How Platform Distribution Is Fueling Publishing Strategy

You could do worse than watching The Atlantic and the Washington Post when it comes to platform distribution with your content; plus, tablet publishing’s resilience

Robust and varied platform distribution is, by definition, the bedrock of multiplatform publishing, but the spray and pray strategy isn’t really a strategy at all.

You must pick and choose your platforms with some discernment, playing to your strengths and the desires of your audience, both the existing one and the one you’re going after.

Social media strategy, repurposing content, and enterprising with video or by creating a podcast is all part of platform distribution. While we preach (and practice) restraint, we also encourage experimentation, provided you have the right personnel at the helm.

This is definitely the case at places like The Atlantic and The Washington Post, two media companies whose digital publishing prowess speaks for itself. The Media Briefing takes a look at their approach, along with a bonus for Mequoda Members and others interested in the Mequoda Method – a defense and optimistic look ahead for tablet publishing.

The Atlantic’s Savvy Platform Distribution

The Atlantic’s secret to success? Not relying on one product, but rather engaging in spirited platform distribution, according to The Media Briefing.

“Once people are into your brand and recognise the value of it they will follow it in other ways. We’re seeing the magazine circulation grow even as our digital audience grows,” Atlantic Vice President and Publisher Hayley Romer told Chris Sutcliffe.

“The interesting thing is you never actually have to come to The Atlantic to engage with our content so what we need to do is continue to invest in the quality of the product and that ultimately people will continue to come back. … The fact that the brand continues to grow on so many different platforms, people are much more aware of it now than ever before. You can access it from so many different places, [it allows] that instant brand recognition.”


Washington Post Director of Product on Platform Distribution

Great interview with Washington Post Director of Product Julia Beizer in a recent Media Briefing article.

“I think that as news organisations, we have to make some bets on what are the next great storytelling platforms. I would say that wearables is something we definitely want to experiment with, [both] to tell stories on that platform and to experiment with how we can reach users in different ways,” Beizer told Sutcliffe.

“I think we have always been very interested in data in terms of how our readers are consuming us, how they’re engaging with our work, that’s grown more and more important as we’ve grown, obviously. Taking a look at different segments of our readers and how we can finetune and optimise our experiences to keep them coming back.”

Greatly Exaggerated Rumors About Tablet Publishing

It’s definitely a time of transition for tablet publishing, but does that mean its demise is imminent? Not according to The Media Briefing, which argues that there’s still room for growth as sales of the technology stay strong.

“But 2016 won’t be the year tablet magazines die: No one is confident enough in the future of content distribution to abandon the tablet. No one has a clear enough idea what channels or devices will eventually deliver real digital ROI. Any platform with half-a-shot will be managed in the mix (however half-heartedly) until the smoke clears and the magazine industry makes sense again,” Peter Houston writes.

“Efforts like Conde Nast’s to create automated cross-platform workflows, coupled with Adobe’s latest digital publishing suite that lets publishers deliver daily content updates can ease costs pressures. Larger form factors provide a more open and relaxed reading experience better suited to interaction from game playing to shopping. And advertisers haven’t even begun to scratch the surface on the potential to reinvent digital display.”

Looking for pointers on platform distribution? Download our free Multiplatform Publishing Strategy Handbook today!

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