Archive for Digital Publishing News
Most consumers may know of digital magazines for their information and entertainment values, but a whole new market has opened up for the category. Developers who care creating app-based, easily accessed digital titles are also using them for their marketing value in much the same way they would have once paid to advertise.
One such magazine is Arizona State University‘s Thrive digital magazine. While it’s not at all uncommon for a university to publish a quarterly or even monthly magazine, typically targeted at alumni in order to keep them up to date on university activities while demonstrating why their generous donations are so necessary, Thrive’s digital magazine is free for everyone to use on the iPad. This could mean a far greater amount of information traffic and an important step in reaching out to prospective students without coming across like a commercial.
According to the announcement from ASUNews.edu, “This is an innovative and dynamic presentation of ASU stories of success, community impact, research breakthroughs, personal profiles and more,” said Dan Dillon, ASU chief marketing officer. “There is a tremendous audience of iPad users who demand quality and convenience in the delivery of subject matter that matches their interest areas. Just as these consumers are on the cutting edge of technology use, this magazine will present ASU in a convenient and completely engaging cutting-edge format.”
One of the great features about this type of information promotion is the value-added intentional advertising it offers. Readers seeking out the digital magazine will stay connected to a variety of university topics, while those who are not yet stakeholders in ASU can see the benefits of a stronger relationship to the school.
As more and more digital users become accustomed to getting their news and information for free online, their attitudes towards advertising are shifting, too. Consumers understand that advertising is what pays for the content and allows it to be offered for free, but that doesn’t mean the advertising doesn’t need to be informative and unobtrusive. It should be enjoyable to read the information when trying to reach out to a new customer base, rather than an annoyance that has to be tolerated.
Digital magazines and newspapers have seen a wider adoption in terms of being used as a value-added tool. A number of service and business sectors have already turned to this format to entice new clients or customers, including the hospitality industry, the library space, and now education.
PressReader is one of the most popular digital newspaper and magazine companies in the world. They have built their business around the notion of being able to subscribe to over 4,000 publications for a low monthly fee. In order to show consumers how accessible their apps are, they have just unveiled a series of new videos that teaches users how to take advantage of some of the advanced features. Lately the Vancouver company has really been stepping up their game, releasing some interesting videos that tell the story about their brand.
In sad news for extending the reach of ebooks and print-on-demand, global distributor Paperight has announced that it will cease operations. The company operated under an anti-piracy/pro-book access model that licensed ebooks from publishers to be sold via photocopy shops across various regions in Africa.
Good e-Reader first wrote about Paperight in 2013 when the group won a digital innovation award at CONTEC, the preshow event to the Frankfurt Book Fair. At the time, it was truly astounding that a company could win such an award for getting more people to read print books.
Paperight operated in remote regions by filling a need for licensed content. Until the company’s arrival, many book stores and university textbook vendors offered a library of single-edition titles that students or their parents would photocopy for a fee. This wasn’t only spurred on by piracy efforts, but also by the fact that many publishers lack a licensing agreement in certain African countries, and therefore did not sell their titles within the region. The only way to access the material was through photocopied piracy.
Paperight changed that by licensing the digital edition and allowing readers to purchase the book via a lower cost license, which the shop owner would then print out on the copiers and bind. Call it a highly rudimentary Espresso book machine, if you will.
While many cultures might be willing to pay a little more to not have to stand at a copier and generate their own books, that has proven to not be the case in the markets that Paperight served. At this time, while optimistic about where the industry can take their pioneering efforts and where their work will take them next, the company has had to close its doors.
Newspapers around the country have been in a steady decline over the past few years, a decline that arguably began with nightly news coverage as more and more households bought a television. In essence, a daily newspaper prints yesterday’s news, which is then read at the end of the work day, making it nearly two days old.
Internet news access–most of it free above the cost of internet service, which consumers pay for already–provides up-to-the-minute headline news literally at the readers fingertips, even if it isn’t always unbiased or wholly accurate.
But newspapers, especially the once-family owned papers, provided a valuable service that internet news rarely offers, and that is in-depth local coverage. Unless a particular incident is noteworthy enough to garner national coverage, it can be completely ignored by the media.
Digital newspapers, on the other hand, have the ability to revive not only the coverage that local newspapers once provided, but also to rejuvenate the true journalism that took place on the local events level. In looking back through the nation’s history, a lot of social good came out of local reporters uncovering the real story; that’s not a service that the public can take lightly.
According to an article for Bloomberg, Cerberus Capital Management LP has a plan in the motion to purchase Digital First Media Inc., which owns some regional news outlets like the San Jose Mercury News and the Denver Post. This deal would expand the digital reach of these papers and allow a broader audience of readers who have some form of tie to the region–former residents, or readers whose parents still live in Denver, for example–to continue to benefit from the serious journalism that takes place in those regions.
Once deals like this take place and broader digital publishing options open up for newspapers, digital newspaper and magazines subscription providers are able to step in with a quality, easy to use app that allows consumers to access a wide variety of content that they otherwise never would have found. Make sure if you are involved in digital newspaper publishing or a fan of any of these papers, you can check them out on PressReader.
Michael Bloomberg is a man on the mission. One of his lifelong goals is purchasing one of the most influential newspapers in the world, the New York Times. A few years ago he formally approached Chairman Arthur Sulzberger about a possible deal, but was told “The New York Times will never be for sale.” Recently the New York Magazine published a speculation piece and for all sense and purposes, Michael’s interest has not waned.
Michael Bloomberg is the former mayor of New York and held the office for three terms. He is considered to be the wealthiest person in New York, whose reported net worth is north of $33 billion, could certainly afford to acquire a publicly traded media company with a market capitalization of a mere $2 billion—even if he had to pay a substantial premium.
Many of the most popular newspapers in the US also proclaimed that they would never be for sale, but look how it all panned out. The Wall Street Journal was not for sale until Rupert Murdoch made an offer that was 67% above their shares’ trading value. The Washington Post wasn’t on the market until Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos came knocking and bought it in August 2013.
The New York Times has been under the gun lately to produce. In October they reported a loss of $9 million compared to a profit of $12.9 million in the third quarter of 2013. The loss was driven, in part, by the cost of buyouts and over 100 layoffs, as well as a capital investment in new products. The company bet big on NYT Opinion, a mobile app dedicated to opinionated content and NYT Now, which was aimed at younger readers. Both had not gained the traction the Times had wanted and were quickly shuttered.
One ally that Bloomberg has in a possible buyout situation is Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim, who also expressed an interest in purchasing the Times. Last week, Mr. Slim exercised warrants to become the largest shareholder of the company with a 17% stake and told Reuters last July that his holdings in the company are a “financial investment.” If Bloomberg paid a dramatic above average rate for the company, Slim would make a copious amount of money.
Will the Times sell? It looks highly unlikely, primarily due to the way the company is structured. Poynter outlined the current situation by saying “The structure of the family trust is the heart of the matter . It would be almost impossible unless there was unanimity” among family shareholders to sell the company to an outsider. Even were there a block of dissident family members, stock in the Trust would have to be offered first to the other Class B Trust shareholders before it could go to anyone else.”
The New York Times core business is sound. Their online digital strategy is paying off big time. They basically pioneered the paywall system, that gives people a limited amount of content they can read, before they have to take out a subscription. Over 900,000 people are currently paying for this and via their official line of apps for Android and iOS apps. Third party companies are also lending the assist in generation additional revenue. PressReader is marketing the NYT replica edition to a ravenous audience.
The publishing industry has extolled the virtues of digital publishing–less waste, lower transport and delivery costs, a reduced carbon footprint–especially where periodicals are concerned, but there is more to delivering e-content in the form of newspapers and magazines than simply browsing through a magazine while you wait for the train.
New data on travel, specifically the numbers that pertain to business travel, may provide a correlation between the increase in individual trips and the steady increase in popularity of digital newspaper and magazine apps. Numbers from the Travel Industry Association of America indicate that:
- 3% of business travelers travel outside of the U.S.
- 47% of business travelers reported that their last trip was to attend a meeting, trade show, or convention, as opposed to other activities, such as consulting or making a sales call.
- The average business trip lasts 3.3 nights.
- 20% of business travelers report that they combined work and vacation on their last trip.
- There were 43,900,000 individuals who traveled on business in 1998 — or one out of every five American adults.
- The average business traveler is 42 years old.
- 60% of business travelers are men.
- The average business traveler takes 5.4 trips each year.
- The average business traveler earns an annual salary of $76,100.
- In the 1990’s, there were an average of 200,000,000 business trips taken per year.
- With 25% of business travelers visiting the South Atlantic region of the U.S., it is the most common destination.
With so much travel taking place in far flung destinations when the individual is required to travel, one of the small comforts that airports and hotels have been able to offer is access to internet connectivity and digital magazines and newspapers. This allows the business traveler to connect to content and news from back home, rather than experience the sense of relief from getting away from it all, as when on vacation.
“With todays’ competitive hospitality industry, retention is usually a result of high guest satisfaction,” explains the logic behind digital amenities as offered by digital content app PressReader. “Value added guest amenities, like PressReader, give hoteliers an ideal solution to gain a competitive edge in the market resulting in higher guest satisfaction and repeat visits. With a library of over 2,000 same-day digital newspapers and magazines including the Washington Post, Elle Magazine, Business Traveler, The Globe and Mail and Le Monde, PressReader is a cost-effective luxury amenity that leisure and business travelers alike would appreciate.”