Game Informer’s Domination, La Presse Passes on Paywalls

Digital publishing news for August 26, 2013

According to AdAge, Game Informer accounts for one third of all digital magazine subscriptions. Michael Sebastian reports, “The 22-year-old magazine, which previews and reviews videogames, has a digital replica circulation of nearly 3 million, making it the top circulating digital edition,” the Alliance for Audited Media said. “The gulf between Game Informer and every other magazine is so vast that the digital circulations of the next 24 magazines combined — including Cosmopolitan and US Weekly — barely crack 3 million.”

Digital subscription circulations have not taken off as fast as publishers had hoped, however they are still moving forward as Sebastian writes,”Across the magazine industry, digital replica circulation has increased slowly but steadily in the last year. Although the total circulation remains small, it doubled in the first six months of 2013.”

Facebook’s News Feed Algorithm Change

Last Friday, Facebook posted new guidance for what they consider high-quality content in news feeds. Facebooker Varun Kacholia writes,”Every day people see content from millions of Pages on Facebook in their News Feeds. Our goal is to show the right content to the right people at the right time so they don’t miss the stories that are important to them. As part of that we want to make sure that the best quality content is being produced, surfaced and shared. Our latest update to the News Feed ranking algorithm helps ensure that the organic content people see from Pages they are connected to is the most interesting to them.”

What is considered high quality content?

According to Kacholia, they showed a test group a series of status updates and asked them the following questions, “Is this timely and relevant content? Is this content from a source you would trust? Would you share it with friends or recommend it to others?”

The findings they received from the survey became the basis for the updated news feed algorithm.

Kacholia adds a few tips for Facebook Page administrators:

  • Make posts relevant to your audience.
  • Build trust with your audience.
  • Before creating a post ask yourself,” Would you share this with your friends?”
  • Ask yourself, “Would my fans want to read about this?”


Elle’s Big September

FishbowlDC is reporting that Elle’s September issue is its biggest ever. Kevin O’Malley Elle’s senior VP, publisher and chief revenue officer stated on CNBC that,”I can tell you that one of the most significant drivers of that, is that the other milestone that we set for September: The highest total revenue for for a single month since it launched in 1996, and the highest ever for a magazine site at Hearst.”

Congrats to the team at Elle.

La Presse Says No To Paywalls

TabTimes has a new post on Montreal newspaper La Presse’s decision to not use a paywall strategy to drive revenue. Instead the magazine will focus on an aggressive tablet strategy where they have invested $40 million to transform itself into a tablet first news outlet. Patrick Pierra writes,”While most newspapers are still thinking about what role tablets and apps should play in their future, La Presse has placed its bets and recently launched iPad app, La Presse+, as its flagship product. In radical opposition to the general paywall trend started by The New York Times, the daily is not looking for its app readers to pay – ever.”

La Presse spent three years developing their daily tablet newspaper app and it’s paid off. They were even nominated for a Tabby Award in the News category. Pierra writes, “La Presse+ is delivered through Newsstand as a daily package, with a file ranging from 40MBs to 120MBs, every morning at 5:30 AM – including Sunday, while the print product had ceased its Sunday edition several years ago.”

La Presse claims it has 200,000 weekly tablet readers and hopes to improve that number to 400,00o by the end of 2013. Their hope is that younger affluent readers can woo big brands to advertise with them. Pierra adds,”78% of La Presse adult tablet readers are younger than 55, versus 62% of print readers. The difference is more pronounced in terms of family income: 51% of tablet readers earn $100,000 or more vs. 23% or print readers.”

This is one newspaper you keep an eye on.


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