Multi-Channel Publishing: Economist, InStyle, and More

The latest multi-channel publishing news includes an old brand’s new approach, ecommerce content strategy, and an encouraging study on Millennials

Multi-channel publishing, multiplatform publishing, content distribution strategy: Whatever the label, proactive media companies meeting their readers on their own turf are emerging more and more as the best digital magazines. In fact, as Don has pointed out recently, multiplatform is the new normal.

Why is this? Well, the reason is simple, even if the actual execution isn’t. With your content as a core renewable resource radiating out to multiple revenue streams, you can future-proof your business and increase audience, then profits, in the process.

This is what we do day in and day out shoulder to shoulder with Mequoda Members. When we’re not working, we’re reading about our work. And we like to share what we find with you.

Today, those findings come from Let’s dive in!

A Glimpse Into the Economist Online Multi-Channel Publishing Strategy recently ran an excellent high-profile interview with President of The Economist Group Media Businesses Paul Rossi focuses on the venerable publishing brand’s ambitious – and so far successful – multiplatform publishing efforts.

“The tipping point was in 2007. I would argue that the iPad tablet was a disruption and a structural change for the industry. No one gave up reading the magazine before that, but [the iPad] became a substitution. It’s been about migrating consumers to platforms they want to be on. The migration is from text to visual. iPads and smartphones are both efficient and entertaining. You look at infographics, photos, short-form video. The storytelling space has opened up. Video is interesting way to do it. Podcasts are long-form audio. People are increasingly mobile and social and that’s visual. But there is a place for long-form and text. It’s not about dumbing down,” Rossi told Michele Shapiro.

“We have a simple strategy. We extract the value where we create the value. If readers want to read The Economist or listen to a podcast, fine. You have to pay for that. Successful media businesses have people pay for content and marketers pay for access to that audience. We’re the fourth largest magazine in social media behind Nat Geo, ESPN and Time. (I’d actually argue that we’re an equal third). Our problem has been a marketing problem. There’s a perception that The Economist is dry and dull and about economics. We use content across multiple platforms to get people to sample the magazine. Social is great way to drive people back to being a subscriber in print or digital. We’re a freemium model – you get a little free and then pay. That strategy plays out through everything we do.”

InStyle’s Plans for an Ecommerce Content Strategy

InStyle has an ecommerce content strategy in store for readers and consumers, reports.

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“We recently completed a Retailer and Consumer Shopping Study where we found that InStyle is the #1 source women turn to when interested in shopping for fashion and beauty (the study compared InStyleto traditional and non-traditional competitors). So, as we approach September, the most important shopping season of the year for many of our partners, we wanted to make our e-commerce strategy as compelling and straightforward as possible,” Connors told Caysey Welton.

“On September 6, timed to coincide with the September issue, we are launching Shopping@InStyle: Social will lead this e-commerce play, with all of InStyle’s social channels featuring lots of must-have product driving to the launch a new shopping vertical, offering the season’s hottest looks, trends and product from our editors and partners. Finally, we will be adding a new universal shopping cart so you don’t have to leave our site to do your shopping. One-stop shopping at its best!”

Millennial Media Consumption: More Likely to Pay for Ad-Free Content?

Might there be at least a smidgen of good news for digital publishers when it comes to millennials and ad blocking? MinOnline reports:

“According to a recent study conducted by in cooperation with Wells Fargo Securities, 21.1% of Millennials would consider paying a monthly service fee of $9.99 to access ad-free content (even if it means they’re information will be shared). The other three age groups were pretty evenly spread when it came to this question: 30-44 (14.9%), 45-59 (13.9%) and 60+ (13.9%). The survey polled 1,712 U.S. smartphone users, with a balanced age range from 18-60+,” Welton writes.

“The study also revealed that Millennials have a greater understanding of the consequences to content creators when it comes to ad blocking. However, the paradox is that Millennials also block more ads than any other age group. Nearly a quarter of the Millennial respondents (24.8%) said they are currently using some sort of ad blocking plug-in or special browser, yet 8.8% said they recognize ad blocking harms content creators (versus .3% of respondents over 60). Even more paradoxical is that 21.8% of Millennial respondents said they don’t mind ads – more than any other age group polled.”

Whether you call it multi-channel publishing or multiplatform publishing, we can help you devise a plan. Download our free Multiplatform Publishing Strategy Handbook today for the blueprints!

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