links for 2010-03-29

  • Kevin: Dan Lyons at Newsweek looks at the upcoming launch Apple's iPad. The analysis is largely bullish and looks at how Steve Jobs of Apple has turned conventional wisdom that 'walled gardens' on the internet don't work. "The closed system also lets Apple make more money, because it collects 30 percent of whatever customers spend on apps or content. Same goes for movies, music, and books. Instead of making a one-time sale, each iPad sold becomes a recurring revenue stream for Apple."

    In the end, I think it's not a black and white issue of closed versus open systems. The biggest issue with many of the closed gardens in the past is that they often worked well for the people that ran them but they didnt' work so well for consumers. Also, while Apple is often criticised for its control over the iPhone apps market, it stil offers a huge range of choice.

  • Kevin: Felix Salmon at Reuters looks at revenue per page on professional blog networks like Nick Denton's Gawker and Henry Blodget's Business Insider. It came out of a Twitter conversation Blodget. The post is interesting, especially the last paragraph. I spotted this in the third comment: "The reason why very few can make money on content alone is because the people selling the product have some warped idea that the product is less valuable than the format that was once very profitable in a print format." Currently there are a few reasons why print advertising is more profitable than digital, but we'll see a shift over the next decade if not the next few years. The problem currently is down to metrics. Not all web traffic is created equal. Sales teams need to sit with their web metrics team. There is a good digital story to tell. Ad teams often aren't telling it.
  • Kevin: Ian Delaney looks closely at miniblogging services such as Tumblr, and Posterous. He points out, "None of these platforms currently have any form of advertising, premium features or any other way to make their business sustainable." To survive as sustainable businesses, he says that platforms will have to differentiate, and he offers a few suggestions on what those might be.
  • Kevin: Fred Wilson of Union Square Ventures looks at web traffic outside of the US to popular sites and services such as Facebook and Twitter. He concludes: "The conventional wisdom is that international usage cannot be monetized as well as US traffic and that is certainly true. But with >80% of your potential users outside of the US, I think the web sector needs to start working harder on international monetization."