Digital Publishing Tools: Data, Video, Social, Subscriptions

Recent news from the Guardian, Economist, and DMS 2016 show the evolution of important digital publishing tools

Developing digital publishing tools and assembling a formidable tool box that can handle “everyday tasks” like producing multiplatform content as well as a rapidly changing business is the major challenge facing magazines today. It can’t be accomplished with just money or just talent or just legacy or just great design.

It must be a combination of those things, or a mix and match, plus some foresight, a ton of hard work, and a watchful eye on industry trends. Technology, tastes, and platforms change, and you have to roll with the punches. analyzes some recent news that helps you do just that. Let’s start the week with them!

Guardian Media Says Site Memberships Will Lead Among Its Digital Publishing Tools

Interesting interview with Guardian Media Group CEO David Pemsel in the wake of layoffs and years of losses – the lion of UK publishing is now putting a good number of its eggs in the subscription membership website model basket, reports.

“I think all those big numbers are a proof point about how fast and innovative we’ve been in getting to digital [but] monetising anonymous reach is essentially over. To be able to parade around and say ‘we’re big’ is not good enough. We want to convert our anonymous reach into a known audience,” Pemsel said.

“In this new strategy we’ve said membership will involve content we expect members to pay for. There’s a level of sophistication involved in understanding what your audiences truly value, and the only way to know [that] is to know more about them. One of our shortfalls to date is not being empowered by data and that’s what we need to do now. One size does not fit all. When you have something that has been dedicated … to the sort of journalism we have been … the trust we have with our readers suggests there’s an opportunity to create communities around the philosophy of membership and ask our readers to contribute more.”

And how to make that happen? Well, Pemsel is a man after our own hearts, because this is when he starts talking tiers.

“Content will play a role within membership. Two years ago I would say membership was seen as something on the side of our business. In the first six months Kath Viner and I have been very clear … what we will not do in our current thinking is simply tax consumption. We believe we have a way of being able to package up certain membership tiers for our readers … and they in turn will give us more money.”

Digesting the Digital Media Strategies 2016 Conference

That Pemsel interview took place at DMS 2016, and has a nice recap of the conference, including programming that covered the emergence of data among digital publishing tools.

“The Telegraph are achieving effective back-room change through clever use of analytics. Malcolm Coles, Digital Media Director at Telegraph Media Group, says they have been working towards making ‘journalism more accessible for people,’ by helping reporters to understand ‘what drives traffic to their journalism,'”

“They have created two in house teams: an Editorial Development Team and a New Formats Team, to streamline existing online processes and to develop new online tools, in a bid to make interactive storytelling as quick and straightforward as possible for reporters.”


By the Numbers: Facebook and Ad Blocking

Some recent numbers of interest to digital publishers, courtesy of

“The number of active advertisers Facebook has, up 500,000 since October 2015. Facebook has successfully grown its advertising business to rival Google’s in many respects, and not surprisingly is now targeting small businesses with local targeting options,” Dan Calladine writes.

“The number of British ad blocker users who say that they would turn off the tech if they had to in order to access content, according to new data from the IAB.  While ad blocker usage is shown to be growing in the same research, this is an encouraging sign, and many newspapers like CityAM are now refusing to let people who use ad blockers freely access their sites.”

Why the Economist Is Counting on Video When It Comes to Digital Publishing Tools

The Economist is concentrating its efforts on social video, reports, and Deputy Community Editor Adam Smith explains how and why.

“Our videos are seen by millions on Facebook but … we have a long way to go in showing the world we can do video. That’s where social comes in,” Smith says.

“Multimedia in general is important to us because we know from our data that someone is more likely to subscribe to the Economist if they have sampled the breadth of our content.”

If you’re looking for digital publishing tools, consider us the hardware store. How can we help you? 

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