Publishing Websites Evolve with More Products, Digital Videos, and More Ad Exposure

Christian Science Monitor pushing new digital product; Time Inc. to launch new digital video service for publishing websites; Vice benefits in ad exposure with redesign

Many changes come to publishing websites through redesigns and rethinking of strategy.

We see this in a variety of ways and begin today’s news with a new subscription product from Christian Science Monitor and the high expectations for it. Nieman Lab reports, “…The Monitor launched Monitor Daily, a daily news digest of five pieces of content (stories, videos, graphics), plus one editorial and “one clearly labeled religious article offering spiritual insight often related to the news,” that will be emailed to subscribers each weekday at 6 p.m. Boston time. Each article can either be read in “30 Sec. Read” form — a summary that still has a clear beginning, middle, and end — or expanded to a full edition that is estimated to take about 50 minutes to read. The Daily is also on the Monitor’s website and available as audio (read by Monitor staff) to stream or download.”

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“The Monitor Daily, which has no ads, is free for a month. After that, it will cost $11 per month or $110 a year, or $9 a month/$90 a year for subscribers to the print weekly. That price, the team believes, is competitive. While the Monitor’s website will still run some free content — namely evergreen Monitor stories that are one or two months old — “our mission is really to get you to sample this thing, and eventually get you to become one of our subscribers,” said Grant. The homepage has been completely redesigned around the daily. In general, Sappenfield said, when it comes to the Daily coverage, users will get to see the package for free one time before they’re required to subscribe.”

As for the goals for the next year? “The team’s goal is to reach 10,000 paying Daily subscribers by a year from now.”

Our next story looks at the evolution of publishing websites like Time Inc.’s second digital video network, planned for launch this fall. AdWeek reports, “One year after announcing the company’s first digital video network—People/Entertainment Weekly Network, or PEN—Time Inc. was at it again with a second streaming service, The Sports Illustrated Network.”

“PEN paved the way for the SI Network after it launched in 2016 and has since garnered millions of downloads, with viewers spending more than 30 minutes per session on the network”

This news reportedly spurred excited and interest for a major brand that has been associated with buyout rumors as of late. “The announcements fueled a more positive, upbeat mood during the publisher’s NewFronts presentation as it continues to make an aggressive digital-first push.”

Lastly, we look at Vice, who has increased time website users view ads due to its latest website redesign. Digiday reports, “Vice said that 275 minutes of ads are in view for every 1,000 impressions they are served. Prior to its redesign, Vice said that figure was 101 minutes for every 1,000 impressions, slightly below what Moat says is the industry standard of 128 minutes in the last quarter of 2016. Vice attributes this change to eliminating intrusive ad formats, speeding up the site and making the ads more targeted.”

“Vice removed intrusive ad units like overlays, 1600×250 desktop display ads and 320×50 “mobile leaderboard” banner ads, said John Koenigsberg, the company’s vp of media. Vice said on average, its users spend 2.6 minutes on its websites per visit. For comparison, among the top 100 news publishers, users spend 2.2 minutes on-site per visit on average, according to comScore.” This is important information for publishing ad-based websites.”

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