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Top 5 Digital Magazine Requests From Publishers

Digital magazine vendors share what’s on publishers’ wish lists.



By Vanessa Voltolina
12/22/2009

With the dawn of new publishing technologies, as well as the migration from print to digital editions, it’s not surprising that publishers have a few questions. And who do they go to for guidance but their digital provider (or, a provider they are courting). Digital Edition Insights asked a number of digital vendors—including Nxtbook Media, Texterity, Digital Magazine Technology, Zmags and Zinio—the most frequent requests they receive from publishers, and how they can come to the rescue.

#1 Publisher Request: How do we increase digital edition revenue/ROI?

Vendor Solution: “Our publishers, like all publishers, want more revenue,” the Texterity sales and marketing team told DEI. Because this is the incentive for many publishers to use digital editions, they offer training on how to sell digital advertising, as well as ad sales Webinars on digital and best practice reviews in enhancing email messaging for better readership. Another feature through their new user interface, The Coverleaf Reader, integrates and supports publishers’ sites (i-Framing) and ad serving.

In the same vein of increasing yield, David Yeh, regional sales manager of Digital Magazine Technology, said publishers constantly ask him about increasing ROI on digital issues. DMT customizes digital packages and provide features that allow clients to sell additional advertising through banners, pop up adds, promoter bar, and bottom banners, and continue to develop alternative revenue-generating solutions.

#2 Publisher Request: Can you help me build digital circ?


Vendor Solution: Nxtbook Media’s marketing director Marcus Grimm said that more and more publishers are realizing that: “Beyond the pixels, there's a need to understand how to position the product alongside their print and Web site. In the past year, we've added members to our account management team for the sole purpose of making our customers more successful with their digital magazines.”

For DMT, publishers are also seeking guidance to convert print readers/subscribers to digital issues. ”We have a division focused on out-bound telemarketing that helps qualify subscribers and their conversion to digital products,” he said.

#3 Publisher Request: How can we get content on the new Apple Tablet/Amazon Kindle? The iPhone?

Vendor Solution: “The hype behind this product [Apple Tablet] is fairly amazing, considering the product doesn't exist as of today,” said Grimm. “Moreover, we haven't heard if Apple's coming out with anything like it and, if so, what the specifications for the device may be. The truth, though, is that things can happen quickly in technology, so we're making sure our product is nimble enough to adapt to whatever device comes to market.” Another wish from publishers have is to get Kindle-savvy, but what’s keeping them off of it is Amazon's business plan, “which requires publishers to charge for content, which is not how many trade publishers are conditioned to think,” he added. Assuming publishers are willing to test the market with paid content, though, he said Nxtbook’s technology can be adapted for the Kindle.

“Our publishers want to seize the mobile reading revolution,” said the Texterity sales and marketing team. “Our native magazine-branded iPhone/iPod touch apps (due in the App Store shortly) will turn digital editions into one-stop destinations for people who like to read, shop, and share while on-the-go. That is the first of many apps for all the hot mobile platforms. Mobile content can be monetized in new ways."

#4 Publisher Request: Can you help find us sponsors for our digital magazine?

Vendor Solution: Grimm said that in today's market, he’s aware of some publishers who are generating five and six figure contracts for digital magazine sponsorship. Obviously, “Those that aren't want to,” he added.

The secret is that those who have sold sponsorships know that the digital magazines strength is its engagement time and click-through rates, rather than the CPMs, which tend to lead most digital sales. “Find an advertiser who thinks about ROI apart from the CPM and you're halfway there,” he said.

#5 Publisher Request: How can I cut down on my paper, printing and postage costs when it comes to sharing international editions with both domestic and overseas employees?

Vendor Solution: Due to the rising costs of paper, printing and postage, many publishers, such as Playboy, tell Zinio that this is a concern. Through Zinio’s Digital Comp Center program, the digital magazine vendor helps publishers reduce expenses while ensuring that staff, advertisers and partners have immediate access to content. In order to do this, Zinio offers its Digital Comp Center program in one of two ways. The first is by creating a landing page that can be housed behind a corporate firewall, so that when employees log in, all relevant issues are populated for easy access, while the second option entails Zinio creating a customized email message each time a new issue arrives, which includes an ad-rep contact info and greeting.

By Vanessa Voltolina
12/22/2009







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