2008-05-01

 

A License to Sell

In an era of integrated publishing and vertical marketing, notions of content and brand have become more fluid, able to morph into new forms that reflect the ways consumers now access and think about information. This trend is even apparent in the world of reprints and content licensing, where traditional concerns about rights and brand integrity run up against new opportunities for revenue generation. In a Web-enabled world, publishers must be open to the reality of widespread content distribution and willing, in some cases, to loosen their grip on material in exchange for the revenue potential made possible by a global demand for


Are Your Priorities Straight?

Are your priorities straight? There may be no more important question in publishing today as audiences demand ever-more sophisticated modes of content delivery and need-fulfillment. Faced with complex problems and decisions, readers and advertisers seek simple, yet elegant solutions, which can be difficult for publishers faced with a dizzying array of new content delivery options, often-limited staff resources and unproven return on investment (ROI). Making decisions about where to focus company money and time is never an easy call. “It is intimidating for [employees] if all they hear from us is ‘do more, more, more’—the ‘run ’til you fall’ approach,” says Larry Lannon, director


BoSacks: Looking at the Future of New Launches

As you may know, my friend Samir Husni, also known as Mr. Magazine, tracks new magazine launches. He has done so for decades and has amassed a wealth of data. In his latest announcement, the overall numbers for our business are less than stellar. Many possible reasons exist for this decline. Both Husni and I can postulate about its causes, but neither of us actually knows. According to Husni: “The number of new magazine launches in the first quarter of 2008 (150) increased by five titles compared to Q1 2007. [While it was an increase,] it is still a far cry from the introduction


Breaking News: Ziff Davis Media Names New President

Peter Weedfald, a 25-year veteran of the technology industry, was named president of Ziff Davis Media this afternoon in an announcement made by CEO Jason Young. The move is another step in Ziff Davis Media’s transformation into a digital media company and comes on the heels of the company settling its debt with creditors on Wednesday. Weedfald is a former employee of Ziff Davis Media. He most recently held the post of SVP, CMO at Circuit City. Previously, he served as SVP, CMO of Samsung Electronics North America, where he was responsible for the company’s sales, marketing, product management and advertising of its


eMedia Strategist: An Open and Closed Case Against Open Rates

Several publishers have recently told me about advertisers of theirs who do not believe they should pay for sponsorship of an e-mail newsletter based on the circulation of that newsletter. Instead, they feel they should only pay for people who actually open the newsletter and see their creative. They only want to pay for their ad based on the newsletter’s “opens.” While some publishers charge on a cost-per-thousand (CPM) basis, most publishers charge a flat rate for e-mail sponsorship, with a guarantee that they will deliver the message to a minimum number of readers. For example, a publisher may charge $2,000 and guarantee a


FastStats

‘Dude,’ Where’s Our Money? $587,210 is owed by former Major League Baseball player Lenny “The Dude” Dykstra to Doubledown Media, according to a counterclaim filed by the publisher for costs the company incurred throughout the launch of his Players Club magazine. Doubledown’s counterclaim is in response to a suit filed by Dykstra in federal court on April 25 in which he sought $500,000 in damages from the publisher. Source: New York Post Study Shows More Publishers Offering Digital Editions The number of business-to-business magazines offering digital editions has increased more than 300% from 2005 to 2007, with total subscriptions also increasing more than 300%.


Industry Executives’ Appointments, Transfers, Promotions and More

• Ziff Davis Media has appointed Peter Weedfald as president.• Nielsen Business Media has named Mark Hosbein to the position of senior vice president of marketing.• Rodale Inc. has announced the promotion of Chris Lambiase to vice president and group publisher for the company’s Running and Cycling group.


Master Manufacturer: Striving for Zero Returns on the Newsstand

In today’s electronic age, it’s becoming harder and harder to justify our magazine business model anymore. We can longer claim that we are a cheap source of dispensing information. We cut down trees, transport them to be ground into pulp, use energy and water to create paper, transport the stock to printing plants, print with inks (which go through a similar process in a petroleum-based market), mail magazines in an increasingly more expensive “snail mail” system, and/or ship them in a series of delivery trucks to every newsstand in America. These magazines have a self-imposed average expiration date of 30 days (with the


New Study Shows Mobile Internet Extends Reach of Leading Internet Sites by 13 Percent

The Nielsen Company today reported that mobile Internet extends the audience reach of many leading Internet sites by an average of 13 percent over home PC traffic alone. For some categories, such as weather and entertainment, the extended reach can be even greater. The cross-platform insights come from TotalWeb, a new report from Nielsen that integrates data from Nielsen Mobile and Nielsen Online to show the unduplicated, unique audience for more than 200 leading Internet sites across the PC and mobile Internet space. Nielsen’s data show that for many Internet publishers, mobile Internet increases the overall size of their audience. “The data demonstrate that


Now That’s Getting a Little Personal

Some of you (4,000 to be exact) received this issue personalized with your name on the cover, as well as in the ads on the inside front and back covers, and the outside back cover. I was excited to participate in this personalization project, as Publishing Executive has covered the use of variable data by magazines (Farm Journal, Reason magazine, among others) over the past few years, but it is a first for us to actually use it. The goal of the project, sponsored by Hewlett-Packard (HP) and managed by ad agency Broadford & Maloney Inc., was to more directly familiarize publishers with the


Solutions Showcase

Workflow and responsibilities might have been clearly divided between a magazine’s creative and production executives in the early days of digital design—the days when art directors could simply concentrate on aesthetics, while the production team fretted over the mechanics of getting that design to reproduce in print with integrity. Today, the lines between the two disciplines are blurred, and creative professionals are increasingly relied upon to manage tasks once associated with production, such as preflighting page files and outputting final-format digital files (PDF/X-1a being the preferred format for publications). So, it seems fitting that magazine creative folks expect so much more today from


Think Ad Revenue Is All Going Online? Think Again.

While there is no denying the digital revolution, a new study by Publishing Executive, called the “2008 Publishing Advertising Trends Study,” shows that online revenue is not exceeding print revenue for most publishers … and the majority of publishers don’t expect it to—that’s right, ever. For the study, Publishing Executive worked with independent research company Readex Research to survey Publishing Executives from a variety of industry segments including business-to-business (b-to-b), consumer, association and professional publishing. More than 250 publishers participated. What did the study’s findings reveal? For starters, 89 percent of respondents said their organization’s current online revenue does not exceed its print revenue.


Web Sitings: Behind the Fall of a Firewall

Founded by several writers and thinkers whose collective brilliance arguably rivals most any other group in American history, The Atlantic has always been a favorite of thought-leaders and intellectuals. But even the combined brainpower of Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow and Oliver Wendell Holmes likely would have struggled with today’s generation of magazines’ most daunting challenges—among them, the ability to transcend print in tapping the limitless possibilities of the digital world. When Emerson, Longfellow, Holmes and a few of their contemporaries launched The Atlantic in Boston in 1857, their intent was to aggregate content centered around politics, public policy, the economy and


XML Marks the Spot: Tips on Finding New Uses for Old Content

Extensible Markup Language—better known simply as XML—has become part of the popular vernacular for magazine publishers since it was first introduced 10 years ago. (For those still unfamiliar with the term and wondering what exactly all of the hubbub is about, XML is essentially a way to tag content with metadata to help it be more easily identified and found for reuse, especially on the Web.) Barry Bealer, the president, CEO and co-founder of Really Strategies, a content management and publishing solutions firm, says more and more publishers have begun to embrace native XML repositories now that they’ve discovered they can create derivative products