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#Podcast: How 3 women’s magazines invited the reader into the production process

September 27th, 2013 | Comments Off | Posted by in Magazines, Podcast, Social media and blogging
Image by James Cridland on Flickr. Some rights reserved.

Image by James Cridland on Flickr. Some rights reserved.

Connecting with the reader is vitally important for any magazine. To sell copies and build an engaged community it must appeal to the reader, and be in tune with their interests.

This week’s podcast looks at how and why three magazines in Finland (Olivia), India (Femina) and the UK (Company), are using crowdsourcing methods to both further their understanding of the audience, and give their readers a greater role in determining the final issue. Examples include a magazine which produced an edition containing reader-produced content only and another which built an online “co-creation” platform, where the readers helped make editorial decisions.

The publishers and editors behind the magazines share some of their lessons, as well as the potential benefits for the readers, the magazine and advertisers.

We hear from:

  • Marjaana Toiminen, chief executive, Bonnier Publications (Publisher of Olivia magazine)
  • Tarun Rai, chief executive, Worldwide Media (Publisher of Femina magazine)
  • Victoria White, editor, Company

Both Toiminen and Rai spoke at the FIPP Congress in Rome this week, a conference focused on the latest developments and trends in the magazine industry, about the crowdsourcing projects at Olivia and Femina.

You can hear future podcasts by signing up to the Journalism.co.uk iTunes feed.

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#Podcast – Apple Newsstand success stories: Future, Dennis and Conde Nast

September 28th, 2012 | No Comments | Posted by in Magazines, Mobile, Podcast

This week Future Publishing, publisher of Total Film and Future Music, reported that it has made £5 million from sales of digital magazines via Newsstand, Apple’s app retail portal which launched last October.

Future was also named Digital Publisher of the Year for consumer media at Wednesday’s PPA digital awards, where Dennis Publishing’s The Week was named Digital Edition of the Year.

And also this week Conde Nast announced that it has sold half a million apps of Wired Magazine, Vanity Fair and GQ combined since the launch of Newsstand.

In this podcast Sarah Marshall, Journalism.co.uk’s technology editor speaks to:

  • Mike Goldsmith, editor-in-chief, digital editions, Future Publishing
  • Alex Watson, head of app development, Dennis Publishing
  • Albert Read, deputy managing director, Conde Nast

They share success stories, including insight into the type of apps that Apple selects for the ‘featured story’ carousel, which can dramatically increase sales.

The podcast updates one from last November, a month after the launch of Apple’s Newsstand. Hear: How Apple’s Newsstand is revolutionising the publishing industry.

You can hear future podcasts by signing up to the Journalism.co.uk iTunes podcast feed.

 

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#PPAdigital: 27% of Wired UK subscribers have downloaded iPad app

September 26th, 2012 | 2 Comments | Posted by in Events, Magazines, Mobile

Conde Nast has sold nearly 500,000 apps of Wired UK, GQ and Vanity Fair combined, Rupert Turnbull, publisher of Wired UK told today’s PPA Digital Publishing Conference.

At first numbers were modest but as tablets have grown in popularity, app sales have increased, he explained.

The publisher has sold 474,825 tablet editions of Wired UK, GQ and Vanity Fair. The number of downloads by print subscribers who read the app is not included in that figure. Turnbull said that 27 per cent of print subscribers have downloaded an iPad app edition, which is bundled into the print subscription.

Turnbull said he expected the magazine not to work on a smartphone, adding that he thought “there’s no way” they could publish a “full magazine on a three-inch screen”.

“But consumers are much more savvy than that,” he said. “They read it, but read it differently.”

Research shows most users of the Wired UK iPad read in linear form.

He also revealed some good news for advertising. When asked “are you more likely to skip past ads on the iPad edition?” 82 per cent of Wired app users disagreed.

He also said that 59 per cent of Wired UK’s app users agreed that ads with good interactive content are just as enjoyable as editorial.

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#mms12: Apple Newsstand advice from Future Publishing and Dennis Publishing

September 25th, 2012 | No Comments | Posted by in Events, Magazines, Mobile

It is almost a year since the launch of Apple’s Newsstand. After success stories for Future Publishing, which reported 6 million downloads in the first six weeks, and talk of it “revolutionising” the publishing industry, the question Mike Goldsmith, editor-in-chief, digital editions at Future Publishing, now gets asked is “how do I get on the Apple carousel?”

After Future’s success in regularly being featured in the carousel, publishers are keen to find out from Goldsmith how they too get in the ‘featured app list. Goldsmith shared his advice with delegates of today’s Mobile Media Strategies conference.

Another conference case study came from The Week, Dennis Publishing’s title which launched in 1995 and had an average monthly circulation of more than 190,000 in the first six months of 2012, according to recent Audit Bureau of Circulation results.

The Week’s iPad app has also been positioned by Apple in the ‘featured’ slot, and Alex Watson, head of apps at Dennis Publishing, also talked through lessons from the title which he said is reporting that digital subscriptions are growing by 10 per cent per month.

Lessons from Future Publishing

Mike Goldsmith’s main piece of advice is to “publish a good product”.

“Make something amazing,” he said. “This is the factor that will get your magazine featured in Apple’s carousel”. He pointed out that the ‘featured apps’ slot is not the reserve of large brands and smaller publishers can take the slots.

He also advised publishers to “get your support sorted out before launch”, explaining that they could expect to receive thousands of emails from readers so to put systems in place to respond to the customers who will contact them.

He also urged publishers to “know your customers” and study the analytics. And “remember you are selling a product”, he said, and therefore work on the cover of your app.

Goldsmith also advocated “telling manufacturers about your app”. He advised building a relationship with Apple (and Amazon and Google).

Lesson from The Week

Building relationships is something Dennis Publishing did when designing and building The Week’s app, showing Apple the product and listening to feedback, Alex Watson explained.

Watson said that they decided not to opt for a PDF-type replica of the magazine.

The app is “native in terms of way the user gets it” from the App Store, Watson explained, and uses HTML5 technologies to help focus on the user experience.

The technology keeps the file size of the app down to just 15 to 20Mb, giving the user experience of a fast download speed.

The Week also built in another feature, as the publisher knew its readers would opt for iPad app bedtime reading, which was a “night-mode” option with the bright back lighting dulled.

For more from Watson listen to the following interview:

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#mms12: Lessons for consumer publishers from Immediate Media

September 25th, 2012 | No Comments | Posted by in Events, Magazines, Mobile

At today’s Mobile Media Strategies conference, Rebekah Billingsley, mobile publisher, Immediate Media, explained how the publisher, which was formed in November 2011 after a merger of BBC Worldwide magazines, Origin Publishing and Magicalia, has become the “second largest publisher of digital magazines”, based on Immediate’s own tally, with more than 1.3 million downloads to date and 16 apps downloaded every second.

Immediate Media launched its first magazine app in 2010 when it released Focus, later following with Good Food, which is now the “highest rated magazine app in Newsstand”.

When Apple’s Newsstand launched in October 2011 “sales quadrupled overnight”, Billingsley said. The same month as Newsstand launched, Immediate Media launched its History Magazine to Kindle.

And the previous year it started releasing ‘bookazines’, single editions with a long shelf-life. Two years on and the publisher aims to launch three bookezines a month and “every month they are making more and more money”, Billingsley told delegates.

Today 48 per cent of Immediate’s revenue from Apple comes from outside the UK and monthly PDF revenues have grown 500 per cent since launch.

“Be prepared to be surprised,” Billingsley urged delegates.

She had thought consumers would only opt for “enhanced, fully interactive models”. But recent ABC figures show “four out of the top 10 sellers are PDF replicas”.

Billingsley was also surprised by the numbers reading magazines on their phones, with 10 per cent of magazines bought via Zinio read on phones.

“Launching our titles gave us access to data in lots of countries,” Billingsley said, explaining they are now planning the roadmap based on actual data.

Billingsley warned:

Don’t just assume on behalf of your consumers. It’s new to them as well.

One thing Immediate did in order to convince advertisers of the value of the new app products was to hire 20 iPads and send them to media planners and also equipped sales teams with the devices.

And Billingsley’s advice for consumer publishers considering apps?

As long as you are using cost-effective technology and testing you can try new things.

She also encouraged the repackaging of existing content.

Her final words of advice were to “watch your competitors, better still take them to lunch”.

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National Readership Survey infographic illustrates rise in digital magazine and newspaper reading

August 3rd, 2012 | No Comments | Posted by in Journalism, Magazines, Mobile, Newspapers

Here is an infographic from the National Readership Survey which aims to illustrate the growth in readership of newspapers and magazines on tablets, e-readers and mobiles.

According to a release it’s the first in a new series of infographics to be produced by the NRS “to demonstrate the breadth of insight within the NRS reports”, which are released each quarter:

It is no secret that these platforms are developing at an incredibly fast rate, and that media brands are increasingly being consumed on these digital devices. In fact, over the last year, readership on tablets and e-readers has doubled. However, what we need to remember is that however ubiquitous these devices appear to be in London – you cannot help but spot every kind of device if you commute on the tube – multi-digital platform ownership is still relatively low nationwide, with just 1.4 per cent of the population owning both a tablet and an e-reader.

The figures visualised below refer to data collected by the NRS for the period of April 2011 to March 2012. They include a rise in use of tablets and e-readers from 1.5 per cent to 3.2 per cent for reading magazines and from 2.4 per cent to 5 per cent for newspapers.

The NRS also reports a rise in mobile app readership of “publishing content” of 30 per cent. Readership of magazines grew from 2.7 per cent to 3.5 per cent on mobile apps, and readership of newspapers from 4.7 per cent to 6 per cent.

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#newscycle – day 11, Hobro to Frederikshavn

Day 11 of @journalismnews owner @johncthompson‘s epic 11-day ride from Brighton, UK to Oslo, Norway in aid of @JournoCharity (Journalists’ Charity), @CR_UK (Cancer Research UK) and @GistSupportUK.

Journalists – watch the video and listen to the audio about the great work of the Journalists’ Charity. And learn more about my ride.

I will be braving hills, rain, wind, punctures, sore muscles etc so please make it worth my while by sponsoring me as generously as you can afford.

Today’s ride covered 71 miles with 1314 feet of climbs. Tonight it’s the overnight ferry to Oslo then a short ride to my brother’s house – all done!

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#newscycle – day 10, Kolding to Hobro

Day 10 of @journalismnews owner @johncthompson‘s epic 11-day ride from Brighton, UK to Oslo, Norway in aid of @JournoCharity (Journalists’ Charity), @CR_UK (Cancer Research UK) and @GistSupportUK.

Journalists – watch the video and listen to the audio about the great work of the Journalists’ Charity. And learn more about my ride.

I will be braving hills, rain, wind, punctures, sore muscles etc so please make it worth my while by sponsoring me as generously as you can afford.

Today’s ride covered 92 miles with 3291 feet of climbs.

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#newscycle – day nine, Schleswig to Kolding

Here’s a video from today;

Day nine of @journalismnews owner @johncthompson‘s epic 11-day ride from Brighton, UK to Oslo, Norway in aid of @JournoCharity (Journalists’ Charity), @CR_UK (Cancer Research UK) and @GistSupportUK.

Journalists – watch the video and listen to the audio about the great work of the Journalists’ Charity. And learn more about my ride.

I will be braving hills, rain, wind, punctures, sore muscles etc so please make it worth my while by sponsoring me as generously as you can afford.

Today’s ride covered 73 miles with 1774 feet of climbs.

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#newscycle – day eight, Hamburg to Schleswig

June 15th, 2012 | No Comments | Posted by in Journalism, Magazines, Non-profit

Day eight of @journalismnews owner @johncthompson‘s epic 11-day ride from Brighton, UK to Oslo, Norway in aid of @JournoCharity (Journalists’ Charity), @CR_UK (Cancer Research UK) and @GistSupportUK.

Journalists – watch the video and listen to the audio about the great work of the Journalists’ Charity. And learn more about my ride.

I will be braving hills, rain, wind, punctures, sore muscles etc so please make it worth my while by sponsoring me as generously as you can afford.

Today’s ride covered 75 miles with 1022 feet of climbs.

Here’s a video from today:

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