Mobile Industry Review goes subscription-only from 30th March

On the 27th of March, we’re turning subscription-only here at Mobile Industry Review (“MIR”).

One company has bought our entire output exclusively, on-going. We are, in effect, becoming a private research company.

Our new client is unwilling to subsidise our existing audience of readers (300-400k last month) so the content that we’ll be creating — reports, video interviews and day-to-day industry news and analysis — will become proprietary from 27th of March. After this date, the public version of MIR will no longer be updated.

The nature of our agreement allows for corporate subscriptions to our content at £12,000 per annum, plus applicable taxes. I’m able to offer the first 10 subscriptions at half price until the end of the month.

Our subscribers will receive:

* Daily news, updates and opinion — similar to the existing MIR daily output.
* Provision of monthly reports on key issues and trends.
* Exclusive video interviews with influential movers and shakers from around the industry (similar to the ones we’ve been providing).
* Exclusive video research with end-users of mobile technologies — and the ability for client/subscribers to direct research
* Business development and corporate strategy — our network reaches far and wide.
* Expert news and analysis (think Mr Operator features on steroids), written by some of the best and most informed in the industry.
* We’ll retain the lively MIR editorial style in a weekly summary of what’s going on.

Our content is going to be delivered directly to subscriber intranets and via email newsletters.

If you’d like to discuss a subscription, drop me an email: ewan@mobileindustryreview.com.

I’ll post more on this subject soon!

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  • http://intomobile.com constantine

    Congratulations are due, I owe you a beer when you come to Helsinki.

    Shame I'm not going to be watching this stuff anymore, I can't do 12,000 pounds a year, but hey: hopefully the right people will be paying attention to these videos.

  • http://www.kcjhdesign.co.uk Kip Hakes

    Fantastic news for you… not so good news for us geeks out there.. still it's been fun. Congrats team!

    K

  • jamesgpearce

    Congratulations on the deal!

    But that price to read a blog? Wow. The economy in the UK must be more messed up than I realised.

  • http://14sandwiches.com MartinSFP

    Firstly – congratulations. It's great that you've built such a compelling product that you've been bought. However, this truly is astonishing. Is this the first time a blog has transformed so significantly?

    I am a little upset that such great content is not only moving to a paid subscription, but that it will only be available at such a huge cost. Sure, MIR is aimed at the industry and big business can afford 12k p.a., but individuals, from solo mobile app developers to “informed observers” like myself will miss out on the content and that really is a shame.

    I can understand why the business model doesn't allow individual subscriptions at an affordable price point (no-one would buy the corporate subscriptions!) but it is a shame that such informed and entertaining content is to be removed from our lives with no way of getting it back.

    I'll shed a tear but wish you all the best for your new direction.

  • http://mobile-review.com markwebster

    Thank you and goodnight MIR

  • Claire

    I can't help feeling a little deflated. I've been a huge fan of your site for ages. I love the banter, the comments on the articles and I used to look forward to the MIR show every Monday.

    This is sad news for your normal (non-corporate) fanbase. But, you guys are brilliant, so it had to happen one day.

  • http://www.rossderrick.com Ross Derrick

    its not aprils fools day yet wtf?

  • njar

    hahahahahahahahahahahahha :)

  • http://2ksyllo.net/ ollysk2

    So Long, and Thanks For All the Fish…

  • JD

    (Ed – Shurely you mean after the 31st March?) :-)

  • http://ymb.jaiku.com Mike Bradshaw

    Congrats on getting the financial rewards for the hard work. It has been a fun ride while it lasted.

    shame that we (the 300) will be deprived of the content, but so it goes

  • Phil King

    Well done to you for showing that, even in recession, a good idea reaps rewards. This must be the first time a blog has become a corporate research company. While there are other sources of industry news, I always thought MIR was the best.

  • http://www.ashings.com Darryl

    Obviously great news for MIR and I am really pleased for you all. I will miss the great anaylsis and informed irreverance, you'll need to convince TPTB that a cutdown publis version will be good PR…

    All the best

  • http://www.mobileindustryreview.com Ewan @ MIR

    Friday 27th — then I fly to CTIA and our CTIA coverage becomes proprietary from then on.

  • http://www.exponere.com barneyc

    And as with pretty well everyone else here, thanks but no thanks.

    I can well understand the need to move at least in part to a subscription based model – after all producing this stuff isn't free. BUT I seriously think the value of MIR will be eroded without the contributions, attention and goodwill of everyone who makes up the extended community.

    Industry news, reviews and such are NOT worth 12k a year to anyone in my humble opinion – no matter how good they are. These is stuff out there in the public arena already and is best left as is so that said community can augment it – i.e. add value.

    Research, now that is a whole different kettle of fish and I would whole heartedly support the “paid for” approach as this is where the value to corporates lies – in MIR's expertise in aggregating, dissecting, analysing and disseminating all that information that goes into corporate strategy.

    So I for one think you may have missed the mark a little and certainly don't have 12k to spare nor the need right now for the research. The news I can get elsewhere.

    Friends though I hope to remain.

  • http://www.rickycadden.com Ricky Cadden

    Wow, serious congratulations to the team, for sure! Somewhat of a bittersweet announcement, really. Obviously, this is AWESOME for you guys, and incredibly well-deserved. I'm glad to know your honest opinions and thoughts will be front and center for the ones who can take action on it. I'm also sad that I won't be able to keep up with the latest news over here. As a former contributor, it'll be a bum deal to not be able to watch the videos, that's for darn sure.

    Best of luck, and again, congratulations!

  • http://mickyfin.vox.com/ Micky

    Everyone else has pretty much already said how they feel, and i too feel pretty much the same. £12k per PA is out of my pricing, so thats me not being able to get my MIR fix anymore, what am I going to do now?? :(

    Congrats to the MIR team, you do deserve it, but at what cost.? I really hope you are doing the right thing here, I really do.

    BTW – Does this mean I will never get an MIR Sticker? Ben?

  • Matt

    Another “congratulations!” from me, although personally I too am gutted that one of my first “morning reads” will no longer be accessible to us humble fans.

    I’ll miss you all!

  • http://mostlythis.com Mac Morrison

    congratulations and cheerio

  • http://geekyouup.blogspot.com geekyouup

    congrats, it can't have been easy in the current climate, you will be missed. I'm sure on the 28th I'll click on my MIR bookmark out of habit and find no news :-(

    For the rest of us I have 2 suggestions:
    1) We club together as a 'corporation', split the 12k about 12,000 ways.
    2) We start our own communinty fed mobile site, a little like a digg mobile tech.

    any takers?

  • http://blog.mjelly.com jamescoops

    im not sure the licensing will allow you to split a single user 12k ways..!

    i dont think anything can really replace what MIR provides, especially for us in the UK … yes, there are other mobile news sites but none have the same character and community around them

  • Rze

    £12k seems very reasonable but will have to come under next year's budget. Will you accept post-dated cheques for April 1st but backdate site access to march 27th?

  • http://nseriesus.com matthew bennett

    Wow. WOW! That's a really sweet deal for you guys!

    I'm really gonna miss the shows, but it's great that you were able to get funding to keep it going. You're leaving a big empty hole in the Mobile Blogosphere… MIR will be missed!

    Congratulations!

    -matthew-

  • http://www.smstextnews.com/author/Ben.Smith Ben Smith

    I'll look one out for you. Can you DM me your address?

  • Mike42

    Thinks: Could someone aggregate a subscription service for the masses? If you can collect £1,000 per month in subs, you get the stuff. Say you find 200 avid MIR readers, happy to part with a fiver each month (via PayPal) to get access to the content. Maybe a forum too. Each month you get a login to a secure site to access the material.

    c'mon – share the MIR love (and I don't mean in a Whatley way either ;-)

  • Mike42

    +1

  • http://14sandwiches.com MartinSFP

    Number 2 is an interesting idea but Engadget Mobile, All About Symbian and a couple of others give me all the news I need. It's the videos and informed opinion that I love MIR for. Others may come to fill the space but unfortunately few people have the knowledge, time and resources to run a site like this to such a high standard.

  • http://dabr.co.uk David Carrington

    Someone please do option 2! I've gained a lot through MIR and at least half of that was triggered by simple news and comments.

  • Anonymous

    A shame for many of us that have listened to your interesting reports, but great news that you’ve been able to monetize your content. Best of luck.

  • http://dabr.co.uk David Carrington

    Without MIR I would never have had data added to my mobile contract (http://www.mobileindustryreview.com/2008/07/703…) nor would I have developed Dabr without James' comment on this post: http://www.mobileindustryreview.com/2008/09/jon

    It's good and bad news to hear you're going private. Good luck with the new direction :)

  • Helen

    Congratulations but .. :( (I'm selfish, I know!)

    Seriously, well done you guys!

  • Sarah

    Congratulations MIR team –
    Loved MIR over the time, shame not going to see it anymore. Unless someone decides to let us PR agencies have exclusive access to content!!!
    Keep in touch

  • South77

    Are you the guy who created dabr? I learnt of that through this site and use it routinely.

  • http://dabr.co.uk David Carrington

    Yep – see my comment below. It's mostly because of MIR that Dabr exists :)

  • ceedee

    I’m gutted that you’re selling out.
    Both for the tens of thousands of regular (and compulsive) readers presumably to be dumped at the kerbside and the great team of contributors you’ve built up who, I’d guess, won’t get anything like the buzz when reporting for perhaps a hundred minted industry execs.

    I’m sure you’ve made the right business decision Ewan, but I can’t deny the news is most unwelcome.

  • http://mickyfin.vox.com/ Micky

    Thanks Ben, D sent via twitter.

  • http://blog.gisuser.com glenn

    congrats guys!
    I'm wondering if since 12,000 pounds is a rediculous amount to pay for online access, could I purchase in 2 minute blocks?? ;0)

    farewell

  • http://cenriqueortiz.com C. Enrique Ortiz

    congratulations on the acquisition.

    new subscription fee expensive tho i guess targeting large companies.

    but i hope you start something in parallel, if cant now due to contractual obligations, then when those obligations expire :-)

    ceo

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  • ocifant

    Great news for you guys. Crap news for the rest of us. Cheers, it's been fun…

  • Simon Wilcox

    350,000 subscribers today. 1% conversion rate, maybe, that’s 3,500 @ £12k a pop, so that’s £42m a year. Even at .25% conversion that’s still a very very tidy business.

    Can’t help wondering how much goodwill you just threw away though – will everyone be so willing to share with you when you’ve got a small audience and make a lot of money ?

    I hope so, ‘cos you’re terrific and I wish you the very best of luck. Sadly I’ll be getting my news & gossip elsewhere.

    Or is this just some fancy April Fool’s stunt ? If so, “you guys!”.

    S.

  • Steve

    corporate sellouts.
    :)

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  • http://www.TopMobile20.com JebBrilliant

    Congratulations to MIR. Very bitter sweet feeling for me/us. Wish you all the best. See you at CTIA.

  • http://www.howtoquitsmoking09.blogspot.com quit smoking

    wow, why so much ?

  • MarkW

    Bizarre, disappointing and probably the death of the product when subscribers decide to move on to other sources or cut their budgets. I truly believe you won't have the same product without the current community of followers.

    That said, I do wish all of you the best of luck because you're a talented, hard-working, ingenious crew.

    I'm now going to remove MIR from my feeds because I don't want to stick around for when it's switched off. Gonna take a while to break the habit of checking your output many times a day.

    All the best.

  • AJ

    WTF. Everyone is being really polite but I think this is a major sell-out and it tanks.

  • AJ

    WTF. Everyone is being really polite but I think this is a major sell-out and it tanks.

  • http://www.allaboutiphone.net Matt Radford

    Well I'm torn between saying congrats on what is probably a good business move, but a real bugger for those of us who come to this site daily for very well informed mobile opinion. Best of luck.

    But the real question remains: What will happen to Mr. Operator? Where will we be without him bringing the insider smackdown? (Hi Sally!) Will he get a spin-off – the Frasier to your Cheers? We need to know!

  • http://www.mobileindustryreview.com Ewan @ MIR

    I can't let some of these 'sell out' comments slide — AJ, it cost me between 16-20,000 pounds to deliver MIR to you and the other few hundred thousand readers on a monthly basis. The rest of the team gave their time either for no cost or for a small amount of expenses, again, funded by me. Now and again a company would put their hand in their pockets to buy a small amount of advertising or sponsorship. Now and again.

    I've done a lot of work around trying to work out a model for covering the cost of bringing MIR to you every month. I failed — it didn't work. I'm delighted that one company put its money where it's mouth is and said 'yes, please'. The fact that they choose to demand exclusivity is just the way it goes. They're entitled to do so. They're paying.

    Let's be clear. We could deliver you MIR — in better form than we have done to date — if you and 1,332 others were prepared to pay £15 per month for Dan, Ben, James, myself and the rest of the support infrastructure. But you're not. We didn't even bother asking.

    You're most welcome to surprise me with your offer to pay.

    But getting 1,332 others to join you? Difficult. Very difficult.

    So fiscal reality hits us all in the face — and we move on.

  • http://www.rickyc.co.uk Ricky Chotai

    nice to see you managed to get the free data! :D

  • ilicco

    yup bring on the community fed site, loads of mobile bloggers out there with qik capable phones…

  • njar

    wow. I really assumed this was a wind up. (to be fair i'll only be really convinced it isn't when you kill access)

  • AJ

    I take your point about having to cover overheads but why like this?

    And why are you basing your argument on a model involving only 1,332 readers. I don't know your visitor numbers – but why not try out a model based on a greater number of visitors with a more affordable subscription.

    At least you could have asked.

    You know some of us have been here since the early days.

  • http://www.mobileindustryreview.com Ewan @ MIR

    This didn't happen because I want to cover overheads. It's because I could no longer continue the overheads.

    (15 quid x 1,332 readers (plus yourself) gives 20k/month budget to competently deliver MIR as it was.)

    We could have asked, and you'd have said no. And we move on.

  • TrevorBennett

    Firstly, congratulations for moving the business forward. I too am sad that I will loose my “fix” of MIR, however, I for one am more than willing to pay £15 per month for the privilege.

    All I need now is some more people to join me. COME ON PEOPLE.

    2 years ago I was just a “normob”, until 3 launched X Series. In late Dec 2006 I bought myself an X-Series Gold contract, complete with a shiny new N73 and slingbox.

    I can honestly say since then I have become immersed in the mobile data world, and very shortly after buying X-Series Gold started to read the old smstextnews site on a daily basis. I feel that we have all been on a truly great journey together, and I will miss all the banter and good times.

    Cheers for now and congratulations again,

    Trevor.

  • AJ

    You are right 15 quid/month probably isn't very realistic – not when you need more than a thousand punters. Not in the UK anyway.

    However, why not pitch it at a lower level but with more people. A few quid a month isn't going to scare off the masses. Well not all of them. It might be feasible – actually I dont see why not – but you would need to ask. Give people a chance. You never know.

    I am just shocked, that's all. It seems kind of callous. Maybe there was a build up to this but I definitely missed it.

    Couldn't we have a show of hands?

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  • Mike42

    Trevor, I've pinged Mr MacLeod, asking more or less this – how we could have a collective, maybe not-for-profit organisation that paid for content / access to a forum etc. If we find 200 peeps @ £5/month, job done. Maybe if more than 200 join, the sub goes down, or the surplus goes into a pool to pay someone to admin a forum if MIR isn't going to continue one (Ewan – will the private firms have access to a forum as part of the sub?)

    I'll wait to hear back from Ewan.

    /m

  • Matt

    Seems like a pretty extreme way of getting out of the camping!

  • http://shkspr.mobi/ TerenceEden

    There's a problem of a lack of a decent micro-payments system – and the administrative overhead which goes with taking money via standing order etc. That effectively kills off any chance of individual subscriptions. Blog post on this coming soon.

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  • Mike42

    What – PayPal doesn't exist?

    A db couldn't recognise the payment from an email address, and email out a password?

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  • http://invalid.name DanLane

    crap, he's on to us!

  • http://blog.mjelly.com jamescoops

    If the government can spare billions to prop up the banks and factories making cars no one wants to buy i think they should spare £20k a month to keep MIR online and keep boosted the UK mobile industry

    in all seriousness if there's really no ad money out there for a great site like MIR, with an influential readership, in a dynamic sector like mobile, with great management then online B2B media is screwed – we might as well go back to print where at least you can charge a cover price (and get high paying ads)

  • http://www.smsc.com.au Aron Steg

    Well thats going to take the shine out of my morning.
    I know I would pay … consider a Premium SMS subscription service to pay for the content … happy to help :) :)

  • http://www.mavrakis.name Dimitris

    Ewan,
    congrats about the business move. I am also a bit upset that I won't be able to see your videos and reporting anymore but hey, it's business and I am sure you did what's best for you.

    I am a bit impressed that the company that bought MIR is planning to offer subscriptions for 12k. I thought that MIR is read by individuals mostly – not corporate customers – that won't be able to afford the sub.

    Good luck in the new venture.

  • http://www.joshuapr.com PatrickatJPR
  • http://antoinerjwright.com ARJWright

    I’ve got to chime in with many others and offer a bittersweet congrats (I knew I should have tried to join the team a few months back). Really great though to see that a company is not just willing to, but has put their money where their interests are.

    Going suck not reading you guys more often. Guess I’ll have to turn one of my sites into MIR v2 ;)

    Blessings on the change of pace. We indeed live in exciting times.

  • http://womlanka.com mack005

    Congratulations! gonna miss you all guys… this is one of the sites which inspired me to start my own blog, other being symbian-guru.

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  • ocifant

    Ewan, Accepting your comments about overheads, but given some of the exclusives and the forthright viewpoints expounded on MIR in the past, you can't deny that this deal has a bit of an appearance of industry 'hush-money' about it to those of us on the outside.

    They pay, so you can't tell us what you think…

    It's a sad, commercial worlds we live in sometimes.

  • http://www.mobileindustryreview.com Ewan @ MIR

    Luckily it's a free market, ocifant, but the only company willing to dip it's hands in it's pockets now gets the forthright viewpoints all to themselves!

    Alas, no one else valued them enough to pay!

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  • peter

    hi
    Mir is a good blog written by mobile enthuisiasts it has but let's not kid ourselves here – the articlesl on this site are not innovitive or as well written as professional sources like gartner. Mir needs to its game. 12k for a random rant from Ewan about Twitter? no thanks.
    good luck.

    Peter

  • http://www.mobileindustryreview.com Ewan @ MIR

    I agree with you Peter. We only need one customer to make it work, to turn a profit, to ensure the quality is exactly to the client's requirements. And we've got that customer signed on for 3 years.

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  • http://www.kcjhdesign.co.uk Kip Hakes

    To be honest I find the articlesl very innovitive. I certainly don't think it need to its game,

    K

  • http://www.yell.com David Pearce

    Well done, enterprise in action!

    But come on, a grand-a-month contract? That's even more than VF's data charges.
    Where's the pre-pay option? This is the MOBILE industry review.

    LOL

    Seriously, well done in turning your endeavours into a real business Ewan.

  • John

    Good work. It will be interesting to see if the PR companies and everyone else is remains as interested in talking to you if your audience is massively shrunk. I guess we'll need to wait 3 years to find out.

  • http://www.mobileindustryreview.com Ewan @ MIR

    There is sadly limited value to be extracted from public relations professionals, John. The information is published in various feeds, you don't need it from the PR chap.

    It's a completely different change for MIR. We no longer have a requirement to be 'big' or 'influential in the industry'.

  • South77

    The value of an audience is as important as the size of an audience when it comes to monetization.

    Most PRs don't really have a clue about any of that.

    What's weird is there are way more PRs covering the industry than reporters. How backwards is that? Unbelievable, but true.

  • South77

    To clarify, a readership of a free service that is unlilkey to ever buy anything from the sources funding the service (sponsors, advertisers, founders, etc) isn't directly all that valuable.

    The trick is to figure away to make other lines of *paid* business viable. Conferences are the favorite option, but that's a munchy line of work for the most part.

  • http://www.spinvox.com Matt Heath

    MIR will certainly be missed by me. Thank you for your high quality and entertaining coverage of the industry. Now where will I go to get my daily dose? :)

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  • http://www.itagg.com steveprocter

    I still think this is part April fool and part you gauging the mood with a view to changing the model (but keeping something for the mass of readers). So either way I want to add my name to the growing list who need to tell you how important this professional “it's not a blog” resource has become to the many readers making our bread and butter in this industry.
    ————————-
    Good luck in the future with your endeavours Ewan. You have entertained and educated us and totally deserve to go down whatever route you desire, and to seek out the money if you so wish!! Good luck!

    But…

    It was of course rather silly of the thousands of us who saw this site as a professional permanent resource rather than what it now just turns out to be – a hobby site run by a fantastic bunch of enthusiasts. As a long standing reader/contributor I feel a bit let down even though I truly mean what I say above. This blog has grown to be bigger than “just a blog”, we all feel like we are a part of a proper professional news and views resource for the mobile industry. It feels like the ownership has become a collective. And there you were just a few weeks ago carrying cameras around and interviewing seriously big top execs at 3GSM; standing shoulder to shoulder with “proper” news companies. And pow! It's all gone in the blink of an eye. To think I'm writing this but in 10 days time the space filled by these words will just be a vacant vacuum of outer space is very very weird. Especially as the collective have had absolutely no say in the decision.

    It strikes me that there is a list of readers and a website/url that has a daily viewership/readership. Your new business clearly doesn't need or want them or even need the website/url. So I am a total loss as to why you aren't keeping this site in situ and looking for volunteers, ideas, etc? Ok it might turn out to be crap without your incredible energy and resources and ability to find the stories. But why can this site not continue under different management, while you do whatever it is your new paymaster wants elsewhere?

    And if that isn't possible, can you tell us (seriously!) how much you want for the list of readers and for the domain name?

    steve/iTAGG

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  • gerrymoth

    Totally agree with you Steve.

    I can't see how MIR will make money from subscriptions and will the industry react differently if MIR conversations/discussions are not made available to the public?

  • http://www.mobileindustryreview.com Ewan @ MIR

    I've sold one subscription and that's all that is required. It pays for the entire running of the service they require. It's a 3 year deal.

  • gerrymoth

    Will this be a one man band service u'll provide or will the whole MIR team still be involved?

  • http://www.mobileindustryreview.com Ewan @ MIR

    I can't afford to hire the MIR team, Gerry. They're all very successful people with high market rates!

  • http://www.mobileindustryreview.com Ewan @ MIR

    Give me a call, let's have a chat – 07769 658104

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  • http://www.exponere.com barneyc

    All this attention. So why not some more.

    (In an effort to ensure content remains public the rest of my thinking is on my blog which I have no intention of having you lot subscribe to for – well no more than £250 a month!)

    “Now that the dust has settled and my mind is free enough of normal and important things to offer up some attention to this I think I can see what’s been bugging me about this whole affair….” continued at http://www.exponere.com/2009/the-mir-fallout/

  • http://www.mobileindustryreview.com Ewan @ MIR

    Here we go Barney, here's some answers to your questions.

    “What is bugging me (or at least has been until today) is who on earth would have bought the rights? What content was it they were actually interested in and at what price?”
    EWAN: I can't disclose the name of the company. The content they're interested in is as I set out on the post above – news, analysis, perspective, bit of video, with a bent toward their particular operating industry.

    “In other words the only major value I can see in the MIR content is that of the video which is after all the most costly thing to produce.”
    EWAN: No. They value written content with a focus on reports discussing specific areas.

    “I was kind of under the impression that like so many others James, Ben & Dan had given their time and efforts freely (or at least without being paid) to help create the MIR shows. If James is moving on does this mean the others will follow? Is this the end of the MIR show?”
    EWAN: In most cases, James Ben and Dan gave their time for free and I paid for all expenses. e.g. They didn't pay anything when we went to Rome etc. This is indeed the end of the MIR Show as you know it, but James, Ben and Dan are free to do as they wish.

    “Ewan talks about the new subscription model in “we” and “our” terms but will there even be a team to back him up?”
    EWAN: Yes. I'm hiring some report writers and researchers. I can't afford to hire any of the contributors on their market rates — and I don't think they'd be into this sort of thing even if I could.

    “Did they get a pay day, should they have stood to gain financially from the changes, they were of course the creatives behind the content?”
    EWAN: Did Ben Dan and James get a pay day? I think you've entirely mis-read the reality. They were giving their time for free and I was paying their expenses. I was paying for absolutely everything and I couldn't find a model that would allow me to continue to do so without stressing. To be clear I spent 33k in January alone on MIR. Me. We had the occasional supporter/advertiser, but it was me who funded it all. So we're not talking in terms of gaining financially. The financial gain I get from this 'transaction' is that I stop spending so much per month.

    “Personally I can understand a move to a subscription model in part but seriously doubt that in its current form and without the support and goodwill of the community (who if they are like me feel a little deflated) I can’t see the “phenomenal reach” that is promised to would be subscribers.”
    EWAN: The current form of MIR ends next week. The client doesn't want the community. They want reports, they want a bit of news and analysis, they want some sit down video interviews. They don't want MIR in it's current form.

    “There are a number of other questions running around my head mostly to do with the viability of the subscription strategy and Ewan’s ability to deliver but that can wait for another post methinks.”
    EWAN: My ability to deliver? Alas, the failure point was mine for assuming (and quite possibly delving in to that horrible, horrible no man's land of 'hoping') that the industry — or the readers, working for huge, huge budget-rich companies — would value our output enough to help out now and again. That's where I got it wrong, so I accept any criticism you'd care to level at me in this regard.

    Just in case you're not quite there with the reality — can I draw your attention to the post asking for assistance to help take the team to CTIA in Las Vegas. The first time I've really ever asked for support. Having spent upwards of, I don't know, 60k this year inc. Mobile World Congress, I thought, 'surely, surely someone or a few companies will help out.'

    I got 11 responses to the post within 48 hours. Every single one said words to the effect of, 'sorry, no budget to help out, but could the team interview us on camera?'

    So when you allude to the support, goodwill and such of the MIR community, we have to be very, very clear — British Airways won't accept that in return for flights. That's the reality and I had to operate within it.

    To your points on the subscription strategy, Barney, the transaction works fully with one subscriber, no further subscribers are required. So in that context I'm pleased that it's a done deal, I can relax, I can stop spending so much money and so much unpaid time on MIR. If in 3 years time, the client is unwilling to renew, then I'll stop providing a service.

    Your comments relating to James and/or Jonathan heading off to the Cayman Islands with their proceeds — well, that would be just phenomenal if I'd done a deal to sell MIR to News Corporation for $500m and hired the entire team on $10m 3-year talent contracts. I'd have loved to have been able to do so. Alas that isn't anywhere near the case.

    Somebody has to pay. It was me — and I reached the end of 'reasonable' and found an exit. Don't forget the MIR team who also helped produce the site — don't forget that they were gracious enough to accept expenses and/or contribute their time for no direct recompense. I think your efforts on-going would be better served in thanking them for their efforts and supporting their next projects.

    I'll be posting a note to this effect, in more detail, later on.

  • South77

    Great post. And kudos all round to MIR team, contributors, and message boarders.

    Trade publishing (call it blogging, if you like) is a difficult business. If companies want coverage (obviously they do to judge from the amount of PRs in the world) there should be some way of supporting the media that provides it. Basically, you have to have a pay to play element.

    It gets difficult because media should be independent, otherwise people won't read it, and then more difficult because advertisers are not comfortable with too much straight talk, which is what makes MIR interesting and readable.

    Paid research is a better model, because people actually want to pay to be told stuff straight. The catch here is you have to be good.

    I am astounded (still) that comanies pay way more for PR to “place” them in media than they do to actually support media directly.

  • Mike42

    Ach, this whole business-model-thing for PR/Ad revenue for sites like MIR is as broken as the one for financial analysts who shout 'BUY' 95% of the time, until it turns to crap then it's 95% 'SELL'. My 7-year old can do that.

    What company's gonna invest serious cash in a vehicle that may promote the competition and bag your own gear? When you have a hundred gadget blogs dead keen to review your new schwag, why pay?

    Who benefits from the straight talk? We the consumers. Is there a model reliant on us to get value by contributing cash? Nope. Proved that myself last week.

    Yes, a few PR budgets could have funded MIR, but convincing the PR advisors that is a good idea is like asking the chicken to suggest a good axe shop nearby. They will always say “nah, stick with us and we'll find someone who's free”.

    /m

  • South77

    Agree mostly. Doesn't leave us in a great place, however. The sponsorship model isn't so corrupt in news publishing because it would be obvious to readers if advertisers were influencing editorial, and they would stop reading, then it wouldn't be a good place to advertise.

    I read The Guardian because even though it's got advertisments for financial services, it at least is still prepared to call out Barclays Bank on an alleged tax dodge scam.

    Readers gravitate to good editorial and appreciate that advertisers support that.

    There's also a difference between consumer tech news (gadgets & apps) and industry tech news. MIR coverage stradles both areas, which I like as a general interest reader, but is possibly harder to commercialize.

    When SMS Text news became MIR Ewan should probably have got a direct sales person on the case right away. Even a few grand here and there at regular intervals makes a difference and you can start building commercial product around independent, quality, content. It is not easy.

  • http://www.mobileindustryreview.com Ewan @ MIR

    I did; the sales house did the best South… everyone they spoke to was always interested, but not interested enough to help continue to support substantially.

  • ocifant

    Ok, I've had another thought about this whole thing and maybe can put another angle on it. I'm not in the Mobile industry, but found MIR an entertaining and educational read. So probably not the prime target audience, but from what Ewan has said in these comments, maybe I can rephrase my understanding of what's gone on and Ewan et al can agree or otherwise:

    Ewan had a very expensive blogging hobby. He paid for a few friends to enjoy it with him, and to extend the hobby somewhat. Lots of other people were entertained and educated by watching Ewan and Friends while they enjoyed their hobby. No-one wanted to pay for Ewan to enjoy his hobby.
    Ewan now has a job, essentially doing what he used to do in his hobby, but his friends can no longer join in as his employers only have the one job vacancy, and don't want him to have any work-related hobbies (I'm sure my contract of Employment has a similar clause in it somewhere!)

    So we all lose out.

    Ewan, if I'm right, then I apologise for my previous critical comments. I hope you enjoy the benefits of your new job.

  • http://www.textmarketer.co.uk Henry Cazalet

    I'm completely taken aback by the tone of some of these posts! Some people seem to imply that they have some sort of ownship or stake in MIR and that they deserve a say in its future. Using terms like 'sell out' must surely have Ewan hopping mad!
    Quite staggering.
    Good luck Ewan, hope you sell out and make a fortune.

  • Loopy

    Before I start, can I buy Normob from you Ewan? :0)

    I have enjoyed reading MIR (and watching some video presentations). What I fail to understand is the sudden dump of news to your viewers/followers that the decision is made – final.

    It is extremely difficult to monetise any blog and I do understand with your industry focus it is more difficult to gain advertising revenue when it is a pure B2B community.

    If 'ocifant' is correct in his presumption that you are hired with your property (I wish you luck) I can see that you will need to drop your other consulting work and focus on the new company, and if they are feeding you 12K a month -then go ahead – they are paying you to enjoy yourself.

    I am sure you will be able to bring in consultants to extend the interview/review aspects on MIR video – and hopefully these will be the same good eggs that have made the previous MIR videos entertaining..

    Hope everything goes well with this move.

  • http://www.itagg.com steveprocter

    Dear fellow MIR readers,

    On behalf of all of us, good luck to Ewan as he embarks on his new venture.

    In less than 10 days time there will be no way for any of us to stay in contact, to continue discussing the mobile industry or cross-promote each others services and products. As Ewan and his new paymaster don't seem to have any desire or need to keep this group of readers together, it seems we need to say a final goodbye,… or find an alternative means of communicating and networking.

    Initially we have 9 days so need something temporary to group all our names and contact details together. Going forward maybe there is something fancier we can do.

    I am not going to put forward a mechanism yet as I would like to see if there are any backers and also to get a response from Ewan on such a concept.

    steve/iTAGG

  • njar

    yahoo group in a momo london style?

  • http://www.itagg.com steveprocter

    yeah that seems about right to me too. Trouble is, many of us are in this industry as a business not a hobby; and we came to rely on this hobbyist blog as a proper business tool. I guess that was our mistake and it will teach us a few things about choosing our business/marketing/pr tools in future.

  • http://www.mobileindustryreview.com Ewan @ MIR

    You're quite correct Ocifant — apart from the definition being 'job' — it's not a full time commitment. I've engaged a team to help me deliver their requirements. I'm looking around for the next thing (or things) I'm going to do.

  • http://www.mobileindustryreview.com Ewan @ MIR

    As per njar's comment, the MoMo Group is pretty good Steve, that might be one alternative. Or go ahead and setup a group?

    Also: If you still wanted to discuss this, I'm on 07769 658104 — except not today as I left that one in a client office. But get me on IM ewanmacleod@hotmail.com or ewanmacleod@gmail.com

  • http://www.kcjhdesign.co.uk Kip Hakes

    With this is mind – i've set up a Facebook Group for us lot to congregate..

    http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=56667173298

    Thanks to Ewan for okaying it!

    K

  • jayliew

    Hi there, I'm a software developer focused on mobile apps & SaaS researching some trends when I found your site. I like to content and was about to subscribe, when I saw this announcement.

    Congrats on the acquisition .. but it looks like the price will be a deterrent for me. If your product manager is paying attention to this thread, do add a +1 to your “loss prospect” list.

  • http://www.writerslife.net Mark Thomas

    £12k?

    Joking right?

    Sod that. IMHO No website is worth a subscription.

    Shame, used to enjoy the site.

    Have fun.

  • http://www.writerslife.net Mark Thomas

    £12k?

    Joking right?

    Sod that. IMHO No website is worth a subscription.

    Shame, used to enjoy the site.

    Have fun.

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