Technologies to Look For in 2009
Must-haves for publishers looking to extend their brands in the New Year.
Keeping ahead of the technology curve has become a large part of magazines’ success, and leveraging the latest add-ons and enhancing readership through workflow, design and online presence has become even more important for publications and their online entities to remain afloat. While some technologies that publishers wish to implement may be new to the market, many have been under the radar for the past few years, and are now coming into their own.
Here, FOLIO: asks publishers which technologies they have an eye on in 2009, and how they plan to implement them.
Blog Talk Radio
What it is: Launched in September of 2006, Blog Talk Radio is an Internet radio platform that provides publishers with the ability to create live audio stream content, archive audio as podcasts, and subscribe to RSS feeds in iTunes.
Ballpark Cost: The licensing fee for a private station group (up to 10 profiles and RSS feeds) runs around $7,500 per month; clients are also offered a revenue share option.
How Publishers Will Use It: In January 2009, Churm Media plans to provide a third platform through which to deliver content. The Internet radio programming, which will be available in podcast through their Web site, will serve as a value-added component for advertisers who will be featured as expert sources.
“I’ve played with it, and it couldn’t be easier, so we are set for now,” says Kimberly Porrazzo, chief content officer at Churm. In addition, it opens a new revenue stream for the company, and solidifies any potential ad buyer.
Porrazzo sees no reason why Churm can’t make its regional publication brand, OC Family, into a national radio broadcast. “It will be something like ‘Moms, Kids, Life’ radio. The model can then be applied to other brands like Churm’s flagship, OC Metro,” she says. “It opens up the door for us to generate revenue from advertisers outside of our California boundaries.”
What it is: Created by MassMedia Studios in 1999, Traction Software is a digital marketing platform that allows publishers to streamline campaigns, use multiple digital channels, and track and report on customer activity.
Ballpark Cost: Dependent on perpetual license or annual subscription fee.
How Publishers Will Use It: “Each time someone signs up for a subscription online, contest or promotion, or if they respond to a survey, Traction will capture their data,” says Jason Jercinovic, vice president of content and production for Complex Media. This technology can also be used when sending bi-weekly e-newsletters on latest Web features, or when sending invitations to special events.
The back end allows administrators to organize data by demographic, location or lifestyle habits, “allowing us [Complex] to have a more targeted reach for upcoming programs or promotions,” says Jercinovic.
What it is: Founded in 2006, SnapTell is a third party integration tool that allows readers to take a photo of a print ad appearing in an issue of a magazine. It supports robust video, audio and wallpaper content downloads to mobile handsets, in addition to offering capabilites to create mobile Web sites.
Ballpark Cost: Hybrid pricing model based on licensing fee (determined by publisher’s ad volume) and performance (between $.10 and $.25 per snap).
How Publishers Will Use It: Complex Media’s Jercinovic hopes that by using SnapTell, readers will e-mail the image and receive a branded response from Complex and the participating sponsor. The response can include promotions, coupons and information on product launches. The technology, which Jercinovic plans to implement in early 2009, has current and past publishing clients including Rolling Stone, Martha Stewart Weddings, Men’s Health and Us Weekly. Complex plans to offer this option to advertisers as a unique way for its readers to interact with their brand.
Woman’s Day vice president and publisher Carlos Lamadrid also saw the need for mobile advertising. He says that SnapTell and SnapNow were both considerations for the magazine’s interactive issue, but he ultimately opted for SnapNow. “SnapNow was more flexible in working with our needs. We had to make sure advertisers’ mobile sites looked a certain way and that they were happy with it,” he says. Lamadrid says that Woman’s Day is planning to continue using SnapNow in interactive editions for 2009.
What it is: Established by Myframe Inc. in 2007, Flixwagon offers publishers the ability to broadcast live video from a mobile phone to its Web site.
Ballpark Cost: No cost for consumer out of the box solution, but the company offers customized programs for a fee, dependent upon scope.
How Publishers Will Use It: This past fall, Brides.com ran an experiment with Flixwagon, streaming live video via a mobile phone directly to its Web site from backstage at the Bridal Fashion Runway shows. “We used this to give our [audience] an insider’s view of the bridal industry,” says senior director of product development, John Vacarro. In 2009, Brides.com Media is hoping to expand its Flixwagon partnership and to come up with new and unique applications for live video streaming.
(For more technologies publishers are looking at in 2009, see the December issue of FOLIO:.)