Subscription Website Publishing

Future-Proof Your Magazine with a Digital Media Library

One hundred years from now, people will find it amazingly odd that magazines were once marketed as throwaway products. We already know now that a digital media library, which includes the current issue, back issues, and curated collections of topical content, is seen as more valuable by a majority of consumers than the next 12 issues of the print magazine.

In fact, Fortune is just another big publisher who is figuring this out. They spent the last two years working on their digital media library with a paywall and are rolling it out next month. Their goal is to create a tiered membership program that supplements revenue beyond advertising, events, and sponsorships. They expect it to produce 30% of their revenue within five years.

However, to do this, they hired a 16-person engineering team. I do wonder why any independent brand would do this to launch their digital media library when Mequoda’s 30-person organization currently operates 37 digital media libraries for our 11 publishing partners.

Clearly, they see the value in building a robust digital library, even if we may think they’re overspending. A digital media library is so valuable to a brand and its members because it offers consumers the opportunity to explore content from three dimensions instead of one, and it does it on a portable digital platform that is accessed from their phone, tablet, laptop, or desktop without buying “additional copies to keep at the home and office.”

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At Mequoda, we always pair a  library with a companion email newsletter that guides the consumer through new issues. Topical special collections featured in the library also upgrade the magazine experience from a “do it yourself museum tour” to a regular series of episodic guided tours.

The missing piece in the magazine world, even still, is being able to see brand engagement. With a digital media library and its companion email newsletter, brand engagement increases dramatically through repeat and frequent usage, as the consumer begins to weave the library into the fabric of their everyday life.

The digital media library also offers the opportunity to share comments, search by keyword, and easily share content with friends and colleagues.

And what makes it truly a product of the next decade and beyond, is that digital media libraries are global products that have no reliance on the postal system of any nation. All digital media library marketing, both new and retention programs, are primarily digital and borderless.

If building a forward-thinking magazine business is important to you, we should talk. Our company is dedicated to building and marketing digital media libraries for independent publishers who have banded together to share the cost of developing and maintaining a robust digital media platform that is specifically designed to host a modern digital media library and all of its intricacies.

If you’d like to discuss how we can prepare your organization and brand for the new digital-first future, request a free 30-minute consultation with a member of our executive team.

By Kim Mateus

Chief Strategy Officer

Kim Mateus is Chief Strategy Officer for Mequoda Systems and the Mequoda Systems Content Network where she oversees strategic planning for the organization's 200 plus premium subscription products. Over the past decade, she has guided the development of more than 20 subscription marketing systems including I Like Crochet Network, New England Network and Your AAA Network. She and her team maintain an exhaustive best practices database of subscription marketing techniques and business processes that she uses to advise her clients and optimize the more than 60 websites that make up the Mequoda Systems Content Network. Kim is a frequent speaker at industry events and serves on the board of the Specialized information Publishers Association.

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