Media company, SmartBrief, just recently covered a story on how Moosejaw integrates its catalog with Facebook. Author Jesse Stanchak exposes the company’s approach to online retail and how social channels fit into its plans. If there were ever a case for a Dirxion Facebook app, this is it.
I recently stumbled upon this brilliant article written by Greg Beato, a writer for dozens of publications, including SPIN, Wired, Business 2.0, and the San Francisco Chronicle.
The article pays tribute to telephone directories and their subtle, yet remarkable impact on society since 1878, the year the first phone book was published. Beato begins his discourse with a startling fact: Hollywood’s $10 billion in revenues last year (a record year at the box office, mind you) was only 66 percent of what the U.S. yellow pages industry generated last year. I don’t know about you, but living in a society that is largely driven and dictated by the internet, specifically Google, and also working for a digital publishing company that partners with A LOT of yellow pages publishers, I am deeply fascinated by and oddly proud of that statistic. Go Yellow Pages! Needless to say, I kept reading what Beato wrote with intense curiosity.
I will leave my commentary at that, for I don’t want to spoil Beato’s wisdom and eloquence in advocating the cultural impact of the telephone directory.
Would you believe me if I said U.S. newspaper circulation is up this year? I didn’t think so. Well take yourself out of a print-only world for a second and hear this: e-edition circulation for U.S. newspapers is on the rise and seems to be the one metric in the publishing world that is thriving in the current state of the economy. Just taking into account the top 25 newspaper e-editions alone, at least five of those have doubled in circulation size and (and then some) over the past year.
E-editions belong to a broad category that includes digital replicas, online-only subscriptions, Kindle subscriptions, and products like Times Reader. It’s a fast-moving and expansive market for newspaper publishers, particularly as advances in digital publishing technology quickly take root and the reading habits across the world evolve. And with the aforementioned stats being what they are, at Dirxion, we are elated to be a part of such a game-changing development in the newspaper publishing world.
The changing definition of e-editions makes it hard to keep up with what is actually considered an “e-edition.” Well today, we’re going to make it pretty easy for you by keeping things simple and focus on what has been the meat and potatoes of our digital publishing business since the beginning of time … or 1996 – digital replicas – and why we think the future for digital replicas looks so bright.
For those of you that are not aware, digital replicas are innovative and sleek versions of print publications (directories, catalogs,newspapers, etc.) that are are enhanced with rich media features to make the user experience as interactive and productive as possible. Dirxion’s digital replica product for newspapers accomplishes this by providing the following features and benefits for their readers:
– Keyword Search
– Archive Search
– Substantial Advertising Space
– Subscription Service
– Progress Bar NEW!
– Notifications for New Editions NEW!
– Full Screen Viewing
While we expect digital replicas to remain the cornerstone of our business now and well into the future, there are certainly other endeavours on the horizon (i.e. iPad subscriptions, iPad web apps, iPad apps and mobile versions – we’ll just call them the “others” of the e-edition category). But let’s not get ahead of ourselves here. Today, it’s all about digital replicas and just how authoritative they are for rallying against the steady decline of print newspaper circulation in recent years.
iPad Is The Tops In Satisfaction
The numbers from the American Consumer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) through the University of Michigan are in and the iPad ranked with the highest index of all Personal Computing products. Oh, and it was higher than all of the other products across all product lines … ever. Guess that will explain my next article.
Read more @CNBC here
Out of no where, everyone seems to be forcing tablets to the market (Weird, I know). In response to the overwhelming acceptance of the iPad it seems a new tablet is being announced every day. Here is just a short list of soon-to-be competitors of Apple’s digital publishing product with some links to articles about each –
Samsung Galaxy Tab, Dell Streak, a Dell 7” Tablet announced but yet to be named, HP 7” Tablet and Printer Combo, The HP Slate which has been on the books for a while, ViewSonic G-Tablet, Toshiba Folio 100, Blackberry “Blackpad” to be announced as early as next week, and then a slew of others from the likes of LG, Fujitsu, Archos, and HTC are all expected to be announced before year’s end.
Most of these devices will run Google’s Android OS, maybe a few will use the Google Chrome OS or possibly Windows 7 Mobile, while Blackberry’s will most obviously run on some new form of their RIM operating system. I’m glad we have an HTML5 web version because at the rate these things are coming out in all different resolutions, sizes and operating systems the one thing they’ll have in common is a browser. Our web app products should work across the line.
Google on The Colbert Show
Eric Schmidt, CEO of Google, was on The Colbert Show last night. How is this related to Digital Publishing? It’s Google, they’re pertinent to everything. Enjoy
|The Colbert Report||Mon – Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c|
Ready for this? Brace yourself retailers. A market study by comScore shows that catalog recipients ordered 28 percent more items with a revenue increase of 163 percent versus those who did not receive a catalog. If that doesn’t sell you on the idea of a familiar, old fashioned direct mail campaign, I’m not sure what will.
In the article that inspired me to write this, Charles Nicholls speaks to the importance of driving quality traffic to your website. Is it a coincidence that big direct marketing companies consistently have high converting websites? Nicholls writes, “Visitors that arrive at their websites are not cautious and in need of convincing because they have probably already been warmed up by an old-fashioned direct mail campaign and a catalog that arrived in their mailbox.” (Inbox would also be appropriate in this digital day in age.)
Despite the plethora of marketing channels now available to reach customers, the catalog (print or digital) still remains the bread and butter of the marketing mix for a lot of retailers. There’s truly nothing like placing a focused, image-heavy, attractive catalog in the hands of your customers. It not only has the unique ability to engage their attention but also prompts them to visit your site and place orders – 163 percent more to be exact.
Time Inc. is burning up the blogosphere’s rumor mill right now because of their alleged frustrations with Apple who is consistently denying their magazines’ iPad apps because of the subscription services built into them. Apple, thus far, will allow publishers to download and pay for titles directly within an application, which is convenient, but the rub is that you can only sell individual editions and it is required that you use iTunes to make the transaction. This, in turn, gives Apple a healthy chunk of each sale and all the coveted user data.
Subscriptions are vitally important to newspaper and magazine pubs, two industries in the infancy stages of digital publishing. Along with subscriptions comes recurring revenue, but what may be worth its disk space in gold is the compilation of data that can compose a finely-tuned advertising program, because in these publishing industries the real money is in circulation and demographics, not the issue price.
Unfortunately, it seems the only way to collect 100 percent of what publishers need while setting up a subscription service is to go around iTunes all together. With the roll out of our first iPad product just around the corner, this news could have been extremely devastating. However, the key to this first phase (an HTML5 web app) is that we won’t have to submit your publication to Apple for review because it is going to utilize the Safari browser. By going browser first, we can put your content wherever your readers are and give you the ability to collect that valuable data. Steve Jobs doesn’t have to approve of it, but we think our clients will.
We are still very much in communication with publishers who are interested in the branded native apps. We know how popular this delivery model has become and being native on a closed operating system like the iPad does have some advantages. We still fully intend on rolling out application products in the near future because many of our loyal clients have stepped forward and showed enthusiasm. (Our hope is that by then, this hang up with subscription management will be a thing of the past.) If you do have have an interest in a native app, please be sure to let your Account Rep know as soon as possible. In the meantime we hope you will enjoy our Web Apps, and your publishing freedom.
How long? How long have magazines been taking a beating. How long have they seemed in dire straights? How long have we seen major publishers shedding titles like my beagle sheds hair? According to MPA, it’s been about nine quarters. I know, it feels longer right? But wait, there’s some promising page counts and ad revenue gains that have been reported by the MPA.
The top performing publishing sectors and ad spends include prepared foods, dairy, meat and produce (within Food); fitness and diet programs (within Drugs); accessories and jewelry (within Apparel); and telecommunications (within Technology). While some of this may be attributed to an uptick in the economy, others could speculate that the chatter around magazines and readers/ipad solutions has been a boon. Who knows, right now though publishers can shout out booyah and keep it going.
The MPA article can be found by clicking here.
Digital Catalogs for the iPad were the topic of discussion in an article over on Advertising Age’s website Monday. With Dirxion’s iPad Enterprise product mere weeks away from production, journalist Beth Snyder Bulik, called us for an opinion on how retail brands should prepare for their maiden voyage on this new digital publishing platform.
Without reiterating all of Beth’s hard work, we thought we’d invite our blog followers to read the article titled Brands Bet on iPad Catalogs to Expand E-Commerce Reach at AdAge.com and then come back here for questions and comments.
A look at trends in journalism over time: the tools and technologies
Did you know that people used to write using a pen and paper? Me either. This article takes us on a trip down “Publishing Memory Lane” discussing everything from the expensive, laborious days of scribes and movable type to the digital, real-time publishing era that is still transforming the landscape of journalism all the time. Timescales and production lead time are always being compressed. And as the evolution continues there are increasing competitors for delivering the news – no longer from just from TV and radio companies but services like MSN, Yahoo! and the multitude of independent voices that can emerge as publishing cost barriers are virtually nonexistent. How will you stay streamlined?
The sweet spot
So far one of the biggest challenges for the iPad is finding a unique and valuable purpose between devices like laptops, mobile phones and eReaders. Even though Apple launched the iBookstore you will not find the true capabilities of the device in the somewhat limited rules of its standardized ePub format. That is why most people think the app environment will be the true differentiator, and not just for games and social networks, but even more significantly for publishers of books, magazines, catalogs and guides. Why is the iBookstore delivery model not great? In the app environment the iPad can separate itself from the Kindle and other eInk eBook readers with interactivity. See the video in this article to see how Alice in Wonderland was recently republished as an app rather than an iBook.
Jersey Shore Cast to Save the Publishing Industry
The above title is a perfect example of why there needs to be a font dedicated to sarcasm. Two of the MTV cast members, Ronnie and J-WOWW did however, ink a deal with St. Martin’s Press to “write” a book called Never Fall in Love At the Jersey Shore. [SPOILER ALERT] The word “bro” will follow each sentence Ronnie contributes to the book and there may or may not be tanning lotion scented scratch-and-sniff pages.
The BPA Reports Digital Circulation is Up 26 Percent
The BPA, a leading source for verified audience data and media auditing, released their 2009 year-end results. Digital editions accounted for 17.4% of the total circulation from the 426 members who reported their digital usage. Even more good news for digital publishers, the BPA recently relaxed their rules on digital subscriptions.
Smart People in Publishing Meet to Do Smart People Stuff
People from all over the publishing industry will be participating in a one day forum on the Future of Publishing. Their discussions will include traditional publishers adapting to changing models, the consumer of the future and how emerging technologies will serve their needs, evolving distribution methods on new devices and delivery platforms, and how social media is changing how and when consumers obtain the content that interests them.