Physics World uses Pugpig to double users in one year

pwPhysics World is the flagship publication by IOP Publishing, the publishing arm of the Institute of Physics, a leading scientific society and the UK’s main membership organisation for Physicists. Since the new app launched in October 2014 Physics World has doubled its monthly users and increased international readership by 650%, whilst reducing in-house production time for each monthly edition by 50%.

 

Replacing an older app, the key objectives of the new Pugpig-powered app were to increase the number of digital readers to 1000 per issue, reach an international audience and to create a more compelling digital magazine.

  • Three fully interactive content apps were launched by October 2014 across iOS, Android and desktop, and one year on Physics World has achieved all of these objectives, and more.

 

  • Physics World has doubled its usage and now regularly has over 5,000 active users a month. The average user reads six articles per session.

 

  • International readership of Physics World has increased by 650%, with the most users outside the UK being in the US, followed by India, Australia and China.

 

  • Pugpig’s WordPress CMS approach allows in-house production and has reduced the time required to create each issue by 50%, from six days per issue to just three.

 

  • Two thirds of users access the app on a mobile device, with the remaining third of users accessing the app on a desktop computer. There is a 50:50 split between iOS and Android users on the Physics World app.

 

  • The app’s workflow enables old articles to be reused and repurposed for one off special issues, which sit within the same Physics World app container, and help to increase awareness of the publication with non-members.

 

And to top off a really successful year, Physics World won best ‘Association / Non-Profit Digital Edition’ at the Eddie Digital Awards in New York, October 2015.

 

“Such a significant technological change to our publishing platform for Physics World came with its challenges. IOP Publishing and Kaldor essentially worked as partners to solve these challenges together. We have replaced an old app with a slick, well designed, device agnostic excellent reading experience. Our readership has doubled and we now have a compelling offering for other national societies as well as our own Institute members.” Jo Allen, Head of Marketing and B2B, IOP Publishing.

 

Jonny Kaldor, CEO and co-founder of Kaldor says “It’s inspiring to see such a perfect example of how apps with great content and a well thought through distribution and engagement plan can have such a massive positive impact on readership. We look forward to working alongside Physics World to make an even bigger impact over the next 12 months“.

Read the full case study on our website.

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Using the right communication channel for your members

InstituteBundleIt isn’t difficult to notice the influence mobile devices have in the modern world – smartphones and tablets are being used everywhere, all the time. We are all becoming increasingly reliant on mobile technology, with recent studies showing that the average user is on their smartphone for around two hours a day. This year for the first time smartphones have overtaken desktops as the most popular way to access the internet, and apps alone account for a significant amount of that traffic. It’s clear that mobile technology is growing rapidly, and it’s a growth that’s unlikely to stop anytime soon.

 

This rise in the popularity of mobile poses a new set of challenges for institutions as they consider how best to communicate with members. Communicating with members through print alone suddenly feels outdated. If institutions ignore digital channels they run the risk of failing to meet the expectations of members and will fall behind in the technology stakes. Yet whilst emails, website updates and social media are all excellent channels for engaging with members digitally, they don’t offer the same user experience as a membership magazine. It’s here that an interactive app could provide the answer.

 

A mobile app allows members to access the institution’s publications and information wherever they are, whenever they want. Members get the benefit of instant access to past publications, as well as features which simply aren’t possible in print – for example, social media sharing and interactive multimedia content. The Physics World app by the Institution of Physics incorporates podcasts to give digital subscribers additional content to their print counterparts. Other apps, like People Management from the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, and Professional Engineering from the Institute of Mechanical Engineers feature search and social media sharing so that members can find content that’s relevant to them, and then share it within their networks.

 

Not only this, but institutions can choose the way they send content to their audience, either by bundling it up into traditional periodical editions, or by sending a continuously updating stream of content, or even mixing the two models together. In this way, readers get the cover to cover reading experience they are familiar with, while also getting up to the minute breaking news as it unfolds.

 

And it’s not just features within the app that can drive engagement. Capabilities like push notifications mean that institutions can promote new content to members and by segmenting user databases institutions can send targeted notifications based on user behaviour and preferences. It’s really through this combination of interactive features and the careful use of direct engagement with readers that an app can offer new ways for institutions to engage with their members and provide a unique user experience that ultimately drives member retention.

 

But ultimately, the most important thing when creating and maintaining new communications channels for your audience is to do it all without piling on extra cost and effort, and that’s where we come in. You can create apps with Pugpig in as little as a day and publishing your content into your apps across iOS, Android and the web takes no time at all. This means that you don’t have think in terms of how this replaces your existing channels, but how it compliments them. And if your goal is to reduce the cost of printing and distribution, then this is a great way start on that journey.

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Watch out mobile web, the Ad Blockers are coming!

With the imminent release of iOS9, publishers who rely on mobile web for their content (and advertising), should prepare themselves for ad blocking apps that may well start to change things significantly. Watch this space for more info as the apps launch and we discover how much use they really get in consumer’s hands, and in the meantime have a look at this…

 

http://thenextweb.com/apple/2015/08/24/ios-9-content-blocking-will-transform-the-mobile-web-ive-tried-it/

 

 

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How do you know if your brand needs an app?

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A question we often get asked is “I have a mobile responsive website, do I need an app?” We posted this article a few weeks ago but then we noticed this article from Benedict Evans and thought he had summed it up perfectly.

 

Benedict’s article focused on one simple question: Is your brand one that customers want to have on the homescreen of their device? If the answer is yes, Benedict’s opinion is that you need to have an app. If this applies to you and your brand, once you have an app, you can benefit from all the additional interactive and engaging features that an app provides: like push notifications, interactive content, social media sharing and shopping.  In Benedict’s words, this is all about ‘offering value to the customer’, and these features, combined with a homescreen icon, all help to drive user engagement and build brand loyalty.

 

And we believe that this engagement can be enhanced specifically with the use of highly targeted, developed, push notifications and landing pages – features which are only available in an app. Engaging your users after download has never been more important – 70-80% of users are known to delete or disengage with their mobile app within five weeks of downloading. Not only helping to retain your users, targeted pushes can help to achieve that illusive ‘hyper-engaged user’ – one who visits your app once or even multiple times daily and therefore one who, if given the chance, would be much more likely to buy from your brand.

 

Ultimately, we believe the answer to this ever-popular question is that it’s not mobile web or an app, it’s both. And Benedict reiterates this when he says, “you should have a website that works well on mobile regardless of whether you also have an app”. Surely, with 57% of mobile users abandoning a website if it takes more than 3 seconds to load, this point is a no brainer. A mobile optimised site (which works well on all different devices) is vital to the success of your brand. And if this brilliantly mobile-optimised website is powered by a CMS, then there’s not even that much additional work required to repurpose your content for an app. At Kaldor, we think it ultimately comes down to a native user experience and interaction; if these are things you want, then an app is the way forward.

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Apple launches News App – but what does it mean to you?

What is Apple News?

Apple News replaces Newsstand. It provides content from publishers who can customize the way articles are displayed. Just like Flipboard, Apple News is a personalized feed of content and articles.

News is driven by a format called the “Apple News Format” which has yet to be published, but it allows for rich typography, animations, video and image galleries.

Within the Apple News app, users can select “Publisher Channels” (branded content delivered by publishers with the context of their publications) and “Topics” (of which there are “millions”, curated by a team of Apple editors). These choices go to create a personalised news feed which is the user’s primary navigation method.

A number of publishers have signed up as launch partners for News, including The Economist, Vanity Fair, Financial Times, Time, Wired, BuzzFeed, Vox, the New York Times, Bloomberg Business, and of course The Verge. Apple’s News app will launch in the US, UK, and Australia.

 

Do Apple think that Apple News should replace dedicated publisher apps?

No not at all. In fact they are pushing this as a discovery mechanism for publishers to drive readers to their own branded apps. This is why all the publishers on the platform for launch are only providing samples of their content. The trick will be to get the balance right so that publishers have enough content in Apple News to be noticed while keeping enough back in their own branded apps to ensure people want to engage directly with them.

 

How will publishers monetise their content Apple News?

To begin with, Apple are not charging for content, so initially the only way to monetise Apple News will be through Apple iAds. Apple are promising that 100% of ad revenue associated with a publisher’s article will go to the publisher if they place the ad, or 70% if Apple place the ad.

 

CAN PUBLISHERS SELL SUBSCRIPTIONS THROUGH APPLE NEWS?

Not yet, but subs will be coming soon, although no details have been shared with publishers.

 

What will happen to the Apple Newsstand?

The Apple Newsstand will be discontinued and all apps within it will simply become standard Apple apps, on the homescreen like any other. We expect this will happen with the launch of iOS9

 

How will publishers create content for Apple News?

Apple are working on an authoring tool called Apple News Publisher, which can be used to create content and rich layouts. They have not yet launched this tool, nor given a date for when they will be available. Nor have they shared the specification for the feed created by the tools, so we do not yet know whether the feed format will be open or proprietary (it’s likely to be based on an open standard but with proprietary extensions, just as with the iBooks format).

We do know however, that publishers can use simple RSS feeds to send their content to Apple News.

 

How can publishers create Apple News formatted content using Pugpig?

We haven’t seen the spec yet, but the great news is that Pugpig uses structured content, so we know that we will be able to deliver feeds to Apple News. From the start we’ll be able to deliver RSS feeds straight in the Apple News App. Once we have seen the spec, we’ll work out the details of how to deliver the beautifully formatted Pugpig pages that you use in your apps

 

Can I link to my native app from Apple News?

Yes. Apple News is designed to be a discovery mechanism for your native apps. You will be able to deep link into your app or website from Apple News.

 

Is this better or worse for publishers than the old Newsstand?

While Apple are taking one more step to being the channel through which users consume publishers’ content, we still think this is really good news for publishers. The old newsstand was infamous for being a poor discovery platform for readers. With this new model, there should be a much better opportunity for your content to be discovered by your own readers as well as people who don’t have an existing relationship with your brand.

 

But what’s the point having my own app if Apple are now doing this?

There are loads of reasons why:

  • Apples are not the only fruit. If you want to be cross platform, then this won’t cut it. If you have your own native Pugpig app, you’ll be on Apple, Google Play, Amazon, Windows and web
  • If you want to charge your readers to access your content, then you need your own app
  • If you have a subscriber base, who you want to grant access to your content you need an app
  • You also need an app if you want a traditional edition-based cover to cover product
  • Or if you want to do anything beyond just delivering pages of content
  • Or you want a consistent user experience across devices
  • Or a direct relationship with your readers
  • Or push notifications
  • Or presence on the home screen
  • Or a bespoke user experience
  • Or scrapbooking
  • Or shopping
  • The list goes on!

 

How do I find out more?

Just drop us a line and we’ll be happy to keep you informed as things progress

 

info@pugpig.com

 

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How to boost advertising revenue in your Pugpig powered app

specle-webinare

 

With the digital age of information making it harder and harder to charge for content, never has it been more important for content owners to find new and effective ways to engage readers with their advertising. We spoke with Tom Beckenham from Specle, in a Q&A session about some of the key questions our customers have in regards to boosting advertising revenue through their app.

 

Does in-app advertising really work and how do you stop it from just being an annoyance?

This is a key question across all types of applications. Consumers have now developed a sophisticated way to zone out to certain advertising and content owners have to work much harder to attract (and hold) their attention. The least effective forms of advertising are banner or in article advertising – although easy to implement and quick to generate revenue, they don’t make for a good user experience. The best place to put advertising is between articles, this is much less intrusive and similar to the layout of print, it fits in with the consumers expectation and therefore often has a longer dwell time. As long as it is placed well and in an area than can be seen, users will better engage with ads and not just write them off. To answer the question ‘Does it really work?’, we’re yet to see. There is lots of evidence that digital publications are read in similar way to print and therefore creating ads between articles, which are designed for a particular device and go edge to edge, is likely to be most effective. Full page interstitials which offer a beautiful interactive experience definitely help to better engage an audience – dwell time is much longer. One thing which is very distracting is letterbox advertising, this doesn’t seem to work very well and dwell times are very low.

 

Interactive advertising is absolutely the most engaging way for advertisers to advertise; second best is getting an ad which is designed for device and goes edge to edge, from a user experience point of view, this is very effective.

 

What are the most successful ad formats for publishers right now?

I suppose this is linked to the last question. Full screen ads are much more successful than banner ads – I think we’re almost programmed now to ignore banner ads, but I don’t have a huge amount of evidence to support that theory other than through customer feedback. When you’re publishing in an edition-based format, publishers still prefer to offer an edition-based advertising experience as it echoes the print format.

 

The placement of advertising is at a really critical point – moving away from a flatplan model and using a more rotational model is definitely the way to go. Less readers are reading content in a linear way now, they are moving around a lot more, meaning that if an ad is in page 20 of the publication but your reader jumps from page 6 to page 30, the ad will be missed. There’s a lot to be said for taking some of the online models of advertising and applying them to these editions (but making sure to use full screen ads). We’re even starting to see full screen ads on web now, in image galleries and in apple formats. There is certainly lots more to come here – I think we will see more and more full screen ads, because you can charge a lot more because it’s more effective. So we will see a lot more of these.

 

How long do you see it taking before all app activity will be bought on a programmatic basis?

Not long. I think it is very close. Publishers should be able to get to the point where they’re producing content, inserting some sort of code and only selling premium advertising – because there is just too much content and too much advertising for it all to be done manually. One of the issues we have with programmatic is doing it live – what we are looking at is how we can actually get ads downloaded in advance so users aren’t swiping past blank pages. This is a challenge right now as the user is generally not sitting on a page, they tend to be navigating and browsing. The Telegraph have been looking at this recently and have got to the stage where their full page interstitials just need to be pre-requested ‘x’ amount of pages before they come into view, to make sure latency isn’t an issue. And for times when a user has bandwidth issues, they have written in several redundancy methods to show a backup type of advert – meaning that the user will never see a blank screen. Programmatic advertising is absolutely the way almost everything will go before the end of this year. Standard IAB formats such as leaderboard and mpu are already majority traded in programmatic and full page interstitials will be added to this list. However, there will always be a place for hi-end custom build ads for branding and engagement purposes which can’t be achieved on a programmatic model.

 

Click here to see the full webinar or for more information about how you can integrate Specle advertising within your Pugpig powered app contact info@pugpig.com.


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Content apps can now be built in a day

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With London basking in the success of tech companies in the lead up to London Technology Week, we explore how the app software industry has changed and how the time it takes to launch an app has been slashed over the past few years.

 

Gone are the times where an app took four months to build, and where beautiful, interactive apps were just for big companies with big budgets and their top tier titles. Building an engaging app is now easier and more cost efficient than ever due to the development of reusable frameworks such as Pugpig.

 

When we built our first app fours years ago, it took us 120 days; last year we got it down to 30 days and now with our out-of-the-box Express product, content owners are able to build an app in as little as a day. This significant reduction in time is entirely down to the application of reusable frameworks which have been developed on the back of a better understanding of the common features desired by content owners.

 

Jonny Kaldor, CEO and Co-Founder of Pugpig says: “Pugpig provides all content owners (big and small) with the ability to develop and trial new products at almost no cost: pull together a content proposition, brand it, stick it in an app container, launch it and trial it with readers for almost zero investment.”

 

With three apps being built in one day during our Charity Hack Day in May it has never been more clear that out-of-the-box, customisable and cloud based platforms, are enabling content owners of all shapes and sizes to create beautiful, innovative and engaging apps for all audiences no matter what the time frame. Ultimately, the question is no longer why should you launch an app, it’s why wouldn’t you?

 

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Are apps are all they’re cracked up to be or should publishers just embrace mobile web?

Following on from our continuous vs edition based conversation last month, we thought we’d discuss whether apps are all theyre cracked up to be or whether we should just create mobile optimised websites.

 

Mobile web adoption is growing eight times faster than desktop web adoption did in the 1990s and early 2000s. And this just goes to show how important it is to consider mobile experience when providing online content. Having a mobile optimised website therefore, is no longer an option – unless of course you want to lose a high percentage of your consumer base. In fact, a recent study showed that 57% of mobile users were found to abandon a website if it took more than 3 seconds to load.

 

So, if having a mobile optimised website is so important, why bother with an app? Well, we think that websites and apps offer different things to users. But rather than tell you what we think, why not read through this article, have a think about the questions we pose and decide for yourself.

 

It’s all about your audience

Where are your audience coming from? How do they want to consume your content and how would you like them to engage with it? These questions are key to deciding whether you should develop an app. If your audience is large and transient an optimised mobile website could be the answer. On the other hand, if you’re trying to attract a smaller (potentially more valuable) audience, or wanting to have your content available offline, an app would be a better fit. But it’s not all up to you – if developing an app, Newsstands and app stores can help to promote your content to new audiences and ultimately build your customer base. Combine this with engagement features like deep-linking push notifications, ‘Today’ widgets, badges and background loading, you can increase the chances that your audience keep checking the app and coming back for more.

 

How do you want to publish your content?

Is your content fast moving or more long form? Does it have a long shelf life? Answering these questions will help you see if an app is more suited to your content, or if indeed a mobile optimised website is the right approach. Content that is continually updating is well suited to a website, and edition based content (with a start and finish) is more suited to an app. Having said that, there is a trend within the publishing industry at the moment of creating apps with a continuous style of publishing. Titles such as Retail Week and Health Service Journal publish content as soon as it’s ready, meaning users have access to the latest news and analysis wherever they are.   

 

How will I make my money?

Do you want to offer subscriptions and paid-for single editions, or do you want your content to be available for free? What advertising opportunities do you want to offer? It’s hard to take money for content, so you shouldn’t be surprised when free content online performs better than paid content in apps. But it’s not impossible, The Week for example has over 26,000 fully paid weekly subscribers. And of course, your app could be free, Stylist magazine has more than 29,000 edition downloads per week. Apps also provide new opportunities for advertising. Full-page interactive ads, algorithmic interstitials, and splash screens all offer an alternative to the well understood web-based CPM model.

 

Do you want to go native?

Are you promoting events and activities? Does your content contain audio and video? Would tapping into the native elements of a mobile device be beneficial to your content? Whether you’re promoting a gig in London, or a conference in Berlin, allowing your users to seamlessly add the event to the native calendar on the device can help to ensure the success of that event. That seamless experience is also important when watching video, listening to audio or writing an email. By tapping into the features of the device, it means you can ensure an excellent user experience whilst they interact with your content.

 

But won’t an app cost more?

This is a common question amongst publishers and content providers. We think the answer is simple, apps don’t have to be expensive and mobile optimised websites aren’t necessarily cheap. Depending on your inhouse talent, you can create an app with Pugpig in under 8 days. And coming soon is a number of new payment options which will allow content providers to choose their license cost according to what level of control they want over their product.

 

So what’s the answer?

We believe that the two models sit well together, but as a content owner you need to be clear about which product does what for your users as well as your advertisers. If your website is powered by a CMS, then there’s not much additional workload required to repurpose your app content for your website, and visa versa. We think it ultimately comes down to offline reading and native user experience, and if these are things you want, then an app is the way forward.

 

Can I find out more?

Absolutely. We have these conversations everyday with new clients, so feel free to get in touch with us if you want some help deciding what works best for you, or if you want to learn more about Pugpig.

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Edition-based vs continuous publishing: what makes sense for me?

Print magazines have a start and an end: they are edition-based. It makes sense doesn’t it, there are physical constraints to printing and distribution, so by bundling and delivering issues publishers benefit from economies of scale. Now however, magazines have gone digital and these physical constraints no longer exist. Publishing, like many other industries is evolving, and the way in which audiences engage with content is changing. So how do you decide which publishing model suits your digital product? Should you choose a continuously updating model or an edition based format?

 

On Thursday Jonny Kaldor, CEO and Co-founder of Kaldor, will be chairing a panel session at the Publishing and Media Expo on just this, here are some of the questions that we think are key to helping you decide what approach to take.

 

What is the nature of your content?

Is your content fast moving or long form? Does it have a long shelf life? Is the idea of finishability key to your readers? A publisher will have to ask themselves these questions before they can define what is the best route for them. The Week for example, publish editions in line with their intention to present a definitive “all you need to know about everything that matters”. Evo on the other hand, use a hybrid model. Through a continuous style of publishing, they release content as soon as it’s ready but then have a ‘finished’ edition once all the content has been published. Readers can then choose to consume as it is published, or wait until the end of the month to read the edition cover to cover.

 

How often do you want customers to engage and for how long?

Do you want users to come back multiple times a week? Would you prefer to your readers’ attention less often but for longer periods of time? To answer these questions you need to think about your audience base. A traditional audience may expect edition based content, whereas newer (more radical) audiences could be more open to the continuously updating concept. Reading content from cover to cover can be argued as being more rewarding than reading from a continuous newsfeed. The Economist value this concept; their aim is to create content which sustains the reader’s interest from cover to cover and gives them that satisfying feeling of being ‘finished’, something which can’t be achieved with a continuous publishing model. However, if you’d rather increase the frequency of users coming to your app, then a continuous publishing model could be perfect for you. Health Service Journal for example, has seen the number of monthly subscriber visits to their app triple since it re-launched in October 2014 using Pugpig for Continuous Publishing.

 

How do you intend to make money and what do your advertisers want?

Do you intend to offer subscriptions or charge for single editions? What advertising opportunities do you want to offer? Do your advertisers want editorially placed full page interstitials, or would an algorithmic model suit them more? These might not be easy questions to answer, but they will help you decide which publishing model is best for you. Subscriptions can be applied on either model, charging for single editions however clearly can’t exist in continuous publishing. Advertising models are another factor to take into consideration. If you’re a magazine like Stylist, editorially placed interstitials are important for the look and feel of a magazine. Retail Week however, uses a continuous publishing model and relies upon MPUs and algorithmic interstitials to support advertisements and give a different user experience.

 

So what’s the answer?

There is no right or wrong answer, it’s simply whatever suits you and your business. By reading through these questions, and thinking about your answers, you should be able to see one model that suits your publication more than the other.

 

Can I find out more?

Of course. Come and find us at the Publishing and Media Expo event over the next two days. Jonny will be chairing this panel session at 3pm on Thursday in the Production Theatre, with The Economist and Incisive Media talking about their publishing models. We’re going to be on stand A40 for the whole event and are happy to have a chat and discuss any questions you may have about digital publishing.

 

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From notes to pads ­ it’s all feeling a bit like deja vu

By Jonny Kaldor, Co-­founder and CEO at Kaldor

Is the publishing industry about to go the same way as the music industry did a decade ago, and if so, what can we do to avoid it all happening again?

In 2014 the publishing industry needs to finally wake up to the very real danger it faces from its inertia in the face of digital change.

Publishers today talk a very good game about going ‘digital first’ but few seem to be putting their words into action, happier instead to watch as the world, and their readers, slowly but inevitably pass them by.

They’re refusing to recognise that consumer behaviour has changed. Forever. That their processes and products, built for an analogue age, are out of step with how people want to consume content today.

The last time I experienced such a situation was when I was at EMI Music back in 2002, where we all watched in dismay as an industry consistently and repeatedly failed to move fast enough in response to an ever changing set of consumer needs.

Back then, the music industry totally underestimated the importance of digital until it was far too late, focusing on fighting piracy (and at the same time alienating their audience) rather than giving consumers what they wanted. Arguably, it had an excuse, being the first industry to really be hit by the digital revolution in such a fundamental manner. The publishing industry has no such excuse.

Recent years have without doubt seen the acceleration of digital innovation from publishers but they’re now in danger of getting caught out yet again by the latest upheaval in consumer behaviour, mobile.

Mobile is fast becoming the platform of choice for consumers. However, publishers seem unwilling to accept this. Mobile requires more than a mere evolution of your product. It needs you to rip it up and start again.

So what were the big mistakes made by the music industry a decade ago, and how can we avoid them happening all over again in publishing?

Steeped in legacy formats -­ like the music industry before them, print publishers have an unhealthy obsession with continuing to focus on the physical to the detriment of digital. Of course print is, and will continue to be for some time to come, an extremely important channel for publishers, but its importance will wane over the coming years and we have to be ready for the switch long before it comes. If we’re not, then someone else will come and take our business away from us. It’s clear to me that in 10 years, print will be to magazine publishers as vinyl is to music companies ­ a beautiful and timeless niche product. Don’t kid yourself into thinking any different. And if you think a digital “PDF” replica is going to cut it then you may as well give up and go home right now…

Failing to transition to structured content -­ before the onset of digital downloads, the music industry had almost no need for “metadata” (that is, information associated with content, such as details about the contributors, rights, track listings and so on). As a result, when the time came to try to sell music online, there followed a monumental undertaking for each record label in order to locate, clean up and sort out their repertoire so that it could be sold. Years of effort and tens of millions of dollars were spent by labels across the industry to clean up their back catalogues, and all because they weren’t properly structured in the first place. And while newspapers have been dealing with this for some years, magazine publishers are only just now getting to grips with structured content. If you are going to be able to get maximum value out of your content you have to tag it up and stick it somewhere you can get access to it whenever you need it ­ and that’s not on your creative director’s hard drive. It’s time to take our content and manage it properly ­ if we don’t, we’re missing a massive opportunity to really exploit it.

Too little investment in digital, too late -­ back at EMI in 2002 I remember vociferous complaints against the (sadly too small) amount of time and effort we were putting into digital when it only accounted for 2% of revenues at the time. Despite all indicators showing that digital was our only future, people were still reticent to properly invest ­ and we can all see the outcome now ­ digital accounts for over 60% of revenue and music companies are on their knees, controlled by those who took the time to do things properly. Again we see the same happening in publishing ­ we regularly hear that print is still the dominant format and therefore large investment in digital is not yet appropriate. How each single title needs to prove an almost immediate return on investment as if it’s business as usual. If we are going to shift an industry from print to digital, we have to look at this strategically and make proper investments in the future. Not title by title, but at a corporate level. Now is not the time to be cheap.

Failing to put the consumer at the centre -­ you may be able to empathise with music companies who couldn’t understand their customers’ needs and instead allowed Apple to come along and show them how it’s done. Print publishers, on the other hand, have had plenty of time to think about this, yet they still seem to offer products that most readers simply don’t want (and I’m not just talking about shoehorning full page PDF replicas onto mobile phones ­ something that is truly unforgivable). If we’re going to succeed in mobile then we have to create products that are designed for mobile and that means tearing up the print and starting again. Preferably in an empty room with a smart bunch of people who are willing to totally rethink the product. And maybe even some real consumers providing input. This is the way you’ll create something truly innovative and exciting. And you might even start to build a native digital audience on the back of it.

Missing out on making the most of their brands -­ in 2002, The “Robbie deal” was hailed at EMI as the future of the industry ­ working in partnership with your artist to go beyond just recorded music and instead move into new areas of revenue such as live events, merchandising and so on. And while this approach might not have been embraced with the gusto it deserved, it’s a model that publishers could learn from. Mobile allows content owners to engage with their readers in a way that is not possible with print ­ from shopping the page, to delivering personalised content and from fully interactive and transactional advertising to social media tie-­ins. Content is no longer the only asset a publisher has to offer ­ many editorial brands have ready-­made vibrant communities of consumers who are ready to engage in a whole new way. The job for publishers is now to work out how best to exploit this to their advantage. If they don’t, someone else will.

It’s not too late; people still want quality content and they’re prepared to pay for it. Publishers just need to be brave, they need to stick their hands in their pockets and they need to reinvent their product for a new breed of digital and mobile consumer.

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