How the Media Can Keep Making Money, So We Can Keep Pitching Them


PRNewser is here in the bloggers’ bullpen at the “Big Media Online. Now Comes the Hard Part: Sustaining Growth,” panel at the AlwaysON OnMedia NYC conference. BuzzMachine blogger Jeff Jarvis put together a panel that included: Gordon McLeod, President, The Wall Street Journal Digital Network, Alisa Bowen, SVP, Reuters, Jeff Price, President, Sports Illustrated Digital, Caroline Little, CEO and Publisher, Washington Post Newsweek Interactive and David Kirkpatrick, Senior Editor, Internet & Technology, Fortune magazine. Phew, that was a mouthful.

Of course, things started right off the bat with the WSJ free vs. paid debate, with Gordon McLeod telling Jarvis, “we like both worlds right now.”

Rather than continue on transcribing the panel, I thought I’d offer up some of the interesting quotes that caught my attention.

How can we make money? Who should do our ads?

Caroline Little: “Our biggest challenge on the advertising front is we all think of our content as valuable and that advertisers will pay a premium for it. I hope that’s right.”

Jeff Jarvis: “Europe is light years ahead of us. [In terms of online ads.] According to WPP this year in Sweden online will surpass TV.

Gordon McLeod: “I’d love to write a check for 10 million to Yahoo or Google [for ads]. It’s hard work putting us all together. We have a franchise approach to sales. Yahoo can’t put together a multimedia package like we can.

What is social media?

Jeff Jarvis: “What truly does social media mean a year or two or three from now?”

Alisa Bowen: “For us its something like Mojo, a mobile journalist application we launched with Nokia.”

David Kirkpatrick: “I don’t think that’s really social. I think social in the future is where each individual is a node and connected to other nodes and projects information to each other and themselves. To me social networks are the the platform that will facilitate that.”

Gordon McLeod: “We’re all doing widgets, I call it user distributed content. Let them do what they want with it.”

Alisa Bowen: “Users want to know a story. ‘Give me a perspective on this issue that I will dig further into the more interested I am.'”

David Kirkpatrick: “If Fortune paid me to do a twitter feed, that would be an interesting thing. As a professional journalist, in my opinion, for the most part, the media industry has taken the old model and brought it online. I worry a lot about the ability to monetize content going forward as the quantity of content continues to increase. Advertisers can bypass us and go straight to where the eyeballs are at that moment. In general, the media is not a software business, and it’s paying the price. Software is going to determine who wins in the future. There is not the innovation developing inside these media companies to develop this stuff themselves. ”

“User generated content is a big deal, and now social networking has automated that. You’re creating content simply by living, and that is exponentially increasing the amount of content, and someday someone is going to find a way to put ads on that.”

And of course, more on the WSJ:

Jeff Jarvis: Do you have a plan for the Journal without the Journal?

Gordon McLeod: “We have a plan to continue serving our readers and users with this great content that they know and want. Does it include a paper in 20 year? I don’t know. I’m still a bit of an old media guy.”

“We’re losing millions of dollars on video”