Ad:Tech: Online Publishers

Ad:Tech: Online Publishers

: Next up: a session for web publishers to talk about their issues with smart folks up there: Martin Nisenholtz of the NYT, Larry Kramer of CBS Marketwatch, Caroline Little of WashingtonPost.Newsweek and Debora Wilson of The Weather Channel.

The theme among them all is that the way to grow is not to get new audience but to get the audience to spend more time on the site. Martin says his users spend 38-40 minutes per month at and that’s on the high end of the scale.

They like video.

They say that we need to acknowledge that people don’t come in through the home pages. Every page is a home page, one says.

Martin talks again about taking advantage of the distributed nature of the web. He said good things about this at Web 2.0.

Martin sings praises to Wikipedia; it creates depth behind a simple page and “introduces serendipity into the experience.” That’s what a newspaper is, he says; it’s not usually a search experience.

Martin says that even the NYT doesn’t have enough content and has to leverage more content. I just spoke with someone from Starcom who made that point: Print publishers should be helping to organize content beyond their walls; that is their traditional role.

Wilson says they see a point very soon “when all electronic media will be IP delivered.” That means not broadcast or cable. That means TV explodes.

Larry Kramer and Caroline Little say they reached profitability on cost-cutting for the last few years and it was very frustrating: “At one point I felt like sending out an email: Bring your own toilet paper to work.” Now, they say, they have to invest in new product development. That is the way to grow.

Nisenholtz talks about the need to do more than just make profit but use that profit to mee the paper’s prime directive. Covering the election is not profitable but it’s necessary.

He also points to new video reports by NYT technology reporter David Pogue. I’m eager to watch them; won’t try on a Treo connection…