Can the iPad save the book, magazine and newspaper industries? You damn right it can, at least it (and improvements to follow) can have a big savior role…IF these industries can monetize their online content. And I have no doubt that quality content will be monetized successfully online…It already has in small pockets around the net.
Macala Wright Lee , writing for Mashable, tells us exactly how some publishers are strategizing online monetization:
Apple announced earlier this week that it had sold more than 300,000 iPads in the U.S. on the first day. Furthermore, iPad users downloaded more than one million apps from the App Store() and 250,000 e-books from the iBookstore on that day alone.
The release of the iPad has the publishing world wondering if paid digital content will put the industry back in the black. While e-books are showing strong growth (as seen by the first day’s downloads), the water is murkier when it comes to newspapers and magazines. All three of the industries are facing formidable challenges in transitioning from print to digital mediums, but some publishers are already taking some interesting approaches.
Exploring Multiple Revenue Streams
Michela Abrams, Publisher and CEO of Dwell Magazine, believes that the iPad will allow Dwell and all its subsidiary companies to generate new revenue streams through paid subscriptions, digital advertising and online-to-offline events. The publication has launched full-scale development of robust iPad apps that will incorporate Dwell advertisers and support cross platform ad integration on the Dwell Partner Network, Fine Living Channel, and the Dwell On Design conference.
“The web is about sharing experiences,” says Abrams. A huge proponent of community, Abrams believes that in order to make digital content on the iPad effective, publishers have to integrate all aspects of their audience into the digital experience.
Says Abrams, “When you serve a community, you should endeavor to know everything about that community no matter what your topic is. You need to know what kind of running shoes they wear, and scotch they drink, what airline they like to fly, and cars they drive; then, and only then, could you really understand your audience’s whole psychographic profile.” This is the philosophy that Dwell is using as it develops monetization strategies for the iPad.
Testing Online-To-Offline Revenue Streams
This summer, Dwell is testing Abram’s new online-to-offline marketing models with the Dwell on Design trade show and conference in Los Angeles. Dwell plans to use their iPad applications for pre-show promotion by releasing 1,000 copies of its iPad design directory before the event. A vendor who participates in the event, such as Herman Miller, is able to have branded content within the digital edition. Advertisers, such as Target, can publish their own mini magazine for customers within the pages of Dwell’s digital editions. This of course, is incorporated into the exhibition and sponsorship for show vendors.
What’s more, Dwell has partnered with sustainable design blog Eco Fabulous, founded by Zem Joaquin, to offer a real-time tour of a sustainable prefab home (the interiors of which were designed by Joaquin) during the conference. The portal for the tour is, what else, the iPad.
Those who can’t attend the show can download the tour app and follow along in real-time. If a viewer sees something they like, they can touch it and discover its designer, and link directly to the company’s website.
Once e-commerce capabilities are enabled for the iPad, Abrams plans to fully integrate them into the digital edition of Dwell, as well as future editions of the Dwell on Design conference app. As consumers or show attendees read through the magazine, they will be able to find out what designer or manufacturer produced the tile, countertop or bedding that’s featured in an advertisement, and simply click through to purchase it.
Getting Consumers To Pay For Digital Content
For magazine publishers wishing to monetize their digital content, success is directly related to the quality of that content. According to a study by eMarketer, if the publication has content that the consumer believes is worth paying for, they will. The publisher then has to figure out how much that consumer is willing to spend and develop a fairly priced payment model.
So how does a magazine go about monetizing its digital content? Well, it’s easier than many may think. A start-up called PixelMags is leading the way for magazine publishers large and small.
38 magazines launched via PixelMags’ iPad apps held top spots on the iTunes Top 50 Paid Book List over the first weekend nationally and internationally. Magazines published on the PixelMags platform include Dwell (and all it’s subsidiaries), iCreate, Eliza, and MacUser.
For publishers, including niche, digital magazines and bloggers, the platform offers additional digital revenue streams. Consumers can purchase new issues and back issues of a magazine; over 25% of them purchase a 12-month subscription to the magazines they download. Magazines with international editions receive instant global distribution in up to 77 countries. A business publication or independent blogger can publish exclusive content, studies, or reports that are available for download at an additional cost.
What sets the PixelMags platform apart from its competitors is that it offers branded apps, complete with custom titles, meta descriptions and keywords; all of which are used for advanced search purposes when an application is launched on iTunes. The platform is compatible across the iPad, iPhone() and iPod Touch. Features include search, zoom, bookmarking options, headline alerts, a virtual library, social network sharing capabilities and in-app purchasing.
For magazine publishers, the PixelMags platform allows consumers to experience rich media content, including integrated, interactive advertising, games, platform-hosted video and vertical ad integration. Development costs vary by the scope of the project, but pricing starts at $1,000 from creation to iTunes launch.
PixelMags creators are excited about the opportunities their platform has to offer those who want to monetize their digital content. Founders Mark Stubbs, a 3D Imaging specialist for Bugatti and Aston Martin, and Ryan Marquis, a digital marketing and e-commerce executive, wanted to take the experiences they used when creating photorealistic imagery for luxury car manufacturers and translate that into the digital experience for content on the iPad and iPhone.
Is The iPad Going To Save Publishing Industry?
Realistic digital magazine replicas, combined with user-friendly features like bookmarking, search options, virtual libraries, headline alerts, in-app purchasing, social network sharing, and endless interactive content – isn’t that the product that millions of magazine readers have been waiting for?
The keys to success of course, lie in the monetization strategy and the quality of the content.