Bezos Keeps the Reader in Mind

Digital publishing news for September 3, 2013

Back to the basics, that’s what Jeff Bezos has in store for The Washington Post. Speaking by phone Bezo told The Post,“We’ve had three big ideas at Amazon that we’ve stuck with for 18 years, and they’re the reason we’re successful: Put the customer first. Invent. And be patient,” he said. “If you replace ‘customer’ with ‘reader,’ that approach, that point of view, can be successful at The Post, too.”

Bezos is visiting the The Washington Post this week for the first time since buying the company. Paul Farhi also reports that,”Bezos stressed that he has no immediate fixes for newspapers in general or for The Post, which is beset by Web-based competition that has weakened its advertising base and steadily sapped its print readership.”

Bezos concluded the interview by saying that the reader will be at the center piece for whatever changes and improvements he and The Washington Post staff come up with.

Esquire Weekly Launching this Week

Esquire Weekly launches on September 5, The Guardian reports. Mark Sweney writes,”Esquire is aiming to shake up the monthly magazine market with the launch of weekly tablet edition designed to appeal to a younger generation of readers who grew up on digital content. The title, Esquire Weekly, launches on 5 September, and will be sold at a standard price of 99p through the Apple iTunes store. A version for Android tablet devices is expected to follow.”

The weekly will also offer e-commerce tie ins like booking dinner reservations, buying event tickets and other products. Readers will be a able to try out Esquire Weekly for free for four weeks.

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New Sub Model for People

AdWeek is hearing rumblings that Time Inc. is prepping new subscription models for its magazines. Lucia Moses writes, “These initiatives are a departure from the decades-old practice whereby publishers heavily discounted subs, which enabled them to guarantee high circulation levels to advertisers but inadvertently trained consumers to expect more for less. Now, facing financial pressure, and with subscription-based models like Netflix and Hulu’s growing up around them, publishers are looking to broaden the definition of subscriber to include other benefits.”

Time Inc. has bolstered their value proposition to potential subscribers by offering free digital subscriptions to print subscribers. They’ve also launched CelebWatch last December, which is a paid app but available for free to magazine subscribers.

Random House Digital Releases Newsstand Weekly

Talking New Media is reporting that Random House Digital has released its first Apple Newsstand  app for author Giada De Laurentiis. D.B. Hebbard  writes,”Giada: A Digital Weekly is a free weekly digital weekly magazine that not only promotes the cookbook authors’s books and apps, but pushes products such as make-up. The app looks to be a replacement for a previously released stand-alone app that is simply called Giada.”

The app was developed by Paragraph and seamlessly downloads any new content available for the reader. Hebbard adds,”There is plenty of social media sharing and other common features, but there is surprisingly little multimedia – probably a choice made knowing that the digital magazine will be weekly.”

It’s certainly an interesting track to take and should be observed.


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