Notes from the Jupiter Conference: Day 1
2nd Panel : Structuring a Business Model for Content
Mark Josephson, About.com, Inc
Charlie Fink, American Greetings & Charlie, Co.
Mark Jung, IGN
Mitchell Praver, NatGeo
Lowell Selvin, Planet Out

This was the best panel of the day in terms of exploring how content-focused sites can do strategic planning and use research–and common sense–to make money. Each of these CEOs has gone through the fire in terms of challenges building their businesses, and they shared practical strategies grounded in strong business analysis. Some key points and impressions:
Mark Jung of IGN, formerly SNOWBALL, was very articulate.
He explained how his company has honed in on the opportunities with the 12-19 year old male market, a group it can be hard to get dollars from at the younger end of the age spectrum, but also an area where there isn’t alot of other competitive media such as magazines and web sites. Jung is very research-oriented and studies the pathing of users’ behavior on this sites to determine both interest in content and services and sales opportunities for both content and premium services.

Here’s a picture of Jung.
Jung also outlined how they make decisions about restricting content to subscribers or buyers:
a) content can be “locked” forever–it’s always available only at a cost
b) content can be locked for a period of time–it costs money to get it fresh, or it costs money to get it when the pathing analysis on Jung’s site suggests the user is desperate to have it (i.e. a teen boy searching for cheat codes for an online game he is in the middle of playing–and losing.)
c) content is not locked, ever
Jung quote: “Before you build your business, identify the competitive advantage you can have with both online and offline entities–you’re not only competing with other web sites for attention.”
More on the others on this panel TK, along with reports from day 2.