Monday, October 13, 2008

Campaign Articles From Newsweek Become E-Books for Amazon Kindle

Talk about great synergy, repackage content and republish across a brand new media. That is what Newsweek is doing and I think it is a great idea. During this election period, voters are interested in knowing as much as they can about the candidates. Newsweek is taking these articles and putting them into a book series on the candidates. But rather than publish them with the risk of losing money on the cost of ink and paper and distribution costs, they are creating e-books for Kindle.

"This week, Newsweek will publish four books, one about each of the major presidential and vice presidential candidates — Senators John McCain, Barack Obama and Joseph Biden, and Gov. Sarah Palin... Turning this kind of collection into books is an old idea; what is new is to do it with such minimal production and distribution costs that even the most limited sales could be profitable."

I expect more publishers to follow a similar tact. If content can be monetized more than once, it becomes that much more profitable. The timing for this type of coverage at this moment in history is never better. And the Kindle technology gets a boost from this kind of increased awareness. Try reading these books on an iPhone and you may become a believer. Perhaps it is time for Apple to have its own reader in the marketplace.

YouTube starts running full-length CBS shows

Ask most people who watch video on the web where they go and they will surely mention You Tube. In fact You Tube is ranked first in usage and continues to lead others by a wide margin. As an aggregator of video content with the premium bran identity, it makes sense for You Tube to continue to grow to reflect changing usage factors. The rise of full length content on the web, the success of Hulu, and Netflix's recent partnership with Starz for online content has led You Tube to also present full length videos. Recently they showcased the second Presidential Debate. And now they have announced a partnership with CBS to stream old and new CBS shows on its platform.

"A mix of archive CBS shows, including "Star Trek," "Young and the Restless" and "Beverly Hills 90210," will now be available in full-length episodes of 20 minutes to 48 minutes. The shows will have a full-length badge to distinguish them from shorter clips, and will be available in a new 'theater' mode to improve the viewing experience, YouTube said."

Hulu, a joint venture of NBC and Fox, must be disappointed that CBS has not joined them; clearly, it would have given Hulu a much stronger impact in the race for eyeballs. The You Tube - CBS deal seems a perfect fit though, the blend of both short form clips along with the chance to watch the whole episode. Versatile, flexible, viewer friendly. "YouTube's audience size dwarfs Hulu. YouTube is the world's largest online video site with more than 330 million users in August, according to Web audience measurement firm comScore. Hulu by comparison had just 3.3 million users." For CBS, they went with the leader. If the eyeballs follow and the ad dollars get monetized, it will be a home run strategic move.