Net report slams publishers’ sites

Few European publishers have managed the transition from old media to new media, according to a report from the internet research company Forrester.

Few European publishers have managed the transition from old media

to new media, according to a report from the internet research company

Forrester.



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

revenue.’



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

affiliated networks.



One of the few publishers with online ventures that received praise from

Forrester was FT.com.



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