BY SEAN CALLAHAN
Jupitermedia Corp. announced last week the launch of a new niche Web site covering Voice over Internet Protocol. The Enterprise VoIP Planet site (voipplanet.com) is aimed at IT managers who are contemplating the move to VoIP phone service.
Avaya, a provider of VoIP telephony systems, is the exclusive launch sponsor of the Jupitermedia site. The announcement of Jupitermedia’s site followed the January launch of a similar site by TechTarget. That site is located at searchenterprisevoice.com.
At voip.cnet.com, CNET Networks offers a tutorial on Internet telephony. The site is mainly aimed at consumers.
VoIP is one of the hottest growth areas in technology and telecommunications. Technology research firm IDC said the market for enterprise IP telephony reached $500 million last year, an increase of 50% over 2003. IDC forecast the market will reach $1.90 billion by 2008.
A decade ago, an arena such as this would have prompted the launch of numerous trade publications. The sprouting of fewer printcentric media properties surrounding VoIP show how the media business has changed over the past several years. "Ten years ago, Ziff and CMP and IDG, not to mention some of the smaller players, would have launched magazines," said Alan Meckler, Jupitermedia’s CEO. "Obviously, it’s easier to be a player online than it is with a magazine."
Paul Gillen, general manager-network media group at TechTarget, agreed that coverage of VoIP was best left to the Internet. "VoIP is basically a platform, and platforms have historically been difficult long-term plays in publishing," he said, pointing out that magazines covering platforms, such as UNIX or Windows, have typically had short shelf lives.
That’s not to say there aren’t any magazines covering VoIP; there just aren’t as many as there might have been covering a growth technology before the Internet altered the media landscape.
For instance, Technology Marketing Corp.’s Internet Telephony was launched in 1998. After some ups and downs, the publication grew in ad pages at a 100% clip, according to TMC President-Publisher Rich Tehrani. In addition to the magazine, TMC covers VoIP through events, a Web site and research. And Tehrani has his own VoIP blog.
Pulver.com has a huge presence in the Internet telephony market. Industry guru Jeff Pulver’s company is best known for its Voice on the Net (VON) conferences. The company generates research and publishes "The Pulver Report" and VON magazine. And Pulver produces a blog.
Primedia Business’ Telephony magazine would seem ideally positioned to produce a niche magazine about VoIP for enterprise customers. So far, the publication, which focuses its coverage on telephony carriers, has devoted a key portion of its print magazine and its Web site to coverage of VoIP. But it has no plans to launch a print product covering the topic.
"It would seem to me a one-trick pony," said Telephony Publisher Mark Hickey.