Publishing/Writing: Insights, News, Intrigue

04/30/2013

Mix Newspapers + Digital + Metered Paywalls and Shake Well! – Hot Mixture or Not?


Newspapers have danced with ups and downs in the past few years. But, as I have posted on periodically in the past, this segment of publishing was one of the first to analyze its options in the new tech environment, embrace change, initiate appropriate training and launch new business models that have included digital and associated mobiles, etc.

This brought about a big learning curve (that is still active) – but, what has shaken out thus far looks promising and has resulted in positive growth in digital circulation and stopped the bleeding in print circulation and even turned print around a little.

Now, let’s drill down and get into some numbers provided by AAM (Alliance of Audited Media) that will tell us for sure if the ‘newspapers + digital + metered paywalls’ mix is a hot mixture or not.

Matthew Flamm reports on the semi-annual newspaper AAM numbers for Crain’s New York Business:

 

New York Times overtakes USA Today as No. 2

The Grey Lady gains 18% in circulation in the past year as metered paywall pays off. The Wall Street Journal jumps 12% in the much-anticipated semi-annual industry audit.

The New York Times has moved into the No. 2 spot in newspaper circulation, ahead of USA Today, as the addition of more than 300,000 digital subscriptions gave the paper an average weekday circulation of 1.9 million print and digital copies in the six months ending March 31.

The number marked a nearly 18% circulation gain compared to a year ago, with digital gaining enough to more than offset print losses, according to the Alliance of Audited Media, which released its semi-annual newspaper survey on Tuesday.

The alliance includes in its digital count subscriptions to the online paper distributed to tablets, iPhones and through its website. 

The Wall Street Journal, in first place, was up 12% in combined weekday circulation, to 2.4 million print and digital copies. Both papers relied on digital circulation for growth. The Journal‘s print edition fell 5% to 1.5 million copies, while the Times‘ slid 6% to 731,000. 

USA Today dropped 8%, to 1.7 million copies, of which only 250,000 were digital.

On Sundays, the Times remains the clear No. 1, with total circulation of 2.3 million copies, up 16% from a year ago. Its print edition slid less than 1% to 1.25 million copies.

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10/31/2012

New York Publishing Blown Away By Hurricane Sandy


Hurricane Sandy Devastates NY Publishing

Let’s pull our head out of the digital publishing world for a bit and take an insightful look-see into what happened to the three-dimensional physical publishing world after hurricane Sandy came crashing through New York on 29th October 2012. 

This takes you right through the flooded streets and publishing offices in New York and lets us peek into a little decision-making RE The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal among others.

Adweek article by Lucia Moses:

Publishing World Muddles Through Storm

Sandy wreaks havoc on city’s dailies

It was a storm even the most prepared media companies couldn’t totally anticipate. Hurricane Sandy stymied efforts by The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal this morning to deliver to Manhattanites who still prefer the ink-on-paper version (assuming customers even had light to read it by), while the storm’s aftermath disrupted many of the major publishing houses.

The storm’s timing, along with road, tunnel and bridge closures, prevented the Times from getting into Manhattan from its College Point, N.Y., plant, although deliveries were made to parts of Long Island, Queens and Brooklyn.

The Times gets about one-third of its circulation from New York state, or some 236,842 copies.

“We are making every effort to distribute as transportation issues improve,” a spokeswoman said.

There was no home delivery of the Journal in Manhattan and only a limited number of single copies made it to newsstands, a rep there said.

Those with Internet access could still get information online from the Times as well as The Wall Street Journal, which lowered their paywalls today for the second day in a row so readers could get storm and recovery information. A Journal rep said WSJ.com would be free again on Wednesday.

The storm has had varying effects on other publishing houses, which remained closed or advised employees to work from home for the second day in a row today.

Dennis Publishing’s The Week had to set up shop in a conference room at a Residence Inn across the street from its offices in order to meet its Wednesday press deadline. “Our entire edit team had to hand-carry their computers and servers down five flights of stairs,” president Steven Kotok emailed. “We rebuilt the servers in the hotel conference room.”

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07/20/2010

Sharp to Issue E-reader


Come on down!…And play in the ever-growing arena of e-reader money! Yes indeedy, Japanese electronic giant Sharp is entering the game with an advanced model e-reader with great text, audio and video…all automatically adjustable to all publishers’ formats.

Sharp is definitely a “sharp” cutting-edge company and I’m sure their new e-reader will surpass expectations.

This from AFP, global news agency:

The Japanese electronic book market is now estimated to be worth 46 billion yen (about 500 million dollars), with most titles distributed via mobile telephones and conventional computers.

Sharp said Tuesday it would launch an e-reader this year able to handle text as well as video and audio content, in a bid to challenge Apple and other rivals in the lucrative market.

The Japanese electronics giant said it had updated its e-book format with the “next-generation XMDF” platform, an advanced multimedia version of the XMDF format for text and still images that it launched in 2001.

“The next-generation XMDF enables easy viewing of digital content including video and audio and allows automatic adjustment of the layout to match and meet publishers’ needs,” Sharp said in a statement.

Sharp plans to begin the service and sell two types of e-readers, which resemble Apple’s iPhone and iPad, by the end of the year in Japan and will then also export the gadgets.

“Now there is a lot of attention on the e-publishing business,” Masami Obatake, a senior Sharp official, told a news conference. “Launching it by the end of this year will be good timing.”

Asked if Sharp can cope with the competition, Obatake said: “Since we have a new system, I think we will be able to compete sufficiently.”

Sharp said it had already reached basic accords with major Japanese publishers and newspaper companies on content, adding it would be open to further collaboration to establish an e-book market.

In late May, Sony announced a similar plan jointly with telecoms operator KDDI, the Asahi Shimbun newspaper company and the Toppan printing company, with each company taking a 25 percent stake.

That came just a day before the launch of the iPad in Japan and other countries outside the United States, where print media face a steady decline in advertising and have turned to e-readers as a way to win new revenue.

The Japanese electronic book market is now estimated to be worth 46 billion yen (about 500 million dollars), with most titles distributed via mobile telephones and conventional computers.

Japanese news media had until this year taken a wait-and-see approach to the devices, contrary to US peers.

Newspaper circulation has held up better than in the United States, having fallen only six percent between 1999 and 2009 to 50.3 million sales daily, the Japan Newspaper Publishers & Editors Association said. However, magazine circulation in Japan has slumped by a third over the decade.

Copyright © 2010 AFP. All rights reserved. More »

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