Few European publishers have managed the transition from old media
to new media, according to a report from the internet research company
In a report entitled Dynamic Content for Europe, Forrester claims
Europe’s print media are treating the internet as a mere ’paper
extension’ of their newspapers.
Instead of simply replicating print content, the research outfit
recommends publishers treat their websites as separate ventures with
their own distinct news and features.
Report author Carsten Schmidt, who spoke to 49 print publishers
including the Financial Times and Gruner & Jahr, said website content
must be ’deeper and richer’ to attract visitors and win ad and non-ad
revenue, such as content or sponsorship agreements.
’Through the internet, traditional publishing companies are meeting new
competition, new revenue models and different rules. But they haven’t
made the transition to today’s more interactive online environment,’
argued Schmidt, who is an associate analyst at Forrester.
According to Schmidt, publishers should take advantage of the nature of
the medium and move into real-time production by updating site content
throughout the day.
’Stories should include links, video clips, chat rooms and bulletin
boards to involve users,’ he said. ’This will create a close community
of readers that can be targeted by commercial partners.’
He added: ’Using dynamic content, companies create platforms for
e-commerce in two ways. First, site content can spur commerce on the
site itself. Second, content syndicated offsite can bring in direct
Schmidt said internet companies could gain 50 per cent of their revenue
from non-advertising deals, such as content agreements, after just one
year in operation. According to the report, the average print publisher
gains 20 to 30 per cent of revenue from non-ad deals.
However, out of the 49 publishers questioned, Forrester found fewer than
half sold content-related products on their sites, and none exploited
One of the few publishers with online ventures that received praise from
Forrester was FT.com.