Business time for content providers

Here’s an excerpt from a blog I posted on Zazoo this week:

“There has been a lot of debate in journalistic circles of late about the state of denial most journalists and media academics are in regarding new media.

“A recent blog on Poynter.org recounted an exchange between digital media entrepreneur Elizabeth Overholser and journalism students at the University of Southern California’s Annenberg School of Journalism. Osder refuted one student’s lament that online news business models aren’t working. Then she advised the students that to figure out which online business models can work, ”Start with the impact you want to have. Figure out what audience you need to assemble to have that impact. And what kind of content is needed to do that. Then price it out: How much money do you need to do it?”

“According to Overholser, a J-student groaned in reply, “If I wanted to do that, I’d have gone to Marshall (USC’s business school).”

“Osder countered that while that response was understandable, thinking through the business side of journalism “forces you to be relevant and useful versus arrogant and entitled.”

“I say: hear, hear!….”

Go here for the rest of the entry.

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Creativity important in healthcare

The Australian Research Centre (ARC) for Creative Industries and Innovation has released a report on the use of creativity in healthcare. It found that:

“Creativity is highly integrated into the provision of healthcare goods and services and serves most aspects of the operation of the healthcare system, particularly in information and knowledge management, the supply of medical skills, clinical services and infrastructure. Australia’s creative capability has a central role in helping the healthcare system to adapt, to become more efficient while delivering better outcomes and to provide the range of clinical services demanded by the community…. The innovation processes appeared to be particularly effective when creatives worked closely with key stakeholders (medical professionals, patients or the community).”

The study concluded: “There is consensus that the healthcare system needs to change if it is to address the range of demand, supply and contextual challenges that it faces, and to at least maintain the quality of health outcomes and the supply of medical service providers… Australia’s creative capability has a central role in helping the system to adapt, to become more efficient while delivering better outcomes and to
provide the range of clinical services demanded by the community…. Overall, healthcare creative employment is growing faster than total employment in the system, and the growth is particularly significant in technological areas (film, TV, software). Interestingly, some medical professionals are
using the technologies routinely. With some training and technological enhancements, and in the hands of clients, they are also being applied in healthcare. With further technological advances, such uses could expand opportunities for innovation and improvements to the healthcare system.”

Will digital escape the crisis?

A study of chief marketing officers (CMOs) in the US by marketing and direct services firm Epsilon shows that while traditional marketing and advertising spend is down, partly due to the current economic crisis, digital marketing spend is still strongly on the increase this year.

The results, based on a survey of 175 CMOs, indicated that more than 60% of companies are increasing their spend on digital marketing and advertising this year, while nearly 60% are reducing their overall spend on marketing and advertising.

Other interesting results include:

  • Social computing (including word of mouth, social networking sites, viral advertising, etc.) was the most popular emerging channel with 42% of marketing executives expressing interest in adding it to their marketing mix.
  • Blogs were the second most popular emerging channel: 35% of marketing executives want to pursue blogs and 19% already use blogs
  • Almost one-third of CMOs mentioned Podcasting as an area of interest: 31% are interested in adding Podcasting to their marketing mix and 18% already have.
  • Mobile devices also elicited interest: 29% are interested in Mobile Devices (Phones/PDAs) and 22% have added them to their marketing mix.

One thing to note is that the survey was conducted in August, before the US$700 billion Wall Street bailout and all the attendant stock market fall-out occurred. It will be interesting to see what the results would be if the survey was conducted this month.

Everyday Revolution means a big competitor for WebMD

It doesn’t seem all that long ago that WebMD was the Internet health behemoth that grew and merged and acquried its way to a billion-dollar company, then deflated after the tech stock crash to a shadow of its former self – all the time reigning as the biggest player in a not-so-lucrative market.

In yet another sign that we could be heading for a tech stock bubble, WebMD’s two biggest competitors, Revolution Health and Waterfront Media, which runs the EverydayHealth websites, are merging to form a new online health behemoth (it’s such an evocative word, I’m going to use it twice in two paragraphs) that is claimed to be bigger than WebMD. The deal is reportedly worth US$300 million.

Meanwhile, in the small and fragmented Australian market, players such as MSN Health and Virtual Medical Centre scramble for a pool of consumer advertising that may or may not be worth $1 million a year. You would think there was an opportunity there for someone who can attack this in a sensible way?