Posted tagged ‘RCR Wireless’

Seattle Post-Intelligencer Goes Web Only

March 16, 2009

It was announced today that the Seattle Post-Intelligencer will print its final edition Tuesday.

From the Associated Press:

Hearst Corp., which owns the 146-year-old P-I, said Monday that it failed to find a buyer for the newspaper, which it put up for a 60-day sale in January after years of losing money. Now the P-I will shift entirely to the Web.

“Tonight will be the final run, so let’s do it right,” publisher Roger Oglesby told the newsroom.

Hearst’s decision to abandon the print product in favor of an Internet-only version is the first for a large American newspaper, raising questions about whether the company can make money in a medium where others have come up short.

David Lonay, 80, a subscriber since 1950, said he’ll miss a morning ritual that can’t be replaced by a Web-only version.

“The first thing I do every day is get the P-I and read it,” Lonay said. “I really feel like an old friend is dying.”

Hearst’s move to end the print edition leaves the P-I’s larger rival, The Seattle Times, as the only mainstream daily in the city.

“It’s a really sad day for Seattle,” said P-I reporter Angela Galloway. “The P-I has its strengths and weaknesses but it always strove for a noble cause, which was to give voice to those without power and scrutiny of those with power.”

Seattle follows Denver in losing a daily newspaper this year. The Rocky Mountain News closed after its owner, E.W. Scripps Co., couldn’t find a buyer. In Arizona, Gannett Co.’s Tucson Citizen is set to close Saturday, leaving one newspaper in that city.

And last month Hearst said it would close or sell the San Francisco Chronicle if the newspaper couldn’t slash expenses in coming weeks.

The newspaper industry has seen ad revenue fall in recent years as advertisers migrate to the Internet, particularly to sites offering free or low-cost alternatives for classified ads. Starting last summer, the recession intensified the decline in advertising revenue in all categories.

Four newspaper companies, including the owners of the Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune and The Philadelphia Inquirer, have sought Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in recent months.

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RCR Wireless News Closes

March 3, 2009

It’s a very sad day for the mobile and wireless industry.

From RCR Wireless News:

RCR Wireless News has suspended publication of its print and online products immediately and is closing operations. Unfortunately, the market for RCR’s products has been hit particularly hard by the global financial meltdown.

“RCR Wireless News was passionately run by first-class people and it pains us to make this move but the economy gives us no other choice,” said Crain Communications Chairman Keith E. Crain.

Verizon To Raise Text Message Costs…Or Maybe They Won’t

October 11, 2008

It appears that Verizon plans to impose drastic new fees for vendor-generated text messages. Or do they?

The story has been big news across the mobile content, marketing and messaging industries over the past 24 hours and is still unfolding as we speak this evening.

As most of you know, mBlox, the world’s largest mobile transaction network, is a client of mine so I have kept up to date with developments throughout the day. Here’s a few articles to give you a little more insight into this developing, and most interesting, story.

From RCR Wireless News:

The off-deck content world reacted with shock to Verizon Wireless’ plan to impose a drastic new fee for vendor-generated text messages. However, it’s unclear whether the carrier will actually follow through with the charge.

The nation’s No. 2 carrier this week informed partners that it plans tack on a 3-cent charge for every MT (motile terminated) message processed on its network beginning Nov. 1. MT messages typically include text alerts, interactive voting notifications and SMS search responses, and have become increasingly popular as SMS has become mainstream in the United States.

“There’s absolutely a sense of panic, and it has to do with the immediacy of the move,” said Steve Livingston, CMO of mBlox, a dominant player in the message-aggregation space. “We really haven’t had time to discuss it. There are a lot of questions that we’re trying to assess.”

From Wireless Week:

A Verizon Wireless spokeswoman characterized the move as something the company needs to do as part of business, but content providers and aggregators are concerned the rate increase will cause brands and marketers to ditch mobile in favor of cheaper, more traditional alternatives, like e-mail.

“This recent announcement from Verizon is very significant because a large number of market segments will no longer be able to participate in off-portal SMS services. Although we understand the carrier’s need to monetize, the immediacy, the market timing and level of cost will create a shock to the system,” said Steve Livingston, chief marketing officer at SMS aggregator mBlox. “The mobile channel will quickly become unattractive to many companies, small and large, that have been investing in new innovative programs and services.”

From the New York Times:

Verizon Wireless this week told companies that send out text messages that starting Nov. 1 it will impose a fee of 3 cents for each message it delivers to the phones of its subscribers. The plan prompted waves of protest among many of the companies that use text messages, and Verizon has backed off the details.

Steve Livingston, the director of marketing for mBlox, which processes text messages for companies including News Corporation’s MySpace social network and The New York Times, said the volume of messages it handles could fall by more than half.

“Alert services and social networks don’t work at 3 cents,” Mr. Livingston said.

Mr. Livingston and Zaw Thet, the chief executive of 4Info, a company that sends messages on behalf of Yahoo and USA Today, said Verizon had sent them information that was much more specific than what Mr. Nelson described.

“We received a formal notification of a rate change,” Mr. Livingston said, adding that the short time frame would be disruptive for mBlox’s customers.

“We have a lot of companies that have been working on their fall marketing campaigns,” he said.

Mr. Livingston and Mr. Thet said Verizon was discussing alternative pricing plans with big senders of text messages. And they said that some payment to the wireless carriers was appropriate, given the growth of text-message advertising.

From CNET:

The blogosphere has been up in arms over the past 24 hours as news spread that Verizon Wireless is planning to increase the per-message fee it charges companies that send text alerts.

My colleague Matt Diaz at ZDNet said he’d stop using Twitter if the charge was passed along to him.

“Certainly, as someone who updates my own Twitter account somewhat regularly, I’m not inclined to start paying for users to receive my notifications via SMS. If that were the case, I’d just stop using Twitter.”

But Jeffrey Nelson, a Verizon Wireless spokesman, said the price hike has not been finalized. Still, he acknowledged that Verizon Wireless has been discussing ways to offset increased costs associated with heavy volumes of SMS text messaging on its network.

“We are currently assessing how to best address the changing messaging marketplace, and are communicating with messaging aggregators, our valued content partners, our technology business partners and, importantly, our friends in the nonprofit and public policy arenas,” he said in an e-mail. “To that end, we recently notified text messaging aggregators–those for-profit companies that provide services to content providers to aggregate and bill for their text messaging programs–that we are exploring ways to offset significantly increased costs for delivering billions upon billions of text messages each month.”

From InformationWeek:

On Friday, a Verizon Wireless spokesman said the message was not the final world on the increase, which is still under consideration. “That draft was intended to stimulate internal business discussions and in no way should have been released to the public and represented as a final document,” he said in an e-mail.RCR reported that companies sending text messages and other content today typically pay from a fraction of a penny to a few cents a message, a rate that Nelson did not challenge. The spokesman said an increase, which would be the first since the service began in 2003, was under consideration “to offset significantly increased costs for delivering billions upon billions of text messages each month.”

A fee boost could be particularly difficult on startups entering a crowded market for providing mobile services. Large Internet companies, such as Google and Yahoo, are unlikely to enjoy paying more to reach users, as well as traditional media companies that send news alerts and other content, such as CNN or ESPN.