First national newspaper to move from print to online
The Christian Science Monitor, a 100 year-old new organization, will be the U.S. national daily newspaper to replace its daily print edition with its website CSMonitor.com. They will also offer subscribers weekly print and daily e-mail edition. The move, scheduled for April 2009, will be watched carefully by the newspaper industry, which is struggling with the profound disruptions brought on by the Internet and the rising costs of newsprint and transportation.
Online publication will be updated continuously each day. This new multiplatform strategy will “secure and enlarge the Monitor’s role in its second century”, says the newspaper. Mission continues to be develop “journalism that seeks to bless humanity, not injure, and that shines light on the world’s challenges in an effort to seek solutions”, according to founder Mary Baker’s vision.
The Monitor has required a subsidy from the Christian Science church for most of its history. This year the Monitor will lose $18.9 million.
All three Monitor publications –website, weekly print edition, and daily e-mail edition- will be produced by the same editorial staff, 95-person. The Monitor will continue to operate at its current level of international and domestic coverage, with bureaus throughout the globe, and a strong presence in Washington. The newspaper thinks that these bureaus represent a distinct competitive advantage at a time when other news organizations are cutting back on staff coverage from outside their circulation regions.
Monitor wants to encourage much more two-way conversation between readers and Monitor staffers to “build a community of people who care about the values the Monitor stands for”.
MTVMusic.com, a great archive for other sites
MTV has launched its own Hulu. The new MTVMusic.com is a clean, user-friendly video. You can comment, rate and embed clips, as well as meet other people. Will MTVMusic.com succeed, given the most viral music videos are usually available on YouTube and other video sites.
MTV says that MTVMusic.com is not designed to be a destination site but a sort of white-label archive for other sites, both MTV Networks properties and others, so they can grab all the clips needed.
TiVo, Netflix partner on Web streaming
Netflix DVD subscription service and Tivo have reached a long-awaited partnership. Netflix’s Web streaming-movie service, called Watch Instantly, now with 12,000 movies and television, will be placed on TiVo’s HD-compatible set-top boxes in December. Doing so, it furthers the technology industry’s goal of sending television shows and movies over the Internet, instead of over traditional cable and satellite networks.
Now Netflix’s subscribers (nine million) can view instantly over the Web current movies offering on their PCs without charge.
TiVo subscribers who also have one of Netflix’s unlimited subscription plans (which start at $9 a month) won’t pay any extra charge. Right now, owners of TiVo boxes can already rent or buy films and TV shows over the Internet from Amazon.com, Walt Disney Studios and Jaman.com, and play them on TV.
TiVo has another component of its business –selling its software to cable and satellite providers, many of whom offer their own generic, lower-priced DVRs to their customers.
TiVo hopes that Internet deals like its Netflix partnership can help it sell more of its own devices (which make up only a fraction of the DVR market).
In the last year, Netflix has signed a deal to digitally deliver its catalog to Microsoft’s Xbox service. It has also invested in Roku, a start-up that manufactures a $99 set-top box that bring Netfilx’s streaming service to TVs.
First anniversary of Hulu.com
This Wednesday Hulu.com celebrates its first anniversary. The aesthetically pleasing and easy-to-use interface, its contents and the advertising innovations with fewer ads have been formula for success. Now it dominates the emerging market for ad-supported TV and movie streaming, it counts more than 100 sponsors, and it is the sixth-most-popular video brand in the United States.
It ranks far below YouTube, which streams 20 times as many videos as any other brand in the U.S., and it is behind sites owned by Yahoo, MSN and Nickelodeon. It has surpassed the online video networks operated by ESPN, CNN, MTV and Disney.
Also, Hulu attracts a wider audience than web competitors like Veoh and Joost. Now the joint venture of NBC Universal and News Corporation has a library of more than 1,000 television series and 400 feature-length films. And despite reportedly is not yet profitable, it has won over many advertising executives. “I’ve waiting for this for 10 years” (…) “Hulu takes TV content, which is the best long-form video there is, and it just breaks it out the tyranny of the schedule”.
In terms of the formula of less advertising, it seems that users are happy. Half-hour comedies like “Family Guy” or “The Office” have an average of eight minutes of commercial time on TV, and on Hulu.com each show averages two minutes of ads. Hulu says they have no plans to increase the advertising load.