Rather Than Embrace The Internet, Newspapers Look To Embrace A Different Kind Of Old Media

from the teaming-up-against-the-internet? dept

While newspapers aren't in as bad a shape as some would have you believe, they still are having trouble figuring out how to deal with this internet thing. The latest is that a bunch of newspapers have decided that if one bit of old media (newspapers) isn't enough, why not two? That's right, they're going to start shipping CDs with the morning newspaper, sort of like computer magazines from a decade or so ago. These CDs will include music and movie previews, as they try to generate that additional multimedia experience. Of course, for most users, these discs will end up similar to AOL's free CDs: in the garbage dump. If this content is so valuable, and is going to be viewed on a computer anyway, why not just put it online? Forcing it onto a CD is just an attempt to come up with a solution that the newspapers can say "competes" with the internet, rather than just better embracing the internet.
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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 8 Aug 2006 @ 11:40pm

    Another Old Medium?

    Grammar?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Laurel Papworth, 8 Aug 2006 @ 11:55pm

    OH! Too funny

    Too too funny.

    Leveraging offline activity into online loyalty is a challenge, yes. So let's take away online loyalty? Heh.

    Bless their little cotton socks, they are trying so hard! A for effort but sadly, overall, an F.

    Will it encourage people to put their paper down, get up from the 'throne and scamper over to their PC? hmm doubtful - maybe a handful? Not enough though surely? It would be interesting to see if the CD then has links out into the 'net. But why not place a strategic "to read more go to website blahblah/moreinfo" in print? Oh wait, people who read newspapers don't have the internet at home right? But they DO have a PC?

    If I was an incumbent media mogul, I'd be rethinking my demographic. Chasing after ppl who don't have hot and cold running internet may not be the target, Page 3 girls and tabloids aside, for the future. If you peddle information, try peddling it to those who are at least a little bit interested in the world around them. And, elitist as it may sound, those without internet connectivity AND interested in global and local issues are a dying breed. Time to get with da program!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Terry, 9 Aug 2006 @ 1:42am

    I can not tell you how long it has been since I have received a newspaper. Though my father-in-law does receive the paper and guess what??? He does not have a computer... Sounds like a pretty good plan!!!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    claire rand, 9 Aug 2006 @ 1:42am

    not so bad really.

    well think about it.. you have to *buy* the paper to get the CD, the disc it self will have the best form of anti-piracy out there, no one will copy it..

    literally, there will be nothing worth the time to copy.

    plus even if there is it will be so cheap to get it its not worth it.

    actually i quiet like magazines with discs, and still get a few a year. I tend to bin the magazine and just keep the disc. in fact if the whole of the papers content was on the disc (as html *not pdf*) so i could easliy search it i'd be tempted with this. but more it tends to be a way of saving me the bother of downloading stuff.

    i'd say 8/10 for effort, it may not be too practical but at least they are trying and should be congratulated for that at least.

    even if its a somewhat lame idea, unless the disc becomes a *must have* its pointless, and if its 'windows only', installs effectivly spyware or is just full of adverts well its going to do more harm than good.

    just hope they have thought it all through.

    but there are definate possiblities, especially if the paper is linked to the content, e.g. a review of a film - the disc has the trailer, for a song - say half the video on the disc. sports story - disc has more pictures, the ones they took but the paper didn't have space for. maybe expanded articles etc.

    but all that should really be on the net somewhere, maybe behind a paywall but it would be cheaper. possibly put 'todays access code' in the paper, good for 24 hours. accessing older content? subscribers only. thus effectivly anyone can get todays stuff on line (cheaper to by the paper than print it out) but subscribers get the archive (and maybe an add free version to)

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Sohrab, 9 Aug 2006 @ 1:56am

    My beliefs of why the film/music/news paper companies are taking their time before jumping on new ships is simple I believe.

    They dont need a true jump yet and why give people reason to move fully to the web when you can still milk the paper for all its worth. Once they see that the true profits they want is no longer there, these companies will change but till then, they will milk main stream as much as possible.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Republican Gun, 9 Aug 2006 @ 4:54am

    Root Kits

    Do the disks have Root Kits on them that will deactivate the home users PC and force them to read the newspaper?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Mr. Analytical, 9 Aug 2006 @ 4:59am

    Um... is this news?

    I don't know about the Colonies but newspapers have been doing this for Donkeys years in the UK. In some cases it's quite cool as they'll give you a whole film for free (Like Take the Money and Run or How to Get a Head in Advertising) but a lot of the time it's music or trailers or other bits of nonsense.

    So A) I'm not sure why this is news and B) I don't see why it's so laughable, as you say computer magazines have been doing it for a decade.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 9 Aug 2006 @ 9:33am

      Re: Um... is this news?

      # 8 wrote: How to Get a Head in Advertising

      Was this the double bill edition with "Debbie does Dallas" ;-)
      Gives new meaning to 'page 3 starlet'.

      On subject: You can't grep a dead tree.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    no_barcode, 9 Aug 2006 @ 5:41am

    They're simply being responsible.

    By putting all those big items on a CDROM (and not putting them on their website), they're doing their part in the fight against internet tube clogging. I applaud their efforts -- as should you!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Dan, 9 Aug 2006 @ 10:04am

      Re: They're simply being responsible.

      LOL!

      You know Internet tube clogging is getting old... but it's still as funny as the first day. I think it's a classic that'll never lose it's appeal.

      Here's to everyone keeping their pipes as clean as possible!

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    John Lively, 9 Aug 2006 @ 5:54am

    just more junk mail

    My family subscribes to a local paper, for local news & sports (with kids in school, you need this), and the Sunday adverts (wife is a coupon clipper/bargain hunter, despite a 6-figure salary). I already feel bad about the dead trees associated with the 12-inch stack of paper that goes out each week with the garbage. I would feel even worse about adding CDs to the garbage heap. If my local paper (owned by Gannett) started doing the free CD thing, I would definitely call and ask them to stop, and even cancel my subscription if they didn't have an 'opt out' option. Or maybe just save up all the CDs and mail them back to Gannett every once in a while.

    BTW isn't medium singular and media plural?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Stan, 9 Aug 2006 @ 6:07am

    Clipping Coupons is not for the gainfully employed

    # 10 said wife is a coupon clipper/bargain hunter, despite a 6-figure salary

    Has she ever taken an economics class?

    Clipping coupons is an activity best reserved for those who put a very, very low value on their time. Of course they'll all tell you about "the big one", the $5 double coupon six weeks ago, but they fail to calculate the miserable overall return on time invested.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Ever heard of psychology?, 9 Aug 2006 @ 12:09pm

      Re: Clipping Coupons is not for the gainfully empl

      Stan, Stan, Stan.. every intelligent, logical person knows that spending an hour clipping coupons, and then driving to 5 different stores to save $1.50 at each one, is ludicrous from a dollars and cents perspective.

      But have you ever taken a psychology class?

      Millions of supposedly intelligent and educated people make economically sub-optimal choices all the time. Witness the number of people that smoke, drink alcohol, drive while drunk, buy lottery tickets, eat sugar-rich obesity inducing foods, thow away perfectly good clothes, and drive gas guzzling cars, just for starters. My point was, some people buy newspapers for reasons that may not be very logical from an efficiency or cost perspective. It may have nothing to do with news. E.g. maybe they need the paper for wrapping their garbage, or maybe they are habituated to reading the newspaper while sitting on the john. Maybe they just like seeing their kids name on the schools honor roll list a couple times a year.

      'Marketing' is the science of figuring out why people buy things, and what might motivate them to buy more or less in the future. And consumer marketing has a lot more to do with psychology than economics. There are a lot of tech companies out there that are run by engineers who just don't believe marketing has any legitimate purpose. But the best ones certainly do.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Unreal Economist, 9 Aug 2006 @ 1:28pm

        Re: Re: Clipping Coupons is not for the gainfully

        Re. comment 29...

        You don't know what you're talking about. 1 hour for 5 coupons? Ridiculous.

        Here's a more typical scenario: 15 minutes of time, savings of about $10/week. Counting taxes, that's equivalent to about $16, making the rate somewhere about $60/hour.

        Additionally, an economist such as yourself must understand that unless the wife has billable hours she could be charging, then her opportunity cost is $0.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Dennis Howlett, 9 Aug 2006 @ 6:11am

    CDs - could be good

    Those who pillory others do so from a position of ignorance. Plenty of people - like the majority - are not attuned to the online world. The rags could use this medium to seed online efforts so fair play to them.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 9 Aug 2006 @ 6:26am

    The news media's bias and inability to properly deal with the news and technology of today is old news, actually... hehe

    Including CD's in the news? I'll probably get sued over copyright law if any of it ends up in my cache when I install it on my PC, or if I mail an article to a friend... So yeah, mine will go right in the trash - more simple than calling a lawyer to make sure everything I do isn't 'copyright' violations.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Snowie, 9 Aug 2006 @ 6:34am

    Tried it already... it didn't work

    'The Times' tried this in the UK a couple of years ago with a monthly issue of a disk called, imaginatively, 'The Month'. It contained all sorts of previews for films, albums, culture, what's on, etc. It linked to websites, provided offers, etc.

    It died a quiet death at some point.

    Now they concentrate (as Mr Analytical points out) in giving you a free decent film every so often, normally on a Saturday or Sunday, intermingled with not-so-good disks (Gordon Ramsey cooks Christmas, anyone?). Does it work? You bet! Costs them a pittance and when they give away a good film I always have problems finding a paper by midday!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Wouldn't matter..., 9 Aug 2006 @ 6:59am

    It would never matter what media newspapers chose to present thier "news" in. Anything they choose... well, it's like wrapping a large crap in golden foil.... just because the outside might make sense, NOTHING on the inside makes ANY sense.

    I pride myself in being able to claim nuetrality towards any of these shitastic exscuses we have for political parties, but as far as newspapers go, they can take thier self-induldging works of pretentious crap and just sit on it.

    I don't care what you wrap it in, crap is crap.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    tedzzz, 9 Aug 2006 @ 7:26am

    Dead on delivery

    but wait....
    maybe for the locked down companies...
    where big brother is watching.....

    but other than that .....

    If they wants to compete, the should go for the tv....
    and be and be an interactive dvd
    for the couch potatoes.... three button mode people:
    select play pause ....entertainment tonight people

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    rajesh, 9 Aug 2006 @ 7:43am

    Ahem

    Have they heard of podcasts?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Medianomad, 9 Aug 2006 @ 8:05am

    Don't do it!

    In our house, it is my husband who reads the NY Times faithfully every day. I get my news from the Internet news sites and blogs.

    My husband cannot use a computer, much less a CD. I am too busy to put in a CD and wait for it to load when I can find what I want on the Internet with a search engine.

    So in our household, it will be one more piece of junk I will feel guity about throwing away as it has intrinsic value. It will sit around collecting dust until my husband can't stand the clutter anymore. We will spend time trying to determine if it should go in the recycle bin or in the regular garbage can. Please do not burden us with this!

    Don't waste your time and money on this hair brained scheme. Or at least use a test market if you want to procede with the distribution of CDs.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Medianomad, 9 Aug 2006 @ 8:06am

    Don't do it!

    In our house, it is my husband who reads the NY Times faithfully every day. I get my news from the Internet news sites and blogs.

    My husband cannot use a computer, much less a CD. I am too busy to put in a CD and wait for it to load when I can find what I want on the Internet with a search engine.

    So in our household, it will be one more piece of junk I will feel guity about throwing away as it has intrinsic value. It will sit around collecting dust until my husband can't stand the clutter anymore. We will spend time trying to determine if it should go in the recycle bin or in the regular garbage can. Please do not burden us with this!

    Don't waste your time and money on this hair brained scheme. Or at least use a test market if you want to procede with the distribution of CDs.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Andy Armstrong, 9 Aug 2006 @ 8:06am

    They're flat

    I suspect the rationale for giving away CDs and DVDs is pretty simple: they're flat.

    Freebies /do/ boost sales - at least temporarily - more or less irrespective of how worthless they are. But giving away anything bulky with a magazine is hugely costly in terms of logistics. CDs and DVDs are popular because they're more interesting than paper (more or less the only other flat thing you'd be likely to give away) but not much thicker.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    anonymous coward, 9 Aug 2006 @ 9:40am

    why do these media companies all think that film trailers are so valuable? how much effort is the average consumer going to make to see a 30-sec trailer about a film when they are seeing the same thing on commercial television?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 9 Aug 2006 @ 10:24am

    I'd be too paranoid to put the CDs into my computer. With all the talk about rootkits and stuff, I'd be scared. Furthermore, if they have any ads or free trial programs on them, I don't want that smut touching my beautiful computer. I don't trust anyone who wants my money.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 9 Aug 2006 @ 10:28am

    Hey how about they do it backwards. Get the user to subscribe online and choose some categories of what they like. Then every morning, every week, or whatever amount of time specified, the user gets an email with an attached printable PDF with only the sections they requested.

    That way, people can still have the portability and convienience of printed materials. And they can read whatever category they want online in case they missed something or just want something to read.

    Personally I'd love it if my local paper did this, since I do miss out on local news by getting everything exclusively online via Google RSS feeds.

    It'll never happen though. The DRM that would accompany the PDFs would be awful. Unless the papers "get it" and agree to go without DRM, which is doubtful.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Lay Person, 9 Aug 2006 @ 10:34am

    Hmmm...

    Hmmm...

    Let's see which is a better medium?

    I say we vote:

    All in favor of still using clay tablets, say "ay!"

    All in favor of using this new stuff called papyrus, say "ay!"

    For all opposed, say "nay!"

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    JW, 9 Aug 2006 @ 1:54pm

    Punch Cards

    They should send a stack of punch cards with the paper. Those are biodegradable, make good note paper (beware the holes, though), are useful for bookmarks, and can be used to start a fire (in addition to the newspaper).

    Punch cards! The wave of the retro-future!!!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Lay Person, 9 Aug 2006 @ 2:03pm

    Damn it!

    Damn it!

    This is TECHDIRT not ENGLISHDIRT so Medium and media mean nothing but a word to get a techdirt point accross.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    George Kasava, 10 Aug 2006 @ 6:26am

    Want to sell more newspapers?

    F** the CD covermount, stick a piece of chocolate on the front. Or, if it's a Sunday paper, a hangover cure. Bingo.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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