The next batch of publisher's statements from consumer magazines are due soon, and each day that goes by has me wondering what we will see.
Some media reporters have been making the same mistake each time a new batch of reports are released by the AAM: judging the whole industry by a subset of titles. A few have simply added up the publisher statement reports from some top titles and concluded that digital edition circulation growth has plateaued and that the end is nigh for digital magazines.
The Tablet Revolution turned out to be only a minor uprising. What happened? More importantly, what can we learn from revisiting the plans and predictions that turned out to be so far off target? I see 8 lessons:
When Robin Williams died last year, mourning fans turned to the web-and Rolling Stone was ready for them.
"It was an incredibly sad moment, but the next day we promoted three cover stories about Robin Williams and the traffic was enormous," says Gus Wenner, son of Rolling Stone founder Jann Wenner and the head of digital for Wenner Media. "People wanted to read these portraits, and the quality was there, the writing was there."
For Wenner, that outpouring of interest affirmed an idea that he had been mulling over for months, inspired by a "cover wall" in the magazine's midtown Manhattan offices.
Call it "Vimeo everywhere": The Internet-video company has opened up its paid video-on-demand catalog of 16,000 titles to let third-party web publishers sell or rent them directly on their sites.
Vimeo has inked pacts with three online publishers - CBS Interactive, The Atlantic and TEN: The Enthusist Network - for the Vimeo On Demand Publisher Network.
Under the program, publishers can embed videos into article pages or their own VOD storefronts and let users buy them from the syndicated player. That's a capability, Vimeo CEO Kerry Trainor pointed out, that is not available with Apple's iTunes and Amazon Video.
USA Today was recently named Mobile Publisher of the Year and Mobile Web Site of the Year by Mobile Marketer. Editor-in-Chief David Callaway told Angelique Lu how they've grown the app since it was introduced on app stores 18 months ago. Here, Lu curates the key learning outcomes shared by Callaway.1. USA Today's mobile app is the fastest growing piece of their business
"The Mobile is the fastest growing piece of business," David Callaway said. "Both in terms of readership and in terms of percent growth in advertising.
When glancing at my article in the current issue of Publishing Executive, I had a revelation: Now that one of the publishing industry's leading magazines had called on me for predictions, I've graduated from blogger to media pundit.
And then my heart sank as I realized I had violated a cardinal rule of the International Order of Pompous Media Pundits: In its six-plus years of existence, Dead Tree Edition had never published a year-end list of predictions for the coming year.
The trade publishing industry is still searching for the end of a long decline in ad pages, many dramatically shifting away from publishing to events and data products. According to industry sources, ad page revenue by mid-year last year stood at less than one-third the level it recorded a decade earlier.
The result is that many publishers are finally throwing in the towel on some of their titles. Last week Folio: reported that Investcorp owned B2B Randall-Reilly would be shuttering bothBetter Roads magazine and Total Landscape Care. Both titles had resigned their BPA audits last year.
Apple's forthcoming smartwatch poses a conundrum for advertisers: How to tap the enticing possibilities of the tiny gadget without overwhelming consumers with messages.
At this week's Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, mobile-marketing firm TapSense plans to release an Apple Watch ad-buying service. The service will provide a first glimpse of how businesses can serve up ads on the watch, even though the gadget will not be available until later this year.
The Yahoo unit Flurry Analytics today reported that mobile app usage grew by 76 percent in 2014, led by Shopping, Utilities & Productivity, and Messaging apps.
"As our mobile devices become more and more a part of our everyday lives, we are increasingly using them for always-on shopping, working, and communication," said Simon Khalaf, president and CEO of Flurry. "Where years past have seen massive growth in games and entertainment, 2014 was the year apps got down to serious business."
If you thought there was a flood of content last year, just wait. The good news, though, is that more of the good stuff will rise to the top.
And along with the content, expect more tracking of the people consuming it, but less agreement on how to measure exactly what they're doing.
Here, then, are some predictions for the media and technology businesses in 2015.