Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Microsoft's Ballmer kicks off ANA show with claim that all media will be digital in 10 years


Newsweek on Monday will unveil a sweeping redesign of the magazine and its Web site while at the same time formally ending its seven-year distribution agreement with

While some recent redesigns have been introduced with fanfare, such as BusinessWeek, whose new look hit newsstands yesterday, or Time, which was overhauled in March, Newsweek Editor Jon Meacham has consciously avoided publicizing Newsweek's revamping.

"It was stealth redesign," Meacham said yesterday as he was getting ready to ship the first of the new-look pages to the printer.

"I just want people to judge it when they see it," said Meacham. "I don't believe in sweeping declarations."

As part of the redesign - the first in six years - Newsweek's logo will undergo a slight tweak, but won't be radically different from what it replaces. In addition, many of the stories in the print version will be longer.

Meacham has also lengthened its Periscope section, doubled the size of its Conventional Wisdom Watch and added four new columnists.

"What we are trying to do here is clear out the clutter and speak in a print vernacular," said Meacham.

Meanwhile, will now be a standalone Web site, though it will still have some loose ties to under a new multi-year contract.

The new Web site goes live tomorrow with more breaking news, a blog from Newsweek political reporter Andrew Romano and daily updates of popular print columns such as "My Turn."

Though the magazine's Web strategy of going it alone will give Newsweek technological control of over how its site is displayed, it's a gamble because a large chunk of Newsweek's Web traffic was driven by

In August, for example, roughly 50 percent of the 7.2 million unique visitors to Newsweek's Web site came from

Rival Time magazine, meanwhile, had 4.4 million unique visitors.

Microsoft's Ballmer kicks off ANA show with claim that all media will be digital in 10 years

Phoenix-In his opening keynote presentation at the Association of National Advertisers' annual conference, Microsoft Corp. CEO Steve Ballmer said that in 10 years, all media will be digital, with tremendous ramifications for marketers, agencies and publishers.

"Within 10 years, the consumption of anything we think of as media today, whether it is print, TV or the Internet, will in fact be delivered over IP (Internet protocol) and will all be digital," Ballmer said. "Everything will be delivered digitally."

He said this transformation will change the ways in which marketers, agencies and media companies deliver information to consumers and business customers, using rich Internet applications to deliver targeted messages to the audience.

"We will have rich databases of information to deliver the right message to the right person at the right time in any communication," Ballmer said.

"As soon as you assume that everything is delivered digitally, all media and all advertising will have to take that into account."

Ballmer said Microsoft is committed to developing a marketing platform that will help advertisers deliver next-generation marketing and media services.

"We're investing in this as aggressively as anything we've ever invested in," he said, pointing to recent acquisitions such as Microsoft's purchase of digital marketing company aQuantive.

-Kate Maddox

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