Wait, Who Bought Newsweek?

Digital publishing news for 8/8/2013

Even though Jeff Bezos’ purchase of The Washington Post this week knocked them out of the spotlight, a relatively unknown company, IBT, publisher of IBTimes.com bought Newsweek. What nobody is failing to mention in their news reports is that when Etienne Uzac, CEO of IBT Media Tweeted about the acquisition, they only got one re-tweet and it was from someone else at IBT.

So, if you measure popularity by Twitter influence, these guys are relatively unknown even though their company does have a cool 19k followers and makes lots of money (they also have 150 employees).

IBTimes.com “is among the top 0.02% of the 1,000,000 URLs monitored by Quantcast; it claims an online audience of over 7 million in the U.S. and 13 million worldwide,” according to CNN Money. Uzac turned 30 years old yesterday, and he “grew up in France and South Africa, carries a French passport, and studied geography and economics at the London School of Economics, where he became entranced with the new globalism.” His business partner is American, 31 and attended UCLA.

According to CNN Money, “Uzac says he’ll tap [into Newsweek’s advertising] stream to nourish IBT Media, but not, he insists, at the cost of bleeding Newsweek dry.” Looks like Uzac will need to put on his big boy pants fast if he has any hope of succeeding with Newsweek where other notable companies have failed. If that’s his intention at all.

Publishers Making Native Ads a Cinch for Advertisers

Did you know that some publishers have teams dedicated to native advertising? According to this post on Adweek, “Onion has its Onion Labs, a serious branded content team that creates Onion-like parodies for brands. And The Huffington Post recently launched its HuffPost Partner Studio, an in-house creative agency for brands to produce sponsored content tailored to the HuffPost audience and environment.”

Now, Wired is doing the same. Lucia Moses reports that “Condé Nast’s Wired is officially unveiling a new unit called Amplifi; its mandate is to create content for brands that’s highly tailored to the Wired reader while labeled as promotional. So far, it’s churned out a crowd-sourced tablet magazine for Cisco and a custom blog for Marriott on travel for geeks. A mosaic-like print ad for Fiat that’s running in the September issue also was the product of Amplifi.” Wired already gets 30% of their revenue through ads like these but I’m guessing that they’re hoping to amp up that number with this dedicated unit.

Publishers are becoming creative agencies, and the advertisers appear to be loving it. Less work for them!

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AAM Releases First Quarter Consumer Circ #’s

As you might have noticed in today’s post about  TIME on our blog, AAM’s first quarter circulation reports are out.

Audience Development reports, “Digital circulation was no doubt a growth catalyst for many publications. That is, magazines with the most significant overall increases are also typically offering digital subscriptions. Still, for most titles, digital circulation sizes are on average between 1 to 10 percent the size of their print counterparts, with the exception of a few outliers.”

Also, “AAM reports 3.3 percent (10.2 million subscriptions) of total circulation is stemming from digital subscriptions, up from 1.7 percent (5.4 million) in 2012.” As something to look forward to, “tablet media sales spiked 84 percent during this same time period, so the residual impact from those sales could move the needle in the second half of 2013 and beyond.”

New Interest in Print Media as an Artform

There’s a new trend in print media and it’s these pop-up magazines that want to bring more to print than just words and pages. Vintage, whose magazine pages actually pop out at you, is one of them. “There’s a market for cool, touchable, analogue cultural products,” says founder Ivy Baer Sherman.

Ad Age reports: “Each issue is a page-turning cacophony of interactive, pyrotechnical printing techniques, tricks, and indulgences, designed and produced by an array of contributors including printers, die-cutters, binders, a paper engineer (Shawn Sheehy), and a graphic designer (Regis Scott).” Ad Age calls it “something of a portable museum.”

Now that words are so easily transported onto digital devices, perhaps 3D magazines are the future of print?



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