Digital Magazine Business News: A Noteworthy Redesign + Ad Considerations

What’s happening in the digital magazine business this week? ESPN bucks a trend, while publishers get ready for the Apple Watch

In the digital magazine business, today’s trendiest practices could be taboo tomorrow, and vice-versa. That’s why it’s so important to build a durable core product that’s solid enough to withstand industry trade winds yet dynamic enough to adapt to them, too.

You can future-proof your content with bold multiplatform strategy, a social media regimen, and the best practices behind repurposing articles and multimedia – this plan of attack is what reshapes struggling publishers into Mequoda Members.

It’s also good to know what’s happening across the field. In addition to our consulting services and free advice, we also filter out the most relevant digital magazine business news from around the web. Today’s trending stories come from Digiday.

ESPN Redesign Includes Focus on Homepage

With its first redesign since 2009, ESPN is placing a great emphasis on its homepage. This runs counter to what most of the digital magazine business has been up to recently. According to Digiday, ESPN still gets upward of 75% of its traffic from direct visits.

“All the consumption trends point to people finding information in all sorts of new and different ways. We’ve always been a destination online and on television, and obviously we don’t want to give that up,” ESPN Executive Vice President of Digital and Print John Kosner told Digiday.

“A lot of the sports stuff that gets shared on the Web is the type of stuff that ESPN is not going to do. But fans now have the expectation that they can get the information they want when they want it on the device they have. You have to create an experience that responds to that.”

Digital Magazine Business Preps for Apple Watch

Wondering what the likes of The New York Times and The Economist have planned for the Apple Watch? The Times will offer up one-sentence stories tailored for the device, distinct from the alerts that link to full stories. The Economist, meanwhile, has developed an app that will make heavy use of audio, Digiday reports.


Hearst’s Approach to Programmatic Ads

Hearst has embraced the programmatic model with open arms, Digiday reports, making inventory available via guaranteed direct, non-guaranteed programmatic direct, and public auction.

“We want to be as maximally available to buyers as possible. That goes against the conventional wisdom that you hang your shingle in one place, because if you make yourself available in different places you undercut yourself by letting people buy you where you’re cheapest. We fish in a lot of ponds, and that has driven our CPMs and revenue way up,”  Hearst Vice President of Revenue Platforms and Operations Mike Smith told Digiday.

“When you offer advertisers the opportunity to buy you without restrictions, minimum spend, you make more in the aggregate. The advertiser rewards you for the convenience of being able to buy you in a variety of ways. Ten years ago, I can only imagine there was a list of digital advertisers that were in the hundreds. Maybe five years back it was 1,000. Today, we service literally tens of thousands of advertisers.”

Thrillist’s Approach to Native Advertising

Meanwhile, Thrillist, which made its name on e-commerce, is among the publishers maximizing branded content with its in-house studio CoLab, according to Digiday. The secret? Research studies and scientific data that yield tools like the Branding Cell to build articles and other content.

Do you have any digital magazine business news to share? Let us know in the comments!

To read more updates about the digital magazine business, visit Digiday.


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