Will BitWall be the New Paywall for Subscription Websites?

Digital Publishing News for December 4, 2013

Paywalls have been big for publishers by bringing in subscription website money. The Daily Dish is going at paywalls in another way; by accepting tweets or bitcoins in exchange for premium content.

Kit Eaton writes, “Called BitWall, the paywall is intended to boost revenue by promoting content. Users can also choose to see an ad if they don’t wish to tweet.”

This can certainly be a great way to get users to tweet about you so you can drive more traffic to your website. However, we don’t expect the BitWall concept to overtake all types of paywalls that exist, especially since they have proven to be revenue generators for some major publishers.

Apple Buys Topsy, a Social Media Analytics Firm

Apple has never been big into social media and they never attempted to capitalize off its popularity. It seems that has all changed.

Connie Guglielmo writes, “Apple has confirmed that it’s purchased Topsy Labs, a social analytics firm that tracks trending topics on Twitter and other social media networks, in a deal the Wall Street Journal says is valued at more than $200 million. Topsy, one of Twitter’s biggest partners, analyzes ”the half a billion messages sent over Twitter every day and has indexed every tweet ever sent and has made them searchable, much like Google does for the web,” adds the New York Times.

Why do you think Apple finally decided to get involved with social media? Guglielmo continues, “As for why Apple would want Topsy, there are a lot of guesses. It could use Topsy’s analytics to help target users for advertisers who use its iAd service. It could use the buzz about apps, TV shows, music and movies to offer suggestions to iTunes users about what to buy — or what to listen to (on iTunes Radio) or watch (on the smartTV  service it’s reportedly working on).  It may use Topsy’s data to help improve its Siri voice assistance service.”

It will be interesting to see how Apple continues with its purchase.


Allrecipes Wins 2013 Magazine Launch of the Year Award

minOnline has awarded Allrecipes with the Launch of the Year Award.

Steve Cohn writes, “Allrecipes carries high expectations as Meredith National Magazine Group management seems to be following the playbook that made Hearst Magazines Food Network a quick success in its three years. Both epicurean titles have high brand recognition, with Allrecipes building on a Web site with 32 million monthly unique visitors and weekday exposure on Meredith’s syndicated Better TV program.  Food Network‘s identification with its namesake cable channel is a reason why circulation rose from 400,000 to 1.7 million, and frequency jumped from bimonthly to 10 times yearly.”

The future looks bright for Allrecipes as it’s already made an impressive name for itself.

Newsweek’s Going Back to Paper

New York Times is reporting that Newsweek will be back in print in 2014. Christine Haughney writes, “Newsweek’s return to print is a positive sign for a magazine that struggled mightily in the digital age. At its height in 1991, the magazine had 3.3 million readers. In 2010, Newsweek’s owner, The Washington Post, sold it to the billionaire investor Sidney Harman for $1. Mr. Harman, who also assumed $40 million in liabilities, then merged it with The Daily Beast, the website owned by IAC/InterActiveCorp.”

It turns out that cutting print costs didn’t solve Newsweek’s money problems. Haughney adds, “Newsweek would depend more heavily on subscribers than advertisers to pay its bills — and that readers would pay more than in the past.”

Adweek Names Publisher of Year

Howard Mittman from Wired has been named Adweek’s publisher of the year. Lucia Moses writes, “Under his leadership, Wired has become one of the top five revenue producers inside Condé Nast, fueled by a growing print and digital audience, robust conference business and branded content via the new division Amplifi. It also dived into retail with an e-commerce venture with MasterCard that lets readers shop straight from the magazine’s iPad app, plus a deal with Target that has Wired editors giving their imprimatur to select products.”



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