Posts tagged "monetization"

Are Digital Magazines For Real?

Earlier this week, Adobe Digital Index released the State of Mobile Benchmark, an analysis of the latest Internet browsing trends in mobile device OS and manufacturer as well as insights around the transition in the digital publishing industry to mobile apps. We’re excited to report that the data showed that purchases of digital content published by Adobe Digital Publishing Suite have reached an all-time high: 80 percent of content consumed in February was paid for in the form of a subscription or purchase of a single issue. That’s a 15 percent increase in paid-for content over the last 12 months. Further, digital magazine subscriptions now outsell single issues three to one.


What’s more, the number of weekly issues delivered by Digital Publishing Suite has been steadily climbing for the past two years – ninety million issues have been downloaded to-date.  There’s no reason to expect this trend to end.

What is the big take away? Consumers are buying digital magazines at an ever-increasing pace.  We’re at the point where digital magazines are moving from early adopters to the mainstream, print-reading audience and they have the potential to deliver a massive amount of ad dollars. People who consume digital magazines are proving to be very high value customers given their propensity to pay for content.

Digital magazine growth is also being driven by new devices coming onto the market. According to a February 21, 2013 article in the Economist, with the introduction of the iPad in 2010, “the market had its first electronic device that could replicate and even enhance (with features like video) the curated, tactile experience of a magazine.” The introduction of the iPad Mini last November added more momentum.

Therefore, it is no surprise that The State of Mobile Benchmark report indicates that tablet readership is up dramatically in the last 7 months – a 200% percent average increase in readers of titles published with Adobe DPS.  As more devices come in market, readers are voraciously consuming content –  from their favorite TV show totheir favorite magazines and newspapers  – on devices.

And of course, consumers want their choice of devices. While tablet usage continues to skyrocket, smartphone apps are starting to also contribute to overall readership. The State of Mobile Benchmark report also indicates that 75 percent of the time consumers are reading content on tablets and 25 percent of the time they are reading content on smartphones.


For publishers this means content ought to be available to readers whenever and wherever they are and ready for any device. Even if readers don’t always have their tablet with them, they’ll most likely have a smartphone.  We’ve found that reading behavior is dictated by device so publishers need to give readers an opportunity to engage with content regardless of circumstance – at home, at work, on the go. And that’s key


Engagement Drives Revenue

Additionally, smart use of interactivity has been shown to increase reading times and deeper engagement with content.  Case in point. Top Gear a leading UK publisher recently switched from a PDF replica publishing platform to DPS and found that engagement times with their content grew dramatically due to increased interactivity built into their issues.


This in turn has driven greater purchase of content with a sixty percent increase in paid download, eighty percent increase in single issue purchase and 165% increase in subscription revenue.  Publishers are able to monetize content on devices,  unlike the Web.  One last point.  Ad revenue jumped up 200%.

As the number of digital magazine readers continues to expand, the opportunity for increased ad revenue from interactive ads is real and immediate. Ads in a digital publication are the best of both worlds: they offer  immersiveness and bring products to life. They create connection between reader and advertiser, offering creative ways to extend a brand. A recent ad engagement study from Adobe indicated that interactive tablet ads drive greater brand engagement and 2 times greater product recall as compared to static PDF ad replicas on tablets.

To get a feel for how exciting interactive ads can be, check out these examples below. Then take a look at Adobe Digital Publishing Suite. The readership and engagement metrics tell a great story, but don’t take your eye off the creative potential Adobe DPS provides to make awesome digital content and ads.

Read the complete Adobe Digital Index PDF report here: State of Mobile Benchmark


*Updated May 14, 2013

10:26 AM Permalink

DPS wins Digiday Publishing Award in “Most Disruptive Publishing Technology” Category!

DPA Winner


The Digital Publishing Suite team is honored to receive the Digiday Publishing Award in the “Most Disruptive Publishing Technology” category, just announced yesterday!

The Digiday Publishing Awards honors “overall excellence and breakthrough achievement in digital publishing, branded content and advertising technology.” The DPAs are presented by Digiday, the host of the Digiday Publishing Summit. Hundreds of leading publishers, brand executives, publishers, journalists, experts, and technology visionaries participated in last night’s event, including representatives from The Huffington Post, Hearst Digital Media, Rodale, and Tumblr.

The “Most Disruptive Publishing Technology” category assesses innovation that has changed the publishing business through new methods of content display, delivery, distribution, discovery or monetization tools. (Last year’s winners in this category included: BuzzFeed Inc., Zinio, and Voices Heard Media / EventBox User Engagement Suite.) It is with great pleasure that we accept this award!

The DPAs include multiple categories that award innovations in the growing business of digital publishing, branded content and advertising technology. The judging committee is comprised of leading media and marketing experts, journalists, industry insiders, marketers, publishers and technology visionaries.

9:13 AM Permalink

Mobile shopping: retail app usage on the rise

Meet Us At the Folio Show

Join the DPS team at the Folio: MediaNext Show on January 8-10, 2013 in NYC. The MediaNext Show pulls together leading publishers to discuss the future of media through keynotes, microsessions, and workshops.

Nick Bogaty, Director of Business Development for DPS, will be sharing the stage with Bill Mickey, Editor of FOLIO Magazine, in a fireside chat to discuss the role of technology in publishing. They’ll touch on what it takes to transition to digital, and how critical it is to choose a solution that let’s you stay on top of the device explosion, approach your marketing in an entirely new way, capture and use data, and stay connected to your readers.

Tuesday| January 8
12 p.m.

Gerald Farro, also from the business development team, will discuss what it takes to build an app using DPS and customize it to meet the specific needs of your publication and reader. Gerald will showcase apps built with Digital Publishing Suite that include features designed to help publishers reach a wide audience, deliver interactive experiences, and monetize content. Join the breakout session:

Wednesday | January 9
1:45-2:30 p.m.

Visit the Folio: MediaNext Show website to view the conference schedule.

2:45 PM Permalink

How Do You Drive Digital Sales Using DPS?

Join the Adobe Meets MPA series on Thursday, November 27th to learn how to promote and monetize content built with Digital Publishing Suite. Presenter Gerald Farro will share strategies for growing digital audiences, developing incremental revenue streams, and extending brands with in-app stores, social sharing, and geo-targeting.

Gerald Farro has been working with many DPS publishers over the past three years. Prior to Adobe, he worked in the trenches at top media organizations such as Wenner Media, Source Interlink and Bauer Publishing. The Adobe Meets MPA lunch is intended to be an open dialogue with publishers to build creative strategies for monetizing digital content.

12:44 PM Permalink

Build a Custom Store to Promote In-App Sales

As publishers hone their tablet publishing sales strategy, they have new tools to upsell and cross-sell content to readers. Both publishers and corporations pay close attention to the visual presentation of products and services in order to entice customers toward purchase. Digital Publishing Suite, Enterprise Edition customers can build a custom store in the app to showcase fresh content and drive incremental sales to a captive audience. All Digital Publishing Suite multifolio apps include a Library view allowing readers to scan the publication’s titles and purchase new content. While this has been a fruitful business practice for publishers, Enterprise customers can build custom stores with HTML in order to more accurately reflect the publisher’s brand and promote top-selling titles, ultimately driving folio sales to a fully engaged audience.

What is a custom HTML store?
A custom store built in a Digital Publishing Suite app showcases products, services, and special features available for sale. It is accessed through a “Store” slot in the navigation bar. In contrast with the existing Library view in Digital Publishing Suite, it can be organized to feature and promote top-selling titles or products, influencing reader purchase. The publisher can use the store’s flexible design to incorporate images, typography and layout that provide a richer, branded experience.

Two Condé Nast titles use the same custom store structure, different branding

Several Condé Nast titles have created custom HTML stores in order to merchandise content and drive incremental sales to their readership. Download a copy of WIRED or The New Yorker to fully experience the features. The landing page showcases the most recent issue with a more prominent cover icon and a short description of featured articles. When the reader taps on the cover, he not only sees an enlarged view of the cover, but can also scroll through the table of contents, similar to the selection process at an actual newsstand. Swiping through back issues, the reader can scan the table of contents for each issue and carefully select and purchase relevant content.  The tabs on the top of the store navigate to featured items – such as the WIRED App Guide or The Year in Gear.

New Yorker has the same organization as WIRED, but uses colors, typography, images and content that reflect The New Yorker brand. Whereas WIRED’s customers are drawn in by the latest technology (such as apps or gear), The New Yorker customers are enticed by collections of stories from renowned authors.
Build your own custom store

The article “Build a horizontal swipe storefront with folio preview” provides developers with a template for creating and customizing your own store within a viewer app. This template enables users to swipe horizontally through store pages, view folio previews, and navigate to different sections of the store which can feature different categories of product offerings.

Two views of the custom store template included in the “horizontal swipe storefront” article

Custom Stores in Business Publications
The custom store is not limited to merchandising digital publications. Rather, its capabilities extend beyond content to products and services that readers may be interested in. For example, a fashion retailer may use Digital Publishing Suite to publish a catalogue that contains physical products for sale within the custom store of the app. A membership organization could sell t-shirts and mugs to its members. This streamlines the purchasing process without asking the reader to change gears and leave the app.


  • HTML provides the flexibility required for a custom store. Web pages in the custom slots of the navigation bar can be hosted by the publisher if desired, rather then embedded them in the viewer app. If a publisher needs to revise the price of an issue or feature a timely promotion, hosted HTML allows the designer to modify the content and immediately update the store without requiring the end user to update the viewer app.
  • HTML allows for transactional capabilities, allowing customer to purchase content or physical goods within the app.
  • HTML allows for highly customized visual design and user experience, and also allows existing web assets to be re-purposed.

8:47 PM Permalink

Top 100 Newsstand Apps Bring in $70,000 Per Day

Distimo, an app analytics firm, released data today that illustrate increasing consumer demand for Newsstand publications on the iPad. Over 7% of the top 200 apps in the app store are sold via Newsstand. Of those, Distrimo estimates that the top 100 grossing apps available in Newsstand are bringing in $70K in revenue per day. Included in February’s top five are The New Yorker and National Geographic, built with Adobe Digital Publishing Suite. Not surprisingly, most of the revenue comes from in-app purchases, where publishers can take advantage of upsell and cross sell opportunities.

Interested in more information about tablet consumer behavior? Last month, we released data aggregated from Digital Publishing Suite apps, showing that 68% of consumers pay for digital magazines built with Digital Publishing Suite and almost half of those are purchases are subscriptions bought on the device. Magazine readers are buying, and they’re coming back for more.

10:22 PM Permalink

Business Case for Tablet Publishing

Are you still wondering if you should publish to tablets such as the iPad and Amazon Kindle Fire? How do you know if your business will make money on those formats? How will the growth of the tablet industry impact publishing?

In this video, Zeke Koch, Senior Director of Product Management at Adobe, discusses the business case for publishing to the tablet. He addresses major questions that businesses new to tablet publishing are pondering:

  1. Why should publishers deliver content on tablets?
  2. What kind of resources are required to migrate content to tablets?
  3. How do publishers make money on tablets, and how is that different from websites?
  4. Why should publishers move content to tablets now?

Koch addresses each question based on his experience collaborating with publishers who have forged a path in digital publishing. Some highlights are below. Watch the video for a more in-depth understanding of where the industry is moving and why publishers need to include tablets in their publishing strategy.

  • Readers are willing to purchase content on tablets.

People who own tablets expect to purchase content because, in contrast with the web, tablet content is often considered higher quality than web content because the rich reading experience enabled through applications. A reading experience that often mimics print – but offers a higher level of engagement -that keeps readers coming back to their favorite brands on tablets. Tablets are a great way to invest in and acquire new readers, as 40% of people who purchase magazines on leading tablets are net new subscribers.

  • Publishers can use existing resources to publish to the tablet. 

With Digital Publishing Suite, designers who do layout for print can easily do layout for tablet applications. Using the Adobe solution, designers can add interactivity and maintain control over the branding and design of a tablet publication. Therefore, companies and organizations can often create tablet publications with existing design and production resources, giving creatives complete control over the experience and quality of the application.

  • Advertisers are willing to invest media dollars in tablet advertising.

Even though the web has ten times as many readers as tablets, advertisers can reach a more targeted audience through tablet applications. Plus, recent research from Adobe indicates that tablet readers tend to also be more affluent and more than 3X likely to make a purchase via ecommerce than those readers who consume content or shop via mobile phones. In a nutshell, advertisers can reach a premium set of readers who are willing to pay both for tablets and the immersive reading experience that they provide.

  • Within the next few years, virtually everyone will have a tablet.

Tablet adoption is on the rise. Soon, readers will expect that many publications as well as other content currently in print will be available on their favorite tablets. Publishers, organizations and corporations need to migrate content onto tablets today in order to meet the growing demand of the marketplace.

Watch the video here:

8:00 AM 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

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

ABC includes digital magazines in circulation figures

The Audit Bureau of Circulations today released new
guidelines for what counts towards “paid and verified” magazine circulation –
including how to account for digital magazines. In its news release and digital circulation
, ABC notes that the digital
edition of WIRED
will be included in the
magazine’s total “paid and verified” circulation.

Specifically, the ABC notes that digital magazines like
WIRED will count towards a “Digital Edition – Replica” category that is
subsequently included in total circulation. This replica category comprises digital magazines that
represent the full editorial and advertising content of the publication. No longer, however, does the content
have to be presented in exactly the
same layout as in print.

Okay… so what does this mean? Well, it has implications for publishers, readers, and

The new guidelines mean publishers
can include digital copies in the rate base circulation figures they guarantee
to advertisers. With this
inclusion, magazines can (1) more accurately represent the reach they deliver
to advertisers and (2) capture that value through increased CPM rates.

For readers, it
means an even more engaging digital magazine experience. Magazine publishers will increasingly
make more content available in immersive, interactive digital formats because
they are able to attract advertisers to it.

Finally, advertisers
are able to audit the number of readers publications connect with on
emerging tablet/smartphone devices. This means advertisers can count on digital platforms to deliver reach. The promise of digital is not only to
deliver reach though, but also engagement. With the new interactive advertising formats
applications like WIRED offer, advertisers are able to involve readers directly
at a deeper level – without leaving the magazine content experience.

5:47 PM Permalink

Content + Experience

I’m back from the FIPP Digital Innovators Summit last week in Berlin, Germany where a variety of international publishers presented their strategies for monetizing digital content. If there’s one thing that was clear from the conference, it’s that there’s a lot of confusion on what a “digital strategy” means.

Many publishers only use their Web site as part of their digital strategy. Of this group, some companies are using the Web to drive traffic to additional monetized services (i.e paid job listing boards for newspapers; wedding mag has an entire strategy around wedding services). Some other publishers are using a premium paid content model (The Economist). Still others are trying to monetize via iPhone apps (or expecting to monetize via iPad apps). None are placing their bets on increased CPM rates from ads.

The challenge in monetizing digital content lies in the fact that content has become a commodity. Given the confusion over monetization at the Digital Innovators Summit though, it was clear to me that publishers don’t just need another monetization model. Fundamentally, we need to increase the value around content by transforming it into a content experience. It is this content experience that provides differentiation and allows publishers to monetize more effectively.

What is a content experience? One way could be an application like we’ve produced with WIRED magazine that allows increased reader engagement and interactivity with both content and ads. Instead of passively sifting through articles online, readers navigate through the magazine in innovative ways, interact with photo slideshows/video snippets, and engage with advertising content (like through 360 degree object rotation). These interactive features, combined with the tablet form-factor, allow publishers to reach readers in new ways and provide a differentiated option that creates value. Instead of just another monetization model, we need to think about what readers actually want from the content they consume.  Increasingly, readers will want a connection with their content in new and innovative ways – a content experience.

11:37 AM Permalink