Publishing/Writing: Insights, News, Intrigue

10/18/2012

Most Magazines to Begin Going Digital-Only by the End of the Decade


Newsweek – Going Digital-Only AND Global

At least that is what publishing industry ‘watchers’ predict.

One early indicator of this transformation: Newsweek magazine is going digital-only at the end of this year and be renamed Newsweek Global. (I still don’t think print mags will disappear completely – they’ve had too much of a renewed growth and popularity – due, incidentally, to digital growth).

But, it’s the ‘going global’ thing with Newsweek — and how they’ve set it up — that I think is interesting.

TJ Raphael reports this in FOLIO magazine:

Newsweek To Cease Print Publication in 2013

Rebranded in a digital-only format called Newsweek Global.

Earlier this week at the American Magazine Conference, industry watchers speculated that most magazines will begin going digital-only by the end of the decade—that prediction seems to be coming to fruition sooner than expected, starting with today’s announcement that Newsweekmagazine will cease its print publication by the end of 2012.

After 80 years in print, the magazine will transition to an all-digital format, renaming itself Newsweek Global, and will become a single, worldwide edition targeted for a mobile audience. Newsweek has an Asian edition; a Business Plus edition; an edition for Latin America; Europe, the Middle East and Africa in addition to its U.S. publication, all of which will be consolidated into Newsweek Global.

A statement from the Newsweek/Daily Beast Company, signed by editor-in-chief Tina Brown and CEO Baba Shetty, says that Newsweek Global will be supported by paid subscription and will be available through e-readers for both tablet and the Web, with select content available on The Daily Beast.

“Regrettably we anticipate staff reductions and the streamlining of our editorial and business operations both here in the United States and internationally,” says an internal memo posted on the company’s Tumblr page. “More details on the new organizational structure will be shared individually in the coming weeks and months.”

According to the most recent Fas-Fax from the Audit Bureau of Circulations for the period ending June 30, 2012, Newsweek saw a 9.7 percent year-over-year drop in the number of single copies sold at retail, with total paid, verified and analyzed non-paid circulation dropping by 0.2 percent. In the last three years, its total paid and verified circulation has gone from 2,646,613 to 1,527,157, with single copies going from 64,866 to 42,065 during the same period. Ad pages, however, have been up by 2.5 percent year-to-date, according to Min Box Score numbers.

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07/10/2012

A Disregard for Intellectual Property Among the Younger Generation? Prevalent Piracy


Give me your content, Mate!

The digital highways and byways are becoming more and more crowded with mobile devices. These wonderful little gadgets are a boon to publishers in providing multiple avenues to get their content out in front of more readers/consumers. 

The mobiles also bring a downside, however — increased piracy! Seems these little devils, multiplying like horny energizer bunnies, are hard to police. ‘It’s easy for thieves to digitally swipe magazine issues and post to BitTorrent sites.’

You ask, “What the hell is a Bit Torrent site?” [I had to ask that question :)] Well, here is the definition link .

Lucia Moses provides some insight into how digital magazines are being ripped off through their mobile apps in this piece for Adweek

Publishers’ Online Headache

With tablets come opportunity, but also online piracy

With mobile devices, magazines have more ways than ever to distribute their content—and more ways of getting ripped off.

Like the music and movie businesses before them, magazines are getting their own taste of piracy with the spread of tablets and handheld mobile devices. It’s easy for thieves to digitally swipe magazine issues and post to BitTorrent sites.

Publishers say piracy is concentrated overseas where no sooner do they get a site shut down than another one pops up in its place. And with all the focus on distributing their content as widely as possible, they don’t really know the scope of the problem or what it’s costing them in lost sales.

“[It’s] a real problem for the future as we get a lot more of these devices out there and it becomes harder to police it,” said Declan Moore, president of publishing and digital media for the National Geographic Society. “There is a general concern that, among the younger generation, there is a disregard for intellectual property.”

With just a few keystrokes, he found an online search engine offering a full year’s worth of interactive Nat Geos (as well as what appeared to be a liberal selection of soft porn). “That’s not authorized, I’m pretty sure,” he said.

Dan Lagani, president of Reader’s Digest North America, said the pirated editions of Reader’s Digest that he sees tend to be lower-resolution and lack the interactivity that the magazine has built into its iPad, Kindle Fire and Nook versions. “It’s not the same consumer experience.”

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11/30/2011

Digital Magazines – The 2011 Stats


The tablet age (along with some other mobiles) is only about a year old … But, there have been digital editions for over a decade (and I didn’t realize that!). At any rate, the blossoming digital publishing age did come along at a time when print mags were sliding. And from all indications digital editions have revived the magazine industry … even pumping up their print sisters in some cases 🙂

Now, let’s get into some business performance numbers for 2011 RE this rather new industry … provided by Matt Kinsman, Executive Editor of FOLIO magazine

The State of the Digital Edition Industry in 2011

Publisher satisfaction grows but monetization continues to frustrate.

We’re only about a year into the tablet age but more than a decade of using digital editions. Today, with the rise of ever increasingly sophisticated mobile devices and apps, digital editions are poised to leap to the forefront of publishers’ revenue generation plans and serve as their flagship on devices such as the iPad.

But are they able to deliver? Nxtbook Media recently wrapped its 2011 State of the Digital Edition survey, which looked at audience development and revenue growth, as well as where mobile fits in.

The good news? Publishers on both the consumer and b-to-b sides are more satisfied with their digital editions than last year when Nxtbook first conducted the survey. However, there is some growing frustration as publishers continue with how to actually monetize digital editions.

Satisfaction Up by 40 Percent

Forty-nine percent of respondents said they are satisfied with their digital edition (12 percent are “quite satisfied” while 37 percent are “somewhat satisfied”), up 40 percent from 2010. “Publishers this year are more optimistic and they’re also more decisive than last year,” says Nxtbook marketing director Marcus Grimm.

However, while publishers are realizing digital editions have great potential for growing audience, they aren’t sure how to do so. Sixty-four percent of respondents say they are confident there are many more readers out there but they don’t know how to reach them (up from 59.3 percent who said the same last year). “That speaks to the youth of our audiences,” says Grimm. “Publishers are trying lots of things; we know readers are out there, but we’re not cracking the code. The iTunes store brought us to a totally different place—every time we think we have this space figured out, it changes.”

Just 21 percent of respondents said they know there are more digital magazine readers out there and they know how to reach them.

Still, Grimm advises publishers should strive for 15 percent of their readership to come from digital editions at this stage. “If you can get to that, it’s a vibrant number,” he adds. “It’s a large enough number that your advertisers will care about.”

Advertising Satisfaction

Publishers are less satisfied with digital editions as an advertising tool than as an audience tool. Just 29 percent of publishers say they are very or somewhat dissatisfied with the advertising revenue of their digital editions, about the same as last year.
However, the satisfaction gap between b-to-b publishers (Nxtbook’s main clientele) and consumer publishers shrank over the past year.

“The iTunes store has helped b-to-b pubs a lot and specialty optimized magazines are helping with sponsorship,” says Grimm. “Advertisers are getting excited about new optimized magazines.”

Still, just 12 percent of respondents say they have a firm handle on how to generate money with digital magazines. Sixty-one percent of respondents say their digital magazine can be a revenue generator but are unsure how to get to the next level.

Perhaps most troubling, the number of respondents who say they’ve tried many ways to make money with digital editions and are fairly convinced they can’t nearly doubled from last year to 8 percent.

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11/21/2011

Inside Digital Magazines – And Some Business Numbers


Digital Magazines Gain Popularity

Digital magazines are taking off somewhat according to a survey by the Association of Magazine Media. And the various digital formats have a long tail, it seems … actually increasing the circulation of the print formats as well (see my post https://gator1965.wordpress.com/2011/02/28/printed-magazines-young-adult-readership-up-90-prefer-ink-format/). 

Could it be that folks with the new digital gadgets try the digital versions of mags they never have read before and like them well enough to subscribe to or buy the print counterparts?

Another interesting concept, not available yet but in the offing, is the ability for readers of digital mags to buy direct from the digital ads. 

Read this telling article by Jacqui Cheng of Wired.com (Epicenter Blog):

People Actually Read Digital Magazines (And They’re Ready To Buy)

The publishing industry is still feeling out ways to take advantage of new digital formats. Plenty of traditional magazine subscribers have declared that they still prefer old fashioned print, but a group of brave souls has slowly grown in number since the iPad was introduced in 2010: those who read magazines on tablets. Whether the general public loves them or hates them is still up for grabs, but according to a newly published survey conducted by the Association of Magazine Media (MPA–long story), those who already read magazines on tablets are really getting into them, with some suggestions on how to improve.

The MPA surveyed 1,009 adult digital magazine readers on their use habits, with a whopping 90 percent claiming to read as much or more magazine content than they did before acquiring a tablet, with two-thirds saying they plan to consume even more magazines now that they can do so digitally. But it seems that most prefer the newsstand-style subscriptions (that is, an area to retrieve their new content all in the same place) — 76 percent of survey respondents said they preferred this route to individual apps. And more than half, 55 percent, said they like to be able to read digital back issues of their favorite magazines.

 

These users have a handful of requests that are not widely implemented among digital magazines, however, including the ability to buy products directly from editorial features (70 percent) and the ability to buy directly from digital ads (59 percent). Frankly it’s surprising this isn’t already commonplace—ads do exist to sell products, after all—but we’re guessing this is partly due to the fact that most magazines are still porting over their print issues instead of working to create digital versions from scratch.

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