MPA, the Association of Magazine Media, has finally released a game plan to implement its guidelines for standardizing digital magazine metrics, which it hopes will encourage advertisers to commit to the growing number of tablet editions.
Last spring, the MPA's Tablet Metrics Task Force released a list of voluntary guidelines for publishers to follow, include metrics like total consumer paid digital issues, and per-issue metrics like total number of tablet readers, total number of sessions, total time spent per reader and average number of sessions per reader. About 20 publishers are currently participating.
Just over a year ago, I argued that the future of magazines should look a lot like Spotify, meaning that the magazine stories should be disaggregated from bundles and then distributed on platforms that charge an all-you-can-eat subscription price.
Since then, Next Issue Media has launched, bringing magazines from Conde Nast, Hearst, Time Inc, Meredith, and News Corporation together on one subscription platform for reading on tablets. And yesterday, Zinio, one of the first movers in digital magazines, announced its Z-Pass, which gives customers a choice of three magazines per month, from a selection of 300, for $5 a month.
The so-called first mover advantage is really only an advantage if you don’t get too far out ahead of your customer. Founded in 2001, the digital magazines company Zinio was arguably a good eight years ahead of its time. After all, Apple AAPL +1.6% hadn’t yet come out with the iPhone, much less the iPad, the technology that would finally sell the average reader on the idea of a magazine consisting only of pixels.
To be sure, being first has had its benefits. With 5,500 titles, Zinio has the deepest offerings of any digital newsstand, and its 12.5 million registered
Publishers are missing digital magazine sales, customers are in the terrible position of losing print magazines from retail outlets, and not being able to find the magazines digitally. The tablets are leaving revenue on the table.
The American Society of Magazine Editors released its list of finalists for National Magazine Awards earlier this week, but the controversy over its removal of “profile writing” as a distinct category this year still lingers.
Indeed, the industry group may end up restoring the award for next year.
David Granger, editor-in-chief of Esquire, led the charge against the change last year. He sent a letter to ASME CEO Sid Holt asking him to reverse course after the board opted to fold profiles into feature writing.
In her opening remarks last week at Swipe 2.0, the annual digital conference produced by MPA - The Association of Magazine Media, Mary Berner, President and CEO, MPA, declared six reasons why there has never been a better time to work in magazine-branded media.
The following is a transcript of Berner's prepared remarks:
Good morning and thanks for coming. I’m delighted you are here. It’s going to be a great conference, with interesting speakers, covering really important stuff. So let’s cut right to it. I’m going to say something that will surprise you.
Last week, The MPA held a digitally focused media conference called Swipe 2.0. Mary Berner, the MPA president, opened the meeting with her usual contagious verve and enthusiasm. Her foundation statement for the day was, “Why it’s a great time to be in magazine media.”
On March 28, Swipe 2.0 (swipe.magazine.org)—the only digital conference devoted exclusively to Magazine Media—will be the scene for breaking developments, product unveilings and insightful case studies from leading media companies and their technology partners.
Last week, just one day before the latest Audited Media results let us know that digital editions have grown 146% over last year, I had the opportunity to talk with Rich Maggiotto, co-founder and CIO of Zinio, one of the leaders in digital magazine publishing and distribution.
The Family Handyman Rescue Remodel Contest, sponsored by IKEA, celebrates its second year of giving back to worthy groups such as firehouses, boys & girls clubs and soup kitchens. From now until December 15, 2012, communities can nominate their local organization to win an IKEA kitchen makeover valued at $25,000.