Digital Magazines: Is 2010 Magazines' iPod Moment?


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Presentation to the Magazine Publishers Association, Auckland, 28 April 2010.

After years of promise, false starts and dire predictions that came to little, there's a sense that 2010 might indeed be magazines' "iPod moment" - the tipping point when a breakthrough technology changes the digital landscape. This presentation aims to give magazine publishers an understanding of where the opportunity is, and what their options are for publishing in the new digital environment.

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Digital Magazines: Is 2010 Magazines' iPod Moment?

  1. 1. Digital Magazines: Is 2010 the Magazine’s iPod Moment? Presentation to New Zealand Magazine Publishers Association Martin Taylor 28 April 2010
  2. 2. Introduction <ul><li>Martin Taylor </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Long involvement with technology, magazines, the internet and more recently books and ebooks </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Director, Digital Publishing Forum, a book industry initiative </li></ul></ul>
  3. 3. Today’s talk* <ul><li>How big is this market and how fast will it grow? </li></ul><ul><li>How to get magazines on the iPad (and others) </li></ul><ul><li>Some things to do today </li></ul><ul><li>* A bit techie … but alas you need this stuff </li></ul>
  4. 4. How big is this? <ul><li>This is happening in the midst of a generational shift in technology </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Decline of PC, rise of mobile web and “ the cloud” </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Proliferation of smart mobile devices connecting to the cloud </li></ul><ul><ul><li>standards wars (but has Apple already won?) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Google, Apple, Amazon are early drivers </li></ul>
  5. 5. Music’s iPod moment <ul><li>Disruptive technology changes the game </li></ul><ul><li>Apple sells billions of songs in the face of free </li></ul><ul><li>Five years for 5 billion, 1.8 years for next 5 billion </li></ul><ul><li>iTunes share now 69% of online music sales (Amazon 8%) and 24% of all music sales in US </li></ul>Source: iTunes reaches 10 billion music downloads, 24 Feb 2010
  6. 6. Books’ iPod Moment (courtesy of Amazon’s 90% share) +333% Q4 2009 vs Q4 2008 US trade ebook market growth, 2002-2009 Amazon Kindle launched Sony Reader launched
  7. 7. NZ Advertising Market 2003-9 Source: ASA and IAB
  8. 8. Magazines?
  9. 9. Skiff Hearst / Plastic Logic Dell Streak Google Android HP Slate Windows 7 Google Nexus One Android Notion Ink Adam Android / Pixel Qi
  10. 10. Speed of consumer technology adoption Source: NY Times
  11. 11. Is this already a one horse race? Source: Mobile App Development by Platform
  12. 12. How to get content on the iPad (or iPhone or iPod Touch) <ul><li>Three routes*: </li></ul><ul><li>An App sold through the App Store </li></ul><ul><li>Thru the web via web browser </li></ul><ul><li>Thru the web via an e-Reading App </li></ul><ul><li>* Similar options for other devices, Android </li></ul>
  13. 13. 1. An App <ul><li>Software, sold via App Store </li></ul><ul><li>One-click purchase, 150 million credit cards </li></ul><ul><li>Apple takes 30% cut </li></ul><ul><li>In-App sales: New content can be purchased from inside app via Apple iTunes store </li></ul><ul><li>Programmed in Objective C </li></ul><ul><li>Must be approved by Apple (days, sometimes weeks) </li></ul><ul><li>iPad/iPhone lock-in </li></ul>
  14. 14. 2. Thru the web <ul><li>Content via iPad’s Safari web browser </li></ul><ul><ul><li>HTML (HTML5), CSS(3), Javascript </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>No Adobe Flash support (eg most ads) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Completely bypasses Apple ‘ecosystem’ eg iTunes store, App store </li></ul><ul><li>Ultimate in cross-platform but not as pretty as an App </li></ul>
  15. 15. 2. Thru the web <ul><li>Simple: Website can be made iPad-specific </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Use custom style sheet for iPad (or iPhone) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Web apps: HTML5 / CSS3 </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Offers local storage, web apps work offline </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Interactive rich media: javascript, video, audio, geolocation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Google Editions (late 2010) will use this technology approach </li></ul></ul><ul><li>iPad-specific tuning of web apps </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Browser window and toolbar can be turned off, Apple styles (buttons etc) added, some hardware features accessed, eg Accelerometer, etc </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>(using eg JQTouch, PhoneGap, PastryKit) </li></ul></ul>
  16. 16. 3. E-Reading Apps <ul><li>New content can be delivered into an e-Reading App via the web </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Bypasses iTunes store, Apple’s 30% </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Bypasses Apple’s approval process </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Users must register with you or your payment processor (eg PayPal) </li></ul><ul><li>But rego/payment process often complex </li></ul>Kobo iPad App
  17. 17. 3. E-Reading Apps <ul><li>Magazine e-Reading apps </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Publisher-branded: Woodwing (eg Time magazine) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Aggregator-branded : Zinio, Blio </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Coming : Next Issue (Conde Nast, et all), Skiff (Hearst) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>NZ : M2 Magazine (iPhone) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Ebook e-Reading apps </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Kindle </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Kobo (ePub) – NZ in May’10 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Apple iBooks (ePub) </li></ul></ul>Kobo iPad App
  18. 18. Could the ePub standard for eBooks work for magazines? <ul><li>Yes … </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Uses web standards: (x)HTML, CSS, JPG/SVG </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Reflowable, Downloadable (wrapped in .zip file) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Wide device support, plus Apple, Google, Adobe etc </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Instant paid distribution : Kindle (similar to ePub), Kobo (NZ launch May 2010), Google Editions, iBooks </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>D-I-Y or cheap conversion services (from PDF) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>But … </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Limited rich media and interactive support </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Not yet article- or page-centric </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>ePub 2.1 will be much better, 18 months away </li></ul></ul>
  19. 19. Magazines on the iPad and iPhone <ul><li>Multi-touch: Pinch, swipe, tap </li></ul><ul><li>Page vs scroll </li></ul><ul><li>Accelerometer, geolocation, websites </li></ul><ul><li>Text readability on many screen sizes </li></ul><ul><li>Multiple media types </li></ul><ul><li>File sizes/bandwidth </li></ul><ul><li>Online/offline (DRM) </li></ul>Source: YouTube,, the,
  20. 20. Can I use my Adobe software? <ul><li>Sad : Adobe’s cross-platform strategy stymied by Apple’s banning of Flash, stalling the much-demo’d Wired iPad edition </li></ul><ul><li>Easy (sort of): Extensive ePub support inside Adobe InDesign </li></ul><ul><li>Slick : Third party plug-ins combined with iPad e-reading app </li></ul><ul><ul><li> (used by Time mag) </li></ul></ul>
  21. 21. Where to from here <ul><li>Learn what mobile digital readers want </li></ul><ul><li>Use the technology (iPad, iPhone etc) </li></ul><ul><li>Do something simple to get in the game, eg a special issue with ePub on Kobo or iBooks, or an outsourcer such as Zinio </li></ul><ul><li>Consider the international market </li></ul><ul><li>Experiment early with paid content </li></ul><ul><li>Build online marketing channels </li></ul>
  22. 22. Questions <ul><li>Slides at </li></ul><ul><li>Martin Taylor, Digital Strategies </li></ul><ul><ul><li>[email_address] </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Blog: </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Also available for questions: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Michael Carney, NetMarketing Services, [email_address] </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Roger Shakes, Kiwa Media [email_address] </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Karl van Randow , CactusLab, [email_address] </li></ul></ul>