Posted tagged ‘internet’

Some Cheese for that Whine… Newspapers (Part 1): Changing Distribution

February 28, 2009

dog-newspaper-21I recently finished a series of “Some cheese for that whine” on the book industry. Now, it’s time to turn our focus to an arguably more doomed industry: the newspaper industry. There are a lot of major issues facing the news world today, and competing with the internet is among the most demanding.

The image of a young boy with a baseball cap, riding a bike with a satchel of newspapers is a pretty American image – but the movement toward digital media may mean no more newspaper boys, and no more having fido fetch the paper (though who gets to tell them they’re fired?)

Newspapers have been threatened before. They were said to be doomed with the birth of radio… and again with the birth of TV. However, this time is different.

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Basically… people are lazy

January 28, 2009

Basically, people are lazy. Publishers forget this. Even I did. They want “content” – no matter what the format – delivered to where ever they are already reading things. They don’t want to have to go looking for something to read – they’d rather it be delivered to their doorstep, to their inbox or to their blackberry/iphone etc.

However, as a recent post on MediaPost Magazines mentions,

“I realized that what I like about Time, or any print vehicle for that matter – be it magazine or newspaper or broadsheet or pamphlet – is that I am exposed to tidbits of information and long-form thought pieces that I don’t necessarily want to fetch.”

It is this quality that magazines, newspapers and print producers of every kind need to remember. If they choose their market, they can provide things that that market didn’t know it wanted to read – but that they will find interesting, nonetheless. While, essentially, this is what “cookies” (web sites use cookies to track what you look at to provide you ads you are most likely to be receptive to) do for advertising, nothing currently exists that can bring together different written content and deliver it in an interesting package and deliver it to the consumer – without them having to do a lick of work.

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Q&A: Self-publishing

January 2, 2009

The digital age has impacted publishing in a wide-variety of ways. I’ve heard people who used to work at traditional publishers talk about how before the computer they would cut and paste – with paper and glue – to move things around for ‘new editions.’ Perhaps one of the biggest changes has been the author shift towards self-publishing. With Amazon and the internet, they don’t need the traditional publishers to place their books on shelves; and self-pubslihing allows them to stay in control and keep a greater percentage of the profits. In order to better understand the trend towards self-publishing, below you’ll find a Q&A I conducted with John Marino of BRIO publishing.

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The Newspaper Industry is Walking Backwards

October 23, 2008

There are two types of magazine publishing: Trade and consumer. The financial set-ups for these two are drastically different. There are also two types of newspapers: Free Dailies, and regular papers. Again, the financial blue prints are supposed to be very different.

Essentially, however, Trade magazines and free dallies follow a similar blue print. Consumer magazines and regular newspapers also see similarities.

Traditionally, consumer magazines/newspapers create content that is appealing to consumers, then, because consumers use/read/view their product (to the point they will pay for it) companies trying to market to that market segment advertise in the magazine or newspaper, with the hope that consumers of the magazine will then also buy their products. Some customers even enjoy looking through the ads. This has worked fairly well for a long time now (though, some companies are turning off of print ads because it’s hard to measure the direct response).

In contrast, trade magazines and free dailies are … free. They don’t cost their readers anything. Instead, they are paid for by the companies that advertise in them. Sometimes (at least according to my experiences in trade publishing) this means that editorial revolves around advertisers, and caters to them (rather then readers). This method seems to make less sense – by catering to advertisers you essentially make their ads less successful. At least in trade publications, they can get away with this because you’re dealing with business information, so the readers are partially reading the publication for the same information that manufacturers/advertisers want them to have.

But recent trends in the consumer magazine world make no sense. Ditto on newspapers, though for different reasons. (more…)

Mixed Blessings 4 Magazines

October 17, 2008

According to Mr. Magazine,

“The number of new magazine launches for the third quarter of 2008 exceeded that of the similar period of 2007 by 29 magazines. For the first time this year, the new magazine launches reversed the huge downturn trend that started with the third quarter of 2007 and continued throughout the first half of 2008.”

While this means that obviously those starting new magazines don’t believe the industry is doing as poorly as those in it do, it also means more competition for decreasing ad dollars. But, while most magazines that have passed their first birthday are worried, according to Media Life MagazinesEurope’s business elite has increased its readership.”

You may think this just means that the business elite are an older generation – but according to the survey that reveled these findings, those same people have “ramped up their consumption of news online,” but

“…they have not cut back on their consumption of traditional sources of news. Key among the reasons, believe the researchers, the print titles are portable, which fits well into an on-the-go lifestyle. But another key factor is trust. Those readers trust what they read in those publications over what they read online.”

This seems to be extremely positive. It means that there is a differentiation here between print publications and online media that is possibly, hopefully, a sign of a new trend that will filter down. It’s consumers consuming print (vs electronic media) BECAUSE it is print. Rather then reading the news on their blackberries or other small electronic devices they are reading it in print because of what print offers that online media does not: gatekeepers.

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