Publishers adapt to a changing market

Here is an interesting piece from MediaBizNet.com.au quoting several senior magazine publishers from around the world discussing the current market and what they are doing to ride it out.

Publishers include:

Peter Phippen. MD, BBC Worldwide, UK

Aroon Purie. Chairman and editor-in-chief, The India Today Group

Eija Ailasmaa. CEO, Sanoma, The Netherlands

Jonas Bonnier. CEO, Bonnier Group, Sweden

Johnathan Newhouse. CEO, Conde Nast International, UK

Steve Lacy. CEO, Meredith, USA

Click here for the story

2008 – The Year in Publishing

Here’s our summary of major stories from the Australian publishing industry for 2009.

JanuaryThe Bulletin, Australia’s longest running magazine, publishes its final issue. Private equity companies take a look at independent publishers. Helen Kingsmill resigns from the Magazine Publishers Association.

February – Pac Mags’ online digital magazine Red Zero folds. Reed Elsevier announce that their B2B publishing arm, Reed Business Information is for sale.

Check out MediaBizNet.com.au for the rest of the story.

Bookmark and Share

Australia Post invests in more subscriptions

I attended a breakfast this morning hosted by Australia Post. They have brought out Alan Weaver from the United Kingdom to talk to magazine publishers about selling more subscriptions, more effectively and, of course, retaining current subscribers.

Australia Post also launched its new quarterly magazine, Subscribe, at the breakfast. Subscribe aims to help the publishing industry “understand the key factors in subscription profitability, including renewals, maximising subscriber value, and online subscription marketing. We will also take a look a close look at modelling and analytical techniques,” says editor Gary M Lane in his Welcome Letter in the first issue. At the breakfast, Weaver presented on subscription excellence to a packed house of magazine subscriptions specialists at Jones Bay Wharf. He then sat on a panel with Alan Sarkissian, executive director, Publishers Australia; Bruna Rodwell, subscriptions consultant and Gary M Lane, editor, Subscribe magazine.

Bookmark and Share

B&T Magazine launches new fortnightly format

Following on from my previous post about the viral marketing campaign B&T has been running at www.deathofsmalltalk.com.au/smalltalk.asp, the newly formatted, fortnightly magazine has started arriving today at subscribers letterboxes.

At the www.deathofsmalltalk.com.au, address an electronic version of the title is available for those who want to browse the content online.

New format for B&T Magazine - also digitised online

New format for B&T Magazine - also digitised online

Update: As you can see from the dead digital link above, B&T have decided to pulled down the online version of the newly formatted B&T magazine. The online edition was only up to give people a taste of what the new format wold look like.

Bookmark and Share

Emirates dumps paper for digital content

Open Skies magazine, grounded.

Open Skies magazine, grounded.

There’s been a lot of talk about Emirates Airlines canning their inflight magazine, Open Skies, together with other entertainment publications and shopping catalogues as part of a plan to do away with a tonne of paper in the seat pockets of the new A380 “Superjumbos”, thereby reducing haulage weight and fuel usage.

The demise of a publication, particularly one that might signal a trend in a category, is a disturbing one (full disclosure, I’m a board director of Publishers Australia, this country’s industry body for print and digital specialist and B2B media), so I wanted to take a closer look at what was happening. What people haven’t identified is that Emirates is moving a lot of the magazine content onto their inflight entertainment systems as digitised content.  There is no reason why the entire Open Skies publication, all 200 pages of it, couldn’t be designed for access on the iCE inflight system using digital magazine technologies such as Realview Technologies or a number or other similar systems now available worldwide, complete with rich media content including video and audio.

The digitised edition of Virgin's Voyeur magazine

The digitised edition of Virgin's Voyeur magazine

Digital magazines like Virgin Blues’ Voyeur or SportingNewsToday are able to present information in a straightforward, familiar way, easily navigated and consumed by a broad demographic of readers (and this is a key point for product such as inflight entertainment). The touch screen technology of iCE makes digital magazine technology all the more attractive and user-friendly.

Emirates' iCE touch screen inflight entertainment system

Emirates' iCE touch screen inflight entertainment system

Magazines no longer need to be restricted to print; they can be designed and digitised for reading on most new media platforms – web, inflight, mobile, kiosk etc. The question publishers (and marketers) need to ask is, what media format will best suit my customers: a magazine may not be the answer, but often it still is.

The Grim Reaper of print

Just a quick post about an article I read in an e-newsletter called Publishing Executive. It’s about an anonymous blogger called The Grim Reaper who regularly predicts and analyses the fall of major magazine titles through the blog, TheMagazineDeathPool. Quite successful, apparently. In an interview with PE he/she outlines what gets analysed before the mag makes the list. Often just making the list contributes to the magazine’s demise. It’s a good article for digital media marketers because a major contributor to a title’s collapse is often the impact of the internet. The Reaper points to being caught in a market dominated by online information as negative. Poor strategic vision when bringing the brand and content onto the web, without a solid revenue plan, is also a killer.

Here is the Publishing Executive article in full.