Felix Salmon

Content economics, part 2: payments

Apologies for the delay between part 1 and this: I wanted to wait until Amanda Palmer’s TED talk appeared online, because it’s an important part of the other big aspect of content economics. Part 1 was about the ability of publishers to sell readers to advertisers; part 2 is about the ability of publishers to persuade readers to pay the publisher directly.

Content economics, part 1: advertising

Back in December, Peter Kafka summed up the most important question with regards to the future of online advertising. Do advertising dollars ultimately end up where people spend their time, he asked, echoing Kleiner Perkins’ Mary Meeker says, or, pace Bernstein Research’s Todd Juenger, is that a “fallacy”?

The SEC’s weird newswire investigation

A couple of weeks ago, the WSJ’s Brody Mullins had a big story about the fact that the SEC was investigating a political-intelligence consultancy named Marwood. Marwood doesn’t seem to have done anything wrong, but the very fact that it was being investigated was, at least as far as the WSJ was concerned, front-page news.

Are annotations the new comments?

I’m in Munich, for the DLD conference, where Ben Horowitz took the opportunity to introduce the Rap Genius guys to the European digital-media crowd. But it’s actually Horowitz’s partner, Marc Andreessen, who has the best explanation of what the investment is all about:

The game theory of #mintthecoin

As Cardiff Garcia says, when it comes to #mintthecoin, “it’s important for advocates to define carefully what they’re actually calling for”. The basic matrix, as I see it, looks a bit like this:

When news sells at a premium

I’m fascinated by the economics of the Al Jazeera acquisition of Current TV, at an eye-popping price of roughly half a billion dollars. That’s about $12,000 for each of Current TV’s 42,000 nightly viewers. But of course as Liana Baker and Peter Lauria note, Al Jazeera isn’t interested in Current TV’s handful of viewers: this is “a pay-for-distribution play”, and what Al Jazeera is really buying is Current TV’s access to 40 million households. Looked at that way, the price is about $12.50 per possible/potential viewer.

The transparent DealBook conference

Margaret Sullivan, the NYT public editor, has mixed feelings about the first DealBook conference, which took place on Wednesday. Her job is to worry about such things, but it’s worth taking her post seriously, because conferences and other live events are one of the few bright spots in the media business-model world right now.

Why we won’t have tablet-native journalism

Last week, when the Daily died, I declared that the reason, in part, was that tablet-native journalism was impossible. And I got a lot of rather vehement pushback, including some smart commentary from John Gruber, taking the other side of the argument.

Why Bloomberg is interested in LinkedIn

As Henry Blodget realizes, the most interesting part of the latest speculation about Bloomberg buying the FT is buried en passant: