Online or ontrack shopping

Is this the future for the commuter? It might be. In South Korea’s subway system – the cleanest subway I have come across and with the cutest warning signs – they have large advertisement screens, static posters and TV screens. But now they are making them interactive as well, with a little help from the Samsungs and LGs. What better things to do while waiting for the next train? Yes, shopping. To try to nibble a bit off of E-Mart´s no 1 market share, they made this possible by devicing the following plot.
Tesco’s solution

What is surprising that it is British Tesco that´s responsible for the innovation. But it apparently works. Partly because labor is relatively inexpensive in South Korea (for instance, there are no self service gas stations in Korea) and home delivery does not add up to the total costs of shopping. This is different in the Netherlands where labor is expensive, and Albert Heijn the Dutch no 1 grocer also tries to delivers your groceries in your kitchen . But it does not really take off here. So, we are still standing in line to pay at the cash register, or play cashier ourselves in the totally self service stores. See this next video.

Albert Heijn’s solution

Newspaper markets and the generation gap

Piet Bakker has made it a large part of his academic career to monitor the developments on newspaper markets. This week he posted the latest analyses on recent and distant Dutch developments. The title leaves not to guess about : “Down, down, deeper and down”. As such, nothing’s new.

One interesting fact  however is that no one made a comment on the musical reference the title has. The title is of a song by the British rock band Status Quo (see the video clip of their performance on the famous Dutch show Toppop at the end of this post). Is this a generation gap between Piet, myself and the rest on the Nieuwe Reporter blog? Who knows…
Regarding a status quo and the newspaper market: As such there seems to be a large discrepancy between the status quo and the development of the numbers of newspaper copies sold in the Netherlands: i.e. down, down deeper and down. However, one could argue that there is a status quo in the decline of newspaper copies being sold. If so, the end is nigh for the printed newspapers. Which dont think will happen: no medium ever has disappeared in history. Merely their function may have changed. For now, we’ll have to wait and see patiently how the newspapers’ function will change in the coming decades.

it’s almost like Christmas

Two chapters I co-authored were published in a book this week. The first one (Vergeer, Coenders  & Scheepers, 2009) focuses on explaining the time people spend on watching TV. The interesting point about this study that explanations are not only sought at the individual level (especially in terms of alternative ways to spend time) but also at the level of the television system (i.e. tv program diversity, number of commercial and PSB channels, the budget). The study uses multi level analysis to test the hypotheses. Here is the abstract:

This study aims to explain the variation in time spent on watching television in 15 European Union countries, using determinants defined at the individual level, and characteristics defined at the national level, such as the number of channels and nature of the television supply. The results of the multi-level analysis show that the number of channels in countries has no effect on time spent on television. Yet, the more diverse the program supply on public broadcasting channels in different countries, the less time people spend on watching television. However, this relation decreases when more commercial channels are available to watch. This suggests that EU citizens, having commercial channels as alternatives, avoid a diverse program supply in favor of commercial program supply.

The second chapter Westerik, Hollander, Verschuren & Vergeer, 2009) in the same volume, deals with community involvement and media use.

Full references:

  • Vergeer, M., Coenders, M. & Scheepers, P. (2009). Time spent on television in European countries. In R.P. Konig, P.W.M. Nelissen, & F.J.M. Huysmans (Eds.), Meaningful media: Communication Research on the Social Construction of Reality (54-73). Nijmegen, The Netherlands: Tandem Felix.
  • Westerik, H., Hollander, E., Verschuren, P. J. M., & Vergeer, M. (2009). Media use and community involvement: A theoretical and meta-analytical review. In R. P. Konig, P. W. M. Nelissen, & F. J. M. Huysmans (Eds.), Meaningful media: Communication research on the social construction of reality (pp. 38-53). Nijmegen, The Netherlands: Tandem Felix.