JANUARY 17, 2012

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Can Threshold Charges Save the Newspaper Industry?
Both magazine and newspaper publishers have long considered web paywalls as a means to generate additional revenue from their large, digital audiences. However, paywalls generally mean fewer users and less ad revenue. Blogger and social media expert Clay Shirky observed that many newspapers are beginning to find a balance between these two forces. ‘Threshold charges’, which have been implemented at several sites including the NYTimes, allow users access to a certain amount of free content but pay after the limit has been reached. His new blog post is a must-read as it clearly outlines the strengths, weaknesses and implications of ‘threshold charges’.
So what? As Condé Nast considers new pay models for digital content, threshold charges should be considered. There may be a way to maintain scale and the user experience while generating additional revenue for CN.
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Nielsen Releases New Media Universe Figures
Nielsen recently published a wide-ranging update on US consumption across a number of media. CNTelligence will highlight usage of some of the more important platforms. • 290 million people have a TV. 145 million people have digital cable and 95 million have satellite. • 211 million people are online. 116 million people have access to mobile web. o Online users visit 94 domains a month, and average 2,805 page views. Facebook represents 830 page views. • Smartphones have reached 43% penetration. Android (43% of all smartphones) and Apple (28%) make up the majority of market share. o 68% of smartphone owners downloaded a game app in the past 30 days. Maps/navigation, music, and social networking are the next most downloaded apps. The majority (51%) of users are okay with advertisements on apps as long as they are free. o The average smartphone user has 33 apps on his or her phone.
So what? While traditional media still have the highest penetration among American consumers, smartphones and social media continue to emerge and compete for consumers' time. As CN develops new apps beyond digital editions it should consider games, maps, music and social media given the market appetite.
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Condé Nast Exclusive
Social Media, Fashion and the Missoni Mishap
In September, Missoni and Target created a frenzy of both retail and online shopping when the new Missoni line was released at Target. Shoppers waited in lines for hours at the retail locations and Target.com was down for several hours at the start of the sale. Demand was so high that Target could not keep up with the pace of tweets, phone calls and in-store complaints from angry customers. While social media played a big role in hyping the release it was also needed for damage control in the days after. A new CNRI newsletter covers the ups and downs of the Missoni/Target story as well as how other fashion companies are using social media to engage with consumers.
So what? The newsletter shows examples of brands successfully using social media to connect with consumers. Some best practices outlined are—rewarding vocal fans, encouraging participation in the product-creation process and reaching out to local communities.
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Customer Satisfaction Drives Loyalty and Recommendations
Every year, Foresee ranks and scores top online retailers based on customer satisfaction over the holiday season. While Amazon is the obvious winner, the report covers a more important topic—why does satisfaction matter? Many retailers will use sales as their success metric but Foresee argues that satisfaction and a positive user experience are key drivers of repeat sales. According to their report, customers of online retail sites with high satisfaction scores are 52% more likely to return to the site, 64% more likely to purchase from the site again and 67% more likely to recommend the site.
So what? While online retailers’ main goal is to drive sales, publishers such as Condé Nast want to drive page views. Satisfaction with both content and experience are likely key drivers of page views. CN should consider implementing perennial site satisfaction tools in order to get a better understanding how our sites deliver on consumer expectations.
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Millenials By the Numbers
Fastcodesign, a site dedicated to design and marketing, culled together several data points on Millenials (commonly considered those currently ages 13-29) to create an infographic that provides insight into the generation. All of the figures are taken from various Pew Research studies. Some of the stats included are: • 25% of Millenials don’t follow a specific religion, making them the least religious generation in US history • Only 20% are married, 40% of boomers were married when they were that age • 66% voted for Obama, this is the largest age-based voting gap in US history • 69% of Millenials recycle, making them less green than Gen Xers (77% recycle) • 90% of Millenials think they will earn enough money to live comfortably in their lifetime, making them more optimistic than both Gen Xers and Boomers
So what? As the millennial generation grows in both size and importance to Condé Nast, our understanding must grow as well. The Millenials have distinguished themselves by their optimism; it remains to be seen if it will be continued in the sustained, depressed economy.
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Quick Takes
P&G, Unilever and L'Oreal are Top Three 2011 Advertisers
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North Americans Consume Most Videos per Viewer
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BRIC Countries More Open to Purchasing Products Via Social Networks
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Tebow TD Pass Creates New Twitter Record
9,420 tweets per second—that’s how many Tebow-related tweets happened in the moments following his 80 yard TD pass during the 1/7 game against Pittsburgh. That’s the fastest pace of tweets in Twitter history.
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Condé Nast
Feedback, questions, ideas for future issues? Please contact:

Phil Paparella
Condé Nast Research & Insights | Associate Director
1166 6th Avenue, 14th fl. | NY, NY 10036 | office 212.790.6044 | philip_paparella@condenast.com

Tamar Rimmon | Senior Manager, Digital Analytics
Robyn Hightower | Manager, Research & Insights