Tuesday, 8 October 2013

The Ongoing Discussion on Magazine Apps - Web vs. Native

Much has been written about Magazine Tablet Apps - some people touting them as a success, others as a failure.  This discussion often overlooks the entire digital ecosystem used by magazine readers.  It really shouldn't be an either/or decision for publishers, but rather an AND decision.  As the mobile web improves with HTML5 emerging standards, much of what required a native App in the past is available on the Mobile Web.  This makes it seamless for subscribers and readers to access their favorite Magazine content--anywhere/anytime a reader has access to any device.  Publishers that adopt a "buy one" subscription model for any device and in print, are ahead of the game and encourage ongoing engagement -without having to go through the unwieldy App Stores each time they have a few minutes to browse.

In addition BtoB publishers who offer advertising driven magazine content also benefit greatly from the search discovery available via a Web App.  Currently this is not readily available in native magazine Apps.

Many device users also want to sample and test content and App usability before committing to use up their precious homescreen real estate (and time) to install an App icon. 

I think it is fair to say, that Native Apps do play a key role for those magazine subscribers/readers who engage in a significant/ongoing way with magazine content.  But for those who just periodically want to engage or search for deep content while on the go, a Web App fills that need in a great way.

Here is a great article that covers this area that I thought you might enjoy:

Wednesday, 14 August 2013

Digital Magazines - Great Growth on the Consumer Side - This is Just the Beginning!

The Alliance for Audited Media recently issued its semi-annual report on their audited consumer titles.  Digital magazines (replica editions) already make up 3.3 percent of total magazine circulation, with 10.2 million digital magazine editions sold in the first half of 2013. During the same time period in 2012, magazines sold just half of that number - that is quite an impressive growth rate, using either % growth or absolute increase.

Magazines on the B to B/Association side of the publishing business have been at the digital game much longer and have been able to consistently reach 15%, and upward to 80 - 90% digital readership penetration (depending on the audience).  It is fair to say that these business readers have different motivations that have driven their online behavior (i.e. searching relevant content, staying current for their job).  This behavior no doubt  led them to embrace digital magazines earlier - before the advent of iPads and tablet devices. 

But now with the beautifully rich and immersive digital magazine experience that exists and will continue to evolve on tablet and other mobile devices, leisure readers are quickly adopting digital magazines as well.

As the world of print magazines and digital magazines continue to merge, the technology, design, and business models will continue to evolve and drive new opportunities for publishers.  Publishers who embrace this evolution by learning, experimenting, and drawing on new skillsets that digital creates will no doubt survive and prosper.

It is an exciting time to be in the publishing space!

Wednesday, 24 July 2013

Top 10 Digital Magazine Articles - all in one place.

What a great idea from Mequoda - a collection of some key articles that dive deep into the digital magazine space -- all in one easy post.

Tuesday, 23 July 2013

POWER magazine - a great digital magazine success story!

We are excited to share a great story.  POWER magazine is a great example of a niche consumer title using digital media to reach their loyal readership internationally.

Read all about it here.

Wednesday, 17 July 2013

The Disruption in Advertising Caused by Digital Media

Below are some key excerpts from a great article by Ben Elowitz found here.  I selected the key areas I found most compelling and share that with you below.

These are exciting times for advertising, and challenging times for magazine publishers.  As new technology and new forms of media are bringing advertisers new ways to reach audiences (including things like digital magazines), with far better targeting and measurement than ever before,  it’s truly a boom time for ad tech. The only bad news is that instead, this explosion of technology is exactly what’s going to make the advertising market contract from its current $500 billion size.

In the world of traditional marketing there is only a fuzzy link between what an advertiser pays and what the advertising is actually worth. Even today, most ad spend is nearly untraceable — television still gets the lion’s share, and it’s one of the least measurable and most expensive mediums.
The definition of advertising nirvana is meaningful measurement: Knowing not just how much advertising was delivered, but to whom and to what end.

Digital media promised deliverance with its rich data and constant monitoring, and on this promise waves of ad-tech startups have been born - each vying to fix inefficient ad spend with proprietary software -  they each hope to bite off a piece of the $500 billion advertising market.
The problem is that once they get that bite, they’ll find the new pie of advertising-made-efficient to be a comparatively meager meal.

This is the way disruption often works — new improvements don’t always equal bigger profits. Examples:
  • The Open Source movement in the late ’90s
  • The decimalization of the U.S. stock market
  • The digitization of the music industry.

With the explosion of digital media, ad space inventory is increasing quickly, while at the same time advertisers are making more focused and efficient buys than ever before. If that efficiency is working, then net fewer dollars need to be spent to drive better results. Great news for advertisers — but bad news for magazine publishers with inventory to sell. With CPMs seemingly lower all the time, a continuation of the trend toward efficient ad buys will mean a dramatic contraction of the advertising market.

If magazine publishers can take a lesson from the industries that have gone through disruption before us, it’s that the incumbents should have embraced the new business models much, much earlier. Publishers have no choice but to act now and get involved in inventing the next wave of advertising.

So how do you compete when your market is collapsing? -- Change the way you think about your market.

Yes, publishers sell space to advertisers. But advertisers want to buy results, not space. When media companies measure their monetizable assets, they tally up the display inventory they can sell, and the data that can boost an advertiser’s expected returns. But a publisher's assets are actually much more diverse. Publishers have:
  • Brand
    Build it right, and your brand represents a premium you can earn to separate yourself from the commodity you sell.
  • RelationshipsAudiences comes for original content in a magazine's signature style. Partner with advertisers to devise creative campaigns that are tailor-made to be knockout hits with their/your audience.
  • Custom Content
    In the past, magazine publisher's created content for the audience’s sake and then relied on advertisers to subsidize it. Today, advertisers are less willing to subsidize content — but they are more willing to pay for it in other ways.  Now that marketers are directly connected with their audiences via Facebook, Twitter and the like, those advertisers need something to say. Custom publishing of content sponsored by Advertisers is on the rise and a great, inexpensive, and effective way to deliver that content is via digital magazines.
  • Technology
    This doesn’t need to be the sole purview of the ad-tech startups. Publishers have sophisticated technology already to serve their audience.
  • Results
    As the universe gravitates toward complete trackability, the one sure-fire thing advertisers will keep paying for is results.
A new age of advertising is upon us, and while it may be a golden age in terms of technological advancements, it certainly won’t be one of abundance. The contraction of the advertising market will force publishers to get creative and add real value with new offerings of their own. The days of selling space and access to a general audience are over. But advertisers will always need great media brands to align themselves with — which is why the biggest opportunity for media companies is to combine new technology and new delivery formats (like digital magazines) with strong brands, and make that alignment more valuable than ever.

Friday, 25 January 2013

This Year All Publishers Go Mobile

Here is a great article with information that publishers need to know. Publishers' ability to drive their content to multiple devices and generate new sources of digital revenue will be key to survival. http://www.emarketer.com/Article/This-Year-All-Publishers-Go-Mobile/1009628