In this edition of the Baekdal Plus Newsletter:
Happy holidays everyone. It's that time of year again where people start to sing weird songs, and we all become poor buying presents for each other. But it's also the time of year for candy, nuts, strange forms of chocolate, and massive amounts of food (hooray)!
This is the final newsletter for this year, and then I plan to enjoy a whole week of relaxation (with all my Christmas food) before we are back to work in January.
And to end this year, I have something amazing for you.
Over the past month, I have kept a very close watch on The Correspondent's launch in the English-speaking market. And, as you probably already know, they reached their funding goal with 45,886 new members and $2,627,070 raised.
This is such a wonderful thing because it means that the media industry is ending 2018 with a win. And how amazing is that!?
But, I have now put together a massive report about what exactly happened during their funding campaign, with hourly data illustrated in 14 graphs, and with a lot of added insights from my questions and discussions with Ernst Pfauth, the CEO of The Correspondent.
The whole thing was a roller-coaster ride in the extreme, and for the first three weeks of the 30-day campaign, it looked like they weren't going to make it.
So, take a look at: "A look at The Correspondent's Crowdsourcing Campaign".
Note: This is actually a Plus report, but I will keep it free for everyone to read during the next week as my gift to you.
In the latest Axios Media Trend newsletter by the always amazing Sara Fischer, I came across this graph:
This shows how much time people in the US spend on different types of media. And, as you can see, the older generation spends an enormous amount of time watching TV.
For those over 65, that's almost 7 hours of just passively sitting on their couches watching non-interactive media.
But it's not just that old people spend more time on TV, it's also that the total number means that old people spend more time watching media as a whole. And the trend that we see is that the younger generation has a much more nuanced, but also far more active approach to media.
This is not really a new trend. We have known this for years. But what's interesting is how profound the generational divide has become.
In 2019 and forward, this generational divide to media consumption is going to have a much bigger role, because most of the traditional world of media is defined around passive consumption ... and more importantly, a passive editorial approach.
In other words, traditional media is still focusing on just getting people to sit down and flip through random pages (or click on random things on Facebook).
So, if you want to become relevant for the younger generation, it's not just about the format anymore. It's also about the functionality of media.
How are you going to approach this in 2019?
Another thing I came across on Twitter, was a tweet by Chris Moran, Editor of strategic projects at The Guardian, where he posted a screenshot from The Guardian's statistics dashboard.
This dashboard looks very nice. It's beautifully designed, and it tells you a lot about the performance of an article, both in terms of the page views, how many were regulars, the median attention time (nice!!) and this big graph showing the volume and source of all the traffic.
And then you have this button that says 'bigger graph' ... which, I assume, makes the graph bigger.
There is nothing wrong with this, but it reminded me of a post that Avinash Kaushik published in his newsletter recently, titled: "Say no to insights, yes to out-of-sights!"
In this post he talks about how we often get distracted by the data that is easy to see.
As he writes:
I've come to hate the word insights.
In our world - research and analytics - that word has come to represent data puking.
It has come to represent telling people, with dozens of reports or eighty slides, that water is wet.
I've observed, during my work across the world, when we deliver insights, we mostly deliver things in-sight of our audience - things they can already see!
The solution, he says, is to focus on the opposite of that.
The last time I changed jobs I wanted to change the aspiration of what my talented team and I shoot for.
Our aim would be to provide out-of-sights - things people can't see.
I just love this, because it illustrates such an important element of the future of analytics.
In The Guardian's screenshot above, you see this button called 'bigger graph' which is just telling you what you can already see. What if that button said: "Out of sights", which would then lead you to some data analysis of all the important patterns and changes that a normal dashboard can't show you?
That would be far more valuable!
The reason I point this out is because this is going to be such an important element for publishers in the future. When you talk about how to lower churn rates or refine editorial goals, you don't need insights to tell you that, you need all those 'out-of-sights' that really cause things to happen in the first place.
So, start thinking about how to surface the data that isn't just an output from a statistics database. How are you going to find that data? How will you turn that into something useful? How are you going to automate that type of analysis?
Anyway, this is it for Baekdal Plus in 2018. I will be back in 2019 with another 25 Plus reports, podcasts, more newsletters, and so many more wonderful things.
Have a wonderful holiday!
Founder, media analyst, author, and publisher. Follow on Twitter
"Thomas Baekdal is one of Scandinavia's most sought-after experts in the digitization of media companies. He has made himself known for his analysis of how digitization has changed the way we consume media."
Swedish business magazine, Resumé