The internet is a strange place, an environment that constantly shifts and adapts, one that reacts to user behaviour even as it changes it. That virtually guarantees that companies who are on top one minute won’t necessarily be the market leader the next. And as the Mary Meeker internet trend reports make plain, even tech giants like the once unassailable Netscape can fall out of favour.

Apple is the great survivor. It is the only company from 1995 whose market cap means they still sit in the Top 15 of public internet companies. In contrast, many of their cohorts from the class of ‘95 are gone, if not forgotten. Or at least much lower on the food chain…

This table shows you how quickly markets can change as they mature. In the space of just two decades, the major public players have changed beyond recognition. What’s also notable however is the lack of diversification.

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Tablet editions appear to have plateaued as a driver of traffic to publishers’ news content. According to Ken Doctor, they tend to bring in between 12 – 15 percent of most publishers’ total audience. That’s a relatively small amount – but nonetheless counts as a contributor to the total audience on mobile which we’ve reported on so recently – for most, but as the piece makes plain it’s one that Montreal’s La Presse far outstrips, with huge success in both engagement and reach:

“La Presse+ claims engagement numbers, as measured by time on site, that rival or exceed what we saw in the halcyon days of print: 44 minutes on weekdays, 50 minutes on Sundays, and 73 minutes on Saturdays, the traditional big weekend day of newspaper reading in Canada. Overall, the company now says it has a weekly tablet readership of 453,957”.

However, in a discussion around the topic on Twitter, commentator Mathew Ingram suggested that the form of tablets – a physical object capable of replicating the features of a print newspaper – had to some extent dictated the way in which publishers would use them. If true, that perhaps explains why most publishers haven’t seen La Presse’s success – they’re using outdated publishing methods, simply translated to a new medium.



The above articles are original TheMediaBriefing analysis, and initially published in our daily morning newsletter. 

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