Blogs

To Grow Online Subscriptions, Get Out of the Reader's Way

I have this feeling we’re on the verge of an upswing in media. I say this every January, but this time I really mean it. Really. I do believe that there’s been a gradual shift in thinking by media owners and the general public, and we’re balanced on a tipping point. It’s become clear, in…

Will Publishers Pay for the USPS’s FSS Fiasco?

More than seven years after it began rolling out, the billion-dollar system that was supposed to revolutionize how publications and other flat mail are handled is still making the U.S. Postal Service less, not more, efficient. In fact, the Flats Sequencing System’s performance, already well below plan, declined even further last year, according to a…

Ev Williams Thinks Digital Advertising Is Broken. Here's Why He's Wrong.

Last week Medium founder Ev Williams created a stir in the media world after laying off a third of the publishing platform’s staff. He placed much of the blame for the massive layoff at digital advertising’s feet, claiming that it’s a “broken system.” He wrote in a post on Medium that digital advertising fails to…

Other Staff Bloggers
Content & Digital Media

I have this feeling we’re on the verge of an upswing in media. I say this every January, but this time I really mean it. Really. I do believe that there’s been a gradual shift in thinking by media owners and the general public, and we’re balanced on a tipping point. It’s become clear, in…

Digital media has brought a lot of challenges to the publisher’s door. One of the biggest is the challenge to reader loyalty. In the good old days, most readers had limited choice; sometimes if they didn’t read your newspaper or magazine, they didn’t read. In cities or subject areas where there was a choice, a…

At this time of year I’m asked many times by many magazines and web sites for my prediction of the future. The request is not only for long term punditry but near term predictions, as in what will be happening next year. My usual glib answer is something like, “Next year will be like this…

Data & Audience

More than seven years after it began rolling out, the billion-dollar system that was supposed to revolutionize how publications and other flat mail are handled is still making the U.S. Postal Service less, not more, efficient. In fact, the Flats Sequencing System’s performance, already well below plan, declined even further last year, according to a…

B2B Media Value Rising, Disruption on Horizon It is becoming a year-end ritual, the gathering of some of the largest B2B media companies at The Business Information & Media Summit (BIMS). Many C-level execs, heavy on CEOs, along with technology thought leaders, share ideas, successes, and cocktails on the beach. BIMS, now in its third…

Many media stories imply that the polling profession suffered a catastrophic failure in the recent presidential election because the national polling consensus was that Clinton would win by a comfortable margin of 3 to 4 points. Now that the absentee ballots have been counted, that forecast turns out to be fairly close since Clinton won…

Sales & Advertising

Last week Medium founder Ev Williams created a stir in the media world after laying off a third of the publishing platform’s staff. He placed much of the blame for the massive layoff at digital advertising’s feet, claiming that it’s a “broken system.” He wrote in a post on Medium that digital advertising fails to…

I promise you that the following three seemingly disconnected observations are related to each other and relevant to publishing. Bear with me, please: Donald Trump’s campaign provides a valuable lesson in 21st Century marketing. And the lesson is not, as some of the pundits claim, that marketing no longer works. After rapid declines early in…

I did not want Donald Trump to be President. Actually I still don't, but hopefully I and the other half of the country will get over it and back to some form of normality. But that is another story and not why I'm writing this column. My politics are mine, and yours are, well, yours.…

Business Management

For a professional who has worked at many a large publishing house, and as a person who has had many a large expense account, I suggest that the Time Inc. approach described in this article is absurd, stupid, and a real morale buster on every level. The New York Post reported recently that Time Inc. placed…

I was at the Folio: show this week in New York City. I spoke at the conference and was spoken to by many a strong, free-thinking, radical member of a still evolving, re-energized publishing community. It was, as usual, a thought provoking event, and I was delighted to attend. Before I continue I want to…

I’m not a recruiter; I’ve never been a recruiter. I’ve hired a lot of people over the years and when I look back I can honestly say that I’m not great at it and I’m the first to admit it. I’ve completed courses and read books, often with contradicting advice. I’ve followed the steps and…

Printing & Production

Email is an increasingly important channel for publishers, and for many it is a major driver of website traffic and revenue. But email takes time and resources that can put a strain on publishers already stretched budgets. Technology startup StoryPorts hopes to alleviate that strain with its automated email creation platform and workflow management tools.…

Emboldened by recent tightness in supply, several suppliers announced last week the first round of price increases on magazine-quality paper in more than a year. But what should really concern publishers is not so much the ebbs and flows of the paper markets but rather the possible gyrations of the currency markets. With demand for…

Unless Congress stuns the world by doing something about the U.S. Postal Service other than naming more post offices, publishers on average will experience slightly lower postal rates in 2017 than this year. In fact, for all of the “Three Ps” of print magazine publishing — Postage, Printing, and Paper — publishers should be more…

News

I go to a dozen or more media conferences each year. Many I speak at and others I report on as a media analyst and journalist. I always hope to learn something new or hear different perspectives. I have seen the best and the not so great. Having attended the good and the bad, it…

BoSacks interviews Time Inc. CEO Joe Ripp about his new role as the chair of the American Magazine Media Conference, which the MPA will host in Manhattan on February 1st and 2nd. Ripp discusses why events like the AMMC are important for the health of the magazine industry and previews some of the conference sessions…

My friend Samir Husni has penned a short essay and complaint about "numbers" used in our industry for purposes of industry review and analysis (Click here). He bemoans the way some media reporters publish stats on the number of new titles in each quarter, and he wishes that they reached out to him for his extensive collected number of new launches. I suggest that his collection of data is very large, unique, and probably the most definitive.