Peter Houston

Peter Houston

Peter Houston runs Flipping Pages Media, an independent consultancy and training firm, helping publishers build multi-platform success. He has run Guardian Masterclasses, spoken at Google’s ThinkPublishing and was formerly Editor-at-large for The Media Briefing. He now co-hosts the Media Voices Podcast, delivering a weekly take on the media news and guest interviews with senior players at a leading media organizations, from Facebook to Nieman Lab, The Economist to CNN.

You Can Sell Anything Once, But How Do You Keep Readers Paying for Content?

Though the UK’s vote to exit the EU and the election of Donald Trump may have roiled the British and American public, both have been great for subscription sales. Stories of the readership surge caused by the Trump Bump and the Brexit Bounce are legend among audience development professionals. Everyone knows, except maybe the president,…

If Paid Content is the New Hope, How Do We Convert Free Readers to Paying Ones?

So we’re agreed? Reader revenue is the way to go. We’re over traffic-at-scale and ad-only funding models. Subscriptions probably won’t pay all your bills, but a healthy mix of subs and ad sales is what we’re all about these days. OK? Great! Now that we’ve settled the paid content argument, how are we actually going…

Are Digital Magazine Apps A Stepping-Stone to Paid Content?

The conventional wisdom on digital magazines is that they’re dead, at least as a custom format, separate from print and enhanced for the tablet or phone. Apple often gets the blame - killing Newsstand killed digital magazines. But the shuttering of Apple’s standalone magazine space, as awful as it always was, was a symptom not…

Report Finds Publishing Industry Tech Spending Aimed at Bringing Audiences Back Home

Publishing Executive has released the results of its second annual survey on which technologies publishers plan to buy, the objectives behind their investments, and which technologies they expect to drive the most revenue. To enable publishers to see where and why their peers are making technology investments, survey results and analysis have been compiled into…

The Top Technologies Publishers Will Buy in 2018

Media executives reveal which technologies they plan to buy this year and why, exhibiting a more audience-centric approach than recent years and an overall desire to take back control of their own destinies.

What Procrastinating Publishers Need to do to Get GDPR Compliant Before May 25

It's not surprising that GDPR articles are hot on our site right now. We wanted to surface this post again for those still working on their GDPR game plan. Also check out A Guide to GDPR Compliance for Marketers by our sister publication Target Marketing, as well as How To Prevent a Customer Data Breach…

In Quest to Replace Facebook Traffic, Publishers Need to Get Back to SEO

If Facebook really turns out to be a busted flush for publishers, where’s the traffic going to come from in the future? Should everyone pivot to Pinterest? Leap to LinkedIn? Chassé over to Snapchat? How you decide to move your platform strategy forward is your business, but getting serious again about SEO is critical. There’s…

What Can We Learn From Publishers’ Pivot to Video?

With the hindsight offered by a new year, publishing’s “Pivot to Video” seems like a moment of collective madness best assigned to a less enlightened time (2017). But what ended up as a bad joke, started out as a serious response to shifting market conditions. And working on the premise that those who fail to…

Why Publishers Are Shifting Focus to Engagement Metrics Over Pageviews

Metrics is one of those words… one of those soulless new media words… Modern. Mechanical. Menacing. Say it out loud three times and you risk being forever haunted by a pivot-table demon summoned straight from spreadsheet Hell. Or maybe that’s just me. Some (sick) people have been known to get incredibly excited at the prospect…

Are Readers the Answer to Publishing’s Revenue Question?

Print’s a basket case. New online advertising dollars are under pressure from the duopoly. Bots and ad fraud are scaring agencies and brands away from spending what’s left of their budgets on digital display. Not too long ago, video was the answer to any question about the future of publishing revenues. But while the pivot…

Why Publishers Have the Upper Hand in the Growing Podcast Market

You know podcasts are really a thing when the former Vice President of the United States has one. If you’re interested to find out what ‘Joe wants you to know’, you can listen in to his five to 10 minute episodes on iTunes, Spotify, and Google Home or just shout out, “Alexa, enable Biden's Briefing.”…

How Can Magazine Publishers Make Ecommerce Work?

It's no secret Amazon has gone from selling books online to selling whatever the hell it wants. The world’s retailers and consumer brands are feeling Amazon’s presence the most. Bloomberg’s Seeking Alpha reported August of 2017 that the company had been referenced in one-fifth of the S&P 500 constituents’ quarterly earnings calls in the previous…

Long Form Content Boosts Engagement, But How Can Publishers Do It Right?

There’s nothing new under the Sun. Even that saying is way older that you think, at least 2,000 years’ old, appearing in the Hebrew Tanakh in the book of Ecclesiastes… What has been will be again, What has been done will be done again; There is nothing new under the sun. That’s only slightly older…

Will Voice Interfaces Like Alexa Deliver for Publishers?

You probably can’t tell from my Publishing Executive blogs, but I’m Scottish. Like most Scots, my heritage is a source of pride and I love it when people, mostly Americans to be fair, tell me they love my accent. For someone that grew up with their mother telling them to ‘speak properly’ that’s a great…