10 Attributes of a High-Performance Email Marketing Team

Email marketing grows more complex every year, with changing technologies, integration with social media, mobile adoption and greater customer control of the process. When you add in more budget pressure and management scrutiny, it becomes critical to create a high-performance email team that can take your email program to a higher level despite these challenges.

  • http://BoSacks BoSacks

    One of the best things that any professional can ask for is recognition by his or her peers. Peer recognition feels good because who else can understand that particular stress and trauma of the job, other than the people who actually do it on a daily basis. We all want to do a good job and most of us do, but I think we also acknowledge that there are people out there who can excel under trying times and special conditions. I salute the winners and all the other members of our profession, recognized or not, you all deserve credit.

  • http://BoBBi BoBBi

    Rights managed stock photography prevents anyone else in your industry or geographic region from using the same photo. Of course you will pay a higher fee and pay for each use, but it is worth the guarantee. The stock photography you purchased was Royalty Free. You pay once and can use the image as many times as you like without paying additional royalties for additional uses. Your art buyer should have made you aware of the difference.

  • http://StanCountz Stan Countz

    Great interview. I’m looking to get ahold of Doug. I am a publisher based in Central California and am getting ready to publish my first digital edition through Infoswell as well. Doug’s name came up today through Bill Schueber in Modesto who mentioned his name to me. I have been very impressed with Hawaiian Style magazine’s digital edition and have shown it off to several people. Do you know how I could get ahold of him?

    Stan Countz, publisher/producer
    Valley Views Magazine

  • http://DennisJackson Dennis Jackson

    Another sad day … and another bad reason to work for a public company with shareholders to keep happy.

  • http://Anonymous Anonymous

    As a former Banta staffer, I’m deeply saddened by this news. I understand it, but I’m still sad. My thoughts go out to those affected.

  • http://DaveMead Dave Mead

    I also was a casualty in this process along with all but one of the sales and marketing managers,that reported to me over the years. I still stand by my comments in the article as to how RRD handled a difficult responsibility. It was disappointing to be displaced after all of the years in the book business, but I had the great fortune of wonderful experience with 4 great companies in that time.
    Dave Mead

  • http://BoSacks BoSacks

    This report prompts me to ask the following simple question. When is a printed and distributed magazine NOT a magazine?

    Answer: When the MPA is involved. Samir Husni and I disagree on may things, but his accurate count of distributed magazines was at 909 the last time I looked. And on that we do not disagree at all. And my buddy Samir has an actual printed version of each issue. So what is the exact criteria to be listed by the MPA? Is it a members only listing? If so, what is the value and worth of those numbers? If it is not a members only listing, What is the value and worth of those numbers?

  • http://RalphGandy Ralph Gandy

    Some suggestions along the line of “How to…” would be beneficial. I live in a very small community where reading takes a high priority. Many of us exchange our magazines. But at the end of the month, the magazines are still in the community. The library doesn’t want them. The schools do no want them. The two doctors’ offices have more than they can use. We all recognize the problem but do not have the solution.

  • http://ChrisMcLoone Chris Mc Loone

    At first, Success and Imbibe were vying for number one based on title alone, but Death+Taxes gets my vote. It’s okay with me if I haven’t heard of some of the names of the bands. It probably means they’re actually good.

  • http://GregCampbell Greg Campbell

    Miss Behave for sure.

  • http://Jeff Jeff

    Great story, but look at the real world. We still see this ridiculous trend every day:

    Help Wanted: Web journalist to lead online efforts and department for top-10 print product.

    Must be excellent writer with years of experience, an editor with true AP savvy, highly skilled in Photoshop, Quark, Indesign and Illustrator. Flash a plus! Must do own podcast. Must possess superior digital video editing skills. Will also be responsible for database management, SEO, SEM, email mistakes made by Murrow generation, and helping the owner’s dropout kids learn how to surf the internet for jobs and porn.

    Top Pay! (22,5!) (And don’t worry that the single-skilled print guys make triple what you do, they are still right to put you web guys down and behave like the bourgeoisie elite.)

  • http://B.Conley B. Conley

    Just had my first look at Imbibe — good looking magazine. On the other hand, Naples Dog? I mean how have we not run out of ideas yet?

  • http://NoraTuggle Nora Tuggle

    As a former Marine Corps Public affairs officer, print journalist and medical publisher, I am intrigued by Janice Castro’s quote “Research shows that the journalism culture is most similar to the military and medical cultures….” Can anyone provide the research citation? It’s obviously a study I should read!

  • http://DaveHendricks Dave Hendricks

    Audiences are changing faster than the media outlets that serve them.

    The tactical push to try to move viewers from watching a show to visiting a chat room about a show is just an attempt to make up for the inability of television to offer this capability by itself.

    Right now I have just consumed your content and now I am chatting about it, albeit in an asynchronous fashion. I did not, however, have to change devices to do so, so no one would consider that odd.

    I do not blame the media execs for wanting to drive viewers to their sites, jsut as I don’t blame Publishing Executive for wanting me to read the magazine and interact with the pubexec.com website.

    In fact, if you didn’t do that I wouldn’t expect you to be around for much longer.

  • http://Kenneth Kenneth

    ” I think the Postal Service, makes enough money from the Publishing industry and should not have to raise rates.

  • http://AmyKyle Amy Kyle

    Rob, I agree with you completely, however is this the editor’s problem – or a corporate one? A feature based publication, does need the time to be thoughtfully executed and planned. Does that same skill set transfer over to gunslinging on the web? It’s possible a couple more (maybe even different) people are actually needed to effectively manage an entirely “new” but certainly different medium. (oh, by the way, I’m a publisher)

  • http://Rob Rob

    Amy, I take public transportation (train) every day. The conductors still hole punch paper tickets while the transit agency wonders why they have a deficit and aren’t making money. Sometimes we are forced to change old habits. It may not be easy and may not happen overnight, but we have to do it to survive.

  • http://Deepa Deepa


  • http://Steve Steve

    Though there are a lot of websites that need work they will find themselves behind even further as more of them start using AJAX, data-driven technology and more user-generated content. I look forward to reading so more.

  • http://Thomas Thomas

    Rob, I am on the technical side of operations, and can tell you that this can be a sticky situation. On one hand we are throwing this great new option out to editors and expecting to see adoption quickly. On the other hand, we may not be explaining the full value of what good online content will do for them. I see a mix bag of those editors who embrace this new world, and those who could do without it. I think the ones who could do without it should sit down with those immersed in it and really understand where this change can take their products.

  • http://Rob Rob

    Thomas, editors/writers sitting with their peers certainly is one way to go about initiating a change. Another is to sit and look at some resumes of hungry young content creators! Thanks for reading and commenting.

  • http://RobKurek Rob Kurek

    I attended the Folio Show and sat in on this presentation. As a former Army public affairs officer and a current association journalist, I too was intrigued by this comment. I do not recall all of the context surrounding the remarks, but I believe what she was trying to say is that the journalism trade is often reluctant and slow to embrace change. Overall, I thought her input was very much on target (sorry, hard to give up old worn-out expressions!).

  • http://GregNapert Greg Napert

    I had to chuckle at your mention of actually getting up to go to the computer and enter your thoughts on a show into your computer. Don’t you realize that you don’t have to get up anymore? I find myself surfing the internet each night – WHILE I’m watching television! It’s a wireless world now, complete with laptops. I believe the Television execs are on top of it. You have to admit they have always known how to capture audience!

  • http://JoeEames Joe Eames

    This is just another example of RRD not honoring the past service of employees that have come on-board after acquisitions. How much human capital will companies lose by this short-sided, narrow focused thinking. Come on guys intellectual capital is too valuable to waste.
    JOe Eames – JCTC, Lou. KY

  • http://Pauline Pauline

    Google seems to be an unstopable monster. I wonder if there will be any anti-trust implications to the acquistion?

  • http://Rob Rob

    Hi Pauline… it seems that there may be some anti-trust issues or even privacy issues to contend with. More on that in a later post. Thanks for stopping by.

  • http://Rob Rob

    Thanks, Steve. Another post could be about AJAX and how sites using it are tempting some folks to suggest the demise of the page view. Thanks for posting.

  • http://RobertL.NorVelle Robert L. NorVelle

    I hope Phyllis Hoffman is correct when she states that “women across the country have longed to have their beloved VICTORIA back—–“, but there was a set of reasons that these same women failed to support the title in 2003! Let’s hope that Hearst and Hoffman have correctly identified and defined the past problems and shortcomings of VICTORIA, and have aggressively moved to correct them. Resurrection of a title can be much more difficult than the birth of a title. Let’s hope for success with VICTORIA.

  • http://EricShanfelt Eric Shanfelt

    Thanks for the mention, Rob. You and your readers may also be interested in an article I wrote on the changing roles of everyone in the publishing organization, “The New Publishing Org Chart” http://www.emediastrategist.com/blog/?p=37

  • http://Rob Rob

    Eric – “Folio?” Never heard of it… LOL… Thanks for the great article and contribution.

  • http://PatsyTerrell Patsy Terrell

    My understanding was that the advertiser and readership base was solid, but not growing. I subscribed from day one and still have every issue. I know this is not unusual among other lovers of the magazine, and we have longed to have it back. I’m ready to subscribe right now, sight unseen, to the new version. http://www.patsyterrell.com

  • http://BrianJames Brian James

    There are more sophistcated solutions than simple image based files that ShopLocal has pioneered and is currently being used by the leaders in retail.

    Contact me for more information at:
    206-381-8520 xt. 126

  • http://MikeODonnell Mike ODonnell

    Great article, Jim. Reprints and digital licensing are often overlooked by publishers. I would also add that it is important to create a fully integrated approach to maximize revenues. Reprints, ad-supported permissions, syndication and licensing should compliment and cross-reference each other, otherwise, they can become disjointed and confusing to potential buyers.

  • http://RobertNorVelle Robert NorVelle

    If you are handling subs in-house, just what does a circulation vendor do for you? Do they act as your distributor (like Curtis or Kable) or do they serve other functions?

  • http://Dave Dave

    Your examples of old media using new technologies are very interesting. Are there others?

  • http://Phil Phil

    Very informative!

  • http://Rob Rob

    Dave, thanks for writing. I could write about countless other examples. The point is that new media may be old media in disguise. I’ve heard some positive things about what I wrote. I’m sure there are other examples I don’t know about.

  • http://TadParker Tad Parker

    Does carbon-neutral paper manufacturing consume any more energy than recycled or virgin paper? Are there any recycled carbon neutral papers on the market? This is a wonderful process, but where do I go to get more complete information?

  • http://David David

    You gave out some URLs for good SEO sites during your session at the Publishing conference in March. Can you share them again?

  • http://Rob Rob

    David, Thanks for writing. I actually have a whole folder of SEO/SEM/ related bookmarks. Depending on what you are looking for, a good start would be WordTracker (http://www.wordtracker.com/) to assist you in determing what keywords are being used to search out your content. Also, your technical team should be active with Google Webmaster Tools (http://www.google.com/webmasters/).

  • http://Jim Jim

    Interesting how you write an article about bookmarks being dead?, yet you reply to a comment letting David know you have a whole folder of SEO/SEM related bookmarks.

    Enough of busting your chops. I agree that the trend to “bookmark this page” is going away, however, bookmarks are more relevant now then ever with IE7, Safari, Firefox etc. letting you post your favorites to a favorites bar as well as in the old style folder structure. This shows me that bookmarks(bar) are still very relevant and still lead towards good inbound links. I would hope that you want readers of PubExec and pubtalk to bookmark(bar) your content.

    Social bookmarking is good, but you don’t have to log in anywhere to add your frequently visited sites and your “keep for a rainy day” sites.

  • http://don don

    You position your argument as an either/or. Are you suggesting that there are no more readers that want or need polished content, or that cannot stay with a topic longer than a sound bite?

  • http://EthanBoldt Ethan Boldt

    Call me old-fashioned, but I am in firm agreement with Noelle. As editor of Inside Direct Mail, I’ve just written a piece about how some tech-lovers and e-commerce addicts have led their marketing companies down the primrose path—namely, in the opposite direction of direct mail. Of course, many have since been slapped with the reality that sales suddenly slipped a few notches. I mention this because it’s related to Noelle’s central point: a growing disrespect for print and its traditional practices. While I love the Web and even a couple of blogs, they will never replace a great book or magazine in my eyes because they normally cannot approach the level of quality. In recent years, however, publishers have simultaneously shrunk magazine staffs (eliminating such vital contributors as copy editors that, once upon a time, ensured clean, consistent copy) while burdening them with digital workloads. As a result, magazine (and newspapers and books, for that matter) copy occasionally appears rushed and flawed, just like the Web. This development can’t be good for anyone.

  • http://amm amm

    just to be picky–you have written an article about bookmarks and social bookmarking sites (as the first poster noted), but buttons are lacking for the very sites you mention (del.icio.us, reddit, and digg)!

  • http://Rob Rob

    I still somewhat disagree with "ensuing mistakes can quickly damage your credibility and lose readers." B2B publishers who (oops I mean "that") write one-sided content that reeks of being advertising-supported will lose credibility and readership over forgetting to put an i before an e.

  • http://TomLynch Tom Lynch

    Rob,<br />
    <br />
    RE: Grammar Slammer<br />
    <br />
    Publishers "could" put out two versions of each article. <br />
    <br />
    One version for the grammar police that have lots of time on their hands, and may be looking for an editing job, AND another version for the rest of us "inferior heathens" more concerned about the substance of a piece… <br />
    <br />
    I say throw in a bunch of typos and watch the flaming begin. <br />
    <br />
    The comments, typos and the "buzz" would all be good for site traffic too ;)<br />
    <br />
    Regards,<br />
    <br />
    Tom Lynch<br />
    Director of Search Engine Marketing<br />

  • http://Rob Rob

    Right on, Tom! Link-baiting galore… I get tired of the same "isn’t this company great" stuff I read in trade magazines — of course, not in any of ours! And then people wonder why no one writes comments. No one will, except the guy’s wife or mother.

  • http://DaveHendricks Dave Hendricks

    Rob, you ignorant sl…I mean blogger.<br />
    <br />
    Print is not going to disappear just like the computer was not going to eliminate paper.<br />
    <br />
    However, I can understand why you might think that the editorial calendar is outdated in today’s world. I believe it serves a purpose, however quaint it may seem.<br />
    <br />
    To the advertiser (read: me) the editorial calendar helps plan out advertising spend. I want to know when the vendor directory is going to be published and I want it to be in a form that will persist longer than a blog entry.<br />
    <br />
    As far as BPA Audits, I am firmly in your corner on how time consuming they are, but they do serve a purpose that has not been obviated (yet). Advertisers (read: me) need to understand the magazine’s audience and until publishers realize and implement more advanced audience management tools, the 2 dimensional BPA report will reign.

  • http://Rob Rob

    Hey Dave, thanks for reading and posting. I don’t think print will disappear either! I just think that print publishing needs to adjust better and quicker. Adjusting doesn’t meet just launching Web sites, e-newsletters, Web 2.0, etc. It means examining content, and how long it takes to get things done to publish a magazine.

  • http://DaveHendricks Dave Hendricks

    Yeah I agree that 6 weeks is an awfully long lead time for closing an issue.<br />
    <br />
    The impacts advertisers too. If we want to change an ad to reflect some new creative or idea or whatever, we get killed by the long lead time. However the long lead time does let us plan our ads and our promotion. Definitely some trade offs.

  • http://BoSacks BoSacks

    Rob, I patiently await your missive and your observations. By the way, I’m just curious did you write your blog on a PDA, iPhone or laptop?

  • http://Rob Rob

    You can here the PC Talk podcast here:<br />
    <br />
    http://www.rblevin.net/webcasts/PCT_07-07_RobYoegel_1.mp3<br />
    <br />
    I apologize for the low audio.

  • http://BoSacks BoSacks

    I guess I have little patience, by being unable to wait and hear about your observations and my seasonal rants and I’m anticipating an interesting dialog about a digital internet blogger that has some unkind words about the advent of digital paper delivery. Doesn’t that sound strange? But yes, I guess I should wait, perhaps it is the dead tree reference that is the problem and not the e-paper at all. If that is the only problem than, let’s try Reconstituted Originally living fiber. ROLF. <br />
    <br />
    As to the buying of the iPhone, neither of us should have one yet, if you read the paper today, they are being inundated with viruses as I write this. <br />
    Bo<br />

  • http://Paul Paul

    Quite a few missing off that list, including Foreign Affairs, which basically was the guide to the thinking of the US foreign policy establishment (Democrat & Republican) for a generation. TV Guide also, founded by Mr. B way back when.

  • http://FrankLocantore Frank Locantore

    What Rolling Stone has done is a good first step in reducing the magazine’s environmental impact. Areas still of concern are:<br />
    * Do they think what they’ve done is the only step to take?<br />
    * What else will they do to continually improve their paper’s environmental characteristics?<br />
    * Where does the fiber come from for their paper – sustainably harvested lands that are Forest Stewardship Council-certified, or from old-growth forests?<br />
    * Producing recycled paper emits 47% less greenhouse gases than virgin paper production, are they going to use recycled paper soon?<br />
    * Does the paper mill they use burn tires for fuel?<br />
    * The Catalyst Paper Company that makes their paper also makes recycled paper – couldn’t they use that?<br />
    * There are a growing number of magazines using recycled paper that have high quality photos – Fast Company, Inc., Adbusters, Outside, and the cover of National Geographic.<br />
    <br />
    And to answer Tad’s question, being carbon-neutral doesn’t necessarily mean that the process uses more or less energy or emits fewer or more greenhouse gases. It means that whatever is produced is "neutralized" by doing something to take an equal amount of carbon out of the air – planting trees could be one example. A better option would be to invest money into a renewable energy program like wind or solar that would produce enough clean energy to power the paper mill without using coal, oil, gas, tires, wood, or any other fuel that produces greenhouse gases.<br />
    <br />
    And yes, there is assistance out there. I direct the Magazine PAPER Project for the non profit, Co-op America. Go to http://www.MagazinePAPER.org for mor info, or email me at frank@coopamerica.org. We provide free assistance to magazine publishers interested in reducing their impact on the environment.<br />
    <br />
    -Frank Locantore<br />
    Director, Magazine PAPER Project

  • http://John John

    Heh, yeah. Good post.<br />
     <br />
    One funny experiment you might want to do as a followup – have all NAPCO employees install the Alexa toolbar, and order them to all go to the important sites every day. Watch the traffic spike!!!

  • http://Rob Rob

    Within a couple hours of this post, I was reminded of Compete.com. The Web site states it uses packet sniffers, toolbars and panels and then a "rigorous normalization methodology, leveraging scientific multi-dimensional scaling (by age, income, gender and geography) to ensure metrics are representative of the U.S. Internet population." Huh? This just keeps getting better!

  • http://Mike Mike

    I totally agree that search results should come with more information to judge them by. Great idea to put everything over a year old into a separate folder.<br />
    I’d also like to separate out results that are strictly merchandise.<br />
    Why doesn’t either MSN or Google add a "Sort Search Results" button to the top of the results page?

  • http://MarthaSpizziri Martha Spizziri

    Great editorial, Noelle. I have responded to it in this blog post on the ASBPE Boston/New England chapter blog:<br />
    <br />
    http://asbpeboston.blogspot.com/2007/09/ethics-guidelines-in-digital-world.html<br />
    <br />
    I’m only expressing my own views, and not the official position of ASBPE. I’m sure the ASBPE national ethics committee will be considering these issues, though.<br />
    <br />
    Martha Spizziri<br />
    Vice President, Boston/New England chapter and Web Editor<br />
    American Society of Business Publication Editors<br />

  • http://MarthaSpizziri Martha Spizziri

    This’ll be a bit of a repeat of my comments on your editorial, but I wanted to thank you for writing about this. I agree with you that the ASBPE guidelines would benefit from more specifics about situations like this. I know it’s on the radar of the ASBPE ethics committee. (I’m not a member of that committee, though.)<br />
    <br />
    For anyone who didn’t see my comment on your editorial, here’s my post on the topic from the ASBPE Boston chapter blog:<br />

  • http://andrea andrea

    Fabulous assortment of magazines. Let’s see who is still here next year and going strong.

  • http://DavidSchwalje David Schwalje

    Trump Magazine will benefit from Ocean Drive Media, which also publishes Atlanta Peach magazine. Top quality assistance from the Ocean Drive Media team.

  • http://PatBender Pat Bender

    Daer Lou<br />
    Congratulations on your birthday and 53 years. What an awesome accomplishment. you are a star and we are so happy God put you into our lives. you are incredible.<br />
    Love<br />
    Pat & Bob Bender

  • http://RichSquire Rich Squire

    Good article. Good points by Zamchick. The list industry is rough these days but I’m seeing more and more innovative and unique approaches than ever before. Perhaps it IS time to reinvent the wheel.

  • http://GregAntonacci Greg Antonacci

    This a good idea unless it becomes yet another classification/certification in an already crowded market, leading to even more confusion. It begs the question; why didn’t Transcon simply adopt the Certifications that are already available in the market?

  • http://Emily Emily

    I like the idea. I guess my question would be, how accepting of this new type of interview do you think the interviewEE is going to be? I mean, any writer will tell you that one of our most difficult tasks — especially in B-to-B — is convincing someone to take the time to talk to us, to tell us their company’s secrets to success, etc. Now throw in this new angle and I think maybe it scares a lot of potential sources/interviewees off. But it’s clearly a win for the reader.

  • http://ZachBennett Zach Bennett

    This is a battle being waged throughout our offices too. Someone needs to step forward with clear and well-thought-out instructions for these issues. Would love to see you all cover this at your Publishing Business Conference in March.

  • http://BoSacks BoSacks

    I may have missed your report on David Verklin the CEO of Carat North America talk yesterday morning. This guy is real special and has a distinctive forward thinking message that all publishers need to hear. <br />
    <br />
    If I missed your posting of it consider this a duplication of your excellence in reporting. <br />
    <br />
    1. Embrace the "click."<br />
    <br />
    2. Take a deep breath. It’s going to be all right. In fact, it’s going to be great.<br />
    <br />
    3. Study the world around you, the world beyond magazines, and how consumers are getting their information.<br />

  • http://SteveSmyth Steve Smyth

    Hi Noelle -<br />
    I read the Publishing Executive "Best 20 Magazine Publishing Companies to Work for" article this afternoon – and knowing some of the folks that work at one of the ranked winners, I’m curious to know how many respondents you tallied for each of the ranked companies.<br />
    <br />
    The reason I ask is that my conversations with folks that work there don’t seem to jibe with the results – of course, my friends could just be complainers – but I was curious.<br />
    Thanks for the piece – it was very good!<br />
    <br />
    – Steve

  • http://RichardLowell Richard Lowell

    Noelle,<br />
    <br />
    I question the validity of your results! How many rank and file employees responded to your email blast? I would have to think that as a publication geared to Executives the majority of responses came from a similar level of employee, or was disseminated to those that would offer the most positive responses.I doubt those on your distributed list receiving the questionaire would have filtered it down to those who would have had perhaps a more objective (as might be possible) or broad reaching view of their company.

  • http://Renee Renee

    I work at one of the companies listed, and I have to agree with the asessment the company! Everyone here loves thier job, respects thier fellow employees and feel valued!

  • http://DonLipper Don Lipper

    Why do you think that custom publishers like McMurry are some of hte best places to work for while consumer magazine groups are lower ranked? Could it be that custom publishing provides more economic stability and that creates a better work environment?<br />
    Don Lipper<br />

  • http://DavidSchwalje David Schwalje

    E-Ink printed publications… this beta launch at Yahoo with pdf ads will enable mass customized publications to be made more relevant to each individual customer / subscriber / reader by the use of database driven content (ads, offers, content). The cost of E-Ink "screens" needs to drop by a factor of 20 so that multiple page blank publications can be downloaded with content by the reader. The use of reflected light and the readability of ink on paper combined with the databased driven content relevant to the reader, will offer many opportunities to entrepreneurs in the publishing industry as the costs come down and the enabling technology is commercialized.

  • http://Bou Bou

    I agree that humor is the key driver of a successful ad. I always try and put some sort of funny spin to what I am selling.<br />
    <br />
    I also believe that in this age of Attention Deficit Disorder one needs to get the message across in as qshort a time as possible.<br />
    <br />
    I would be greatly interested in your opinion of the various media that are good targets for travel ads.<br />
    <br />

  • http://S.Sinclair S. Sinclair

    It takes you 30 minutes to write your weekly blog? I wish I could get an easy gig like that. As a print editor (and yes, I also assist in Web content and other online components), I still spend most days writing and/or revising dozens of trade articles, print ads, and proofing multiple editorial submissions for our three leading trade (yes, print) publications. Of course much of this will be revised for our complementary online resources, as well. <br />
    <br />
    Many of our advertisers are Fortune 500 companies such as Xerox, HP, Kodak, and Panasonic, and believe me, they WANT print ads surrounded by industry editorial, as well as the Web visibility. Print is not dead, it only took a detour. Yes, the Internet is here to stay, so we have even more media alternatives… Even for people who love to write blogs (talkers who don’t usually know how to write substance in depth)…but for you to actually applaud print editors getting fired who don’t want to do both but would rather specialize, I am amazed you consider yourself a publishing executive…if you really cared about those key players called wordsmiths, you’d talk about eveyone, including print editors, more respectfully…

  • http://NoelleSkodzinski Noelle Skodzinski

    I have to agree with Mr./Ms. Sinclair — I wish I had 30 minutes available WEEKLY to write a blog. I guess you did pick the right branch of publishing to have such a luxury. More importantly, do you find it the least bit ironic that you are posting your blog on the Web site for Publishing Executive magazine — um, a print magazine — without which neither this Web site nor your blog would exist? <br />
    <br />
    Applauding the firing of any editors, print or otherwise is going too far with your "online is everything" message. <br />
    <br />
    Did USA Today take into account which editors are actually GOOD at what they do? Those editors who know how to bring readers reliable, valuable content that makes the readers want to return to the magazine, newspaper, Web site, e-newsletter, whatever. Many companies are grasping at straws, floundering around trying to adapt, making rash decisions, and talented people are suffering for it — and so will the products these companies put out. <br />
    <br />
    i’m curious what these invaluable "online skills" are that "print editors" don’t have? The ability to type out a quick blog entry? (My blogs, while somewhat few and far between, usually take me 5 to 10 minutes to write, tops.) <br />
    <br />
    Maybe ALL editors can’t adapt to a multimedia world; but blanket firings as drastic as USA Today’s and your "well done" applause of its actions don’t seem like adaptation measures that will benefit the cause.

  • http://NikkiGolden Nikki Golden

    It would seem to me someone who works at Publishing Executive magazine would know the realities of what it’s like to work in publishing, and part of that is the fact that in the magazine world, many companies have formed separate divisions to handle the Web so that the only exposure an editorial staff gets is in writing for the Web–a job oftentimes in which they have no training on the difference between writing for print and online. Also, let’s not forget the fact that magazine staffs have not grown back into the sizes they were before the 2000-2002 bloodletting and so many times reporters/writers/editors are doing the job of at least two other people. I agree with Noelle, USA Today’s drastic measure is going to eventually hurt the product. Maybe what it–and many magazine publishing companies–should do is actually train employees on the Web rather than putting up a screen between the online and editorial departments.

  • http://JesseTayler Jesse Tayler

    Excellent post! Helping to establish trust in any exclusive Network is key to members really collaborating with each other regularly. Also, the emphasis on the Insider vernacular and community culture are the best routes to creating a self-governing community where members defend the purpose and values of the Network because they feel part-ownership in the community itself.

  • http://George George

    I agree with you but, some of the magazines that are suposedly succeeding may be just presenting a false "happy face" to the world. Who knows whats going on deep inside their administration realms?<br />
    You don’t know, many people are willing to sell their souls to the devil, the bank, or to the local shark lender, just get the financing needed to keep putting up that successful face and make all people happy. <br />
    <br />
    As a publisher, I’ve been there, but decided not to sell my soul. So, when that happens, you have no option but to shut down, making some people lives miserable, and unhappy.

  • http://BMW BMW

    Cool site! Helpful topic! :)

  • http://JC JC

    It is very interesting that click fraud is now being advertised by Google. You’re right, I wonder if they really know what is going on.

  • http://DonBenson Don Benson

    Great list. <br />
    Question for me is can the rate change motivate publishers to do more with personalization, to build loyalty, add value, justify a change in price, and to move out of a singular downward spiral of cost reduction.

  • http://BruceLarson Bruce Larson

    List cleanup is only one aspect. Data entry is critical. If someone has my address wrong or name spelled wrong and can’t "fix it" they lose me as a subscriber. This isn’t always the publishers fault, it could be in the mailroom where the product is addressed. Who wants to receive a publication with your name misspelled? Especially if the subscription list is sold or shared with like publications.

  • http://JoePulizzi Joe Pulizzi

    Nice list of 10 Rob. Hard to believe that was 10 years ago.

  • http://BillThompson Bill Thompson

    I don’t read digital magazine content. Its not large enough on my screen and to zoom in on every page is like trying to read a magazine thru binoculars. Never! <br />
    Thats a beast that was spawned by the internet. <br />
    That part of internet technology is no improvement.

  • http://CimarronBuser Cimarron Buser

    Gloria Adams has a great "future looking" view to how magazines will be consumed. The research supports both the level of engagement, and the desire by the "20% of readers" to get their content in digital form.<br />
    <br />
    It’s time for publishers (especially B-to-B) and advertisers to realize that digital editions, along with websites, e-newsletters, events, and other elements of the mix, are all critical to success.<br />
    <br />
    In our work with Gloria and PennWell, we have continued to learn why readers prefer digital editions, and the convenience, ease of search, and environmental concerns continue to drive this dedicated and growing audience.

  • http://lorettaPuckrin loretta Puckrin

    It certainly makes putting the publication in my ‘to read’ pile easier – and I don’t have to clean out the back issues as often (no stack toppling over). I find that reading digital copies makes me more selective in what is digested and has a lower retention rate because it is done in a rush – so many things on the computer to deal with. When it comes to a paper printed copy I am taking time to dedicate my attention to the magazine. For business publications – I use digital formats. For my personal interests I have no desire to go digital – it would spoil the fun and decrease the amount of relaxation I get from reading.<br />
    I would be interested to find out how many of the messages are being absorbed by the readers who like digital vs those paper product readers. Convenience doesn’t always mean it is effective.

  • http://Rob Rob

    While I think the author makes a good point here, there are some key things that are missing from this document. One of the biggest is the name of the URL. From what I’ve seen at my current company and past companies, URL names have a high degree of importance with Google and the other engines. Therefore, getting that name right is a critical SEO trick.

  • http://AnnDeWitt Ann DeWitt

    Great column. I wouldn’t worry about "Living Paperless." I was in the business of selling mainframe (large computer) printers in the late 1980’s. The slogan then was "Paper Free in ’93." The trend was forecasted to kill the entire printer hardware market. I think I sold more printers in 1993 than any other year. I have the awards to prove it. Trust me; teenagers are printing their favorite photos on their inkjet printers. I know because I go out and buy the expensive color inkjet printer cartridges for my teenage son. You know; the ones that cost more than the printer. Plus, my neighborhood OfficeMax just installed this huge machine to refill ink cartridges at a discounted price. Have you been to a Kinkos lately? I have to stand in line to get my book campaign posters printed. I’m not fooled by any of the "Living Paperless" hype. Been there; done that. I’m banning with you on this one. Feel free to quote me. Cheers, Ann DeWitt (Atlanta, GA)

  • http://TomFaulkner Tom Faulkner

    I just returned from France and, as I always do, noticed how many people on the plane were reading. Nearly everyone had something to read…books, magazines, newspapers. Sure there were some doing work on their computers, but the vast majority were reading print publications. The printed word is far from dead, and if Andreessen has started a death watch for The New York Times it’s going to be a long and lonely watch that will not end for lifetimes to come.

  • http://BoSacks BoSacks

    The jury is still out on the death march of print.<br />
    But I would like to point out to you that MP3s have actually killed the CD. Yes, there is still a small market for vinyl and cassettes out there and CD’s are still being manufactured . But they are not the predominate listening or revenue driver in society today. There are also horses and mules a plenty in this world. You possible can ride horse to work, but most folks drive. The same is happening to digital information distribution. Faster than you can say “electrowetting” there will be flexible epaper that will change the universe of reading and publishing. The Sony ereader, the Amazon Kindle are just the very beginning of the next future for our industry. <br />

  • http://BoSacks BoSacks

    Yes, Rob I think I do remember something called CDs. Those would be those round expensive things that played music. Yes, I remember now, the revenue of sales for them was just past by MP3s. MP3s which now rule the music industry. Funny how things change. It took something like 8 years for CDs to surpass the old LP. And now the CD has been left in the dust by the MP3. Whatever could be next?

  • http://LOL LOL

    Wow, if only a fraction of all that were true NewBay’s web sites would be kick a$$! Nice that the reporter just lapped up whatever Steve and Joe dished out! Did you even visit the sites?<br />

  • http://DavidBlankenship David Blankenship

    Good points. However this list is different for every publishing model and title. The digital edition process starts long before you choose a vendor and if you are reducing your print circulation and not growing your overall publishing business – something is very wrong with your digital edition strategy.

  • http://GlennOstle Glenn Ostle

    Hello,<br />
    This is an excellent article. I’d like to use it in total or in part, in our magazine or on our website. We would of course give your publication full credit.<br />
    <br />
    Is it possible?<br />
    <br />
    Thanks and regards,

  • http://MichaelTurro Michael Turro

    So what exactly is it about NewBay’s approach that could be seen as being even remotely "Web 2.0"? Seems to me like everything they’re doing is straight out of a playbook written in 1998. In reading this article it would seem to me that PubExec has no clue as to what "web 2.0" even is. Granted it is a rather cloudy concept to begin with, but that does not excuse you from having to be somewhere in the ballpark… especially if you’re going to run it on your cover. <br />
    <br />
    What would be a story worthy of your headline (and cover) would be if NewBay was opening up their data via some kind of API, giving some control over how it gets shaped to users, letting their readers mash it with other services to create something entirely new. THAT would be closer to the "web 2.0" ethos. Or if they DID utilize the existing social frameworks to complement their own offerings (hello YouTube API) rather than trying to reinvent the wheel. THAT would be closer to the "web 2.0" ethos. Or if they used that information about their readers to introduce them to each other, to start conversations. THAT would be closer to the "web 2.0" ethos.<br />
    <br />
    At the end of the day those of us that love magazines, that want to see them thrive on the web beyond v.2.0 need to start thinking about this stuff a bit more critically. Publishers need more from you guys than regurgitated buzwords… they need inspiration and ideas.

  • http://DavidBlankenship David Blankenship

    As the industry develops we can see that the digital edition can leverage print advertising offerings in a much greater way then was ever achieved with magazine websites. Publishers that look at their advertising as a complete cross media package can benefit much more than looking at and selling a single channel.

  • http://Rob Rob

    "a much greater way then was ever achieved with magazine websites…" This sounds like it’s coming from a vendor. Oh wait, it is! Digital editions have their place, but I have to disagree with you.<br />
    <br />
    I offered some commentary a month or so ago at: http://www.pubexec.com/pubtalk/pubtalk.bsp?var=story&sid=90177

  • http://JulesForester Jules Forester

    We’ve been having a problem with this very question. Many of our readers complain that since we’re only online, we can’t be a magazine. A magazine — traditionally speaking — is any publication that comes out periodically. Since our Web site publishes our issues monthly, we qualify as a magazine.<br />
    <br />
    As far as "white papers" are concerned, I consider those to be more instructional or productivity oriented, whereas magazines are more entertaining. I don’t know anyone who checks in monthly for the latest "white paper".

  • http://Cindy Cindy

    great article but where are the tables you refer to?

  • http://LJWatson L J Watson

    Sounds good, but what about reading outdoors. Often the backlight isn’t bright enough. Can you read those gizmos on a sunny day?

  • http://dougwaterman doug waterman

    is ther a new name yet?<br />

  • http://KarinaMikhli Karina Mikhli

    My background is more on the book side of the business, where I believe print will always exist, and in my most recent position, I managed both the print production and the online production directors…For a business that will be all online, it’s not really manufacturing in the true sense, but as was stressed at a recent conference I went to, content is now king and it’s all about content management and sharing, not traditional printing and manufacturing. So what will these positions be called? Maybe content production? Or media production?

  • http://John John

    This is a great ad campaign all around and now that it showed up on the Web, it’s even more impressive. If marketers got smart, they would do more of this kinda stuff.

  • http://KarinaMikhli Karina Mikhli

    I agree with your statements, but I also think that production and circulation professionals will need additional training to keep up with all the changes. And publishers in general will have to think cross-platform and therefore xml-friendly.

  • http://CharlesKerr Charles Kerr

    Well, I’m not going to take bets on the end of paper. On ~A~ paper like the NYT maybe…. but not ~paper~. I work in a government print shop, and granted that may bias my opinion in strange directions, and I am absolutly loving the "New Paperless Office" that we all work in. The amount of paper we handle in my office alone has gone up three-hundred percent in the last 10 years. And most of that because of the internet. So, No. I don’t think paper is going anywhere anytime soon.

  • http://Dave Dave

    Where can I track the history of Foote & Davis?

  • http://SPAM SPAM

    How bloody else are internet entrepreneurs supposed to get the word out about their website? I mean, internet entrepreneurs such as the founders of http://www.implu.com – an executive contact database & alert service with some great features!<br />
    <br />
    <br />
    Now let me prove I’m a human by answering the question below this box.

  • http://KarinaMikhli Karina Mikhli

    I see two problems with this:<br />
    <br />
    1. What happens when Twitter goes down, which is has quite frequently of late?<br />
    2. If everyone is a reporter and/or publisher, where does quality control fit into this? Do readers choose, by whom they follow, or is there a better way to filter out the "trash" out there, just as we filter out "spam" today?

  • http://Milton Milton

    Read your piece with interest.  For years one of my mini-mottos:  When it comes to prediction, Nobody Knows Nothing!<br />
     <br />
    Most predictions are based on some straight-line, serial view of events and circumstances; and they rely on a series of "If — Then" calculations.  The human mind is limited in the number of dimensions it can operate in, and the straight-line, serial line of thinking is easy and comfortable, works for us — "all other things being equal [which they never are!] — but this one-dimensional arena is totally ineffective for prediction because of the "Left-Field Factor" a/k/a "Around the Corner Phenomenon."  Causal agents come out of nowhere and make the future what it is and will be; and existing causal agents that we don’t know about, have no way of knowing about and are maybe even incapable of knowing about or, muchless, understanding  —  all combine to cause "the future" to roll out as it will.  So when it comes to predicting the future, Nobody Knows Nothing!<br />
     <br />
    I have a crystal ball in my law office and sometimes point to it when a client asks me a question as to what will happen in a transaction — I show them the crystal ball invite them to take a look, and warn them that it’s out of warranty.  Usually, market conditions — numbers moving up or down or standing still — will affect the deal.  And so the hedge was born.  But that’s another story.

  • http://MichaelTurro Michael Turro

    Obviously you can’t actually predict the future. What you CAN do (and what many companies have long had success in doing) is formulate scenarios using the same sort of methodology the GBN uses – http://www.gbn.com/ – we ignore this type of thinking at our own peril.

  • http://RobertNorVelle Robert NorVelle

    Milton makes the point very well, and I’d like to offer an addendum to his remarks: If we substitute the words BEST GUESS for the word PREDICTION, much more of what the ‘experts’ tell us about the future will be usefull!

  • http://KarinaMikhli Karina Mikhli

    Are those bloggers that were mentioned journalists? I can see that instead of submitting stories to stations, journalists want to keep "ownership" and credit for their stories by first posting it on their own blogs…But if they weren’t journalists or people in the know in whatever given industry, then how do they know the news before the stations do?

  • http://AnneNewkirkNiven Anne Newkirk Niven

    Wow, $.20 a page cost? My 96 page zine would cost $20+ — and that’s before I got a nickle of profit. Who are they trying to kid?

  • http://Jan Jan

    I like this kind of blog! Great food for thought. I read your blog regarding the Heimlich and found myself wanting to read more from you. <br />
    <br />
    Now for predicting…What I believe is whatever a company does online must deliver relevancy. This might be old news but it should change the structure and job functions of the organization significantly. The next 5 years will offer much change but I think it will be linked to how well a company can bring along its current staff as well as bring on knowledge missing to compete in this new world of publishing.<br />
    <br />
    My prediction is that traditional publishers who are still around in 5 years will have Editorial departments with both Communication Majors as well as Journalism Majors. There will be no such job title as Web Editors. The structure of the organization will be built on gathering container-agnostic content. Online content which includes ads will be databased, tagged, categorized and served up when and how the user wants it. For the Web the control will be in the user’s hands. <br />
    <br />
    Things like digital editions (online magazines that look like a magazine) is a transitional technology and will be obsolete. I personally believe this is just getting us old folks comfortable with the web. It is a very exciting time right now, I look forward to whatever the future brings.

  • http://BoSacks BoSacks

    That was a brilliant and wonderful treatment and overview of the “current” publishing situation. Key emphasis on the word current. The technology and the sociology is changing faster than anyone can possible keep up with, and yet I try to do so. Our researchers at Media-Ideas.net continue to focus on emerging technologies, and they have forecast some interesting data and reading utilization curves. Predicting that an event will happen and concurrently predicting when it will happen are two different sets of prescience. 600 years ago Leonardo Da vinci forecast and actually designed, the tank, the car, the automatic transmission, hydraulic pumps, reversible crank mechanisms, several flying machines, including a helicopter, a light hang glider, and the parachute. He wasn’t wrong. But the “current technology wasn’t up to the task and his vision. <br />
    <br />
    Today, for publishers, the technology is not in some far off distant future, but present and on sale right now. Each month there are new and improved additions to the ereading marketplace. <br />
    <br />
    At the next Publishers Executive meeting let us forget inviting Samir Husni and I would be delighted to debate you in his place on this very subject. It would be fun and informative for everyone. You represent the hopes and fears in the editor in us all, while I represent … well something else. <br />

  • http://boSacks boSacks

    We know that polls are just a collection of statistics that reflect what people are thinking in ‘reality.’ And reality has a well known liberal bias. <br />
    Stephen Colbert, Speech to White House Correspondents’ Dinner, April 30, 2006<br />
    <br />
    Yes, I have found that polls are always accurate to predict the current and future situations of life. Just one question. What was the age group of this poll? Asking anyone over 35 if they prefer paper over digital is a total waste of time and polling pollution power. What would anyone expect “old” people to say? <br />
    <br />
    Did you know that the Kindle is accounting for 6% of all book sales on Amazon? That is after only one year on the market. Does anyone think that will shrink or get better and more robust. <br />
    <br />
    And yes, the Kindle is e-paper, and that means the future is here right now. When I mention the perfect platform, that would be a full color flexible e-reader. But the hard cased monochromatic e-readers are no slouch. In just a few years more flexible e-readers will be on the market. <br />
    <br />
    So what we have now in e-paper gets better and less expensive, while paper and assorted printed products get more and more expensive. <br />
    <br />
    BoSacks<br />

  • http://NoelleSkodzinski Noelle Skodzinski

    Re: the ages of those polled, they did survey those under 30, too. Per the release:<br />
    "Just 11% of respondents said they are comfortable reading books in other formats, such as online or with an e-book reader or PDA. Men (13%) are more open than women (8%) to reading books in other formats, as are 13% of those younger than age 30, compared to just 6% of those age 65 and older."<br />
    You can view the whole release at: <br />

  • http://CimarronBuser(Texterity) Cimarron Buser (Texterity)

    A Texterity digital edition copy of the Giblane report is available for review at http://info.texterity.com/info/<br />

  • http://patricia patricia

    I am a member of AARP and was very pleased to read what the strategy behind magazine and media. It’s the only relevant source that speaks to my current lifestage

  • http://ann ann

    We have both audited and unaudited publications; we are seriously considering moving away from BPA now because of their bulliness and they are not sensitive to the changing times of going more digital and are not helping smaller publishers make the transition affordably with audits. I think publishers should join forces and start promoting the alternative ways of proving readership other than audits. And why this push now, when ad pages are declining. If the audit bureaus are losing business and this is supposed to help them recover financially by "forcing" more magazines to be audited, their timing could not be worse. We need to join forces and find solutions together as an industry; not be self-inflicting additional costs when we can least afford it. Shame on you audit bureaus; bad timing; bad idea.

  • http://Vito Vito

    While I agree with the general scope of all this, I think that it leans a little towards the mainstream media’s, and specifically, the political pundits’ association of all content on the web as independent, unedited blogging. It doesn’t necessarily ring true to say or imply that every source on the web is unedited or lacking a source. <br />
    <br />
    One doesn’t need to look past automotive sites like jalopnik or edmunds to see that they’re making fools out of Car and Driver or Motor Trend with their print specific business models. And they mostly do this by creating an interactive experience and a community that cannot be replicated in print. In effect, they are the equivalent of a Saturday night car club meet, just one that’s dedicated to car news and stories.

  • http://Jim Jim

    Interesting thought that publishers would welcome having a service provider — which is a part of an oligarchy — provide publicly disparaging remarks toward those that don’t employ their services. I’d love to be a juror when the first (and very quick) legal challenge makes it to court.

  • http://MarkW.White Mark W. White

    The statement that e-editions have environmental benefits is misleading, if not irresponsible. PCs and servers use lots of electricity, which in the US is mostly coal fired. It’s not clear that e-editions are environmentally preferable to "dead-tree" (ink on paper) editions. And, by the way, the harvesting of trees to make paper seems to be a relatively benign process in North America as long as the land remains forest. The real damage occurs when "working forests" are converted to agriculture, golf courses, residential development, etc.

  • http://Anonymous Anonymous

    Mark,<br />
    To your last point, the publishing industry’s environmental impact has no relation to that of the agricultural, golf, or real estate industries. Further, the paper that’s harvested for magazine pages isn’t just from North America. Our industry’s imprint on the global environment is significant. And whether you believe it or not, the question isn’t whether e-editions have more environmental benefits than print (they clearly do) … it’s whether they benefit the reader. That’s what’s debatable.

  • http://KarinaMikhli Karina Mikhli

    Perhaps we need a reverse "spam blocker" built that will keep all that info from getting out. I’m surprised someone hasn’t come up with this yet…or have they?

  • http://NaomiReiter Naomi Reiter

    I think with the emergence of the iPhone, those big splashy books are going digital, as well.

  • http://Anonymous Anonymous

    Good Q&A. We have struggled to get our own social networking efforts to pay off, but it’s good to see others are having success on this platform. Some good tips in here. Thanks.

  • http://Jessica Jessica

    When I worked at the company that produced this ad, we received a lot of buzz about how this was a ground breaking ad. It’s actually called a "synced ad," where two banners are "talking" to each other. It takes a lot to create, but well worth it! I agree 100%, Rob!

  • http://anonymous anonymous

    Great post. Google and Facebook often get a free ride from the media … they need to be held as accountable to laws and regulations as any other U.S. business. Perhaps they really ought to be held to an even higher standard, given their reach and influence.

  • http://Jacek Jacek

    It’d be good to read this article from Wired along with your text Noelle http://www.wired.com/culture/<br />
    lifestyle/news/2008/08/portfolio_0805 Thanks for your excellent work, by the way, my favorite magazine :)…

  • http://Ellison Ellison

    What is the meaning of eink epaper, in this context ?

  • http://PMHut PM Hut

    It’s a bit sad that all the above are actual requirements in every project, but most Project Managers oversee at least one tip of the above (which is again, not really a tip, but a requirement in every project).<br />
    <br />
    Communications, as always, is the key to every successful project, and then Risk Management.

  • http://BoSacks BoSacks

    <br />
    Nice Rob: I get that negativity brand once in while. I am bullish on the publishing industry and I think we have a great future, but as a reporter I must "speak" truth through the written word. That truth speaks of change and for some even trauma. But we as an industry will get through this and ride a crest of world wide information distribution that the world has never seen before. And that has to be seen as a positive and wonderful thing. The democratization of knowledge on a global basis. And who is going to do that? Publishers the distribute words. <br />
    BoSacks<br />
    -30-<br />

  • http://George George

    Bob: These are excellent questions. I am eagerly awaiting the response from all the newsstand distributors who will most likely blame the publishers for not knowing how to sell their magazine. Having recently "dived into" circulation, I am amazed by the lack of logic in explanations I have received from newsstand distributors. Answers seemed to be based on "proven" statistical data, but try and get supporting data and the usual response is "that’s the way it is, and it’s been that way for years." Great response!

  • http://HenkGianotten Henk Gianotten

    This seems a great solution to improve efficiency and optimize the workflow. Does it support JDF or the Job Definition Format? Does it support the ads for non-Quad printing plants too?

  • http://GlennHansen Glenn Hansen

    Shouldn’t you also ask if they are audited or unaudited media that are commenting? That would be more informative.

  • http://DonBenson Don Benson

    I continue to wonder who is ready to ake the next step to increase the value of their print media to the reader perhaps through targeting, personalization, etc. <br />
    <br />
    This is a time for bold strategic thinking not just tactical cost cutting.<br />
    <br />
    Do we want to survive or thrive?

  • http://TyBobit Ty Bobit

    Bob,<br />
    <br />
    Doom and gloom gets old. Another paper price increase? What isn’t going up these days — oil, plastic, metals, labor, etc. We’re happy to distribute our products both in print and electronically. Fact: We have 12 magazines with a better bottom line this year than last.

  • http://Ken Ken

    I’m confused… How can a portion of sales go toward eco-credits with the website is giving away subscriptions?

  • http://JanetSpavlik Janet Spavlik

    Free magazine subscriptions are limited to one free subscription per person. If someone would like to order additional subscriptions, they have the opportunity to purchase these at GoReadGreen.com. These are the sales to which that part of the article refers.

  • http://TomDomine Tom Domine

    And what really scalds my [EDITED] is that loyal, committed Esquire subscribers didn’t receive the e-ink cover. Only the easily swayed consumers who purchased at newsstands were rewarded. Heck, I was even published in Esquire this year (What We’ve Learned), and yet I stare at my non-blinky cover and wonder why? It may be a sucky blinky cover, but it’s more than I received.<br />

  • http://Jessica Jessica

    You can also read Reader’s Digest digitally on Zinio.com. It’s an exact replica of the print version of the magazine but in digital form. Check it out here: http://www.zinio.com/gncoffer2?issn=RD%20123&of=ZH01&ns=usa<br />

  • http://Ambrose Ambrose

    It’s great to see the best in print merge with the best in online traditional information repository. Now if they could just create a mobile service, I won’t ever ruin my car or kill a plant again!

  • http://Ryan Ryan

    Wow, this post is right on target. I agree 100%. Staying calm and focused is the name of the game. Ryan

  • http://George George

    I have a Palm Treo so would like to know where to spend the $19.

  • http://BoSacks BoSacks

    I have used http://www.mobipocket.com for a few years now. I have found the free readers easy to use and navigate, and the prices very reasonable. The Ultimate Classic Library – OVER 3,000 WORKS and be found at: http://www.mobipocket.com/en/eBooks/eBookDetails.asp?BookID=21627<br />
    There is both a desktop version of the reader and a palm version. I use both to manage my library. Enjoy the reading and the future of publishing. <br />

  • http://trav trav

    Both you and Andreessen have knocked this out of the park. The old print news model can’t last. Especially as disposable as their content is. Online platforms are made for archiving little news nuggets, so they’re just better at it. So once the "portability" issue is solved, it’s all over.<br />
    <br />
    And I wish more companies would look to "own turf" online rather than all these mulit-tentacled unmeasurable branding exercises they are all trying to do. There are so many choices online that brand will only get you so far. You need to "own the turf" so you show up in search engines, blog searches, community discussions, etc. That kind of buy-in from users comes from something beyond branding… you really do need to "own the turf".<br />
    <br />

  • http://RealitySandwich Reality Sandwich

    If CEOs keep laying people off, who do they think is going to be able to purchase their product? Surely not the unemployed.

  • http://DanWeber Dan Weber

    You left out an important mid-size printer who also offers in-house co-mailing, Publishers Press. Utiliziing slightly smaller pools than the larger mailers we can get the mail out the door quicker and also offer co-mailing for polybagged copies, Tabloid size magazines and Standard Mail.

  • http://Steve Steve

    I don’t know that i agree fully with your position here. <br />
    <br />
    People are increasingly satisfying their "need to know" by tapping into their peers and social networks. We must remember, in the publising industry, that our audience is interested in much more than what authors and publishers produce – they want to know what their peer did, what their peers like, what their peers said, how they acted and more. <br />
    <br />
    Incorporating the ability for readers to connect with each other is just as important as presenting them good information. If publishers and authors don’t do this, other people will. <br />

  • http://Brent Brent

    I agree! I think we need to use every medium we have to connect with our readers, and I think we need to understand what our readers are looking for, whether it be print or online publications, social networking, or any other form of communication. It shouldn’t be an either or situation.<br />
    <br />

  • http://BoSacks BoSacks

    <br />
    Steve:<br />
    <br />
    Great point and one that I agree with, publishers must supply the reader with what the reader wants on the platform that the reader wants it on. I am an equal opportunity platform provider. I don’t care what the substrate is. And I agree with you about social networks being an important source of information, so long as it is not the only source. Publishers need to balance “user” input and informed journalism. There is room for both platforms in a successful publishing business model. <br />
    BoSacks<br />
    -30-<br />

  • http://DrJoeWebb Dr Joe Webb

    Capt Bo: You and I are constantly accused of being negative and pessimistic, but you and I know that we’re just reporting what the data tell us and what we see. Your comment about the "murder spree" was quite good. Entrepreneurs look the market square in the face and find things that need to be done. They don’t have illusions; if they do, the market punishes them with rejection. If one of the most hated men in media, Rupert Murdoch, sees opportunity when others don’t, that should make people quite curious. We’re seeing the unraveling of "big publishing" and its high fixed cost operations. It’s amazing to see, especially when I’m sitting on the digital side of the Internet revolution. Content is not dead; content is alive and growing.

  • http://Dan Dan

    and don’t forget about Twitter and the social sites like Facebook.

  • http://JohnGarvey John Garvey

    I read your article and your sadness really comes through.<br />
    You are right, things are always dying and renewing, changing. Change is painful, because you lose things you hoped would never change, though deep down, we all know everything is always changing, dying and renewing.<br />
    Take heart! Embrace the change. As a writer, don’t confuse the problems facing traditional publishing with the death of reporting. As you assert, reporting and writing and communicating will always be vitally necessary. What isn’t necessary is paper and huge delivery costs. (The changes happening now would have happened with or without the current economic problems.) There were cab drivers, who drove carriages, before there were today’s cabs.<br />
    Neither the cab nor the carriage would have had any utility without their drivers. What has happened is that a revolutionary new distribution system,with much lower costs has jolted an antiquated system where news, information and communication were delivered in a more expensive manner.<br />
    That is all. As a creative force behind the delivery system, as a gifted writerand communicator – rejoice! Your work can reach farther, faster -can be reposited and found by those who desire it and need it over the internet more easily and inexpensively than ever before. The old system of delivery is all that has chnged – for the better. The MESSAGE in your work is still the beating heart of the publishing community and will never perish.

  • http://SteveTuffill Steve Tuffill

    This is a beautifully succinct account of all that is good about a Wiki… It is really great that there are now appearing more and more ways in which to implement a successful wiki in the corporate world, in education and just as a means of communication. Thanks for sharing this with us!

  • http://SteveFrye Steve Frye

    Sorry, Dan, you are absolutely correct, I accidentally left out any mention of PPC’s co-distribution capabilities. PPC has been a leader of comailing shorter run titles, the true beneficiary of the technology. My regrets.

  • http://AllenBlood Allen Blood

    When I first saw your listing, I thought that it was a well thought out piece, until I got to company #3. As a former employee of Cahaba Media Group I was shocked to read what they said about their company. Then I noticed the asterisk and it became clear how they could say that they were such a great place to work. Everything is in the past year and only includes employees voluntarily leaving. There were some that left over the past 6 years that were voluntary as well as many that wasn’t voluntary. Luckily, a former employee, in fact the creator of their Construction Business Owner magazine, started his own company, Highlands Publications, and he has taken what was promised at Cahaba Media and made it a reality. In fact, he has hired two former Cahaba Media employees so 3 of the 10 employees at Highlands Publications are former Cahaba Media employees. Other than one editor, the current employees at Highlands Publications are the only employees every hired. The books are open allowing us to know how much is made and how much is owed. That is so we each have a stake in paying off the debt thereby helping to make us more profitable. The work environment is much friendlier than I ever experienced at Cahaba Media and everyone has a say, everyday.<br />
    <br />
    I wish I would have known you were even considering such an article, because I think you missed the real deal in Birmingham, AL when you picked Cahaba Media Group.

  • http://NoelleSkodzinski Noelle Skodzinski

    We will be doing this study annually, so there is always next year. You can go to: http://www.bestmagcompanies.com/ to find out about participating in 2009. <br />
    I am sure there are some great companies out there that were not listed, however we have to rely on the companies themselves to register. We issue an open invite to the industry, and don’t charge for participation in order to keep it fair and accessible for all. <br />
    As for the quality of the list, employees at every company under consideration are surveyed, so we are confident that all companies on this list are regarded very highly by their employes — current employees. <br />
    One note for your company: In the past, a minimum of 15 employees were required for participation; but we had a number of small companies express interest this year and frustration at not being able to be included, so we are evaluating whether we can add a "small publishing companies" list this year.

  • http://Bob Bob

    James, did you actually visit GIE and if you did, I’d like to know if you saw the employees drinking a lot of Kool Aid? I can speak from personal experience that it’s not always a "happy" place to work. I would consider GIE the sweatshop of publishing companies. Workloads can be so ridiculously large that employees often are expected to come in on off days or holidays to meet very tight deadlines. They’re always trying to do more with few resources. Oh yeah, there’s also "mandatory" "fun," i.e. company picnics where you’re required to play a bunch of childish "teambuilding" games.

  • http://Ron Ron

    Rob, if you had read the article from your own link about the $873 million and others, you’ll know that Facebook will, in reality, get very little from that Court judgement. Be a good writer and don’t "skew" info to support your story. It doesn’t sit well with us readers.

  • http://TomDomine Tom Domine

    Google’s been archiving scholarly publications for years now, don’t see how this is any different. Resistance is futile, you will be assimilated.

  • http://HeatherBlankenship Heather Blankenship

    Oh my goodness. Bob sounds like he had some bitter lemonade rather than Koolaide. Coming in to get work done so that you can serve customers better and meet deadlines…we’ll that sounds like how you stay in business in a down economy. A bit of advice Bob don’t reference how you’ve been published on the web in forums. Nobody hires people who harvest sour grapes.

  • http://MichaelJosefowicz Michael Josefowicz

    Just curious if you think that offering a print edition of a old issues and print it on demand might work?<br />
    <br />
    Or maybe having a feature that allows a reader to choose articles from old issues and getting a paperback version of the articles?

  • http://RobertaLong Roberta Long

    Having experienced the "good, the bad and the ugly" recently, I couldn’t have said this better. Many companies are using the shield of the troubled economy when the real problem is years of failure to act responsibly. It will be difficult, if not impossible, for them to regain pubiic trust. Unfortunately, everyone loses: the talented people who committed to their work, the would-be advertisers, the readers and the many people and organizations whose stories won’t be told, and the communities at large.

  • http://MihaiPaunescu Mihai Paunescu

    Where is the bad thing in this. Google is doing the promotion so that lot’s of people have access to valuable information that otherwise nobody will remember that was once published. If the editor is working with them and is smart enough it will have not only an improvement on the image side but also some money in the pocket. Everybody should be happy.

  • http://boSacks boSacks

    The answer to your question is tied up in how we monetize our publications. Someday soon we will have a formula that monetizes our magazines not only on the issue-by-issue basis but also in the section and page level. We are not there yet. But we will be.

  • http://Tanya Tanya

    What a wonderful way to help our economy – take jobs away from our country. Here’s a thought – if no one here is able to find a job, who will be buying your product?

  • http://DebbieIverson Debbie Iverson

    Outsourcing is a brilliant way to cut costs… in the short term.<br />
    <br />
    It is a brilliant way for US businesses to send their money overseas leaving less money in the US economy… in the long term.<br />
    <br />
    Therefore, outsourcing is a brilliant way to collapse the US economy… <br />
    <br />
    What were those cost savings?<br />

  • http://Melanie Melanie

    What a terrible idea to idea to post this story at at time like this and furthermore, to lead with it in the subject line. <br />
    <br />

  • http://JusticeCollins Justice Collins

    I understand the need to reduce costs in order to make a company survive and prosper, which in turn keeps people employed. Did you offer current employees the chance to stay with your firm at reduced wages, or did you simply outsource. What happened to your existing US workers. Did you absorb them in other roles; or if you laid them off, did you follow them and know what type of jobs they got? I also assume you are a publicly traded company with eyes only on the bottom line.

  • http://Karen Karen

    Thank you for the information. I’ll be sure NOT to support this company in the future.

  • http://Kat Kat

    Wow. To post a message like this during these horrible economic times is, quite simply, offensive. <br />
    I hope that Obama will not only halt tax breaks for companies who outsource but also penalize them. Severely. Perhaps only that will make short-sighted, greedy companies like this one realize what awful consequences stem from this bottom-line oriented trend that is sure to destroy our country. <br />
    I hope this company goes where it should be — under.

  • http://bill bill

    so by that rational are companies supposed to make decisions based on feelings instead of the bottom line?<br />
    <br />
    part of what made this country great thru the tech bubble was innovation… now we are afraid to compete with the rest of the world<br />
    <br />
    i don’t understand how in such tough economic times when everyone has to cut costs you can call anyone greedy…. its called capitalism

  • http://Richard Richard

    Well, editors and writers at salaries that are about 15 percent poverty level in the U.S. And then he notes they don’t produce "magazine quality" content but that whatever dreck you can buy for that amount is fine for the web customers of his business. Hey, keep giving them the dreck on the web and lower expectations sufficiently to be able to use them for the magazines as well! Hey, I’m sure all of those local business readers you have would be thrilled to know where the content they count on comes from and at what expense it came. Lovely.

  • http://CircWarrior CircWarrior

    This is a tough one…I’m going through this right now – my company is struggling terribly, we’ve laid off, cut corners, streamlined everywhere we can. Something has to give. No one wants to lose their jobs. So we’re using the India branch of our company, as well as looking at production outsourcing there. Having cut my career teeth in the waning golden days of magazines, I have a love for this business and want to succeed, but my heart hurts when I think of the partnerships being killed with US vendors, and the focus on the bottom line no matter what the cost or bridges burned. What is the right answer? Am I being a fuddy duddy, unwilling to enter into the globalized century? Is capitalism still king, or can we globalize while maintaining a strong US economy and culture of business ethics and worker support?

  • http://BusinessLeaderResponse Business Leader Response

    I appreciate the comments and certainly understand everyone’s viewpoint. I think it is important to note that during this time period the number of US employees at our company more than quadrupled. Few if any of these positions would have been created without the growth generated by using overseas labor.<br />
    <br />
    In contrast, look at what has happened in the newpaper industry where Companies did not adjust until it was too late. Thousand of jobs lost was the result of this.<br />
    <br />
    As a manager, you have an obligation to everyone in your organization to do what is best for the Company as a whole.

  • http://Stanko Stanko

    Not only Asian outsourcing. You can check very hot spots in Europe like Bulgaria, Rumania and Serbia.<br />
    <br />
    Salaries are like in India, fluent language speaking peole, and not only english orientation. You can utilise one Europe’s citizens with indian salaries.<br />
    <br />
    Many IT companies are and want to be there.<br />
    <br />
    And as I am local Bulgarian I would say we have very high education standards in both jurnalistics, marketing, IT and very talantet people.

  • http://skambic skambic

    And we wonder why the US economy is tanking. How stupid do you have to be not to see what is wrong with this picture. Wait until they start outsourcing publisher’s jobs, who will be the "India champion" then?

  • http://Frank Frank

    No Heather, Bob actually worked for these people for a time and was one of 8 editors who all left the company in a period of three months because of how we were treated – personally and from an editorial ethics standpoint. If promotions without raises, bait and switch hiring tactics and 12-hour days are your thing, then by all means GIE is the place for you. I was instructed by my publisher that I was to write all advertorials and freelance out editorial content because he was selling advertorials based on the fact that I would write them. This is not what I would call sound editorial policy. I too found it very interesting that the writer of this piece did not talk to any actual employees – past or present. Dan Moreland is financially invested in the company and Chris Foster is the son of the owner, King Dick Foster. It’s no wonder such a pretty picture was painted. Just a warning to anyone who may be considering a career at GIE, all that glitters is not necessarily gold.

  • http://MichaelLeeStallard Michael Lee Stallard

    Outstanding interview! Ken Shelton is a national treasure. He succinctly communicates more wisdom about leadership than anyone I know.<br />
    <br />

  • http://MichaelJ Michael J

    Bob,<br />
    From where I sit, I can’t see how newspapers are going to make money on the web. CPMs for web advertising is just going to get less and less. <br />
    It works if you have a billion hits, but I can’t see a newspaper site getting close.<br />
    <br />
    Meanwhile, what I see is "read for free, pay for print." <br />
    <br />
    Any thoughts?

  • http://BoSacks BoSacks

    Michael: You nailed it. CPMs are an antique thought process that Guttenberg understood. This is the 21st century. We need a new business model. I have been proposing for years the cable TV model of tiered pricing. The basic monthly price at $4.99 gets you the daily paper and two magazines. The silver package gets you the local paper, a national paper, and five magazines. The gold package and on up to the platinum package which for $79.99 a month gets you everything ever printed. <br />
    <br />
    All this also needs to be delivered as paginated media and not endless web pages. If we lose the paginated media formula we have doomed our whole industry. See media-ideas http://www.mediaideas.net/mediaIDEAS-TH(ink)NOTE1.html for the definition of a magazine.<br />
    <br />

  • http://MichaelJosefowicz Michael Josefowicz

    What a cool idea. Sort of Neflix for Print.

  • http://Jean Jean

    I find it rather ironic that while McGraw Hill has laid off 375 people there are at least 3 jobs, that I can see, on your Job Connection. Surely a few of the 375 could fit the bill?

  • http://Girlphyte Girlphyte

    Notwithstanding the fact that the naysayers continue to panic, with the message that M & A and the world are falling into economic oblivion, it’s good to hear that bleeding edge online projects are relevant. We say that theere is a huge interactive opportunity online with the women’s marketplace. It’s good to know that there are investors out there who still have their eye on the online curl. Girlphyte.com

  • http://DonBenson Don Benson

    Changing the value proposition from mass production to mass customization or personalization seems to make lots of sense, yet they seem to elicit no action or reaction.<br />
    <br />
    Give the customer what they want. This is not rocket science. All the technology is here. <br />
    <br />
    What are we missing here? Face it, change or die.

  • http://NoelleSkodzinski Noelle Skodzinski

    I just wanted to point out that in the research process by which the "best companies to work for" are selected, the employees of every company ARE surveyed. The Employee Satisfaction Survey scores comprise 75 percent of a company’s overall score. <br />
    You can read more about the process at http://www.bestmagcompanies.com.

  • http://RJMedak RJ Medak

    I have noticed authors, publishers, and many businesses are coming to learn the value of social media sites.<br />
    <br />
    I have also seen publishing brands on twitter.

  • http://chuckl chuckl

    Good call, Bob, as the numbers show, younger people online, the digital natives, are intrinsically social; they’re not specifically there to be published to. therefore, if you want to be successful in that medium you have to speak the language and approach the Internet on its own terms, not those of a traditional publisher

  • http://StephanieInglis Stephanie Inglis

    I’ll admit it…I’m a supporter of the Buy Safe Media initiative. Why? Because audited circulation data is important to me in my job as a marketer. In fact, it’s a directive in my agency (which is a supporter of Buy Safe Media).<br />
    <br />
    Why are publishers frightened of this movement? Because they either don’t want to spend the money on an audit, or they have something to hide (my personal opinion). <br />
    <br />
    Yet, as a marketer entrusted to spend my clients’ dollars as responsibly as possible, I look for audited media at all times–for advertising space and when setting media relations priorities.<br />
    <br />
    Any publisher who is opposed to Buy Safe Media–and therefore media auditing–is missing the point. Marketers MUST be accountable. There is no choice. We will demand that you, as publishers, are just as accountable.<br />
    <br />
    Give me a reason why you should not be, and I will listen, but probably will not be convinced.

  • http://GoodCall Good Call

    Haha. How stupid do you feel? You should write a followup post to this apologizing to Andreessen who clearly is much more than lucky and who is clearly better at reading the writing on the wall early than most.

  • http://iGuide iGuide

    $40 CPM!!! Many sites are happy with $4 CPM, and I hear of many sites complaining of $0.40 CPM. So, that’s a difference of 10 to 100 times what many of us are facing!

  • http://Michael Michael

    This trend is especially useful to sole practitioners or small enterprises. It is more problematic, at this point, for information enterprises that are desperately trying to overcome decades of fragmented and siloed methods of storing and organizing content in order to preserve or enhance its value.<br />
    <br />
    Enterprises need to find ways to unify their content schemas and production methods so that they can extract greater audience value from their cumulative efforts.<br />
    <br />
    Technically how this is managed, stored, produced, and distributed is less important than that it be done in a way that increases value to an audience, and profit to the enterprise.<br />
    <br />
    Whether in front or behind the firewall, tech solutions are evolving that require as much attention as content stewardship and front office financial management.<br />
    <br />
    There is always software to buy, systems to engineer, storage to manage, and technical risks/costs to balance. The cloud doesn’t change that for the enterprise.

  • http://chuckl chuckl

    the problem in the immediate future as i see it is that current advertising method, like banners and popups, are pretty crappy, and those that will replace it are based on search, which bypasses the front door to the publisher’s site. Publishers may end up being the odd man out in this equation, with the value accruing to the content creator, heretofore known as the writer

  • http://Sarafarrell Sara farrell

    Amen, finally someone speaks out for the good ole book. I love books and I want books. I don’t want another gadget. They break, they’re not easy on the eyes no matter what the propeller heads tell you. Books are cost effective and comfortable. Kindles are not I-pods and never will be.

  • http://RyanBiggs Ryan Biggs

    > Which one would he replace faster?<br />
    <br />
    Errr… what’s your point? Obviously, he’s going to be much more concerned about the $400 eBook you destroyed than he is about the magazine. Do you mean that it is easier to replace the magazine at the corner newsstand? Or just cheaper? You can’t mean that he cares more about the magazine, which is almost by definition disposal. I can’t imagine ever paying twice for the same issue of a magazine. Unless maybe my picture was on the cover of it.

  • http://Richard Richard

    Funny thing, numbers. Yes, 57 percent penetration for broadband. Seen it, we all know it. What I want to know is what is broadband penetration for THOSE WHO BUY BOOKS!? I’ll bet it’s vastly higher and, therein, lies the problem for us as publishers. We need models that pass along the savings customers know we achieve with e-publishing to our customers in a way that makes them buy more and that takes advantage of them being plugged in. What you think the percentage of BB access is for B2B customers? <br />
    <br />
    Numbers are funny things. Look, I write with fountain pens, collect manual typewriters and listen to vinyl records. But while I like those things, the realist in me has pretty much told me that I need to think differently when it comes to my business. And for that, I know the world is bits and bites in an increasing fashion and far less cellulose. I don’t have to like it–nobody asked me. And unless we want to be the record companies, we need to look beyond the surface. We need to see how much that broadband world reads and compare them to others. Funny thing was that folks who used Napster BOUGHT more music than anybody else. Music companies shot themselves in the foot instead of dropping back to think about what was going on there. Of course that followed them charging more for CDs that cost less to produce than vinyl LPs AND which offered inferior sound quality. Oh well.

  • http://Richard Richard

    Ah yes, it’s the old "It’s not you, it’s me" routine we all remember from those long-ago breakups! Guaranteed to make the victim of that statement want to shove an ice pick through your temple, huh? In my world we are using furloughs–unpaid days off–to close the budget gap. Not a great solution but it beats putting people out on the street in these times. Especially good people I know we want to keep. I fear we are going to see some serious anger emerge soon in lay-off situations. As much as I hate to do so, I’d urge employers to be cautious in these volatile times and situations.

  • http://Thomas Thomas

    I would think that no matter what the digital coverage, we will all be getting more and more of our news and info digitally whether we like it or not. With the economy the way it is, you will be seeing less and less in print and more online and via email. <br />
    <br />
    I would bet more news and "old style" magazine content will now be delivered to those thousands of email address’ everyone holds near and dear to their business. With all of us having handheld devices that accept multimedia and rich text, the outlet to get users what they have always gotten in print will surely end up in our hands some way.<br />
    <br />
    The idea that "you can’t read online content on the toilet", is no longer a valid argument – blackberries, Treo’s, etc. make portable news and getting your content anywhere much more flexible.<br />
    <br />
    No one wants to see print diminish at all, but we all need to be prepared to deliver the same good quality content wherever our readers and subscribers are. When things pick up again, we will have multiple ways of reaching out to people – new print initiatives, added online and mobile venues, etc. There is a whole new world in front of everyone – economies like this make strong companies stronger and breed a whole new string of ideas and collaboration.<br />
    <br />
    But, yes, I am sure he would be pretty ticked off at you for spilling something on a $400 device, regardless of what it is.

  • http://RebeccaRolfes Rebecca Rolfes

    It’s hard to imagine a world without print media. It’s hard to imagine a world without associations. But that may be where we’re headed. http://www.imaginepub.com/leaderconnect/the-exodus-begins/ Think about it: if your industry (and its association) are going away, isn’t it time to step up with some new ideas?

  • http://JoeSchmitter Joe Schmitter

    Setting the standard? Really. We publish a local Home & Lifestyle magazine targeted to affluent women and our current cover is animated as well. I’m glad VIV is able to bring it to a national level, but let’s be realistic with the claims.

  • http://RonMatejko Ron Matejko

    Same with us. We just published the first ever interactive sports magazine and the cover is animated with sound effects in the background. Viv is just a high profile pet of Zinio and is easier for publishing writers to find than our pubs.

  • http://JoeSchmitter Joe Schmitter

    After looking through VIV Magazines Digital edition, I must admit that is quite stunning and well done. I feel I owe Mr. Carlson an apology for raining on his parade. I hate when people do that to me, and I turned around and did it to him. My apologies Sir! Nicely done Digital Magazine!

  • http://Marcus Marcus

    Thorin,<br />
    <br />
    Congrats. on a VERY good looking digital magazine… it’s wonderful to see publishers pushing the envelope!

  • http://RobinSherman Robin Sherman

    Also, Samir Husni does not collect data on business-to-business magazines, he told me once.<br />
    <br />
    Robin Sherman<br />
    Editorial & Design Services<br />
    http://www.linkedin.com/in/robinshermaneditdesign<br />
    <br />

  • http://SB SB

    Geesh… be careful what you wish for. The unintended consequences of something like this becoming national will be bad for businesses.

  • http://PeteNikolai Pete Nikolai

    In today’s market, little distinction exists between magazine, book, video, audio, online… We are all media publishers now, competing for the same discretionary time and dollars. And we are all caught in the whitewater as the deluge from the economic crisis converges with swift moving technological changes. Discretionary dollars have been cut substantially so that we can no longer build a valid business model based on more dollars chasing more media. And the transition to abundant digital media may be creating permanent game-changing trends in the way people consume media. We can either sit on the side of the river, or buy a kayak, take whatever lessons we can find, and get in!<br />
    <br />
    While all of the new revenue streams make sense, they create a whole new set of issues as publishers lose their focus and encounter even more competitors. Securing key partnerships with related companies seems to be of utmost importance to develop synergy, capitalize on each company’s strengths, and minimize each company’s weaknesses.<br />
    <br />
    The foundational strengths of most publishers should be their knowledge, expertise, data, and relationships. Focusing on a particular topic or genre for years and developing strong relationships should give a publisher distinct advantage when others need assistance in that area. Being open to moving outside of their comfort zone can open all kinds of possibilities for revenue from other products and services. Somebody is going to offer them. If publishers fail to step up and take the lead role then others will be more than happy to do so.

  • http://AmericanCitizen AmericanCitizen

    This legislation is senseless. We already have an opt out through companies. Its a waste of taxpayers money and will drastically increase unemployment! Burning gas is worse than recycled paper.

  • http://JF JF

    I really don’t see the demand for consumer publications in digital format. Why try to force the format of a magazine online instead of adopting what online readers are already used to; in the form of feature articles on a website (as seen on any news site such as msn.com). For trade publications, that’s a different story. I do see individuals reading trade publications online while at their place of business. If there is a demand for digitized consumer magazines, then Google’s Book Search is one way for consumer publications to digitize their content while improving SEO (as result of the content being searchable) and profit from Google advertising served next to the content. I’m a Motor Trend reader and mark my words…I will never replace my printed publication with a digitized version. If I want to look at car images online, I go to Google images and then read more about the specific car. Otherwise, receiving this publication in the mail is the best thing that comes in my mail every month and reading it on my porch in the sun, cannot be beat by any e-reader. Just my two cents.

  • http://NaidenStoyanov Naiden Stoyanov

    I agree that digital editions will somehow have a future in the publishing industry, but disagree why they’ve been growing.<br />
    <br />
    While the online medium will be instrumental in the future of magazine publishing, digital editions are nothing more than a lame attempt to move print design to the digital world. There’s a reason why web sites look differently than the print media. The screen is not and will never be paper. Flipping through the pages is not the same as clicking on a link. The ability to interact is yet another difference. Ask any good designer and they will tell you that digital and print design are two completely different things!<br />
    <br />
    Yes, it looks like everyone is jumping on the bandwagon and signing up for one of the many digital magazine companies that are springing up like mushrooms after rain. But that’s not because of increased digital edition readership (unless you consider an increase to be anything going from zero to anything else, usually single or double digits). It’s because publishers are desperately trying to stay ahead of the curve and anything that sounds new and hip is accepted as the holly grail of publishing.<br />
    <br />
    A screen is a screen. It will never be paper. Even if they make it as thin as paper. I am not saying that one is better than the other, but they are complementary and not replacements for one another.<br />
    <br />
    I am talking from the point of experience. We, at Canaiden LLC, have been successful in both our print and online properties, because we have different teams working on digital and print solutions as separate projects. What works in print doesn’t necessarily work online and vice versa. The same goes for the monetization part of it, which I think is really the biggest challenge we all face and not the output solution that may or may not be accepted.<br />

  • http://TimothyMiller Timothy Miller

    I agree, have you ever tried to read a digital magazine on a laptop sitting next to the pool in the sun? Impossible. The digital format will never replace the experience of reading a good book under a tree outside or a magazine poolside, in a park or on a beach.

  • http://MichaelTurro Michael Turro

    It’s not only fair it’s exactly what they want us to do – that’s exactly their model – let us chase down the nickel and dime ad revenue while they build the really valuable asset – a database of intentions, social relationships, and human connection. Why do you think they are building increasingly open APIs? They want us to hook in and build on (and if we can turn a profit, great) – that makes them stronger – makes their data more valuable.

  • http://Kim Kim

    May I just say AMEN!<br />
    <br />
    Information still needs to get to consumers, we just have to be willing to listen to them–not just to tweak our content, but to alter the ways in which we offer it to them.<br />
    <br />
    For the first time our consumers are in control not just of IF they will purchase our content (buy a magazine, don’t buy a magazine), but HOW they want it delivered. We’ve become service providers, not just content providers.

  • http://MichaelMcBride Michael McBride

    I agree completely with you, Bob. We need more of your clarity and positivity in this debate. Keep it up.<br />
    <br />
    Thanks!<br />
    Michael McBride

  • http://Jennifer Jennifer

    I completely agree.. It’s the ultimate extension of using word-of-mouth marketing tactics.. and building the growth from the college popularity of the site(s)..<br />
    <br />
    It is being integrated into school curriculum.. in ways of involving digital media into not only the classroom, but a knowledgable source of trends in the "real world"..<br />
    <br />
    it’s all about the means to connect..

  • http://Sabrina Sabrina

    I think that it is important to remember that people fear change. Especially when they don’t understand the world of digital media/the Internet. <br />
    <br />
    Newspapers have been an important part of our society for a long time now, and I think they will always have a place… if they can afford to remain open. But, I think anyone out there that hasn’t been under a rock can and should be able to see that blogs/digital medias also have value. <br />
    <br />
    Just because something is new and different doesn’t make it bad. And, I think another point that is important to bring up is the face that kids/young people are into reading blogs and the Internet. This is a way to reach young people that can easily adapt and change to their wants and needs. <br />
    <br />
    People are so quick to shoot something down when it isn’t conventional or "Normal" Well guess what? Times are changing and the media has to change to keep up… if not they will be left behind. It may not be good, ideal, or the "Right" thing… but it is what is going on.

  • http://JF JF

    The other day I walked out the door and yelled out to downtown San Diego; I’m craving a jelly donut right now. No one listened. Twitter is full of a bunch of people yellling out innate and self-serving messages but is anyone listening? <br />
    <br />
    Whenever I hear about a company going through a round of lay-offs or filing chapter 11, I think, "They must not have been using Twitter." Note sarcasm. Twitter might be the most over-hyped dot.com innovation yet. I’m definitely a fan of social media, but the jury is still out on Twitter. Perhaps by it’s mere simplicity, the older demographic (Barbara Walters, Larry King) have adopted it. After all, Twitter does have an In N’ Out Burger menu feeling about it. Burger or fries? Facebook offers a more diverse user experience and I can appreciate this channel more. For starters, on Facebook you can skip over the often innate status updates and scan to more useful or interesting sections. I like to look at family photos. <br />
    <br />
    The Soup ran a hilarious piece on Twitter. Check You Tube and search for "The Soup Twitter." Joel McHale compares Twitter to the Macarena. I’ve tested Twitter myself and I just can’t find the benefit. Facebook has already allowed for friends to follow their friend’s microblogs so what is Twitter’s edge? On Twitter, you can post and post and post but is anyone really reading your post? I know that I was following a group of 15 and I didn’t read one of their posts. Maybe I’m the self-important one; not Twitter. It seems like everyone using Twitter is in a race to get the most followers but their not really sure why. I have seen examples where Twitter has been effective in promoting a marketing promotion but I still don’t believe this channel will survive as it stands today. Whatever happens, it will be fun to watch but I’m betting on Facebook.

  • http://DanielBradford Daniel Bradford

    Two points. <br />
    First, the bit about timely news is the challenged faced by newspapers. Their content isn’t being challenged just their delivery system. Good reporting still ranks tops. The web is in the process of finding the business model to sustain excellent content which is beginning to happen.<br />
    To be honest, I’m reading more daily content now then when I had two printed newspapers tossed up on my porch each morning. <br />
    Second, I’ve read about the "chaos" caused by the introduction of the mass market paperback and the predicted demise of hardbacks. Civilization didn’t end then either and hardbacks still sell, right next to mass market paperbacks.<br />
    Thanks,<br />
    Daniel Bradford<br />

  • http://BobNorVelle Bob NorVelle

    Your remarks are on point for the most part although I do think that there will be a small amount of print that will survive (but what do I know?"<br />
    <br />
    I don’t get Hedges’ comments about the "post-literate world."<br />
    It seems to me that every time I enter the digital world to check up on the latest news, I AM FORCED TO READ IT!

  • http://JimCowart Jim Cowart

    It would be great if you could provide a link to: (see p. 26). above in story where it says that printers are ranked by advertising revenues.

  • http://anne anne

    The NYT will be one of the LAST things I give up. I LIKE turnig the pages and choosing whether to read or not read what I see. I LIKE reading the paper or doing the crossword with a cup of coffee (or wine, or as a means to relax on a train or bus. I HATE being attached to a tech tool. I hope there are enough people like me out there to sustain printed papers, but, as I look at my computer/cell phone addicted kids, I fear that may ultimately be wishful thinking.

  • http://JameelR.Gordon Jameel R. Gordon

    Thats right Michael. Twitter will benefit in the long run the more people stream their feed. One of the reasons why Facebook went ahead and opened up their API. Their reach is increased… they’re tapping into your audience. Aslong as they have control of the data they will always be smarter… and what could be more valuable?

  • http://Steve Steve

    I love NYT, too, but its future in print might exist only for huge subscription rates.

  • http://Joe Joe

    I think he’s on to something in that the business model has to turn on its head from print to digital….and will take innovation and ingenuity to monetize it so that we can have a reliable news source like the Times. I had a very conservative uncle who, when asked why he read the Times said: My boy, I have to know what the enemy is thinking! I don’t think the Kindle is the answer nor the test with folks who don’t have home delivery…..but it’s a step in the right direction. Good luck or we will not have newspapers five years from now.

  • http://DeeSullivan Dee Sullivan

    The shame of it all is that magazine was already going downhill with Ed Meek.. now it it hits rock bottom.. and now Questex fired everyone that was left that knew what they were doing.. it will fold in a year!

  • http://ErikVlietinck Erik Vlietinck

    As a European editor/analyst (more analyst than editor these days), I am very curious as to how Esquire is responding to the challenge. <br />
    <br />
    Is it based on sound technology choices? Is it based on changing the business model? The content?

  • http://Joe Joe

    Amen brother. Now how do I get my IT department and webmasters to communicate with us so I know what the latest and greatest tools may be? It’s like a black hole between new business development and IT/webmasters.

  • http://Max Max

    First it’s emdashes, then it’s spelling "staffers" wrong. Next thing you know, you won’t care about the quality of your ideas, either.

  • http://EricShanfelt Eric Shanfelt

    Hi Rob. Way past the point now, but I just found your blog about this … wish you would have emailed me so I could have responded sooner. ;-)<br />
    <br />
    In my report I did indeed talk about how many of these system are not reliable at all … and especially how Alexa rank is completely bogus and easily manipulated.<br />
    <br />
    Sites like Compete.com have merit in looking at long term trends and getting insight into competitive positioning vs other sites, but I never take any given data point alone and I find the actual data can by off by as much as 300-400%. However, the good news is that is seem to be "equally unequal" and thus it’s still a good relative measurement … as good as your going to get with a system like this.<br />
    <br />
    Eric Shanfelt

  • http://Marianne Marianne

    Some very valid points here; however, many publishers (and readers!) care deeply and sincerely about the difference between an em dash and a hyphen. To say these things don’t matter to readers assumes that it’s OK to disregard basic grammar and editorial rules.

  • http://Anonymous Anonymous

    Rob, just how did you sneak into my company and observe what’s going on (or not)?! Joe: your suggestion no.1 is spot on. If I were offered an office instead of my cubicle in the center of our office I’d have no idea what was going on around me. Oh, and don’t let the headphones fool you — I can hear everything…

  • http://eli eli

    not bad but how they going to win over yahoo answer?

  • http://MelissaCanosa Melissa Canosa

    A refreshing reminder of a lesson taught to many but few apply. Focus on what you are good at and enhance it and that will give you the competitive edge. So brilliantly and simply said.

  • http://Christian Christian

    We don’t pay per show, Bob, but we do pay extra for specific channels or bundles of channels i.e., HBO and Showtime, or for five extra variations of MTV and VH1, or something whacky and unique like an All Ultimate Fighting Channel–OK, I made that last one up but you get the point.<br />
    <br />
    The point is, you can charge for certain rides once you’re in the park, but they sure as hell better be worth it because free (or the illusion of it) makes everything better.

  • http://Mike Mike

    "no one under the age of 30 reads anything in print anymore" Sorry but I have a 16 and 14 year old. They both read the newspaper (sports) and magazines (daughter) all the time. I agree with most of your thoughts but print will be around….just in a different roll. Publishers need a good combination because they all support each other.

  • http://BoSacks BoSacks

    Christian:<br />
    <br />
    I would bet that you make your decisions and pay up front. That is the cable TV model that I am talking about for publishers.<br />
    <br />
    The basic program, or the silver program or the platinum program where you get everything ever written for $79.00 a month.<br />
    BoSacks<br />

  • http://JulieTinney Julie Tinney

    How about that? Evidence that branding is still vital to success. The trying economy and various free new media options give some marketers the sense that all they need to do is spam or create a fan page and they will be wildly successful. Hopefully studies like this will help ground folks again. Thanks for posting it.

  • http://BonnieDeHaan Bonnie DeHaan

    I don’t understand what you are planning for "MY" Readers Digest. For the most part I like it just the way it is. I have been a subscriber off and on for many years. In late years I surscribe as a gift for my son and he passes it on to me. That way we both enjoy it.<br />
    I like your comment that you will be aiming toward a more comservative viewpoint.<br />
    With your changes does that mean that I will be on more mailing lists – more real mail and e_mail? I hope not.<br />
    Thank you for the magazine which I have enjoyed and looked forward to for a long time.

  • http://Suzanne Suzanne

    As a 10-year+ subscriber to Readers Digest I am disappointed in the focus to "more spiritual articles". I agree less celebrity articles would be great but to go toward a spiritual nature doesn’t interest me at all. I don’t need more preaching. I prefer articles about the human spirit not spirituality.

  • http://TaeMoon Tae Moon

    This talk of the online vs print is not new, it’s an old business model of competition. Everyone goes "online" because it is free (relatively speaking) and when print is no longer a serious competitor, watch online subscriptions go up. Why is this so shocking? The question is, if all designers, writers, managers go over to online publishing, can print survive not only financially but intellectually?

  • http://AndreaPtak Andrea Ptak

    Though I agree that digital communication will gain a foothold, I don’t believe that print publications—magazines and books included—are going to disappear anytime soon. I sit behind my screen 8+ hours a day and the last thing I really want to do is read for pleasure at it. <br />
    <br />
    Sure, I might check out headlines, or click a link about something I am interested in, but that’s not going to replace my ink on paper reading. It takes too long, for example, to read the comics section of the paper online.<br />
    <br />
    I also read magazines while I am eating lunch (NOT at my desk) or (blush) in the bathroom. I read real books on the bus, in waiting rooms, at the beach, on the ferry, etc. I don’t always want to lug my laptop with me and worry about security of a kindle, laptop, etc. when out in public. I have personal knowledge of friends who have had laptops grabbed at cafes and on the bus.<br />
    <br />
    So, until everyone, and I mean everyone (issued at birth perhaps) has some sort of electronic reading device, they are made to be indestructible, and we have inexpensive, all encompassing lighting internet speed, ink on paper will survive.<br />
    <br />
    Will that day come? Probably…but not anytime soon.<br />
    <br />
    Should our industry continue to prepare for the inevitable? Of course, but we don’t need to have the wake yet.

  • http://JasonMyers Jason Myers

    When people ask me about the decline of print publications, I tell them, "when you get more excited about having an article and picture about you and your company posted on a website as opposed to my magazine or other print publications, then we can talk about the decline of print."

  • http://GrantClauser Grant Clauser

    Excellent observations Noelle. Unfortunately for many companies, it’s already too late. This is an editorial that should have been written at least three years ago. A company that is just now embarking on an online strategy is an entire Web generation behind, at least.

  • http://JenaeRubin Jenae Rubin

    The days are gone when publishers can think of having print and internet sales staffs. To be successful, sales people need to maximize their time, and advertisers need to make the best decisions. Having print and ad reps compete against each other is not in anyone’s benefit. Recently a publisher asked me how they can convert their print readers to the internet. THAT’S like teaching a 12-year old terrier to give you his paw! Any good salesperson can sell anything… if they’re trained properly… and it’s in every company’s interest to have trained, efficient sales people.l

  • http://Matthew Matthew

    "… to computer to wireless devices — even to your television…"<br />
    <br />
    Very interesting. I just hope the new subscription is at a reasonable price (i.e., Wired’s price point is usually $11 a year… this would be a good model to go off of), because many people are without job security at this point.<br />
    <br />
    Can’t wait to see what comes next from EGM.

  • http://ArleneHarman Arlene Harman

    There can be little doubt that the digital world has infringed on the world of paper and ink. I think it is sad, though, that it has become a contest of which one will survive. There is a place for both.<br />
    <br />
    As Andrea mentioned, those who stare at a screen all day do not want to do so during their free time. If they’re a reader, they will want to hold a paper and ink product.<br />
    <br />
    However, it seems that if the publishing industry hopes to survive, it is going to have to make some changes. It is going to have to offer something new, something the digital world cannot offer. That has always been the case where competition is an issue.<br />
    <br />
    I don’t pretend to have the answer but I do know that no industry can continue if it does not make changes, either in product or in marketing strategies.<br />
    <br />
    As a writer, I will submit my work to both. The survival of my career depends upon it. But it is my sincere hope that the ink and paper industry is able to come up with new ways to attract the reader. I would not want to see a strictly digital world.<br />
    <br />
    How sad it would be if some day a child is heard asking its mother: "What’s a book?"

  • http://Tyler Tyler

    As a long time EGM subscriber (11 years) I am extremely excited about the re-release of the magazine. Hopefully this "re-birth" will usher a new era for a healthy combination of print and web. And I think that getting those 1/2 million subscribers back won’t be too difficult.

  • http://1ofthose500kEGMsubscribers 1 of those 500k EGM subscribers

    Probably means a CD that comes with the magazine, in the plastic baggies that accompanied it as a teaser with different images, more headlines, and to provide a poster or something, how they used to add to the magazine.<br />
    <br />
    Those CD’s were pretty cool, with the Advantage Videogame, namely Megaman 2, music and live play videos on them as well as some Mega 64 video games in public spoof/not put down pranks. Walking around dressed as Ryo from Shenmue asking where the sailors are for example.<br />
    <br />
    Hope EGM is back in business taking my subcript. again soon.

  • http://Marlene Marlene

    My career, since I was 17, has been in the printing/publishing industry. I have been unemployed for over a year, and while my job search has been discouraging, this news is unsettling. I know about the declines but wonder what will happen to those of us who are trying to survive the last years to retirement. We are still creative people who have fallen by the wayside, too young to quit…too old to be placed in jobs in competition with college grads/younger or to start new. And yes, whether anyone wants to admit it, there is age discrimination happening. I will keep up hope while I do small side jobs and try to take in some freelance work and pray for those that are in the same situation. Thank you.

  • http://SusanCurrieSivek Susan Currie Sivek

    As an enthusiastic magazine reader and researcher, I agree with all your points here – I definitely enjoy the format, content and "friendliness" of my favorite magazines. I think there’s also an element of reinforcing different aspects of my identity; when I get "Bicycling" or "Triathlete," for example, I feel all the more dedicated to those activities and to the community of people (including the magazine’s producers) involved in them. Magazines also help us figure out who we are and what we want to be – usually in a positive way, I think.

  • http://Mary Mary

    EXACTLY! Have we become so enchanted with our printed words that we have forgotten that we are reporters, and that the important element is the STORY, and not how it is delivered? Bravo for raising this issue.

  • http://Randall Randall

    While I must argue that the term "reporter" is not the one that would best serve the interests indicated by Mr. Sacks, I agree that the term "newspaper" is one that is long overdue for being replaced. Sacks’ is a valid argument, and I await the developments.

  • http://rolandhopkins roland hopkins

    A newspaper is a paper product that reports news. It is a reporting vehicle. A reporter is one who reports the news. Human being will always read printed material because it sometimes is the most convenient. I can turn a page in a book, a magazine or newspaper much fASTER THAN SCROLLING. Please don’t sell the print media short. TV didn’t destroy movies, although many smart people thought it would. And they still call movies, movies. Hey, I still listen to my radio on my car.<br />

  • http://JF JF

    Just making readers understand what Interactive Marketing refers to; and that it is not specifically related to online marketing. Interactive Marketing refers to the evolving trend in marketing whereby marketing has moved from a transaction-based effort to a conversation. The definition of interactive marketing comes from John Deighton at Harvard, who says interactive marketing is the ability to address the customer, remember what the customer says and address the customer again in a way that illustrates that we remember what the customer has told us (Deighton 1996). Interactive marketing is not synonymous with online marketing, although interactive marketing processes are facilitated by internet technology. The ability to remember what the customer has said is made easier when we can collect customer information online and we can communicate with our customer more easily using the speed of the internet. Amazon.com is an excellent example of the use of interactive marketing, as customers record their preferences and are shown book selections that match not only their preferences but recent purchases.

  • http://NealLarsson Neal Larsson

    I agree it has changed forever but let’s differentiate "Print". Some print formats have been rendered nearly obsolete while other formats such as monthly niche magazines are vibrant. Magazines are still the most effective way to drive internet traffic. The hometown weekly newspaper format should still be vibrant but unfortunately is caught up in what seems to be the "Print is Dead" campaign. The internet is an awful advertising medium, yet it is a tremendous marketing tool. When a traditional multi media mix including "print" is coupled with internet is where solid ad campaigns are built. Advertisers need to wake up to the false promise of internet advertising and the bandwagon mentality. It’s not good for their business. On the flip side Publishers need to wake up and fight this "Print is Dead" campaign with a campaign of our own. We have all this media at our fingertips why not band together for a "Publishing Lives" campaign? I agree it’s changed but if you still have a strong passionate readership your still very much allive!

  • http://NoelleSkodzinski Noelle Skodzinski

    I agree with much of what Neal said … at a recent panel discussion at a book industry conference, one major book publisher addressed all the talk (and moderators’ questions) of digital being the future by saying: "98 percent of what we sell right NOW is print." <br />
    <br />
    Changes are happening, but they are not black-and-white, not as simple as one thing is dead and this is the future. <br />
    <br />
    It’s also important to differentiate that certain things will work better for certain types of campaigns, and plenty of research still suggests print advertising, specifically in magazines, provides better ROI. Sure, that may change in the future – most things do change — but for now, why is that being ignored by many marketers?<br />
    <br />
    re: "You can forget all the silly dialogue about print dying, and just focus on where and specifically what media has relevance to the advertisers." … So, that will be what consumers will be left with: whatever formats–and even content–advertisers are willing to pay for. I was going to say that I think consumers would rather pay for the content they actually want, but realistically, it has ALWAYS been the case that products of interest to advertisers are what gets pushed into the marketplace — look at the magazines that hundreds of thousands of people have said they want (by subscribing), but yet they still folded when ad support dropped.

  • http://ArmondNoble Armond Noble

    There are about one-million educated, affluent people reading (for example) The New Yorker. Another million reading Business Week. But rather than trying to reach them, advertisers are living with hope that someone will find their website.<br />

  • http://stucop stucop

    there’s only room for a dozen results on the first page of a search engine search, and it’s impossible for everyone to be there…if you’re not how will your prospective customers find you? Print and other traditional media drives web traffic. Marketing is about balance, and that balance is a little out of whack right now. But, marketers will find it again and print and traditional media will still be a part of the mix. The share online will grow, but other forms of advertising wont dissappear. Smart marketers know that it’s always best to have a plan balanced accross various media.

  • http://JamesPratt James Pratt

    I just tried the green guide. It was really WAY too slow and the user interface was horrible. Looks like a dead product to me. A solution looking for a problem. Good experiment but I doubt it will be successful and I can’t imaging anyone paying for it!

  • http://MichaelJ Michael J

    Since you ask for another way to look at . . .<br />
    I think advertisers are realizing that paid media is not the best way to sell stuff. Given the state of the technology they can reach consumers directly at much lower costs, with much better metrics. It’s not even about websites advertising. It’s about behavior and contextually accurate messages. Which is just a today’s version of the right offer to the right person at the right time. WalMart running their ads on their in store network is just one of the many examples. <br />
    <br />
    On the other hand, it’s also all about word of mouth. The new capability of print to connect to the web and through connect to internet TV brings print back in the game. big time. The ability of network of printers, the prime example being Consolidated and Donnelly to distribute and print, means millions of print pieces delivered over night with a minimal carbon footprint. If the print has TinyPurls and Codez QR, it means a whole new clickstream that can be analyzed to guide more marketing.<br />
    <br />
    For publishers, they can use the same technology in their publications or consider the product business. If advertisers don’t magazines. Maybe their is a business model that says magazines won’t need as many advertisers.<br />
    <br />

  • http://MarkSawyer Mark Sawyer

    Nice idea and great content but ultimately the platform lets it down. Slow, clanky and awkward. As a publisher myself (not of digital mags yet admittedly) I’ve been watching this space closely and I haven’t seen anything to rival the Ceros system. PopSci on Ceros I reckon would be a world-beater.

  • http://StephanieHanaway Stephanie Hanaway

    I take issue with Forrester’s conclusion that ". . . marketers have learned that interactive marketing is more effective, and advertising less effective, per dollar spent." I don’t believe that marketers have learned any such thing.<br />
    <br />
    What they’ve learned is that they can easily PROVE ROI for interactive campaigns, but still have not figured out how to do the same for advertising (especially print). And we print publishers haven’t been much help, either.<br />
    <br />
    Twenty years ago I was struggling with advertisers who were counting bingo card replies as their sole measure of ad ROI. Why? Because I couldn’t give them anything more meaningful that was just as tangible.<br />
    <br />
    Advertising proves over and over again to deliver very impressive ROI. But measuring is costly and can only be done over long periods of time.<br />
    <br />
    In this age when everyone needs immediate data to justify every dollar, it’s no wonder that advertising is being perceived as less important by marketers who are under immense pressure to deliver short term results.

  • http://PierreBisaillon Pierre Bisaillon

    Thanks for highlighting the subtle points that really are at the heart of today’s publishing problems … differentiating the business of magazines from the business model. Perhaps if more publishers pinned the list on their walls, we’d see more innovation driving the industry forward instead of backward.<br />
    Chapeau!<br />
    Pierre<br />

  • http://NeillWatson Neill Watson

    Excellent post. I still have copies of magazines from 10 years ago i won’t throw away, because they mean something to me personally. That’s what the publishing industry has to dovetail with websites to survive.

  • http://Fred Fred

    "When your full-page ad is sitting right next to that, time spent on your ad more than triples…."<br />
    <br />
    I concur. Advertisers should take advantage of this full page AD, just like normal paper magazine.<br />
    <br />
    e.g. http://www.flipcity.com/fvx/demos/1/flipviewerxpress.html<br />

  • http://Thom Thom

    Howabout mid-length media instead of "bathroom reading material"? Also, I have a hard time throwing away old copies of First Things. Nice bit about the infinite variety of magazines and the business models that support them.

  • http://PaulRichardson Paul Richardson

    Rex: You hit the 9 (8, really) nails on the head. But you missed an important one, or maybe just expressed it differently. It follows from your excellent graph about how magazines are expressions of who we are, of who we want to be. Our magazine’s eternal struggle is finding more people that fit the niche our magazine fits into. And nothing compares to the internet in our quest to find new readers. The internet has a crucial role in helping small niche magazines find the lovers of our particular vintage…

  • http://xavier xavier

    man..my dad works for domtar in plymouth, nc. if he get laid off, dont know what we will do.

  • http://JanSzmigin Jan Szmigin

    Bang on, o wise one. I publish one of those journals you refer to in point 5, and I agree with the points you make. Can we have a few more,though (useful points), about future developments like micro-charging for content.

  • http://ClaudiaHavens Claudia Havens

    Great interview! There is a lot of talent out there, and I like the fact National Georgraphic is giving their readers a chance to be seen.

  • http://PattyGrady Patty Grady

    ok– How?<br />
    <br />
    <br />
    "Later this year, readers of Publishing Executive will be offered targeted content ranging from stories they may be interested in, to subscriptions, books and webinar recommendations, without registration"

  • http://JAMES JAMES

    I have worked with this company and instead of paying 15- percent higher businessleader.com is paying a very low salary, no facilities at all, Mr.Eran is a bad paymaster and deserves to stop using Indians rather than appreciating them. He has a hire and fire policy.Please visit the office in Bombay, India and you will be devastated with the ways things are going on here.<br />
    He is a shame on his country.<br />
    <br />

  • http://Eric Eric

    You should go back there now and see how many of those people on the steps are still there. Did anyone tell you that they were MADE to fill out that survey and given directions on HOW the answers NEEDED to be filled out? Oh fun times. Glad the fired my ass.

  • http://DougDamerst Doug Damerst

    The advertising problem doesn’t concern me much. That will sort itself out. What I’m excited about is the digital magazine’s low-cost content delivery and its potential for a successful subscription-biased business model. Take the magazine’s basic value proposition – scan topics for subscribers and return the editors’ picks – and imagine how much more value can be delivered when more dollars can be allocated to content and its provided on a portable, real time device. Buckle up. It’s gonna be fun!

  • http://Beanie Beanie

    It has been my pleasure to watch the progression from hot type to pixels. I stood behind a stripping table and listened to a salesman with a small piece of film in his hand. He called it a "barcode" and said, "This is the future." While I am not sure "Print is Dead" (Ghostbusters) I think it is on the "Do not resuscitate" list. Words are all we are when our thoughts exit our body, be it by paper or virtual. It is ok to leave the paper behind. Let it go into the light. We will figure out some way to pay the rent.

  • http://KimDushinski Kim Dushinski

    I am so glad to hear you say that you are so enthusiastic about delivering content to mobile devices. You are so right that it is critically important.<br />
    <br />
    Would love to see a mobile publishing pavilion at the Expo. Great idea.<br />
    <br />
    Kim Dushinski<br />
    Author of The Mobile Marketing Handbook<br />

  • http://Marlon Marlon

    Hi Rob,<br />
    <br />
    Was just skimming through today’s newsletters and noticed this article.<br />
    <br />
    Couldn’t agree with you more, and appreciate the plug to a couple of our flagship brands.<br />
    <br />
    Hope you’re doing well.<br />
    <br />
    Marlon Rodrigues<br />

  • http://Beanie Beanie

    I am afraid the closest success story for an ebook reader will be the netbook. Phones are too small, and ebooks, ugh! Here is a fuller examination of ebooks. http://ebooktest.wordpress.com/2009/08/06/why-eink-epub-and-ebooks-will-fail/

  • http://TaylorDye Taylor Dye

    Great post!<br />
    <br />
    As a reader I’d prefer books and magazines delivered on a smartphone. But if I MUST invest in and lug around a separate e-reading device it’ll be a netbook, not a limited-purpose contraption like a Kindle.<br />
    <br />
    As a publisher I’m leaning toward Google’s Android because it powers both smartphones and netbooks.<br />
    <br />
    I wonder who’s going to develop the best Android application for publishers?<br />
    <br />
    T. Dye

  • http://Dyann Dyann

    "Did you know that just three years ago the average Internet user spent little to no time with social media?"<br />
    I don’t agree. Email was our "social media" and still is to a great degree. All the jokes, stories and information that circulated was a version of social media.<br />
    Chat rooms and Intranets were also social media. There’s probably more, but you get my drift.<br />
    I think we will become fatigued with digital info/connection/sales & marketing overload soon. <br />
    I’m logging off to have an actual, not virtual, glass of wine.

  • http://JB JB

    Completely disagree – regarding sending print issues to unqualified subscribers…where do you think we get our money? ADVERTISERS – would you want to spend money to send your ads to a bunch of say, prison inmates? (I use this example because we often get requests from them). I think not. If they want to subscribe to the digital issue – fine by me…if they want the print they’ll have to pay the "price" by being qualified…nothing is truly free afterall.

  • http://Marcus Marcus

    I’d suggest a better understanding of the product before you write about it. FastFlip doesn’t make it easier to read "magazines" or "newspapers."<br />
    <br />
    It makes it easier to consume website content that has been published on the websites of companies that submit content to Google News.<br />
    <br />
    That’s a very big difference.

  • http://MattSteinmetz Matt Steinmetz

    Thanks for your $.02, Marcus, but we never said FastFlip did.<br />
    <br />
    The quote that you chopped up was "… its new digital reading service the company hopes will make it easier to read magazines and newspapers online."<br />
    <br />
    Comments by Google like, "One problem with reading news online today is that browsing can be really slow" (on the Google News blog) make it clear that their intent is to improve on that reading experience. And the fact that the majority of FasFlip’s participating publishers at this point are newspaper and magazine publishers seems to support the idea that they are keying on these segments.<br />
    <br />
    Thanks for reading.

  • http://Marge Marge

    And, again, can you explain why readers have any interest in reading magazines and newspapers online? Cumbersome at best, newspaper reading online lacks the appeal that search provides. Sorry, Google, not interested.

  • http://JB JB

    Ah, but now you are talking about something different – lead gen and can publishers remain relevant at all? We used to connect buyers and sellers, now they can connect all on their own…so what use are we?

  • http://MichaelJ MichaelJ

    Yes, but . . .<br />
    <br />
    the problem is that making money on the internet is almost impossible unless you are Google or offer a really unique service, say a searchable data base on cats. Print meanwhile is a well defined, very profitable and effective way to advertise. <br />
    <br />
    The emerging tech of QR and other 2d Codes has the potential to give the CMO’s the data they have to have. In a recent conversation, I understand that Goss RSVP actually has some real data that demonstrates the long tail of print. As that kind of thing goes mainstream, it should be much easier to get back to getting some margins.<br />
    <br />
    I also agree with the granular part of your post. The successful print publishing outfits are focused on well defined niches. They seem to be doing fine. The real challenge is for the mass circulation mags. I have to believe that as the risk is taken out of mass customization, it will go mainstream. <br />
    <br />
    My take is that there are only two mass media. TV and Print. The web is for search, store, buy and sell. As we move to anyTimeWhere TV it will create huge new markets for anyTimeWhere Print.<br />

  • http://artwoodstone art woodstone

    As this issue goes to press, Google has just announced its magazine archive project, where it will scan millions of articles from consumer magazines and present them online as digital versions of the magazines, with contextual ads running alongside each page of content.

  • http://JF JF

    Now, reframe the situation. Digital media’s worst enemy is that fact that there is too much granular data available. Are advertiser’s prepared to stomach the 0.012% click through rate on their 1,000,000 impression ad campaign? Print magazines can get more granular by collecting data on readership; using eNewsletters to draw emails and then compiling other specific demographic data to help position the magazine. Email append that subscriber list now! And, advertisers can wise up by including tracking measures within their print ads; such as a unique URL to send traffic too (after all, print is the best driver of web traffic according to a recent study comparing offline marketing channels). And, they can use traceable phone numbers to monitor leads from the ad. Getting smart with your print advertising means being able to have granular data. The impression of a print ad is far greater than that of an online campaign. And, watch out for that online campaign data – by the way, is your media agency even sharing the granular data because those I’ve seen hide this often shameful ROI from teh client until it is asked for.

  • http://JF JF

    PLEASE! Of course more publishers want to digitize their magazine and save on print costs. The real question is whether or not consumers are reading the digital publications. Again, the granular data is digital media’s biggest enemy. From my experience, consumers only read an average of 3 pages of the consumer magazine even though they chose to read the digital edition. In a follow-up survey to these consumers they said, "We also receive the printed edition and prefer that format." I do think a digital format is necessary but don’t try and force your magazine into a digital format – think like an entrepreneur about a new business model online. Don’t force a square peg in a round hole.

  • http://CharlesV.Carretti Charles V. Carretti

    Congratulations on acknowledging and rewarding individuals in the manufacturing/production world. Not many know or care about the myriad of task completed resulting in a completed book, magazine, kit or book plus item.<br />
    <br />
    Many thanks!<br />
    cvc<br />
    Mr. Charles V. Carretti<br />
    Mgr/Buyer Manufacturing

  • http://April April

    I get a local digital magazine sent to my inbox every week, for almost six months now. You know how many times I’ve actually opened it and read a page? Twice. As a 30-year old reader-consumer, I read one of two things: magazines, or websites. Digital editions, in my professional and consumer opinion are tools for the transition meant to appease the cost cutters and advertisers looking for the "value added" line item on their advertising bill — not the actual readers. Show me a study where digital editions result in readers purchasing services or products from advertisers and I’ll create a digital edition of my publication in a heartbeat.

  • http://DJ DJ

    Interesting … I always felt like boxing died when it went to the PPV / paid content model. Probably brought in way more money, but it sure shrunk the audience.

  • http://DonTepper Don Tepper

    Sure, there’s a need for publishers to change. But in what way?<br />
    <br />
    Let’s look at popular entertainment. There were silent movies. That art form reached its height in the late 1920s. Then "talkies" were developed, but at first were considered to be just a gimmick. Within a few years, though, it became apparent that movie producers had to change (to sound), or die.<br />
    <br />
    A different model: Radio was the communications medium of the 1940s and early 1950s. Then TV came along. Radio couldn’t change by simply adding pictures (though many serials–including "Guiding Light," which you cite made the change from radio to TV). Radio itself became a different medium, serving different audiences after TV came into play.<br />
    <br />
    A third model: TV itself. From soap operas and quiz shows, through sitcoms to reality TV. As people’s tastes change, the programming has changed, too.<br />
    <br />
    So we have a dilemma. Do publishers change the content–as TV did as it moved from soaps to quiz shows to sitcoms to reality TV? That seems to be the suggestion here, and it’s a valid one.<br />
    <br />
    Or do publishers change the method of delivery, with the constraints and advantages of the new delivery method, just as radio shows moved to TV? And publishers are trying that with blogs, streaming video, interactive web sites, and so on.<br />
    <br />
    Still, one thing publishers can’t do is aptly described in the Rolling Stones’ "19th Nervous Breakdown": "And your father’s still perfecting ways of making sealing wax." Making a better version of a product no one wants anymore–for better or worse–is the way to failure, not success.<br />
    <br />
    Incidentally, regarding MMA versus boxing, I’m 58 years old and far prefer MMA. They’re really two different sports–like "Guiding Light" on radio and TV.

  • http://ChrisHamilton Chris Hamilton

    With riveting titles such as American Spa and Hotel and Motel Management, I cannot fathom how a publisher like Questex could go broke! A total surprise!!!

  • http://Brooke Brooke

    I think publishers need to change the content, not the way it is delivered. When TV came to life, radio didn’t continue to broadcast sound over a blank screen, they changed what they were broadcasting. <br />
    <br />
    I think you need to give credit to the readers, it’s not how you get your message out that attracts them, it’s the message itself.<br />
    <br />
    Get the right message to the right people using the right medium and you are set.

  • http://Civres Civres

    You’re just noticing this? Twenty years ago my wife and I took annual birding trips to Chincoteague Island. The roadway from the mainland to the Assateague barrier island is punctuated by a series of 50 or 60 billboards sunk into the marsh at 50 yard intervals. Those billboards have been there for 50 years. A naturalist who records wild sounds with ultra-sensitive parabolic microphones concluded five years ago that there were only two places in the United States where he could set up his recording equipment and not pick up the sound of an engine of some kind.

  • http://KMiller K Miller

    You really need to separate newspapers from magazines. People have a different perception of a newspaper vs a magazine. Let’s shoot for some articles that don’t assume they are both facing the same fate. I think you’ll be surprised.

  • http://Peggy Peggy

    I believe that change in both content and manner of delivery is essential to the survival of any publisher.<br />
    <br />
    Sadly, many seem to have forgotten that their readers are intelligent, informed people who do not want to be talked down to nor do they want to have it implied that they are foolish if they don’t follow the advice given in an article or non-progressive if they still prefer the printed page. Many readers are also tired of "shock" journalism, i.e., insulting wording and abusive language.<br />
    <br />
    It might be a good idea for some publishers to stop spending so much time talking among themselves and their advertisers about what the reader wants and ask the reader. Recently the editor of a magazine did just that by asking the readers to fill out a survey regarding the kind of content they wanted and how they wanted it presented.<br />
    <br />
    It may have been a plan borne out of desperation but, if they pay attention to the responses, I believe they’ll be one of the survivors. Why? Because they will be making changes in both content and delivery tailored to what their readership wants.<br />
    <br />
    Even though the digital format is fairly new, it’s already changing. Some, for example, are adding video clips to demonstrate a few points in how-to books and to move the plot along once in a while in their fiction works. This is an exciting concept and I’m anxious to see how it progresses. It goes to show, too, that nothing can stay static and survive – not even ebooks and ezines.

  • http://Weddings Weddings

    I’m very interested to see where this goes since 2 other bridal publications shut their doors literally days before Get Married’s launch

  • http://donFrancisco don Francisco

    Can you have micropayments as small as 1 cent?<br />
    <br />
    How are standards developing to compute interest on 1 cent?

  • http://Don Don

    Add to the density the notion that the vast majority of the messages are based in "fear". Fear that I will not be accepted because or fear that that I will ….<br />
    <br />
    Be it products or politics, the short term gain for some will contribute to a long term reaction that at some pont will revolt. <br />
    <br />
    And while a little revolution is good, once in a while, collataral damage will be messy.<br />

  • http://MeredithDias Meredith Dias

    Great question. It seems that a lot of publications haven’t yet nailed down concrete editing procedures for online content. <br />
    <br />
    I am the research editor of an online editing newsletter, Editors Only (http://editorsonly.com), and we recently explored this very topic in a two-article series: "To Err Is Human" (9/16/09) and "Errors Published Online – To Fix or not to Fix" (9/21/09). The first article features commentary from several publication editors about their online editing approaches. The second explores some of the ethical issues associated with online editing. <br />
    <br />
    The general consensus seems to be that "scrubbing" stories clean of grammatical/spelling errors is acceptable, but any substantial edits (e.g., amending a factual error) require some sort of correction notice. Strikethrough of text tends to be the rule of thumb for bloggers in particular.

  • http://spellcheck spellcheck

    Lovely idea, but publishers always look at their writers as the people who get in the way of the business model. Wouldn’t it be great to just sell ads without that pesky content bogging everything down? When you cut out the intrinsic knowledge and skill all you have left is a bunch ass-grabbing sales people.

  • http://JeffMolander Jeff Molander

    Bob, this has been going on for a while now… in technology publishing. Om Malik, http://gigaom.com, is a perfect example. The list goes on.

  • http://JenaeRubin Jenae Rubin

    I whole-heartedly agree that having a good product is critical — in the mix. You also need the right pricing and sales approach. There are many magazines that have a fabulous product, serving a niche and need, yet they are failing. Kinowing how to "sell" your product is the next critical component. <br />
    <br />
    I’m fond of saying, "Even great salespeople have difficulty selling bad products." The corollary isn’t true. I’m sure you’ve all hired terrible salespeople who failed with a great product. <br />
    <br />
    You need quality product, sound management… and capable sales efforts. No publisher can succeeds without this winning combination. <br />
    <br />
    Jenae@MagazineAdvertisingSales.com<br />
    <br />

  • http://KarenPickering Karen Pickering

    This is a very hopeful article with some great tidbits of information to help the magazine publishers! Thanks for some good news!

  • http://MikeSerino Mike Serino

    Bob, why are you still having your opinion published on a dead tree (and a renewable resource) every month?

  • http://spellcheck spellcheck

    You answered own question–yes this is already happening. Bob, haven’t you been paying attention? Content producers circumventing the traditional paradigm–that’s what the whole problem is. You write as if you discovered something people didn’t already know.

  • http://softwaredevelopmentlondon software development london

    Humm… interesting,<br />
    <br />
    These tips and the advice that you have shareed aare really helpful in order to motivate staff,<br />
    <br />
    Keep up the good work,<br />
    <br />
    Thanks for writing, most people don’t bother.

  • http://Kathy Kathy

    Some good info here for publishers. I’m curious about why you don’t like the 468 x 60 banner size?

  • http://Melissa Melissa

    Hi Rob,<br />
    <br />
    I will be interested to see how this unfolds – I happen to think Publishing Executive has one of the better websites I’ve seen for a magazine – it’s easy to navigate and I always end up finding something to read in addition to whatever I came looking for. Good luck!

  • http://MelissaBreau Melissa Breau

    We including research and development in our business plan. <br />
    <br />
    Any company that’s not actively looking ahead and working to stay on top of the curve will quickly fall beneath it.

  • http://BruceA.Miller Bruce A. Miller

    You allign your publishing company with a digital magazine service that develops a cloud computing structure that allows for the sharing of one paid subscription over multiple reading devices. If I subscribe to Popular Science or Saveur on my laptop, I will also want to be able to read it on my iPhone and my new 4/color Sony or Plastic Logic or Apple or what ever e-reader. Consumers will not pay for multiple subs to be read on each device. Obviously we have to be nimble and the system has to adapt quickly to the latest consumer fave reading device–but none of this is going to happen in real volume and replace print magazines to a large degree until the price of the device is below $100.

  • http://dryMAILman dryMAILman

    Well if you are the United States Postal Service you spend 6 years and $1.5 billion dollars and who knows how many man hours on a machine designed to sort magazines and newspapers that doesn’t work.

  • http://Ryan Ryan

    Eran Salu and his company have no business ethics with a history of fraud, deception and unpaid bills/employees spanning more then 5 years. Just read some post and comments found here <br />
    <br />
    http://breganphoto.blogspot.com/2008/04/eran-salu-business-leader-media-small.html<br />
    <br />
    http://breganphoto.blogspot.com/2008/12/eran-salu-business-leader-court-update.html<br />
    <br />
    People like Eran should not be supported.

  • http://Bjorn Bjorn

    The last question is misleading. If say, the Beatles reformed and released an album only on a laughably outmoded format such as cassette, yes, people would buy the cassette. <br />
    <br />
    However, we’re not the Beatles. Never have been, never will be. I think 96% of magazines fall into that category. <br />
    <br />
    If Built to Spill released their new album on cassette, would I buy it? No.<br />
    <br />
    However I do like the idea in the second-to-last paragraph: fresh content is king on the web.

  • http://Bjorn Bjorn

    lol, I just tried to go to MagCloud’s website and it’s down. Not a good sign for a cloud-computing company.

  • http://susanholaday susan holaday

    Readers can download my current print issue but the site content is totally different and designed for the website – not for print. Why do the same old, same old when you have the opportunity to create something new?

  • http://MikeLonier Mike Lonier

    Cloudsourcing, like it’s predecessor buzzword, outsourcing, is a many splendored thing.<br />
    <br />
    Much depends on your application portfolio, and how you support it today. You’ll still have to support it tomorrow, even if it lives in the cloud, except that you’ve given over the infrastructure to a third party. In some cases, maybe even a fourth party.<br />
    <br />
    Depending on the scale of your business, you may want to consider building your own cloud, tuned up to meet your specific business continuity requirements.<br />
    <br />
    If you don’t understand the difference between the acronyms IaaS, PaaS, SaaS, and SLA, among others (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cloud_computing), you should be very careful about how you proceed with these key strategic IT architectural directions.<br />
    <br />
    As is the case with many IT developments today, you may need fewer, but much smarter people to keep the lights on then before. <br />

  • http://KarinaMikhli Karina Mikhli

    Isn’t the purpose of xml-first that the content will be easily adaptable to any medium or platform? In that case, you concentrate on content and quality of the content, have the data technology people modify DTDs for new products, and let the consumer choose. Or am I oversimplifying things?

  • http://MichaelTurro Michael Turro

    If the Beatles came out with a brand new release only on cassette I wouldn’t buy it – but somebody would, and then digitize it, then share it on the web. The Beatles, in order to protect the copyright, would have to counter with a massive legal maneuver that makes criminals of some of their biggest fans and ends up costing them untold millions in legal fees and lost good will. That’s what happens when publishers focus on message without worrying much about medium. The medium eats them alive.

  • http://Jay Jay

    For a monthly or weekly content-driven pub, I agree. I have long-shelf-life resource-guide pubs, and I use the web site to store older article with continuing relevance, rotating some content between print and web. I find advertisements are also part of the content, and my readers want new ones as much as the text content, which comes through better in print.<br />
    <br />
    But there seem to be two sets of distinct readers-web and print. I’m not sure any amount of original content will lure non-web people away from print, or web lovers to a hard magazine. It just seems that the web audience is growing while the print audience shrinks. You seem to be saying that the same audience will view both print and web if given compelling reasons, like original content in each, and maybe even retain some brand loyalty. But most people I know use media according to other lifestyle choices, like time management and technology. The newspapers are feeling this most acutely, it seems, but other publishers are feeling it too. So, is there any data to back up your original content is king theory?

  • http://Joyce Joyce

    I couldn’t agree more. I maintain at lot of blogs and publish a couple of print newsletters. Once I decided it would be great to load my blogs with my print information. So I did, and it flopped. Now I take the same basic information, shorten it, divide it, label it, link it and generally trim it down to match what I understand Web users want: helpful information fast.

  • http://customsoftware custom software

    Quite inspiring,<br />
    <br />
    Keep up the good work, <br />

  • http://April April

    I use Salesforce.com as my customer relationship management (CRM) software. It allows me to use an off-site sales assistant that sets appointments for me. I also have modified it to create reports with total ad sizes, total issue revenue, distribution routes, and some content output (I am directory). In the future, I’m looking to integrate salesforce with my website on the back end to allow advertisers to sign into their account and view ads and their invoices.

  • http://JoeReynolds Joe Reynolds

    Bob, You ain’t seen nothing yet!!! Q1 2010 will probably see the launch of another dozen products in this space between the laptop/netbook and the smartphone. More and more will morph towards the "tablet" concept — powerful web browser, wifi, 3 and 4G, touch, more color screens with smaller power requirements, more business models for the devices and for content. You will see content providers bringing out their own as well as traditional hardware manufacturers….So there will be more Nooks, more SONY, but also more Cool-ER, Plastic Logic, IRex, etc. I believe that it will be color, content, and interactivity that will be the key differentiatng factors….First to present a finished symphony of those requirments will be a winner in the space. Keep on talking, and don’t blink! You might miss something!

  • http://JimLandry Jim Landry

    Right on the money!! (No pun intended). There is a place for everything. Why would a reader/user/client want the same content in two very different places? I’ve asked myself that question for a few years already and still don’t have an answer, but it seems obvious that it provides our readers with nothing new while we watch the revenue go elsewhere. STOP THE MADDNESS!

  • http://WeddingPlanning Wedding Planning

    Great magazine. Very much looking forward to the next issue that’s coming out in January.

  • http://BalwantSingh Balwant Singh

    Congratulations for the digital edition of Sports Illustrated magazine. wow really nice. Incredible.. I really like it…

    Balwant Singh
    Travel+Leisure South Asia
    New Delhi, India

  • http://jerrylimonta jerry limonta

    Check out a great video of the QUE reader here: http://www.ereaderuniverse.com/video/plastic-logic-reader

  • http://RobertNicholson Robert Nicholson

    That link just says

    “We’re taking a short break…”

    Hope to see the reader released soon.

  • http://anilPanwar anil Panwar

    Congratulations for digital edition. i like it…

  • http://steveb steveb

    Rob- you are spot on… and singing my song (or is a mantra).

    IMSHO, media channels need to be complimentary and leverage the inherent strengths of both their platforms and their content.

  • http://MikeLonier Mike Lonier

    Sometimes it seems that it’s harder to talk about change than it is to actually do it. Hopefully the change-by-example you mention will be both persuasive and motivational.

  • http://BillWalker Bill Walker

    The Integrated Media Cooperative can help address most of you issues. We would be happy to discuss with you and your audience about how IMC is help it’s members and ABM members save money.

  • http://KatherineHeisler Katherine Heisler

    What about the quest of finding accurate information? We search and we can find, but can we find what is correct?

  • http://WillHawkins Will Hawkins


    You make great points here about companies trying to find new meaning out of new technology and how companies hope to make money from it.

    Someone recently made a comment that ‘journalists did not make newspapers profitable. It was readers.’ But to do that required that people come back for more good content written by the journalists or writers. It’s symbiotic and simple.

  • http://RickBiros Rick Biros

    Good blog. It’s as if you been following my career for the last year! I just started a new B2B online publishing company using what I learned from print, applying to digital and it’s working! Not to mention, I’m having fun again.

  • http://AngelaThomas Angela Thomas

    Well said Bob I have several additional reveal-ations that many help further your points.

    Pick a path. Highlight the truth objectively. Bring beauty and grace back to the front covers of your publications.

    listen to what your core consumer is telling you. There is merit to their voice. The very consumer base that your six-figure salaries told you to turn away from can add direction.

    Hire real people to bare witness to the real life thats going on outside our windows and behind our closed doors. People that want to be there not because the degree fits the pretty person wearing the suit. Allow the unlettered amongst you stand by your side in this craft. Together build and adapt to this new exciting world we are now living within.

  • http://DonBenson Don Benson

    Is it time to talk about mass customization. “Mine” was an interesting start toward paying more attention to the content needs of the market, the potential for more granular segmentation, and providing something for those that still think beyond the first paragraph. And now that large scale digital printing is possible, who knows where the leadership is.

  • http://BobRosenbaum Bob Rosenbaum

    Right on Bob. I love magazines and always will. And like you, I believe there will always be a place for them. It’s just going to be a lot smaller. Meanwhile, it’s going to take years for some of today’s dead-men-walking to finally fail. But they will either fail or transform.
    I used to be in B2B. Now I’m a consultant, helping media companies go digital. I have more work than I can handle. I’m going to link to this blog post on my own blog – just as soon as I can take a few minutes away from paid work to get it done.

  • http://SEOService SEO Service

    Excellent article! Having been a magazine publisher myself, I also had to learn that times are changing.

  • http://SEOService SEO Service

    Point number seven on link building is probably the most important one. While the other point need to be followed too, the building of links is the most important factor in any SEO strategy.

  • http://NielHiscox Niel Hiscox

    I believe BPA is leading an appropriate charge with their Nielsen Online measurement tool.

    This allows publishers to report independently audited web traffic numbers, as they have always done in print.

    However, I believe wider adoption of the tool depends on advertisers and agencies recognizing that publisher-reported numbers drawn from their analytics software (like Omniture, Webtrends, etc.) are not audited figures.

    So let’s beat the drums, design the t-shirts, and get the word out: Analytics ain’t audits!

  • http://KarenTappenden Karen Tappenden

    So what web traffic tool do you suggest?

  • http://iDon'tThinkso iDon’t Think so

    The iPad doesn’t excite me like my iPhone. Apps remind me of the dotcom bubble…lots of ideas and investors but no real revenue plan. Aside from that, read about app useage statistics in the link accompanying this comment. With regards to publishing magazines on the iPad and using the example of MotorTrend, I’d rather watch BBC’s Top Gear on TV than read MotorTrend magazine on the iPad in a “magazine format.” Why read the digital version of O Magazine when you can just watch Oprah on TV (at least until she retires). Magazines will either survive in print or die all together but there is no digital magazine in the future. Furthermore, any website in existance that isn’t selling a product has no future once the investment money dies. The best thing the iPad can do is hook up with some Cox, Time Warner, ATT or some other television programming provider and offer TV viewing. That would make me buy one. Or, Showtime and iPad partner to provide Dexter.

  • http://JulieTinney Julie Tinney

    So right on. Customers get dazzled by bs analytics because they don’t know the right questions to ask. I’d love to see GA become the standard to protect the customer. I know BPA wants to be the one. But until agencies demand it, and as long as 3rd party tracking gives agencies the #s they want, customers will find it hard to compare.

  • http://AnonymouslikethePanel Anonymous like the Panel

    The operational issues are interesting, if only becuase they impact the next phase or two of the financial plan, but this is a money deal– distressed debt/bankruptcy M&A, and bank and PE interests are driving this. And there’s a lot going on.

    Last summer stalking horse RRD offered almost a billion in cash and $400m in stock. Most likely Quad was involved in that bankruptcy auction, along with others, and what mattered to Q-W’s billion dollar DIP lenders RBC and SocGen was how they were going to get paid.

    With some value established by RRD’s bid, reportedly, Q-W took an $800m exit loan put together by Credit Suisse, GE Cap, and Wachovia, paid the $540m DIP balance, and with some leftover working capital, and emerged from creditor protection, all prior equity and debt–except for the exit–wiped out.

    The new owners in that bank-led club deal include Avenue Cap with 20% and Centerbridge with 9%, a big chunk of PE money.

    Now comes Quad. JP Morgan Chase puts together another club deal, $1.2b, to refinance the debt of both companies, with a payout of $140m to the Quad family and the employee stock fund, in effect a PE LBO of both companies. Quad’s owners get a downpayment on the value of the going business in exchange for sizeable PE interest in the new company, which they continue to control and which also assumes $2b in debt.

    The further step of an IPO remains to be seen, but if pursued at an acceptable share price, would constitute a stunning new approach to distressed investment–essentially a slow-motion 363 prepack flipped to the public market.

  • http://MikeBurke Mike Burke

    Nice suggestion. About time someone looks at the real issue instead of following the current business establishments status quo on how reality is measured.

    Popularity, articles, click-thru, and mostly importantly, real data, like subscriptions, sales, etc.

    That should be some of the benchmarks to determine value traffic, not just passer-by traffic. Do people stop, and get out, and come inside.

    There is enough commuters in this world on the Internet.

  • http://ArthurBaustin Arthur Baustin

    What no one seems to be talking about is the fact that nearly every digital magazine in existence is Flash-based, and the (much more limited than you seem to realize) iPad does not support Flash.

  • http://DavidPilcher David Pilcher

    This was a fabulous and accurate article. But Ms. Brown does not point out that all of this information really only applies to large (circ over 100,000) periodical publications that have a nationwide distribution and many regional and demographic versions.

  • http://KayHampton Kay Hampton

    Quick Question. Do you know if you can download photos from your camera directly into the IPad? If so, will you also be able to delete photos? That alone would be a good reason to buy one. You can leave the laptop at home as you will be able to see everything you’ve shot on your IPad.

  • http://PaulMcDougall Paul McDougall

    Interesting perspective, coming from a magazine whose masthead shows 3 editorial positions, and 23 sales, marketing, administration, and corporate positions.

  • http://JulianGibbs Julian Gibbs


    I think you hit the nail on the head when you said “We can no longer capture the “customers’ data”.

    If you want to capture something from a reader all you need to do is ask. By creating a controlled storefront for magazines Apple has created something that can only mean success for the publishing industry at a time when anyone can steal and reproduce anything.

    I believe that by creating an online publishing industry publishers have the opportunity to listen to their customers like never before.

  • http://lilyfrances lily frances

    why does compete.com say they had about 20,000 uniques and you say 350,000?

  • http://Michael Michael

    With all this interest in the Apple iPad do you know who we contact at Apple to receive information about making our publication available through the Apple iBook store?


  • http://julie julie

    Thanks for your column, just about 5-10 years too obviously late. Where have you guys been, the community could have used your support a long time ago.

  • http://GlennSchutz Glenn Schutz

    Good points Rob. The BPA Interactive tool was created with those same thoughts in mind–to provide buyers of online media with an evaluation tool that compares apples-to-apples audited web traffic BEFORE they buy. We also recently put together position piece that outlines this converation a bit more in depth. Check it out at BPAWW.COM.

  • http://PeterBlack Peter Black

    For more on BPA’s position on audits and analytics go to http://tinyurl.com/yzxqmh5.
    In short, each has an important place in online measurement but analytics were never intended for the trading of advertising.

  • http://SharonL.Cohen Sharon L. Cohen

    For someone who probably ran across you at strange places like Ziff, as I made my way through the freelance writing world these past decades, I want to say “Keep up the good “‘word!'” about writers. Professional writers are literally/figuratively ?? being raped, as writing assignments have reached the point of “Writer Wanted: 100 blogs for $1.00/300 wds.” How low can we go? An article a few weeks back said “Freelancers are now free.” I’m keeping my integrity, knowing/hoping there are still those out there who want quality authors. Know anyone who wants a writer for all those e-books that need writing for the e-book revolution? Send them my way! I’m not that proud! SLC Communicator http://online-business-guide.com

  • http://GicleeCanvasPrints Giclee Canvas Prints

    It is a difficult economic situation at the moment for sure, bu in reality financial rewards as a method of motivation aren’t useful. What staff really look for is a feeling of self importance and worth, this only comes though empowerment and well timed praise.

  • http://BradEhlert Brad Ehlert

    Bob…I agree with you completely. The Power of Print campaign is ridiculous and self-defeating.

    There are much more plausible arguments for print. For example, 2009Baxter studies of our publication, Building Operating Management, found that 87% of recipients read 3 of 4 issues.

    Three years ago, the figure was 80%. The web is a wonderful, valuable, resource for our readers, but that doesn’t negate the fact that the magazine is still a very valuable information resource for them as well.

    It’s a great time to buy print in high quality magazines. Less clutter from competing advertisers combined with high readership yields more brand preference and awareness impact.

  • http://Regedit Regedit

    There’s a lot more to magazines than news.

  • http://EricShanfelt Eric Shanfelt

    Rob, I’d make the argument that web site metrics (page views, uniques, visits, time on site, pages per visit, etc.) don’t have ANY substantial meaning to an advertiser. An advertiser very rarely buys the total traffic of a web site during a given time period … very rarely does the advertiser’s creative show up on every page of the site for every visitor, every day during the time period they purchase. For online advertising, what really matters is IMPRESSIONS … for my money, how many times will my ad be seen by the right qualified people?

    While I’m a big fan of full disclosure and applaud BPA for their efforts on web metrics, at the end of the day, general web metrics are interesting but do not represent the value of what advertisers really are buying.

  • http://EricShanfelt Eric Shanfelt

    LOL! Sorry .. I should have clarified that I wasn’t arguing with you … it was just a figure of speech … and probably not a very good use of one. Ya know I’m a huge fan of yours. Have fun in NYC.

  • http://Max Max

    To “I don’t think so”
    Worst analogy ever with Oprah. People that validate Oprah as TV show are sheep anyway. Please don’t buy an IPad. Keep spending your money on make believe TV shows about fake serial killers. Your exactly the demographic advertisers drool over.

  • http://Chuck Chuck

    Actually I believe all of your questions are answered in the announcement and on ABC’s website:

    You may ADD to the editorial content, but you cannot take away from it.

    Advertisers may be swapped as well.

    “Replica: Replica digital editions must include the print edition’s full editorial and advertising content and all editorial photography. The edition can be reformatted to accommodate the delivery device being used, provided the editorial and advertising content is presented in a fashion that is similar and consistent with the print publication.

    Additive content such as additional advertising, hyperlinks, video, audio and other similar Web enabled enhancements will not impact the consideration of the edition being a replica provided placement of the editorial and advertising remains consistent as in the print version.

    In situations where a print advertiser elects to opt-out of advertising in a Digital Edition – Replica, the magazine can replace that advertisement with another and still qualify and report the digital circulation as Digital Edition – Replica.”

  • http://NealLulofs Neal Lulofs

    Bob, I can assure you that the ABC board considered all your questions when they established guidelines for magazine digital editions. The guidelines, which are posted online, note that additional interactive content such as audio and video do not impact the “replica” definition. Likewise, advertising can contain additional interactive elements.

    It’s worth noting that publishers are not required to have their digital editions resemble their print editions at all, if they so choose. However, if they want to claim them as “replica” and, therefore, count as paid in the rate base number, certain requirements must be met.

    Full details here: http://www.accessabc.com/resources/c_electronic.htm.

    Neal Lulofs, SVP
    Audit Bureau of Circulations

  • http://AdamSherk Adam Sherk

    Thanks for the kind words Rob. For anyone interested in the SEOMoz Ranking Factors survey that is referenced in the slide above, the latest version is here: http://www.seomoz.org/article/search-ranking-factors

  • http://SEOSoftware SEO Software

    I agree with SEO Service here….
    As you said in your article that SEO is an ongoing process, that’s because link building is the essence of SEO.
    Generally because Google’s main algorithms core is the backlinks and that what makes it so powerful search engine (not depending only on the onpage factors)

  • http://BethHansen Beth Hansen

    What a wonderful editorial.
    Telling it like it is. We’re doing this. Saying print has to stay is bogus. We’re doing this. Saying we have to save advertising is ridiculous. We’re doing this. I’m 60 years old and I’m psyched about the digital transition. People just don’t get yet how much more fun getting “magazine style currating” on an IPad is/will be. Xinio is breaking great new ground. Can’t wait, myself. Already leaning back and loving it.

  • http://JimTaylor Jim Taylor

    Agree with some of what you say from a consumer perspective – and clearly both digital and print (and TV and radio and outdoor for that matter) all have unique strengths. However, I am constantly amazed at how little profitability there is in digital vs. other mediums so far. Would love to know when the “tipping point” to profitablility comes. How can you have 200 million users and not make good money?

  • http://HerveLeclair Herve Leclair

    Great point! Not knowing where or what we will be tomorrow is the key for social evolution, which in turn is the key for freedom…
    As I move, I obviously will try to get to some point where I think the sun is brighter, but moving, by itself, has always been risky. And the faster you go the riskier it is. Not only because running fast in a perpetually changing environment is by itself dangerous; but also because it means you have less time to analyze and decide of where to go.
    Now, think about the guy who broke his leg and married the nurse…
    Sometime we, as individuals, do not know what to do to keep our positions. But is keeping our positions / industries worth the fight? There might be new positions, brighter futures and smarter solutions. So let’s go find them! Got to explore the promised land of IT and interactivity; I am sure that we have not seen anything yet; the web is reconfiguring the way we’re taught, the way we teach, how we communicate, and even what communication means. I have no clue on what tomorrow will be made of. That’s what’s interesting in it! We should love life, love it until death, for the better and the worst. Because if we’re afraid of running, we won’t ever marry the nurse.

    (Please excuse my english, I am French!)

  • http://PatrickGoff Patrick Goff

    Interesting questionnaire that in the way it frames questions shows basic assumptions that will contribute to failure. For example why assume a web publisher has anything to do with print publishing?

  • http://ScottJamieson Scott Jamieson

    Aggressive predictions Bob – Just two questions that many readers are probably scratching their heads over if you had a minute. Do you expect B2B and consumer magazines to follow the same trajectory; and on what research or data is the study based?

  • http://SerafimaBogomolova Serafima Bogomolova

    Bravo! Good points. Absolutely agree with the point that there is everything out there to make successful digital and print publications – just switch your brains and go for it!

  • http://Joe Joe

    I thought the democratic party owned Newsweek. . . so did a lot of the ex-subscribers like myself. That’s why they’re folding. Good riddance!

  • http://MarkBraun Mark Braun

    There really is no way that NEWSWEEK should be as down as it went in revenue except incompetence… well, and the USPS which is murdering periodicals with higher rates.

    The little publication I’ve worked for these past 11 years took the same hits; I trimmed pages and cut page sizes, dumping excess postage. NEWSWEEK could use a good housecleaning of top brass who should be ashamed for copping excuses instead of burning the midnight oil to master cross-media.

  • http://WarrenTabachnick Warren Tabachnick

    As much as I strive to embrace these emerging technologies from a career standpoint, in my downtime I am basically old school. While I had stopped reading newspapers long before the advent of e-books and iPads, I still appreciate the look and feel of print for my books and magazines.

  • http://PatrickGoff Patrick Goff

    For eight years we have been a web only daily publication. Now we want to move to producing print as well.

    It’s horses for courses, and things can be done in print that cannot be done successfully on the web due to the limtations of the medium -in the same way that physical nature of print means it can’t show video.

    Print is not playing to its strengths, and tries to appeal to too broad an audience. It has allowed costs to bloat, and needs to radically rethink.

    To succeed we need to stop seeing these as divorced segments but all as part of the same communications millieu

  • http://Keith Keith

    Not another “focus group of one” story. OMG. If I read one more piece starting off “I asked my kid…” or “This is how my kids uses the Internet…”

  • http://Marilyn Marilyn

    Just as the advent of television did not end the theater or movies, nor will the e-books and iPads end the print media era. it is not either/or, but simply another choice of venue.

  • http://Jane Jane

    I agree that there’s a place for all forms of media. In general the problem media is facing is two fold: 1) everyone put their content online for free. So its no surprise that they lost readership in their print editions. 2) that was coupled with a lack of quality (and in some cases quantity) of editorial content. The quality and relevance to the reader of most publications has really gone downhill. I personally enjoy flipping through a magazine and yet over the past couple of years I find I buy much fewer magazines. Not because I’m reading them online, but because there’s no content. Stories either lack a clear “take away” for me or its the same topic rehashed yet again. In some ways the real challenge is that there’s just too much space (print, online, broadcast…) and not enough good content to fill it.

  • http://Desi Desi

    I agree with Jane that there is a place for all forms of media in the future. It will come down to content. Although, I am a true techie and have all of the e-reading devices but I still enjoy just sitting down and ready magazines at different times in my life. When I am the beach,on a plane, or focusing on my favorite hobby, magazines allow me to stay within the focused in my thoughts. The only thing that I would like to be able to do is add some of the electronic capabilities while I am reading off-line that will enable me to share the pages I read or as they say dawg-ear-it .

  • http://KevinMorris Kevin Morris

    Best of luck to Tony and Rick. I’m glad they are keeping these storied titles going to serve the industry.

    Well wishes.
    Kevin Morris
    Morris Marketing
    & Communications

  • http://Patricia Patricia

    You nailed it. E and I are not replacements for print, just additions…or choices. I love my mags and even my newspaper (in paper form).
    Sorry, probably old school and old age, but there are several million of us “boomers” who feel the same.

  • http://JeffMiller Jeff Miller

    Rob’s eMedia Ramblings…

    Rob’s eMedia World…

    Rob’s eWorld…

    eMedia Minutes…

    eMedia Makeover…

    eMedia Musings…

  • http://D.EadwardTree D. Eadward Tree

    Because I write about stuff that ‘s printed on dead trees — that is, paper — I named my blog Dead Tree Edition. Because you are writing about stuff that’s published on oil-based plastics and distributed via the coal-fired Internet, maybe yor blog should be the Dead Dinosaur Edition.

  • http://KariMitchell Kari Mitchell

    It is all media and the industry needs to educate themselves and look at the world as one communication vehicle. They need to survey their audiences and understand how they prefer to get information; online, offline, mobile, etc and then reach their audiences with a mix of communication tools to meet their desired preferences. Then be willing to keep surveying their audience and offer the various media deliverables to their audiences preferences and change them as needed. Since technology is evolving so fast it is important to have a link to the people that support your media and deliver what they want!

  • http://Ron Ron

    While the Wired sales may be higher than other mags because of their demos, to compare GQs low sales number in December is apples and oranges since that was five months before the iPad launched.

  • http://GC GC

    you know what’s missing? a career section

    most women work at some point in their lives and spend most of each day working if they do. Career tips are most appreciated and any ladies magazine worth it’s salt will have some.

  • http://TenishaAnderson Tenisha Anderson

    Smart…very smart.

  • http://CatherineHoward Catherine Howard

    The cost to mail my magazine to some of my subscribers is higher than the cost of the magazine. This is pushing some of my readers to buy digital copies that bypass the US Post Office altogether.

  • http://Vern Vern

    Does the post office not understand that as they continue to raise rates, more publishers are cutting back on page count and mail quantity. All this will do is drive more magazines and catalogs to the internet and more people to pay bills online and send e-cards instead of regular cards. How about stopping mail delivery on Friday as well as Saturday? I am sure the country would survive that better than continued postal increases.

  • http://guyrochford guy rochford

    Why isn’t the artificially inflated contribution to the Government pension fund that was hung around the neck of the USPS (as a thinly veiled Congressional accounting trick) being discussed with equal outrage?

  • http://SamirHusni Samir Husni

    Dear Bob
    You can’t just flat admit that there is still a lot of success stories in the print magazine world. The Food Network magazine is but one of hundreds of thriving printed magazines… I know you love every thing digital, but please don’t let that blind your good judgment. Take care my friend and all the best
    BTW, anytime we use that “but” after any statement it negates all the aforementioned….

  • http://DrJoeWebb Dr Joe Webb

    Samir: Bob was telling a joke about Oprah. I read about her in a magazine….

  • http://NoelleSkodzinski Noelle Skodzinski

    Bob, you make an interesting point. I don’t disagree that it doesn’t represent the salvation of the magazine industry, but The Food Network Magazine also has done some great things that can certainly apply to other magazines, and stress the importance of building an audience and multiplatform content. (Yes, celebrities and a hugely successful TV show certainly help, of course.) But, it’s still print … and people (lots of them) are PAYING for PRINT content.

  • http://cheapSEOindia cheap SEO india

    Perhaps the most refreshing nugget from the workshop was something that Adam said quickly when he encouraged publishers to focus their SEO efforts on the goal of your Web site

  • http://MichelleEauClaire Michelle EauClaire

    I completely am in agreement with the magazines that they are worth the increased price tag. There is added value to having all of the digital enhancements right next to the content and instantly accessible. I think perhaps it will be a learning curve for readers who will have to choose between a cheaper print issue then having to go online to find additional content, or paying for the convenience. In the end, I think most people are okay paying a little extra for the added convenience, and if they don’t want to then perhaps they should stick to reading it in print on their lap instead of on a screen in their lap.

    Also, adding all of those enhancements takes additional time for the editors, graphic artists, designers and everyone else involved. Added work means added price, in my eyes.

  • http://JoeWebb Joe Webb

    Wasn’t this CNN/SI ? Didn’t that “not work out” before? What will be different this time? How come the question wasn’t even asked?

  • http://Jean Jean

    The important thing to remember is that the consumer PERCEPTION is that it costs less to publish a digital magazine than a print magazine. And in our society we are accustomed to having any cost savings or discounts passed down to the consumer. I don’t know that digital magazines are understood well enough yet to change that perception.

  • http://JamesCrowell James Crowell

    I feel the political mail should not be classified as non-profit mail. Why ? Because they are always asking money. This would balance the books for the Postal Sercice.

  • http://LauranceAllen Laurance Allen

    The Zinio Ad right next to this article is pure coincidence, I’m sure!

    I downloaded the Zinio app for the iPad then the Rolling Stone 500, doesn’t work!

    Songs 165 to 182 showed up, the ‘listen’ button does not work and even worse the shopping cart is frozen!

    Serious bugs that need someone’s attention.

  • http://ZacharyLance Zachary Lance

    Hello Laurance,

    Please give Zinio Customer Service a call at 888-946-4666 or send us an email at support@zinio.com so we can help resolve this problem for you.

    Thank you,


  • http://TerryPlowman Terry Plowman

    “Our hope and the salvation of our revenue stream is in creatively adapting and joining the future of information distribution.”

    Easy to say, hard to do for those of us well-trained in print, but lost on how to convert our deep print experience into digital revenue.

  • http://BoSacks BoSacks

    Terry I know that to be true. It is indeed hard for well-trained print personnel to make the transition. Sadly that “hardness” is irrelevant. After the current seismic changes are over only those that adapt will survive.

    By 2020 38% of publishing revenue will be in print. That is a sizable number and it is good to note that there will be still billions to be made in print. Will your company be part of that 38%? The lion’s share of revenue, almost 60% will be all digital. That is the dilemma and that is the challenge for today’s publishers. Next year there will be dozens of iPad like tablets. Do you think that the technology bandwagon is finally going to stop and give us publishers a chance to recoup and reorganize? Not a chance, this is still just the beginning and there is no end in sight for changes in information distribution.

  • http://TylerReed Tyler Reed

    This is such a great use of decades of photography. I’ve already visited and looked through some timelines! Thanks for sharing.

  • http://SerafimaBogomolova Serafima Bogomolova

    Quote: ‘Most publishers today simply won’t benefit that much from an iPhone/iPad application. But if they could really get their act together to develop a website that attracted the right audience, was well-optimized for search, and encouraged people to register to grow their e-mail database, they could start building an incredible online revenue stream.’

    Comment: Absolutely, I share the same view, and this is the way I am heading with my digital venture.

  • http://David David

    Most industries are having difficulty surviving and many businesses are suffering in this current economy – not just publishing companies. This doesn’t mean the business model of publishing magazines is broken.

    Sure, new gadgets are great and there will continue to be more and more of them – I own an iPhone and an iPad. I also read magazines. Looking forward to 3D televisions very soon. . .

    Because the cost of producing a digital edition, website and e-mailing a link is less than printing a magazine or mailing it to a subscriber list doesn’t mean that it’s a better business model. It’s simply a different business model. I don’t believe advertisers will pay the same amount for digital ads as they will for ads in a printed magazine. Subscribers won’t pay the same amount for the digital edition as they will for the print edition – the roar of that was hear at the launch of the iPad and the apps for the digital versions of Time and Wired. Sure, Wired has 70,000 + downloads but their audience all probably own an iPad – that makes sense – it’s part of what they are looking for from Wired.

    I think some publishers will move to the digital market to find it’s a different business model. If they can be more successful with it then it was a good move. I still believe many magazines can work within the existing business model and succeed.

  • http://TylerReed Tyler Reed

    I thought the Forbes redesign was strong. The changes were simple but the effect was striking.

  • http://SecureFileTransfers Secure File Transfers

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  • http://MikeLonier Mike Lonier

    Best wishes and a speedy recovery to Bob from Elaine and I.

  • http://DavidMcCormick David McCormick

    We already have “A total voice-recognition system . . . A program that will know all that is knowable about us”. It’s called a wife.

  • http://JoshGordon Josh Gordon

    Rob, your comments are symptomatic of why the publishing industry is going down the tubes. The media you enumerate as being “shadow media” are more important that that name or the passing glances you are paying them deserve. To a growing number, these shadow media are more important than the print media that fostered them. We can debate endlessly which one of them is more important, but one thing is for sure. Any publisher who is treating them as “shadow media” will never commit the resources, time, and brain power needed to bring them out of the shadows.

  • http://SCNJ SC NJ

    The chart shows no revenue growth between now and 2020 regardless of how it’s spent, print, digital or other….Not sure if that’s the intent, but no revenue growth over the next decade is scary and I will assume the chart is based on static revenue.

  • http://Matt Matt

    Shame that they don’t have intentions of promoting the covers. I’m willing to bet a decent amount of people, myself included, would be willing to pay for a larger size production of this for a den or rec room.

    They’ve already put the hard work in to have the great product. Just go one step further.

  • http://DavidRenard David Renard

    Great question.
    Actually, We forecast the market to contract for the next 3-4 years, then slowly expand for the rest of the decade…. but that will be for another onpoint graph. (or email me for more data at david@mediaideas.net)

  • http://kjt kjt

    Is david magazine available online?

  • http://Ellen Ellen

    Sure, she knows all about the needs of the 21st century workforce, but does she know anything about education or kids? It sure would be nice to have an educator in charge of education. A businessman, or woman, in charge sends the message that our kids are “products” to be produced, not individuals who need to learn.

  • http://D.B.Scott D. B. Scott

    Rogers settled because it was concerned that the controversy was being used against it by its major Quebec-based rival in the cable and wireless business where it makes the lion’s share of its money.

  • http://Rob Rob

    Google has fixed the issue of Google Analytics counting Instant Previews as actual website page views: http://analytics.blogspot.com/2010/11/instant-preview-issue-resolved.html

  • http://Tablazines Tablazines

    Affordable? For who? The one man studio? Somehow I doubt it.

    They’ve been content with the ton of money they’ve been charging these companies to produce iPad magazine editions with no thought as to the little guy. I find it hard to believe they’ll truly offer an “affordable” solution.

    If you want true affordability… check out
    Alligator Magazines – http://www.alligatormagazines.com. That’s what I consider affordable.

  • http://Richard Richard

    Great points … the mobile web presents a huge opportunity for us all. Which is why I didn’t understand your headline. After reading the blog, I do.

  • http://Tablazines Tablazines

    Android enthusiasm is still a long way off at least for us. We wanted to launch an Android magazine as well but the problems were…

    1. Samsung Galaxy is the only current tablet that can access the Android Market.

    2. You lose a lot in the transition to a 7″ screen. The reason most Android tablet manufacturers use 7″ screens is because there are no tablet specific apps.. they’re all phone apps. That’s about the largest these apps built for phones can be res-ed up without looking like crap.

    Once Google officially supports tablets, then we’ll see larger screen tablets and then I can be excited about Android.

  • http://azam azam

    Very nice idea
    all points are very good

  • http://JasonRice Jason Rice

    Great article. Your editorial team should take a look at the people at Wells Publishing in San Diego. They are a small B2B publisher who is one of the most innovative publishers in the business. They publish the Insurance Journal. I’ve been watching them for a while and they totally fly under the radar. I hear they were invited by Adobe to work as consultants on the Adobe tablet/digital magazine distribution sfotware system.

  • http://magazineprintingcompany magazine printing company

    Printing Magazine is the most effective way of marketing as it reaches to the masses. It is obvious that people would love to read the articles and the magazine if it is designed perfectly. Magazine design is the most important to market effectively.

  • http://DavidBall David Ball

    I think that Apple does not have an option to pass credit card information. Mastercard and Visa are not allowing sharing of credit card data and the federal government is looking at making this law. I believe the real issue is sharing name and address

  • http://P.Pasley P. Pasley

    Still not good enough. Won’t be good enough until ALL customers are sent to the publisher for subs. Paid sub info could then be forwarded to apple who could then collect their cut from the publisher.
    The model you describe puts publishers in competition with Apple for subscriber info and they have an unfair advantage (easier) to boot.

  • http://IlseGenovese Ilse Genovese

    This is all very interesting and, in a way, scary for small publishers such as ours which is only now trying to find an IT company which would host its digital magazine and, more important, manage secure access to it via IP addresses. Any suggestions whom I should be talking to?

  • http://MikeRipley Mike Ripley

    Long-time Apple user, first-time detractor. Now that Jobs and Co. have dominant market share, they stick it to the people they liberated in 1984. Makes me rethink my allegiances to the lesser of the content carpetbaggers. http://ripley4media.tumblr.com/ Mike Ripley

  • http://Caslon Caslon

    What a bunch of whining! Sounds like somebody has a criticism, not for the actual product but what they think it should be. Probably because they don’t like the Apple licensing model. Apple’s success in the market has NOTHING to do with publishers. And unless the pub community embraces a completely different approach to content they will be stuck on text based devices like Kindle forever. Get over yourself, Apple really doesn’t need you.
    Bringing up a Dell ‘tablet computer’ for a specialized market is just silly.

  • http://FanGirl FanGirl

    I don’t want the iPad (or any tablet) to be a “traditional” computer. If I wanted a lightweight “traditional” computer, I’d get a MacBook Air.

  • http://DavidHenderson David Henderson

    This article misses the whole point of Apple’s products — EASE OF USE! If you want a computer, buy one. If you want a tablet, buy one of those. As soon as you try to combine the functions into one device, it becomes too cumbersome, too complicated for everyone except the gadget freaks.

    It’s like my old cell phones that had so many “features” that I never used, never understood, never wanted. They just loaded up the user manual with page after page of step-by-step instructions that made it very difficult to find simple answers — like how to delete old messages!

  • http://SteveFrye Steve Frye

    I agree with you wholeheartedly regarding the weak aspects of “interactivity”. Gratis videos and animations are not interactivity. The word itself implies that the users are interacting with the product and gathering their preferred content.
    I am working with a national magazine and currently creating a truly interactive magazine. It’s an auto guide that allows the reader to select any car, make & model (up to 4 cars at a time) and get all current std & opt equipment and dealer & MSRP prices…from their magazine. They can view 360 degree animations, colorizations, videos and slideshows. The auto data is realtime dynamic XML content. It is a truly fun interactive eMagazine.

  • http://MihaiPaunescu Mihai Paunescu

    “They also expressed concern over rising costs (designing for multiple screen layouts, video production, etc.) vs. the unknown circulation and advertising benefits on a new, untried platform.”
    I’m not an expert either but considering multimedia and interactivity just as some more work to be done by the editors it is not the best idea. The main area where it make sense to use multimedia and interactivity is advertising. This is not something that will complicate the publisher’s life too much. He just receives a clip from the client and insert it. That clip was already produced for TV distribution and it is just complemented with a form where the reader can ask for additional info or some specific features for exploring the product/service features. That’s not at all “unproven revenue model”.
    If you consider user comments as interactivity possible issues can be solved by filtering them. It is a proven method to deal with bad language and other unwanted interventions.

  • http://Meg Meg

    As with the Music Industry, after the initial ‘Sky is falling’ reaction from the insiders, logic combined with entrepreneurialism and corporate necessity to continue, forge new paths. In this instance, new ways to publish, advertise, entertain and profit. We are in an unprecedented growth spurt of technology and this is just the beginning. The face of publishing will change another 100 times over the coming generations. The changes impact my business hugely and we embrace the change (even get a bit excited about it) and look for ways to capitalise on it and work with it. People are never going to stop reading or looking at pictures!

  • http://AlexBrown Alex Brown

    Yes, we should be worried. Apple’s freedom to decide what merchandise it wants to sell is not quite the same as a bookstore deciding what books it wants to carry. Until there is another store selling iPad apps, Apple has a censorship position. The availability of apps for the Android OS doesn’t restore balance.

    The key problem is our business-wide tendency to anoint winners with de facto monopoly positions. Yes, it’s a relief not to have to wade through format wars, like DVD v Blu-Ray, but what might look like ease and convenience is someday going to be abdication of choice.

    I own and love Apple products, and I don’t like the sound of that anti-gay app. But homogenizing choice through a technological gateway will have ugly results.

  • http://GeneSchwartz Gene Schwartz

    Glad you waded in nonetheless, Jim.

    I share your concerns and agree with Alex as well. Amazon and B&N also pull or screen titles. At the same time, there is a, long history in print medias (Walmart, 7-11), etc, by power channels screening out subjects that may be offensive to customers as well as favoring those that might nmot (cash register sales).

    Nonetheless, I am very leery of attacking monopoly-like media positions on the grounds of freedom of choice, or of speech, or of leveling the playing field.

    There is always the question, “Who’s to decide?”

    The best decider in my view is the market place – both by responding to where people take their business as well as where and how they lodge their protests.

    As long as there are alternatives to apps, the message can get out. But when Big Brother steps in, there are no alternatives at all.

    I believe that civic action, boycotts where they can be organized, are the best response along with bad press. Eventually Apple will be making space for competition by wielding its market power in order to avoid controversial or even unpopular ideas that are otherwise presented in a civiil manner, which I assume the app in question is – not having seen it.

    At the same time, it is paying attention and is policiing its bookstore according to its own lights.

    If there is recourse through law it should be done by means of uinfair business practice and similar torts. Let the market take its course.

  • http://mikepopalardo mike popalardo

    I wonder if Apple’s action would hold up in the Court. I see the ACLU taking this on – on behalf of Exodus International.

  • http://GlennHansen Glenn Hansen


    Good read. We (BPA Worldwide) are in agreement with what you are suggesting in your piece. We believe selling the total scope of a brand across all channels is the way forward for today’s publishers. As a result, BPA introduced the Brand Report that allows publishers to show the metrics from all of their platforms to the marketplace instead of a single channel at a time.

    Glenn Hansen
    BPA Worldwide

  • http://MarkSwift Mark Swift

    With this post a couple of months old now, it’s interesting to see the relatively slow start tablet magazine publishing has had so far. The iPad hype is in full force still, with many in the industry hoping tablets will revolutionize the way we consume information. Some publishers are getting their feet wet to some extent, but the iPad, while “cool,” seems to be a technology in search of a reason to exist. I personally think tablet magazines are distracting at best, and unusable at worst. I read magazines for great, insightful content, not interactive ads. While magazine advertisers may see the benefits in an “enhanced” tablet experience, I seriously doubt readers will.

  • http://GregMiller Greg Miller

    I was inadvertantly associating the idea of “interactive” with value-added content. I would never consider advertsing value-added or the ability to easily insert it as something a reader would even desire.

  • http://Jack Jack

    Not to take anything away from Mr. Maisel or a fine publication, but it can be quite a bit easier to “light it up” when you’ve got a title that’s owned by an industry association. That said, props to EC for taking seriously the role of voice of its industry.

  • http://MagazineDesigner Magazine Designer

    Agreed on several counts! Just because the publishing industry is experiencing growing pains and consolidating to some extent does NOT mean print is dead. Why is print publishing declared “doomed” by industry followers just because of some turbulence? When American automakers were in trouble, cars weren’t declared dead – nor was air travel when the airlines were in serious financial straits. Industries consolidate in tough times – it’s a long-standing economic principle, and it’s foolhardy to think that declines in some areas of the publishing industry necessarily point to a complete collapse. Nor does a nascent trend like tablet publishing (which IMO is a lousy substitute for print) mean everyone is going digital. Remember when Bill Gates proclaimed the virtues of the “paperless office”? There are always those who claim the sky to be falling, but cyclical adjustments do not mean an entire industry will soon be out of work. That being said, it’ll be interesting to see how publishing changes over the next few years.

  • http://LouAnnSabatier Lou Ann Sabatier

    Hi Jack,

    Thanks for your thoughts. Should be noted that this publication is 100% self-supporting with the association having 5,000 members while the publication has a circulation of 85,000; a separate database.

    The benefits of being owned by NECA are large. I will say that this pub is so strong is could most likely stand alone and strongly in the trade field.


  • http://MagazineDesigner Magazine Designer

    Another sign that the economic turnaround is having positive effects for strong magazine publishing brands. I wouldn’t necessarily throw a victory party over the numbers, as one quarter’s performance does not indicate a significant trend – but every little bit of good news for publishers these days is more than welcome. Magazines – even print – will come back once the economy gets back on its feet. It’s just been a tough few years, and it tends to be difficult to see a bright future in the aftermath of hard times. But let’s not all panic and contribute to wild speculation that print is anywhere near doomed. Are a few more titles poised to go under? Probably, but that’s been true of brands in just about every industry lately. With some consolidation and aggressive strategic planning, mags will find their footing again.

  • http://TylerReed Tyler Reed

    This is a great article! It is tough to figure out the pricing for setting your own e-publications’ prices as well as for paying for those from other publishing houses. It will be really interesting to see how this all plays out. The conversation Mr. Tree quotes above sounds very much like conversations I’ve been in myself! (Also, I’ve now discovered Mr. Tree’s blog and love it!)

  • http://MagazineDesigner Magazine Designer

    Very happy to read this. If magazine publishers are going to be successful in getting more favorable terms out of Apple, they’re going to have to take a collective stand and/or explore other options for distributing their content. More competition in the magazine app marketplace is a good thing for publishers and consumers alike, so let’s hope this is the first of many such stories in this vein.

  • http://MagazineDesigner Magazine Designer

    Hmmm… I wonder how long it will take them to produce a tablet-sized (or larger) version of this device? Current screen sizes on the iPad and other tablets are just to small to be worth reading magazines in digital format IMHO. But give us a large, lightweight, affordable option, and it might be a game-changer for the magazine publishing industry as a whole. Not sure about the roll-up feature in a phone, however — doubt consumers would like having to unroll their phones to use them every time. But a cool concept nonetheless.

  • http://JudyBeach Judy Beach


    In your 6th Paragraph – Major aduit bureaus recognized by USPS could perform an audit and the USPS would accept the information provided based on having certified their methods of obtaining that information.

    Does this equate to “qualified copies equals or is the same as requestor copies”? BPA refers to (freebies) as qualified and paid and USPS referes to them as requestors and paid.

  • http://GregBrumley Greg Brumley

    Buggy whips aren’t selling very well, either.

    The question isn’t, “How do we keep prices up?” The question is, “How do we add value?”

    It isn’t about “standing up and saying ‘what we do has value beyond clicks'”, either. That strikes me as another effort to put the genie back into the bottle.

    It isn’t about claiming value. It’s about CREATING value for the advertiser. New value. A coordinated menu of the sales/production tools we’ve never been able to package well.

    Look, that $3/m click through ain’t exactly setting the world afire, either. The only way online advertising can put up great numbers is to measure its performance against itself. Online is only producing value when it’s carefully targeted — almost none of it is.

    B2B media offers two values: expertise and contacts. Its combination of print, face-to-face, and online offers a depth and speed which no other vehicle can match. Who else can provide the quality of sales leads, new contacts, brand support, and business intelligence which this B2B media could — IF properly developed and packaged?

    But our industry has spent the depression refusing to look the 800-lb gorilla in the eye (i.e. no gynecologist has time to read 10 magazines Nor does a golf course manager). Therefore, it has given meaningless lip service to value while gutting its own competitive advantage by firing editorial and circulation/demographics staff. This has been nothing less than suicidal. The industry has utterly failed to package the advertising value it is uniquely positioned to offer.

    Hand wringing over “protecting CPM” is just more of the same self-defeating foolishness. Mr. Kowl’s commentary is part of the problem.

    Face the gorilla in the room. COMPETE, for god’s sake! Offer the customer a better value for his advertising dollar.

  • http://MagazineDesign Magazine Design

    This is wonderful news for the magazine publishing industry, and a long-awaited response to Apple’s grip on the magazine app market. Very excited to see publications coming out on Android devices, which are predicted to eventually be the dominant mobile OS. Everyone — Apple excluded — wins here. Actually, developments like this may actually force Apple to rethink its entire approach to magazine apps and distribution, which would also be a big win for iPad users. Let’s hope this is just the latest of many such publishing options to come.

  • Dacey

    I agree with Tyson that Direct mail is considered as most effective and flexible method for promoting methods.Direct mail marketing can be very useful for small business group.

  • Bob

    What in Publishing Takes 6-8 Weeks?

    This is average delivery time of a customer’s 1st issue after the original subscription. At least newsstand on-sale has a shorter window than this! I can buy a product online and get it delivered within a week. The magazine fulfillment industry hasn’t changed with the times.

  • John Smith

    Get latest digital magazines for iPad, iPhone and PC/MAC available on Other Edition newsstand. https://www.otheredition.com/OEview?sub=1

  • Claudia Smukler

    This 21 day cycle is the only reality in magazine publishing that has not budged and despite the logistical challenge the wholesaler/retailer agencies have with the number of publishers and geographic scale of the US, nothing seems to move it. The "amazing technology—robots, new kinds of scanning technology and other futuristic innovations" that you refer to, have all been around for decades, so I would not hold my breath for technology to result in time savings for the publisher either.

    Perhaps the wholesaler(s) are waiting till there are fewer magazines and fewer retail outlets to simplify the logistics before they are forced to shave days (weeks?) out of that cycle. And by then, it may be too late, sadly, for print publications.

  • Opa locka Locksmiths

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  • Jim_Sturdivant

    Very cool Web revamping of Paste’s approach. The purchase by Wolfgang’s Vault is interesting—this is an outfit to watch as they continue to build out more content for music lovers online and via mobile.

  • SmallBizDavid

    An SEO article that makes a lot of sense—and validates our business model. THANK YOU!!

  • kennybalthaser


    We have been toying with how the new digital reading experience will evolve over the next few years and decided to create a sample DIGITAL ONLY article using our B3 Publishing platform. This was built over 18 months ago and took 1-2 weeks with no programmers – mainly gathering assets and design. When we initially showed it to publishing execs, they didn’t get it. It about depth and density of information combined with rich media and social elements. It is becoming much more clear.

  • Thad McIlroy

    100% correct.

    The vendors of course lust after the big bucks in this shiny new category. Good luck to them. There are only a small handful of publishers that can afford to pay these fees, and the selling cost is $50,000 to hold their hands and make a dozen presentations to help them make up their minds.

    You need a light, agile system to reach the large group of publisher who can take advantage of this opportunity.

    Adobe is obviously planning to exit this business…they’ve got much better opportunities in the enterprise Web analytics space.

  • Aneel Tejwaney

    You’re right Next Issue Media might be slow in its approach but it is a start. It feels B2B companies are going similar progression. At the end of the day its all based on economics. If the advertisers start demanding the new platform to continue doing business I am sure they will pickup on it much faster.

  • Thad McIlroy

    Unit growth — but declining per install revenue — will come from emerging markets and innovative licensing models.

    Overall sales volume DOWN.

  • Amanda Louie

    Thank you for writing this article.

  • Nosarious

    I am trying to build a much less expensive system inspired by Flickr, but doing every bit of coding myself is time consuming…

  • Jim Pappadeas

    This contradictory statement reveals the flaw in your argument:

    "just as mobile apps are upending Google’s rock solid lock on search (because smartphone and tablet users do so little indexed searching), HTML5’s ability to allow anyone to seamlessly distribute content across multiple digital platforms could threaten the "walled-garden" business model of Apple."

  • Rose Rummel-Eury

    You are spot on regarding developing new products. I’m not even in this industry and I can tell you that if the USPS looked at becoming a hub in small-town America for more than the mail, they might just stay alive. Picture a place that incorporates mail, wi-fi access, coffee, notary services, UPS/FedEx (why NOT partner? Add a fee like any other UPS drop-off store), computers for bill-paying (with a fee; more people pay online and more possibly would save that stamp if they had computer access). This idea may not be the best in cities/towns that currently have all those other services, but might do well in small towns.

  • Rose Rummel-Eury

    I’ve been on this wild ride for a few years now; coming from the vendor side. Watching as our perfectly wonderful Flash-based delivery solutions for publishers got pushed aside for HTML5 and upcoming EPUB 3.0. All the vendors are scrambling, but we are there to help guide publishers into the rapids.

  • cott

    Just read your note in the July/Aug issue, and wanted to share our experience using QR codes in Habitat Magazine.

    I’ve published Habitat for nearly 30 years, and every July/Aug we conduct a survey of co-op/condo property managers where we pose a question and include a photo of each exec. This year we included 14 videos of the survey respondents that were accessible through QR codes. The issue was published at the beginning of August. We’re tracking QR viewership. Since we publish a digital edition and have a youtube channel where these videos reside, we’ll be running some comparisons to see what we can learn from each screen.

    Couple of things we have found out. One, if you are connecting a QR code to a video, it matters where the video is hosted. Our audience is not big enough to pay for a special video service, so we are using vimeo to host the videos that connect to a QR code. We also post the video on our youtube channel, and that is the URL we publish for those who don’t have smartphones. We use bitly to make the QR codes, because their tracking allows us to see who came from a mobile phone.

    We’re just closing our Sept issue, and will be using 3 QR codes to link to videos.

    Personally, I love them. You can sit on the couch, read a magazine, and scan them for extra content. How cool is that!

  • Greg Brumley


    I’m in B2B magazines. Most of the revenue is still in print. It will be for the foreseeable future. People don’t RENT magazines; they BUY them.

    Among the main reasons people (especially people with the income which attracts advertisers) buy magazines are that they like the tactile experience, and that they want to go back to a particular issue at their leisure.

    How, on earth, would we encourage print subscribers to try digital by suggesting they RENT the digital issue without an opportunity to revisit it if they so choose?

  • Scott Hovestadt

    WordPress is easily the most accessible blog platform. I don’t think anything comes close… yet.

  • contractorgal

    Great idea for these two companies to form an alliance. As a manufacturer and distributor of temporary Surface Protection, Dust Control and Lead Containment supplies, it is more efficient to get all the information we need to connect with our customers in one place or through the least amount of mediums possible.

  • Mister Periodical

    Professor Irwin Corey would have been proud of this gobbledy-gook nonsense. What blather. This is the typical double talk of ostentatious journalism professors who have never produced and sustained a successful consumer magazine. Magazine publishers already have access to bundling; it’s called news stand distribution. That’s at least more than consumers have to settle for with regard to cable television; one is required to take 20 stations of crap to get two stations that show what he wants. Comparing magazines to cable television is like comparing apples and orangutans.

    We publishers have to compete against television, the Internet, and the public’s diminishing interest in exercising anything more than their eyes and ears when it comes to sopping up information or entertainment. It’s not looking good; at least let us die in peace.

  • Greg Salerno

    You hit the nail on the head with "Guess what? We have the most experienced skillset, and best lists, of all contenders."

  • MCLI

    More than two years ago, I saw the potential in WordPress to operate as the backend for a professional news organization. They were poised to reimagine their defunct site with programmers, developers, high-end CMS, etc. At the time, no major (and not many minor) news orgs would have dared to use WordPress. I was able to thwart the objections (and snickering) of some who thought it could not be done, and since, we’ve won awards for design and usability, handled millions of pageviews a month, continued to take advantage of the giant amount of resources available and watched as the rest of the world, including many major news organizations, catch up. Oh, plus we saved tens of thousands of dollars and countless headaches. For a vast amount of people and organizations, WordPress should be an instant candidate for any kind of site requiring any level of content management.

  • Marc S.

    While print is far from dead in the B2B space and can be perceived as one-way communication many on online solutions does indeed help to "create the conversation" with two way communication. I think that in the B2B space online spending ( and events ) should represent about 70% of a total ad / marketing spend.

  • juntajoe

    Rob…so glad you could make it to the event. Well, you and I have been talking about it for years, but yes, we ARE all publishers now. Our "former" advertisers are trying (and should) to do the same things that publishers do. And in some cases (gasp), they do it better. Traditional marketing is not dead at all, but in order to attract and retain customers, marketers need to create and distribute valuable and relevant content.

    In thinking back, there were a number of custom content providers (former custom publishers) presenting on their solutions (like Story Worldwide). It might be a positioning issue.

    Thanks again Rob!

  • wattjeffmiller

    Rob, thanks for the excellent summary. I agree – publishers, including us at WATT need to keep it simple: "Publish relevant, useful, believable, sharable content that their readers want". I also agree that "all of our advertisers will continue to spend money creating content. If we can’t help them, then we may lose them too." I am charged with delivering profitable revenue for us on the latter – I’ll leave the former to our skilled staff.

  • ToddWheatland

    This is really interesting, to be honest I haven’t thought enough about the impact of content marketing per se on publishing either. As a corporate marketer, I would say right now I view publishers as co-opetition – our revenue models remain very different, but our objectives have much more dramatically aligned in recent years. We’re doing much more partnering with publishers than ever before, but it’s typically contra based around common objectives (rather than an advertiser/client relationship).

    It might be pushing the comparison a bit far, but it made me think of this recent article on additive manufacturing (or digital fabrication as this article calls it). The third paragraph refers to the changes in video and music production (and all info-based goods/services) as a result of digital connectedness, and talks to the possible impact to manufacturing from digital fabrication. Are publishers facing the same issues today that manufacturers will be facing in the future?


  • Steve

    Had to laugh. There’s a Zinio banner ad at the top of the page!

  • Rich cress

    Really? They can reach my readers? I don’t think so. Search for a heavy duty B-to-B item, such as a pulse-jet baghouse dust collector and get 262,000 results. Good luck reaching my reader with your own editorial. Even if you’re number five on the list.

  • Robin Sherman

    Content marketing. Findable, readable, understandable, actionable, and shareable. Prof. Emeritus Don Ranly, University of Missouri Jrl School, taught this as service journalism way before "content marketing" became vogue. If not useful, it’s useless, he would say.

  • Roy

    Dear Linda,

    Thank you very much for a great article. We publish a highly specialized magazine and we have watched competitors leave our specialty to make room for the lifestyle things you talk about. It is a boon for us, but we don’t want to fall into the same trap in the future. I think you have helped keep me focused.

    Thanks again!

  • marcusgrimm

    Don’t let one vendor’s limitations affect your thoughts on a category: http://bit.ly/nyy9z0

  • Linda Ruth

    I love the concept of Gamification–it’s a natural fit for publishers! thanks for posting, Lou.

  • Jason Halberstadt

    This could be a Nook killer, but not an iPad killer. Though Nook is rumored to be coming out with a new Nook color based upon Android 2.3, where as Kindle Fire is 2.1, which limits it to older APIs and less functionality than 2.3. Would love to see the interface Amazon has build over 2.1.

  • aghadden

    This is the "iPad killer"?

  • Jeanniey Mullen

    Hey Thea,

    Wow- I was so shocked to see this post. Zinio has been nothing less than #3 as a top grossing app since 7/29 and has been #1 in 51 countries since that date. Additionally, as demonstrated for over 6 years, video, slide shows and much more interactive features (even through our drag and drop Fusion tool used by over 100 publications) has been alive and well. I’m not sure why you wrote this.

  • mcloughlinpromo

    this headline reads as if I want to skip something.

  • RRD

    I thought this was an interesting article until I had to read the company’s name 8 times in the first 4 paragraphs. Reminds me of the "Jimmy" episode of Seinfeld pawning his training shoes, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Apa0nG1OfUc

  • Mowry

    can you share your total circulation before the promo, so as to understand the relative magnitude of the new 2000?

  • Colleen McIntyre

    Thanks for the lead on Scoutmob. They’re not in Oklahoma City yet, but I’ll sure be waiting for them!

  • Tom M

    I agree with your comments regarding magazine publishers wishing to get 100% redemption rates. As I took a quick look at Scoutmob I see that they are not in many areas of the country, nothing in Michigan at all. Downside for me at least, but if they do well I am sure they will expand, soon. Thanks for sharing.

  • noitall

    "really get it.’" To that end, Cygnus merged print and digital sales forces five years ago so buyers have a single point of contact for a full set of solutions."
    "Single point" had better not be that entry level kid who really is an obstacle. Multiple contacting should be at advertiser and their agency.
    An electronic publisher found a great hook with an offer of "FREE" application; one of the thousands available at dirt cheap cost to advertiser. The opt in tripled overnight. Their opt-in rate increased every "reach-out" even when advertiser didn’t have much to say. What’s next again? Free mouse-pads, really?
    Interactive media sellers may be the ticket that gets your message to your audience. If they don’t support multiple platforms; be leery.
    No matter what the reach out was they got an option to the use [downloadable] of an app at no cost to recip. And advertiser has generated a lead.
    Any co. doing well in this economy is reaching the right people on probably multiple platforms and with saturation in their sweet- spot.
    Some of the new PR pros really having fun playing with everything from advertising, advertorials, social media and traditional branding and outreach. Much of what works needs to deliver in a smart fashion. That means a lot of PR mavens don’t know how to do much more than write a press release.
    That sweet-spot is not a formula made of cement. We all need to be nimble and understand "guerilla marketing" of this terrible time. This type of intel is lost on a majority. When smartly applied you have a potential increase sales to both existing and those prospects with a traceable affective measurable way.
    Good PR overlapped while having a new age media specialist. Now all media is less expensive. Use rules that will afford you opportunities that advertisers appreciate.
    Help generate their stated goals.
    "really get it.’" To that end, Cygnus merged print and digital sales forces five years ago so buyers have a single point of contact for a full set of solutions."
    Single point had better not be that entry level kid who really is an obstacle. Multiple contacting should be at advertiser and their agency.
    An electronic publisher found a great hook with an offer of "FREE" application; one of the thousands available at dirt cheap cost to advertiser. The opt in tripled overnight. Their opt-in rate increased every "reach-out" even when advertiser didn’t have much to say. What’s next again? Free mouse-pads, really?
    No matter what the reach out was they got an option to the use [downloadable] of an app at no cost to recip.
    Any co. doing well in this economy must have a great product or service and reaching the right people on probably multiple platforms and with saturation in their sweet- spot. Remember even good cos. are struggling; as in doing less business than they may otherwise have success.
    Some of the new PR pros really having fun playing with everything from advertising, advertorials, social media and traditional branding and outreach. Much of what works needs to deliver in a smart fashion. That means a lot of PR mavens don’t know how to do much more than write a press release.
    That sweet-spot is not a formula made of cement. We all need to be nimble and understand "guerilla marketing" of this terrible time. This type of intel is lost on a majority. When smartly applied you have a potential increase sales to both existing and those prospects with a traceable affective measurable way.
    Good PR overlapped while having a new age media specialist. Now all media is less expensive. Use rules that will afford you opportunities that advertisers appreciate.
    Help generate their stated goals.

  • Jim_Sturdivant

    And then there’s this: http://bit.ly/pHE9ix — for publishers who want more DRM food for thought.

  • Dude

    What this writer and most of the public doesn’t understand is that for every career employee that the post office wants to get rid of will be replaced by a low paying non benefits worker. The actual number of workers will remain about the same since delivering to every address in the country is a massive undertaking when you think about it. Most of the processing facilities are underutilized since management decided several years ago to try to force most of the senior employees out by eliminating most of the day shift and making them take bids on the afternoon or overnight shifts. Any savings under processing plant consolidations will be offset by increased transportation costs and losses in business since it would be impossible to retain similar service.

  • sdf

    postal management does not know how to do more with less.

  • Uh Oh

    The USPS exists to provide inflated wages to unskilled unionized workers so they will support Democratic politicians. The reason people are slow in the window units is because they got those positions based on seniority and not ability to deal with the public in an expeditious manner. The slugs actually ostracize anyone who works faster or better as it reflects poorly on the status quo. Accepting mail for delivery by weighing it shows the value associated with the material. The joke used to be when asked what have you learned after 30 years in the post office to reply, "Don’t mail me my check I’ll come pick it up" but now they use direct deposit as well to save money. Tax day used to be a big yearly event but now with online filing the local office doesn’t even offer booklets or paper forms to the public. Tesla bested Edison, Internet bested USPS.

  • Carlos Moreno

    great strategy to always be thinking of offline as well as online. it’s easy to get caught in an online / social media fishbowl — only working and thinking about connecting via the web — and forgetting that people crave interaction and meaning in the real world.

  • MarketingSmarts

    Nice examples, but not a new tip (first heard it suggested 5 years back).

    Weird company name. Socialistic? Yes, I know what it really means, but it could confuse and turn off. Not smart at all.

  • akronsound

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  • PaleWriter

    I’m confused. Is Mr Mayhew really advocating this bill?
    He opens by talking it up and closes with the "triple whammy".
    Mr Mayhew has more trust in USPS management than Congress.
    Does Mr Mayhew honestly believe the USPS will not skew the data they collect and gimmick away 6 day delivery with ‘Postal Math’ tricks?
    USPS is firmly set upon a course of self destructiveness.
    ‘Ware lest you drag your periodical buddies down with it!

  • mr.zip

    At our office, we have FSS. Everyday, 2nd. class mail is sent back to the FSS machines to be worked. This is delaying 2nd. class mail. We get it 4 to 5 days later. This is service?

  • Robin

    Hollings answered the "what?" but not the "why?"

  • GeoS

    My clients have scrambled to implement QR codes in all their ad campaigns. Linda, you bring up the excellent point that in order for these codes to be effective, clients must have something worthwhile for readers to access. The technology is there, helping to bridge B2B print and e-media.

  • Nancy Gruver

    Can you recommend a good example of "how to" download a QR reader & use it? And what QR generator do you recommend?

  • business transcriptioon

    this is good news

  • Elif Kilic

    very good post to learn about wideness of Mobile commerce.thanks,

  • Lauren Perl

    Less reliance on Google in the Future thanks to Apple?

    "many of Siri’s searches, and in particular the local ones, bypass Google entirely and use location-based services and user-review sites such as Yelp"

  • Cda Mail

    very cool, but is that really augmented reality or just a link to a video that can be done in HTML with QR code. Very cool but we can do so much more with more advanced Augmented reality

  • BILL


  • vesta

    It’s true that many businesses look to the internet for FREE promotion – but they reach a very limited audience – those that already know about them via Facebook, Twitter and e-mail lists. Paid internet advertising is an avalanche of images and audio that many people click off to get past. It’s a linear medium where you have to get past one thing to get to another. That takes time. Newspapers and magazines reach a broad and varied audience. BUT – because most newspapers insist that bad news is news – many people just don’t want to read them. Whether print or internet news, you still have to capture a person’s attention and hold it long enough to get people to respond to advertising. Perhaps the medium needs to change the way they disseminate news to keep an audience, then advertisers will be more willing to spend money in print advertising.

  • @johnfoleyjr

    Great Post Linda.

    I Love QRCodes as well! If there were three things I would say to any publisher wishing to use QRCodes is.

    1. Dont Scramble to do it.
    2. Write a strategy for QRCodes in your pubs
    3. Make sure you mobilize your content. i.e. when a website make sure the site is mobile optimized.

    My 2 cents! John Foley, Jr @johnfoleyjr


  • JtotheE

    Sounds like a brilliant panel speaker. Can’t wait to watch the video – thanks for posting.

  • Sam

    Do not use Gifting Grace!!! They successfully ruined my Christmas by not openly displaying the shipping deadlines at checkout. When I called over the weekend to make a change to my shipping method so my gifts would arrive on time (I ordered Friday night), they advised me that they can not do that. That I’d have to reorder and have my recipient send back the extra items. When I asked if I could cancel, they said no. Please keep in mind that these items would not ship until Monday anyway. Customer service NIGHTMARE before Christmas!!!

  • Bruce Dyson

    The ballot printing should be done by an independent party, just to be sure.

  • Rick

    You are incorrect with your assumption because you compare CPMs of digital to print yet the CPM of digital is based on open rates and impressions, meaning actual chances or readership, yet the CPM of print is based on the amount of printed copies sent in the mail, not readership! Simply you compare Readership vs. Distribution, which makes no sense. An Apples to Apples comparison would be Print CPM to eNewsletter total distribution CPM. Both CPMs are based on distribution, not readership and digital is less expensive.

    A "readership CPM" comparison would be ideal but until there is a quantifiable method of measuring print readership the comparison can’t be calculated. But let’s give it try anyway: if a full page 4/c ad cost $4,500 for a 20,000 circ publication, the CPM is $225 for the distribution of that magazine. If that issue is actually read by 50% of the distribution, the CPM jumps to $450. If the amount of readers who actually open the print page and saw that ad is 10%, the CPM jumps to $2,250!

    You say that most advertisers would think that $3,000 is to expensive to have their ad displayed 30,000 times. We get that much for 20,000 impressions, which is cheap, especially compared to a Print Readership CPM.

    As you can see, Readership CPM for print is very expensive. Readership CPM for digital is not. Some advertisers understand this and more are learning this. Publisher need to wake up and stop under valuing and under pricing their digital products.

  • JEMK

    I don’t like the idea! I think it will discourage people from liking fan pages and more will move over to google + where business is separate from personal.

  • Jeffry Martini

    Where they are going to make big $$$$ from the Lindsay Lohan issue is from Newsstand sales….which are through the roof! Every major Newsstand in Southern California has been in a "sold-out" state on and off since the December 16th release. Playboy has promised another print run to meet the demand. This Lohan issue is a massive success story….and the added publicity over her fee and the "leaking" of the pix to the Internet hasn’t hurt either. Hef is laughing all the way to the bank!

  • Dave

    There can be no ‘trust’ between any publisher who sends me a text message I haven’t asked for. How can anyone trust a company which is willing to steal from them?

    Until US cell operators adopt the European (actually world) practice of billing ONLY the sender of text messages, unsolicited texting is stealing money from every single recipient.

    I immediately ‘blacklist’ any company sending me unsolicited texts and have over 70 people who have asked for my list (updated monthly) with many who have contributed to it. One person has asked my permission to create a website based upon the list. I can’t imagine they need my permission, but the courtesy was appreciated. We will see if the site shows up after the holidays.

    Like to make the list (and the site)? Simple send me an unsolicited text.

  • lenfeldman

    Jim, with all due respect, in the late, great era of classified advertising, did newspapers go out of their way to vet the ads that they ran? So long as the customer had a valid credit card and wasn’t advertising something patently illegal, such as prostitution, they’d accept the ad. Oh yes, I forgot–the Village Voice and other tabloids get a significant amount of their revenue from ads for escorts and sexual services.

    Radio stations have allowed callers to engage in slander for decades. The situation is even worse today, in that the threat of license challenges is effectively dead. Short of using the "seven words you’re not allowed to use (on the air), callers can say pretty much anything they want.

    In short, there is more than enough profiting from illegal activities, libel and slander in conventional media to go around. Perhaps you’d like to suggest self-censorship and prior restraint for your own medium before you propose it for others.

  • BJR

    Who is supposed to pay for these iPads? For kids in elementary school? It is ridiculous to expect kids that age to take care of something that delicate. Our youngest son would have gone through one a week when he was in elementary school! And it is past time someone stated the plain truth — technology has not proven to be an aid to learning. We have been pushing every new piece of technology in schools for the past 20+ years and, rather than going up, SAT and other scores have steadily dropped. Technology is not a magic bullet.

  • DonP

    I don’t think it’s going to be QUAD. They are probably the most efficient volume offset printer in the U.S. As a vendor, I’ve spent lots of time in their plants and have seen their automation investments first-hand. Plus, they just received new financing.

  • WindyCityGal

    I’m the 60%! haha

  • NEO

    B&N to escape lease obligations, reduce to 275 or 300 units, then see what happens

  • Jeffry Martini

    The Chicago Tribune should just put this on sale separately at the newsstand and let it sit on the shelves for a full week for $2. That’s comparable to and page wise, cheaper than the New York Review of Books. They will sell a lot more this way than by charging an extra $2 for it being in the Sunday paper. It will be lost inside the Sunday paper unless they run a "promotional blurb" front page banner or page wrap…. and they will have to do it….EVERY week! Book lovers don’t always buy or subscribe to a Sunday (more expensive) newspaper. I know I don’t. For an ebook reader they should charge 99 cents a single download with a discount to only $30 for a full 52 week download subscription. They will make money on the ebook model….especially if they make it….Affordable.

  • Nick Lachey

    Thanks for the post. Here’s a post that shows you the best way to create reports that resonate with your different audiences http://blog.caspio.com/web_apps/is-your-data-layout-working-for-your-audience/

  • RobinW

    Thanks this an interesting read. Direct mail is still important in email marketing

  • smecoffey

    All four are in trouble. online publications are growing at unbelievable rates. Most of us forget print is only access to periodicals to most. Most people don’t own computers. Yet publishers seem to be slow footed and even slower in addressing problem. Cross platforming isn’t marketed to advertisers in any way that will serve advertisers well. Publishing as we have known it and must come up with bright, easy and timely ways not yet being done. Within a few years publishers had better figure out how to deliver their content while dragging advertisers along.
    Great writers work must be available while appealing to the advertisers money.
    Broadcast and, the internet and out of home are going to be big winners in near future and then only big money will have exposure to potential customers.
    All Inteelectual property will be unsafe, unprotected and we’ll all be in wild west.
    Computers are not just word processors anymore. Policing will become a must. Our government won’t protect publishing and most interactive cos are developing games.

  • David Drimer

    Here’s my take on what killed the American newspaper: publishers deciding to treat the online traffic as a separate revenue channel from the print vehicle. Had publishers tied the two together into perpetuity, newspapers would still be thriving and the promise of digital would have been fulfilled.

    It was a golden opportunity to finally be a partner with your advertising customer, instead of just talking about it, as we did for so many years.Your customer should have felt like he owned your audience in any medium; that was the ROI on his continued investment in your pub. The culprit was publishers’ greed.

    The higher end value-added revenue opportunities — like branded content — would have evolved sooner and more profitably, too. What happened instead? Print died and digital has failed to produce enough incremental revenue to support editorial overhead, much less create substantial enough profit margins.

  • Jim_Sturdivant

    Neil Young gets it: "Piracy is the new radio. That’s how music gets around." (at D: Dive Into Media http://dthin.gs/yyMeer) He’s talking about how kids get introduced to songs and artists, which has never just been about legitimate channels.

  • Richard Owen

    Is the only definition of DRM one that limits the use of the content to one device, not to be downloaded to one’s computer, not to be forwarded to anyone,not to be printed? We have tried that. Created eBooks that could be purchased by an individual and accessed with a key. Too expensive for the publisher if the item carries a low price. To get to it, the user has to download the software from the provider. Not attractive to a lot of consumers. If that is DRM, then I am against it. On the other hand, as a publisher charged with protecting the content of the author and charged with producing a profit, allowing unlimited access and distribution of multiple copies of a copyrighted publication seems to me to be irresponsible. Is it not possible to create software that provides publishers with the same level of protection they now have with print? When a purchaser chooses to loan (or give away) a book, the purchaser no longer has the book. He can not loan or give it to more than one person at a time. He or she gets it back when/if the book is returned. He can then loan the book to someone else. The purchaser can make copies if he/she is willing to destroy the book to make clean copies or to create ugly, sometimes not very readable, copies by pushing the open book as flat as possible against the screen of the copy machine. I will embrace a program that mimics the extent of protection publishers have with print. Maybe call it M(odified)DRM. Richard Owen

  • DVA

    How does ‘giving away free’ equate to $1.99 from Amazon, Barnes and Noble, iTunes, etc?

    Typo or ‘bait and switch’?

  • IanMcAuliffe

    Crikey – only just beginning to get to grips with email marketing!

  • Steven Schnoll

    You got half the story right. i just read this article on my laptop not your printed magazine. I hardly read any magazines in printed editions anymore unless I am stuck on an airplane where all devices have to be turned off. The stats about the decline in print are factual and alarming. School children are learning to read and write on tablets and computers not books. This trend will continue. I LOVE PRINT but I am also a practical person who sees the handwriting very clearly on my tablet not a piece of paper.
    Where you are 100% correct is that the world still demands good content. The future is all about delivering outstanding relevant content just like the NAPCO publications do with their daily online feeds. Content reigns supreme. The only thing that is changing is the methods of deliivery. People still enjoy a quaint buggy ride but I don’t thnk that is how they want o commute to work.
    Print will never die it will merely be redefined.

  • VngardPrntllc

    Congratulations Jeff on your promotion! We wish you the best of success in your new role.

  • Lenthewriter

    The Internet is creating a "Babel" effect–an overwhelming, "towering" quantity of information of greatly varying quality and accuracy that threatens the decision-making process. Search engines do not discriminate on the basis of quality. The result in cases of polarized authors is hopelessly countervailing information, all appearing as authoritative. As for millennia, caveat emptor!

  • Torbin Darkthorn

    I will never own an IPad. My beef with Apple is still the same today as it was when they started. They wanted to price me out then just as they do now. I’ll go with a Kindle Fire and be just as happy at a much better price.

  • Colin Crawford

    Oh come on – this smacks of wanting the golden age of print to return once the economy recover. . It’s just not going to happen. Newsstand sales have been falling for the last 4 years. Print will have a place for years to come and in certain categories will continue to thrive but the world has moved on, technology has changed our industry. Brands have the opportunity to embrace this exciting digital world that covers the web, mobile web, mobile apps, digital video, tablet, and e-commerce. Digital provides us with a dynamic rich media environment where audiences participate and collaborate in a way that was not possible in the static world of print. Worldwide tablets sales will likely reach 100MM in 2012 and are expected to outsell PCs by 2015 – the changing media consumption patterns offer magazine media brands a great opportunity to deliver content to mobile readers in a way that takes full advantage of the features and functionality of these devices. Detailed analytics will help the whole industry improve the products and deliver more cost effective marketing. Customers will be able to buy directly from these branded environments. In a world where there is an over abundance of content – a lot of it very poor – Brands who are trusted by their readers have an amazing opportunity to build out new models in a world of mobile digital media consumption. They can combine original, social and other content from multiple sources in a curated and filtered environment and distributed it to targeted audiences. It’s time to stop hanging onto the past but work together to build out for the future unburdened by the confines of print. Print has many great attributes but as the sun gradually sets on this mature industry a digital dawn is about to break. Tactically managing the print business for profitability makes total sense but so does strategic planning for and investing in the digital future.

  • Jim_Roddy

    I think Noelle was spot-on with her assessment that content is king (and will always be king) and magazines will continue to hold a prominent place in distributing content. The target audience for my publishing company is IT executives — people you’d assume would want everything digital. But when we ask if they’d like a digital magazine instead of a print copy, over 90% say they want the print magazine. They say it’s convenient for them to get feature stories, case studies, and trend pieces delivered to them in one handy, portable package. In addition, most of those subscribers also want our email newsletter, too, because they know it delivers different content (e.g. news, white papers, etc.).

    I’ve seen now for decades the extreme predictions that print is going away. For years, I held onto an article from 1998 that boldly and confidently predicted all media will be digital in 10 years. I should have contacted the author and bet him money by taking the "over." Now I’m holding onto an article about Steve Ballmer where he predicts … wait for it … all media will be digital by 2017. I’m going to take the over on that one, too.

    Magazines will have a place in the world as long as there are humans on our planet and publishers produce quality content. Just because you do everything digital doesn’t mean everybody else does. I plan to give Noelle a high-five (or fist bump if she prefers) at the Pub Exec conference for doing a great job articulating the value of creative, informative content in magazines.

  • richman

    The U.S. Postal Service ended the first three months of its 2012 fiscal year (Oct. 1 – Dec. 31, 2011) with a net loss of $3.3 billion. Without the requirement to prefund retiree benefits, the net loss would have been a positive net gain of $200 million for the quarter ended December 31, 2011, compared to a net income of $226 million for the quarter ended December 31, 2010. It made a profit last year too, of slightly more, $300 million, although it’s hard to remember hearing anything about it when you take into account for the prefunding requirement.

    Back in 2006, the last time it tried to save the post office, Congress wanted to make sure that there would be plenty of money to pay for the health care of retired postal workers. The Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act (PAEA) therefore required the Postal Service to pay about $5.6 billion a year over a ten-year period, 2007 through 2016, into a fund to cover retiree health care — for the next 75 years. That remedy has practically killed the patient.

    The trust fund payments are the cause of the USPS losses since 2006. Without them, the USPS would have been profitable over that time period. All of the current USPS debt is money it has had to borrow from the Treasury so that it can then loan it back to the Treasury for the “trust fund”. It’s a shell game designed to take “off budget” postal revenues, and apply them to an “on budget” trust fund, artificially lowering the federal budget deficit.

    The USPS Inspector General, David C. Williams, said that the fund is in better shape than comparable funds in any other government agency or private-sector business.

    “Prefunding retiree healthcare is rare in the public and private sectors,” wrote the Inspector General. “We have been unable to locate any organization, either public or private, that has anything similar to the Postal Service’s required level of prefunding of retiree health benefits. The Postal Service is currently funded at 49% of its estimated current liability. The federal government does not prefund its retiree health benefits AT ALL, and the military is funded at a 35% level. Only 38 percent of Fortune 1000 companies who offer retiree health care benefits prefund the expense at all, and the median funding level for those organizations is 37 percent.”

    Furthermore, Inspector General said the programs are flush with funds. He said the Postal Service has "significantly exceeded" the amount that the federal government and the nation’s most profitable corporations have socked away for pension AND retiree health care. "The USPS has built a war chest of over $326 billion to address its future liabilities."

    No other company or agency has the same obligation to prefund retiree healthcare benefits.

    Even if one accepts a need for some level of prefunding, the 2006 law was based on assumptions as to volume and workforce levels that no longer apply, yet no adjustments have been made to the payment levels. If the USPS had been allowed to run like a business since 2006 (i.e. without prefunding and Congressmen micro-managing its operations), it would be a profitable enterprise facing the recession with ample cash reserves.

    Between the “mythical” trust fund with its very real $44.1 billion, and the undisputed $6.9 billion FERS overpayment, the supposedly “insolvent” USPS effectively has almost $51 billion. With this future retiree health benefit account earning 3.5 to 4 percent interest every year, it could be fully funded in the next 21 years without the need for additional funds.

    Republicans refuse to drop the accounting gimmick that places USPS operations “off budget”, while its retirement funds are “on budget” This allows them to cry “BAILOUT” if the USPS asks for some of its own money to be returned to fund its operations.

    Congress created the “crisis”, not the USPS unions or managers, and Congress needs to correct its mistakes before it destroys the US Postal Service.

    Don’t blame the salaries of postal workers: their selection by high exam scores, training and accountability, plus good wages and benefits has produced high productivity and a low quit rate. The postal workforce has, in fact, shrunk from nearly 800,000 in 1999 to 550,000 career employees today. Most of those job cuts had to do with increased automation, but many have come at the price of service – despite the post office’s original constitutional mandate.

    Let’s be clear: these short-term accounting efforts will not solve the long-term financial problems facing the U.S. Postal Service. In order to do that, the Postal Service needs to adopt an entirely new business model which makes it much more entrepreneurial, pro-business, and pro-consumer compared to where it is today.

  • Joe Cronley

    Capitalism is a beautiful thing. As long as it’s not for Federally forbidden purposes, a business is free to discriminate as it sees fit.

  • gethebigpixel

    I wonder what the effectiveness metrics are. Personalization is becoming ubiquitous and is rapidly losing, if it has not already lost, its power. My belief is that, in this case, personalization is using technology for technology’s sake. What is the value added of a personalized ad in a publication that is sent to an existing subscriber? It is one thing to reach the audience, quite another to connect to it.

  • Rick

    I’m going to say in many cases they’re not "turning their back on print" but can’t afford the printing/mailing costs anymore, so they go digital and exclaim "This is the exciting new venture we’ve chosen to undertake that is totally not dictated by economics but is really showing how cutting edge we are!"

  • can you count?

    I only count 11 things here, where are the other 23?

  • Matt Holliday

    You missed the MAIN ADVANTAGES of print magazines, especially subscription print magazines delivered in the US Postal Service stream. ONE, they arrive in someone’s mailbox as WANTED stuff. TWO, they are self-sufficient and exclusive in their use. The second advantage is HUGE. When someone sits down with a magazine, she/he can become fully involved in the content and immersed in the community that the magazine fosters. It allows the reader to escape from the busyness of life, the distractions of our electronic world, and enjoy some time (an hour, maybe two) with a predictable surprise (content about a range of topics, following the magazine’s focus, but not known ahead of the magazine’s arrival). That’s what makes print invaluable to people; that’s why there will always be people who will prefer print over electronic delivery.

  • George

    You make some interesting points – but I don’t know if any readers who buy the magazine or book for that matter to sniff the pages or feel a compelling need to cut up the item they just paid a hefty price for. Nope it still comes down to what does the reader want and need. Magazines can’t give you a sample of a music score, nor can they show you what the product they are advertising from different angles interactively –try looking up the meaning of a word you are not familiar with on the printed pages. Nope –it is still the customer’s need – not the need of marketing trying to sell a media that is rather slow and non responsive to change

  • MarkWWhite

    Slides from the "11 Rules of Bookazines . . ." presentation can be found at http://www.scribd.com/MarkWWhite1875/d/86691552-U-S-News-Bookazines-3-25-12.

  • Shannon

    As a former stock owner of Source Interlink I think it’s repulsive that they are still conducting business and even more so about bragging about how they are now prospering. During their bankruptcy proceedings in 2009, $1 billion of their $1.6 billion that they owed to Citibank was forgiven in exchange for complete ownership of the company and in the process, the stock was delisted and any equity that investors were holding onto was deemed immediately worthless. Such a shame! So basically our tax money that was used to fund the government bailout to banks like Citibank, further helped forgive more bad corporate debts to Source Interlink and now that they prospering again, where is the retribution to tax payers and stock holders that took the grunt of their mismanagement?

  • JosephRatliff

    Amen to that… email is far from dead… but email marketers NEED to adapt to a more "relationship nurturing" experience.

  • Colin Crawford

    According to http://labs.chitika.com/ipad/ the US traffic is around 9%

  • Rose Rummel-Eury

    Please consider adding captioning to audio and video files for the 36 million Americans with hearing loss.

  • Steve

    3.5 inch, 4 inch, why are we never given dimensions in these articles (height by width)?

  • Michael Jahn

    I didn’t buy it. I thought it was totally weird. The idea that she was breastfed until she was 6 was equally weird. Great Cover? Perhaps. Of course – to be fair and upfront – I do not happen to find myself walking by a "newsstand’ unless I am traveling, and do not happen to impulse by a magazine based on its cover.

  • Fiorella DeLima

    Well said!! I too, cannot understand why we are so uptight about something that is the most natural thing in the world.

  • Pamela Amri

    How exciting is this?!?

  • CWJ

    some interesting points and nice to see that we don’t just role over to everything digital, as if that’s the answer to everyting …I’m new to the publishing world and I can see the ‘it depends’ point …. so I’ll be pushing for digital where it makes sense and meets the reader / advertiser need and ‘paper’ where that can deliver value to our readers and sponsors and meet there need



  • Dave Kempf

    While I don’t disagree with this article what alternative other than self-publishing do these individuals have? Publishing companies are notorious for being difficult to get into and in today’s world don’t do a great deal to support most titles. A properly executed book can be extremely profitable and rewarding if the book is good, tHe author has an audience and is willing to work at a the marketing. Dave Kempf

  • director101

    BTW, it’s "Stephenie Meyer"

  • Geoff S.

    When you pay for your book to be published you have to be willing to accept the sometimes difficult advice of the publisher to cut you content or be willing to accept the edits. Many times the self-published author thinks his or her work is perfect the way it is and only wants a designer and printer.

  • jman

    Where’s the link to ‘click here’ to view a short video clip of the experience?

  • Julia Hidy

    I have known authors who recently used firms that ten years ago would have been considered ‘vanity publishers.’ But these firms have spiffy websites and legal contracts that indemnify them from anything and everything. On the surface, these ‘publishers’ seem to have cleaned up nicely. POD is used, and for $5,000., the author receive a semi-custom pre-canned cover, X hours of editorial review, and if they’re lucky, a press release that would cost $200 to write and $100 to $200 to post online, if that. The file conversions to .mobi and .xml and ‘distribution’ to e-booksellers is all ‘taken care of.’ The author’s title may even be listed as available in p-book catalogs with the promise that an already overworked sales rep will pitch their title to an equally overworked buyer. Sadly, the author has been charged 300% to 400% above ‘list’ or wholesale costs. What a business model! The author has to sell a small boatload of titles to break even. I highly doubt ROI or a 90-day, 180-day or one year marketing plan were ever discussed. I do know the ‘publisher’ gave a same $20 book marketing trade title to the authors (likely negotiated and purchased in bulk for $5), patted them on the head and pointed them in the direction of the published author promised land. After the first sales’ rush, many of these authors wonder what happened. The nouvelle vanity publisher has long been paid. The fun is over, profit net of cost is highly unlikely, and the glamorous world of publishing may now hold a little less glamor than it deserves.

    Sadly for you, Jim, sending an email to you was likely part of the ‘package.’ As with their musician pre-paid counterparts (what a true analogy), the actual marketing and promotion were lacking. The saddest part of all: a few of these books would actually be worthwhile reading. Instead, they’ve become e-slush. It doesn’t cost authors a dime to post their books on Kindle or publish via CreateSpace, and even SmashWords’ and BookBaby’s entry level costs are under a Benjamin. I’d rather take the $4,900 difference and hire a dedicated, proven book publicist. Or throw a dandy book launch party and get a nice new dress or computer. I bet I could have money left over to actually promote my book!

    I’ll be directing a few folks to your post – particularly if they’re still wearing their rose-colored glasses. Thanks.
    P.S. Why are they sending you releases when your pub is B2B?

  • Mahesh Grossman

    The truth is, particularly with non-fiction, authors need a following in order to get a publishing deal– although I’ve had agents begin to tell me the same thing is happening with fiction. One way to build a following, and get media attention, is to self-publish your book. You can get media attention– I was on over a hundred radio and TV shows when I initially self-published– including the Fox News Channel, which called me a "ghostwriting guru." The problem with most self-published authors is that actually learn how to address the media. The email that landed in your spam folder most likely was addressed to several people all at once instead of just you. So even if you opened it, there would be no compelling reason for you specifically to write about their book.

    Mahesh Grossman
    The Authors Team
    and author of "Write a Book Without Lifting a Finger"

  • Steve Carlson

    I am a traditional publisher–but on a small scale, so some of the people I hang around with are successful self publishers. I agree with Jim’s point, but why does he refer to vanity publishers as self publishers? That’s the term the big vanity houses have used to lure suckers, but it’s a blatant lie. Self publishers are people who set up their own publishing company–purchase their own blocks of ISBNs–to take on the job of publishing books that they write. That is a long and proud tradition–and many of America’s greatest authors got their start that way. There is zero resemblance between that and vanity publishing. The confusion is a real disservice to true self publishers, many of whom make a good living by publishing good books.

  • Kate

    You’re way behind the times, here, and you’re missing a big piece of the puzzle. The model of self-publishing in the 90’s — vanity pubishing–that you mentioned is dead. There is no publisher, vanity or otherwise, taking money from these authors to print their work. Today, people do it themselves, for free, through Amazon’s Create Space, B&N’s PubIt, or Smashwords. Rarely do they pay an editor, or if they do, it’s generally an amateur. Rarely do they have a cover done by a professional cover artist, and if they do, that’s an amateur product to. So most of what people call "self-publishing" today is VERY different than it was twenty years ago. It’s a lot worse.

  • Dabs

    Hi Jim,
    You neglected to mentions that we authors have to "pound the pavement" no matter how stellar a job the publisher is doing!

  • John Gile

    I think this is what gives. The most successful marketer I ever knew, phenomenally successful, considered those "addled" types you mentioned — impaired by what he referred to as "Sesame Street Syndrome" and very limited in language arts development after hours in front of TV’s — as not worth his attention even though they are easily duped and manipulated and are easily herded like cattle. They’re the types who see one raspberry display with a 12 oz. package selling for $5.99 and a nearby display with 6 oz. packages on sale with two for $6.50 — and they take the two packages, thinking they’re getting a bargain. He said you can’t build a lasting business with repeat sales to those people because they follow fads, have no loyalty, and are targeted with banal soundbite advertising by every snake oil salesman in the corporate world. Businesses are built with repeat sales, and repeat sales are generated by customer satisfaction. Customer satisfaction is generated by quality, both quality products and service. The limited development of the addled types you mentioned renders them incapable of recognizing quality — which is why the successful marketer I mentioned preferred to let them go to the store next door while he built an enduring customer base.
    John Gile, http://www.johngile.com

  • Joel Varty

    I have found self publishing via Kindle Direct to be a very good service. In some ways, it’s too easy, and there have been reports of plagiarism, but for the most part I think it’s a great way to get content out there and make money from it. Being on the Amazon store itself is great marketing, especially when they allow for free promotions.

  • martinludovic

    Nice article. I’ld like to mention a Pinterest I’ve done about web-to-print technologies : http://pinterest.com/ludomartin/web2print/

  • lieblink

    Thanks Andy. You make some interesting points, but I disagree with the premise expressed in your headline. Marketers are in no way "targeting" publishers. Rather, because technology has disrupted models and lowered barriers to entry, more and more are using content to market to their audiences. And why not? They can. It’s more inexpensive, and often much cheaper, than buying media space. It’s effective. And increasingly, consumers tune out ad messages. This is a fully documented reality.

    My research on the topic hardly suggests marketers become publishers – it’s a given that they have. Instead, the report analyzes what we identified as five levels of content marketing maturity. Of course publishers aren’t mentioned in the report. The research isn’t remotely about traditional publishers, or TV or radio networks for that matter. It’s about how marketers are using owned media channels – not just print, but also broadcast.

    Finally, this phenomenon isn’t solely about social media "hijacking" publishers. Owned media incorporate social, but goes well beyond it.

    The very real threat out there is that brands have serious resources they can invest in content marketing efforts, as well as real needs to do so. It IS a threat to publishers when, say, American Express is your advertiser, but also publishing their highly successful Open Forum (now in its third year, I believe).

    Publishers overlook this very real development at their own peril. Sure they may have been there first, and they may even do it better. Both are spurious arguments. The reality is that brands ARE publishing more content, and doing so in more channels, and every day, they get better at doing it. The opportunity for publishers is to partner and share expertise (as many major magazine brands are working to do)

    Hoping this will all somehow go away is not a solution. Don’t believe me? Ask the recording industry.

  • michaelassad

    I don’t see PR firms as a natural fit for content marketing. They’re great a marketing, but not so good at the content part.

    Here’s an interesting model – brands partner with publishers to develop and publish their content. This is happening in Canada with one of the largest retailers (Shoppers Drug Mart) working with one of the leading publishers (St. Joseph Media) on a magazine that is only slighly branded:


  • Thadcmce

    Bob, Relevance is only one part of the formula. Big and little data, Engagement, Interaction, Support and the ability to touch each and every reader in a perceived different way are all part of this very complex formula called publishing. I suggest in my column that in many instances the publishers/organizations themselves do not know what they are and what they truly offer? Without a full understanding of their own intellectual capital the ability to grow and provide profit becomes much more difficult.

  • Tony Dellamaria


  • rskin11

    I throw my rhetorical support behind the two commenters so far, @michaelassad and @lieblink. They’re both making the important point – no publisher can go back to the future, per se. They need to reorient. The real question is this: Which publishers can pull it off? And how?

  • Tasha Turner

    This article is fantastic. I refer people to it all the time.

  • Rick Vach

    Amen sister.

  • GuyFleegle

    It runs Office. With a built-in keyboard, and a touchpad. And a SD card slot for expandable memory. And . . . it runs Office.

  • G-ManMN


    Go ahead, kiss Apple’s ass just a little bit more – I’m sure they’ll send you another free iPad or iPhone…

    The unbiased review posted at http://www.pcworld.com/article/257852/microsoft_surface_tablet_initial_impressions.html certainly paints a much better picture than the one you’ve painted here…

  • eshanfelt

    Ron, Microsoft may not have done it right this time … nor the others that have previously tried to copy the iPad. But it’s short-sighted to say that "trying to compete with Apple in the tablet market is a lost cause." No one would have thought anyone could unseat the Microsoft juggernaut, yet they have. No one would have thought anyone could challenge Google for Internet dominance, yet Facebook has. Someone will eventually come out with something that unseats Apple’s place of dominance with the iPad … just as Android has unseated Apple’s place of dominance with the iPhone (in terms of units sold). No one is ever untouchable …

  • Arthur

    This article does not slow down Microsoft in their ability to create anything they want to. Microsoft is here to stay–never needed any financila help to stay in business like Apple. See what Apple does now with no invention whiz!!!

  • Bill Smith

    While I’ve found the iPad is an impressive tablet, it’s shortsighted to cede the entire tablet market to Apple at this early stage. The tablet market is still a nascent one and I’m happy to see strong contenders like Microsoft stepping up and offering further competition. It’s healthy for the market as a whole.

    And the truth is that the Android tablet market is growing at a much faster rate than the iPad with most analysts projecting that Android tablets collectively will overtake iOS by 2015. We tend to have the Amazon and Apple blinders on here in the U.S., but neither brand is as strongly recognized elsewhere in the world where the vast majority of growth will occur. Look at Samsung and Galaxy’s (and Note’s) dominance in the Asian market.

    There’s a lot of room for further competitors in the space.

  • kurtdressel

    I think Microsoft has a shot, especially with business users who have been frustrated with the Office suite alternatives available for the iPad and Android tablets. Have you ever tried opening or editing your Powerpoint prezzos on your iPad? Of course, in typical Microsoft fashion, it appears they are planning to announce MS Office for iPad in the autumn, thereby eliminating the main attraction of a Microsoft tablet.

  • Thomas

    Ron, I think what you may be missing here is that with the introduction of Surface, it opens up the tablet directly into the Enterprise. I think looking at this as a pure apples-to-apples (no pun intended) comparison with the iPad is wrong. This actually has the ability to bring the tablet into the Enterprise 100%. What the iPad and other lack is their flexibility at work.

    You may think that the current tablets allow you freedom from your computer, but you are still tied to your computer for file share access. Connection to internal systems running on Microsoft Servers, security of documents and access to in-house portals that you would not necessarily have without Surface.

    Will they get it right the first time, who knows, but they do know a thing or two about Enterprise offerings. Remember, Apple has basically no market share in the Enterprise and has really become a consumer driven machine. If nothing else, hopefully others will see the value of what Microsoft is doing and jump on-board. Otherwise, tablets and mobile devices will still be the stepchildren of the workplace.

    Imagine what BYOD (bring your own device) could be if Microsoft perfects this arena as well. If nothing else, it allows the workforce to be more mobile and more flexible.

  • jakesmiles

    Listen, one of the problems here is the idea that the "authors" deserve all and are doing the publishers a favor. From EXPERIENCE in the publishing industry let me tell you different. Many authors will self-implode and ruin their own chances After the publisher has brought their book out; or they lie along the way. I once had an author tell me no one had seen his book (i was a lit agent) when in fact it had already been shopped all around and turned down, but I didn’t know that until a couple of months of my own hard work. Authors should use all kinds of services, such as editing. Most of them need it badly because they don’t really know how to write and rather than wasting our time, theyshould be learning from these services. They have no "rights" just because they "say" they are a writer. So don’t coddle writers/ make them learn to write and to use editors to learn to be better. That’s what they have to pay for if they want to go down the path. No one Owes them anything.

  • editrix 33

    I might well buy Surface RT because of the cover/keyboard, Office applications, and lightweight build. Tablets are fine for many uses but an integrated keyboard is vastly more convenient than a portable keyboard–more to lug around.

  • mahansen

    Great tips and can’t stress enough how important it is to add the call-to-action text next to your icons or navigation aids. This is still so new for people that things aren’t always obvious to the new end user.

  • Elliot

    Great Barrington, Mass., is also the birthplace of W.E.B. DuBois. Unless it has been erected recently, there is no monument to DuBois in the town of his birth.

  • michaelassad

    Thanks for picking this up :)

  • jake

    One also forgets this…the printers must provide cost effective quotes. As a book publisher I am fed up with printers who overprice their book publishing quotes. The prices are reflective of the "well take this percent of your profits" rather than the actual cost to print a book. A printer is NOT my partner in profit but providing a service that should reflect real costs, not costs that are inflated so they can drill down MY PROFIT. I hate printers and unless they start treating the small publishers with the respect we are due, we just won’t bother with print. Given the cost benefit ratio, we’ll stick to digital media to publish. Are you listening book printers. Lastly, do the JOB right! I shouldn’t have to tell you to use adequate glue or to not have smudging (because you didn’t clean the printers). I once ordered a large (for me) print run of books and at least ten cases had smudging on the pages. Sure they said, send them back….well that doesn’t work for me. I NEEDED those books done right the first time and don’t have time to be sending books back. Printers need to up their game and do it right with REAL cost effectiveness.

  • beq


  • Anne Gerth

    This news makes me sad.

  • guest

    I’m in marketing, work for a magazine publisher and am an avid Pinterest user. I have to say that I do not like seeing hard sales type of things there. That is not what it’s for. Now, I subscribe to a magazine or 2 and they use Pinterest. That doesn’t bother me because they are showcasing a beautiful room or dish or whatever brings me to their magazine in the first place. Point being that not every magazine out there has a place on Pinterest. But if you’re there, just share what you have and don’t push a subscription deal on me!

  • inkstainedwretch

    I feel the same twinges of regret, but it was unavoidable. I – and no doubt dozens (not hundreds or thousands, it seems) of others – share a sense of loss, at once keen and vague, when another solid giant turns to dust and falls. We understand the same thing: it isn’t so much about My Weekly Reader (the first publication I subscribed to) or the dwindling of the New Orleans TImes-Picayune, or similar deaths and erosions. It is the hard truth that nothing replaces them. These are the marks of our anti-literate culture, in which skills at language and literate expression are reduced to levels of technical proficiency like, (e.g.) software programming or anesthesiology, rather than established as the core of all cultural knowledge, intellect and conversation. Ever wonder why people don’t read? That, basically, is why – it isn’t a part of life to most people. To them, reading is a chore.
    There is no remedy for cultural anti-literacy, because it began so long ago – even before Ray Bradbury wrote Fahrenheit 451, which forecast its effects with frightening precision – and it, as Bradbury saw clearly sixty years ago, is something we wanted, and insisted we had a good reason for, and not merely for the sake of governability or freedom to be diverted. We wanted anti-literacy because we thought it would make our culture work better. So there is no going back. As Bradbury intimated in the final pages of 451, there is only going forward with, perhaps, a few lessons learned.

  • Diane R

    I totally agree that this is a real missed opportunity and I am very sad to hear about the demise of My Weekly Reader. Not only was it a great vehicle to introduce very young people to reading interesting things (and doing fun brain-teasers and puzzles) from a sheet of printed paper. The "pass along" on that printed piece encouraged socialization and idea sharing, person to person. We are heading into an electronic future where the idea of a printed word on paper will no longer exist. I can’t imagine a world without handwritten thank you notes or real paper greeting cards. We will really miss that written word on paper – and if you doubt that think about what you’ll do the next time the power goes out. Let’s see how easy it is to entertain those kids who only read things served up on their iPad…

  • Me1

    Censorship has been done through the centuries by both government and private entities to either serve or hide their true purposes.

  • TDellamaria

    This article explains why some publishers are having a tough time running two completely different business when it comes to print and digital.

  • are you kidding me

    I am so disappointed that Publishing Executive would promote such an ill-conceived, smarmy piece of reporting, that effectively immediately, I’m off your mailing list. What a huge disappointment. Suggestion: get smart on why the USPS is failing.

  • KarenCioffi

    Very interesting. I never thought of printing in this light before.

  • Michael Jahn

    There are quite a few differences in how an e-document can be delivered. When the deployment requires you download the entire document, and the document is 1000 pages full of images, well, that just plain dumb. Imagine if that was what we needed to do with Google Maps – and had to download and entire area – sounds silly, but that is what some of these magazine require. Not that I think PDF is the best approach, the fact is that byte serving is possible, so you can get page 5 and follow a jump to page 126 clicking on that ‘continued on page 126" – and not need to download all the pages in between.

    This is not a band width problem – this is not a ‘but our magazine is really big’ problem either – it is an ignorant distribution strategy problem.

    ePub does not make you download the entire document either.

  • James McFadden

    Great advice! I’m going to take this to our next sales meeting to validate and improve upon our existing philosophy!

  • michaelassad

    We have been thinking and talking about this a lot as we design the mobile extensions for our magazine suite. I agree that some form of full page or ‘full experience’ ad will come back. One of the more obvious applications is with galleries. Photo or image galleries make sense for pretty much every topic and they are engaging for the user. Something like the galleries on the NYT iPad app. Why not throw a few beautiful ads in there after every third image or so? The user gets a seamless experience and the advertiser gets undivided attention for a few seconds. It makes a lot more sense than refreshing banner and box ads above and beside the images which people just ignore.

  • George

    A disasterous choice. Will not be able to solve the problems.

  • Subscription Site Insider

    The difference between the two is that Lehrer fabricated quotes, whereas Zakaria seems to have simply forgotten to attribute his ideas to the right source. Journalists frequently repeat great ideas — that’s how we shape the public debate. And it’s quite conceivable that one would copy and paste a sentence to one’s notes, forget or lose the attribution, and then print it and forget it. That’s quite different from *making stuff up* to support one’s argument.

  • DeadTreeEdition

    Dead Tree Edition has a companion article about the lessons we publishers can learn from four web sites run by moonlighting postal workers that are highly efficient and draw good web traffic: http://deadtreeedition.blogspot.com/2012/08/lessons-about-new-world-of-publishing.html.

  • Stephen Uitti

    OK, it’s satire. Aggregation sites can kick out links in minutes. But what about new content?

    No idea how brick and mortar and paper magazines are going to make it work against sites that have no building or paper overhead that still manage to produce excellent new content every day. There are at least a few such sites that manage to do fact checking…

  • Wallace

    Good article.

  • JohnAHobson
  • ClarkF

    Can you explain how you determined fake vs. real? What sample size or percentage of followers did you review for each account?

  • Anthony Brown


  • Anthony Brown

    I am challenging the Greek people to call out to GOD now and stand back to see the miracles of the LORD GOD ALMIGHTY !

  • Colin Crawford

    I think the decision by Facebook to drop their HTML5 approach and go to native app development helps answers this question at least for the foreseeable future.

  • Jim_Sturdivant

    Great point, Colin. This would be a good issue to ask the panelists about at the show.

  • Howard Rauch

    Hi Andy:

    As you know, I have documented the uphill battle B2B editors have when it comes to delivering high-enterprise content. Two previous 50-site studies of e-news delivery found 66 percent of articles reviewedf reflected no enterprise.

    My third 50-site study, still in the early analysis stage, shows some improvement but nothing to brag about. Of the 180 articles posted by 18 sites reviewed as of August 31, 94 missed the enterprise boat. Another 63 were still burying readability in a parade of run-on sentences.

    For the current analysis, I have introduced two indicators that further relect B2B e-news shortcomings. The first measures "Link Visibility." In this case, the calculation is based on a very reasonable expectation that each article posted should provide at least one link. Thus . . . if each of ten articles includes one links, LV = 10/10 =1.0. For the 18 sites examined, LV = 10.7.

    However, let’s look behind the scenes. Collectively the 18 sites generated 171 links. But 149 of those were offered by just six sites. So for the remaining 12 sites, LV = 120/22 = 0.2. Key reason for this clearly unacceptable effort was that eight of the remaining 12 used no links.

    The other indicator I am toying with assesses how well editors manage to gather news from end-users as opposed to vendors, associations, governments and other sources. To this end using the 18 available sites, I divided number of articles into number of end-user quotes collectively posted.

    If each of the 180 articles involved carried a direct quote from at least one end user, my End User Visibility (EUV) would 180/180 = 1.0. The actual calculation was 180/62 = 3.5. This may or my not be acceptable. I will not be able to decide until after reviewing all 50 sites.

  • MarkWWhite

    I hope the collection pays tribute to the inventor of the Playboy Interview — Alex Haley, later of "Roots" fame. Decades ago when I was a newspaper reporter, Haley told me in an interview that the invention was more a matter of necessity than a stroke of genius. Assigned to interview the famously untalkative Miles Davis in 1962, he could only coax one- and two-word answers from the jazz pioneer. Out of desperation Haley wrote a profile of Davis and then presented the interview in a Q&A format. A relatively unknown freelancer, he feared Playboy’s editors would reject it. But they were smart enough not only to love the approach but also to adopt it for other interviews and to give Haley more assignments.

  • michaelassad

    I’m a huge fan of creating content from within a ‘corporation’. That is practically all we do for marketing now. If more marketing departments thought like journalists, the business world would be a much more interesting place :)

  • Barry

    We’ve also lost an important historical resource. That front page newspaper image that accompanies your comments offers an effective witness to history. Will there be any lasting "first draft of history" for scholars and others to explore decades and centuries later if it’s local blogs, websites and social networks that fill the void left by newspapers (and emails have replaced letters)?

  • Peter

    One wonders whether – rather than simply waiting for potential customers to "discover" the apps – Edmiston did any actual marketing? There’s no mention of any, either in this or the June 19 article.

  • Simon

    Well really effective points to attend the Publishing Business conference and it is more important if you are related to this business.
    Digital Printing Services

  • Thadcmce

    Bob, don’t you think it was perfect storm of 1) change of media, 2) the 50-year trend you mentioned and 3) a depression like decline in the economy, which added to the decline that the change in media offered?

    Thaddeus B. Kubis

  • Jim_Sturdivant

    Excellent point Barry.

  • Bob Sacks

    Perfect storm or not, some ships ride the wave of change and are better for the experience. The newspaper industry hasn’t adapted to the times when they needed to do so.

    Did you know that as reported by Media Post, “according to the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics, total employment in the newspaper publishing industry has plunged from 414,000 in 2001 to 246,020 in 2011, equaling a 40.6% drop in 10 years. The 2011 figure is down 5% from 258,950 in 2010 and 20.4% from 309,000 in 2009.”

    There are billions being made on the internet. Could it have been the newspaper industry? Yes, of course, they should have but they didn’t.

    They didn’t understand where their revenue came from until it was too late. The gravy train of classifieds was taken right under their noses. Why? How? Because they were fat and happy and had no entrepreneurial spirit left in the organizations. It always has been and always will be the battle of corporate shirts vs. entrepreneurs. And history shows us that entrepreneurs win almost every time. They are hungry, mobile, fast moving and smart. Corporate shirts aren’t even close to any of those attributes when we take the time to compare.

    Some of my best friends are corporate shirts. I love them and enjoy watching them maneuver their battleships in rough seas. They are very good at steering huge battleships, but the PT boats are swarming all around them.

    Beware the smart and aware of the nimble PT boats nipping at your wake or you too will be like the newspaper industry.


  • Jim_Sturdivant

    Interesting points Bo.

  • Alasdair Whyte

    Great post.

  • Jim

    Bo, those Mach 3 blades don’t fit on your Schick razor. You’ll need to see King Gillette for the solution.

  • brianoleary

    The AMC agenda was barely print-aware in its first iteration. As John Harrington steadily reported all summer and fall in The New Single Copy, attention to mundane topics like single-copy distribution (once a panel, later a placeholder and finally eliminated as part of the event) disappeared over time. In its place, the agenda included site visits to places like Google.

    Mary Berner deserves a chance to sort this out, but don’t take too long. Broad national trade organizations are the weekly magazines of the association space. Some survive, but they have to have a clear purpose. Magazine publishing is several industries previously bound by a format. What holds us together when we no longer share deep concerns about paper, or postal, or for that matter ASME guidelines?

  • completelydark

    What USNews is also doing smartly is the service angle. No longer will just "providing content" work alone.

  • eyecaptureinc

    Thank you, Bo for your very insightful post and helping to reframe the conversation by understanding the perspectives of the speakers. The technology corridors are very narrow indeed and have been hyper-focused on the distruptive impact technology has had on the biz, the most high-profile part being the news side of the business – this being the day after the Newsweek announcement. The immediacy of daily/weekly news versus the experience of monthly pubs are two different species and while the disruption in one can lead to the same path for the other, it can equally inform the other, and prevent it’s demise.

    While it’s easy to pontificate the death of a traditional media form, history has shown that the everyday consumer and their wallets are powerful voters for the familiar. You are absolutely correct in that the distribution platforms will change and evolve, and that print will still be a component (albeit smaller) in the foreseeable future. The trend today is that everyday consumers of all ages are overwhelmed by what’s on the internet and are more willing to pay for quailty content (something HBO was saying more than 30 years when people questioned the viability of premium vs free, ad-supported TV. I know, mixing mediums but still a valuable lesson there). VC’s have been predicting the death of traditional TV for much longer than print, and it still is a huge business(facing similar business model issues of free, freemium, premium). I predict TV will be here for a while longer, too.

    The key for print to grow going forward is to understand that people and advertisers today understand and now would like that same interactive nature (not immediacy as in the news side) they get in other tech forms, so print should be, too. But instead of engineers smply applying their wares to magazines which then produce suboptimal experiences, the answer is to solve the fundamental reader /publisher /advertiser problems first and then use technology to make the print experience better (aka innovation). Fundamentally improving the print reader experience adds VALUE to their subscription and allows print to remain RELEVANT to readers on their own terms.

    Readers are in control- always have been but we’ve lost sight of that over the years as we became enamored by the fancy delivery mechnisms (computers, smartphones, tablets and whatever new comes along). In tech terms – it’s the user experience that counts most, not just the hardware or device it’s being delivered on but the relevancy and quality of the content they are seeking in the moment; else, no matter how great the content is, no one will read it if it’s too hard to get or not a welcomed part of their reading experience in the first place.

    Best, Nina Gerwin

  • Cam

    Usual brand of "Schick Mach 3"? Seems unlikely…Mach 3 is made by Gillette.

    Yes, I’m available for copyediting.

  • finn58ster

    Clearest indication of the extreme focus on digital to the detriment of print: Low valuation the market places on print properties–even healthy ones.

  • loyaltothecore

    You’re thinking like a publisher and completely ignoring the readers who love their Newsweek. I, for one, an online publisher myself but also a loyal Newsweek reader, will miss the print version. For the subject matter covered by the great authors who contribute in-depth and well written articles and the week of news presented within those page–dwindling though they were–I will gladly pay the subscription fee to receive it on my Kindle or to have access to it on the Web. There is a place for news written by respected and experienced reporters who know both their craft and subject matter. I understand the challenges of print, the difficulties of finding enough committed advertisers to support a print model merely for the sake of image without the accountability online publications offer, but I want my Newsweek, and I will be among its early online subscribers.

  • @MarkWWhite

    Very insightful analysis. You scooped the Washington Post (http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/erik-wemple/post/can-newsweek-make-it-as-a-premium-tablet-thing/2012/10/19/bba79e92-1a0e-11e2-aa6f-3b636fecb829_blog.html) on comparing Newsweek to U.S. News & World Report’s new business model. Those interested in what U.S. News is still doing with print can check out free previews of "Best Colleges 2013" (usnews.com/college2013) and "Best Hospitals 2013" (usnews.com/hospitalbook).

  • Scott Frangos

    Hello Andy –

    I think you are mistaken. Content Marketers are targeting publishing as a tactic, not "Publishers" as a service industry. In fact, the two are compatible as other commenters have noted. Since you know publishing and Content Marketing is really just Publishing via new media tools and tactics, then you can provide same for your clients as well.

    Take for example, the Content Marketing Institute, which practices what it preaches for both online publishing of articles, plus an offline magazine (CCO — Chief Content Officer). They are one of our clients, and the CEO, Joe Pulizzi, came out of traditional publishing — Penton Media.

    There’s no exclusion in their game plan and many others in the space.

    Cheers –

  • RElliott

    Newsweek’s decline has been visually obvious for some time. Two leading clues were how much thinner a publication it has become and the loss of many of its marquee columnists over the last several years. As a Newsweek reader for over 40 years, I was disappointed, but not surprised, that it would discontinue its print tradition. At the same time, I realize that all good things come to an end and so it is with Newsweek.

  • RElliott

    Subscribers of Newsweek and anyone who has been following it over the last couple of years have noticed it to be a brand and a product in decline. S-K’s projections above are probably accurate and at the same time, my sense is that management at Newsweek, especiallyd the Daily Beast group, had an NIH (not invented here) approach to ideas not their own.
    Whatever they were doing wasn’t adequate as the magazine became progressively thinner. It was if they had gone from Newsweek to Newsweak. The result is that they became pilots of a plane without a working altimeter and only became aware of how dire their situation was when they saw how close to the ground they had come. The black box of this crash will likely be studied as a case study by upcoming business school students.

  • EllieAsksWhy

    I find this open access model for publishing of scholarly journals to be very puzzling. I am not affiliated with any publishing entity, nor library, nor do I work doing anything that is compensated by any publisher or copyright protected content generator. Disclaimer out of the way! Also, I appreciate it, very much, when Wiley and others offer some open access articles rather than requiring Athens or Shibboleth access for everything.

    This is the mystery though: Scholarly publishing can’t be free. Those who do it, the publishing and production and distribution, are skilled, educated people that need to be paid for their work. I infer that scholarly publishers have earned outsize profits in the past. That doesn’t mean that they should now work for free. The article says this:
    "to publish an article, these activities—the editorial process, technology developments, making sure that research is discoverable, maintaining the integrity and quality… etc.—necessitate a significant investment"
    Well of course they do! How will these fees be paid if there is free and open access to all journal content? That isn’t a business model that is rational or achievable. This is the other portion:
    "To offset these costs and make open access a viable business model, many funding agencies will pay money upfront to publishers."
    Hmm, who are the funding agencies? Is such a practice ethical, of paying publishers for including the research that you funded in their journals? Doesn’t it lead to conflict of interest? It wasn’t done in the past, I don’t recall.

    Everything cannot be free. Just because it is produced electronically doesn’t mean it costs nothing to produce. Maybe there shouldn’t be so many journals, publishing lots of sub-par quality papers. Maybe existing as well as new, yet sensibly grown journals should remain fee-based, in order to maintain standards, quality and value to readers. Costs could be less, although I am very fond of print publications, I confess. This push for an all open-access model for scholarly publications seems ill-conceived to me. There is tremendous pressure to yield to it though, as it is de rigeur EVERYWHERE… sigh.

  • EllieAsksWhy

    There are two issues here. One is content, the other is delivery. (Sorry, I sound patronizing, this is your domain, not mine, I am merely a customer). I liked the quality content of Newsweek. I value the high quality news reporting and columnists in other mainstream media publications. Bloggers and HuffPo are not particularly credible. Newsweek, Reuters, NY Times aren’t perfect, but they’re SO far superior to free content providers! I worry a lot about this, that we are shuttering our trusted news sources, thinking we don’t need them when we do, more than ever!

    Now for delivery: I love reading print media. It is mobile, durable, foldable, can get wet or torn, lasts for years, and most important of all to me, is easy on my eyes. Online content is not.

  • michaelassad


  • Monica

    How can I check this out? Is there a video demo?

  • pinfluencer

    Pinfluencer is running a monthly webinar series on Pinterest promotions best practices and pinterest roi analytics. check out some past recordings at: http://blog.pinfluencer.com/pinterest-promotions-best-practices-webinar-by-pinfluencer-november-series/

  • Kent Ford, Moeditor

    On the other hand, sometimes things are what they are.
    If you’re writing about a homophobe, and the person admits to being one, use the word.
    And ethnic cleansing need not be violent, although the examples you mention certainly were.

  • Pamela Amri

    Whole Living digital version is gorgeous and well-thought out. I do hope, as a reader, they can keep on delivering such beautiful work.

  • ChuckInSf

    News Corp has tons of money to throw around and make giant high-publicity blunders. That’s great for them, and good for the rest of us to watch and learn from.

  • BDF

    Hey, This is interesting but isn’t AARP a membership magazine? Which would mean that the numbers only tell us that AARP’s member rolls are growing? And that the population of the US is skewing older and joining AARP (mostly for health insurance). As far as I know it’s not sold on the news stand, nor by subscription, so how does it figure into any discussion about the health of magazines?

  • Doug Turner

    Android or GTFO

  • Donald Tepper

    Please. I know this was a design-related article, but recognize that editors (and other folks with at least a high school education) might be reading it as well. And the process was painful. Among the errors:

    I know refer to that practice as “hypocrisy”.
    –>Preferable style is to place the period inside the quote.

    But it could be because this cover, like last year’s stood out so well.
    –>Needs a comma after "year’s."

    Aside from being a great read, the cover image is guaranteed to attract it’s target demographic.
    –>"its," not "it’s."

    I’m not a fan of Blake Lively’s, but I am a fan of the image.
    –>Blake Lively’s what? Or did the writer mean "Blake Lively"?

    But Glamour get’s a pass to the lifeboat
    –>"gets," not "get’s." What is this with all the extra apostrophes?

    this small Ohio based publisher had it’s February cover place in the top 10.
    –>"its," not "it’s."

    While I like the mid year redesign of this venerable magazine, the March issue literally leaped off the rack into my hands when I walked by.
    –>Wow! It literally leaped off the rack? Now, THAT’s impressive!

    Luckily, there are still writers and editors to handle the non-design elements of magazines.

  • Bill Esler

    Boy are you wrong Mr. Magazine –
    Number one, magazine production costs – burdened by rising costs in everything from USPS pension liabilities, the cost of fueling energy-wasting boilers in paper plants, to repairs on aging printing presses – force the squeeze of quality from the printed product – and thereby diminish engagement.

    The engaging thing about online is that we can place so many things there that will captivate a viewer/reader. For an editor our ability to tell the whole story, without constraints of length, to show all the pictures we took, not just two or three, and the ability to embed video, changes the ballgame.

    Print brand publications increasingly serve as snapshots of what can be found online, and reminders of websites and the collective conscious of the editorial crew building them.

  • Tablazines

    Let’s not forget the one basic thing… the clutter. I’m an avid reader of magazines and I like to save publications to refer back to previous articles. Of course this means that I’ve amassed quite a collection of paper materials.. or should I say "had"… the minute I my lady move in… something had to give…lol.

    I like being able to digitally have access to every publication I own and not having to carry around 4 or 5 bulky publications on a crowded NYC subway.

    As a graphic designer and one who deals with a lot of printers.. the only I will miss is the smell of paper on ink when it’s freshly printed…lol

  • AdLab

    Yes, the media landscape has changed. As someone who has spent the past 34 years in and around the media, I caution, however, that "video did NOT kill the radio star." Instead, we live in a multi-platform world where old and new co-exist side by side. The companies that think they are in the newspaper, magazine, radio or TV business will go by the wayside. Those that unerstand they are in the business of providing UNIQUE, ORIGINAL AND COMPELLING CONTENT, ACROSS PLATFORMS, ON DEMAND, will survive…and thrive. Witness McGraw-Hill selling Business Week to Bloomberg for $1. It shouldn’t have happened. They should have been able to monetize that content.

  • Thadcmce

    I contacted Laura when she took over at TIME and told her that the interview in the NYTimes was an exciting look to the future. No one can expect dramatic change in an industry to occur in such as short time. I think she is on target and look forward to the future of publishing.

  • Denny Hatch

    Layoffs at TIME? Check out a recent TIME masthead:
    435 people. Check out a recent issue of TIME magazine (Jan. 14, 2013). 60 pages. Do the arithmetic. 7.2 people-per-page. Okay, TIME’s got a kid’s edition plus marketing and PR. But . . . the March 23, 1923 launch issue of TIME ram 32 pages and consisted of 117 articles created by approximately 20 staffers—or 0.72 people-per-page. I have my own conclusion. What’s yours?

  • Sneed

    People obsessed with the news believe too much in the power of the word. Those who use imagination to live by are less concerned with the world’s highly publicized ways.

  • SourceInsiderEmployee

    THis Jacklegs been running the compan y into the ground, hiring all his old friends, from industries totaly unre-lated to advertising, promoting them to publisher positions with no experience what so ever, and now his editorial policy is, no editorial unless your an advertiser, way to sell out jacklegged ass doug, oh but lets make sure i can get my cronies to build me as many prjec tcars as i can rip off beofre i blled this outfit dry and the idiots running it.

  • colltreese

    The demand for intelligent copyright and patent laws has be evident since day one. People want reasonably accessible content and accessible content is good for content creators and good for publishers. The refusal to recognize that demand is not the fault of a million anonymous web users or "radical" information advocates. It’s proof of a broken model.

    There are obtrusive patent laws for nearly web-based or application-based behavior on the web. To see copyright laws reach the same heightened frenzy would be a shame.

    It’s sad to see such a strong user advocate pass.

  • Elliott Brennon

    I’m sorry for the family of Aaron Swartz and their loss.
    I would have had greater respect for Mr. Swartz’s position had he fought the good fight in court.

  • Doug Turner

    "it’s clear his death will serve as a grim indictment of the very legal structure he sought to upend"

    False. It’s clear that even if you don’t like copyright laws, you don’t break them. His death, while tragic, doesn’t alleviate the fact that he chose to break the law.

  • Sanford Thatcher

    Well, for one thing, Swartz’s action in "liberating" JSTOR content would have hurt university presses financially, reducing their ability to publish scholarly books and journals. So it would hardly have been a "victimless" crime. I don’t consider Swartz’s act to be noble: he tried to hide it, and then he tried to avoid paying any legal consequences. Not the kind of way Martin Luther King, Jr., approached social and legal change. His act would have violated the NET Act, which Congress passed in 1997 specifically to cover cases of infringement where the infringer did not gain any financial benefit. I too favor open access, but there are right ways and wrong ways to get there. Swartz chose the wrong way.

  • Rob Spooner

    Where should we draw the line? It’s like pornography. Maybe I can’t explain exactly why but Scientology is on the outside of the line.

  • Joann Rahn-Marcucci

    Very Cool!!!

  • Hezi Aris

    Management has been lax for too long in satifying the needs of advertisers who long ago begged to be included, in fact needed to be included within those pages that were required for their viability. They begged, they pleaded, they promised. We empathized, enabled, and were thereafter kicked to the curb.

    My product is superb. I don’t accept those ploys. A succesful business must learn that their product or service is not sufficient for their success. Advertising is part of the equation. It costs money to be successful. PR is not the answer. It may be necessary; even so, it is ancillary. Squander on advertising with the respective titles and mediums has been the undoing of many companies.

    Just as my product must captivate the reader by its manner of writing and subject, so in advertising must the product be captivating visually and cerebrally. The product too often afforded the online, as well as the lesser pulication titles, too often dismissed as superfluous, is the undoing of a lazy advertising industry who believe their success and prowess is confined to an esoteric elite few. More of the "big boys" will fail because the advertising product lacks the refinement and instant gratification they have weaned too many readers to expect. Were is the foreplay? Its all about the anticipation. The rest is chocolate topping. Yum!

    It may be too late to reflect over this debacle other than to know of it. Stay your ground. The advertiser must learn to respect your product. Were there nting to repect in your product why would the beg, plead, and whine?

  • Sondra Sneed

    As a writer for industry, the lack of "innovative" synonyms for "world-class" corporations can stymie the best of us. I am especially "bemused" by the use of nouns as verbs when people are "dialogue-ing" in meetings. They are looking for "outcomes" with "excellence" that will "beat the competition."

    I know as a writer it is my job NOT to use cliches, or even to repeat words in a paragraph. But there are days I am paid to do exactly that to please my client.

    I am saying this to beg for more (what’s another word for synonym?) to trickle down, so that "at the end of the day" there are more words that inspire, stupefy, and dazzle. Words that I can use in a PowerPoint presentation, words that will not be "disruptive," but soothe a button-down. That’s what cubical dwellers really need, something to wake them from the synaptic muddle of our "monetizing" mess.


  • Werner Rebsamen

    As a RIT professor for Print Media, I had the pleasure visiting National Geographic’s headquarter. There was a fellow sorting out slides for an upcoming story. They only needed 6 to 8 for a particular article. I did ask the fellow how many photos a National Geographic photographer is taking for a particular article.
    His answer was, an average of 35.000!
    That was when they still used film. No wonder those photographs are always exceptional.

  • Chilled Magazine

    We are one of the 2,954 titles on the iPad. We also print our publication. The challenge is selling the digital strategy. I would love to see how other digital publishers are doing it, besides as a value add on to print.

  • Mike

    I wonder how the unique factor plays in this research. Are all 446 Nook titles unique to the Nook or are they duplicated across the other platforms? If they are all unique, your numbers suggest just a bit over 4000 magazines available on e readers. I bet the number of unique titles is significantly smaller

  • steve mark

    Nowadays there are various good tools available for duplicate content detection. Using free plagiarism checker is one of the smartest ways to check duplicity. Main benefit of using plagiarism checker is that it consumes very less time and easy to use.

  • Ajax

    Until there is a single app that works on multiple platforms where you can find any magazine, the digital magazine market will remain as fragmented and inefficient as the physical newsstand business.

    In searching for regional magazines on my iPad (I’m the executive director or IRMA, the International Regional Magazine Association), I found I had to download multiple apps including Zinio and Magzter, and was unable to find any on my preferred app, Apple’s Newsstand. Three of our members later wrote me to say they are indeed there. Probably I missed them because Apple doesn’t (yet) have a "regional" category.

    I assume I also missed some others because I was on an iPad and don’t have an Android and a Kindle tablet as well.

  • michael

    Jim you’re close…but not hitting the mark fully.

    Publishers have to create something that is addictive as porn within the pages of their magazine…there are lots of ways to do this…but most small publishers can’t afford to throw in a DVD – their advertisers might be willing to pay for it, but then that hits the ad budget…

    I’ve been accused of publishing "skate porn" for years.
    It’s title I wear proudly
    michael brooke
    concrete wave magazine

  • publishingnerd

    The UK does a lot of supplements; it’s been very successful there for years.

  • frank

    Monthly magazines are a bad idea.

  • Michael Jahn

    I was confused by how you seem to be "counting’. For example – i subscribe to The New Yorker". I happen to read the digital version of that subscription in either via an emailed link (which I open in a browser on my laptop ) or on my iPad. I happen to like getting the analog ( paper ) version and sometime read that to.

    When you wrote "magazines’ i think you meant to say "magazine titles" – certainly we need to use the correct terms here.

    I do not think ( personally ) that Apple is ‘counting on supporting magazines" as a marketing strategy to expand iPad sales. It certainly is not a key thing to Apple. What is is key to is the company owning / publishing that title.

    It is 100% up to the publisher to decide where they want their magazine distributed. They have to approach Apple and the tablet makers, or they use a third part service like Zinio to partner with:


  • Dan Eldridge

    Jim, publishingnerd pointed out the first thing that came to my mind after reading this: The fantastic supplements and "extras" you find with magazines and newspapers in the UK. I don’t actually know much about why that particular business model has been so successful and long-lived — or rather, why it’s been so successful in the UK but hasn’t been aped here in the U.S.

    Incredibly (to me, anyway), a lot of UK magazine publishers will polybag their magazines and include a free paperback book, which just seems wild to me. I seem to remember also seeing polybagged magazines with things like T-shirts and tote bags in them. I’ve seen Sunday editions of daily newspapers in the UK polybagged with free paperbacks. Anyway ideas as to why this sort of thing was never really tried here?

  • Jay

    One of the main drawcards of a number of photography magazines we buy is their inclusion of CD tutorials about Photoshop, understanding your DSLR, taking better portraits, landscapes, macros, architectural and trick shots. I’m sure we’d think twice before buying some of these mags without the CD ‘freebies as they’re not exactly cheap purchases.

  • Crowley

    Seriously? You link to Media Matters?

  • tony C

    The problem with web only publications is that their primary interest is in catching eyeballs to sell to advertisers which is a short term strategy rather than building a long term subscriber with a well edited and fact checked product.

    If you think that the digital Newsweek stinks stop reading it and deprive them of your eyeballs and related revenue.

  • Lynda StarWriter

    This very minute, I’m hanging on to the day’s of publishing y’ore by a thread in that I don’t really want to buy an IPad for business purposes — An IPad is necessary.

  • Samuel Bonfante

    Thank you for this comprehensive analysis. Like it or not, content marketing is now fully ingrained into the publishing ecosystem. While I don’t disagree with any of your seven suggestions, I’d more overtly emphasize an eighth as part of any publisher’s plan to deal with this phenomenon. That would be to constructively "partner" with top-level content marketers, and not necessarily in the manner you suggest in #6.

    To "white label" your editorial content without providing transparency to readers is not much better than allowing a marketer to anonymously add to content on a publisher’s site. Transparency is important in both directions. Without it readers could be misled, and whether that occurs via marketers content on your site, or yours on theirs is splitting hairs.

    Top publishers should actively engage with content marketers as they would any other source. My advice to publishers is to capture relationships with the savviest and most professional content marketers. Develop channels for exclusive content, and be open and honest with your readers. Your readers are going to find marketers content anyway, it might as well be on your site, and on a regular basis.

  • Kevin Keane

    Tremendous leadership, great to see the team at Publishing Executive magazine showing the way! Good on ya, Lynn Rosen !

    Also love the integration with social media – in particular — Pinterest, which ought to be the "virtual sample room" for evey printer and designer and publisher on the planet.

    One question – the copy above referencers a video from Lynn, it isn’t on the Pinterest page as yet, will it be coming or could you post a link? I will be sure to share this great news with my networks@!

  • DeadTreeEdition

    These are insightful comments, Mr. Bonfante. Just to be clear, I was using the term "white label" to mean a publisher creating content for a client’s web site or publications without the content bearing the publication’s name, just as the name of a PR agency doesn’t always appear on content it creates for clients. Transparency is indeed an issue if the same people producing that content are also publishing content about that client for the publisher’s web site or publications. So here’s the challenge: How do we create the deep partner-type relationships with clients, as you rightly advocate, without compromising our editorial integrity? Some publishers address this issue by setting up a content-marketing team that is separate from the editorial department.

  • Andrew, Bulbeck

    Thanks Bob, I agree with the thrust of your article. For a long time now I’ve felt that it’s not just the [technology] content delivery that counts but having something to worthwhile say and consistently having something new to offer in your field, hence the FT’s strong position right now.

    Here in the UK, so many publishers including the one I work for are too obsessed with technology and neglecting the creation of new content, often recycling the old.

  • Scooter

    In the opening paragraph of Jim Sturdivant’s article, "Pub Talk," we are immediately introduced to a man that appears to be easily annoyed by …web chatter? Are we reading this correctly? And his annoyance is, wait for it, television commercials. Yes folks, a 500 words bit on one man’s mild irritation for an electronic media 30-second advertisement splashing hundreds of laughable, lovable and darling images set to the sound of a memorable jingle to create one little hook inside our brains.
    We all realize content fulfillment. Subject matter, on the other hand, remains the notion to be desired.

  • Hannah Brown

    I am currently researching Augmented Reality for my research design project at Western Michigan University. I am glad to see that you are using Layar, as that is one of the applications and resources for my project. I think Layar is a great tool and there are many opportunities to create interactive pieces. I will use this as an example of an US publisher adopting this technology to enhance their printed products.

    If it is possible I would be interested in any analytics/results from your interactive issue. hannah.b.brown@wmich.edu

  • Barbara Petty

    They really need to look at Vanity Fair for the best digital edition of a magazine I have yet to see.

  • Seymour Hymen

    So glad someone from Arizona, that hotbed of publishing, the Delphic Oracle of media knowledge, has explained it all to us.

  • Donald Tepper

    Well, it was easy enough to track down who did the project. (Took me about 60 seconds.) Somehow, though, it struck me as almost entirely tongue-in-cheek. And it could have been a bit more creative. Still, it makes an interesting point about magazine interactivity. But your reference to "all FOUR senses"? Last time I looked (and tasted, touched, smelled, and heard), we had five senses. But (perhaps even inadvertently), the video also made two very interesting points about magazines. First, it suggested that magazines could be more tightly integrated into our other daily and activities. Second, it suggested a longer-term use for magazines–not something that’s just quickly read and then thrown out.

  • Publerati

    It may be impossible for a large company of any kind to adapt to disruptive change from the their existing inside as corporate denial can only be seen from the outside, or once the change is in the rear window. Talk to the people at Palm and Polaroid about this. Especially when so much of your profits come from the declining segments. I believe the only way out of this mess is to start over under a new name led by good outside consultants with a sustainable future-looking strategy. Sad but true.

  • Bob Sacks

    There is another angle that most have missed in this dialog of total guess work. First this action doesn’t surprise me at all. The celebrity titles have had a twenty year positive and profitable ride. All celebrity titles even people are on the slide.

    People still gets a billion plus in revenue but it’s hundreds of millions of dollars less than just a few years ago. As much as it is still huge, the handwriting is on the wall for this genre.

    I would sell it now if I owned it. Just like the stock market, you can’t marry a stock and all magazines and niches don’t last forever. If you are able, sell high. Laura has no skin in the People game, and didn’t grow up with it as her baby. This is a clear cold business calculation and I agree totally with her thinking. I believe at the end of the day you find this logic more to the point than many other prognostications .

  • Phil Hood

    I think it’s possible both sides of this argument are right. Yes, it is almost impossible for a market leader to make this kind of transition. That’s why railroad companies don’t dominate the car business and publishing houses don’t dominate TV. But also, Ron is right. Companies need to move to digital quickly. This sounds more like a case of poor implementation as well as a corporation making a long-term bet against the kind of journalism represented by Time.

  • wcage

    I think this is a little less complicated than people make it out to be. Time Inc has a broad stable of magazines, but it life blood is celebrity, sports and news categories. They are still arguably the best in those categories. Unfortunately, what are the categories that are best served by an interactive internet experience (for free I might add).

    The best example is the sports category. How does SI compete against ESPN (and a dozen more) online sources that are free, real time and high quality? When the eyes go to the web, the advertisers follow and they figure out quickly that they can get the same display advertising experience for a fraction of the costs of the glossies. It is a vicious cycle if you view this from the magazine perspective. The money transfers, the quality on the internet improves, the costs for advertisers go down, more eyes are pulled in… you get the picture.

    I hate to break the news, but a good tablet strategy is not going to save Time Inc. The only people who believe this are people who want more content on their devices; the business model is not there. In the old Watergate tradition, "follow the money"; all advertising dollars are going to the internet. No one is making money on tablet versions of their magazines and most, while still profitable, are making lots less in print.

  • Phil Hood

    Great comments. So here’s the followup. If readers don’t want separate magazine apps, and we live in a platform-centric world, how is that going to work out? Who will Zinio be competing with? Will it be Google + some other software provider like Bluetoad, Flipboard, or Zite versus Apple/Zinio? Will Amazon, Adobe, Samsung, and Google come up with their own universal magazine apps? Is there any open alternative? Or is that HTML5?

  • Eugene Hwang

    Thanks for the insight sharing. Enjoy reading the article too.

  • MarkWWhite

    Quote of the week: "Modern consumers don’t want an app for every magazine they read any more than they want an app for every album or every book, and an app that you engage once a month for 30 days is an app you’ll never care about." E-books have a huge advantage over digital magazines in this area.

  • BoSacks

    The whole dialog depends on how you define publishing. In the 21st century publishing is no longer what it was, nor is it road-blocked any longer by a city that has most of the advertising agencies. We are a global business now and location is increasingly irrelevant.

    Speaking for myself, I have a global publishing network reaching 16,000 readers every day. I will admit that it started when I was employed by one of the major giants in the Big Apple. But the rest that happened is independent of any geography. And that is the key to any successful publishing house. In an increasingly niche driven editorial world, it doesn’t really matter where you are so long as you maintain addicted readership. Reiman Publications, which was based in Wisconsin, comes to mind. It was reported in 2003 that one out of every eight households in the United States subscribed to a Reiman magazine.

    Meredith is one of the largest and most successful publishers in the country and has been located in Des Moines for a hundred years quite happily.
    All constraints of what publishing was, is being redefined every day. You have just as much of a chance of creating a new reading empire in Arizona as you do in New York City, and with rents the way they are, a case can be made that your chances of success are improved outside of the city

  • 14 the claw

    This may be a little off the point, but I’ve been meaning to say this somewhere for awhile now. I am the publisher of a niche market local magazine (print only except for a pretty active social media presence). We print about 14,000 copies. We are still doing well. One thing that I think is overstated is the death of hard copy publications like ours. I have never gone into a coffee shop or gathering place the day our mag comes out and not found lots of people reading it avidly. Bring a stack of copies into a meeting and everyone dives in. You can challenge the age demographic perhaps, but for awhile longer print still has drawing power. Of course, this is mere anecdote, but I wanted to put it out there.

  • ChuckB

    Phil, I think it means you have a Zinio app, and either a Google Play or Apple bookshelf app, and a subscription service like Next Issue, to handle all of your digital edition needs. Platform is irrelevant unless you buy directly from Google or Apple.

  • Sujoy Gurung

    i wan to know about magazine publising industry???

  • Muhammad Abd al-Hameed

    My experience is that the people running Time these days have a closed mind. No wonder they don’t know to meet the current challenges.
    There was a time when I gave an idea to the Managing Editor Henry Grunwald, He wrote back that it was "intriguing" and implemented it right away. As a result, the international circulation doubled.
    By contrast, I recently offered the publisher a plan to revamp and rejuvenate the magazine but my email was not even acknowledged.

  • Muhammad Abd al-Hameed

    I prefer to read a digital magazine on my laptop because the large screen size makes it easier to read and also see pictures in a large format. A tablet will be convenient but not much fun–unless the size increases to 25 cm (10 inches) and price comes close to that of a smartphone. Ainol Nova, which is available in Pakistan for about $160 will be my choice — if I can overcome my inhibitions about a Chinese product!

  • DeadTreeEdition

    Thanks, Jim, for pointing out that only New Yorkers have the sophistication to comment on the strategy of New York publishers. Dead Tree Edition has issued an apology for repeatedly violating this rule: http://bit.ly/YdeHxe

  • MarkWWhite

    It’s great to see that BIC successfully challenged the "unwritten rule" that books cannot contain ads, but the rule is not a total myth. Our experience at U.S. News is mixed: Some of our "bookazines" have lots of ads, but Amazon is willing to let them be listed as books and in fact sells several thousand copies of our Best Colleges series (http://amzn.to/Wd1GY7) annually. But Nook editions of the same publications can only be marketed as magazines, not books, because of the ads. By the way, there are lessons in BIC’s success for us consumer publishers, not just for other B2B publishers.

  • michaelassad

    I wonder if anyone has tried replacing the magazine rack with a rack of QR codes. All you need is a headline and a code and then mobile users can read up from their phones.

    My local supermarket in Toronto doesn’t even have the racks anymore!

  • Mark@consciousdancer.com

    We’re on ISSUU, it’s easy to browse… But Mr Magazine says it best, online shouldn’t be thought of in the same sense as print at all. check consciousdancer.com

  • BoSacks

    Bravo Andy on many points. I agree and have recommended to most (not all) clients not to get caught up in the in-house money sucking tech infrastructure. But to your point that almost no publisher (even here there are exceptions) bought printing presses, if they did, the presses had a shelf life of twenty or so years.

    Tell me how long the shelf life is of purchased software, purchased home built databases, and purchased home built CMS . How many publishers have made the expensive purchase only to find out that is doesn’t work or is completely outdated and near useless in the minute it is installed.

    There always exceptions, so depending upon the publisher’s niche and needs, I would always recommend outsourcing. Outsourced work can be negotiated, constantly updated and or re-resourced. Once you buy it, you own it, warts and all.

  • ThadMcIlroy

    In considering "discoverability" for books I defined it as the process by which a book appears in front of you at a point where you were while you were not looking for that specific title you were looking for something bookish. I contrast it to "findability" — the challenge of locating exactly what you’re looking for (even if you have incomplete or inaccurate information about the book).

    The same notions can easily apply to magazines, although the scale is vastly different: perhaps 20,000 magazines published in the U.S. versus over 20 million books in print.

  • Ethan_Grey

    I think you’re lumping in all technology roles into a single "IT" bucket. There are many creative magazine professionals that have a technology background, or work in design, user experience, architecture, development, and many other facets that "create" magazine content in all its forms – none of which would ever classify themselves as being in IT. IT is generally regarded as being infrastructure based, not creating consumer-facing content. I would argue that "technology" and storytelling can, are, and should be tied together to be able reach readers and users. When done well, it’s beautiful, and like many things, when done poorly, it’s ugly. "IT" isn’t the problem.

  • Utah Stories

    I think your column could have been much better if it was about the redefined role as a publisher. A publisher’s job is to get stories, articles and ads in front of readers. Who is or isn’t a publisher, doesn’t matter so much as that the people who call themselves publishers are only such if they can effectively publish.

  • Mededitor

    I’m not sure that "publisher" is really what we’re talking about. It’s potentially more useful to talk about what it means to be a "media company."

  • Midwestern

    Anyone can publish anything today. My definition of a Publisher is someone who is compensated for their content. How we deliver that content can be debated. As you point out many times, "The bulk of our revenue is still from print", so the other question is how do we monetize digital delivery? Oh and please don’t just repurpose the print edition for digital, that is still called cannibalization.

  • David Leopold

    Interesting discussion; am I’m OK in calling myself a "YouTube Video E-Book" publisher?
    In the 70’s I published a monthly periodical and a magazine that I started. Five years ago, I self-piublished a book. Now I’m using "Social Marketing/Social Network Technology" to "publish"…

  • David Leopold

    "SmallBizDavid" thanks you for taking me back in my publishing career that started its journey in 1972 as a local magazine publisher, and progressed to my paying my Mother $10,000 (1974) for a monthly periodical my Father had bought for $50,000 in 1967. I was blessed to start a magazine from "zero" and reach profitability in 11 months—and DIDN’T enjoy the experience of "managing" a staff of 15. Left "publishing" in the 80’s and 90’s… Today, I’m all charged up again with publishing—"YouTube Video E-Books" for myself and am now "showing" folks how to do it for themselves. OMG—how the "publishing world" has changed…

  • stephen

    "Others talked about their student magazine projects, the eye-opening experience of laying out pages, creating features and departments and choosing photographs. All, when asked, said they hoped to eventually realize their ideas in print."

    Which is nice, but exactly what’s wrong with discussions like this. Publishers like print books and magazines. Authors like print. They like laying them out and thinking of their work being printed. And that’s lovely, but utterly irrelevant.

    Because what about readers? You know, customers. The ones who will buy your work, or not. They like it to be free and digital. And they don’t give a damn if the producer enjoys laying out pages.

    "This is a small sample group" – yip, and it’s a sample of producers, who aren’t typical consumers.

  • Scott Johnson

    Readers don’t have any more time in the day to access a digital magazine than its print counterpart, no matter how dynamic and interactive you make it. Words do matter (with good images to support the layout). Lower price points for digital editions will allow magazines to increase readership necessary to attract advertisers.

  • Thaddeus B. Kubis

    I think that both points of view are correct and incorrect at the same time. It seems from my hands on experience that certain user segments (advertising segments as well) want and will continue to demand print, for example the luxury markets, but they will look to a digital version for fun and the experience of the entertainment value and quality that digital offers.

    If content becomes KING, then digital will start to offer greater targeting and scientific based marketing, which will be advertiser driven and that may define the market place, but that too will not eliminate print!

    On the other hand, I see many younger people looking to print as a sort of protest against all that is digital, the retro marketing trend announced at the end of 2012 as a key marketing tool for gaining some market segments seems to have taken root.

    The discussion may not be between print or digital, but relevance of content!

    What is critically missing from the discussion is the need to provide a REASON to read the magazines in the first place (Ms. is a perfect example of a successful reason and publication based on that success) and that solution is based on relevance.

    In the end digital and print will fail is they cannot expand the read, the user experience that MUST be supported by dialogue and engagement. If the publications do not develop the process, the advertiser, who seems to be incapable of developing and offering it will look elsewhere, and perhaps create a new media where they rule the waves.

    Think that is off base, read The Master Switch by Tim Wu, it is all a big cycle!

    Thaddeus B. Kubis

  • Robert Sacks

    Here is a point that is often missed.

    I firmly believe that print will not go away any time soon. But that is not the point. The point is that digital is growing and print is not. Get that? Hold that thought just for a minute.
    Digital is still morphing, growing and becoming better at what it does. Print has already climaxed. Digital is minutes away from being totally ubiquitous on a global scale.

    Forecasts are for there to be 50% less publication paper used by 2020. You should know that the major paper companies agree with this analysis.

    What is left in print will be high quality and expensive. That is not a bad place, nor a bad industry to be in. It is just a smaller industry than once was.

    The trends and the technology are inescapable. And the technology improves and gets more ubiquitous every minute. We can all miss the warmth and inert joy of dead trees but on the whole they do not compete with what is just ahead of us. NOT what is here today, but what is ahead of us.

  • Brian Ostrovsky

    Magazines have always been an ‘experience’ and tend to skew up-market, looking at magazine ad spend over the last 50 years shows it aligns with general economic trends and consumer spending on luxury goods. The digital experience while more interactive and social doesn’t compare with the visceral experience in print (including the standard 8 1/2 by 11 form factor which is larger than tablet screens).

    That said, at Locable we work with local publishers and we love print. Engagement is very high and readership is growing in most cases – what we do is extend that experience to the web in complementary ways. We want to extend the brand to build community online while helping advertisers be a part of the conversation there.

    To Robert’s point, it’s not that print is dying (though some print-only business are) it’s that digital is growing and legacy publishers have an unfair advantage and opportunity to take a leadership role online if they determine a strategy that’s right for their business now.

    It’s about profitably evolving from a publishing business into a media business.

  • MarkWWhite

    By the way, that is last year’s edition of Best Colleges that is being shown off by Shawn, who plays Princeton University’s admissions chief (and Tina Fey’s boss) in the movie. The scenes were shot last summer, before the current edition (Best Colleges 2013: http://bit.ly/13DvbQB) was published.

  • Josh

    Hi Thea,

    The Book Genome Project might be of interest to you: http://booklamp.org/

    As far as I understand, it would enable the kinds of recommendation engines you dream about. 😉

  • ThadMcIlroy

    This sounds like a natural, but the devil’s in the details. Netflix has a $10 billion market cap on roughly $4 billion in annual sales. Needless to say, they can afford the best data scientists that aren’t already working for Google. The Audit Bureau of Circulations lists only 628 magazine titles (although there are roughly 20,000 titles total in the National Directory of Magazines database). Netflix customers are choosing among over 100,000 movies titles, many very obscure.

    The book publishing industry, the app publishing industry and the online video industry, and to a lesser extent, the movie rental industry, have discoverability challenges.

    The magazine industry’s challenges lie elsewhere.

  • PradipKumar_

    Publishers can consider the Netflix model!

  • Lacey Louwagie

    Netflix doesn’t really give anything "for free," though. The cost is certainly low, so that anything available for instant streaming can *feel* free due to its limitlessness, but it’s misleading to categorize it as a free model used to build buzz.

  • Elliot

    Every time I hear complaints about pack rats, I cringe. Some of the clutter that I had been saving for 50 years is now part of a Civil Rights Movement Archive maintained at Queens College (CUNY, New York). The old leaflets, newsletters and even fund appeals are now legitimately seen as historical documents and are studied to let the current generation, and students and scholars, know about what some of us experienced in the civil rights and antiwar movements of the 1960s.

  • jwikert

    Have you tried the Next Issue magazine app? It’s an all-you-can-eat model that costs $16/month after a trial period. They’re adding new magazines all the time and I’m hooked. At first I thought $16 was a bit steep but now that BusinessWeek is included, for example, I’m finding I can drop most of my existing print subscriptions. I come from the book world and see a similar subscription model in our future too.

  • Sanford Thatcher

    What you are calling for already exists: http://oaspa.org/oaspa-membership-procedures-april2013/

  • Doug Turner

    I’m sorry, but isn’t this Apple’s storefront to do with as they see fit?

  • dschrott

    I totally agree with the idea of gamification changing a lot for publishers. That is why we are betting on interactive tablet magazines that engage the audience and tell the story in a new and different way. Show more than tell!

  • Cath Gray

    I would love to see some examples of well-executed editorial gamification!

  • MarkWWhite

    Discoverability is horrible in the digital magazine stores for non-subscription magazines — also known as special-issue publications or bookazines. The print editions of bookazines appear to be one of the few bright spots in the newsstand system, but the e-stores are not set up to market their digital counterparts. At U.S. News, we’re trying a different route — selling the digital editions as e-books rather than as e-magazines. We just launched this experiment with Best Hospitals 2013 editions for Kindle, iBookstore, and online reading: http://store.vook.com/storefronts/book/best-hospitals-2013.html#.UWXD6VfueSq. Buying e-books is a far more consumer-friendly process than buying e-magazines, so why wait for the chaos in the digital newsstands to be sorted out?

  • Ron

    Fascinating essay, Bob. In today’s environment, everyone is an author of equal worth. Editors have lost their value: You want to do WHAT to my piece? I can get it published elsewhere–immediately.

    I always found writing (especially for a magazine) fulfilling because, unlike other endeavors, my name was on every issue, each month, and with the stories I might write. Now that feeds the ego.

    Thanks for your interesting piece.

  • T & B Publishing

    My understanding is that a publisher is, and always shall be, an entity that produces a product that is a vehicle for an author’s work to be consumed by the public. Whether that is a book, Ebook, CD, audio file, etc., it is a term that is used in both the literary and music industries. To address your point about radio and TV stations as publishers, radio stations and TV stations are not the publishers, but rather the media through which the publisher’s product is made available to the public. In that sense, they should be termed “vendors” or “exhibitors,” but definitely not publishers.

    Still, the question of whether the term publisher is being tossed around lightly is valid when considering that the place where a publisher is stationed and completes their duties is no longer a business office or corporate setting because of the ease of publishing with today’s technology. It is not unheard of to see publishers who, in all actuality, could very well be sitting in their pajamas on the couch adding profound and well-prepared works to the worldwide web. They are not business-like in image and are often the same person as the author or musician they are publishing. To that end, it is not only fair, but necessary to grant the title of publisher to each and every person who produces a product, tangible or intangible, that is a vehicle for an author’s words, or a musicians notes, to be consumed by the public.

  • David Horowitz

    I second these thoughts. If anyone will be at ONS in Washington D.C. later this month. Be sure to pass by the Harborside Press booth to see our new gamification system, Sync-cubed. We will be offering the JADPRO Challenge to all attendees!

  • “SmallBizDavid”

    I started my "professional" career more than 40 years ago, as a traditional "publisher" of the written word. Today, I do a lot of "re-publishing/aggregation". However, I "publish" YouTube videos with Small Business Information as my subject matter. I’m "publishing" my third book; the first two were "traditional", the current is what I’m calling a "YouTube Video E-Book"—and am encouraging Baby Boomers to do the same. Personally, I don’t care what folks call me—I’m concerned with creating Cash Flow for my "publishing business"…

  • Mark Hertzog

    Amazing that with all MJ’s resources, they didn’t have an editor smart enough to raise the red flag on their recent Mitch McConnell story (his staff privately discussing how to defeat potential opponent Ashley Judd). The real story is that a US Senator’s office was CRIMINALLY BUGGED à la Watergate, and MJ Magazine used the content. Maybe such a smart editor doesn’t exist … not one main stream media reporter subsequently referred to “illegal taping” or “wiretapping,” only "shocking audiotapes aimed at taking down Ashley Judd." (How dare anyone strategize behind closed doors on how to defeat a prospective political opponent!) The real headline is: Mother Jones Magazine Perpetrates a Serious Crime. What’s more strange is how upset the media continue to be that McConnell calls this a "bugging" of his office. Slate.com headline: "Mitch McConnell Won’t Stop Saying That the Left Was ‘Bugging’ His Campaign Office" (exactly what happened), and Slate is mad at McConnell for characterizing it that way. After all, it’s just "leaked audio." And now the left has a perfect candidate: a victimized woman. That Judd is on record as saying she thinks having children is selfish, it’s unconscionable to breed, that fathers giving away their daughters in marriage ceremonies is a vestige of male dominion over a women’s reproductive status is all good stuff to MJ … and far superior to an experienced senator who happens to be white, male and conservative … reason enough for a magazine to consider its editorial mission above the law of the land.

  • Muhammad Abd al-Hameed

    Not very clear for an ordinary magazine reader. Jargon did not help.

  • Publerati

    This has been an interesting question in traditional publishing for years. For example, in lawsuits brought by authors against publishers who print their books but do not actually promote and distribute them, surely that is not publishing. (Chaotic mergers led to this unfortunate situation, when the former editor/champion is fired and replaced by someone unenthusiastic about the title at hand but going through the motions of alleged publishing.) But to narrow in on “book publishing," one should not confuse the meal with the plate as the Adams quote from a decade ago wisely put it.

    The art form is the work. Print, ebook, audio are just distribution means. Is the same photo on Facebook not as real as a printed photo? Is it more real in some ways? Easier to share? Does its very existence mean fewer photos are printed? Is a moving map showing my real-time position on a GPS not as real as a printed atlas map? Maybe quite a lot more useful at times? The hardest part about managing all these new formats is the total mix of options changes both the art form and how it is delivered, and the financial disruptions this causes are nearly impossible to manage. Just ask the people who not too long ago once sold millions of paper atlases before GPS came along. Or sold printed photos. Or cameras. Or music on vinyl. Take a look around in those categories and see who is still standing. It is very revealing.

  • Carla

    So if I tweet someone’s blog work, am I publisher?

  • Darrell Gunter

    I do agree with your assessment that ad sales game has evolved but I would suggest that a consultative approach is still superior to a transactional approach as the transactional sales person will not have depth, patience and sophistication of the consultative sales person. While the critical path has been updated and moves at a faster pace, the sales person must be able to process the traditional information in a more fluid matter and apply the knowledge at the appropriate time. This is the depth that will allow the sales person to win in the long term. No doubt they must be agile and move faster than before.

  • Steve Cooper

    In many industries the paradigm shift has created a slip n’ slide footing for any salesperson stuck in the rut of traditional consultative selling as you describe early in the article. Your thought of hiring intelligent people may need a bit of elaboration. Discernment of the buyer’s need for outlets, partnered with an ability to nimbly respond to the transaction model expected will serve well. The changes in play put an emphasis on communication capabilities more than ever. How’s your elevator speech? It may be all you have time to deliver. Keep selling!

  • UhWhat?

    Dropping the paywall in a situation like this seems to me to be the ethical and altruistic thing to do. There are plenty of breaking news stories every day to sustain a strong paywall. When we’re in the middle of a confusing and terrifying tragedy during which critical information is being disseminated through the media organizations SHOULD drop their paywalls. And no, as a paying customer it would not cross my mind for even a second to be upset that the "news" I pay for is being given away in the middle of a developing situation in which that news may help to save lives. Honestly, I can’t even believe you compared a situation like this to having people pay for the Sopranos. Shame on you. And that you suggested that media outlets should capitalize on this by getting more subscribers makes me physically ill. We are FIRST human beings and second business people and publishers. You ought to spend some time alone tonight in a dark room thinking about what you have allowed greed to cause you to become.

  • Whoa

    I’m really happy that the news media made updates freely available. Comparing a major news event like this to The Sopranos is ridiculous. So you’re suggesting that the media cynically exploit death and injury to drive more people to their websites? You’re a d**k.

  • Patty Stephan

    I think in a situation such as these bombings, that the human element was what folks care about. Not the money-making, headline-grabbing, hey-that-was-my-story element. I am nauseated by your column.

  • Margie Albert

    The word "relationship" has different meanings to different people. I advise my clients to establish a relationship by being knowledgeable about the client’s needs and their business and to always be focused on their success (whatever that looks like to them). Relationship doesn’t mean birthday cards and chit-chatting about the family. It is about their business and being of value to improving their results whether we are dealing with business owners or media buyers. We media sellers have trained the buyers to not expect useful information in the past and are partially at "fault" for the buyers’ demands today for stats only. We need to give them positive experiences that benefit their performance and success to regain their confidence in us being useful. I could write for hours but won’t!

  • wordsmith59

    I have a collection of books, that I go back to and re read, like my collection of DVD’s, going back to view again. Publishing can only submit to computers, and face eradication if we allow it to. I can choose to read a magazine article on line, or own the paper version. I can read a book or novel text based on an ipad, or own a book …. I choose the later. As long as there are people who prefer reading, and owning printed items, refusing to give into the current trend, publishing will continue to live. Publishing’s demise will only happen if we allow it to.

  • Summits Friend

    I see today’s kids as smarter, brighter than previous generations. But not necessarily as sensible. We do not teach common sense anymore so how could they be. Parents and educators have left this out of the kids education. The other thing I see from those growing up today is an unrealistic sense of entitlement. In the circles that I run, this is overwhelming prevalent. I hear it all of the time, why do I have to do that. I am above that. .

  • Authorandeditor

    My two year old does things that amaze me all the time, and her vocabulary is pretty good thanks to the additional stimulation of the occasional iPad game. I really think the change in technology will lead to smarter kids, as they have so much information right at their fingertips.

  • UrlGirl

    What has languished with the increased use of texting and spell check programs, as any avid reader of eBooks can tell you, are spelling and grammar skills. As a blog editor and head of an online bookstore, I see publications unfit for publishing every day from writers who don’t know the difference between its and it’s, there/ their/ they’re and so on. I read yesterday that the 25 year-old heroine had a "pension" for doing things her way…. Really? So she’s a retiree at 25 with a pension? Too bad I have a penchant for good writing. With the margins so tight, there isn’t a budget for excessive proofreading, and most of the younger writers I see need it desperately.

  • brianoleary

    There is an important difference between Bloomberg Businessweek and Newsweek. Bloomberg bought a print outlet for business journalism and grafted it onto an organization that already had the largest cohort of financial journalists in the world – more than 2,000 reporters spread out around the globe. That was their single biggest "investment".

    Sidney Harman bought Newsweek with no strategic assets on hand. The magazine remained a one-off title losing $1 million a week. As you point out, the only way to "fix" Newsweek was to invest in content, but there aren’t 2,000 reporters at The Daily Beast. It’s more like 20. After Harman passed away, the family didn’t have the assets and IAC didn’t have the stomach.

    There may have been a point at which the slide at Newsweek could have been reversed, but it happened while the Washington Post controlled it. We’re well past the time when the print publication could have been saved as a stand-alone operation. If IAC or The Daily Beast had a content engine like the one Bloomberg has built over the last 25 years, maybe. But there’s very little to draw at The Daily Beast. Diller is right – there’s no way they dig out of that hole. If he’d asked me about it before buying in, I would have said the same thing.

  • Rich Elliott

    I agree with brianoleary below that Diller is right. He is simply a financial manager and did have not enough domain knowledgeable even to plan a turnaround, much less implement it.

    As a former, longtime Newsweek subscriber, I think The Daily Beast ownership hastened the inevitable death spiral that marked Newsweek’s downward trajectory. The established writers that made Newsweek were long gone and the newer writers didn’t have a feel for who their readers were. I am a freelance writer with a vocabulary greater than most and yet I found myself running to the dictionary with frustrating frequency. If the writers want to write for an esoteric audience that’s fine but don’t expect it to be supported as a mass publication.

  • Travis Barrington

    It’s a great photograph from that height but not a best cover. It’s very forced and the small lonely typeface is awkwardly dramatic. Yes, the storm was dramatic, but it was real. This cover is too self-important. A photography award perhaps, but not a best cover.

  • Rob Brai

    Bo, not sure if you saw the study Nat Geo partnered on with regards to benefits of recycled paper. Worth a look if you didn’t see it.

  • Muhammad Abd al-Hameed

    The reason why Newsweek faded away — and Time is on its — is that their editors believe the world lies only between two coasts. They could find a huge market outside if only they could plan to serve it. The Economist is a good example. It has very little domestic British news, while it covers all continents quite well. No wonder, it is thriving.

  • Les Csonge

    Print, Dead ? – Never….

    And I have a video to prove it !

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TD0yg59H8UQ 😉

  • Luisa Nims

    This isn’t a dirty little secret, the porn industry has been the testing ground for Silicon Valley since the eighties. They receive the highest traffic of any industry on the web therefore servers, data storage, speed, etc. is always vetted through the porn industry as part of the testing process.

  • Charity

    Aww! This is so upsetting. I love these magazines and have for years. These will be missed. Good luck to the staff!!

  • Luisa Nims

    very true, and people as well.. we need to learn to be more flexible and look forward

  • Mike Velez

    I liked Mens Fitness because it wasn’t Mens Health. Glad my sub is up this month.

  • Gunjan Gupta

    Are there any examples of gamified ebooks currently? How has been the user response to them so far?

  • Luisa Nims

    good questions, interesting interview. thank you.

  • Elliott Brennon

    Absolutely true and absolutely hilarious!

  • BoSacks

    Thaddeus; Try this on for size. "Information distribution" formally known as publishing. It is broad enough to cover many of the attributes you mention and is easier to pronounce than “personlishing”

  • Ralph Vitaro

    Here are the results from our 2012 readership survey of pharmaceutical research and development professionals.
    In June I will be sending our 2013 survey out to our readers and plan to ask the same question.

    In today’s world marketers have multiple new and innovative technology options to utilize in an effort to increase market share and sell more product but you might be surprised to learn what our readers, your customers, have to say about how they consume information.

    ♦ Which of the following information sources do you use to keep up-to-date in your industry?
    Trade magazines/print publications 82.4%
    eNewsletters 58.2%
    Industry websites 46.7%
    Web seminars 40.0%
    Publication websites 38.2%

  • Joyce

    Count me in. Takes five seconds to pick up a magazine whose contents I’ve already voted to like and start reading and learning. No squinting. No jumping around of images and text. Paper is permanent. And so am I.

  • Thea Selby

    Huh? I dont understand how the title of this blog relates to the body…

  • Mohsin Obaid

    digital magazines are the new talk of the town! because of the convenience through which digital magazines are available, more and more people will try to have access to digital magazines! you can create your own digital magazine aswell just like i did using http://www.presspadapp.com

  • John K

    digital magazines are the new talk of the town! because of the convenience through which digital magazines are available, more and more people will try to have access to digital magazines! you can create your own digital magazine aswell just like i did using http://www.presspadapp.com

  • MarkWWhite

    BoSacks has stirred up a great discussion about this article on Publishing Executive’s LinkedIn group: http://linkd.in/11sMCWv. 13 comments so far on "The Future of the Magazine Business – Are we there yet?" as we all sort out new business models.

  • Tim

    This is a great use of QR codes that even now (a couple years after this article was posted) people have not fully grasped. But now that almost everyone has a smart phone there is no reason for publishers to not use this technology. Using it to allow readers to watch an interview is a perfect example of how this can add great value to readers of books and magazines. For other potential uses of QR codes you might be interested in reading this article on the same topic… http://qfuse.com/blog/publishing-companies-books-and-qr-codes/

  • Gregory Clay

    This is an interesting spin on the decline of traditional print. Hopefully, it generates some honest discussion at the conference. However, I personally don’t see a future for print-only publishers. They will need to evolve like their larger counterparts in order survive the transition. The one thing print-only publishers have in their favor is they produce content that no one else does. Bringing that content to market with fewer resources is the proverbial rub. Data shows that even seniors are becoming more tech savvy. That is a sure sign there will be fewer traditional print readers in the future.

  • Doug Turner

    So now it’s a problem to be a white guy? That seems a bit racist…

  • Marv Dunkiel

    Is this the same Atex (reborn?) from the 70s, 80s and 90s?

  • Luisa Nims

    Hi Linda, Thanks for the article, can you give us more concrete information on OAO? Engagement I understand, however tips or steps to take to meld SEO work with content sharing and social media would be helpful. Or a case study is always good. I found the article too vague.

  • John K

    Digital Magazines are the new ‘in’ thing right now. They are trending worldwide. They are more easy to read and are simple. They have grabbed the attention of many people. I created my digital magazine using http://www.presspadapp.com.

  • John K

    The debate between Digital Magazine and Printed Magazine is quite intense. Digital Magazines are the new in thing nowadays. Considering that these magazines are digital, they provide numerous facilities like search, zoom, and pages can also be turned. They are available on the internet 24/7. It saves time as you do not have to go the market to buy a printed magazine. Digital Magazine can be easily downloaded on tablets and ipads. I created my digital magazine using http://www.presspadapp.com

  • Chicago Publisher
  • John K

    Digital Magazines are the hot new topic for discussion. It’s outstanding repute, enables it to gain more popularity. I created my digital magazine using http://www.presspadapp.com

  • Kathleen Miller

    Thanks for the attention James! I would just like to clarify a few facts: PBQ is 40 years old, not 30, and I am NOT one of the founding members—it was already 20 when I joined! The story of how it was formed in the early 70’s is what I’ve been told. Our entire archive can be found on our website.
    In addition, PBQ wouldn’t be where it is today without my brilliant and lovely co-editor, Marion Wrenn.
    Thanks again, from all of us, for such a great piece!

  • SBWiltins

    Even though this publication is in the fashion space where print still hangs on, its not truly a print only publication. In reviewing the publisher’s site its clear that only some portion of the 700k circ is print – and my bet is that’s a very small percentage. The remainder will be digital.

    There’s no way a new 700k ALL print publication could possible make it in today’s digital first environment. The rate base would be impossibly non-competitive.

    This is a bandwagon I don’t see many publishers jumping on.

  • Andy Kowl

    The Washington Post does this, too. Not sure if they use the Genesis technology, but even for us paid subscribers they have a video wall you must get through. The problem is it’s the same video over and over, so by the time you get to the third article, it’s pretty tough to take.

  • sjortiz

    If the NAACP can forgive Paula Deen, then why can’t the publishing world? Glad not everyone has abandoned her. I think those who dumped her were thinking about money, not morality.

  • burf

    Your, and Saurberg’s, call for action is many years too late. Just like the neighborhood bookstores shuttered due to of the utopian beauty of Amazon and all things digital, there are hardly any "newstands" left. All was swell when the subindustry of digital conversion specialists, digital marketing specialists, digital distribution specialists, and automatic editing and typesetting specialists was flourishing. Now that the sheen is off the screen, we’re left without the supply chains and systems to reconsider what print readers want. Much of the last two decades of digital hype for readers was a bubble waiting to burst. Ask Cengage.

  • Michael Jahn

    Perhaps it is because I was dropped on my head as a child, but I am not sure anything can be done to correct this, no more than anything can be done to suddenly bolster newspaper or music CD sales.

    I used to subscribe to several magazines. Now I get my informational fix via the internet. I get to look up what i am interested in immediately, not open a magazine and read what the editor thinks might be interesting to their readership. I can imagine anything that a publisher could do to get me to subscribe. Not one thing. And if you think that is any different than getting me to actually stop at a newsstand and buy something, that is even more of a stretch. My two cents. I do not even turn my head / slow down when I roll past the magazine rack at the grocery.

  • ID Thoris

    As a current employee of a magazine, and once an employee of a bankrupted magazine distributor, I can honestly say the newsstand, like the buggy whip and the film-showing movie theater, will gradually be reduced to a quaint and marginal existence. The dreadful distribution network and its racketeering business model killed the newsstand. And inflated circulation numbers and overhyped shareholder expectations from the megapublishers danced on its grave. Publishers move to the internet to escape print quality control issues, stagnant distribution networks and dead dated material stuck in a warehouse no one can find until the bill is due. Distributors will figure out a way to hijack the internet delivery systems soon enough, but in the meantime the small publisher can afford to PAY its staff. And yes, we still have a print issue, but the point of maintaining it is purely sentimental: each of us worked a newsstand in our youth.

  • Luisa Nims

    Nice way at looking at jumping on the innovation ship and steps to take to get going. Thanks!

  • Richard L. Brandt

    How do you get the idea of the editorial voice, intended audience, etc. ? Put the phrases "expose" or "humor" or "snarky opinion" into the anchor text?

  • dabunting

    We’re just a "shopper" http://www.highwayshopper.com, weekly free tabloid, 6k circulation in SW Washington State. We do run much recreational/fishing/forest and community events current news. We’re in big trouble, ad income down 33%, in the red 9 of the past 12 quarters. We’ve been trying hard to get more income from any source since last winter, some success but not nearly enough. We have increased content interesting to readers very significantly and have increased circulation/readership by 25% since April 1. Though small, we have great state-of-the-art hardware, software CS6 etc., employee experience and skill and dedication, capability in creating ads and publishing, and a totally positive attitude. But businesses have closed, and many remaining think, falsely I’m sure, that they’re getting good response from free FaceBook. Unless we can increase our income by about 25% by the end of this year, we’re out of business. We’re doing everything we can think of to "do" rather than "try." Have you seen the web ad creation service offer of as many ads as you want to order for $10 for three months? We’re pretty sure we could offer ad creation for $10 per ad. What kind of crazy world are we in?

  • Luisa Nims

    Thanks for the clarification, however, a few more concrete examples would be great.

  • MarkWWhite

    The 99-cent promotion for "Best Colleges 2013" has ended, but the Kindle, iPad, and Nook editions are still for sale. Amazon sells the print edition as well. (Why don’t more magazine publishers do this?) Good luck to Thea and her 11th grader as they search for the right college.

  • GeeZerTom,

    The new interface stinks!! I’m using it on a computer so might be different on a mobile device. You don’t see the ratings for an app until you click on it. You can’t select for your device (tablet, phone). The old layout may not have been perfect but the new one is a bunch of steps back.

  • GeeZerTom,

    I’m correcting my comment earlier- the ratings are there. When you go to the app, alternatives are way down at the end of the page so if you don’t page down, you miss them- may be fine for mobile but lots of wasted space on the computer. I look first on the computer and download for my device rather than looking on the device

  • CareNovate Magazine Editor

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  • CareNovate Magazine Editor

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    I will like to introduce a new magazine called CareNovate Magazine.
    CareNovate Magazine is social health magazine that provides caregivers with caregiving resources, patients & seniors with medical expert interviews, baby boomers & women with health literacy and medication safety information. CareNovate Magazine’s mission is to play a crucial role in empowering readers to become more engaged and a partner in their own health globally.
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  • seriously

    that is the most misleading headline I have seen regarding this topic!. Print is down 3% and digital is up to 3.3% total.
    Where is the plummeting and soaring?

  • Al DiGuido

    AMA needs to get a second opinion. Wondering if it ever occurred to these physicians in diagnosing this problem, that many of their doctors are migrating to digital communications in every aspect of their business. Gotta believe a large % of those 230K doctors reading the print title after all of these years would welcome …a digital edition of the AMA Newspaper. Could it be that the AMA didn’t investigate just how fertile an opportunity this would be with their current subscribers ? I hope not. No reason for this patient to be terminal. We have the capacity to build it better and stronger in the digital age. There will come a time when a new breed of digital publishing enterprise will resurrect these sort of titles…and leave the rest of the industry wondering why the AMA decided to pull the plug.

  • Ed Coburn

    Thank you Bo for another insightful commentary. I agree with your premise that publishers have been granted a brief respite. The new is coming but the old hasn’t yet gone, at least not completely. I think the key to your article is the last sentence of the third paragraph where you refer to adjusting our business plans. Since moving earlier this year from 25 years in a publisher’s hat to consulting on digital publishing strategy I have been able to observe that how many publishers recognize the imperative for change but don’t have a business plan for doing it and so often end up charging ahead with digital publishing efforts without an overall strategy. Publishers do have a brief respite, but don’t assume it will last long. Use this time effectively or you’ve only delayed, rather than averted, the decline.

  • Ruth Ferguson

    Really odd that there is no live link to the website in the story or bio section.

  • Jean Georges Perrin

    Interns can be a previous source for a company, they are not perfect and you know it from the beginning. However, they need to be thanked for what they do and, at this age, money is certainly something they need, so it makes sense to thank them with it, no?!

  • Mike

    Slavery has been around since at least biblical times. As we learned in the 1860’s and the 1960’s, precedent does not make a policy of slavery right. There are no federallyt recognized unpaid apprenticeship programs, either. I have to disagree on moral as well as ethical grounds with you, Mr. Sacks. There is only one answer, and you are free to call it any color you like; work without pay is just plain wrong.

  • DeadTreeEdition

    Spot-on insights, Denis. Although you are rebutting me, I don’t really disagree with you. Of course Job One is to please the reader, which too few newspapers are doing these days as they slim down pages and reporting staff. But unless Bezos has a rabbit up his sleeve, that alone will not be sufficient. The Post will also have to meet the needs of advertisers to survive. Having engaged readers is a necessary but not sufficient condition for advertising success. Perhaps Bezos knows this. He obviously didn’t become a billionaire through ignorance. But other billionaires with big ideas about how to run a newspaper have foundered on the grim realities of the business. Just ask Sam Zell about Tribune Company.

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  • itsmy.com Natlove

    Hearst is an amazing company :-)

  • MarkWWhite

    You make some good points, but I have to disagree with you about the death of auto advertising on web sites about autos. U.S. News’ Best Autos site (http://usnews.rankingsandreviews.com/cars-trucks) has been growing rapidly the past few years, reaching 27 million unique visitors last year and many more this year. The readers are responsive to the site’s car ads because they come to the site specifically to figure out what car to buy. A competitive advantage that credible publishers have on the web is that relevant ads on our sites perform better than the same ads placed next to pictures of cute cats and videos of water-skiing squirrels. People are better prospects for advertisers when they are looking for information rather than when they are looking for mindless entertaintment.

  • kellyc

    Checked it, too expensive, 700USD for a year? Well, I surely will not choose it.
    Freeware issue, flipsnack, or something else maybe better.
    Or this professional one http://www.kvisoft.com/flipbook-maker-pro/, full features, powerful functions, user-friendly interface.

  • brianoleary

    Unless it’s a twist on words that I missed, the headline here has a typo in it.

  • Magazine Production

    To be a purveyor of digital tools to enable creativity for magazines to explore new channels is one thing, but for it to be practically or financially viable for the smaller and specialist independent publisher who effectively employ their limited resources is another.

    I am all for digital applications but additional production costs and resources may not tally up with the cost per reader within their business model.

    Consideration is required to the growing industry of independent publishers specialising to a refined quality readership.

    To make bold future predictions stating the word ‘will be the future’ when ‘could be a future’ would be a better suited implication as I find it a little contradictory when you go on to say ‘once the industry completely embraces the full potential of the medium’. And this is an issue in itself; trying to get publishers (especially the independents) to embrace this medium when communicating digitally via blogs, Twitter, Facebook, websites etc is convenient, pro-active to instant news and effectively deploying content using their own limited time or spend.

  • Zetenta Digital Publishing

    I completely agree with Gregg.

    We are at a disruptive innovation point in the tablet magazines business and these kind of innovations always came along with premature detractors justifying the failure using unfair established markets comparisons such as print vs tablets suscribers.

  • Bob Gordon

    Crowd sourced medical advice, Amateur car reviews, Forget about Consumer Reports, Next big thing User Reports, Hey Kids lets make a movie… HOT!l
    A news site without journalists, a cooking site without professional chefs, a science site without scientists, hmmm an investment site without economists, why invest in professionalism it may go out of style… oh yeah a newspaper without news.

  • Andy Kowl

    What??!!!! How SHOULD it be regulated? — as if this is a valid question. Why would you even question this as if the placement of ads of any kind merits regulation? Shall we run our stories by them also? Our banner ads? This is not about liquor commercials during Saturday morning cartoons or naked people in ads. Those are the only subjects I can think of regarding regulations — and even one of those I’m not sure about.

  • Bob Gordon

    But will Panda like the unique content?

  • Gregg

    Excellent article. Thank you.

    After 23 years in the printing industry, I think you touched on a few key points. I wanted to add a few that I personally have seen that have helped some prosper in print while others flounder.

    Where I am seeing growth/opportunity is in personalized relevant content.

    -Find ways to develop a 1:1 "dialogue" with subscribers and readers.
    -Jus like online content, create a "user experience" with print.
    -Look for ways to help readers “respond” "engage"(QR code, PURL….)
    -Approach all print related strategies with ROI in mind (reader, advertiser…)
    -In ROI, the "I" in Investment is not always money. It can be time, energy, hassle, perception…..
    -Ask yourself if your print strategy is "useful" or "Cute"? Must be useful to stick.
    -Use the “permanency” of print products as part of the value proposition.
    -Focus on the results, not the unit cost. Good results can make unit cost irrelevant.
    -If you have data, use it. If you do not have data, get it?


    Greg W. Andersen

  • Thad McIlroy

    I have great respect for both speakers and much admiration for Mr. Husni’s rooted boosterism. I do think that there remain some interesting and innovative opportunities for print.

    But the notion that print is "fighting back" successfully is just wishful thinking: all available stats prove just the opposite.

  • Thadcmce

    It does not matter win or lose, it matter to be aware that the marketplace has changed once again, My suggestion for the future is below:

    What is NEW PRINT!

    New media integrated with legacy media
    Engaging tool, establishing a dialogue
    Worthy of the prospect in quality and message, and offer

    Personalized messaging, relevant offer, content, and imagery
    ROI, each project goaled to generate positive ROI,
    Interactive across multi-media (electronic, web, digital, offset, etc.)
    Networked across educational, social and supportive new media
    Tractable, measured, and data captured

    ©Copyright 2013 Thaddeus B. Kubis

  • Andrea Mullins

    I don’t believe publishers have devalued their content, even though some in society would like for content to be free or close to it. Innovation is exciting and challenging. If print books were to no longer exist, I believe it would be only a few generations before print of some kind would once again take its place. Even as technology is changing the way we engage content, meeting the diverse desires of readers will be important.


    Checked it, too expensive, 700USD for a year? Well, I surely will not choose it.
    Freeware issue, flipsnack, or something else maybe better.
    Or this professional one http://www.kvisoft.com/flipbook-maker-pro/, full features, powerful functions, user-friendly interface.

  • jeremy

    really great article, I am in publishing and some of these have sparked new ideas for me

  • Futurist

    Funny that you mention the Rolling Stone archive – and then say it is not a table friendly, lean-back experience.

    Rolling Stone is one of the only magazines that has every page of their 45 year history available as a tablet friendly, completely facetted search enabled, HTML 5 offering. The replica format is a joy to read on a tablet, and a boat load easier to search than a stack in the corner.

    Yes, with the HTML 5 format, you can access it on a desktop. But the real experience is when you access it on a tablet. That is about as lean-back friendly as you can get.

  • Marilyn Mower

    Luv the last line, but it’s missing the final phrase…and content is still king

  • JMT

    Interesting. I am a Taunton subscriber to Threads magazine. I see the reuse of those articles in Taunton’s other channels — emails and other magazines. The same content is coming at me from several different directions, and I don’t need to see it more than the one time. Once I realized the email was rehashing print content, I stopped opening it. Since then, I’ve who the target audience is for those other channels. As a subscriber, it isn’t me. And I keep the issues, so even with the search capability, I can’t justify buying the expensive DVD to receive the same content again.

  • DJT

    Does Taunton, I wonder, pay the writers for each extra use?–Highly unlikely. Would these people stand for that kind of deal in their profesional lives?–Highly unlikely.

  • Rjane00

    Readers may be interested to know that Politico was in print as a tabloid newspaper for several years before it launched the magazine.

  • marcygoldman

    Terrific write up by one of the industry’s best gurus on electronic content/digital publishing.

  • beentheredonethat

    My company built such a system 4 years ago but not a single major newssite was interested. They don’t want to share revenues, subscriptions, etc. They want to own the customer, which makes no sense when every reader is flitting between hundreds if not thousands of content, videos, photos, apps, etc. each day.

    With the sharing economy now the norm, and customer-centric systems what users expect, the legacy media is toast.

  • Torihanson

    Great article Robert. However, coming form a publishing background. It’s still far too common an occurence that the brand, because they are paying for the editorial expertise, try to railroad their words into the article. This can then unfortunately sabotage the entire offering, and impacts not only the advertorial / native ad, but future partnerships and more importantly the publisher’s relationship with their users.
    It is still very much an editorial vs advertising crossroads.

  • Denis Wilson

    Thanks for the comment. I think Robert would agree that it’s important to have clear boundaries for the input a brand will have in native content. Also, it is important to sell the benefit of the publisher doing the storytelling, because it is their voice that is valuable. Both a challenge, as you say.

  • Tedd420

    Thanks for this article! Ive been telling my boss in http://www.piton-global.com that WHITE PAPERS could generate more traffic.

  • toddstauffer

    While I don’t disagree with the premise that linkbait can choke out quality content, I feel compelled to point out that your self-righteousness is a little ham-handed… and perhaps dated. (Full disclosure: I’ve done freelance work for Demand in the past few years.)

    (a.) I’m a little surprised you choked out your lede given that it actually has the word "aggregated" in it; last I checked, that’s a practice designed to boost pageviews by riding the coattails of other people’s work. 😉

    (b.) There’s no working link in this piece to the Variety piece you are quoting. Variety still doesn’t have a pageview from me, and they did the heavy lifting. I’ll go Google their piece after finishing this comment.

    (c.) You mention the New York Times, presumably to contrast it with the lowly Demand, but that comparison deserved to be contextualized with the fact that NYT only divested itself of About.com last year, an extremely similar play to Demand. The Gray Lady wasn’t above a little search engine trolling! :)

    (d.) I know some folks at eHow and I’d have to say it may be time to upgrade your opinion of them. Presumably the company saw the writing on the wall a while ago, because a great deal of what they now do is essentially "traditional" publishing — professional editors and freelancers cranking out some original content.

    BTW, just to pour fuel on the fire — I just happened to see Demand today on the Glassdoor’s Top 50 SMBs: http://www.glassdoor.com/Best-Medium-Sized-Companies-to-Work-For-LST_KQ0,39.htm.

    Here’s hoping they don’t need a headstone quite yet.

  • mariegriffin

    Hi Denis,
    First, I’m glad Publishing Executive linked to the Demand Media story from Variety; otherwise, I probably wouldn’t have found it.
    Second, Demand Media’s business model was founded on taking advantage of writers–expecting them to write original stories or produce videos for $15 a pop. (I believe the rate has since gone up a little.) Demand’s story about theirsuperior SEO methods, in my opinion, was just a more palatable message to the public than their real scheme.
    Back in Demand’s heydey, I know for a fact other publishers were telling their editors to lower their freelance rates drastically because of Demand’s presumed success.
    Although the About.com model was somewhat similar, it was more "ethical" because it provided an online forum for enthusiasts to write about topics they loved. About was not presented as a way for writers to make a living, although former Demand Media CEO Richard Rosenblatt absolutely professed that Demand was such a company.
    Under new management, Demand Media might find a place in the market–and it’s fine if freelancers can make some money there. It’s fortunate for the profession of journalism, though, that Demand Media is no longer considered a highly successful model other online publishers must follow.

  • Muhammad Abd al-Hameed

    The Magazine seems to have adopted the KISS principle. Most magazines give too much content, in the hope that every reader will read at least some of it. Actually, a reader gets frustrated by paying for too much content that he can never cope with. That may be the reason why most magazines are failing. Do not throw the net too wide. That is the lesson that the publishers must learn.

  • simplyshawn

    Bo Sacks knows what he’s talking about! All of publishing is evolving.

  • Jane

    The problem I find is that our marketing and product teams want to keep creating more and more content in order to bring in more and more revenue. I keep explaining that at some point we’re going to be cannibalizing ourselves. But they continue to force management into going with quantity over quality in order to increase ad capacity. Of course, the content staff hasn’t increased to go with it, but that’s another story.

  • Torihanson

    Information overload is crazy. How about looking at ways to curate content for your visitors instead? Content curation will be talked about more in the next year, but has actually been around for years. Look at tools such as Meddle – http://bit.ly/1ckMxG9, and RebelMouse. Curation platforms allow people in effect to write exec summaries of interesting articles, and then group them together based on theme ( a bit like Pinterest). This added value saves users a lot of time, and helps surface related content more easily, without necessarily needing to do loads of website development.

  • Bob Gordon

    How can honest publishers compete with dishonest ad agencies, unrealistic and impossible CPMs, and no regard for real impressions..t

  • Shaira Kaye

    "The Interactive Print show is where you’ll find out just how easy it is to “supercharge” your marketing, advertising and PR results from any piece of print no matter what you do or what budget you have. – http://www.interactiveprintshow.com/


  • Hugh Glazer

    Great points, especially #2. It important for all CEOs to understand that CRM & ERP systems when implemented correctly become the live blood of sales as well as operations. It is critical that they have the appropriate level of investment in support and training not only on install but on an going basis.

  • Les Csonge

    Nice research and article, interesting to see how publishers are experimenting with different options.

  • Les Csonge

    Very pleased and proud to have worked with and helped Saturday Evening Post deploy their App 😉

  • Marianne Calilhanna

    This is a fantastic grouping of the various bundles. Thanks!

  • Thaddeus B Kubis

    Great article, I think the future is true media convergence and integration, If you like read the article I published on this site in May of 2012. http://www.pubexec.com/blog/no-line-sand-great-examples-customized-publishing.


  • Mike Velez

    Great article, thank you for doing the work on this one!

  • Moxie Woman Mag

    I am the publisher of Moxie Woman Magazine, a bi-monthly print and online pub combining business and lifestyle content for women in the greater Philadelphia/NJ region. I agree that putting forth along all media platforms a consistent and clear identity is key, and that we are all paddling as fast as we can in uncharted waters. This is our second year in publication and we’re trying to balance the beauty of our printed piece with the immediacy of online information. We are finding readers really connect with personal stories, because after all, isn’t that how we connect in real life? Wishing for a crystal ball but confident if we stay true to our identity and mission and think outside the 8.5" x11" box, we will survive and thrive!

  • Michael Springer

    I’m a little exasperated by those who seek to relegate the term ‘publisher’ to the dustbin of history (not you, Bob). The definition of publishing does not contain the words "print" or "paper." Publishing is "the business or profession of the commercial production and issuance of literature, information (or) musical scores . . ." per Webster’s. I place the emphasis on ‘commercial.’ Not every yahoo with a web page is a publisher, any more than everyone who blogs is a journalist. I am a proud 21st century publisher!

  • Guillaume davaudet

    Marvelous comics are very great!

  • Guillaume davaudet

    This app is named Marvelous comics as well : https://itunes.apple.com/app/marvelous-comics-read-remastered/id683080373?mt=8
    Give it a try

  • Media/Entert/Tech Strategist

    Content, rather than technology, should drive content’s visual format.

    Webpage producers need to be allowed to choose whether technology speed outweighs visual attractiveness, rather than Google.

    Google, don’t fret about allowing use of CSS Regions. Smart producers (i.e., publishers, content owners) know that the pages need to load fast, and break content into short-form lists that then link to complete stories. Google recommending that list pages do not use CSS Regions makes sense. However, if Google wants to be relevant, Chrome needs to be able to read CSS Regions on pages that should appear as well laid out as any 1990s trend-conscious print magazine that superimposed text over graphics and photo images (i.e. Buzz Magazine).

    Publishers do not kow-tow to Google. Don’t let the tech wonks degrade the quality of visual media. We have already witness the downgrade of visual images in television programming and feature films, and audibly in sound recordings. (Do you consume more or less of these now than you did when the quality was better???) Do not allow them to ruin visual print textual, graphic and photographic image media, too.

  • Wojciech Szywalski

    Hi Ron,
    Wojciech from PressPad here.
    You are correct. Despite this article is quite old it is still actual but the landscape has changed since that time a little. I think that digital publishing is much popular and we are on right path to lower entry barrier for medium and small publishers. What’s more, digital publishing seems to be a great content marketing tactic, so more and more companies (not publishers at their origin) are trying this "new" medium. I do not want to advertise here but I think that we have put our $0.02 to this (call this) movement with our unique pricing strategy. Simply speaking we do not charge a flat fee, we really want to grow with our publishers thanks to this unique business model where our magazine apps are free http://blog.presspadapp.com/mobile-experiment-what-have-we-learnt-in-past-48-hours/



  • Les Csonge

    Congratulations John, David, Joel and all the Quad Team for continuing forward thinking, excellence and leadership in and across all aspects of the now multi-channel business.

  • MAJMGoosen

    De toekomst van onderscheidende gedrukte magazines.

  • Matt Niswonger

    What if your print property is a free magazine?

  • raftofwater

    Now THAT’S leadership! #ShawnUpChurch

  • Jeff

    You lost me at the word "publisher’s" in the first sentence. It should have been "publishers." Plural, not possessive. How do you expect anyone to find what you write credible — especially writing about the publishing world — if you make a sophomore-English grammar mistake in the first four words of your column? Re-read before posting. Get an editor. Or better grammar-check software!

  • BoSacks

    With little disrespect to thou or anyone else who responds here and there and everywhere on the internet, I think it strange that in an age of BFF and LOL we should make a claim of umbrage about missed grammatical placement in a magazine or blog. In years past when I worked at McCall’s magazine, we had 12 researchers and god only knows how many copy editors. In most magazines the researchers and the copy editors are long gone.

    BtoB businesses they made the choice long ago to fire the experts and publish on the "inexpensive" to save themselves as best as they could and the industry on the whole . There is no harder working staff that I am aware of then the people at Publishing Executive. Do they miss errors and syntax misplacement’s, you bet the bottom you sit upon that they do. They still put out a very credible publication under extreme stress. I suggest that we all relax and go with the flow. If you catch an error and you understand the authors intent, then skip the trauma and read on. Everyone is doing the best they can under very extreme conditions. If you want editorial perfection start paying for the full price for products that you read so earnestly.

  • DoktorThomas

    The unseen problem with your razor shopping experience is the brick & mortar–a failed and long outdated merchandising mode. If you look, you can find a metal Double Edge Blade Razor Shaver in cyberspace for less than $5 and 100 double edge blades for $10 (that are sharper to start and longer lasting). The cheap plastic crap proffered by American companies don’t hold an edge on a real razor. Even the Bic (French) six pack is superior to American brands. The point is glitz is nothing; the more glitz the more advertising done for a product, the less intrinsic value and real functionality it generally possess. See your Gillette and other crap plastic imitations, or Government Motors cars. There’s no excuse for the lack of taste and class in American consumers. ©2014

  • Bob Gordon

    Are you kidding me…with those names and resources to not be successful is a crime…

  • Blake Patterson

    Thank you so much for the kind words. We are looking forward to having more to share in the very near future.

  • Jeff Gayduk

    i think the point that many people miss about the value of print is that while it’s a dead tree, it’s also truly evergreen. I can start an article one day and get half-way through, dog ear the page and return back to it in a day, week, month or year. From and advertiser’s perspective you can expose your brand to your desired buyer multiple times in the same publication. With so much information flowing into our inboxes,if you don’t read a digital article in its entirety immediately, it’s taillights.Case in point: my deleted email and previous browser sessions are littered with good intentions.
    That’s also why in my opinion why digital magazines don’t perform. No one is going to power through an online publication in one sitting and the technology I’ve seen doesn’t render itself well to reading digital publications in small batches.

  • Les Csonge

    Go Yahoo !! Great to see.

  • Stephen

    Thank you for this advice, Andrew, but I hope you’re going to have a follow up column with some specific suggestions on "an effective email strategy".

  • Published through the 80s

    I agree with this article, and wish that publishers could see that curating content IS their value to their audience. Unfortunately, trends like "native advertising" are advertiser-facing, and erode trust. What editor can enjoy breaching the trust of the reader to fulfill the expectation of the advertiser? PS the advertiser will come back, the reader never will.

  • SamBonfante

    great tribute to an industry giant. Thank you.

  • Les Csonge

    Great and encouraging news, (whilst sad for the closures), Digital and iPad in particular releases were also up this last Quarter, a continuing trend, long may they both continue.

  • Bob Gordon

    How about The Auto Channel Marissa, ready made lifestyle site…

  • Dave

    Nice article, Bob, your last point is a clincher. We’re watching each other evolve. Some are experiencing success in data services, some in custom publishing, some in web and e-mail campaigns. Meanwhile most of us have grown appendages like digital issues, and only history will say if it is a prehensile tail or a vestigial organ. It can be argued that media is evolving faster than technology itself, as you point out mutations occur in unique and singular conditions.

    Dave Brambert

  • njtechwkly

    The one thing that was consistent: everyone who worked for Pat remembers those days when he would come around with the Christmas bonuses and treat you like you were the only person who mattered. He was also great about sending personal notes when he liked something you did.

  • debbie

    Now that the public detests them for their recent blunder, they picked a great time to leave.

  • brandingpassion

    Enjoyed this piece so much I decided to blog about it. Thanks for an insightful interview!

    Blog: http://www.communicatingpassion.com/taking-note-from-the-garden-gun-publisher/

  • Frank Giammanco

    Garden & Gun. Is that similar to Buzz Saws & Trampolines which is popular in So. Texas?

  • Bob Gordon

    Ahhh those 9% probably think the emperors new clothes are trending…

  • Cornelia

    Yikes, How will we know "Can this marriage be saved?"

  • danielatSappi

    Andrew has excellent insightful opinions and cousel. Definitely worth following.

  • Dan Romanchik

    Of course, Tim Berners-Lee DID NOT invent the Internet. Rather, he invented the World Wide Web, which runs on the Internet.

  • Dave Ball

    Thea: As you know, all of the platforms used for publishing digital editions have fairly robust reporting suites behind them. It would be useful for publishers to start to share some of the statistics that can be gleaned. For instance, how many people actually open each issue? How much total time do they spend with an issue? How many times does the average person open an issue? How many pages do they look at? Are they spending any time on ad pages? And how much are people really paying for the digital editions? Paid circ is becoming increasingly meaningless in the current environment when so much other information is readily available.


    The "take-away" seems flawed in that the print growth is not addressed and the 0.5% didgi growth is pacing with "flat-line" growth not equal or out-pacing of population and revenues may be seen as flat. Every media has an inventory without remnant sales. There is no "inching up". That .5% can be a statistical tick. Ask publishers like Kohl and Sachs. They come from print and understand didgi. >.5% really translates to ZERO at best; probably a negative. The use of "probably" is kind.
    I believe that, unlike print, broadcast and rest publishers are in need of a legit newsstand and stable distribution systems/platforms. Read an ezine on a mobile?… Really. Questron has shown that the smaller the platform the less publications are read. Even Samsung beats iPhone in minutes and views. Constantly publishers seem to want a one software to accom. pads, pods, watches and computers.
    With tech changing every several months publishers react when we should either do publishing with a mindset of skipping the little advances and then leap forward when there is a justification to change. The driver should be revenue. If not revenue change when the change will enhance an increase in readership that will eventually create revenue.
    So few views, partners, affiliates, and that which justifies more revenue. If you aren’t driven by revenue then there is no reason to work at the aforementioned.. Just plot along without expending more money and time unless you are bettering your content.,
    Remember, when you stop growing you begin to die..


    Smells like the publishing industry is missing bright publishers, business people and a universal "news stand", software that makes it easy to create better content and greater revenue.
    A "flat-line" growth stream is a pond.
    The co. in Philly with new advertising gimmicks will help. Content, SM, CM and "value added" propositions is what and where you may want to focus attention.

  • Howard Rauch

    The advice that journalists "should spend more time talking to readers" has obvious merits. But the challenge of doing so productively suggests that the suggested be amended. In B2B publishing, editorial managers should be thinking along lines that staff "should spend more time traveling to meet face-to-face" with readers. In my past as VP editorial of a multi-publishing operation, my rule about travel was that every staff member should have time for field visits. Based on reports submitted by travelers, it was easy to determine whether or not time was spent productively. But in many cases, editorial travel budgets that were squashed in tight times have not been restored.

  • Candace Reed

    Great re-cap, Andy!

  • Denis O’Malley

    Andy – I’ve often told advertisers that the inventor of the bingo card should be put in the Publishing Hall of Fame…And then shot the next day for exactly what you describe. Feel like I am back in that same situation.

    Have to admit that I’m confused with the premise of this article. The publications that I represent are all excellent edit & circ and avidly read by the industry. Fortunately (maybe because they are not IT-oriented sectors?), they still carry excellent print pages as well as custom digital content, webcasts, etc.

    All the research is conclusive. Customers are not contacting suppliers (advertisers) until 60% – 80% of the sales process is concluded. It is therefore vital for them to have a message wherever the customer goes – print, social, trade shows, etc. These people do not want to be contacted by salespeople until they are ready…Just like buying a new car, all the work is done before the consumer goes in to the dealership and talks with car salesman.

    Maybe ThomasNet is on the right track. Show a dashboard of activity that they generate. My fear is that the publishers I know and/or have represented are not capable of this.

  • Aman

    Missed features such as operator billing available on Rockstand

  • ThomasRTroland

    "There was a time when print was the least expensive, least complex way to reach a mass audience. Now print is the most complex and most expensive way to reach a large audience." Exactly. The medium in fact was never print: it was paper… a complicated work-around for producing and distributing widespread communications. Nothing romantic about it… we can now do the job better, faster and less expensively. What the paper medium carried –ideas, design, persuasive and informative words– will remain crucial and valuable. But we’ve got to let the "paper is precious" idea go. It will not ever again be what it was. Wonderfully said, Bob Sacks!

  • John

    Print is not being replaced because it’s a more complicated and expensive way for publishers to deliver information. Print is being replaced because it is less complicated and more efficient for the audience to receive information online. The audience drives the decision, not the information deliverer.

  • Mike

    We all get hung up on discussions regarding the death of print and where we go from here. The funeral is for the death of content that can be harvested anytime, anywhere, from multiple outlets. Sometimes we forget our Marketing 101 class that told us to create content that is unique and highly demanded. The delivery method is not important. YouTube has a ton of really crappy video but it is great content that you cant easily find anywhere else. Create demand, generate and deliver an audience and the angel of death will pass by our houses. If your print content looks like the guys next door (even if he is on a different media platform), prepare the funeral. It is not how it is delivered, it is the quality and demand for the content. Some things never change…content is and will always be king.

  • Publerati

    The trick is managing the transition from print to digital and what that means for margins and mixes. This requires getting rid of people in the way of progress, especially longtime senior-level stars who quietly undermine corporate cultural change. A look at the modern Kodak story shows how not managing with sufficient urgency in the face of new digital competition can bring a gorilla to its knees when all say that is not possible.

  • Michael

    Excellent! I even learned a few things reading this. Well done. Keep ’em comin. Thanks

  • ChrisWendt

    It is amazing that The New York Times, as well, presumably, as some of its major competitors, finds itself in this "dire" predicament so late in the evolution of the digital age. The good news is that they have found out they are in a predicament, and will seemingly take steps to move themselves along the continuum of digital progress, and probably wind-up at the head of the line. Or certainly ahead of Huffington Post in that line. Do not forget the one statement, above, which drives interest in this report: "There is no question that The New York Times produces great content". The best, most agile digital system on the planet will not be able to sell crappy content.

  • Muhammad Abd al-Hameed

    Digital publishing will also decline if it makes it difficult to read. No magazine or newspaper dare use a type size that is not easy to read. However, digital publications like yours make it next to impossible to read anything. How much does it cost you to have a type size that is easily readable> Or, you do not care whether anybody can read your content or not?

  • Adrian Nash

    This is a great summary of what we are hearing from marketers on the sales side. The one thing I would add however is the opportunity for publishers around content creation. While marketers crave leads they also need the content to generate conversions. Feeding the content machine is a major challenge, from having the time/resources to creating engaging content for consumption. And while marketers can turn to agencies, publishers are in a unique position to create content given they know their audience well and their consumption habits or preference.

    Marry the two (creation and lead gen) and as a publisher you will be in a better position with marketers to earn their respect and investment.

    I would suggest publishers not sit idle (the point of investing in technology to keep up with clients) and pro-actively earn respect. Leads are a result, and there are many things up stream to build value around and monetize.

  • -gman

    It’s frustrating for smaller publishers to produce competing with the "bigs" who are willing to offer ridiculously low subscription rates and ad rate while losing millions of dollars in the process. The magazine’s with integrity are the ones who lose out as does the paying subscriber and advertiser.

  • Jermey N. A. Matthews
  • AdsAndIdeas

    Bryan Welch says, "branded media must surprise and delight their audiences. Simply delivering useful content is not – and never has been – sufficient." So true.

  • Rico Suave

    Problem is Newsweek’s writing and reporting is still garbage.

  • roger

    is this writer related to the Mark Hosenball from newsweek circa 2000s ?

  • Anonymous Art Appreciator

    She cracks me up.

  • Tim Fox

    D.E.T. – Great article! The printed magazine is an excellent product when we all creatively work together to make it such. – Tim Fox, Director – Custom Products – Quad Graphics

  • Former Time Inc. employee

    what an idiot

  • Curious reader

    Hey….where’s part two of the interview? Print edition Editor’s Note says it should be here, somewhere…….

  • Goran Karlsson

    Great article!
    In my day job I travel around the world talking with publishers about the importance of understanding their audience data. The thing is that most publishers have a lot of scripts on their sites capturing important data. But guess what? The data is leaked to someone else! Who? The competition. Read my blog about Behavioral Currency to understand more: http://behavioralcurrency.com/2014/06/05/kick-off-for-the-behavioral-currency-blog/

  • DX Print

    Later on preamble of digital media, digital advertising campaign etc many expected the traditional methods, if the printing service, the mailing service, all expected them to be able to perish. But they did stand and then for me they really made these direct mailing, printing, fluxes etc very special. I am in publishing business and I’ve been finishing up direct mail promotions and banners, T-shirt design promotions to build our business and I’ve found great turn around than all the other digital promotions. These ideas where assigned to me by Troi Mailing Service in Toronto they usually clicked just find. Some traditional ways stays strong and good, only have to change as documented in the changing market. DX print

  • forbo

    The good/bad internet. Does as much harm as it does good. If I were an advertiser, I would seriously think about going back to direct mail. What with anti-spam legislation (in Canada anyway) and easily cluttered and hard-to-read digitally formatted emagazines, this may become (again) the best way to get someone’s attention. By the way, next flight you take, see how many around you are still reading with paper in hand. Most are still.

  • Christopher Gunty

    What does the headline “For This Author, 10,000 Articles Is a Good Day’s Work” have to do with the article? Nowhere in this post do you mention writing 10,000 articles a day, or how to do that.

    I’m disappointed that you gamed the system. That’s a very HuffPost thing to do.

  • Denis Wilson

    Hello readers — There was an error on the part of the editors when posting this blog post for BoSacks. We accidentally pulled a headline from another article. Our apologies for that.

    If you’re a consistent reader, you know we don’t do clickbait and we aren’t scammy. Thanks for the close read.

    Denis Wilson, EIC

  • Robert Sacks

    Wow.. Yes. It is the wrong headline from a very interesting article. BUT not related to this essay. Here is the correct URL for the headline in question. http://on.wsj.com/1jQGsvc

  • Kitty O’Steen

    Being old-school about newspapers and magazines and, yes, even books, I have mixed feelings about the revered New Yorker taking this step. Yet, I see the necessity for its long-term survival and, so somewhat grudgingly and without my tacit approval, I am willing to echo the words Doris Day sang a few years back, “Que sera, sera…What will be, will be…”

  • Howie

    Why is this approach considered native advertising? What it sounds like is the typical print full page that includes a 7×10 ad surrounded by compatible editorial content. How “native” it is depends on the degree to which the ad simulates editorial content. Meantime, it sounds like a standard “advertorial” approach in which case, of course, the page must be properly labeled as an advertisement.

  • Kate Pearson

    How do we get our magazine out there? Once the magazine has been printed what do we do then?

  • mike popalardo

    You may be right, Bo. But i for one can attest to the fact that I no longer have the ability to remember anyone’s phone # since I don’t have to dial it directly in most cases. :)

  • former subscriber

    Sad, Time was once great. But I won’t be renewing any sub. They should be going for indepth pieces that explain background, context, more. Instead, it’s becoming fluff and done-to-=death celebrity junk. Instead of assuming, provide a page of history/background n topics. Young people might even get interested. As sad as Diane Sawyer, replaying YouTube videos everyone saw 48 hours ago. A nightly can’t be hourly and a weekly can’t be a daily. Go for depth, context, experts.

  • Janie

    Time lost me years ago when I read a feature story about the impending fuel crisis which contained ads for BP and Shell. This is just a nail in the coffin. I agree with the former subscriber: Either go for depth, analysis and context, or don’t bother.

  • expert business strategist

    Unfortunately, Time’s leadership think journalists’ reporting structure is “either/or” rather than “both/and” with respect to Editorial and Business. It is possible to produce high-quality journalism within a budget and make money off subscriptions plus advertisements.

    And, there is certainly an english-language audience which would like Time magazine to return to the quality it delivered when Time was well-respected brand a generation ago.

    Further, management seems to ignore that the US does not need another advertorial current affairs publication, and that the company would likely be profitable by returning to the high-caliber journalism model, than by selling advertorial space in a publication without an audience.

    Luckily, there is TruthDig.

  • Roy Hinkis

    Hi Eric , Thanks for the tips.

    I’m using mostly SimilarWeb to use competitive analysis

  • Laura Williams

    Thank you for being reborn! This is a step in the right direction as far as keeping print alive. Your topics and your market are fitting, and this author-Fed is right behind you and has your back all the way from Illinois.

  • 14 the claw

    I think anyone who uses the expression Methinks does NOT think.

  • MHStrawn

    I think one of the things preventing the largest publishers from this migration is their insistence on trying to maintain an old business model in a new medium. Magazine companies have largely seen digital platforms as little more than a means to generate or deliver “subscriptions”, going so far as to provide “issues’ of magazines on digital platforms. They have not generated content customized to leverage the unique capabilities digital; it’s a classic square peg / round hole dilemma.
    Music companies made the same mistake 15 years ago and allowed Apple to create a “blue sea” opportunity while the music companies continued to suffer in a “red sea” decline. That none of the large media companies with print products created sites such as Vox or Buzzfeed clearly demonstrates their rigid, narrow-minded approach.

  • Rita Mills

    I don’t guess it ever occurred to anyone that maybe all of the book publishing “insiders” may be too close to the industry to be able to think of the box effective and solve some of the issues we have going on right now in the publishing business………..Rita

  • Erik Bowman

    These are great tips. Typically your printer can take care of shipping but if you already have the magazine printer you’ll need to find a local shipping company or contact a local print shop they should be able to give you a referral. If your magazine is already formatted in ID or as a PDF you can go direct to ISSUU or MagCloud. For those looking to break into the magazine business you could save a number of the difficult magazine publishing steps by buying into an existing magazine product like Localista Magazine. You can learn from experts and launch your magazine much faster. You can learn more http://www.localistamagazine.com/editions/become-a-publisher/

  • Efitzelle

    A pivot of this magnitude is the kind of endeavor that no media company wishes to have, but every media company is confronting. Lou Ann has a big task. But there is no going back. She and MediaDC will succeed and the model they evolve will be one that others will follow. We should all hope that they can accelerate the process and be the bell whether sooner than later.

  • ThadMcIlroy

    I agree with you that 2014 is the watershed year. All of the negative forces are converging while mobile now dominates people’s media priorities. Re ” A Dwindling Romance with Print” … a large part of that remains the “dead tree” sentiment. The publishing and paper industries have had an epic fail trying to reverse that perception.

  • Anton Piter

    I know at least two good issuu competitors. It’s http://www.scribd.com and http://www.paperzz.com

  • Glenn Schutz

    Great article, Jim! From our perspective at BPA Worldwide, we’re seeing more and more publishers equip their sales team with cross-channel and cross-platform audience reports. The feedback we receive we’ve heard is that salesmen have found these multi-channel report invaluable in their integrated sales efforts.

  • Brian Heller

    Thanks Andy! Great point about the antitrust scrutiny this would get in the b2c world. When will b2b get the respect it deserves? That’s OK – those of us in the know can do better without all the fad-like competition. 😉

  • John Lerner

    Andy. Great post. In my opinion, LinkedIn has thumbed their nose towards niche media for some time now, so this move makes me even more concerned. While google, twitter and Facebook at least try to have outreach to B2B media, LinkedIn has completely ignored this sector. They would do well to acknowledge their B2B media user base more.

  • B2BPublisher

    My question is- do you suggest to run separate platforms for your Digital and your Print or can an OMS effectively do both. Our system currently handles both and this can be challenging at times.

  • sofisantuch

    Adtomatik has been my predetermined ad network for a long time. Never tried anything better. Higher fill rates and the best ecpm.

  • Pamela Wilson


  • MxBiaystock

    High Times is not serving the country well. It not entertaining anymore. The first 6-8 years it was embraced by all that smoked pot. Now just some eye candy and growers tips.

  • DeadTreeEdition

    Here’s a link to the brief Google video featuring Matt Cutts explaining how Google uses human raters to enhance web search: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nmo3z8pHX1E&feature=youtu.be. And here’s my companion article, “Google Loves Print, This We Know, For Its Guidelines Tell Us So,” explaining WHY Google has such a preference for web sites associated with printed publications: http://bit.ly/1CGGau0

  • Karen

    Hello Robert,
    Thank you for this article. It really gives me a great deal to think about. As the publisher of a small regional horse magazine, content is all we have to offer our readership. The magazine medium is changing rapidly to digital, this I understand, however, monetizing our content is going to be how we survive. We’ve got to think beyond the traditional way of the print publication to offering our content in new ways and being able to monetize it. We are distributed free to feed and tack stores throughout the Pacific Northwest. What direction or training would you recommend from here? We have great access to readers right now but our feed and tack stores are being overrun by Ebay, Craigslist and all the other avenues to purchase horse gear. We currently have over 650 locations we distribute to but they are slowly disappearing. Any advice or direction would be appreciated.

  • Will Oberst

    This was very useful in finding printers that could help me with my future business needs.

  • Saul Fleischman

    Thanks so much for the kind words about our baby – RiteTag.

  • SarahESchmidt

    Interesting post, but it doesn’t really address the premise of the headline.

  • Irina Kovalyova

    for competitive pricing analysis http://competera.net/ could be helpful

  • Dave Pilcher

    “It may be streamed, burnt onto a CD, or stored in an MP3. The end product is as it always has been: something to listen to.”

    Perhaps, but a musician creates what used to be known as “albums” by carefully curating the music, editing and ordering it to tell the story of the whole. Meanwhile you can download one track of the album…yes, that bit of music is the same…but without the context of the entire “album” you are losing much of the artistic experience of the whole…reading the liner notes, pulling out that full size poster of the band,etc.

    I see magazines in the same way. Yes, I can read that one article through my FB feed. But without the experience of the entire issue…the point/counterpoint, the crescendo, the juxtaposition of editorial and art, the way the ads support the editorial, I lose so much of what is being said. It is this difference, to me, that sets apart a magazine. It’s this entire “experience” of the issue that is lost when we talk about the differences between the reading platforms, IMHO.

  • Howard R.

    The description of how four organizations take an energetic approach to delivering daily e-news is impressive, but how many other publishers — especially on the B2B side of things — are prepared to follow suit? So this article needed to fill in a few details — like what is the size of the dedicated online editorial staff? How many articles are posted daily? What is the percentage of original content to aggregated/curated info? If the four publishers were deprived of the aggregated/curated option, could they fulfill the daily requirement with original content? Is there one edition daily . . . or morning and afternoon editions? Are all staff editors totally devoted to generating online content . . . or are they also handling print media assignments?

    The latter question is the key for many B2B publishers . . . who still expect editorial staffs to fulfill dual responsibilities for online & print.

  • bdr

    self-serving article.

  • brad

    I noticed they have gotten rid of “Who Made That”. Too bad, I really liked that part of it. I might ask, in a play on words “Who Made That (Decision)!”

  • EdCoburn

    Thank you once again Bo for your balanced and reasonable view on the industry. It’s unfortunately all too rare.

  • Denis Wilson


  • Andy Metz

    The magazine industry needs to come together and say “This is the way we measure our digital audience” and this is why we do it this way. We need to get top agency people involved in this decision as they are the ones that will drive its success or failure. We then need to sell the advertiser and their agencies on how WE, the industry, will measure our digital audience.
    There are simply too many ways to measure now and that muddies the water for everyone involved. Lets create a standard and run with it.
    Does Chartbeat have our answer? Lets continue the discussion.

  • Publerati

    Almost all of my ad impressions now come on my tablet. Not TV. Not magazines. Not print anything. This just seems like an outdated move to lower rates when in fact I would not be surprised if the digital ads are more effective than the old ones. Coke should be paying more for me to enjoy their ads on the tablet, the only place I encounter their ads anymore other than major sporting events not yet allowing me to watch on my tablet. Which oddly is causing me not to watch the event at all and instead do something else on my tablet. The medium is the message.

  • Nealio

    Based on the stats mentioned here, could the rise in digital interaction with a publication’s audience be a cause of diminishing print interaction? I’m suggesting that in a very real way the social media frenzy is harming magazines more tan helping them financially.

  • LadyD

    Here’s a comment for the journalists looking to reach readers who find Facebook, Twitter, et. al tiresome or otherwise eschew the social platforms.

    Open your site to comments! Do not limit the comments to Facebook, Twitter, or other social media. When I want to speak up, I will comment if allowed, but, I WILL NOT join a social media platform to make my comments. And, if you further want to lure me to participate by commenting, allow me to remain anonymous or choose a pseudonym… I don’t feel you need my name or other information about me.

    Just today there were two sites I would have commented on… but could not do so. One site limits the privilege of commenting to Facebook members. :( The second site has no comments enabled at all. Both sites failed to receive my comments…

  • jafazzi

    Bo – I can’t agree with you more. The future will bring me everything I want and will allow me to filter out what I don’t want. I will be willing to pay for this privilege. I expect excellence in the editorial materials as well as any product placements. Too commercial and it will drive me away. Good product, editorial and related information will keep me a loyal paying customer. If it’s free, it must not be any good. Hopefully all the “free” sites we are aware of today will be gone. Print will continue to evolve towards mass customization.

  • DeadTreeEdition

    I’m a print guy, but what MediaVest is doing makes absolutely no sense. Subscribers to tablet editions may be small in number, but they represent high-quality circulation. They pay for their magazines with actual money, often more than their print counterparts pay. Marketers, stay away from this ad agency. Communicating with the MediaVest people will be difficult because it’s hard to hear when you are engaged in rectal-cranial exploration.

  • Shepherd Smith

    Kudos for a well-written introduction to Marketing Automation for those publishers who might not yet be familiar with its benefits to both subscription-based and advertising-based models.

    Real Magnet (www.realmagnet.com) has developed a marketing automation tool specifically for publishers, so readers of this article might wish to add this to their exploration of different MA tools.

    I’ve used both Eloqua and Marketo and am a true believer in MA – if you have not yet considered adding these capabilities to your audience development/marketing efforts, I encourage you to do so!

  • Ed Fitzelle

    Good article regarding PE ownership. One thing I am curious about is what they see as the exit. There are very few large strategic buyers, now, who will overpay for properties because they have a long time horizon and can justify the extra cost. Perhaps Google et al will fill that role?

  • Curious

    Many of the B2B filed bankruptcy and recapitalized, shedding millions of dollars in debt. It seems it is a shell game and someone gets left holding the bag at the end of the line. Time will tell if this new group of PE companies have a longer view of ownership and are truly interested in creating value or just trying flip an undervalued property.

  • John Conley

    I could not agree with you more. Radio did not kill dinner conversations, TV did not destroy radio, cable did not destroy the networks and on and on. What has happened in communications as a whole is we are getting more selction forcing older business models to get more focused and targeted in order to remain profitable and viable. In the Book world this week we have seen huge investments by Quad in digital print plus the addition of one of the best Book printers in the US in Courier Corporation. Print is here to stay, it will look different,become more global, have different value drivers, and in some models new delivery and distribution models but it will still be print and vibrant.

  • Bill Wilson

    Count me among those who feel the same way. I’ve been “fighting the good fight” for print for years now: http://blog.wlwdesign.com

  • Doug S.

    I’ve been teaching a college class in marketing for the past several years and I always ask students if any of them read a daily newspaper. I’ve never had a hand go up.

  • DeadTreeEdition

    Venerable? Who you callin’ “venerable”?
    And “viral”? I knew I should have worn that — oh, never mind.

  • P Bachler, CEO RevenueGPS

    Very helpful article.

    An additional thought for long term brand building- Use social media to engage your advertising stakeholders at agency and client.

    For example- create a Facebook group to provide relevant industry information targeted to your key ad categories. Profile key decision makers to provide social currency among their peers.

    Create a Google Hangout and invite industry or on staff experts to discuss trends shaping your clients business. or invite the CMO ‘s in your key category fields to discuss their “what keeps me up at night list”

    Don’t use these to talk about how great you are, rather use them to provide useful information to clients and prospects to make them the hero. Respect that they will make the connection and see you brand in a new light and take your calls later for a meeting.

    Too often we stop courting our clients after they place an order to chase the next prospect. Keep the sold, sold. They are your best source of additional revenue.

  • bubba

    Useful info indeed. I received a sample of magazines from serveral companies and Heidel Print was impressed. Very high quality at a terrific price and great customer service but just a bit worried that it’s located in S.Korea. I might check out some others from this acticle as well. Thanks.

  • Paul Anthony

    It is telling that I am reading this article on a computer screen.

  • CarlosJOchoaFer

    Interesting article and completely agree: The lineal, multi-article, traditional experience is changing to a non-lineal, three-dimensional collection of editorial material organized by both humans and algorithms that change for the individual person by the second. Best,

  • Elizabeth Callaghan

    Thanks for sharing this- this is a brilliant piece by John Oliver. This entirely degrading. It is blatant objectifying of women for profit, a story that seems to have no end-date in site in today’s society. But I mean, it’s ‘sports’ right?!

  • Michael Kotowski

    Big Data is, well, just that – BIG! The only times where it’s been “too big” is when Scientist and Researchers are doing a study on “food poisoning” and somebody like Justin Beiber gets sick on tour and every idiot in the world is talking about it with no substance – just noise.

    The guiding principles that we used to use as a self governing body back in 1990’s in Time Warner Corporate Marketing and the self-regulating world of date was to Use Your Powers for Good and Not Evil. Google has a mantra along those line.

    Information is power, with respect for mankind, privacy and value being separated from abuse by a very fine line.

    Use the information available with the tools available. Be disruptive for the good!

  • Pam Mashburn

    Andy – completely agree with your article. One of our core values is balancing the needs of the reader, advertiser and staff. We won’t publish something that doesn’t add value and interest to our readers. We won’t run blatant advertorials that advertisers love but readers don’t read. But our business IS financed by advertisers who want our promotional expertise, whether it is an ad, social media post, or editorial mention. It is truly a balancing act which is probably best measured by growth in readership, advertisers… and profit.

  • David Blankenship

    And I thank the digital medium for this article and some great points. Digital is a critical element of modern publishing strategy and for most publishers will continue to represent opportunities for brand growth even with a solid traditional print strategy.

  • Jason

    “Samsung’s market share increased to be the #3 tablet after iPad and X”

    What is X?

  • Brett Keirstead

    Congratulations Jeff and Robert this is the desired end-state of the great majority of today’s Publishers. Many of these traditional folks as you know are still lagging the strategic commitment to this initiative. As ALM and other forward thinkers like you have proven, the insights that come from an investment in organizing Big Data will pave the foundation for long term success. Bravo, keep the insights coming!

  • Jeanniey Mullen

    Great collections of data Thea!

  • Barbara Shepherd

    I think the idea of designing for the iPhone first is key! One of those “duh” ideas–after someone else articulates the point.

  • Bill Levine

    Great stuff! The element I’d add is tracking audience behavior across channels. We all have so many content products but tying them together complements the subject matter data quite well.

  • Joan Bennett

    Just wondering…with all the great information in your wonderful magazine,why is there not a section on books?I am an author who feels that I have some interesting material available,Maybe in your magazine,I might be able to reach your audience….thanking you in advance,Joan Bennett@cox.net

  • David Blankenship

    Great to see more magazine launches! Now for some recipes!

  • David Blankenship

    As publishers utilize video, it makes sense to cover their niche via livestream options. Plus, take back video, edit it for key elements that support the news of story of the week and feature the video on the website. Every article today can carry some type of video in addition to images, text, author bio, meta, and taxonomy data.

  • WOWSOME app

    what’s really happening is that its static content is no more appealing. The digital boom has heightened our visual quotient exceedingly. Next to digital, it’s Augmented Reality.

    ‪Augmented Reality enhance the prints to make it live; and merge the ‪online‬ and ‪offline‬ space together. It taps into the possibility of setting things into motion in print by integrating it with digital content.The digital skin function allows “print content to come alive” with Video, 3D, Animations, Call-to-Action, Deals and much more. This in turn provides brands a significant potential to go viral on the ‎digital space‬ and create massive buzz about their products. Integrating into the lives of their customers is what advertisers have always been waiting for to capitalize upon.

  • Narendra Kumar

    American Research Journals(ARJ)is a leader in making quality publications available to professionals in a diverse range of industries, from agriculture to health care to engineering. Our contributors are all highly experienced in their fields and come from all around the globe. All submissions are reviewed by our editorial team to insure the highest standards.


  • David

    All great points, but the there is no mention of the cost for these social media programs . . . . . . .all of which can be somewhat pricey

  • Gary Wien

    I can see a certain percentage of people craving the physical properties of a magazine as more and more publishing moves to the web; however, vinyl to me represents something that is saved and preserved. Not everyone saves magazines in the same way.

    If magazines are largely read and then recycled, it’s a different animal than the re-emergence of vinyl.

  • Dave Pilcher

    It seems to me that the ASME has lost some of its teeth, and this is their way of playing catch-up and trying to stay relevant as the marketing dollars make more and more of the editorial decisions. Appeasement has a way of falling short in the long run, and consumers have a way of seeing through this kind of veiled attempt at maintaining lines.

    Simply waving around your guideline isn’t enough to prop up your integrity when it starts to falter.

  • NewJerseyStage

    Someday the trend will be magazines created for digital… For many types of publications, a digital magazine offers opportunities that print cannot — audio, video, interactivity. We publish a monthly arts & entertainment magazine that generally includes up to 50 videos on average. After going this route, I cannot even imagine writing about music without offering the reader an opportunity to hear the artist.

    And by designing just for digital, you can make the fonts readable in every format from PC to smart phone. I’m not even considering the Smart Watch because if people want to read newspapers or magazines on a watch they’re on their own as far as I’m concerned…


  • Maria K Todd MHA PhD

    A great synopsis Andy, Thanks!
    Next time in Denver, look me up and let’s have coffee!

  • Larry Genkin

    There’s also Bud Magazine — http://www.budmagazine.net/1


    great Story Andy

  • fractals

    Sharing into the networks :-)

  • ShiProjects

    Hi Mark,
    This is a great article that inspired me to write a short article on why online publishers should use a CRM.
    The key factor to implement is to make sure there is a key person responsible – and they should really be interested in the CRM process.

  • Linda Ruth

    I’m looking forward to dropping in to YPC next month!

  • Linda Ruth

    Terrific article, and one that clearly articulates why smart publishers are moving beyond SEO–search engine optimization–and into OAO–online audience optimization. The one is geared towards delivering search engine results page rankings–the other, authentic and loyal audience. Clearly, Google’s goals and publishers converge in this field.

  • nope

    Can we talk about the fact that Rodale treats their Employees like absolute crap? They actually discourage professional growth, which I’m sure keeps their costs down. Can we also talk about the fact that they cater to the lowest possible common denominator by publishing every ludicrous diet and “lifestyle” book that comes across their desks, including the unbelievably racist and offensive Thug Kitchen? Can we please talk about all of these things?

  • DeadTreeEdition

    I just published a companion article on my blog called “When 30 Equals 33: America’s Bizarre Methods of Calculating the Weight of Paper”: http://bit.ly/1F2sKKB. It has some useful information and warnings for Americans looking to buy paper from overseas.

  • Pieter van Diggele

    Very interesting and valuable panel discussion. Thanks for sharing this! Something I haven’t read a lot about but is a huge opportunity imho, especially in B2B: demand generation. Instead of just generating leads for every single advertiser separately through a few pieces of (branded) content, thus generating multiple, overlapping funnels for the same product category/audience, publishers should try to own the funnel by mapping their own content to the buying journey and nurture people along that to 1st and 3rd party solutions with the right content at the right time. This makes for much more valuable leads (quantified and qualified) in the lower funnel, which can be sold to multiple suppliers in the same market, exclusively to the highest bidder or based on specific product/solution interest. This of course requires deep and specific knowledge of buyer behavior and roles per niche, which is in itself an opportunity since this data is invaluable for suppliers. Do you know of any B2B publishers who are already leveraging this successfully?

  • http://www.nutritionnews.com Gurumantra Khalsa

    I can really appreciate the strategy. I aspire to similar goals. Any insight on what the ‘content container’ looks like? We have lots of legacy content we want to keep evergreen and current. Any thoughts on platforms?

  • AndyKowl

    Writers are usually the lowest paid people in the publishing universe. I am getting nervous about more articles appearing here in Pub Exec suggesting that publishers can cash in on Content Marketing by . . . becoming writers? By using all the knowledge and skills to write content for corporations to distribute where? Where is the “relevant audience” you suggest we help serve? (FYI, we currently do exactly that.) You say if we do a good job “the audience will come, and stay .” WHERE? Not on our publication sites, but rather on sites, as you correctly describe, who “create their own content and channels for YOUR clients.” This is nuts!

    You think writing for corporate websites, competing with freelancers and agencies to write for others is a big opportunity? Shall we also include our highly skilled editors to manage this, say, instead of making our publications better? This is a valuable use of their time? Who is going to distribute this content, pray tell? I did not see you suggest we publishers can earn money running this content, or distributing it through our many channels. I have yet to meet a content marketer who thinks they need anything other than Social and Search to distribute content. Should we write great content to build LinkedIn as a platform to compete with those of us in B2B? Or to post on Facebook?

    I fully agree marketing services are an excellent ancillary service for publishers. Ultimately that is an additional revenue stream, not a primary one. Where is the money you are talking about publisher making? By becoming writers for hire to help competing content platforms? Be still my beating heart!

    • Peter Loibl

      Andy, I appreciate your feedback, sincerely. You make some wonderful points, and many of your concerns echo those that I hear when talking to fellow publishers.

      I get the sense, however, that you see this as an “Or” opportunity instead of an “And” opportunity: I am not suggesting to jeopardize the quality of your publications here, but rather harness the talents of your writers to open up entirely new revenue streams.

      Social Media … Search … Distribution: these are all issues revolving around tactics and channels, not a focused content marketing strategy.

      You know your brand better than anyone, and this may not be a direction for you to consider. However, (many) other media companies have, and their bottom lines are much more attractive today than they were yesterday.

  • http://www.flippagepublishing.com Sean McKenna

    Was hoping to catch more ‘content’ from this article but the links in the final paragraph are not resolving. Maybe this is just an example of poor content marketing? Just kidding. Have sent an email to webmaster.

  • Pieter van Diggele

    Great read Brian. Especially the persona’s/customer journey part. That’s one of the greatest opportunities publishers have but often don’t understand yet. We should know our audience better than any of our marketing clients, but do we? If we succeed in mapping personas/journeys of decision makers for the key solution categories per market/audience/theme we can offer tremendous value to marketeers struggling to offer the right content to the right audience with the right timing in the right place. With every piece of content we produce as a publisher, we should ask ourselves: what does reading this article tell us about the intent of the reader in relation to a (set of) solution(s) we or our clients have to offer? And then map that reader accordingly within the customer journey and offer more, relevant content to help move the reader along in that journey towards purchase. And the other way around: if we map all our existing content to the customer journey, do we have enough content in every stage of that journey? If not, we should produce more content in the stages we’re lacking in order to identify our most valuable readers and create demand for the solutions we/our clients have to offer.

    Do you know of any publishers who are already successfully applying this strategy? I would love to see a successful case study to strengthen my case that we should invest in the technology and talent to make this happen.

  • JCBbooks

    Precise targeting and good quality creative goes a long way to improving relevance and a quality experience for the consumer.

  • Alexis Halbert

    What are the new dimensions of the magazine?

  • celinahex

    is there a story here? or is this story just a headline?

  • http://contentmarketinginstitute.com/ Joe Pulizzi

    I love everything about this article. Congrats to David and F&W for sticking to the strategy.

  • http://morekeynote.com/ tpldrew


    I too love history! I’d read that essay! Love the idea.

    Please do write it.

    – Andrew

  • Gary Pageau

    Tried it. It’s hardly “gorgeous.”

  • Sheena Yap Chan

    its a good thing i just got into podcasting. it really is a great platform to have people come to you

  • edfitzelle

    The hard thing for many business owners to understand about social media marketing is that it is something you do in concert with other marketing efforts. Social media gets attention and builds awareness, but as Mr. Foley points out, the direct effect on ROI is not easily discerned. How much of a department store’s sales are attributable to the display in the front window? Right, you don’t know, but no store owner would leave their windows empty. So, with social media, the objectives have to be realistic, and, in my experience, for a marketer to sell the owner or top management on a social media program, you have to show the payoff in real dollars somewhere else in the marketing program where an ROI calculation can be done. With all the buzz, you can sell an owner on a social media program, but when it doesn’t deliver what the owner expected, don’t count on selling them any more services.

  • Fujifan

    For anyone without 20/20 vision this article is virtually unreadable because of the pale shade of the font and the even paler shade of the links. We’ve been reading black on white for centuries, what makes Web designers think that they can do better? Please, please, use a solid black font so that we can easily read your words of wisdom!

    • Ellen Harvey

      Hi Fujifan, I’m sorry your having issues reading this article. We are using a black font on a white background. I would check the system preferences of both your web browser and your computer to adjust the color of your screen or web browser. Adjusting the brightness of your computer screen may also help.

      • http://www.bosacks.com bosacks

        It is a thin font which seems to be the current trend in the industry, even and most importantly on mobile devices. A heavier font would indeed be easier to read on all substrates.

  • http://LizsWorldprofit.com/ Elizabeth English

    Great Read thank you for all the wonderful tips about social media

  • Ben Sclair

    Right on Bob. The beauty – if I may be so generous with that term – of the “evolving media mix” as it relates to print is it becomes an ever tighter grouping of readers. Self-selecting even. Think rifle versus shotgun. This self-selecting audience – assuming that audience is who advertisers want to reach – becomes ever more efficient to reach.

  • alphakitty

    I for one am really looking forward to picking up a copy (or two!), of the premier issue. Love the Beekman Boys and their wonderful products.

  • edfitzelle

    You’re right. It was much more pleasant to drive your coach-in-four, whip in hand than to drive some noisy automobile. Now, how did those buggy whip shares do?

  • Bianca van Staden

    Hi there, I am currently studying for my degree in publishing. I found this blog post very relevant and interesting to the publishing industry today. If I may focus on one specific aspect, I would say that it is vital to communicate, and more so to give constant feedback to clients and your audience. I have found that most aspects of any business must be firmly based on a communication model that ensures and enhances consistent and valuable feedback in order to ensure successful marketing. The metaphor of “marketing chips” and the relation to poker is absolutely brilliant. While I too am not very good at poker, the idea of strategic marketing is very important I believe. I have not been studying publishing for very long at the moment, but I do agree that in order to provide valuable content in creative ways, you must value yourself and see the potential you have. Marketing plays such a big role, and is the key to opening many doors of success in the publishing industry. Quality and reliability are two things that I’ve come to realize a publisher cannot live without. I am also doing copy-editing and proof reading part time, which is why I noticed this blog post as it was referring to the content, and the potential that lies with it, and how absolutely vital it is to focus on the content marketing in new and dynamic ways.

    • Peter Loibl

      Hi Bianca, very well stated, and I am glad you enjoyed the post! If you ever want to chat more about the converging paths of marketing and publishing, please do connect with me on LinkedIn. Thanks for taking the time to comment!

      • Rebecca-Anne Perridge

        Hi there,
        I am also a student working towards completing my publishing degree. I cannot agree with Bianca more with her observations relevant to the importance of constant feedback and communication with your clients and audience.

        The section of your post that grabbed my attention the most was knowledge of your customers, which I imagine must stem from the engagement with clients and your audience.
        I understand the importance of knowing your customers well, as within our publishing lectures it is always stressed that knowing your audience and what your audience wants is key to a successful publication.

        I greatly enjoyed your post. Being an avid poker player myself, I understand the metaphors within your post – which further assisted me in grasping the main ideas of your content.

        • Peter Loibl

          Thanks so much for your feedback Rebecca-Anne! If you ever want to continue the conversation, please do connect with me via LinkedIn and Twitter.

  • Oleksandr

    I have a better option – Business project “The concept of print media in the 21st century.” This project is spared from these problems. I can sell this project. I can implement this project. With best regards, Aleksandr Solodilov.

    • http://morekeynote.com/ tpldrew


      Not sure exactly what that means. Can you elaborate?

      Thanks so much for the comment.

      – Andrew

  • Matt Roseboom

    But did you make any extra revenue from YouTube to offset the $7? If so, you wouldn’t have had that if you put the video directly on Facebook.

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  • Ben Baker

    Gonna require a paradigm shift. Left a lengthy comment on the article page

  • Ben Baker

    Hey Rich

    I realize I’m a bit archaic, but any website that throws up video ads at me is eliminated. I find a page w/o video ads.

  • AndyKowl

    I checked the date of your article when I read “Programmatic advertising is gaining a lot of excitement in the advertising space.” Didn’t that excitement-gaining happen a few years ago? The latest excitement around programmatic advertising is due to its directly causing the backlash of ad-blocking. (If we define excitement as higher blood pressure and anxiety.) Programmatic’s inescapable intrusion to everything we do online is clearly the tipping point which will come as close to killing online advertising as anything I’ve seen. Not the excitement I would prefer. I liked it better in the good old days (3-4 years ago) when programmatic merely drove online consumer ad rates into the basement.

  • Debbie Jackson-Doherty

    So true! My company once had a sales pitch for a contract from a national brand, of course we had a certain amount of time allotted for the pitch. They spend so much time talking about themselves that they ran out of time to finish the pitch. We all had commitments for the time following that meeting so we all got up and left. All we remember is how they all talked about themselves, and about how they can replace our creative team … which I had just told them was my job!! They did not get the contract.

  • etra77

    Andrew, these tips are great. Real value. Would that people listen!

  • Mark Salmi

    Interesting that the article made me aware of the metrics as I was reading it! I’m all for getting rid of those annoying slideshows that slow down readability. I also understand getting more ad bang for the buck, but measuring where the reader gives up is more important.

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  • Dave Diomede

    You may want to look at your website on an iPhone 6+ something is messing up the width.

  • brianoleary

    I’m trying to understand the absence of R.R. Donnelley from this list. It’s an $11 billion company with at least $2.5 billion in print sales. much of that magazines. They might not lead the list, but it’s hard to believe they aren’t in the top 20. What am I missing?

    • brianoleary

      After I posted this question, I learned from the editor that I had missed the footnote (shown above) that explains that R.R. Donnelley was excluded because they did not break out data the way that Printing Impressions asked. I tried to delete my question, but that didn’t seem to work, so I’m adding this.

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