Clearly, the changes to publishing's business model aren't going away. Publishers are going to have to adapt to a new reality.
Why the big book publishers are in trouble
Native advertising was all the rage this past year, as online publishers and marketers grappled for new (or repackaged) ways to get the attention of ad-weary consumers. Brands and publishers created entire divisions to produce the ads that mimic editorial content, while vendors sprang up to try to scale their distribution. The IAB took steps to demystify the format by offering standardized language, while watchdog agency FTC raised concerns about the potential for consumers to be deceived by the ads. We asked some active users of the form to predict what's up ahead in 2014 for the trend.
Advertisers have been pushing for the online ad industry to address ad viewability for the past several years. It's a reasonable goal, as brands would like to make sure people can actually see the ads they are paying for.
Monocle Eschews Social Media, Says It's No Worse Off Without It.
Tracking tags are bits of code that enable ad serving, site analytics, audience-segmentation, and social sharing tools on websites. In other words, tags are what make the web tick.
More than ever, people are using Twitter, Facebook and other social media sources to learn about what’s happening in the world as traditional news outlets become increasingly less relevant to the digital generation.
why is it that consumers are still paying through the nose for e-book titles that ought to cost a fraction of the price charged for the used hardcover version?
In a significant defection for the book industry, best-selling marketing author Seth Godin is ditching his traditional publisher, Portfolio, after a string of books and plans to sell his future works directly to his fans. The author of about a dozen books including "Purple Cow" said he now has so many direct customer relationships, largely via his blog, that he no longer needs a traditional publisher. Mr. Godin plans to release subsequent titles himself in electronic books, via print-on-demand or in such formats as audiobooks, apps, small digital files called PDFs and podcasts. "Publishers provide a huge resource to authors who don't know who reads their books," said Mr. Godin in an interview. "What the Internet has done for me, and a lot of others, is enable me to know my readers."
In what might be the latest sign of trouble for brick-and-mortar bookstores, the mega-chain Barnes & Noble announced on Tuesday that its board was putting the company up for sale. The news surprised analysts and alarmed publishers, who have watched as the book business has increasingly shifted to online retailers and e-book sales, leaving both chains and independent sellers struggling. Barnes & Noble, the country’s largest book chain with 720 stores, said that its board believed the stock was “significantly undervalued” and that it had set up a special committee to review its options.
The ad-page retreat isn’t over yet. Magazine ad pages fell 9.4 percent in the first quarter of this year from the first quarter of 2009, to about 34,800 pages, the Publishers Information Bureau reported Thursday. The decline was in contrast to the upbeat assessments by many publishers about ad spending returning in the first quarter.
Traditional newspapers and magazine publishers are gushing about the iPad's potential to reinvigorate their businesses as the gadget changes readers' lives, but coverage in their own publications is far more restrained in tone. In the weeks since Steve Jobs introduced the iPad, its coverage in major magazines, newspapers and wire services has been neutral an overwhelming 76.8% of the time, negative 17.4% of the time and positive just 5.8% of the time, according to analysis for Ad Age performed by Vocus, a provider of public relations management software that includes media monitoring.
There will be lots of news leaking about Facebook’s product announcements at their upcoming F8 Developer Conference in April. That’s because they’re already starting to test out a lot of the new stuff with third party developers, and once two people know a secret, it isn’t really a secret any more. One of the new features we’ve been hearing about is the extension of Facebook Connect and the Facebook API to allow publishers to add a “Like” button to any piece of content on their site. Sound trivial? It isn’t. This is likely part of Facebook’s Open Graph API project that will incentivize third party sites to interact deeply with Facebook by sharing content and associated metadata.
Magazine publishers are taking a mulligan. After letting the Internet slip away from them and watching electronic readers like the Kindle from Amazon develop without their input, publishers are trying again with Apple iPhones and, especially, tablet computers. Although publishers have not exactly been on the cutting edge of technology, two magazines — Esquire and GQ — have developed iPhone versions, while Wired and Sports Illustrated have made mockups of tablet versions of their print editions, months before any such tablets come to market. Publishers are using the opportunity to fix their business model, too.
Microsoft’s top search technology executive on Wednesday all but dismissed the likelihood that the company would pay newspaper owners and other publishers for removing their content from Google. His comments came a week after it emerged that Microsoft had been in talks over a News Corp-led initiative that would have paid publishers to leave Google as a way to boost Microsoft’s own search engine, Bing.
Stories from US newspapers are being copied without permission on the internet on average 4.4 times, rising to as much as 15 times for the largest national publishers, according to a study that forms the basis of an industry push to get paid more for online content. A month-long study of how 101,000 articles published by 157 newspapers proliferated around the internet found that more than 75,000 sites reused 112,000 almost exact copies without authorisation. A further 520,000 articles were reprinted in part.
Google Inc. Friday announced a highly anticipated service that will make it a middleman for selling graphical ads over the Internet. The technology, called the DoubleClick Ad Exchange, resembles a stock exchange for display ads, ads with images and text that appear alongside content on a Web page. It allows companies that buy ads to bid for ad space across lots of different Web sites, from blogs to major entertainment properties, in real-time based on what publishers want to sell that second. Today display ads are often purchased ahead of time through negotiations with individual Web sites or networks of sites, a process which leaves publishers with lots of unsold space.
Google, long seen as an enemy by many in the news industry, is making a bold attempt to be seen as a friend with a new service it hopes will make it easier for readers to read newspaper and magazine articles. On Monday, the company introduced an experimental news hub called Fast Flip that allows users to view news articles from dozens of major publishers and flip through them as quickly as they would the pages of a magazine. Google will place ads around the news articles and share resulting revenue with publishers. Fast Flip, which is based on Google News, tries to address what Google considers a major problem with news sites: they often are slow to load, and so they turn off many readers. Google, the leader in Web search services and advertising, argues that if reading news online was closer to the experience of scanning through physical newspapers or magazines, people would read more.
Magazine publishers once ran ads. Then, they created ads for their advertisers. Now, they are making different custom ads to run in each of their publications, and sometimes even allowing the advertisers to use the ads elsewhere. “It’s a lot of work,” said Jeff Hamill, senior vice president of Hearst Magazines. But with advertising pages down 28 percent in the first half of this year versus the period last year, according to Publishers Information Bureau, publishers are happy to do it.
The Web has long relegated advertising to the sidelines as part of a do-not-interrupt mandate that separated cyberspace venues from traditional media. That's slowly changing.
The march of technology has disrupted the implicit contract that has driven the media business for a hundred years or more: Publishers/programmers provide quality content; advertisers help subsidize the content and, in return, get to show commercial messages to audiences; and consumers enjoy the content and accept the ads that subsidize all or some of the cost.
As tough times send some publishers running for cover, marketers are running advertisements on the covers of some publications.
On Tuesday Google announced a partnership with several publishers to bring complete catalogs of old magazines online.
Desperate times call for desperate measures, and that's where the newspaper business is right now. With profits slashed, unending layoffs, and online ad growth slowing, newspapers have to be open to new ideas that will help them deal with a media shift like no other.