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Getting to know your readers: a federated identity manager for online newspapers

Kristin Van Damme (UGent) , Tom Evens (UGent) and Pieter Verdegem (UGent)
Author
Organization
Project
iMinds - Media ID
Abstract
Digitization has transformed the news media industries and markets. Since the emergence of the Internet two decades ago, news consumers have increasingly been turning to online environments to consulting news content. This research aims to investigate the concept of a federated identity manager as a means to protect the current business model of news publishers in an online environment. The main goal of this federated user manager is the transformation of anonymous users into registered users, getting better insight into the online news diet of the consumers. This industry-driven research project is unique because of its scale and diversity in media partners. The major Belgian media institutions joined the project, covering the whole regional ecosystem. Each media user will be able to register, free of charge, and use a unique identification for all the online services - including websites and mobile apps - of the participating companies. The research combines two un-ignorable tendencies. First, news publishers increasingly feel the need to adapt their current business model due to a blurred, cross-platform audience. Historically publishers had a clear notion of their audience, due to limited content offerings and often - certainly in Western Europe - a political pile. Users identified themselves with a newspaper title and were loyal to a publisher’s brand. Today, this previously defined audience is scattered over both traditional and new media, finding a virtually unlimited stream of news updates. This leads to the second tendency: the development of personalized news patterns. To cope with the overwhelming news offer, consumers increasingly rely upon subsets, or ‘repertoires’ of their preferred news (Taneja, Webster, Malthouse, & Ksiazek, 2012). The composition of news media repertoires affected the business model of the publishers. The fragmentation of the audience shifted the emphasis of scarcity within the supply away from content and delivery and towards capturing audience attention (Doyle, 2013). To attract this attention, news institutions need to redefine their audience, know what news the users consume online, and preferably on what device. Moreover, insight of the perceived added value of a certain news platform and consumption motivations is necessary. To fill the need to reconnect with the online news readers, ten Belgian news media companies decided to cooperate in January 2013 in order to develop a federated user manager, identifying users across the news websites in the whole regional media ecosystem. The goal of this paper is to assess the potential of this media innovation, and to find the conditions for an optimal user acceptance of the service. To gain insight in the user support of the online identifier, an online questionnaire has been launched in Flanders (northern part of Belgium), addressing all Internet users. The survey (N = 555) has been undertaken by a representative sample, weighted by gender, age and economic activeness. The survey covers different topics, including media and news consumption, news interest, the use of logins on media sites and the introduction and adoption potential of the identity manager. The adoption potential of the Media ID is measured using the Product Specific Adoption Potential (PSAP) scale, a segmentation tool that enables an adequate prior-to-launch profiling of the different potential adopter segments (De Marez & Verleye, 2004) and has been applied to a wide variety of media innovations (including digital television, mobile television, mobile Internet, smartphones etc.). A potential limitation of the survey is the vagueness of the concept of the identity manager (even though the idea has been explained to the respondents); it could not surpass a hypothetical situation since the presented platform has yet to be launched. The results will provide news publishers with an estimation of the market potential for an identity management system, learn about the drivers and barriers for uptake and allow them to set up effective marketing campaigns when launching the service. De Marez, L., & Verleye, G. (2004). Instrument, Innovation diffusion: The need for more accurate consumer insight. Illustration of the PSAP scale as a segmentation. Journal of Targeting, Measurement and Analysis for Marketing, 13(1), 32–49. Doyle, G. (2013). Understanding media economics. In Understanding media economics (second.). London: SAGE Publications. Taneja, H., Webster, J. G., Malthouse, E. C., & Ksiazek, T. B. (2012). Media consumption across platforms: Identifying user-defined repertoires. New Media & Society, 14(6), 951–968.
Keywords
online journalism, Media ID, authentication, news consumption

Citation

Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:

MLA
Van Damme, Kristin, Tom Evens, and Pieter Verdegem. “Getting to Know Your Readers: a Federated Identity Manager for Online Newspapers.” The International Symposium on Media Innovations, Abstracts. 2014. Print.
APA
Van Damme, Kristin, Evens, T., & Verdegem, P. (2014). Getting to know your readers: a federated identity manager for online newspapers. The International Symposium on Media Innovations, Abstracts. Presented at the The International Symposium on Media Innovations.
Chicago author-date
Van Damme, Kristin, Tom Evens, and Pieter Verdegem. 2014. “Getting to Know Your Readers: a Federated Identity Manager for Online Newspapers.” In The International Symposium on Media Innovations, Abstracts.
Chicago author-date (all authors)
Van Damme, Kristin, Tom Evens, and Pieter Verdegem. 2014. “Getting to Know Your Readers: a Federated Identity Manager for Online Newspapers.” In The International Symposium on Media Innovations, Abstracts.
Vancouver
1.
Van Damme K, Evens T, Verdegem P. Getting to know your readers: a federated identity manager for online newspapers. The International Symposium on Media Innovations, Abstracts. 2014.
IEEE
[1]
K. Van Damme, T. Evens, and P. Verdegem, “Getting to know your readers: a federated identity manager for online newspapers,” in The International Symposium on Media Innovations, Abstracts, Oslo, Norway, 2014.
@inproceedings{5638440,
  abstract     = {Digitization has transformed the news media industries and markets. Since the emergence of the Internet two decades ago, news consumers have increasingly been turning to online environments to consulting news content. This research aims to investigate the concept of a federated identity manager as a means to protect the current business model of news publishers in an online environment. The main goal of this federated user manager is the transformation of anonymous users into registered users, getting better insight into the online news diet of the consumers. This industry-driven research project is unique because of its scale and diversity in media partners. The major Belgian media institutions joined the project, covering the whole regional ecosystem. Each media user will be able to register, free of charge, and use a unique identification for all the online services - including websites and mobile apps - of the participating companies. 
The research combines two un-ignorable tendencies. First, news publishers increasingly feel the need to adapt their current business model due to a blurred, cross-platform audience. Historically publishers had a clear notion of their audience, due to limited content offerings and often - certainly in Western Europe - a political pile. Users identified themselves with a newspaper title and were loyal to a publisher’s brand. Today, this previously defined audience is scattered over both traditional and new media, finding a virtually unlimited stream of news updates. This leads to the second tendency: the development of personalized news patterns. To cope with the overwhelming news offer, consumers increasingly rely upon subsets, or ‘repertoires’ of their preferred news (Taneja, Webster, Malthouse, & Ksiazek, 2012). The composition of news media repertoires affected the business model of the publishers. The fragmentation of the audience shifted the emphasis of scarcity within the supply away from content and delivery and towards capturing audience attention (Doyle, 2013). To attract this attention, news institutions need to redefine their audience, know what news the users consume online, and preferably on what device. Moreover, insight of the perceived added value of a certain news platform and consumption motivations is necessary. 
To fill the need to reconnect with the online news readers, ten Belgian news media companies decided to cooperate in January 2013 in order to develop a federated user manager, identifying users across the news websites in the whole regional media ecosystem. The goal of this paper is to assess the potential of this media innovation, and to find the conditions for an optimal user acceptance of the service. 
To gain insight in the user support of the online identifier, an online questionnaire has been launched in Flanders (northern part of Belgium), addressing all Internet users. The survey (N = 555) has been undertaken by a representative sample, weighted by gender, age and economic activeness. The survey covers different topics, including media and news consumption, news interest, the use of logins on media sites and the introduction and adoption potential of the identity manager. The adoption potential of the Media ID is measured using the Product Specific Adoption Potential (PSAP) scale, a segmentation tool that enables an adequate prior-to-launch profiling of the different potential adopter segments (De Marez & Verleye, 2004) and has been applied to a wide variety of media innovations (including digital television, mobile television, mobile Internet, smartphones etc.). A potential limitation of the survey is the vagueness of the concept of the identity manager (even though the idea has been explained to the respondents); it could not surpass a hypothetical situation since the presented platform has yet to be launched.
The results will provide news publishers with an estimation of the market potential for an identity management system, learn about the drivers and barriers for uptake and allow them to set up effective marketing campaigns when launching the service. 

De Marez, L., & Verleye, G. (2004). Instrument, Innovation diffusion: The need for more accurate consumer insight. Illustration of the PSAP scale as a segmentation. Journal of Targeting, Measurement and Analysis for Marketing, 13(1), 32–49.
Doyle, G. (2013). Understanding media economics. In Understanding media economics (second.). London: SAGE Publications.
Taneja, H., Webster, J. G., Malthouse, E. C., & Ksiazek, T. B. (2012). Media consumption across platforms: Identifying user-defined repertoires. New Media & Society, 14(6), 951–968.},
  author       = {Van Damme, Kristin and Evens, Tom and Verdegem, Pieter},
  booktitle    = {The International Symposium on Media Innovations, Abstracts},
  keywords     = {online journalism,Media ID,authentication,news consumption},
  language     = {eng},
  location     = {Oslo, Norway},
  title        = {Getting to know your readers: a federated identity manager for online newspapers},
  year         = {2014},
}