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Take a look at some of the trends, challenges, and opportunities from industry profiles in the Information Sector updated by D&B First Research editors in the past month:
Trend: Newspaper Publishers Turn to Automation Services for Online Video — A growing demand for online newspapers to provide more video content is driving publishers to use automation services such as Wibbitz and Wochit, according to The New York Times. Both services employ technology that can analyze text in a news article and then automatically find and publish video clips from sources like The Associated Press and Getty Images to go with it. The videos typically start playing automatically. With automation services, publishers can significantly increase their video offerings, from hundreds of new videos per day to thousands, helping satisfy goals of growing revenues from video advertising. Video ads tend to yield higher rates than other online ads. Wibbitz’s customers include Bonnier magazines, Hearst, Gannett, and the Weather Channel; customers of Wochit have included Time Inc., CBS Interactive, and The Huffington Post.
To learn more about this and other industry trends, see our Newspaper Publishing report.
Challenge: Wireless Network Quality Varies across the US — Not all metro areas are equal when it comes to wireless network performance, according to a recent RootMetrics study of wireless coverage in the top 125 US metro areas. The study examined network performance and reliability for wireless calls, data, and text messaging, as well as network speed. Among its findings: High population doesn’t always indicate strong network performance. Atlanta and Chicago were top performers, while Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, and Washington, DC, were ranked relatively low. The top five cities across all categories included Lansing, Michigan; Indianapolis; Atlanta; Milwaukee; and Chicago. The bottom five cities were Lancaster, Pennsylvania; Santa Rosa, California; Scranton, Pennsylvania; Omaha, Nebraska; and Hudson Valley, New York.
For more insight into the Wireless Telecommunications industry, see our report.
Opportunity: New Studio Business Model Uses Abandoned Scripts — A Hollywood startup called Adaptive Studios uses a new business model for film and TV production that involves buying discarded scripts from other studios, agencies, and production companies to create new projects. Executives at Adaptive say their approach gives them an advantage over bigger studios that compete for new scripts from in-demand (and more expensive) writers, according to The New York Times. Adaptive turns the scripts into novels, which it then adapts into movies or TV shows; it uses the books as a relatively inexpensive way to promote the films. Production budgets range from a few million dollars to around $40 million. The company has acquired about 50 scripts, which are in various stages of production. Challenges for Adaptive include the lack of a distribution partnership with a major studio, as well as the difficult process of gaining legal rights for projects that may remain in limbo.
For more insight, see our Motion Picture Production & Distribution industry report.
Challenge: Cutbacks, Reorganizations at Major Magazine Publishers — Recent organizational changes at top magazine publishers Hearst and Time may be an indication of the industry’s declining health, according to Women’s Wear Daily (WWD). Both Hearst and Time publish titles that are particularly susceptible to slowdowns in retail and fashion, and those titles may be negatively affected by recent decreases in print ad spending by clothing brands such as Ralph Lauren and Gap. Hearst is tightening budgets and slowing down hiring, and WWD sources indicate that job cuts could follow later in 2016. Hearst is also reconfiguring its business and editorial structures, combining the publishing and editorial teams of different titles, such as Seventeen and Cosmopolitan, in groups. Time, meanwhile, is undergoing a restructuring that includes a flattening of its corporate structure, as well as a reorganization of its sales teams. The company says it is doing so to be more competitive and meet market demands.
View our Magazine Publishers report for more industry trends.
D&B First Research reports offer insight on hundreds of industries to help guide professionals in their business decisions. Profiles contain a comprehensive set of data in an easy-to-digest format. In a hurry? Our call-prep sheet is a popular way to quickly get up to speed on an industry.
Amy Schein is an Industry Specialist at First Research, where she covers various aspects of the media industry. She earned her BS and MA in media studies at the University of Texas at Austin. Follow Amy on Twitter.