HeraldScotland Maintains Growth Despite Paywall

Digital publishing trends for February 26, 2014

HeraldScotland is reporting that it has been maintaining audience growth despite its tight paywall. A staff reporter writes, “HeraldScotland – the only platform in the ABC list to operate a subscription paywall – recorded 66.1% growth for July-December 2013, compared to the same period in 2012. That came on top of similar growth in the first half of 2013, and despite the paywall being tightened last August. Digital revenue has also grown by 19% over the last financial year (end December 2013).Herald and Times Group now has more digital paying subscribers than paying print subscribers as it consciously focuses on offering multi-platform news options to readers and cross-platform advertising opportunities to advertisers.”

Fosun Set to Buy Forbes Media

The New York Post is reporting that the Chinese-based company Fosun is set to buy Forbes Media. Keith J. Kelly writes, “They may be brushing up on Mandarin inside the Forbes Media empire. China-based Fosun International is now said to be in final negotiations to land Forbes and its related digital properties. One source said the deal could be announced as early as this week — or early next week.” Fosun International also publishes the Chinese editions of Forbes.

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OpenX Adds Native

Mobile Marketing Daily is reporting that OpenX has added a private ad exchange for native mobile ads. Mark Walsh writes, “The real-time bidding (RTB) exchange will allow developers and publishers to sell in-stream mobile ad units in applications to a select set of pre-screened buyers. Initial publishers on board include IconApps and Tagged, while buy-side partners include RUN and mediasmart. Mobile rich media ad company Celtra is also involved as the preferred provider of native ad solutions through its AdCreator platform.” The new ad exchange has well-known mobile apps in its inventory.

Self Gets Frozen Meals Brand Extension

Usually we see magazines partnering with events, wine clubs and other consumer products. Self magazine is taking it a step farther and is launching a frozen food line. Brand Channels’ Sheila Shayon writes, “One print brand ripe for extension is SELF magazine, which just launched its own line of frozen meals in 2,900 stores in 37 US states, including Kroger, Stop & Shop and Whole Foods under the SELF Healthy Kitchen brand. SELF’s editors teamed up with award-winning Chef Calvin Harris’s Benevida Foods to create the new line that features eight entrées such as Southwest Style Chicken Enchilada with Rice and Sweet Potatoes, Three Cheese Lasagna with Beef and Marinara and Steak with Portobello Mushrooms in a Red Wine Sauce, with single-serving meals averaging $4.99.”

Our Love Affair with Tablets Isn’t Over

Netflix product manager Zal Bilimoria wrote a blog post titled, “Our Love Affair With Tablets is Over.” Patrick Pierra, CEO and Co-Founder of Tab Times thinks otherwise. Pierra writes, “Bilimoria’s main argument seems to be that the tablet may never become the winner-takes-all, primary device and that he now uses his phone more and his tablet less. (He doesn’t even mention his laptop because, you know, it’s less sexy than mobile.) Fair enough. Super heavy tech users like VCs, developers and IT pros will all continue to own and use both a smartphone and a laptop. For them, tablets may be a less important, at home only, media consumption and gaming device. But out of the Silicon Valley/Bay Area, I don’t buy that tablets are the third-rank computing device.”

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