What Online Publishers Need to Do Now

Some insight from Don Nicholas at the Mequoda Summit Boston 2010

The Mequoda Summit Boston 2010 kicked off yesterday with a rousing introduction from Don Nicholas, the Executive Director of the Mequoda Group.

His words made me want to celebrate with all the online publishers in the room. Any publisher or content producer reading that last line may think I’m a bit crazy. I understand times have been tough for publishers for the last few years, but there is a strategy publishers can begin to implement to hopefully make the future appear a bit brighter.

As a publisher, it’s necessary to think deeply about ways to create offers for print and digital subscriptions. Why? Because chances are, print will be a thing of the past in the near future (Don predicts 10 years).

Publishers selling print subscriptions should begin working in digital subscriptions as a free bonus to users who order a print subscription. Doing so is the first step in preparation for when print is gone. You will still be showing your audience that your content is here to stay, and just because the medium has changed, it doesn’t mean your reliability, frequency and passion about the topic will.

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More to look forward to

Another saving grace for publishers resides in apps, mobile devices and tablets like the iPad. These pieces of technology have revolutionized the content industry and will likely save many publishers from a downward spiral.

The Mequoda Summit Boston 2010 has shown me a glimpse of the future for publishers and it looks bright. Let’s face it, print has morphed before and it’s just starting to again. For those operating Mequoda Systems, “print” content could have been considered to be the same as anything deemed to be offline material. For instance, to read a physical magazine you don’t have to be online. You can experience it wherever you go, which was such a positive attribute to print publications. However, with the technology we have, content-filled media that you can download and experience wherever you go is the new print; this can include audio mp3s or video clips, two very desirable pieces of content.

The world of publishing once focused on physical products that were easy to transport with you; now it involves media-rich content that can be downloaded and owned. Readers once went to the grocery store to buy a magazine or they subscribed to their favorite brand which would present an edition monthly. Now publishers can reach their audience through smartphones and eReaders, wherever, whenever.

Let’s rejoice publishers, for a new era of content producing and publishing is here.


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