How Media Companies Are Turning Into Shop Fronts

Retro pitch man in black and white from a 1950's era TV commercial

Media companies, be they newspapers, television stations or magazines all decided they were technology companies . . . until they found out they weren’t. now they’re working with tech providers once more to save their futures.

David Hovenden
Posted by David Hovenden

Imagine this . . . oh bugger it! Watch this instead it’s faster.

And if that baked your noodle, then wait until you see this one:

Okay so yes the first example used QR codes and Google Glass, and therefore left many of you cold, I get that. But the simple truth is this: it doesn’t matter what was actually used. Hybris could have used anything! A mobile phone could have done the job of the Google Glass and, the QR code thing, well let’s just say there’s alternatives okay.

The second example, Stream, is, just quietly, what hybris’ VP, global head of digital commerce, David Reitman admits may well be the saviour of the media industry.

Frictionless commerce he argues is the game changer publishers and broadcasters have been looking for. People have established reading and viewing habits, like reading your favourite restaurant review column in a local paper. Instead of a link to the website or printing a phone number, news proprietors need to allow the reservation to be made right there. It’s that simple. Let people buy things at the first blush of discovery and everyone’s happy.

Thinking about subscriptions or advertising revenue is “kinda a losing proposition”, says Reitman. “By bringing the entire marketplace into media, it changes the entire paradigm.”

And if this seems like the sort of stuff that dreams are made of brace yourself for this. Reitman was here in Australia to continue talks with Channel Seven and Pacific about the “second screen shopping stuff”. My wife’s credit card is groaning in anticipation.

When asked, Reitman admitted that he was “knee deep in Fairfax” and that News Corp was being handled globally from New York. This next level of shopping appears to be very close.

And if hybris has managed to sneak past you, it was founded in 1997 with a simple mission: to create superbly engineered commerce solutions.

At the start of this year it was acquired by SAP, after it had been rumoured for some time that Adobe were closing in on them. The fact that SAP got the prize, has been noted by some as the key reason that led to the reseller agreement between Adobe and SAP. Adobe’s marketing cloud desperately needs a commerce solution and with hybris now happily married to SAP’s back-end, this left a fairly substantial gap in Adobe’s offering.

In 2013 it sold more commerce solutions than IBM and Oracle combined, says Reitman. He says this is because as a company hybis talk to its customers’ vision, which gives them clarity of purpose. It’s the only way to navigate the bewildering array of technological solutions at your disposal, says Reitman. Like Alice in Wonderland, you need to know where you’re trying to go.