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2014 Media Supplier Perspective: Part 2

Magazine and media vendors weigh in on the top priorities and trends of 2014.



By FOLIO: Staff
12/17/2013

 

The exhibitor floor at FOLIO:’s annual MediaNext event is likely the one place to experience the full breadth of services for the magazine media industry. It’s also a unique opportunity to take the pulse of the market from the perspective of those who are on the front lines driving the changes in technology and adapting to what publisher clients—and their audiences—are demanding from the marketplace. Here, we present the second and final part of a collection of commentary from some of the top media service providers straight from the show floor of MediaNext 2013. If you missed part one, click here.

GTXCEL 
Kim Keller, Executive Vice President, Sales
Jill Baker, Director of Marketing


1. What are your clients saying is their top priority this year and for 2014?
Kim Keller: Increasing their digital product acceptance with both readers and advertisers.

Jill Baker: Revenue, monetization. I keep hearing, ‘This is great, but how do we make money?’  To me, there seems to be an awakening sense of competition—not only from within the magazine industry but also among content generators and distribution engines all vying for the time and minds of readers. I think next year will separate the 'dos and don'ts'—those who have embraced new technology from those who have not.
 
2. Tell us why you're bullish on magazine media.
Keller: One out of every three Americans has a tablet. This is a wave that is not going to go away. Just as radio, TV, PCs and cell phones have changed the world, the tablet will, too. Newspapers resisted and lost. We think magazines can learn from the mistakes they made.

Baker: Magazines are relevant, vibrant, and strategically poised to revolutionize the publishing industry. If we can get beyond our delivery channel in-fighting and emerge as a cohesive, cross-platform information source, we'd not only survive but thrive.

3. What trend or development was most significant in 2013?
Keller: Responsive Design without question. Like color screens for mobile phones a few years ago, we will look back on 2013 and realize that Responsive Design changed the face of how websites were built.

Baker:
Responsive design websites and apps. These solutions allow publishers to re-flow, re-package, and re-sell content, to streamline production and give readers a better experience. Couple Responsive Design with sophisticated analytics, and we've got the ability to deliver information that matters in ways readers want to consume it.


MEDIA SERVICES GROUP
Ted Thomason
New Business Representative


1. What are your clients saying is their top priority this year and for 2014?
They are looking for integrated solutions that connect them better to their customers.

2. Tell us why you're bullish on magazine media.
We are bullish on the magazine and content-provider industry. Magazines build community and our software helps them engage those communities.


3. What trend or development was most significant in 2013?
I have noticed that in the evolving media ecosystem content providers are doing more and more exhibitions and conferences. It is another revenue stream for them and it is becoming more of a trend. They are not just doing print and digital advertising. They are also doing conferences and exhibitions.


QMAGS
Scott Johnson
Vice President


1. What are your clients saying is their top priority this year and for 2014?
It’s to be on mobile and tablets. 


2. Tell us why you're bullish on magazine media.
Because magazines are a proven commodity, and have been for readers for decades. And no matter what your age bracket is, you still like a magazine format. A lot of creativity is put in to the layout of the magazine pages—design, stories, and photos, and until that changes I think the magazine format will be around for a long time, although it is making a transition to a digital platform of some sort. It is just moving from paper to digital but the format and idea will stay the same. If you don’t have good content, it doesn’t matter what platform you are in.


3. What trend or development was most significant in 2013?
I think the biggest trend is that people are looking at how to monetize their digital publishing. Even though that had begun before 2013, it picked up a lot of steam this year. That’s a question that a lot publishers ask you when you are talking about your platform. We are working on something that will revolutionize the publishing industry. I think it will be very helpful in monetizing a digital edition and it will be a big story to write about if it proves successful.

HALLMARK/EBSCO
Jeff Deneen
Marketing Director


1. What are your clients saying is their top priority this year and for 2014?
In speaking with our clients and industry leaders, there are two trends that have been prevalent and we see will continue to persist throughout 2014. The most persistent priority we are seeing is defined by one term, "audience centric". “Audience centric” is really an all-encompassing term for publishers to better know their audience, and how they interact with the brand—who comes to conferences, reads print, digital, all, etc. This audience centric concept ensures media owners are marketing to their audience based on their preferences, propensity and engagement and providing advertisers the highest ROI. 

Second, the industry is showing a flight towards quality, in all senses of the word. Also, [that applies to] quality data, content quality and advertiser quality. This all starts with audience data. A publisher with a better quality audience and better quality data on that audience will warrant a premium to advertisers. 


2. Tell us why you're bullish on magazine media.
Hallmark is bullish on media. We don't believe the industry is narrowly defined as magazine media any longer. Specifically, Hallmark is bullish on trusted, expert, insightful content and analysis that serves interested subscribers and marketers, regardless of the distribution medium, whether it be a magazine, a website, a conference, etc. We do believe magazines will continue to be a viable distribution channel as they play a core component of the overall brand. Until a subscriber can smell a tablet or feel the quality of the paper the editorial is printed on, we do believe print is still viable. Saying that, the need for content will never go away. In fact, trusted content is even more essential today with all the surrounding noise. Media owners have successfully stabilized their business from the '08 recession and we see them in growth mode today.

3. What trend or development was most significant in 2013?
The media owner/publisher is now thinking outside the paper. The media owner is no longer a print media company, but rather a marketing firm predicated on leveraging content to connect great audiences with great advertisers. This has a good deal of implementations, but mainly it's turned the editorial model on its head. No longer does an editor need to file a story monthly to meet a deadline, an editor must continually file new content, push it out to the Web or the app edition. Additionally, design is even more critical as editors are no longer confined to a set size to publish content as a webpage can scroll as long as it needs to and there can be unlimited pages on a web site. Last but not least, subscriber-reading habits are different in the sense that they prefer smaller snippets of content digitally.

BLANCHARD SYSTEMS
Gary Dolgins
Director, Sales and Marketing


1. What are your clients saying is their top priority this year and for 2014?
We haven’t gotten into a lot of discussions about that but in principle they are looking for solutions that will improve their productivity and streamline their operations. They want to free people up to do other tasks. That is all motivated by what we do—we design solutions to improve productivity.


2. Tell us why you're bullish on magazine media.
We are bullish on the industry. We have been a vendor for publication printers for almost 20 years so it’s what we know. We know their requirements, their challenges and that’s what we know. We think some of the technologies like tablet and [the] Web give the magazines some opportunities to explore different ways to deliver their content so we have to stay abreast of that to provide the solutions they need.


3. What trend or development was most significant in 2013?
I am a little stumped. We are not in an industry of innovation so therefore it leans back to how to be successful with what we have. A lot of the focus is on content delivery and repurposing content and those are huge assets for publishers. The challenge is how can they make money from that and does it involve changing the paradigm of how they made money before. That’s the challenge of the industry—how do you survive?

CAMBEY AND WEST
Jane Giles
Director of Business Development

1. What are your clients saying is their top priority this year and for 2014?
The whole mobile app arena.


2. Tell us why you're bullish on magazine media.
That is our business, so we better be! It’s an exciting time and it’s a tricky time and we are trying to help them navigate their way through the tricky times successfully. It’s all about content delivery.


3. What trend or development was most significant in 2013?
Responsive design would be one of them. That’s reformatting your web page to be recognized on whatever device you’re on. It recognizes it and maps it properly rather than you having to hold it sideways on your iPhone or whatever it is.

ADS GLOBAL
Heidi Spangler
Vice President


1. What are your clients saying is their top priority this year and for 2014?
Our clients say their priorities are cleaning up emails and integrated database development and engagement programs.


2. Tell us why you're bullish on magazine media.
I think we are bullish on the media industry in general because there are more people finding solutions for the problems that have been plaguing the industry for a long time. They are discovering different ways to engage their audiences. There are different ways to measure the quality of the audience and that is opening up a lot of new avenues as well.


3. What trend or development was most significant in 2013?
I think there was a larger focus on lead generation and measuring the engagement. There is more of a focus on quality over quantity.

INFO GROUP
Claude Marada
Senior Account Manager


1. What are your clients saying is their top priority this year and for 2014?
We are a data solutions company so as far as what we provide it is all in the data segment. They are looking for quality data through acquisition, multi channel solutions.

2. Tell us why you're bullish on magazine media.
Publishers are a core part of what we do on a daily basis.


3. What trend or development was most significant in 2013?
I think the trend for us is email retention and email acquisition, lead generation solutions versus traditional telemarketing. A lot of clients are migrating toward prospecting databases or co-op database solutions for their audience development needs, which reduces costs.

MEDIARADAR
Elliot Yaxley
Sales Manager


1. What are your clients saying is their top priority this year and for 2014?
For us it’s the integration of what they are doing whether it’s print, online or email. But primarily we are hearing about online video and trying to monetize that in some way and bring in TV dollars. Also, trying to help the online side. We are always talking to people about advertising and ad revenue and things like that and that certainly is the big topic of the moment—how can we monetize online video? We have all this content so how can we take in TV dollars as a new revenue stream?


2. Tell us why you're bullish on magazine media.
We work with people who are digital-only properties and they still want to see the print stuff because with print stuff they know that those people are serious about spending the money—70-80 percent is still coming from print. The issue is they are losing some of that and it’s going to digital, but it’s not commanding the same fees. I think they are seeing online video maybe coming in to fill that gap. 


3. What trend or development was most significant in 2013?
For us it’s the online video. It’s what everyone is talking about and people are adding far more video onto their sites. The biggest issue is not having the full advertising dollars come online.

EBSCO TELESERVICES
Donna Marlett
Account Executive


1.What are your clients saying is their top priority this year and for 2014?
They want to increase their circulation and revenue stream.


2. Tell us why you're bullish on magazine media.
Yes this is our world. Yes we are looking at some other avenues for lead generation or something other than just circulation. But it is still about 90 percent of what we do.

3. What trend or development was most significant in 2013?
I think it goes back to the FCC rules and some of the rules that have come out about wireless calls and new ruling from the BPA and some of the amendments they have made. The TCPA rulings are huge, actually, because of us having to go back in and renew to the consumer and anyone under 50-years old they are giving up their land lines and for us not to be able to use our prior business relationship on a renewal line. That we have to go back and use express written consent from the publisher before we are able to call these guys is an absolute killer and it concerns me for renewal calling.

PROIMAGE AMERICA
Dana Bascom
Sales Manager


1. What are your clients saying is their top priority this year and for 2014?
Digital publishing


2. Tell us why you're bullish on magazine media.
People still want to read print magazines. 


3. What trend or development was most significant in 2013?
HTML5 technology. Internally it’s because you can do more on the tablet and mobile devices with smaller file sizes.

ATMOSPHERE APPS
Eric Poirier
COO


1. What are your clients saying is their top priority this year and for 2014?
We are seeing a lot more of our clients develop mobile-first or mobile-only products, whereas before we were focusing on converting an existing Web or print product into a mobile app. Now we’re seeing them create whole new products that either will start mobile and branch out from there. The idea is that mobile offers features that you cant get anywhere else, like the camera for example.


2. Tell us why you're bullish on magazine media.
I think it all comes down to great content and magazines have been providing great content for many years and that’s why they exist. The model may have to change but the idea of delivering great content should continue to be successful.


3. What trend or development was most significant in 2013?
We’re all about app development and mobile development—helping people to take their content mobile and all of the work that goes around making that profitable. One of the things that makes it interesting is the rise of the “freemeium” model which is to say that you give away something really valuable and capture an audience for that content and now you have essentially targeted the audience for your content and you can then go and sell other products to. If you look at the App Store, the top 10 grossing apps are all free. They give away a lot in order to capture that audience and then they can sell them add-on features. A lot of them are games but a lot of those strategies are moving into other areas as well.

IMIRUS
Jeremy Miller
Vice President, Client Operations


1. What are your clients saying is their top priority this year and for 2014?
It’s actually varied because we work with some small publishers who feel they need to advance their digital magazine product and by advancing that might mean they need to move into the app world. For the larger or smaller companies who already have apps they are more focused on how to drive traffic so that they can monetize with advertisers. They are looking for bigger numbers to gain the attention of advertisers.

2. Tell us why you're bullish on magazine media.
We feel like advertisers are finally starting to recognize the value in digital publications. A lot of our customers are actually having a lot more positive conversations with advertisers and we are seeing publishers creating unique content within their digital editions and advertisers are more welcoming.

3. What trend or development was most significant in 2013?
We are seeing that there is a blend of magazine and Web content. Static pages are being updated with dynamic content and that’s a trend.

MAZ
Kristie Marciulionis
Account Manager


1. What are your clients saying is their top priority this year and for 2014?
Seeing investments on the Android platform and Google Play pay offs. And meeting the expectations that Apple sets.


2. Tell us why you're bullish on magazine media.
We wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for the publishing business. Our product is geared toward the consumption of content. [Magazines] are a natural fit; the industry should have a presence on tablet devices and smart mobile devices.

3. What trend or development was most significant in 2013?
When it came to Maz it was down to the app world and creating a central hub for all of your content.

KANTAR MEDIA
Michael Forgash
SRDS Account Manager


1. What are your clients saying is their top priority this year and for 2014?
It’s to grow digital, to get involved in mobile and to expand on events. That has been a big part of their growing business.

2. Tell us why you're bullish on magazine media.
Because every time a media company decides to discontinue their print magazine and go online only it never seems to work out and while print revenues aren’t necessarily growing, it all still centers around print sometimes. It’s all about their brands. No magazine is going to really survive these days if they don’t have brand extensions. Still, print remains profitable.

3. What trend or development was most significant in 2013?
I have been hearing that a lot of brands have been becoming more successful with their tablet editions and they all seem to sell it differently. Some sell sponsorships, some package it in with whoever is advertising in print, but also some of their subscribers have been paying to have access to their magazine’s content on tablets. There seems to be a lot of growth in that area.

PRESS READER
Steve Chapman
Director, Publishing


1. What are your clients saying is their top priority this year and for 2014?
I think the most important thing we are hearing is “digital first.” I think you are seeing that everywhere. But what’s actually interesting is “digital first” means  something very different depending on where you are in the world. For some that means building a really positive experience that’s interactive and branded. Elsewhere in the world it may mean moving from print to digital for the very first time. Our clients are having a wide array of answers to that question.

2.Tell us why you're bullish on magazine media.
I think because people are accessing more content then they have ever accessed before, so the magazine has an ability to make a comeback and really be an integral part of people’s lives, especially in a digital way. There’s a whole new generation that’s coming up with this type of content and they are reading and engaging with content in a different way and so that’s very exciting for magazine publishers, especially as they start to engage differently with the content. It’s not just about what the writer is writing anymore. It’s how people respond to it and how that conversation evolves and changes the article beyond just the written word. As publishers find new and interesting ways to engage with those readers and allow that feedback, rating and social interaction—that’s what’s going to make them successful in the future.

3. What trend or development was most significant in 2013?
I think it goes back to that interaction. Going from a one-sided article to a two-way interaction, where the reader is a part of the story. Elsewhere, it’s exploring some of those new channels that are available through global kiosks that are available such as ours.

DATASYSTEM SOLUTIONS
Lorna Fenimore
President


1. What are your clients saying is their top priority this year and for 2014?
The top priority has been implementing more paywalls and putting more content behind their paywalls but still including part of their content online and selling different levels of subscriptions where you have access to articles at no charge. Maybe a few articles you have to register to get a few more articles—still at no charge, but you are giving your email address and beyond that moving to media subscriptions. So we are seeing a lot of clients who are interested in implementing that and more sophisticated paywalls than they have in the past.

2. Tell us why you're bullish on magazine media.
I think the things publishers are doing with technology is just amazing. So I think all of the technology programs and integrating social and digital platforms that are more engaging then they have ever been before. I think that’s all what’s going to continue to make the magazine business successful.

3. What trend or development was most significant in 2013?
For us it’s being able to integrate with CMS systems to incorporate Web engagement levels into their subscription database. So for them to be able to add a subscriber and say `ok this person is getting my magazine, getting my email newsletter, they have attended my event. And I can also see that they have gone on my web site and they have downloaded this many articles on real estate or technology. And they last downloaded yesterday.’ So it’s being able to include this sort of integration into their subscriptions database.


COMPUTER FULLFILLMENT
Kathy Mancini
Senior Product Engineer


1. What are your clients saying is their top priority this year and for 2014?
Really it’s database integration and targeting their customers more finitely. It’s no longer throwing it against the wall and seeing what sticks. They are really doing a lot more data mining and finding out a lot more about their customers.


2. Tell us why you're bullish on magazine media.
Everybody thinks it will go away and we are not of that opinion at all. People are just going to be reading on different mediums.

3. What trend or development was most significant in 2013?
It was probably the iPad apps and the integration with subscriber databases.

PUBLISHERS SERVICE ASSOCIATION
Andrew Conti
Vice President, Sales and Marketing


1. What are your clients saying is their top priority this year and for 2014?
The trend seems to be outsourcing the back end fulfillment work and taking more of a focus on their editorial content and monetizing their editorial content on other platforms—the back-end services, the fulfillments, the payments, all of that  is moving towards being outsourced so they can stay lean and mean and do what they do best.

1. Tell us why you're bullish on magazine media.
I have been in the industry for 25 years and it wont go away any time soon. People find comfort in magazines—physically holding the print copy. And what’s old is new again. There is a whole generation that has grown up with iPads and digital products that are going to look at a magazine and appreciate everything that we appreciate—to be able to be on a train or a beach and be able to reading a magazine.

2. What trend or development was most significant in 2013?
I think for us it would be events. A lot of magazine publishers are looking to monetize their readership, so they are setting up these online villages and putting on events where people can actually meet face-to-face and not just virtual or cyber. Events are really big for publishers right now.

WEISER MAZARS LLC
Barbara Israel
Partner


1. What are your clients saying is their top priority this year and for 2014?
We are an accounting firm so we are a service provider. My clients are saying that their top concern is that they are trying to increase profitability because of what they see is happening as digital revenues are increasing, the margins aren’t there. So their margins are actually declining.

2. Tell us why you're bullish on magazine media.
The content is still what’s important to the user but I personally think there will come a time, maybe in the next generation where print may continue to diminish and perhaps disappear.

3. What trend or development was most significant in 2013?
Mobile.

 

 

By FOLIO: Staff
12/17/2013







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