A commentator I respect, Joe Wikert, published a piece last week headlined "How Print Is Killing Publishers" that at first struck me as completely wrongheaded and backwards. But what we have here is failure to communicate.
"Print is a publisher's silent killer" because publishers are relying on print "even at the expense of digital transformation and growth," Wikert wrote for Book Business magazine. "The crazy part is we all know it's a big problem and yet very few publishers are taking evasive action."
This spring, Barnes & Noble announced that it would offer both print publications and digital editions of more than 1,000 magazine titles to visitors of BN.com. The e-editions will be fulfilled by Barnes & Noble partner Zinio. Indeed, it’s just one more indication that, despite some debate on their future, digital editions are becoming a viable alternative to print for a growing number of readers. Cambridge, Mass.-based The Gilbane Group recently published a study, “Digital Magazine and Newspaper Editions: Growth, Trends, and Best Practices,” showing that the number of business-to-business publications offering digital editions increased by more than 300 percent in a two-year span
In her book “Basic Black,” Cathie Black (president of Hearst Magazines) relates a number of stories about Al Neuharth, the founder of USA Today, where Black was formerly president. She cites him as saying something like, “The press is the only species besides rats that likes to eat its young.” The quote struck me square between the eyes. I’d have to agree wholeheartedly with Mr. Neuharth, and even tack on another phrase to his comment, that the media also eats its old and its middle-aged. For the past few years, it seems that much of the industry—not all, but much—has watched smugly whenever a
Santa Clara, California, March 31, 2008 – Olive Software, a global leader in electronic publishing and digital archiving technologies, announces today the general availability of ActiveMagazine 3.0, focused on improving publishers’ ability to monetize their content. ActiveMagazine 3.0 allows publishers to deliver an immersive reading experience that combines a magazine’s rich layout, web-based delivery, and rich media advertising - all in an environmentally-friendly package. ActiveMagazine 3.0 new capabilities allow publishers to: • Monetize content by increasing site stickiness and content shelf life using an integrated, searchable archive of back issues • Cross promote their web and print brands and advertisements through a highly
When approaching the subject of digital editions—those e-publications that preserve print layouts in a user-friendly format, often enhanced with embedded multimedia features—an obvious question comes to mind: What can this platform offer a publisher that a good Web site cannot? “That’s the question we get all the time,” says Cimarron Buser, vice president of marketing and product planning at Southborough, Mass.-based Texterity Inc., who recently pioneered a digital publishing solution for the Apple iPhone. “We know that the way people read Web sites is different from the way they read magazines,” says Buser. “Web sites are more episodic; there’s a lot of
More than a decade into the “CTP revolution,” many of the promises of digital workflow have yet to be fulfilled. The publishing industry is far from achieving the hands-off, utopian workflow many envisioned when film went away and content went digital. While some in the industry once resisted the notion of a digital workflow, most now agree that the evolution from film to files has been a positive for the publishing world—as profound a development as desktop publishing. With digital content, publishers can now cut out much of the prepress expense for their print workflow, and perhaps even more importantly, their content is now
When the idea of creating digital editions of magazines surfaced just a few short years ago, there were those who scoffed at the notion. "Who would want to read a magazine on a laptop or PDA?" they cried. But smart publishers didn't write off the idea. They began considering the possibilities of the digital medium—the opportunities for reaching new audiences, extending a title's geographic reach, new and richer advertising experiences, and the massive amounts of money that could be saved on printing and distribution. Indeed, there are plenty of concrete incentives for publishers to go digital. Leading the charge for digital
Digital magazines may not be commonplace, but they're certainly gaining momentum. First on the list of benefits for many who offer digital publications is savings: There are no paper costs, postage fees or printing costs. But also, there's big incentive for advertisers: Direct links to advertisers' Web sites, and now even the ability to incorporate audio and visual into digital versions of print ads. Readers' actions can often be tracked, providing publishers with the means to prove their readers' interest in the advertisers' products. For many, a hindrance was that the technology was a bit slow for large files loaded with graphic images.