Archive for February, 2012

Top Digital Ellies Finalists Built with Adobe Digital Publishing Suite

The American Society of Magazine Editors (ASME) has announced the Digital Ellies finalists, and Adobe Digital Publishing Suite customers topped the charts in categories including General Excellence, Digital Media; Tablet Edition; and Design, Digital Media. The Digital Ellies are the 2012 National Magazine Awards for Digital Media and will be presented at the MPA Digital: Swipe Conference in March.

Over 270 magazine publishers applied, and 90 judges recognize the titles listed below based on excellence in publishing, digital media, and design for digital platforms and tablets. We want to congratulate them for their ingenuity and hard work that has yielded high recognition. The Adobe Digital Publishing Suite team has worked closely with these industry leaders to design a digital publishing platform that provides end users with a captivating reading experience, and they continue to push the envelope in innovation and design.

General Excellence, Digital Media 
Honors the best magazines published on digital platforms

  • Golf Digest
  • National Geographic

Tablet Edition
Honors magazine editions published on tablets and e-readers

  • Golf Digest
  • GQ
  • National Geographic
  • The New Yorker

Design, Digital Media
Honors magazine websites, tablet and e-reader editions and utility apps for visual and functional excellence

  • Everyday Food
  • National Geographic
  • The New Yorker
  • Wired

Personal Service, Digital Media
Honors service journalism on digital platforms

  • Men’s Health

Honors the use of interactivity and multimedia in the coverage of an event or subject

  • Golf Digest

Honors the outstanding use of video by magazines

  • GQ

Reporting, Digital Media
Honors excellence in reporting for digital media

  • Wired

The Digital Ellies will be presented on March 20, 2012 in New York City, in conjunction with the MPA Digital: Swipe Conference, a premier conference for magazine editors and publishers focusing on tablets, e-readers, smartphones and apps.

10:12 PM Permalink

App of the Week – Backpacker Magazine

This week’s App of the Week is Backpacker magazine. We show you some cool features in the video below. Some of our favorites include:

  • Interactive topographical maps
  • Videos of gear reviews
  • How-tos on bushwhacking, lighting fires, and surviving bear attacks
  • Links to recreational equipment stores so that you can make a purchase within the app

Watch more here!

6:05 PM Permalink

The Data Speaks: Readers Love Their Digital Publishing Apps

Today, Adobe unveiled data that shows tablet magazine readership is engaged and willing to pay for high value content. In the last year, readers have downloaded 16 million publications built with Digital Publishing Suite. These people are purchasing the majority of their content and taking advantage of built-in interactivity.  This high level of consumer engagement bodes well for the future of the digital publishing industry. If you are still wondering whether readers want you to publish to the tablet, the answer is a resounding yes.

The metrics that Adobe is releasing today are based on anonymous, aggregate data of approximately 1,500 apps that have been produced using Adobe Digital Publishing Suite.

Readers Purchase High Value Content on Tablets

68% of consumers worldwide pay for digital magazines built with Digital Publishing Suite.
•     15% of purchases are single issues
•     26% are subscriptions through the tablet app store
•     27% are through direct entitlement (bundling digital with print subscriptions)

Digital Publishing Suite provides a flexible model that publishers use to deliver free issues and subscriptions. Publishers can cross-sell and upsell content to consumers because the app purchasing process is tightly integrated with readers’ buying habits. In addition, tablets create the expectation that users will purchase content. Both Amazon Kindle Fire and iPad were designed to make it really easy for people to purchase content. Readers expect to be able to purchase high quality content on their tablets, and making a purchase does not require them to pull out a credit card and interrupt their lean-back experience, but instead they can press a button and immediately own the content.

Readers Value Interactivity and Invest Time in Digital Publishing Suite Apps

Consumers use nearly half (48%) of all interactive features in a Digital Publishing Suite publication, with the most popular being videos and web views.

Designers instinctively know that interactivity heightens the reading experience, and our results verify that readers value the videos, slideshows, and web views provided in Digital Publishing Suite publications. We built interactivity into InDesign so that designers can integrate features for digital into their print workflow and maintain control over the look and feel of a publication. Therefore, publications built with Digital Publishing Suite not only maintain the design and quality of a print publication, but also allow readers to dive more deeply into editorial that fascinates them. And it is not a coincidence that…

Consumers tend to open a Digital Publishing Suite application up to five times per month on average, and over half (56%) of readers spend between 25 minutes to 2.5 hours a month reading their digital titles.

Thanks to the high quality engaging content provided through publications and the increasing integration of tablets into our daily rituals…

The average amount of time spent consuming content has increased 70 percent over the last six months.

Readers want to purchase a high quality publication that encourages exploration into beautiful and engaging editorial and advertising. Enthusiasm for tablet publishing is on the rise, which bodes well for the publishing industry.

  • If you attend Mobile World Congress is this week, please stop by the Adobe Systems booth where Andreas Hollstroem will be speaking about Digital Publishing Suite.


7:20 PM Permalink

Free Subscriptions on iOS Newsstand

Discoverability is essential for creating new revenue streams and growing circulation for digital publications. If you have downloaded the latest version of Adobe Digital Publishing Suite, you’ll know you can now use Viewer Builder to showcase free subscriptions in iOS Newsstand.

I turned on my iPad this morning and was excited to find iGizmo on my Newsstand. You may have seen the video where the iGizmo team at Dennis Publishing describes using Adobe Digital Publishing Suite to build engaging content and drive premium advertising. iGizmo is a successful publication that is funded entirely by advertising. Now, iGizmo has joined the ranks of paid subscription publications and is seeing great results.

“Prior to having the ability to go onto Newsstand we were both frustrated and concerned that iGizmo would lose momentum, as sitting outside of Newsstand for a magazine was the same as being lost in the wilderness.  Since we have moved into Newsstand, downloads have increased significantly and advertisers are noting an increase in engagement.”

– Martin Belson, Commercial and Retail Director at Dennis Publishing

6:49 PM Permalink

App of the Week: Smithsonian

The latest App of the Week is Smithsonian Magazine. Check out the video below to preview the interactive features that turn an already great magazine into a multimedia experience.

Highlights include:

  • Stunning 360 degree views of beautiful and remote locations
  • Documentaries from the Smithsonian Channel and US Geological Service
  • Interactive maps that let you to jump to stories from around the world
  • Links to web pages so that readers can learn more and stay current on a topic

Watch the video here.

9:47 PM Permalink

What New Revenue Streams Can Be Gained With a Tablet App?

By Craig Morrow & Will Steuber, MEI

We all know by now that tablet devices are the perfect medium for new companies to create rich, engaging content and they are helping traditional companies revitalize legacy brands in the same manner.  In the recent years, we’ve seen some pretty significant growth trumpeted by a diverse and well-known group of companies, which simply emphasizes the potential this medium has.  But it’s not just all about magazines.  When Adobe launched Digital Publishing Suite, it was a product/platform that everyone assumed was developed for the magazine world.  Nobody can argue that it’s done a fantastic job supporting that vertical but it has so much more potential not only within it, but well beyond.  Let’s talk about some of the other ways this device and the tools used to develop the content can help create or enhance revenue streams.

1. Sales and Marketing – Using tablet apps to deliver customized product information is something that is gaining a tremendous amount of traction in a short period of time.  We’re seeing many companies begin to explore and execute the creation of more meaningful, cost-effective and engaging product/service presentations for sales and marketing staff across various industries.

2. Custom Storefronts – Using custom storefronts to promote new subscription offers, product launches, promotions and even a dedicated social media channel is an area where we’re seeing extensive growth. Self-contained within the app, the storefront acts like a personalized presentation layer and allows you to promote and sell products while building brand awareness. More importantly, it provides a reason for customers to return, either directly through push notifications or working in concert with your marketing campaigns. Not to mention you can control the look and feel. With the creation of a custom storefront, a company can break free of the default Digital Publishing Suite folio grid view on the home screen and take control of the look, feel and user experience.

3. Advertising – New tablet ownership has a projected growth rate through 2015 that would make any economist (or tablet manufacturer) grin.  This growth will begin to provide the type of momentum needed to get more advertisers to partner with digital content providers.  Layer on top of that the new trends in the e-commerce space and you’re left with a new game-changing platform. We have all read the research that shows the majority of magazine readers want to purchase directly from articles and/or directly from the ads. That’s now a viable and proven alternative.

Simply put, these devices, when married to the right creative toolsets, can not only create rich, engaging experiences for readers but have the potential to revolutionize how your organizations are conducting business,  internally and externally.  Reducing your reliance on physical material and shipping to market and promoting your products makes for a very easy ROI model capable of yielding significant results in a short period of time.  Using built-in analytics to showcase real numbers on readership lift, demographics and subscriptions is another very compelling case that most advertisers would love to see… right before they pay you more money to place their ads, of course.  Finally, using custom storefronts, a feature inherent in the Enterprise version of Digital Publishing Suite, is just now beginning to show its real power and versatility in creating a more personalized experience between you and your audience, providing them with an intelligent, engaging destination to consume your content the way they want to.

Craig Morrow is Director of Strategic Accounts and Will Steuber is Director of Creative Services at MEI. MEI was founded in 1990 as Managing Editor Inc., with the goal of providing innovative software solutions to the rapidly evolving publishing industry. Today the company delivers a comprehensive package of digital publishing, editorial workflow and automated ad layout systems for magazines, newspapers and other print and electronic publishers and communicators. Visit the Managing Editor website to learn more about their services.


11:27 PM Permalink

Join us: Adobe Meets MPA on In-App Merchandising Through a Custom Store

Join us at the Adobe Meets MPA session on In-App Merchandising Through a Custom Store on Tuesday, February 28th in New York City. Custom in-app stores are essential if you want to drive additional revenue streams by cross-selling and upselling content, products, and services through your app. Stephen Hart, Adobe Digital Publishing Solutions Manager, will share insight on business opportunities provided by in-app merchandising, as well as advise on best practices and resources required when building in-app stores.

5:22 PM Permalink

Multimedia Writer Tells a Love Story with Digital Publishing Suite

Renowned Taiwan author and director Giddens Ko dreamed of a medium that could touch, inspire and engage his audiences by adding depth and context to the stories behind his works even better than his blog already did. He discovered that with Adobe Digital Publishing Suite, the ebook app “We Meet Once Again”, supporting his new film “You Are the Apple of My Eye” had the power to become the best record of his film work ever.  said:“ Apple injects a fresh, tart edge to the genre with a constantly self-mocking boys’ angle. The comedy is crowd-pleasingly raucous …” in a review posted here.

Author of more than 60 online books, many of Giddens’ works have been adapted to film, television, comics and games. In 2011, a major Hollywood studio bought the rights to his story ‘The Killer Who Never Kills’ marking the first time a Taiwanese story has been optioned by a major studio.

Now, Giddens’ enormous fan base in Taiwan, Hong Kong, China and across the world can discover more about the stories and films they love with eBooks featuring stills, video, director’s commentary and more; all created with Adobe Digital Publishing Suite. Once again, Giddens’ unique vision is setting new standards for creativity in Taiwan and inspiring a new generation of story-tellers to push the boundaries.

10:45 PM Permalink

App of the Week: Guitarist Deluxe

Adobe Digital Publishing Suite is now showcasing an App of the Week, a digital publication that catches our eye. For example, we might highlight one that is using interactive features in a compelling way or making strategic business choices to build readership and brand awareness. This week we are showcasing Guitarist Deluxe by Future Publishing. If you go to the app store to purchase an issue or subscription, you will find two options: Guitarist and Guitarist Deluxe. Guitarist is a PDF replica of the print version. Guitarist Deluxe is made with Adobe Digital Publishing Suite.

Compare & Contrast: PDF Replica vs. Digital Publishing Suite
First of all, Guitarist Deluxe is beautiful. The cover is ultimately identical to the PDF version, but upon opening the issue, it plays a video of Johnny Marr.  It feels like the opening of a live show, with the spotlight slowly lighting up Johnny from behind as he plays a soothing melodic tune on his custom built Jaguar.

The next obvious difference between the two versions of Guitarist was font size. That seems trite at first, I know. When developing for the iPad, designers need to use a larger font. This guides design choices that ultimately make for easier reading. Larger font size necessitates pop-up windows and scrolling frames. Compare the two pages below. The first screenshot is from the PDF replica, while the next two are from the iPad version built with Digital Publishing Suite. With the iPad version, the reader selects and focuses on one guitar at a time. For me, I can concentrate better when I actively choose a guitar to read about and am not distracted by other information.

 PDF Version

Highlighting One Guitar at a Time


Second of all, the PDF version gives me a web link so that I can listen to the sounds of guitars and pedals featured on the app. As someone who has tried to read music reviews, I appreciate Guitarist placing sounds on the web. The iPad takes it to the next level, and I don’t have to crack open my laptop in order to hear anything. I just tap on the review, listen to the guitar or amp, and I automatically understand what “focused urgency in the mid-range” and “great sense of sparkle and presence” really means. Editor Mick Taylor reviews the Hughes & Kettner Tube Master 5 head amp, which comes to life with a full-screen video demo using two different guitars and five settings. A screenshot from the video is pictured below. Thanks, Mick. You saved me a trip to the store.

Download Guitarist Deluxe and check it out yourself. There are more even more features, such as social sharing, instructional pieces with accompanying audio, song samples from record reviews, and links that send the reader to the web to purchase a reviewed item.

Guitarist is the perfect example of how the iPad can amplify content, if you will, in an already great magazine. Sound is essential to bringing the page to life and helping the reader truly understand and connect with the subject matter.

1:04 AM Permalink

Digital Publishing Suite – The Latest and Greatest

We blogged about the latest Digital Publishing Suite features a couple of weeks ago and Bob Bringhurst goes into step-by-step detail describing what’s new on the Digital Publishing Suite Help site. Now, Adobe Evangelist Colin Fleming, with his usual charm and eloquence, brings to life nested overlays, buttons, PDF pinch & zoom, relinking articles, and more in his latest video.

In this video, you’ll learn about (in order of appearance):

Design Improvements

  • Nested Overlays
    • Overlays in a slideshow
    • Overlays in a scrolling frame
    • A few limitations
    • New Button Features
      • Buttons in slideshow states
      • Buttons for a slideshow in a scrolling frame
      • Buttons with multiple actions
      • PDF Zoom with interactivity on iOS
      • Relink article to source files

Viewer and Viewer Builder Updates

  • Newsstand on iOS supports free subscriptions
  • PDF Pinch/Zoom
    • Interactivity while zooming
    • iOS only, viewer dependent, article based
    • Self signed Adobe Content Viewer for iPad
      • Pro & Enterprise features for iOS
      • Get to new tools faster than Apple approval
      • Requires third party tool for USB preview, MacOS only

Folio Production Improvements

  • Status notifications in dashboard
  • Push improvements
    • Manual push notifications
    • 3rd party push

Want to learn more?



11:29 PM Permalink

Direct Entitlement: Connecting Enterprise Publishers to Their Readers

How can you extend digital versions of your publication to your current print subscribers, maintain a relationship with your readers through your app, and provide them with special offers? The answer is direct entitlement. The Digital Publishing Suite team here at Adobe has developed materials to help you better understand direct entitlement, both what it is and how it works. In his video on direct entitlement, Colin Fleming outlines the challenges and the opportunities of extending digital subscriptions to existing print readers, describes the solution provided by Adobe Digital Publishing Suite, Enterprise Edition, and provides background on how to set up direct entitlement. The whitepaper on direct entitlement goes into detail on the strategic advantage of direct entitlement and provides background information on how it works.

Challenge: Offering Print Subscribers Convenient Access to Digital Issues 

A Comprehensive Subscriber Database Drives Business
As many readers of this blog realize, print subscriptions allow a publisher to develop a database of readers in order to collect information that aids in targeted upselling and cross selling to those readers. Subscriptions also offer publishers a consistent and renewable revenue stream across a 12 to 24 month period. To maintain a subscriber base, publishers go to great lengths to offer benefits to readers such as special editions and free gifts. Maintaining a database of loyal subscribers and knowing one’s reader demographics is essential to attracting advertising dollars and driving revenue through targeted marketing.

Business Limitations of the App Marketplaces
Publishers can use Digital Publishing Suite, Professional and Enterprise Editions, to sell subscriptions through leading application stores. However, selling subscriptions and single issues through app stores carries some limitations. On the business side, device stores only provide the publisher with an email address, and not extensive contact information, limiting the ability to both communicate with customers and build an accurate profile of its readership.  This makes it more difficult to market to the end consumer of the digital issue or subscription over the long term. Publishers have spent many years building up a print subscriber base, and the goal of the Digital Publishing Suite team is to help publishers easily maintain this relationship when transitioning to digital distribution.  Digital strategists at publishing companies are very focused on quickly accelerating digital readership in order to generate digital subscription and advertising revenue. As you know, advertising dollars depend on the accuracy and extensiveness of a reader database.

Consumer Limitations of the App Marketplaces
On the consumer side, an increasing number of print subscribers want to have access to digital content on all their devices.  If a reader has already purchased a print subscription, she does not want to purchase digital issues through the application store on her device.  If she purchases the subscription through the app store, she will not have access to back issues in digital format even if she has the print versions at home. Compounding the problem, if this user has multiple devices, she then needs to purchase a digital subscription through the application stores on each device.  All this leads to massive inconvenience for the print subscriber who simply wants to access digital issues that she has already paid for.  It is also in the publisher’s best interest to ensure that this high value print subscriber can access digital issues in order to keep this customer happy and simultaneously drive readership of digital content.

Solution: Direct Entitlement
Direct entitlement refers to the mechanism that allows publishers, member organizations, or corporations to make specific .folio files available to certain readers based on login credentials. In the case of magazines, it allows publishers to provide digital content to existing subscribers in one click. Business publishers can use direct entitlement to make specific content available to employees or members of an organization based on login credentials. A feature of Enterprise Edition of Digital Publishing Suite, direct entitlement strengthens the digital relationship between a publisher and reader by providing the publisher with user data. Digital Publishing Suite integrates with a publisher’s third-party or proprietary fulfillment system to make tablet content available to existing subscribers. The publisher knows which titles the reader subscribes to and the period of time the subscription has lasted. With access to user data, the publisher can provide special offers to each segment of its readership.

How Does It Work?
Adobe Digital Publishing Suite has created an API that works with entitlement services such as CDS Global, Time Customer Service (TCS), or Palm Coast Data (PCD). These subscription services allow publishers to house customer data with minimal coding. When a subscriber goes through a publisher’s website and sets up an ID, the fulfillment server, rather than the application store, houses the user data.

There are three basic stages of direct entitlement: Authentication, Entitlement, and Fulfillment.

  • Authentication occurs when the reader taps on a banner in the viewer library that is designed for existing magazine subscribers. (See “Current Magazine Subscribers: Tap Here for Access” in the Reader’s Digest example below.) This is the “entitlement banner,” which is built with HTML5 and takes the user to an in-app view of the publisher’s web page. In the authentication process, the user creates an ID based on a print or web subscription. Then the user uses this new ID to sign in to the application.

  • Entitlement: A publisher’s entitlement service provides a list of publications that a reader is entitled to, including special editions and back issues. When a user logs into the app, the entitlement service provides this list of publications to the device.
  • Fulfillment: When a user chooses to download a publication, the app requests the publication from the fulfillment service, which is housed on Adobe servers. The fulfillment service confirms the user is entitled to the publication.

Learn More

12:18 AM Permalink

Australian Personal Computer Launches Using Digital Publishing Suite

Australian Personal Computer (APC) Magazine is one of the world’s longest published personal computing titles. “Launched in May 1980, we were there when Apple’s Macintosh and IBM’s PC were born; then got to ride in Bill Gates’ limousine when he launched Windows 95, and were in San Francisco’s main Apple store to buy Apple’s iPad when it arrived in 2010.”

And now… APC is on the iPad, and will soon be on Android devices. Created with Adobe Digital Publishing Suite, it is sure to please the geek in all of us. Zoom into gadget pics, watch videos of product reviews, and (my favorite) follow step-by-step instructions on installing an SSD drive into your PC.

According to editor Tony Sarno, “We chose Digital Publishing Suite because it’s a full solution allowing publication, monetisation and analysis of content on tablet devices – we can use our existing investment in Adobe InDesign® CS5.5 and the included digital publishing tools to create an interactive magazine.  InDesign used in combination with Digital Publishing Suite provides the publishing infrastructure to get the app to a point where all we need to do is then submit it to the app stores. Best of all, we can do all this in-house, using existing magazine staff without any additional resources.”

8:57 PM Permalink