Digital Publishing:Scaling New HeightsHow do consumer, business, technology andcontent trends stretch us to expand our view ofwhat publishing is and deliver to our intendedaudience? Smart phones, mobile tablets, e-Readers and the web drive the new “post paper”market for magazine publishers but your businessmodels are still evolving.
Digital PublishingScaling New Heights1 Trends Affecting Digital Publishing2 Key Development Area: Content3 Key Development Area: Design, User Engagement & Features4 Key Development Area: Production Technology & Delivery Options5 Key Development Area: Business Model6 Key Development Area: Advertising Sales7 Key Development Area: Metrics & SEO
Trends Affecting Digital PublishersPrint Audiences Print audiences for news, opinion and entertainment content (and the advertising they attract) are shrinking worldwide, and the rate of decline grows every year. In most countries, print now ranks as either the #3 or #4 medium by audience size and advertising spending (typically after TV, the internet and radio).
Trends Affecting Digital PublishersPrint Audiences • While the decline of print media (newspapers and magazines) is dropping more slowly in India than in other countries the trend is the same – print is shrinking and online is growing every year.
Trends Affecting Digital PublishersPrint Audiences Implications: • Print-only publishers should plan to incorporate online editions. • Publishers with existing online editions need to maximize their effectiveness and build a realistic online business model. –This impacts the business model, editorial, design and delivery technology.
Trends Affecting Digital PublishersMobile Mobil in India is 4% in 2012 and growing fast with market share doubling every 6 to 8 months.
Trends Affecting Digital PublishersMobile In the US, smart mobile device usage has reached 50% and is still growing. Mobile usage growth in urban areas across India is now reaching 15% and growing much faster than the national average. Future mobile growth in India will rise to 50% over the next five years as device and data plans come down in price.
Trends Affecting Digital PublishersMobile • Developing and delivering mobile- device friendly versions of any publication – whether through native apps, mobile-friendly websites or through third-party mobile content distribution systems (Pressly, etc.) – has become far less complicated and expensive over the past two years.
Trends Affecting Digital PublishersMobile Implications: • Understand it • Prepare your current and future publications for mobile growth – Strengths / limitations of these devices / content consumption patterns on mobile devices – This impacts design, editing and delivery technology.
Trends Affecting Digital PublishersSocial Media • Social Media is already big in India and growing fast…
Trends Affecting Digital PublishersSocial Media • About 70% of regular web users in India have a FaceBook account (60 million people), making India the #3 country worldwide for FaceBook accounts. • LinkedIn (14 million) and Twitter (17 million) are more than doubling their audience in India each year. • Social media use accounts for about an hour a day in India. Most access it from home, then office, then mobile.
Trends Affecting Digital PublishersSocial Media Implication: • Publishers should incorporate social media features (story post-outs to social media, mini-sites on key social media platforms to attract audience from those sites) into their digital products to take advantage of this growth and high level of engagement. – This impacts editorial, audience development, business development, and delivery technology.
Trends Affecting Digital PublisherseBook Readers eBook readers are growing quickly in sales and use across India, and represent an excellent revenue source via content redistribution…
Trends Affecting Digital PublisherseBook Readers eBook readers are selling fast in India – Bowkers Global eBook Monitor study earlier this year showed that about 20% of respondents in urban areas in India had made one or more eBook purchases over the previous six months.
Trends Affecting Digital PublisherseBook Readers Lower costs for the readers (starting now at about 5,000 INR) and for eBook purchases (from about 30 INR) and better copy-protection are making this channel increasingly important to Indian publishers. The most common (and lucrative) approaches involve collecting previously published content into single-topic medium-length (5,000 to 20,000 words) eBooks priced at 100 to 300 INR ($2 to $6 US) and the publisher keeps 60 to 70% of that revenue.
Trends Affecting Digital PublisherseBook Readers Implication: • Indian publishers should take advantage of the growing eBook marketplace and re-sell content in this channel. • The conversion software to convert standard electronic file formats (Word, InDesign, QuarkXpress, PDF, etc.) into copy-protected eBook format for Kindle or Nook have become very cheap and relatively easy to use.
Trends Affecting Digital PublishersUnderstanding your publications online analytics (web, mobile andsocial media) grows more vital every day… Key data 1 traffic drivers Collecting detailed analytics from your web site (including Key data mobile-friendly sites) or your content use and mobile app can be done without 2 preferences spending any money at all with products like Google Analytics. Key data 3 audience loyalty and engagement Regular monitoring of your analytics and responding to the trends they reveal is very important to any digital publisher.
Key Development AreasContent Ideal digital edition (web site and/or mobile app) content mix: – All (or almost all) the story/department/column content from the print edition, posted when the print edition hits the street or slightly after – digital-only additions to most major items from the print edition (detail or background text, extra photos or a photo gallery, possibly a video or audio clip, user poll, etc.)
Key Development AreasContent Ideal digital edition (web site and/or mobile app) content mix: – Entirely new digital-only content (additional stories, blogs, columns, videos, etc.; posted daily or near-daily between main issue dates – some of this may well wind up in the next print issue; this is a ‘digital-first’ approach already in use at a lot of newspapers) – regardless of your print edition structure, shorter items (500 words or less) work better than longer ones for most digital publications because of grazing content habits online
Key Development AreasContent Ideal eBook edition content mix – essentially the same as the print version With a copy-protected searchable PDF - usable on most eReaders - you can get the exact look of the print version - this is usually called a replica edition.
Key Development AreasContent Opting for the ePub3 format gives you a product more adaptable for use on different screen sizes and horizontal or vertical orientation, but not the ability to mimic the print look and feel. (This is a regular eBook edition of the print magazine, sold separately or as part of a bundle. Any special eBook products would each have their own content mix and a similar overall design look & feel.)
Key Development AreasDesign, User Experience & Features Digital products (website, mobile app, ePub edition) should share the same overall design approach, colors and standing graphic elements (logos, etc.) The design for these digital products must be carefully matched to the strengths and weaknesses of the devices used to access the product.
Key Development AreasDesign, User Experience & Features A typical information architecture (IA) for a publication website (for use by people with desktop, laptop, netbook and tablet devices) involves a home page with story leaders and links to all key/recent items on the site, sometimes placed in a sliding ‘carousel,’ along with direct links to each site section.
Key Development AreasDesign, User Experience & Features Two-click Rule No major site item should be more than 2 clicks from the home page, and the top five or eight new items should be teased on the home page with 1 click access
Key Development AreasDesign, User Experience & Features Think of an area of about 800 pixels wide by 800 pixels high as above the fold – the area where your most important content and links should all be.
Key Development AreasDesign, User Experience & Features In addition to the design detailed on previous slides, the only other site design that should be used if at all possible is one for smartphones. While most mobile tablets can use the same site design as a desktop or laptop, the smartphone has a far more limited display – high-resolution, but typically not much bigger than a business card.
Key Development AreasDesign, User Experience & Features Good smartphone design uses slightly-larger type (i.e.12-14 points) a single-column vertical approach (smartphones are almost always used in portrait / vertical orientation) using limited photo or graphic elements. Example: Regular Site: http://www.theglobeandmail.com Mobile Version: http://m.theglobeandmail.com (Visit these with a smartphone to see these designs. The web server automatically determines if a visitor is using a smartphone and delivers the regular or smartphone design as appropriate.)
Key Development AreasDesign, User Experience & Features If you develop a mobile app or highly- Slide-out specialized website design themes for Slide-up smartphones and tablets, you can add Slide-down Extra content design features unique to those Navigation elements devices using HTML5 and other Light-boxes, etc. specialized languages
Key Development AreasDesign, User Experience & Features Popular Publication Site / App Features: – Favorites function (a Favorite button on every story page, hit it to add the story to your Favorites list, which is a list of links on a custom page for each site user. Revisit the stories anytime. – Email this story link, post out to Social Media sites (FaceBook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc.) buttons on every story or blog page – Body type size controls in the smartphone page themes for the site or a mobile app
Key Development AreasProduction Technology & Delivery Options Recommended production technology for typical magazine sites (for all devices): A WCMS (web content management system) which allows for any authorized writer, editor, contributor or graphics person to post and arrange content to the site (words, images, video, audio, slide shows, etc.) without technical training. Items can easily have SEO key words and page design type (theme) attached and start / end dates/times on the web site. Examples: DRUPAL, JOOMLA, etc.
Key Development AreasProduction Technology & Delivery Options Emerging format (also for delivery to any device type): HTML5 plus Conditional CSS3: With this approach, best embodied in Adobes DreamWeaver 6, you can create a single page design template (theme) that can dynamically adjust its own layout on the fly based on device type and screen size. Just one set of site page themes (designs) can adapt to any device from a smartphone to a 30" screen automatically. This is generally referred to as ‘responsive design’. http://www.qz.com http://www.bostonglobe.com Try changing the size of the browser window - watch it change from a 3-column normal web page down to a little smartphone page on the fly …)
Key Development AreasProduction Technology & Delivery Options Recommended technology & delivery options for a mobile app (smartphones and tablets): A native shell app for iPad and one for Android devices. Both work exactly the same way – they have built-in visual page design themes (horizontal and vertical for tablets and vertical for smartphones) and standing graphic elements (logos, section heads, etc.). Content is received in the app through an RSS feed from the web site. The app can store a few issues to read offline. Usually the shell app is free, but the actual content is sold as part of a site/app bundle or as tablet app-only content on the iTunes or Android online stores (30% to them).
Key Development AreasProduction Technology & Delivery Options Alternative approach for a mobile app: Arrange for an external company to handle your mobile app deployment – you provide an RSS content stream and they do the rest. Typically they charge 30-40% of subscription and/or ad sales in the app for this service. (Example: pressly.com).
Key Development AreasBusiness Model Digital publications can derive revenue from several sources, and best- practices business models incorporate two or more of these – Website ads or in-app sales • Your own ad sales team or through ad agencies – Sponsorships – Site or app subscription sales – eCommerce sales and transaction fees through the website
Key Development AreasBusiness ModelWeb site ads or in-app ad sales –Automated ad network-based ads(DoubleClick, AdSense, etc.) offer verylow CP/M rates (70-125 INR perthousand ad impressions) are usuallyonly practical if your site or app drawstens or hundreds of thousands of sitevisits (or app users) each month
Key Development AreasBusiness ModelA better approach is ad sales through your own ad sales team or throughad agencies. This approach can generate much higher adCP/M rates, but to make it work youll need to demonstrate that youraudience are exactly the type of people who select advertisers want toreach. – Advertisers and agencies like sites with a carefully-focused and loyal audience – this means less spill, where their ads reach people who are not interested in their products or services.
Key Development AreasBusiness ModelSponsorships – This is a higher-level sales approach where a fewcarefully-selected large companies or organizations sponsor a site or appsection for a week, month, etc. – This approach can be tricky if the sponsor wants editorial / content input for the section.
Key Development AreasBusiness ModelSite or App Subscription Sales – Today some sites will offer a basic set ofsite content and features for free (in order to maintain a good base trafficlevel and paid ad impressions), and also sell a site access subscription(more content and features, less ads) for a set fee per month or year.(Mobile apps can also offer the same approach.)Many times bundle deals are offered: print + full web site + PDF ReplicaEdition or full web site + mobile app access, etc.
Key Development AreasBusiness ModelImportant pricing note!If you have a print edition and you decide to charge for online content, donot sell full website access for less than you charge for the print version, oryoull risk losing your print customers (who generate much higher ad CP/Msthan web users) over to your web site.Charge the same as your print readers pay, but not less.Combo print + digital bundles (print, full website, replica edition and mobileapp content) can be up to 50% more than the print edition by itself.
Key Development AreasBusiness ModeleCommerce Sales and Transaction Fees through the Web Site – Underthis model, you sell access to other digital products (resource libraries,special eBooks or other digital products, etc.). – These can be high-margin sales.
Key Development AreasAdvertising DevelopmentEvery effort should be made to package your audience as carefully aspossible to potential advertisers.,If your site draws a regular and loyal (frequent repeat visits) / engaged(longer page visits and multiple pages viewed per visit) audience who shareinterests, locations or demographics they represent a potential audience foradvertisers offering related products or services.
Key Development AreasAdvertising DevelopmentFrom most advertisers point of view, a site with a mostly drive-by audiencewho visit only once or twice per month (or less often) is not an attractive admedium, unless your site draws a huge crowd.They would much more likely prefer a smaller, but regularly-visitingaudience.Advertising works best with the same person seeing the ad several times.
Key Development AreasAdvertising DevelopmentWhile top, side and bottom banner ads are standard, advertisers will paymore for interactive ads (where the user enters information aboutthemselves or their product interests directly in the ad and is then taken totheir site) or full-page interstitial ads (ads that appear when moving betweenthe pages of a story or between site sections).
Key Development AreasAdvertising Development• Content-aware ad placement systems (either through ad networks or through your own ad delivery system) are also sought-after. They offer customized on-the-fly ad placement on your site based on page content matching the ads product or service.• Pop-up ads and flashing / irritating ads are generally frowned on by advertisers, as are Flash-based ads (or other Flash-based site content) – Flash does not work on mobile devices.
Key Development AreasAdvertising DevelopmentYour ad sales should be focused on a smaller group of potentially largeadvertising clients, rather than the other way around. Maintain an ad sales /ad clients database as your targeting method for regular ad sales contacts.Print + web ad combo deals can be attractive sales-builders, but resist theurge to throw in the web ads for little or no extra money than the print ad byitself. If you do, youre effectively de-valuing web ads for every potentialadvertiser who sees that deal.
Key Development AreasProduct Promotion All publication sites who sell subscriptions will use house ads onsite to promote the paid product and link directly to a registration / subscription page. Some publishers will also advertise in other (non-competing) publications or sites of interest to audiences similar to their own. Social media out-posting buttons (FaceBook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc.) on each story page are an excellent free promotion method - your site users post links to your stories on their social media pages, where theyre seen by many other potential site visitors.
Key Development AreasProduct PromotionSome publications who sell site subscription use a soft ‘metered paywall’approach, where a site user can view a certain number of site pages permonth before starting to get meter ad messages that promote the paidproduct. – The more pages a user views over a month, the more meter messages are displayed to him. – At some point (perhaps 20 pages viewed), the site may lock him from viewing more pages until the current month is over. – All meter messages have a direct link to the subscription page.
Key Development AreasProduct PromotionA hard paywall (no-one can see much or any of the site without paying) iseffective only in highly-specialized business/trade publication sites or otherexamples where the site offers absolutely unique / highly-valued content orservices.
Many sites offer a three-stage approach to moving their audience through increasing levels of loyalty and engagement with the site, and, finally, paid purchase of a site or app subscription: 1. Anonymous Only the basic site features and content user 2. Registered They provide their email address (and perhaps a bit more user information) to get extra site content and features. 3. Subscribed Full site access with all site features and content. (Paid) user(With registered or subscribed users, a weekly/monthly email newsletter is a gooddevice to draw them back to the site regularly, but typical open rates are low: 3% to 8%/)
Key Development Areas Metrics & SEOGood web siteanalytics can beeasily obtained withfree or low-costexternal webanalytics reportingservices like GoogleAnalytics or Alexa.
Key Development AreasMetrics & SEO Google Analytics – Basic Dashboard
Key Development AreasMetrics & SEO • Much more detailed reporting can be collected with paid services like Alexa Pro, Scout, Adobe Analytics (formerly Omniture), ComScore, etc. but these can be quite expensive for small organizations.
Key Development AreasMetrics & SEO There are also mobile analytics specialists (like Juice Analytics) to report on user demographics and content preferences inside your mobile app.
Key Development AreasMetrics & SEO Paid analytic products typically offer external third-party audience data (paid data sets or census data, etc) to overlay your own data to give a clear view of your audience – Interests – Demographics – Buying habits.
Key Development AreasMetrics & SEO Fundamental web analytics to collect monthly and watch over time (regardless of the source): – Total Visits – Total Unique Visitors (i.e.: different people) – Average Pages Viewed Per Visit – Average Visit Duration (direct measure of audience engagement) – The fraction of your audience visiting once, twice, five times, ten times, etc. per month (direct measure of audience loyalty)
Key Development AreasMetrics & SEO Fundamental web analytics to collect monthly and watch over time (regardless of the source), continued: – The % of single-page site visits (bounces, lower is better) – Geographic breakdown of site visitors by city, region or country – % of Site Visits using a regular desktop/laptop and using a mobile device (smartphone or tablet) – Key traffic sources (search sites / other sites linking to yours / traffic from ads on other sites or emails / links to your site from different social media sites, etc.) – Most popular content on your site (sections and individual story/column/blog pages)
Key Development AreasMetrics & SEO SEO (Search Engine Optimization) – Using proper key words to describe the subject of each story, blog or column (and your overall site) is crucial to build traffic from search sites like Google Search, Bing, etc. These are easy to add when posting the content items in most WCMS systems, but you should develop and use a consistent ongoing set of standard keywords. – To find the best ones, do searches on the big search sites using the topics your site covers with different key words and determine which ones seem to work for you.
THE FUTURE IS DIGITAL“…Publishers have largely replicated their books, magazines, and newspapers in digital forms. While this is a good start, publishers wont complete the digital transition until they have created entirely new digital media products that fulfill the promises made by digital technology.” Forrester.com