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Archive for Digital Publishing Trends

We have seen the popularity of the iPad and similar tablet devices within their infancy. We’ve also seen the mobile device market explode. These trends will continue to evolve. In order to utilize the popularity behind these technological advances, it’s important to know who and what you’re really developing your magazine for. Our Digital Publishing Trends posts capture what’s happening in the digital publishing world.

Free Download: Consumers are telling us loud and clear what they want—are you listening? How much would you pay for that information? To find out how you can improve your digital magazine rapport with subscribers, claim your FREE digital copy of our 2018 Mequoda Magazine Consumer Study, today.

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What Are Native Ads’ Status Among Publishers?

First things first: What are native ads, as we know them today? Native advertising is sponsored content crafted by marketers, often in collaboration with in-house studios at digital magazines, that’s intended to “fit in” with articles and videos on a publisher’s site, without misleading readers.

Sound like a fancy way of saying advertorial? Well, sure, but we’ve come a long since the early days of advertorial. How far, and where does the evolution find us? Well, that’s what Digiday asked several publishing executives. Let’s start there today!   Continue

Online Magazine Advertising News: Mobile, Branded, Programmatic

Online magazine advertising is growing exponentially, especially on mobile, but there’s much to be sorted out before it can truly serve as a cornerstone revenue generator for all digital publishers. Ad blocking programs, ad viewability issues, and cross-device targeting pose problems for many publishers.

On the flip side, even all of the options and advertising methods available to digital magazines can be daunting. We can help with that by providing case studies and best practices.

And AdExchanger can help by filling us in on industry news and trends. Let’s take a look at what they have this week!   Continue

Social Media, Magazines a Match on Experimentation

Social media: Magazines know they must have a presence, but the problem comes in fully achieving it. For instance, when, why, how, and where to post? Or, alternately, do you just hand over all of your content to Facebook Instant Articles and call it a day?

As with any other component of your multiplatform strategy, you must have a plan, but you must also leave enough wriggle room in that plan to experiment.

MinOnline.com recently ran a great interview with a leading executive on social media analytics, monetizing social media, and publishing social media. Let’s start there this week!   Continue

Subscription Publishing News: New York Times, Mobile Apps, and Ed Tech

Subscription publishing is another element of multiplatform strategy that digital magazines must stay attuned to, as the landscape seems to shift every week. Most recently, paywalls for online content have rapidly wavered in favor, as publications like the Sun have scrapped theirs altogether. Freemiums and premiums rule the day, as do membership systems and tiered bundles, all of which can fit into the Mequoda Method and boost conversions.

Staying on top these trends is crucial to success, so what better place to consult than Subscription Insider to get the scoop? Let’s close out the week by taking a look at some of their recent articles.   Continue

B2B Publishing News: Editorial Advice, Mergers & Acquisitions, Digital-Only Decisions

The latest in B2B publishing includes Penton’s purchase of MRO Network; Informa’s bet on events; and CIO’s big change
B2B publishing represents the best of niche strategy; audience development depends largely on the quality of your content and whether you can earn the trust of executives in your target trade. In addition, B2B publishing lends itself   Continue

Internet Advertising Revenue Drives Local Ad Boom

Internet advertising revenue isn’t all the way there quite yet as the sole source of profit for the majority of publishers, but it continues to grow at a rate that makes it more and more attractive to digital magazines, on both the local and national level. As publishers get closer to cracking the code on mobile advertising trends and perfect the art of sponsored content – not to mention they’re able to fully realize the benefits of online advertising as part of a multiplatform strategy.

MediaPost covers the growth of Internet advertising revenue from all angles – let’s take a look at what they have for us this week.   Continue

Top Digital Publishers’ Hottest Hire: Platform Relationship Managers

The top digital publishers have risen – and stay – there because they’re willing to experiment, evolve, and tread along the cutting edge of industry-wide best practices while pushing out ahead of the pack with new practices. This includes everything from hiring trends to social strategy, mobile video trends to ecommerce website design.

To start off this week, let’s take a look at Digiday’s coverage in those four areas and then some.   Continue

Publishing Executives on the Move: Meredith, Condé, Gawker

October has been a busy month for hires, promotions, dismissals, and more for publishing executives at the New York Times, Fusion, and Slate
Every once in a while, we like to take a peek at the comings and goings of publishing executives and share what we find with you, especially when hiring trends reflect the direction   Continue

Digital Content Monetization Discussed at UK Conference

Just think if you could take a master class on digital content monetization with executives from the likes of The Economist, Hearst, Salesforce, and The Guardian.

Well, if you were in London last week, you could have, by attending the Monetising Media conference event, which, like our Mequoda Intensives and Summits, brings together publishing professionals to take stock of the industry and give shape to its future with presentations, best practices, workshops, and more.

If, like us, you weren’t able to make it last week, luckily, The Media Briefing has it covered. Let’s take a look at what they learned, so that we can learn from it!   Continue

Top 25 Magazines on Social Media: The MPA’s Latest Report

Which magazines on social media are performing especially well as of the third quarter of 2015? Well, the Association of Magazine Media 360° is glad we asked – they recently released their latest Social Media Report, which covers the top 25 magazines across all social networks in terms of likes and followers, as well as the top on each channel.   Continue

Online Ad Revenue Up, but Bots Are Stealing Some of It

Have you noticed an uptick in your online ad revenue?

If so, take pride in keeping pace with the rest of the industry. 2015 has seen a jump, from several sources.

If not, don’t despair: 2015 has also seen a jump in the spread of bot activity, leeching online ad revenue from publishers and other brands.

MediaPost has articles on those digital publishing trends and more. Let’s see what they have for us to start the week!   Continue

Measuring Ad Engagement: Mobile, Native, and Events

Despite the proliferation of platforms, channels, and technology, ad engagement hasn’t exactly gotten easier for publishers and brands. Whether it’s the ad blocking craze that seems to be taking over the Web or cross-device targeting concerns, viewability issues or unreliable metrics, connecting consumers with meaningful ad experiences that can sustain digital magazines and satisfy marketers is becoming more complex even as access levels are as high as they’ve ever been.

But we’ve got some good news from you, via Digiday.   Continue

The Future of Digital Magazines: Mobile, Social, Mergers & Acquisitions, and … Virtual Reality?

The future of digital magazines gets brighter with every passing fiscal quarter, but it’s a slow and steady progress as traditional revenue generators try to keep pace with advancing technologies, evolving device usage, and the gradual migration of ad dollars from print to the mobile web.   Continue

Publishing Social Media News: Ads, Millennials, Video

The ties that bind publishing, social media are stronger than ever; plus, Condé Nast debuts new video platform
If you own a company in digital publishing, social media is not an optional arm of your strategy – it’s required to help promote your content, of course.

But too often, digital magazines treat social media as a formality,   Continue

Publisher Acquisition News: Condé Gets Hip With Pitchfork Purchase

Publisher acquisition news is often pretty predictable and ho-hum, but sometimes a deal comes along that not only captures the imagination, but also truly crystallizes the state of the industry.   Continue

Niche Content: How One Major Publisher Is Playing It

There’s no doubt that niche content is the name of the game, at least if you’re playing the game using the Mequoda Method. But digital magazines can’t expect to slap a few enthusiast articles up on a homepage and wait for the money roll in. Rather, online publishers must stay vigilant in repurposing content, developing a content distribution strategy, and cultivating audience via social media and other platforms.   Continue

How Men’s Health Overcomes Digital Advertising Revenue Challenges

Are you generating all of the digital advertising revenue you’re capable of? If so, what’s your secret? If not, join the club.

Mequoda Members know that relying solely on digital magazine advertising to pay the bills and try to turn a profit isn’t the wisest move. But as one plank of a multi-platform strategy – functioning as a team alongside with subscriptions, events, products, and even an ecommerce content strategy – the benefits of online advertising can be integral to your success.   Continue

Digital Audience Development: How the Times Hit 1 Million Digital Subscribers

Digital audience development is the endgame for magazine publishing companies making the transition from traditional channels to a multiplatform strategy that will them in a position to compete in the coming decades. But getting to the endgame is a work in progress: Digital magazines are continually experimenting with new channels, refining best practices, and measuring social media efforts in the digital media evolution. It’s never easy.

Unless you’re The New York Times, of course.   Continue

International Media News: Time Spent, Device Usage, Digital Advertising Trends

When you read about international media news like the kind eMarketer covers below, small and midsize digital magazines have the ability to act on it overnight to start capitalizing on audience potential, a bigger pool of tablet users, and expanded digital ad revenue opportunities.   Continue

Digital Industry News: Meredith Deal, Business Insider, Reader’s Digest

Media General and Meredith made major digital industry news recently when they announced a mega-deal was in the works that would see the former acquire the latter to form a publishing and broadcast monster, taking multiplatform strategy to a whole other level. The terms were reported as a 65% stake for $2.4 billion.

But Nexstar has trumped that digital industry news with a bombshell of its own.

Read on below for the full scoop from Folio:, plus the official announcement of yet another big purchase and the rebranding of a legendary legacy magazine.   Continue

Meet the the Moment’s Hottest New Digital Magazine Platform

One of the most significant advantages of a multiplatform strategy is that new digital magazine platform options pop up frequently: They make for a renewable resource that will likely never run out. If you’re willing to put in the work and climb the learning curve as quickly as possible, you can integrate new Internet revenue models at your own pace!

The latest digital magazine platform to gain momentum in the publishing industry is ecommerce content strategy.   Continue

Publisher Design Tips: We’ve Found the Mother Lode!

As websites become more and more sophisticated, the look and feel of portals has become slicker but it many cases more confusing as media companies attempt to use every trick, tool, and toy they can to impress visitors, retain traffic, and convert consumers. This is understandable, and sometimes it even works! Recently, however digital magazines have stripped some of the bells and whistles away, as publisher design has moved toward simplicity.   Continue

Tons of Publishers’ News: Time Inc. Digital, Rodale, Niche Media, and More

Latest publishers’ news includes personnel moves, mergers & acquisitions, and multiplatform advances
For publishers, news from across the industry is nonstop these days, and we wouldn’t have it any other way. Keeping tabs on the activity of other digital magazines and media companies makes for an instructive exercise in both inspiring stories and cautionary tales for   Continue

Media and Publishing Updates: Branded Content, Facebook, and Big Moves

There aren’t many industries as exciting these days as media and publishing, which rivals even the tech sector for growth opportunity.

Each week brings with it a new advancement, revenue stream, and shakeup. For every failure, there are that many more successes – or at least startups. The revolving door has never swung around faster or more frequently. As brands strive to become publishers and social media platforms strive to become everything to everyone, content is not only king, it’s ascending to emperor of the galaxy. The industry news can be hard to keep up with!

Luckily, we have sites like MediaPost to make sense of it all. Let’s take a look at some of their recent coverage on hiring trends, Facebook’s appeal for at least one legacy publisher, and the latest mergers & acquisitions.   Continue

Mobile Publisher Outlook on Ad Blocking

If you’re a mobile publisher trying to monetize an already challenging platform for digital magazines, no two words strike more fear into your heart than “ad blocking.”

Ad blocking programs are not some flash in the pan gimmick that’s fading with time; they’re proliferating, and gaining in popularity with key demographics for audience development (ie, Millennials and other young consumers). How damaging a potential pitfall they are when it comes to digital ad revenue remains to be seen, but some in the mobile publisher market are bracing for a big hit. Others are biding their time, while still others are planning some blocking of their own, in the form of possible litigation.

But is it all a case of much “ad”-o about nothing?

The Wall Street Journal’s CMO Today blog recently checked in with media companies about the wrath of ad blocking, and they also interviewed the head of the Interactive Advertising Bureau to find out his thoughts. Let’s see what they had to say.
  Continue

Publishing Industry Analysis: Tablets, Smartphones, Email, Ads

Sometimes, you just need the numbers, right? When it comes to making decisions that could be the difference between flourishing or folding, data is a commodity. Device usage, performance metrics, ROI: Publishing industry analysis on these factors and others will determine the direction digital magazines take in the coming years – which themselves will be crucial in the digital media evolution.

Few sites can provide the data that eMarketer does day in and day out, all for free. To start the week, let’s see what they have to say about several areas of interest to publishers.   Continue

Video Publishers: Monetization, Production, Social, Practices

If you’re considering joining the ranks of video publishers, the time to jump in is now.   Continue

Social Media Standards Released by MRC

With so many digital magazines and brands deploying multiplatform content on the likes of Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, devising social media standards for measuring data for advertising purposes was only a matter of time. Now, the Media Rating Council has done just that. Keep in mind, of course, that no matter how these guidelines shake out, you must maintain a regimen of your own when it comes maximizing the potential of social platforms. Minding your own store with best practices on social media will make it a lot easier to generate digital ad revenue down the line.

MediaPost reports on this development and several other interesting ones in recent articles.   Continue

Esquire Shows Value of Investing in Online Magazine Archive

Dedicating resources to an online magazine archive is a best practice for multiplatform publishers that we highly recommend, and a big key to success in the Mequoda Method.

Our favorite part about digital magazine archives? You don’t actually have to dedicate too many resources to make them work. Aside from some general maintenance, most of the work is on the front end, building onto searchable infrastructure that you’ll already have in place. The content, by definition, is already in place! You don’t have to optimize it, because as a product of your digital subscriptions, it will be behind a wall uncrawlable by Google. At the same time, however, you can recycle content from your online magazine library with updates and improvements, and treat it like an inexhaustible well for promotional purposes.

Adweek recently covered the latest player in the online magazine archive movement, and this one might be the biggest one yet!   Continue

Advice for Digital Media Publishers: Top Stories, Tags, and News From DMSUSA15

Digital media publishers and executives move at a pace months ahead of others in many professions.

Whether it’s on a practical level with editorial calendars planned months in advance or with efforts to continually anticipate industry trends, digital magazines must be vigilant. The reward for reacting and responding? If you play your cards right, increased audience. And if you convert that audience, increased revenue.

But let’s not get too ahead of ourselves. We have to first recognize the trends to react and respond to. The Media Briefing helps us all out in that regard. Let’s take a look at some of their recent coverage to start out the week!   Continue

Publishing Events: Partnering With Retail, Pairing the Right Attendees With Brands

Publishing events continue to establish an industry foothold, as best practices are refined and perfected
Upward of 60% of our Mequoda Members have integrated publishing events into their multiplatform strategy. One online media company we work with generates more than half of its revenue with sessions produced by a 25-person staff. And audiences keep growing. Clearly,   Continue

Will Apple News Serve as Solid Content Distribution Platform for Publishers?

There’s no such thing as an excess of content distribution platform outlets – the more the merrier, as far as Mequoda Members are concerned. But Apple Newsstand certainly had its fair share of detractors despite the visibility and content monetization it could provide digital publishers during its better moments. Now phased out, it gives way to the highly anticipated Apple News – which officially goes live today – a publisher app that will operate much differently and comes with its own criticisms … as well as upside.

What are publishers doing to maximize that potential? Digiday, always on top of it, reports on the plans of several legacies and digital natives, while also covering some concerns.   Continue

3 Email Subject Line Best Practices: New Study Sheds Light

Is there still anyone out there maligning email as a has-been component of publishing? We sure hope not. Newsletters are hotter than ever, for starters, and emails operate as a another strong delivery mechanism for content like video. They build loyalty with existing consumers, create relationships with new consumers, and give you the opportunity to sell products. But none of this can happen if recipients don’t click open your emails, which itself can’t happen without email subject line best practices.

UK-based email marketing firm Adestra knows this as well as anyone, and their first study since a blockbuster 2013 analysis provides plenty of takeaways. This new edition ran the numbers on 3 billion attempted sends and more than 400 million opens. Let’s take a look at what they learned.   Continue

Ad Blocking Programs Continue to Vex Marketers, Publishers

How are entities like Vox Media, Quartz, the IAB, and the ANA combating ad blocking programs?
As ad blocking programs proliferate and become more popular with consumers – especially younger consumers like Millennials – marketers and publishers are feeling the heat in trying to confront what they consider a common enemy.

Recent news about Google’s efforts to   Continue

Publisher Revenue: Video, Programmatic, Targeting

If there’s one thing all digital magazine executives can agree on, it’s that there are never enough publisher revenue opportunities.

Settling on just one is out of the question, and even once you’ve established several, they’re continually changing. Digital advertising, for instance, is currently facing ad blocking and ad viewability issues. And audience development isn’t just about successful content anymore; it’s about successful cross-device targeting. And video? Wow – just try to keep up with the advances, both in terms of technology and monetization.

These are just a few examples – today’s publishers have to stay on their toes. Luckily, we have industry monitors like Publishing Executive to help us out. Let’s take a look at what they’ve been covering in recent weeks.   Continue

Mobile Spending to Make for Half of Digital Ad Sales in 2015

It was only a matter of time until mobile spending overtook desktop, but that moment is rapidly upon us; plus, personalization, video, and more
Mobile spending is a rolling freight train spilling over with cash at this point, and it’s arriving at the station a little sooner than expected. This year, mobile ad sales will pass   Continue

The State of Publishing on LinkedIn

Publishing on LinkedIn is a practice we believe in: As a social networking service aimed at professionals, what better way to share content with digital magazine executives and digital marketers? Article shares to LinkedIn have surged 600% in the past year and a half, according to ShareThis, but that pales in comparison to Facebook, Digiday reports.
And, more to the point, LinkedIn’s platform has changed drastically in recent months.

But this isn’t the most paradigm-shifting news for publishers. Imagine a world in which Conde Nast is considered behind the times with its digital publishing strategy. Well, that’s where we find ourselves, according to Digiday. Let’s start there this week!   Continue

Magazine Readership Grows Online, Again, Says Latest MPA Report

Digital magazine readership – or audience, for our purposes – keeps climbing. Even as publishers grapple with ad viewability, mobile content strategy, and other challenges, they can take comfort in the fact that consumers are demanding their product more and more, judging from the exhaustive studies of the Magazine Media 360° Brand Audience Report.

MediaPost covers the Association of Magazine Media’s latest release, as well as a new effort to build publishers’ archives and another big move from Time Inc. digital.   Continue

Data-Driven Publishing Steers Time Inc. Digital Course

Big data is a big term, but there’s not a lot behind the concept itself, and no need to complicate it – collect the information that consumers provide and use the information that consumers provide. It’s that simple. Brands can take this mandate in cynical directions, but they can also improve user experience by personalizing products and tailoring content for enthusiast audiences. Data-driven publishing puts digital magazines in a prime position to do just that, and Time Inc. digital is making a push to become the best in the business, especially after hiring Chief Data Officer JT Kostman.

MinOnline recently ran a fascinating interview with Kostman – let’s start there today!   Continue

More Newsletter Open Rates: Taking a Look at the Times’ Numbers

Yesterday, we relayed MediaPost’s news about the Movable Ink study finding that mobile email marketing has eclipsed desktop open rates, which is great news for multiplatform publishers who have Email Marketing Systems. As email shrugs off the greatly exaggerated reports of its demise and re-establishes itself as a strong audience development tool, newsletter open rates have become a more important area of focus for digital magazines and other brands.

The Mequoda Method has long emphasized newsletter open rates as a key strategic point of multiplatform publishing, but even we were taken aback by The New York Times’ success when it comes to the art of email. So, we were interested to learn more in Digiday’s recent article about the Old Gray Lady’s staggering 70% yield.   Continue

Mobile Email Marketing: Open Rates Eclipse Desktop for First Time

Mastering mobile email marketing might sound like it’s low on the list of priorities for digital magazines, but, in reality, it’s rapidly emerging as one of the most pressing skills for multiplatform publishers looking to improve their content distribution strategy.

For starters, consider the level of control you have when it comes to your message and branding: Provided you’re using best practices to get your correspondence white-listed, images seen, and subject lines clicked, then you’re in prime position to get your emails read. And if your emails are getting read, then you’re also getting an audience for your website, because you’re giving subscribers a reason to visit.

All of this used to happen primarily on desktop, but not anymore. MediaPost relays news that mobile email marketing has surpassed desktop for the first time. Let ‘s start there this week!   Continue

Digital Publishing Business News: Economist Value Yields Interesting Lessons

The digital publishing business gets more and more interesting by the week. Time Inc. digital investments and innovations have been relentless; recent personnel changes from Ogden to Bloomberg Businessweek have kept the industry on its toes; and mergers & acquisitions are approaching peak activity. Combine all of this with the daily maneuvering of titles trying to go all-in on multiplatform publishing, and you have a whole lot to pay attention to if you’re running digital magazines.

But recent bombshells about the sale of the Financial Times and the inner-workings of negotiations over the fate of The Economist have captivated our attention today. Fusion has a fascinating article titled “How staying private paid off for the Economist,” and we have to start there!   Continue

Publishing Events a Point of Emphasis for New Ogden CEO

Bryan Welch’s successor, Bill Uhler, aims for more publishing events and ecommerce content strategy; plus, an industry update halfway through the year
Publishing events comprise a big piece of the puzzle when it comes to the Mequoda Method and multi-platform publishing, which itself has become the predominant piece of publishing success. Publishing events scale well: It   Continue

Are PPC Publishing, Visual Search, and Long-Form Video the Future for Digital Magazines?

PPC publishing takes the pay-per-click model for advertisers to a compensatory one for platform contributors, and it’s gaining steam. The shift acknowledges the realities of digital publishing: With so much content available on the web, there needs to be some quantitative measurement of the impact of articles and posts, and the bottom line is a good place to start for digital magazines that depend on digital ad revenue. Slant News is one of those digital magazines, and Digiday covers their embrace of PPC publishing in a recent story. Let’s start there today!   Continue

Magazine Audience Grows on Mobile Web

Magazine audience is the most valuable commodity publishers can acquire. All revenue efforts hinge on it. For legacy media, going about this acquisition was a fairly straightforward task, historically speaking. Today, it’s a sophisticated, demanding, and occasionally chaotic one. Readers change tastes and preferences on a whim; their consumption habits understandably vary with the overwhelming options put in front of them online.   Continue

Mobile Video Trends: Spending, Vertical, Social

The phrase mobile video trends combines two challenges for publishers into one mega-challenge: conquering cross-device advertising and mastering multimedia with strong production and distribution platforms. More and more, the two go hand in hand: If digital magazines are going to succeed on tablets, smartphones, and phablets, the thinking goes, they’re going to need more than just strong content and good design. They’re going to need mobile savvy and video chops.   Continue

Niche Magazines: The Future of Publishing Is Now

The power of traditional media companies is diluted these days, as legacy publishers struggle to keep up with the proliferation of content across the World Wide Web. Print is an endangered species, and audiences are in control with countless options available to them. A select few digital magazines can command massive traffic by sheer reputation, resources, and reach. But what about the rest of us? What can small or midsized digital magazines do, those regional titles that make up the vast majority? They can become multiplatform niche magazines – the model that is revitalizing the industry.   Continue

Online Circulation Is Up, but So Is Meredith’s Print Performance

We’re not digital-and-damn-the-torpedoes here at Mequoda, believe it or not. While digital magazines are our focus, we believe there’s room for print in multi-platform publishing; while Mequoda Members approach us to help them transition to a mobile and desktop existence, many retain their print properties and find success in doing so. But what about those rare breeds who go from digital to print? Allrecipes, a Meredith title, is one such example, and they’re flourishing with an increased rate base. Other publishers are focusing on online circulation with recent news from audit houses.   Continue

Digital Magazine Design Features: Progress Bars, ‘Read More’ Buttons, Ad Blocking

Digital magazine design is evolving nearly as fast as digital magazines themselves, because digital magazine design plays a huge part in defining digital magazines. Publishers continually implement new features to enhance reader experience, increase viewability for advertisers, and stay current with the shifting demands of the industry.   Continue

Email Campaign Strategy: Google’s Latest Tool + Content Best Practices

Email campaign strategy has emerged as a crucial component of multi-platform publishing, even as wrong-headed observers have pronounced it DOA in recent years. The Mequoda Method highly values online newsletters as a ripe opportunity to build loyalty, expand audience, and cultivate serious levels of conversion. But we also know that email can be unwieldy with poor design, unkempt lists, and static content – let alone faulty SPAM filters. Navigating these challenges will put you in the position of realizing all of the benefits sound email campaign strategy promises. Well, Business2Community.com has some good news for one of those challenges, and also provides a couple of best practices when it comes to the content itself. Let’s see what they have to say with some recent coverage.   Continue