The Media Minute 01.01.2019

As dreams of Facebook-fuelled riches turned to nightmares, the publishing industry went back to its roots this year, asking digital audiences to pay for the content they’ve become used to getting for free.

According to Hubspot, only one-third of a salesperson’s day is actually spent selling. Why? It’s probably about not being as organized as a salesperson needs to be. Organization definitely is the mundane part of the job compared to the adrenaline of selling. But it is SO important for your long-term success.

More than a decade ago, Salon bet that readers would be willing to pay for an ad-free, subscription version of its site. Today, with its chip stack diminished, Salon is making a similar wager.

Most publishers are putting a greater emphasis on gathering and analyzing audience data so they can serve well-qualified leads to advertisers. For example, Conde Nast is enabling advertisers to market against audience content engagement analytics, incorporate their own first-party data, and build lookalike audiences through Conde Nast’s Spire data management platform.

In a year of mostly niche acquisitions in publishing, the biggest deal involved yet another example of consolidation in the printing industry: Quad/Graphics’s all-stock offer to buy LSC Communications. The purchase, valued at $1.4 billion, will unite the country’s two largest book printers and is expected to close in mid-2019.

I stopped wearing my Apple Watch a few months back. The notifications had become overwhelming, and I just needed a break from the constant pull for my attention.

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The Media Minute 12.18.2018

Last year’s predictable flow of holiday gift guides and affiliate links from major media brands has become a downright tsunami of deal brokering in the weeks before and after Black Friday.

Niche magazine publishers have a built-in advantage over publishers of mass-appeal magazines: Their readers aren’t just mildly interested in the content they offer. They’re passionate!

Google and publishers have made progress on discussions around some of the blockages to the adoption of the Interactive Advertising Bureau Europe’s General Data Protection Regulation framework, sources close to the situation have claimed.

From titles changing hands at accelerating speed as media companies race to consolidate and capture larger audiences within their focus markets, innovating to adapt to the demands of new platforms and diving into AI – these were some of the major publishing industry trends identified by James Hewes, president and CEO of FIPP at the FIPP Insider event in London yesterday.

A good idea for a magazine cannot make a successful transition from concept to publication without in-depth research. Mary Hogarth reveals the value of investing in market research.

Over the past decade, video has become a standard component of the content mix for media brands. Most publishers have ramped up their video-making and monetization capabilities, increasing quality and volume of in-house video production and hosting them on their own sites and distributing on social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Twitter, and many more.

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The Media Minute 12.11.2018

Mired in losses (Condé Nast Publications lost $120 million in 2017 whilst Condé Nast International lost $50 million in its last reported figures for 2016), Condé Nast has experienced another ‘annus horribilis‘ with the announcement of the departure of its CEO Bob Sauerberg.

What a crazy, up-and-down year this has been in publishing!

NEW YORK – The Grand Ballroom of The Yale Club in Manhattan was packed with some of magazine media’s brightest minds on Thursday to celebrate Folio:’s list of the top 100 innovators, entrepreneurial thinkers, and industry-disruptors from over the past year.

“It was around this time last year that things were starting to look a little dicey for the media industry’s once breathlessly-hyped digital unicorns,” Joe Pompeo wrote for Vanity Fair this week.

First Media — the millennial women-focused publisher behind brands like Blossom, So Yummy and Blusher — has finally made the leap to Snapchat. But its strategy is unlike that of Snapchat Discover publishers of years past.

Consumers today have more choice in how, where, and when they access content than ever before.

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The Media Minute 12.04.2018

Digital media firms are struggling, many have missed their revenue targets, reduced their workforces and have been trying to generate revenue from e-commerce.

For our industry to thrive, we need to diversify our revenue. We have to reduce our reliance on advertising and look for ways to generate reader revenue. And in 2018, there’s no better model than the membership program.

A couple of months ago, out of the blue, I received a large FedEx carton filled with recent issues of W, the fashion and culture magazine owned by Condé Nast. They were accompanied by a handwritten note from Stefano Tonchi, the book’s celebrated editor-in-chief.

In the year after Nylon Magazine shuttered print and laid off its 12-person print staff, the online-only magazine is trying to figure out new strategies for jump-starting audience growth and engagement online, from new tactics on who it features on its digital covers to relying more heavily on influencer marketing.

Videos have a compelling way of stimulating engagement, yielding results like click-throughs, shares, lead generation, and sales. Video content is among the more effective tactics for getting exposure to a brand, as well as generating revenue.

Scan-based trading (SBT)—wherein the wholesaler is paid only for copies that go through the register, and unsold inventory is not recorded as either sold or returned—has been implemented in an estimated 70% of U.S.

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The Media Minute 11.27.2018

With revenues from print circulation and advertising in steep decline, and the duopoly gobbling up most of what comes from digital advertising, news outlets are increasingly being forced to go behind a paywall to sustain themselves.

Recently, MediaRadar published a trend report about native advertising. Every day, we see custom content weaving its way into just about every form of consumable content. Native continues to be one of the most popular methods in which advertisers can engage with their audiences digitally.

As part of Facebook’s ongoing Journalism Project, which launched in 2017, the social network is donating £4.5 million ($6 million) to fund 80 local newspaper jobs in the U.K. over the next two years.

Media companies are each independently trying to solve the same technical problems, rather than focusing on competing with Facebook. Is the usual answer to “buy or build?” changing?

After nearly 80 years, the monthly print edition of Condé Nast’s Glamour women’s magazine is ending. Glamour’s last regularly published print edition, the January 2019 issue, is scheduled to hit newsstands next week, the company announced Tuesday.

In September 2018, eMarketer reported that Amazon had become the third largest ad seller in the United States. The firm expects Amazon’s ad revenue to grow by more than 50% per year through at least 2020. The duopoly’s share is expected to reduce from 57.7% in 2018 to 55.9% in 2020, while Amazon’s is expected to increase from 4.1% to 7.0%.

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The Media Minute 11.20.2018

It seems like not a week goes by without another news organization announcing it’s launching either a subscription or membership platform.

Prospecting is hard work. You can have the best product and be the best closer in the world, but if you don’t know how to prospect new business, you are not going to get anywhere. So where do we start? How can we be better at it?

Content creation just isn’t as easy as it used to be. Back in the pre-digital era, print publication features served a handy dual-purpose. Explicitly, they were a platform for unique journalism. Implicitly, they were the primary value driver that converted and retained subscribers and newsstand buyers. The better a brand executed content’s explicit purpose, the more that content’s implicit purpose was realized. Poetry in motion.

Two of the top magazine printers in the U.S. are set to merge next year, continuing in the years-long trend of consolidation within the printing industry.

Following a quick walk along a sunny, if chilly Southbank, Flume arrived at the Hilton London Bankside Hotel to attend the 2018 Independent Publisher Conference.

New York magazine will adopt a paywall at the end of November, its parent company announced on Monday. New York Media, which publishes NYMag.com – the digital version of the bi-weekly print magazine – said readers will pay $5 a month for access to its site.

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The Media Minute 11.13.2018

Publishing is packed with growth opportunities — targeted channels, content marketing, lead generation, marketing services, live events and more. So how do you determine the right revenue strategies for your own unique niche brand?

When you visit Scroll for the first time, the message above is softly hammered in. Before you can reach the main content, you have to click or tap, one word at a time, to properly absorb the entire sentence before you are greeted with…

Major U.S. publishers got a big surprise last week when they learned there might be only one printer able to produce their magazines and catalogs. With the blockbuster announcement that the country’s largest publication printer, Quad/Graphics, has a deal to acquire the number two printer, LSC Communications, publishers are going to encounter a less competitive market, and therefore, the likelihood of higher prices for magazine printing and shipping.

People are increasingly willing to pay for the news they consume digitally, at least content produced by reputed publishers. As users sign up for these new services, publishers are seeing benefits in partnering with other companies to offer a wider range of content. The idea is to make their offer more enticing and boost subscriber growth, as well as establish new revenue streams.

Edward Felsenthal is keeping his title of editor in chief of Time and adding the title of chief executive officer as the magazine moves into the hands of billionaire Marc Benioff.

News publishers have had an on-again, off-again relationship with personalization. But for USA Today Network, it is very much on, thanks in part to the targeting and taxonomy infrastructure it’s built to target ads.

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The Media Minute 11.06.2018

Single or even double income-stream publishing is increasingly a thing of the past. The search for sustainable revenues has taken many media organizations way beyond advertising or newsstand sales into a seemingly infinite array of money-making schemes.

Do you ever analyze your annual live event through a digital lens? You might be leaving some revenue on the table. There’s podcasts, webcasts, app contests, even online learning opportunities. We consulted digital sales expert and event veteran Ryan Dohrn to share some advice on event management and driving event digital revenue. Read on to learn more!.

Since launching seven years ago, Buro24/7’s publishing proposition has focused on connecting the world’s most desirable brands with the most sought-after demographic – the affluent millennial – or as I like to call them, the ‘re-inventors of luxury’.

Publishers like newsletter subscribers because email is habit-forming, delivered directly to its audience and getting easier to monetize.But the things that make email an attractive channel to publishers also make it a difficult place to re-engage readers. The tricks that might pull straying readers back toward another digital property, such as targeting them with ads on social platforms, are either ineffective, inefficient or unavailable as options for wayward newsletter subscribers.

Following a recent transition of leadership, with the appointments of Stephanie Mehta to editor-in-chief this past February and Amanda Smith to VP, publisher in April 2017, the focus of Fast Company is leaning towards innovation, both in the coverage of the topic and the implementation of inventive practices across its platforms.

How can niche publishers grow their business in these turbulent times? Specialist publishers gathered at the PPA Independent Publisher Conference in London on 2 November, to hear from pioneering brands like The Lawyer, Rock Sound and The Drum about how to reinvent their business and develop new revenue streams.

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The Media Minute 10.30.2018

The publishing industry has been totally transformed in the past decade. In 2008, the rise of online media was simply considered an “emerging threat” to the print media industry by the UK’s TV and radio services regulator Ofcom.

Data, data, it’s all about the data. Or is it?  We are here to tell you that chasing data could be a waste of your valuable time. Think about it–does all that data really matter in the niche world of targeted, hyper interested audiences? Sure data analysis is necessary, but without first creating strong content and the right context, it can be pretty meaningless.

“Bottom line: The decline in referrals to publishers from Facebook is not universal, and in the face of those declines, other sources of traffic are more important than ever.”

When I started this blog a decade ago this month, the Get Rich By Blogging Hype Machine was just getting revved up. Within a few years, pundits declared that blogging is dead, just as they had declared that “Print is dead” a few years earlier. (Both media have shown an annoying tendency to flash a giant middle finger at the pundits, adapting rather than extincting.)

In response to the popularity of her Parade cover last year, AMG/Parade is teaming up with the Shark Tank “Shark” to launch a new lifestyle publication, Inspire by Lori Greiner.

Since launching seven years ago, Buro24/7’s publishing proposition has focused on connecting the world’s most desirable brands with the most sought-after demographic – the affluent millennial – or as I like to call them, the ‘re-inventors of luxury’.

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The Media Minute 10.23.2018

For decades, we have been able to take local journalism for granted. Today, we no longer can. Local journalism is facing a number of challenges.

Ancillary publications, new digital products, live events, merchandise, oh my! Opportunities abound to diversify and grow your revenue by launching new products.

Since Snapchat released its advanced Pixel targeting capabilities to advertisers in June, some direct-to-consumer companies say they are seeing up to a 50 percent lower cost-per-acquisition since applying the Pixel, prompting some to shift spending from Facebook and Instagram.

I often hear folks in the magazine industry lament the fact that there’s not an appetite for innovating and reinventing print publications, despite the still significant role print plays in many publishing companies’ business models.

During the past year, USA Today’s vast network of more than 100 websites has undergone a transformation. By standardizing each of the publication’s templates to match the overall design and impact of the USA Today brand, owner Gannett found a way to not only bridge local and national branding efforts that reach more than 125 million visitors each month, it delivers a more consistent (read: profitable) platform for advertisers.

In an interview with Buzzfeed News, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Apple Tim Cook asked Bloomberg to retract its news report alleging that Chinese spies had compromised company servers by implanting a malicious micro chip on them.

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