First Look Media Has a Unique Digital Publishing Strategy

Digital publishing news for February 27, 2014

First Look Media has been getting a lot of buzz lately. Partly because the media company is backed by eBay founder Pierre Omidyar, and its star reporter Glen Greenwald. First Look is also receiving a lot of attention for the way its verticals are setup. Each vertical is called a digital magazine. Susan Currie Sivek from Media Shift writes, “the term makes sense, not so much because of First Look publications’ physical format, but because he feels they have other qualities of magazines: sharing their readers’ passions, offering distinctive voices, and engaging with readers.”

Each digital magazine is set to be editorially independent. First Look’s main website will act as a general interest publication. Sivek adds, “The flagship site sounds like the websites of many journalism organizations that feature specialized content areas, or “verticals,” but First Look is working in the opposite direction: not from general interest to verticals, but from verticals to general interest.” Executive editor of First Look Eric Bates states, “The idea that there’s a publication that exists for multiple devices and multiple platforms, with a strong editorial vision and voice, is really reminiscent of what magazines do.”


Food & Wine Launches New Brand for the “Food-Obsessed”

Ad Week is reporting that Food & Wine has launched a new brand geared to Millennials called FWx. Lucia Moses writes, “FWx, going live today, is designed responsively with smartphones in mind, with a heavy emphasis on content related to eating and going out. That means that in addition to cocktail recipes, readers will find advice on recovering after a late night out, tips on assessing your date’s sexual personality by his eating habits and cheat sheets to make you sound smart at the next cocktail party.”

The new vertical will feature native ads. Moses adds, “For one launch advertiser, Coach, FWx is enlisting freelance musicians, DJs and journalists to create articles about looking your best and fashion figures to know.”

PPA UK Reports Digital Magazine Revenues are Up

The Professional Publishers Association’s Publishing Futures survey states that revenues from digital magazine sales were up 32% in 2013. Media Week’s Louise Ridley writes, “Income from digital activities at publishers leapt to 32 per cent in 2013, up from 15 per cent the year, according to the annual survey of senior magazine publishers. It now represents nearly a third of total revenues across both consumer and business magazine publishers, indicating that generating income from digital platforms such as websites and apps.”

B&N Offer Free Magazine with New App

Barnes & Noble is now offering free content to people who download their new NOOK Reading App. Folio’s Jennifer Silber writes, “Complimentary content will be made available to those who have downloaded the free App to their device and signed in with a new NOOK account. The sampling includes free single issues of four magazine titles including TIME, People, Food Network Magazine and Popular Mechanics. The NOOK newsstand is another well of content that is now being thrown into the mix for free. Customers can peruse the digital magazines during a 14-day trial period, after which a collection of magazines and newspapers are available for purchase as a single issue or subscription.” This new reading app is available on Android and iOS devices.

IAB Names New Executive Vice President

minOnline is reporting that Mike Zaneis has been promoted to executive vice president. Arti Patel writes, “he will work directly under IAB president and CEO Randall Rothenberg leading a collection of efforts concerning consumer privacy, data security, free trade, national security, and more.”


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