Digital Publishing Innovation Conference Boasts Impressive Lineup

Publishing executives to converge on Berlin for digital publishing innovation – here’s a preview

The sphere of publishing events is expanding every week, and we’re happy to see it, since they’re a crucial component of the Mequoda Method for multiplatform strategy. But few events can compare to the one happening next week in Berlin when it comes to digital publishing innovation.

Among the organizers of the Digital Innovators’ Summit are our friends at FIPP, the Worldwide Magazine Media Association, so you know it’s the real deal.

If you can’t make it, don’t worry: The Digital Innovators’ Summit blog continues to be generous when it comes to sharing interviews with publishing executives who are attending, and so we’re able to present this preview, full of wisdom from some of the best minds in the new media industry.

Time Inc. EVP and CTO on Digital Publishing Innovation

Going from Amazon to Time Inc. digital is an interesting move, and Colin Bodell discusses that and many other things in his wide-ranging interview with the Digital Innovators’ Summit blog.

“Each new wave of technology creates new and exciting opportunities for media companies like Time Inc. New technology capabilities enable us to more effectively target consumers. It expands when, where and how we engage audiences with our powerful storytelling. At the end of the day, trusted brands, high-quality content and deeply engaged audiences will win,” Bodell says.

“Time Inc.’s technological makeover so far has focused on a number of specific areas: We’re substantially complete with the move of our applications and services from our own data centers to the Amazon Web Services cloud environment; we’ve reduced the number of content management systems to focus on a couple on which we can focus our attention and add new capabilities; we’ve built platforms for native mobile applications and new websites and can now launch new sites within 24 hours; and we’ve introduced a raft of productivity tools for staff across the breadth of the company.”

Financial Times Head of Audience Engagement on Cultivating Digital Consumers

Lisa Oberndorfer is among the rare breed that has one of, if not the, most important job descriptions in the industry: audience development and retention. She shares her vision and some best practices from the Financial Times in an interview with the Digital Innovators’ Summit blog.

“News media organizations have been focussed on thinking digital-first for a while, but now it’s time to start thinking audience-first. As audiences begin to migrate away from our websites and homepages and toward all sorts of off-site platforms, we can’t count on audiences coming to us anymore,” Oberndorfer says.


“Finding out more about our audiences – where they are, when they’re there, what they like, and in what format – is quite simply becoming an integral part of any news media’s editorial strategy. It’s part of the evolution of the news media economy, away from advertising-driven models and toward paid content and subscription models in which the relationship to audiences is central.”

The New Yorker Editorial Director on Content Distribution Strategy

Granted, not everybody can be The New Yorker, but everybody can learn a lesson or two from them when it comes to content deployment – Editorial Director Henry Finder helps out in his conversation with the Digital Innovators’ Summit blog.

“For some years, we’d had a system where some of the content was behind the counter and some of it was freely available. The online-only material was free; about three-quarters of the magazine’s print content was locked. Subscriber only. Then, for three months, everything was freely available. After that came the metered paygate. We’ve done almost no paid marketing. We do social media marketing on Facebook and Twitter, of course,” Finder says.

“Have good content that you can charge for. Metered paygates really do work when you’ve got material worth paying for. We saw a net increase in traffic once we set up the paygate, and part of this has to do with the fact that what we published – including the entirely of the magazine – elevated the quality of what was on offer. Quantity increased from 2013 to 2014. But from 2014 to 2015, we actually decreased quantity while increasing quality, using more staff writers, more print content. Though quantity was down, traffic was up. Because quality matters.”

Axel Springer Head of Data on Digital Publishing Innovation

Last but not least, Axel Springer Head of Data Innovation Dr. Jana Moser shares her insights with the Digital Innovators’ Summit blog on data-driven publishing.

“Many publishers work with data. What makes our approach different is our portfolio of content, marketing and classified business models. We are able to combine services in an interesting and user-centric way. On the other hand, we are rather decentralised and run our data project bottom-up,” Moser says.

“Although we have a central data innovation project team, we work closely with the portfolio companies and their experts, to leverage our group potential and achieve common goals.  Additionally, we respect the need of our customers for data protection and set it as a high priority. That’s why we take a privacy-by-default and design approach in our data innovation project.”

Leading the charge on digital publishing innovation is a big part of our mission. Download the free document that started it all, our Multiplatform Publishing Strategy Handbook, today!

To read more about digital publishing innovation and get the scoop on one of 2016’s major events, visit the Digital Innovators’ Summit blog.


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