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A Razorfish report on publishing in the digital age


  • 1. In early 2010, the Razorfish Media &Entertainment practice set out with Report Semantic Universe to charthow media and publishing companiesare adapting to the demands of thedigital content landscape. _ this _ report>Follow us on Twitter (@ NimbleRF) Ato ask us questions, get announcements, and find out about new developments in the field. !> Rachel Lovinger Rachel Lovinger (@ rlovinger) is a Content Strategy Lead at Razorfish. She uses her experience in onlinecontent production and publishing to help develop processes, best practices and innovative ideas forFortune 500 companies looking touse digital content in moremeaningful ways. _ the _ author>Nimble Razorfish / Razorfish creates experiences that build businesses. As one of the largest interactive marketingand technology companies in theworld, Razorfish helps its clientsbuild better brands by deliveringbusiness results through customerexperiences. Razorfish has offices 2010in markets across the United States, and in Australia, China, France, Germany, Japan, Spain and the United Kingdom._ razorfish>

2. 02 / Nimble Report2010 3. Nimble Report03 nimble: a razorfish report on publishing in the digital age by Rachel Lovinger 2010 4. 04 /IntroductionNimble Report Introduction About This Report In January of 2010, the Razorf ish Media andWe learned how digital content thrives today, and the Entertainment practice, along with research partner nimble approach that content producers need in order Semantic Universe, set out to chart how media and to succeed. Nimble, in this case, applies both to a publishing companies are adapting to the demandsmethodology and to the content itself. Here are some of of the digital content landscape. Who is pushing thethe other key things we learned: envelope and how? What technologies can be applied in Simply put, digital content needs to be free to go new and interesting ways? What lessons can be put to where and when people want it most. In particular, use in your own organization? content has to be mobile, and it has to be social. To explore these ideas we went straight to the experts, As a content producer, being nimble is about quick in over 20 interviews with people on the ground at adaptation and preparation for future opportunities. The New York Times, the BBC, the Wall Street Journal, TalkingPointsMemo, CBS Interactive, and Next Container limitations dont exist with digital Issue Media, as well as with semantic technologymedia in the same way that a TV program is limited experts who have been exploring ways that linkedby a timeslot, or a newspaper article is constrained by data can change content experiences. We alsothe available column inches. analyzed external studies and reports covering everything from the breakdown of traditional media models to the emerging trends in the media industry, and in consumer behavior. 2010 5. Nimble Report Introduction05 Its time to question your authority; what you think you Development of content for multiple platforms is a know about your brand, your business models, your must, and the best performers will rise to the top. audience, and how (and where) theyre engaging with Follow us on Twitter (@NimbleRF) to ask us your content. questions, get announcements, and find out about The more structure you put into content the freer it will new developments in the field. become. In a nimble world, editors will become curators for managing all of your digital content. Its time to explore new revenue models. In many cases, the value of content will lie in being able to provide a desired product or service, not just the content itself. New opportunities for advertising will arise, including unique approaches that use the digital content itself. 2010 6. 06 /IntroductionNimble Report Content needs to be free (like a bird, not like beer) Gratis vs. Libre Lets clarify: Content isnt free. Not in the gratis (i.e. It must be free to be read or viewed on a wide range free beer!) sense. And it will never be free, becauseof portable and networked devices. It must be free to it still costs money to create it. Whether the audiencemix and mingle with services, social networks, apps, directly purchases the content or its supported byand content from other sources. In a highly connected advertising, partnerships or funding, the resourcesworld, content thats trapped in a silo is basically for creating and distributing content have to come invisible. And invisible content might as well not exist. from somewhere. Even personal blogs and otherDigital content has the potential to gain this freedom. user-generated content require an investment of time,Its no longer bound to physical products or fixed equipment, and resources on the part of the creator.timetables. But thats not enough. Content needs to But libre, liberty, freedom. This is what content needsbe flexible. It needs to be easy to find. It needs to be in order to survive. It must be free to go where and enjoyable for people to use. And yes, we still need to when people want it most.find ways to pay for its production. 2010 7. Nimble Report Introduction 07 To succeed as a digital content producer you need to be And being nimble is not just about an organization. Nimble. Many companies will say that theyre nimble,Its about the industrys business models. Its about but very few actually are. Being nimble is about theproduction processes. Its about the content itself. ability to adapt quickly to the new challenges andContent needs to be nimble in order to be free. opportunities in todays media ecosystem; things Sound easier said than done? Thats why we put like the explosion of new media devices, the world- together this report on how digital content can become domination of social networks, and consumers nimble, and what publishers need to do to get working growing expectation of first-class digital experiences. on it right now. Read on. And its about how prepared you are to face the opportunities coming in 5 or 10 years, the ones that havent even been predicted yet.2010 8. 08 /Escaping The Container Nimble Report Escaping the Container Digital media doesnt have the same physicalconstraints as traditional media. This creates the potential for an audience to engage with content where and when they want to, but theres more to be done to create the experiences people seek.2010 9. Nimble Report Escaping The Container09 2010 10. 10 /Escaping the ContainerNimble Report Digital content is not just another new development inBut breaking out of the old container doesnt give the landscape of media formats. Its been a tectonic shift. content all the freedom it needs, at least not enough to The changes taking place deep beneath the surface can make it truly nimble. Nimble content is more valuable be easily missed without careful attention. Publishersbecause it provides an audience with unique digital are missing whats really going on if theyre thinking, experiences. And nimble content is more valuable to Instead of just publishing a magazine, we now have toa brand because its cheaper and easier to produce, it publish a magazine and deal with putting its content on has a longer shelf life, and publishers can quickly take the website. advantage of new revenue opportunities such as paid content models with value-based pricing and The aspect of digital content that makes it so funda- development of new content products and services. mentally different, and exponentially more valuable, is deceptively simple: it no longer needs to be packaged into a specific container in order to reach an audience. Limitations are more directed by business models than by capabilities.- Jim Stanley, VP of Products, CBS Interactive, Technology and News 2010 11. Nimble ReportEscaping the Container 11 Constraints are dead! Long live constraints! Nimble content is content freed of traditional media constraints, but crafted in such a way that it still delights, informs, educates, and entertains. When it breaks out of those constraints, it allows people Your digital content should be strongly associated to consume it in new places, without losing the context with your brand, wherever it happens to appear. that makes it meaningful. Wherever the content(via @ NimbleRF)!> appears, it should be able to retain a strong association with the publishers brand. It should uphold the valuable data and service partnerships created to augment it. In short, it should offer or at least hint at as rich and engaging an experience as the creator intended. With traditional media, containers define content borders. The length of a magazine article is defined by the amount of available space on a page and the number of pages in the magazine. The duration of a TV program Its a policy objective of the currentAdministration to ensure that all is defined by its timeslot. CDs, movies, and newspapersAmericans have affordable access to are also limited to the boundaries of their containers.broadband Internet services. As of At the same time, if the containers arent filled, peopleOctober 2009, we were nearlytwo-thirds of the way there. will feel cheated. People dont have the same limitations or expectations when it comes to digital media. They could happily stream a 3-hour radio program or watch a 3-minute video. They could read a 140-character tweet or download a 620-page PDF. With nearly ubiquitous broadband access, the difference in transmission time Digital Nation: 21st Century Americas Progress Toward Universal Broadband (and cost) is negligible. Internet Access Constraints still need to exist in order to create the best audience experiences, but they should not be NTIA based on limitations set by the size or duration of February 2010 _ date> traditional containers. Content thats free allows content producers to easily explore new formats for telling stories and sharing information online that wouldnt r