May 24, 2010
Yesterday, the International Herald Tribune launched the IHT Reader, an Adobe AIR application that allows newspapers to engage their readers with the layout and typography of a printed news page, but with the rich media, interactivity, and enhanced navigation of a digital application. Similar to Times Reader 2.0 from The New York Times, the IHT Reader automatically formats content feeds according to design templates and provides a content experience similar to print. Specifically, users are able to:
- access news content online and offline
- browse 7-day archives
videos and photo slideshows, and listen to audio
- access a limited amount of complementary content without a subscription
- try their hand at The New York Times crossword puzzle
In the coming weeks, we’ll be rolling out a newspaper solution that allows additional publishers to reach their readers in new ways. Like the IHT Reader, this new solution will allow newspapers to deliver incremental digital revenue streams and provide their readers with a digital subscription retention premium – all while delivering highly engaging content for which readers will pay.
Download the IHT Reader from the International Herald Tribune
March 11, 2010
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 TheKnot.com 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.
March 9, 2010
Yesterday, the Flash Platform team posted a video of the HP slate device and how it enables a range of media experiences. In particular, check out the demo of the Times Reader AIR application at 3:46. This application enables The New York Times Company to reach digital readers in new ways while simulating the design, layout and typographical experiences of the printed medium. Especially as slate devices emerge during the coming year as a new form-factor for digital media, we’re investigating ways that more publishers can use news reader applications similar to the Times Reader to engage their reader base. Stay tuned as we work to roll out the details.
To highlight some points Alan made in his demo, at Adobe (and in particular the Digital Publishing group in which I work), we’re focused on enabling publishers to reach their readers across a variety of devices and screen types. Because Adobe AIR runs across operating system types, publishers like the New York Times can deliver content experiences across emerging device types — including the HP slate — without having to create a native application for each. This reduces production costs for publishers, and allows them to focus resources on developing content.