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Dominic Collins on diversifying revenues & apps

At the next AOP seminar ‘Diversifying Revenue Streams - Paywall, API or iPad?’ on 7 July , we will explore the increasingly creative ways that publishers are boosting and diversifying their digital returns - with speakers from News International, Guardian, Google and Orange - Find out more.

Dominic CollinsDominic Collins, OrangeAhead of the event, we caught up with event Chair Dominic Collins, Vice President, Portal & Audience Business Unit at Orange, about revenue opportunities around mobile and apps.

How do you see the app economy functioning alongside the web for publishers?

I think there's a genuine opportunity for both traditional and online publishers to leverage their unique, quality content through applications. With more and more smart devices in the consumer's pocket and bag, the mix of gestural interaction, quality display, location awareness and more impactful and integrated advertising opportunities present a step change, I believe.

User interest and growth in penetration needs to be matched with some different thinking and brave innovation though. Simply replicating a website in an application will not create incremental value.

Are we witnessing an irrevocable split in thinking around digital commercial strategy - and what, do you think, are the implications for the wider industry?

I wouldn't say it's a split, as such, but I think that the increased competitive challenge for publishers from companies such as Google and Apple will lead to some different behaviours and business models on mobile. We have already seen previously staunch competitors coming together to pool their assets to try and create a critical mass in the Application and eReader/Tablet marketplace.

Just as many businesses are getting to grips with a decent SEO strategy, there is a whole new challenge in affecting the discovery of their applications. Search is less relevant and big brands sit alongside the kid in his garage with few levers to get stand-out within the App Stores.

Ecommerce, affiliate revenues and user clubs are sometimes dismissed as very much secondary revenue sources for publishers. Do you see this changing any time in the future?

What's certain is that no-one's revenue model will be the same in the future - nor their cost model, for that matter. When the future is unpredictable and unfolding it's important for all businesses to lay some different chips on the table. Not all the bets will come in, but if you only back the horse you're riding, it's going to run out of steam!

- With the growth of Android, will we see increasing competition in the mobile space? And what are the implication for publishers?

Yes, there will be more competition in the mobile space but it's not just about Android. There is a huge amount of activity across many platforms and device manufacturers.

The good news is that this will mean greater innovation and customer choice, resulting in more engagement opportunities for publishers. One implication will be that again, technical delivery will be at the centre of a publisher's success, not just creating great content.

Dominic will be chairing ‘Diversifying Revenue Streams - Paywall, API or iPad?’ on 7 July from 14.00 to 17:30 at Olswang - find out more about the other speakers and place your booking at early bird rates.

Members can invoice when booking 2 places or more, payments for all other bookings taken by credit card only.

Dominic Collins’ Biography:

Vice President UK Portal & Audience Business Unit

As head of Orange/France Telecom’s UK Portal and Audience Business Unit, Dominic Collins is in charge of and Orange World, the UK’s third most visited site on mobile after Facebook and Google. He is responsible for the operational and financial performance of these businesses as well as the overall strategy, in conjunction with Everything Everywhere.

Before joining the company in April 2010, Dominic was Group Director at Trader Media Group where he managed the business, leading the relaunch of this successful online destination. Previously he worked at BSkyB where he put together the Online Business Unit following his involvement with the launch of Sky Broadband and was Director of Customer Products & Services in the online group.

A 38 year old British national, Dominic has a BA Hons in English Literature and has been on the Executive and Board of the Association of Online Publishers for six years, latterly as Co-Chairman in 2009. He is married with three children and lives in Dorking, Surrey.

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