More Magazines Are Betting on E-Commerce

Digital publishing news for September 11, 2013

A few years ago we were wondering what magazines would do in the digital age. We expected subscription websites to grow in popularity, but we weren’t sure what prices would be associated with digital subscriptions or which ancillary products would develop.

We are now seeing digital publications increase offerings and it’s quite interesting.

Partnerships Abound for Fashion Magazines

Hearst Corp.’s Harper’s Bazaar recently signed a deal with Yoox. According to MediaPost, “The partnership with Yoox will link, which allows readers to shop for products featured in the magazine and its Web site, with two Yoox e-commerce sites, and, focused on high fashion and shoe shopping, respectively.”

Previously, had its first retail partnership with Saks Fifth Avenue. Now that partnership has ended and a partnership with the popular magazine appears to make sense.

Harper’s Bizaar isn’t the first fashion magazine to develop a partnership with an e-commerce site. Hearst’s Elle also announced a partnership with Net-a-Porter in the past. The e-commerce platform helped sell makeup, hair fragrance, nail polish and skincare products.

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Politico Founder Envisions Subscription Charge

Publishers are always wondering what to charge for their premium content. Taking a note from Washington politics website Politico, it seems that subscription charges may increase depending on the quality level of content.

An article from Bloomberg states, “Robert Allbritton, publisher of Washington politics website Politico, plans to charge subscription fees of about $1,000 a year for a high-end version of newly acquired media and politics blog Capital New York.”

The Politico model offers free and premium content. This new $1,000 subscription offering is one form of premium content. The website also offers Politico Pro, a subscription service for Washington lobbyists and policy makers that costs $5,000 per year.

Time Inc. Increases Product Ownership

Will Time Inc.’s new CEO make waves? It seems he already is. An article on the Folio website discusses how Joe Ripp, the new CEO of Time Inc. isn’t waiting on making business-changing decisions.

According to the article, “The company announced that it will acquire American Express Publishing for an undisclosed amount, with a sale expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2013.”

“The news comes a week after Ripp—named Laura Lang’s successor in July—officially assumed his role as CEO of Time Inc. and about six months following an announcement that the group would break off from parent corporation Time Warner.”

New Group Consolidates National Geographic’s Traveler Assets

Media companies are bringing departments closer so alignment that help sell more products while getting the staff on the same page.

National Geographic Society just brought its Traveler group together. This includes its books, expeditions, workshops, magazine and digital properties.

Lynn Cutter, the executive vice president of the new group, believes this move will lead to more power for the content.

According to Folio, Keith Bellows, editor-in-chief of National Geographic Traveler, thinks the messaging will be easier after this consolidation. “Everyone had their own handles and worked separately,” says Bellows. “Now we can better figure out how the messaging weaves throughout the different products. We’ve all come together and rebranded under one group. It’s a better experience for the consumer, there’s less noise and a more succinct experience.”

New partnerships and a greater alignment with e-commerce and internal departments are leading the way in the digital magazine evolution. We will keep an eye on these developments and share any pertinent information.


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