The World’s Most Interesting Paywall?

Daily publishing news for August 1, 2013

In one of the most interesting paywall experiments we’ve ever seen, there’s a new article on what The Sun is up to.

“The company is launching a new digital subscription package today that turns their online website into a Paywall, where you have to take out a membership to read their articles. What is very exciting, is how the Sun is taking a departure from the standard way news companies make money online and doing some fairly innovative things.”

Here is how they’re doing things differently: “Every issue of the newspaper will have a code that can be redeemed to get a free digital edition of the paper or read the news within their official mobile apps. If you redeem 20 codes in any given month, you are being given the next month for free.”

It’s like a loyalty program for print readers. Brilliant!

22% of Emails Never Had a Chance in Q1 of 2013

A new study by Return Path “found that 22 percent of marketing emails sent with subscribers’ permission never reached inboxes during the first half of 2013.”

The news report from also goes on to say that “Inbox Placement Rates (IPR)—the percentage of sent email delivered to addressees’ inboxes—declined globally by four percent since 2012.” American IPR improved just slightly to 86%.

The study also states that Gmail was the hardest inbox to reach.”Gmail’s priority inbox feature allowed insight into what subscribers find most important, and the study reported that only seven percent of all Gmail messages were routed there. Social network’s mail was the least likely among major categories to be found in the Gmail priority inbox.”

If you’ve been reading our digital publishing news posts lately though, you know that the emails that are getting through are still generating lots and lots of revenue. So, to be clear, the problem here isn’t email itself, it’s email delivery.

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.

Replicas Aren’t Quick Fixes For Magazines

David Hepworth makes a couple of solid points in his new opinion piece for The Guardian on why digital replicas of magazine just stink for everyone. We too have talked about the pros and cons of creating a replica and a replica-plus at length in recent weeks.

Hepworth writes, “reproducing your magazine via a cheap page-turner app is unsatisfactory for the editorial team and not very thrilling for advertisers.” Not to mention readers, who have complained at length about replicas.

His main point is that he feels that “it will take almost as long to reach maturity as the traditional magazine market and will require just as much trial and error.” What’s your opinion? How many more years of trial and error does the publishing industry have to endure?

6 Digital Publishing Services to Check Out

USA Today has a post about six new digital publishing services you should check out. Most of these platforms would be much to small for our traditional publishing audience, but if you’re an editor looking to start your own blog or zine, these would be useful for you.

  • – A new publishing application that allows you to create a magazine or journal on their website for free and takes 20% of the revenue from subscribers. They also offer branded apps and eReader delivery for an additional cost.
  • – Similar to the above platform except they don’t appear to incorporate e-commerce.
  • 29th Street Publishing – The team focuses purely on mobile apps for publishers and limits their clients only to high-quality content publishers by vetting them first. Their tagline is: “we make the best mobile magazines.”
  • Ghost – Ghost is what WordPress used to be – a blogging platform. The team at Ghost built the platform to be blog-centric and doesn’t intend to evolve into a major commercially-used CMS the way WordPress did.
  • – For people who use Evernote to run their lives, this is a blogging platform that allows you to combine your love of Evernote and blogging.
  • Glipho – It’s a blog platform and blogging community that let’s you follow other bloggers, much like Google’s Blogger except prettier.

We highly recommend Mag+ for digital magazine publishing here at Mequoda but it’s always good to see what the new kids on the block are up to.

New Editor at Essence Magazine

The New York Times is reporting that Essence magazine has named Vanessa K. Bush as the new editor in chief. “Ms. Bush had been serving as acting managing editor for the magazine since Constance C. R. White, the previous editor in chief, was dismissed in February.” Though the magazine has had some up and downs in leadership in the past, this new appointment is seen as a move in the right direction.


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