Monday, 14 December 2009

Advanced Publishing Launches iPhone Version

We are very excited to announce the release of the iPhone version for Advanced Publishing’s digital magazine and newspaper customers.  Our iPhone version includes several unique and industry first features that our publishers and readers will appreciate for their iPhone digital magazine.
Some of these features include:

• Live links on ads: All websites and email addresses on ads (and in the content) are all linked to allow readers to click to get more information and connect with advertisers.
• Full issue search: Enter search terms and see each page that the search term appears on as well as color highlighting on each page to easily find what you are looking for
• iPhone Reporting. As readers access content from various devices, publishers want to know which devices their readers are using to access magazine content. Publishers will be able to see how many people are using the iPhone to read their magazine from Advanced Publishing's realtime Publishers Access Center Portal
• Video: Video can be added to any page of the iPhone digital magazine
• Sharing: iPhone readers can share magazine content with their friends via email, or post links to their Facebook or Twitter page directly from the iPhone version
• Access: Seamless access to digital magazines using a single URL that will automatically detect the source --a PC or from an iPhone and deliver the appropriate version. No need to download an iPhone App. Readers can just use their iPhone (or iPod Touch) with its standard Safari browser


Thursday, 22 October 2009

Advanced Publishing Honored with Prestigious Innovation Award

It is not something we focus a lot of effort on in our company, but it is a great honor nonetheless when recognition for hard work comes along.  We were honored to receive such recognition earlier this week when the Province of New Brunswick selected Advanced Publishing as one of New Brunswick's most innovative businesses.  During a gala evening hosted by Business New Brunswick, the Premier awarded this honor to us!
Thanks to all of our customers who push us in our efforts to continually improve our product!  Thanks to our dedicated team who work tirelessly and enthusiastically to bring those ideas to life and serve all of our customers with the best product and best service!

Award Picture
L-R -Victor Boudreau, Minister of Business NB, Trish Connolly, CEO of Advanced Publishing, Shawn Graham, Premier of New Brunswick

Thursday, 20 August 2009

New Reporting Area - Now Open

We are excited to announce the availability of some key upgrades to our Real-time Reporting center within the Publishers Access Center.  Our unique internally developed analytics and reporting service allows us the ability to customize reports and data exclusively for the specific needs of our publishing customers.

Some of the new features include:

  1. Advertiser reporting – a complete area that reports key data for each advertiser for their specific data – how many people viewed or interacted with each ad, how much time people spent on it, what clicks were made. 
  2. A Second Dashboard that provides key summary data BY ISSUE – rather than by date, so you can see and compare key statistics on an issue by issue basis at a glance.
  3. Enhanced Reader location information
  4. Enhanced data downloading capabilities  
  5. Additional tracking of more information – if a PDF download option is available, how many people chose that option, how many readers have various plug-ins installed - Silverlight or Flash etc. 

We will continue to add more features and reports over the next few months to provide even more data to help understand reader behavior. If you are not currently a customer and would like to test drive our Publishers Access Center - just drop me ( a note and I will open up a guest account for you

Wednesday, 1 July 2009

Digital Magazine Open Rates

There was an interesting blog post that I just came across.  It is one of the few that I have seen providing some statistics on digital magazine open rates.  The information comes from a UK blog site Napier News  that covers electronic media in Europe. The findings were interesting (albeit the sample size was small):
  • four titles had open rates of 11-12%
  • one title had an open rate of 16%
  • one title had an open rate of 19%
Mike Maynard goes on to say, "I tried to find some cause of the difference in open rate, but there was no link between circulation, publication frequency or publisher and the open rate."
The writer goes on to conlude that "Certainly it suggests that digital magazines are less likely to be opened than their paper sisters (if you believe the readership surveys). I’m not surprised that today print is still the favoured medium. But with the huge cost advantage of digital, I think the figures are pretty respectable. They’ll also be slighly under-reported as pass-on readership will not register as another unique reader."
This caused me to look at the statistics for some of our digital magazine customers to see where they fit under these measures.  For most of our publishing customers, we also deploy the emails announcing each new issue, so we have all the data readily available to measure how many people "received the issue notification" (i.e. email) and then went on to actually open the magazine.  I first looked at email click rates to see how many people clicked the email to access the new issue.  Results varied somewhat, but overall were very much in keeping with the percentages noted above.  This, however, is not the whole picture.  I then went into our Publishers Access Center to see how many people actually visited the issue in question.  Here in all cases, the numbers were much higher - often 30-40% higher.  What does this indicate?  First of all, readers are not necessarily using the email as the access point for the issue at the time they receive it.  Secondly, previous/back issues continue to get new readers long after the notification for a new issue is deployed, so the readership and value of a digital issue continues to grow overtime.  This is especially true where full archive search is readily available (as it is with our offering).
One final point - I do not come to the same conclusion suggested by Mike.  I too am very sceptical about the accuracy of data that is derived by readership surveys and certainly know that as an avid magazine reader, I likely get 5-10 magazines that cross my desk each week.  While I fully intend to read them (and keep them on the corner of my desk to read when I get a moment), I rarely do.  I find myself every couple of weeks trashing/recycling a lot of magazines (most still with the polybag in tact) without having cracked the cover.  I would be difficult to convince that open rates for paper copies are much different than digital open rates.
While the debate between the print and digital worlds will likely continue for some time, there is no doubt that things will continue to change and evolve towards digital.  As a vendor, finding the perfect balance between ease of production for publishers, and the best viewing experience for readers will continue to drive our product development.  Ultimately it is about the power of the content and the relationship and experiences between the reader and the publisher that will lead to success.

Thursday, 11 June 2009

BPA Approves Reporting of Non-Requested Digital Circulation on Publisher Statements

At the recent Audience Development Conference in Chicago, BPA announced changes that may push the take up of digital subscriptions quickly. As noted in a June 8, 2009  article on Audience Development:

According to Glenn Schutz, manager, communications, BPA Worldwide, the Board approved "the reporting of non-requested electronic circ as non-qualified circulation with a paragraph 9 additional comment documenting the sources used."
Schutz added that the Board will also allow "publishers to convert their print customers to digital editions with the provisions that they notify the customers of the change and give them the ability to opt-out." 

While there continues to be debate over this issue, this ruling really only gives digital editions the same status as non-requested print circulation (and is already permitted by ABC).  During a time when many publishers are struggling with the increasing cost of print and distribution in the midst of an advertising recession, this ruling should help publishers move additional readers to digital.  By initially providing non-requested copies in digital this will allow publishers to serve new readers (and still count the circulation)  -- in hopes of encouraging readers to become qualified.  Several of our publishing clients are already being more aggressive in pushing out digital to readers who have requested print but are on controlled waiting lists for print subscriptions to become available.  We certainly don't get a sense that this ruling change will cause publishers to "spam" digital versions to anyone, but instead gives publishers an economic way to serve new and existing readers who they may not be able to serve with print quickly, if at all.

Wednesday, 14 January 2009

Devices are Key to the Future of Digital Magazines and Newspapers

There is a very interesting article posted by Jack Shafer in his blog - Slate.  While Jack is not necessarily a strong supporter of the functionality of digital editions in the marketplace today (except for the New York Times - Times Reader), he makes some excellent points about the how the roll out of devices (and who controls the content on them) will play an increasingly critical part of business content distribution going forward.  Some of his key points that resonate with me:

  • While the Kindle is a major step forward -with its wireless ability to download new content on the go -  the reader experience is still far from great - no colors or fonts or great image display. In addition, its display of non-kindle formats is very cumbersome.  Its design and functioning is intended to make Amazon the gatekeeper for newspaper and magazine content - with them benefiting and publishers potentially losing out as low penetration of the device itself will limit the market potential.
  • Having an industry standard format that would be device agnostic to allow publisher's content to be distributed to many devices - current ones we have now (PCs, Mobile phones, Smart Phones, e-book readers) and ones that continue to evolve,  without a proprietary digital format would be ideal.
  • Such a standard would allow Publishers to directly distribute content themselves, or alternatively use aggregators - like an itunes for magazine and newspaper content, to bundle and sell content in that way.
  • Jack goes on to recognize that while the New York Times Reader format is a step ahead for the reader, he expresses some remorse that the great full page ads are not available, as they are in the print version.   In addition, he recognizes the need to marry great ad content with great content experience as the ultimate solution - for readers and for publishers who need to make money to support ongoing creation of such great content.

As a vendor in the digital edition marketplace today, we are a key part of this evolution, as we constantly work with publishers and readers to improve and deliver content in such a way to maximize the reader experience, maximize the advertising potential, and minimize the disruption to the current content creation and production processes.  There is no doubt that the creation of content will continue to evolve to reflect where the readers and revenue are.  As more readers move from print to digital, more effort will be placed in altering creation processes to create the best experience based on the device used to read.