Memorandum by NMTV and Silicon.com
Network Multimedia Television Ltd (NMTV) is
the publisher of Silicon.com, the leading online TV news and recruitment
service for IT professionals across Europe. Its vision is to build
a next generation media business which delivers Internet-based
business news and information products to supersede traditional
controlled circulation B2B magazines.
Recent events such as the merger between Dow
Jones and Reuters show that Internet-based services are fast becoming
the preferred medium for business information delivery and have
already begun to supersede traditional business publications.
Silicon.com has recalibrated the Internet as
a publishing medium to create a sustainable, valuable online business.
1. It knows and understands its audience.
The way in which Silicon.com was built means it accurately measures
(a) who its users are and (b) what these users do on the site.
Silicon.com is one of the only online media owners to to this.
Independent auditor, ABC//electronic went on record saying that
NMTV had delivered the most sophisticated audit ever thanks to
its ability to tie rich demographic information to usage.
As a publisher this has benefits (a) for measuring
site/content consumption patterns and (b) from a revenue generating
perspectiveadvertisers know precisely who they are targeting
and can measure who has seen their ad.
Silicon.com has a huge market lead in that it
enables "addressable" and accountable online advertisinga
critical need for a business to business advertiser. A recent
Forrester Research report commented that it is becoming vital
for online advertisers to know precisely who they are communicating
with and not just how many individuals are viewing their advertisements.
2. Personalisationbuilding a loyal
community of users
Personalisation has been built into Silicon.com
from day one enabling it to build a loyal community of users.
The benefits of personalising a site include:
fosters loyalty amongst user base;
enables a one-to-one relationship
better understanding of usage patterns
augments "stickiness" of
enables targeted, one-to-one marketing
Industry experts believe that personalisation
will play an increasingly critical role in online customer acquisition
and retention. According to a recent report from Forrester Research
(July 1999), companies must face up to the challenge of offering
personalised services to users of their websites or risk losing
business"Today's poor personalisers will fail to retain
Understanding your audience is a key requirement
in building a sustainable online community of regular site visitors.
All value in terms of possible revenue flows from the communityincluding
sustainable advertising revenues and likely future e-commerce
3. Beyond CPM
NMTV does not sell advertising on the common
model of cost per thousand (CPM). Silicon.com focuses on the quality
as well as the quantity of its users enabling it to sell exclusive
sponsorships and guaranted response-based advertising. Most other
online media owners merely sell banners which drive traffic to
an advertiser's web siteand they won't be able to give
you any information on who has seen your ad or clicked on it.
Silicon delivers measurable marketing solutions
and is the only publisher on the web to guarantee minimum campaign
response rates to advertisers. Advertisers can use Silicon to
raise brand awareness amongst a tightly defined target audience,
whilst also generating qualified sales leads. A recent online
advertising campaign for Microsoft generated around 3,000 sales
leads in a three month period. Similarly, e-commerce consultants,
Quidnunc, advertised on Silicon and received over 1,300 new enquiries.
In terms of revenue based purely on advertising
and sponsorship, Silicon is among the Top 10 UK sites, taking
between 5 and 10 per cent of the overall market spendrevenue
grew 300 per cent over the last year. This figure assumes current
UK online advertising market valuations lie between £20 and
Key revenue streams on Silicon.com are:
Response bannersan industry
first. Unlike other forms of banner advertising, which simply
deliver impressions to an advertiser's web site, response banners
actually deliver qualified sales leads. Silicon.com is unique
in the media industry by actually guaranteeing a minimum level
TV Style Advertisingan industry
first. In March 1999, Silicon re-launched its daily news section
as a TV style feature. To complement this, it pioneered the use
of TV style advertising on the web. This enables advertisers to
re-use existing creative designed for broadcast TV to be delivered
to a 100 per cent targeted audience in an extremely cost effective
Contract e-publishing servicesincludes
creation of Internet TV programmes and creation of promotional
microsites for advertisers and sponsors of the Silicon.com site.
Recent customers include Microsoft, Nortel and Kyocera.
Silicon.com also is in the process of developing
its e-commerce offering on the service. Initially this will forcus
on working with key industry partners and players to sell valuable
information online using Silicon.com as a channel. Qualitative
user research has shown that this is a service offering which
users would like to see on Silicon.com
4. The User Experience
Silicon.com is designed to solve the problem
of information overload for time-starved IT professionals.
Summary of key user benefits:
personalised experience and e-mail
relevant content (IT news from a
TV at the desktop, on demand: compelling
powerful archive searching for research.
Busy IT and business professionals needing to
learn what's going on in the world find the Silicon.com daily
TV news invaluable. According to one PricewaterhouseCoopers' executive,
"The idea that you can spend a couple of minutes listening
to an expert on your desktop is spot on."
Personalised news updates and details of the
latest video interviews are sent straight to the viewer's e-mail
inbox following the completion of a brief registration process.
TV on the Web
NMTV believes that the future for delivering
mission critical information in a business to business environment
is web-based. Internet-based services are already beginning to
supersede traditional business publications and are fast becoming
the medium of choice for consumption of work-related information.
A critical format for business information delivery
will be video-based and transmitted direct to an executive's desktop.
Business users will receive this video based information through
their existing and accepted workplace appliancethe PC.
NMTV believes that in the home consumers will view Internet-style
applications and information through already accepted delivery
mechanisms such as the TV.
Why TV at the desktop?
TV style delivery of business information over
the Internet is becoming the preferred way for busy business professionals
to consume information. Would you rather read a 1,500 word interview
with Bill Gates or watch a 3-minute interview at your desktop?
NMTV has conducted extensive research into this and discovered
that the majority would rather do the latter.
Benefits of TV at the desktop include:
It makes it very easy and quick to
Users can turn the information on
and off as requiredi.e. video on demand.
While it is will always be important
to have editors and journalists' views, sometimes people want
to hear an interviewee speak for themselves without being coloured
by a reporter's opinionTV is the only medium which allows
QUESTIONS1 What needs to
be done to create confidence and to stimulate e-commerce?
Confidence can only be created through leading
by example. Acceleration and rapid uptake of e-commerce will only
Governments lead by example developing
e-commerce applications for wired government. This could mean
creating centres of excellence which are open to business and
to consumers alike. It could mean ensuring we have public information
kiosks with Internet access in towns and cities, free web access
for all schools etc.
Governments need to be seen to be
placing e-commerce at the top of the political agenda. A political
heavyweight needs to be put in place and actively to work with
industry. For example, both government and industry would benefit
from regular seminars and thinktanks to stimulate best practice
and information exchange;
Create a truly excellent online service
and community which is a joint government/industry initiative.
This would be a forum to: exchange information and ideas; share
best practice and case studies; gain access to reports and information;
industry to post questions to government and government to post
questions to industry;
Put in place government sponsored
industry angels/advisers who can dedicate a proportion of their
time to advising businesses of all shapes and sizes on the all
of the issues surrounding e-commerce. These must be individuals
who have genuine hands-on experience of implementing on online/e-commerce
strategies. They should not be affiliated to any one vendor.
2. Does the EC's draft Action Plan offer a
realistic means of promoting e-commerce in the EU?
It is difficult to give a sensible answer to
this without a really detailed understanding of what is being
done. However, it is fair to say that industry tends to view government
as more of a hindrance to e-commerce than a facilitator. What
is required is clear action rather than reports and talking shops.
The key issues which need to be addressed are:
Sensible pricing for high speed internet
Free Net access for all schools;
Business advisers as outlined above
to help business;
Effective online "hub"
to promote all of the above and enable a genuinely free flow of
information and advice between government and industry.
3. Will codes of conduct and co-regulation
provide sufficient protection? Is there a case for intervention
by national governments and EU?
On the whole regulation tends to stifle e-commerce.
4. Do the institutions of national governments,
on the one hand, and the European Commission, the Council of Ministers
and the European Parliament, on the other, function with sufficient
flexibility and coherence to promote the EU's objectives in the
field of e-commerce?
A flat no, I am afraid. Industry does not perceive
national governments as acting with flexibility and coherenceinstead
they are viewed as, apart from a few exceptions, having a very
poor understanding of technology and e-commerce and as bureaucratic
Marketing Director NMTV
18 February 2000