Thursday, October 05, 2006

Breaking News, aka Broke for news. One case where the loser could be winning.

Ever wondered where the national media got the names that they have for breaking news? Some call it News flash, some call it Just in, and of course, some call it breaking news. I suspect he answer lies with two really interesting companies in the advertising space, and (e4m)
These two sites have a lot of news on the Indian advertising and media industries, though agencyfaqs trumpets its marketing orientation too. As they competed increasingly for news, they were the earliest starters of the breaking news concept, where they would shoot an emailer to their subscribers with the 'breaking news'.
E4m has clearly decided to make the breaking news story its sole reason for existence. They even sent out a mailer recently with a screenshot of the site with SIX breaking news stories:) It's another story that all six were actually press releases, which only e4m had the gall to send out as breaking news. The much more conservative and clearly more 'edit' led agencyfaqs has opted to play a balancing game, posting these stories on the site only, instead of sending out mailers, under the moniker 'Latest' or something like that.

The point here is, do their subscribers actually like getting so many mailers, at a time when spam has virtually taken over the email systems? On a typical day, these sites, especially e4m, send almost 6-7 mails to their subscribers, including one daily news mail. I suspect, the only one people look forward to is the news mail, which is also the one they originally subscribed for.

A check at their registration pages confirms this. While the conservative agencyfaqs has a clear option for people to choose to select the extra mailers, e4m pretty much rolls you in.

So in my book, agencyfaqs does come off better, for its slightly more sophisticated approach. From what I can see, it hasn't hurt the advertising they get one bit too. E4m needs to decide whether they really want to be stuck with the news leader role, after a news is only one part of hat these professionals require for their work. I think agencyfaqs approach of a wider pffering will work better in the long term.

Why did I write the above post about these two?

because besides subscribing to their mailers (and a little tired of the crap, I must say), I have a feeling that both are going to be scouting for money soon, and potential investors , if they are sophisticated enough, might just plump for the faqs bandwagon, rather than e4m's shrill pitch.