Thursday, February 28, 2008

The Newspaper Industry and Adobe Air - ?

According to the 'Industry Forecast 2007-2011' from private equity firm Veronis Suhler Stevenson (VSS) Communications, Internet advertising is on track to top Newspaper advertising by the year 2011. "We are in the midst of a major shift in the media landscape that is being fueled by changes in technology, end-user behaviors, and the response by brand marketers and communications companies," said James Rutherfurd, EVP and Managing Director at VSS, in a statement. "We expect these shifts to continue over the next five years, as time and place shifting accelerate while consumers and businesses utilize more digital media alternatives, strengthening the new media pull model at the expense of the traditional media push model." So even though spending is rising less and less of the money is going to traditional media providers as attention shifts online.

Newspaper advertising and subscription revenues have been declining for years and newspaper companies are scrambling to develop strategies to replace this revenue anyway they can. Some newspaper companies like the Washington Post have found fertile ground through diversification. Looking at the first quarter of 2007 the revenue for the company was $985.6 million a modest 4% increase year over year. Almost half of that total came from the Kaplan Education Division with $475.8 million in the same period, an increase of over 16% year over year. The Newspaper Publishing Division made up a little over 20% of the revenue at $219.2 million for the first quarter of 2007, a 10% decrease, worse division operating income was down 53%. Print advertising revenue at The Post declined 16% to $125.1 million. In general, Kaplan has now replaced the newspaper as the revenue and profit engine at the post.

Other newspapers are trying to find ways to make revenue from the shift in attention from print to online, attempting to keep their readers engaged and eventually shift their ad buys to these new active channels. The New York Times Company is one of those companies. "We see a future for device-independent media, with convergence around the user experience and not any particular delivery platform. Developing services that allow users to access content wherever they are and on whichever device they choose is an important part of our strategy." said Michael Zimbalist, vice president, research and development operations, The New York Times Company.

So its not so surprising to see the name New York Times Company behind an Adobe case study for a cutting edge technology like Adobe Air. The product ShifD is an application that provides users the capability to seamlessly shift content between their computers and mobile devices. ShifD is a new RIA that allows users to shift content between computers and mobile devices. ShifD works on — and between — the Web, mobile devices and through a downloadable AIR application, giving people an easier way to consume media on the go. Developers used Ajax technologies to build both the browser-based version of ShifD and the desktop version deployed on Adobe AIR. The New York Times Company is also developing a sophisticated blog reader on Adobe AIR.

“ShifD solves the problem of shifting data between all of a user’s Web-enabled devices,” said Michael Zimbalist, vice president, research & development operations, The New York Times Company. “We see a future for device-independent media, with convergence around the user experience and not around any particular delivery platform, which is why Adobe AIR is an excellent choice for ShifD.”

Check it out at

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