Online Magazine Content Considerations: Saturation, Data, Editions

Times, Adobe, others making online magazine content news

Online magazine content doesn’t end with an article being posted online. Rather, that’s where it begins.

There are innumerable ways of repurposing content, and indeed, repurposing content in an age where massive amounts of content come pretty cheap is crucial in attracting, capturing, engaging, and monetizing readers.

Emails, white papers, events, videos, and many more are just a few of the ways to diversify online magazine content to match up with readers of varying habits. Hitting them over the head with their own personal data, meanwhile, is a sure way to lose them. is trying to help you keep your readers, and to help you grow them. We’re right there with them. Let’s see what they have for us!

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Online Magazine Content: Is There Too Much?

Interesting piece from about whether publishers have reached “peak” online magazine content.

“Both Anderson and Filloux’s articles contain suggestions as to how publishers can escape the ‘clickbait’ trap. They range from advocacy of ‘newsroom partition’ in which serious content and clickbait creators are clearly delineated in the newsroom, to the radical suggestion that only not-for-profit news publishers can avoid the trap” Chris Sutcliffe writes.

“Putting aside the ethical quandaries of clickbait and focusing entirely on the damage peak content is doing to publishers’ business models, is it possible that audience data is actually a solution if implemented correctly? Speaking at the Changing Media Summit last week on the topic of the marriage of technology and publishing, the CTO of Schibsted Rian Liebenberg argued that accurate user data helps cut down on the noise of replicated content.”

Is Too Much Data-Driven Publishing a Bad Thing?

Are ad blocking programs an outgrowth of publisher efforts to chart personal data? reports.

“The Adobe Pagefair report on causes for adblocking last year found that misuse of personal data is now the primary cause for people to install adblocking tools – and if you use tracker-detecting tools like Ghostery you’ll probably have been frequently astonished by how many tools publishers employ. That’s a problem that will have been exacerbated by recent high-profile breaches of data protection rules. Even where they bear little relation to how publishers gather and employ data, it has the effect of raising people’s awareness of the issue as a whole,” Sutcliffe writes.

Download a FREE copy of 7 Ways to Monetize your Portal Audience, and discover how today's top publishers are generating revenue through memberships, events, clubs, sponsorships, and more.

“There are equally worrying trends for publishers reliant on audience data, whether it’s for ad targeting or for recommendation tools. The European Parliament has recently voted to update data protection regulation for the first time since the advent of the mass internet, with the stated aim of giving ‘citizens back control of their personal data as well as simplifying the regulatory environment.'”

Times’ Digital Edition Theory

After you master online magazine content, the next task is how to package it. reports on the Times’ latest strategy.

“This, once you realise it, is common sense. Most people are not in a position where spending their days cruising news sites for information is routine. They have times in the day when information is most critical to them, and other times when they have the luxury to sit back and read things. The rest of the time? They’re working or playing or looking after their family. The work Neil and I did with the Financial Times a few years back highlighted some very, very clear patterns in when their subscribers were using the site. Similar patterns exist for The Times,” Adam Tinworth writes.

“So, what we’re seeing here is not a retreat from breaking news as such, but more a reshaping of how they report news around the readers’ needs – especially around time. That’s important because time is the big factor that people keep ignoring. The boom in content – and content availability – that the Internet has brought, and mobile has exacerbated, has not been matched by a boom in available reading time. That, as standard digital journalism theory states, leads to an attention crisis, where readers’ attention is the scarce resource, not content. One solution to that is the trawler model, whereby you put out masses of content in the hopes that enough relevant readers will be caught in the net – and that’s been the approach taken by most news organisations. And that’s why we’re approaching what you might call peak content. … The Times is taking the other path – the one less traveled. The Economist has been exploring it, and now they have company on the narrow road of focused, curated packages of information. In essence their offer is ‘here’s a manageable amount of content at a time that suits you.'”

The Emergence of Branded Content and Its Implications tackles why branded content is taking over the world.

“Branded content is the great hope for many publishers. It bypasses – for the most part – the technological issues facing digital display advertising, such as questions around viewability and adblocking,” according to

“The Guardian, for instance, is looking to make around 25 – 30 percent of its revenue from native and branded content within three years. That proportion is even greater for digital pureplays, who’ve never had much of a traditional ad model or, in the case of BuzzFeed and Onion Inc’s network, rely almost exclusively on branded content.”

Online magazine content is a commodity. Are you dealing? Tell us about you best moves in the comments.

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