Media Execs Clueless to How Twitter will make money


A lot of the blogs I have been doing of late have been centered on Twitter, so why stop now? However, this will probably the last Twitter post for… well at least a few weeks.

I don’t think there is any question as to why many media outlets are having financial problems. They simply do not understand the new media. I read an article from News Factor called Top Media Execs Wonder How Twitter Will Make Money and I couldn’t help laughing.

What is interesting about online media is that is requires technical proficiency and creativity. Its a medium that requires new ideas and new ways of thinking.

“I think it’s a great service. I just don’t think it’s a natural advertising medium,” said Diller, who heads online conglomerate InterActiveCorp.

John Malone, chairman of Liberty Media Corp., also believes Twitter will be hard-pressed to sell advertising on its messaging service without alienating users. Twitter’s best bet, Malone said, probably is to simply get people so addicted to the service that they might eventually pay fees.

But see this is why newspapers are closing and magazines are reducing circulation or like PC Magazine, no longer in print media.

Media executives want to know how Twitter will make money and I look at Twitter and think how can it not?

First off, clear your head of advertisements. Push that to the curb. The bulk of the Twitter using populace probably wouldn’t click on a link or even consider flashing banners, ad links, sponsorships, etc. Although I have a few ideas how they could get advertising to work lets look at the main things Twitter can do.

The acquisition of a company like Tweet Later. Tweet Later has a long list of features that are very useful for a lot of Twitterers. If Twitter doesn’t purchase this company they could develop these tools on their own. The addition of the professional tools for a small fee. Malone said that Twitter needs to get people so addicted that they might eventually pay fees… silliness. According to their site, Tweet Later service has  more than 100,000 users. The service is about 30 bucks a month and users, especially business and marketers, use it. If Twitter picked it up and 10% of the users paid for the tools, Twitter would be looking at ~$140 million a year.

Twitter could produce a system of development tools to software companies for easier interface. The toolkit would be free, but could include a support channel for a nominal monthly fee. Or have the toolkit cost a certain amount of money and add support fees to it. The Twitter modding community is already quite large and the vast array of tools for Twitter is one of its main features, if programmers had even more access to Twitter controls that market could become even larger than it is now.

Twitter could offer a la carte services. They could have the Tweet Later tools, maybe a UI like TweetDeck or Twirl, etc and make it so you can say grab five “power” features for $5 or 15 features for $9.99. By making it user choice as far as the features you get for the fee, users can purchase what they need, making the population of paying customers larger. Heck, Twitter could even make a marketplace so users can see everything Twitter has to offer and all of the tools other companies have, free or fee based.

Now back to advertising. Twitter can make gateway ad landing pages if they wanted for all URLs that are clicked on from tweets. Personally, I wouldn’t like it, but it wouldn’t make me stop clicking on links I find in tweets considering roughly 80% of the links I have clicked on have been very useful.

I am not really going to mention the other ideas I have because this is becoming quite a long blog, but I hope people see the potential is there without too much work for Twitter to become quite profitable and they can do it without advertising or mandatory subscriptions like the pedestrian media magnets believe. Principles here can be applied to any industry as well. You find what people want and you give it to them in the best possible way and in doing so you provide a great service and the customer will be happy to pay for it

Categories : Marketing

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