Phone It In

What kind of news media will we have if people become accustomed to free content? That question, raised at a recent Cybersalon, reverberates in a KPMG study ( see press release) that shows phone users want content on the go — but are divided about whether they want to pay more for it.

Thanks to Paid Content’s Staci Kramer for this analysis :

“37 percent of North American respondents (not sure how many that sample includes) said they would not pay a premium above the cost of their current bill for converged services; 20 percent said they would only go as high as 10 percent over the bill. But that emphasis overlooks that the majority of those North Americans surveyed said they would pay more for information and entertainment delivered by cell phone.”

As for what survey respondents want to see on phone screens, Kramer writes “video content preferences start with movie trailers and clips followed by news clips and sports.”

Data mining? Behavioral targeting matches ads to the user’s browsing behavior and, in the advertiser’s dreams, to the person’s demographic profile. Now MediaPost reports on a newly-issued patent “for a system of paying publishers based on the amount of demographic and psychographic information they provide about their users.” The article notes that other similar patents are out there — and alludes to the possibility of a consumer backlash against such data extraction techniques. (Yes, but will consumers pay for content rather than sit still for personality strip-mining?)

Trust rankings?
A Poynter report notes improvements in Yahoo’s local news site and suggests that the online giant, which has so far culled material from established media, may include credible blogs and citizen journalism sources in the future. After talking to Yahoo News’s Elizabeth Osder, Poynter writes that she “hinted in a direction where Yahoo! News users could end up rating local-news sources.” That would surely fire up grassroots media. In the first place Yahoo’s blessing would lift a slew of selected sites above the noise level. And its example, and the way that it handles trust rankings, would serve as a template for other big Net aggregators — all of which sounds like good news for mini media.

Tom Abate
‘Cause if you ain’t Mass Media, you’re Mini Media