

newspaper circulation figures are also available, and an ad pages

tracker is updated weekly. Inside also offers plenty of similar

information on web and book publishing, and some of the databases go

back more than a decade.



Inside has plenty of banners and the sort of content people will be

prepared to pay for. That dollars 25 million could start to look like a

wise investment in the coming months.



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