Google Play Newsstand Gives Digital Magazines a Boost

Digital publishing news for November 25, 2013

Digital newsstands just got an upgrade. Google has decided to combine their Google Currents mobile news application and their Play Magazine app into something called Google Play Newsstand, which competes not so secretly with Apple’s Newsstand app.

“With Play Newsstand, you can purchase magazines and newspapers as well as access monthly subscriptions,” explains VentureBeat. “The article layout design is optimized specifically for viewing on tablets and smartphones, as you’d expect. And all the content you’ve added to the Play Newsstand app will automatically download so you can view it even when there’s not a reliable Internet connection.”

The bonus feature is that by folding in their mobile news application, Google has created a newsstand capable of providing users with free content and news snippets while offering publishers the ability to upsell those free customers to paid subscriptions.

59% of Ad Sales from Digital, Says Future

Some magazines are seeing significant revenue generated with digital advertisements. And this growth is leading to large profits.

According to Gideon Spanier at The Independent, Future, publisher of TechRadar and gadget mag T3, “generated 59 per cent of ad sales from digital in the year to September. Revenues also doubled from content marketing, which involves creating content for clients such as Microsoft for today’s Xbox launch.” Native advertising, much?

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Premium Publishers Rolling in Native Sponsorships

Speaking of Ad Sales, eMarketer has increased their previous prediction about ad sales this year. According to their blog, “eMarketer expects sponsorship ad spending to grow 24.0% to $1.90 billion this year in the US, compared to $1.54 billion last year—slightly up from eMarketer’s previous estimates from August. The figures include spending on sponsorship ads served to any digital devices.”

Along with those updated predictions, “eMarketer estimates that newspapers and magazines will see digital ad revenue growth increase 5.6% and 13.3%, respectively, this year, according to new figures.”

Hearst Hires New Digital Media VP

When you want to bring in a new staff member, it’s always a good idea to target someone who has demonstrated the right skills for your organization. Hearst did just that in bringing Tom Kirwan to the team.

Kirwan has experience with increasing sales production for EntertainmentWeekly.com and he helped develop the digital sales strategy for Time Inc.

Steve Cohn writes, “Tom Kirwan, whose nearly five years at Time Inc.  produced two promotions and a min Sales Team Leader of the Year award, was hired to the new position as Hearst Magazines Digital Media VP/sales and key accounts.”

We wish Kirwan luck in his new position, which he starts on December 3.

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