Publishing/Writing: Insights, News, Intrigue

04/26/2011

Rebirthing of Magazine Publishing


Side slider touchscreen smartphone

After barreling to the very edge of magazine extinction AND balancing on the tipping point… the magazine publishing world has been pulled back and dropped into greener revenue fields.

What brought this about? The rise of mobile apps for smartphones and tablets! That’s what…

Excerpt from feature source: “The rise of mobile apps for smartphones and tablets is generating  an excitement in the world of magazine publishing that hasn’t been seen in years. The potential of reviving storied brands and creating new revenue streams in a brand new, yet somehow familiar medium is tremendous. Still, these are the early days. The publishing industry has a long way to go before it figures out how to harness these new capabilities. In the meantime, both large and small publishers are already seeing their business transform.”  

Get the details from this FOLIO magazine Special Report presented on a great digital app powered by Nxtbook 

This blog available on your Kindle here

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12/04/2010

Mag Publishers Branching Out


In order to save money, and also seek new revenue in non-traditional functions, magazine publishers are taking on related tasks usually contracted out to vendors. Actually they are strengthening their own vertical (business model) in-house capability.

These tasks include such things as launching all kinds of media products, from Web sites to custom publishing, virtual events, databases, books, supplements and spinoffs…Afterall, if you’re going to branch out you might as well stick to your core business and who knows what a publisher needs more than a publisher?

This magazine publishing branch-out (or in-house vertical strengthening, as I like to call it) kind of reminds me of what writers (novel writers as well as others) have had to do to break loose from traditional publishing “slush piles” and non-action by learning and taking on more of the tasks performed by publishing houses in the past…This all was made more possible and easier through the new digital technology. Let’s all drink a scotch on the rocks to that!

Tony Silber and Matt Kinsman, reporting for FOLIO magazine, analyze it this way:

When Publishers Become Vendors

Dave Schankweiler, CEO and publisher of Journal Publications Inc., a Harrisburg, Pennsylvania regional publisher, remembers the day he became not just a publisher, but a vendor to publishers too.

Back in 2004, the company, which publishes the Central Penn Business Journal, Central Penn Parent, and NJ Biz, launched a new survey, called Best Companies in Pennsylvania. It used an outside survey firm to do the first report. The night the winners were presented was a huge success. “That night,” Schankweiler remembers, “it was loud, and there was a countdown and a lot of excitement. And that’s exactly when we decided to change the company, because we were coming down from the high of the event. We said, ‘Why don’t we take this out into the market and do it as a service to other publishing companies?’ ”

Magazine publishers are by nature entrepreneurial types. They like to tinker with their businesses. They’re incessantly launching all kinds of media products, from Web sites to custom publishing, events, databases, books, supplements, spinoffs. But there aren’t a lot like Dave Schankweiler. Most media companies tend to stick to their knitting and limit their creative impulses to media products.

Some companies, though, are transforming themselves into a different kind of hybrid, media companies that have branched out into businesses traditionally occupied by publishing-industry vendors. Gulfstream Media, the Fort Lauderdale, Florida-based regional publisher is one. Gulfstream is the parent company of Magazine Manager, a popular ad-sales management software. UBM’s TechWeb is another. TechWeb created UBM Studios, which develops in-house virtual events for tech publisher UBM as well as for external clients.

Read and learn more

12/02/2010

Digital is Growing Up


A little visionary post tonight…As much as I can envision the future anyway (being retarded makes it difficult).

We talk about “traditional” print publishing today as old hat. Well, not too far into the future the new tablet computers, eReaders and other mobile devices will be “traditional” or old hat also. Just like the old bulky camcorders (remember them?) have given way to more diminutive devices.

After all, who will need ANYTHING you have to carry to compute on, or receive data on, when you will probably be able to think, or command in some other way, data molecules right out of the air into holograms for such tasks!

Ouch! All this prognosticating has left me drained! But, to get back to the present, just how is the state of digital publications doing after their first introduction about 10 years ago (damn has it been that long)?

Here is an article by Matt Kinsman of FOLIO magazine that examines the “Digital Editions: The State of the Industry”:

As the digital edition industry near 10 years of age, Nxtbook Media recently wrapped a survey called “Digital Editions: The State of the Industry,” which polled 233 publishers on their overall satisfaction with digital editions as audience tools and revenue generators, and how mobile apps and tablets will influence their strategy going forward.

Interestingly, Nxtbook concluded from the results that there is great latent potential in digital magazines from the perspective of the publisher. In terms of priorities, Nxtbook believes, publishers are more focused on increasing circulation for digital magazines and selling advertising more effectively into the format, than they are on apps and mobile solutions.

When it comes to the circulation of their digital magazines, about 40 percent reported modest to great satisfaction. On the other hand, 38 percent were somewhat dissatisfied while 22 percent were quite dissatisfied.

However, b-to-b publishers seem more pleased with digital magazines at this point than their consumer counterparts, with 50 percent saying they are somewhat to greatly pleased with their digital circulation.

Read and learn more

06/16/2010

Mobile Publishing Has a Ticket to Ride!



There is a plan afoot that just might rescue magazines and newspapers from a slow death and make them readily available online and profitable to boot!

The rescue is being carried out by the mobile digital devices flooding the market recently and the new mobiles waiting in the wings…such as the Dell Streak or the Samsung Galaxy.

John Kennedy writes this in the SiliconRepublic.com:

Watch out Apple CEO Steve Jobs, Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp is now in the digital news reader market having acquired Skiff, a Hearst-backed tech start-up that helps distribute newspaper and magazine content and could provide stiff competition to the iPad.

Murdoch has been one of the strongest proponents of building paywalls around newspapers and wants to follow on the success of successful properties like the Wall Street Journal and The Times of London.

Murdoch has acquired Skiff LLU (pictured above), a maker of a flexible news reader device, as well as a company called Journalism Online LLC, which is developing technology that helps publishers collect micro-payments from readers online.

He hopes that both acquisitions will lend support to his quest to help newspaper publishers be as profitable online as they once were in print.

The Skiff digital reader which Murdoch plans to bring to market later this year features an 11.5-inch grayscale touchscreen that allows users to download material wirelessly from Skiff’s online store.

The first material to feature on the Skiff digital reader will be the Financial Times, the New York Times, Forbes, Popular Mechanics, Random House and Simon & Schuster. The technology could also be licensed out to hardware from other manufacturers, appearing perhaps as an app on an Android phone or tablet computer.

Mobile publishing business to boom
The mobile publishing business is about to go stellar thanks to devices like the Apple iPad which have allowed publishers to redefine how news and magazine content is delivered online via apps. Magazines and newspapers that have delivered breakthrough iPad apps include Wired, Time magazine and the Financial Times, while news apps like the Pulse Reader, BBC News, Reuters News Pro and AP News are breaking new ground in online news distribution.

The online advertising side of the coin is also hard to ignore. Last week, Apple revealed that its iAd platform already has US$60m in ad bookings – 50pc of all North America’s mobile ads for H2 2010.

Quite rightly this has online publishers worried about whether they will be excluded from Apple’s devices – now almost 60pc of all mobile devices in the US – and led to the CEO of Google’s recently acquired AdMob expressing his concerns over recent changes to Apple’s terms for app developers.

Either way, for such a young market, the energy and competition about to be unleashed is mesmerising and with new devices entering the fray all the time like the Dell Streak or the Samsung Galaxy, a whole new paradigm in publishing is about to be unleashed with News Corp, Apple and Google currently leading the land grab.

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