Digital First Media launching news technology incubator
Yesterday Digital First Media announced that in 2012 it will launch an “investment company” to foster tech startup companies that focus on content, advertising and audience development. Vice President Jonathan Cooper clarified that the new spinoff, Digital First Ventures, will be more of an incubator than a venture capital firm…
Yesterday Digital First Media announced that in 2012 it will launch an “investment company” to foster tech startup companies that focus on content, advertising and audience development.
Vice President Jonathan Cooper clarified that the new spinoff, Digital First Ventures, will be more of an incubator than a venture capital firm…
So far few details are available about Digital First Ventures, but in an interview VP Jonathan Cooper clarified: “The idea is to use this to create partnerships with companies that we can work with.”
According to Cooper, eventually the spinoff may invest in other startups, regardless of whether they end up partnering with Digital First for its properties through Journal Register Company or MediaNews Group.
Cooper demurred on whether Alden Global Capital, the secretive hedge fund backing Digital First Media, will play a direct role in choosing or managing investments by Digital First Ventures. He noted that more details about the incubator are coming in early 2012.
In a related note, in a recent presentation, JRC/DFM CEO John Paton observed: “Clearly, we are not digital innovators in the newspaper business. But we are adapters.”
Paton also argued that news publishers should push beyond shovelware to start doing digital media right: “The right uses for the right platforms on the right occasions. And not just the simple re-purposing of content from one platform to another in order of priority.”
On the revenue side, he noted: “JRC is now launching about one new sales product each week. We source centrally and train and implement locally. Our local sales forces call it the ‘The Firehose’—an unending stream of products and ideas because in this transition no one knows what will work unless you try. To fill that firehose requires partnering. And just like in yesterday’s newsroom the old-fashioned closed sales floor didn’t partner very well. That’s now changed.”
And: “It’s time [for the news industry] to step forward into the fight for our markets. Because we can change and we have learned to partner and we already have the scale—as does the rest of the newspaper industry—that just about every content and sales startup is looking for.”
The News for Digital Journalists blog is made possible by a grant to USC Annenberg from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.
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Tags: business models, business, newspapers, funding, innovation, revenue, start up
As a local publisher, one thing I would like to see is responsiveness on the part of large information digitizers such as Amazon to local news and content. News is a vital part of our democracy, and delivery of what is news has become just as broad across the social media spectrum. News and information devices are the local kiosk, and smaller news sources ought to have an avenue of accessibility to allow them to exist side by side with larger circulation newspapers and magazines. When I pick up a Kindle, the option should be there to access local media content. Please invent this.
By OkeyDoakey, 12/29/11 at 8:43 am
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