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FreePint BlogSeeking the content niche

Tuesday, 25th September 2012 Please login top-right to be able to star items

By Scott Brown


Abstract:

Content of every kind is increasingly becoming available via free channels - and it seems like it's becoming harder for information vendors to figure out what content customers will actually purchase. It seems as if the struggle to find the "content niche" will continue to become even more difficult - yet vendors are rising to the challenge of distinguishing their offerings.


Item:

Content of every kind is increasingly becoming available via free channels – and it seems like it’s becoming harder for information vendors to figure out what content customers will actually purchase. As Penny Crossland observes in reporting on the acquisition of The Deal by TheStreet, “financial news is almost the only sector which consumers are prepared to pay for” – especially as information vendors continue to struggle with what information to put behind the paywall.

It seems as if the struggle to find the “content niche” will continue to become even more difficult – yet vendors are rising to the challenge of distinguishing their offerings. To me, the niche is characterised by unique content, unique format, or both. In the unique content category, Penny covers Thomson Reuters’ launch of their sustainability site. Yes, there are other sources of sustainability news, but part of the unique aspect of Thomson Reuters’ offering is the breakout of news across four verticals: Climate & Energy, Health, Law and Corporate Governance.

On the unique format side, the Wall Street Journal created a tool called Worldstream for its reporters, which is now being made available to the public to access via smartphone and other devices. Worldstream is described as the “video equivalent of Twitter”, offering ongoing video news snippets and a unique way to keep up on the news while on the go. (Ironically, one of the news categories on Worldstream is the iPhone.)

The final “niche” piece that stands out for me is Helen Clegg’s mini-review of PrivCo. In my view, PrivCo provides both unique content and format. Helen notes that by aggregating information on (primarily US) private companies – a notoriously difficult research area – PrivCo can be useful to researchers across industries. By adding other features, such as comparison industry M&A and venture capital activity, PrivCo combines strong content with flexible options. Read more about it here.

Check out all the articles in this week’s Information Content Newsletter, and find your own niche. Where do you think the next content niche is?


 

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Scott Brown is the owner of Social Information Group (http://www.socialinformationgroup.com), an independent information practice that focuses on the effective use of social networking tools for sharing and finding information. His forthcoming book, "Social Information: Gaining Competitive and Business Information Using Social Media Tools" will be published in late 2012. He has worked with libraries, Fortune 500 companies, startups, government organisations and individuals to help them understand and effectively use these tools for their clients, and to drive increased visibility and return on information resources. He has over 20 years of experience in library and information organisations, in public, academic and corporate settings. Scott is a regular speaker nationally on many areas of information work. He is also a professional coach.

You can follow him on Twitter at @socialinfo.

More articles by Scott Brown »


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