Corner Office: Engineering Results
TM: We use our unique platform to leverage content so readers can discover us in a lot of different ways: go to our website and click around; use search engines; through social media and sharing; and in new formats. The first big one for us was smartphones. Now we're starting to concentrate more and more on the tablet as a new format. [They launched their Lonny iPad app in October 2012.]
PE: How does Lonny fit into the mix?
TM: Lonny is our first foray into the shelter category. Lonny came out of the traditional print magazine business. The two founders were at Domino and brought with them the background of print. They did work in InDesign and Photoshop and made a layout that looked liked print, which lent itself well to the tablet platform.
The first thing we did after the acquisition was we looked into the best growth opportunities and what folks asked for most was the tablet, and the iPad in particular. We built the app and got Lonny up on it and it's our first big push into tablet. Celebrity Pictures is an app related to Zimbio, but it's not a branded push into tablet. The Lonny tablet version mirrors the brand.
PE: Lonny is free online but has a paid app, right?
TM: Lonny looks like a digital replica and it has always been available free. The founders wanted to be unfettered by page count and to not have to worry about cost of printing. But in the business model with tablet publishing, there are costs. Plus we wanted to offer higher resolution photography to give full value to the retina display. You can zoom in and look at titles on books, fabric patterns, etc.
We did feel like it was a premium experience. The content is very similar to what's on the Web, but formatting and functionality is different: we have push, download, higher resolution photography… and over time we will add more and more content for subscribers.