Recent headlines reflect the highs and lows of the digital publishing market; plus skepticism on whether Facebook Instant Articles is using its powers for good
The digital publishing market moves fast, and it’s not always the smoothest ride. There are successes, failures, and floating questions; good decisions, bad ones, and others on which the jury’s still out.
But one thing we do know: As with most other things, taking an aggressive approach puts you in the best position to succeed. Experimenting, trying new tactics, and taking chances is always better than sitting on your hands or getting caught back on your heels.
Time Inc. is a good example. Harris, a print company with proud roots going back to 1977, is another good example, but not in a good way.
FolioMag.com reports on these publishers and others, and is on top of the news as always. Let’s see what they have for us in recent articles.
Time Inc. Digital Publishing Market Wheeling, Dealing, and Diligence Bearing Fruit
Time Inc. has certainly dominated the digital publishing market in terms of moves and maneuvering, but it’s been tough to tell whether all of their activity would have a positive impact. Well, the results are starting to trickle in, and the news is good so far, FolioMag.com reports.
“Time Inc.’s aggressive push into digital media appears to be paying dividends. Overall revenues jumped $10 million to $690 million in the first quarter of 2016, a 1.5 percent increase over the same period last year—the publisher’s best quarterly performance since being spun off from Time Warner in 2014,” Greg Dool writes.
“The gains were driven primarily by growth in digital advertising, from which revenues jumped 23 percent in the first quarter to $90 million. Time Inc. spent much of the last year actively pursing new acquisitions and partnerships in digital media, including its February purchase of Myspace owner Viant, whose first party data the company expects will drive over $100 million in revenue this year. ‘We are making progress to turn Time Inc. into a multi-platform, multimedia enterprise and we are infusing digital culture into our day-to-day operations,’ said Joe Ripp, Time Inc. chairman and CEO, in a prepared statement, adding, ‘Time Inc. is positioning itself to be a major player in digital video.'”
Speaking of Time Inc., NewFronts Marks Announcement of Video, VR Projects
Ripp isn’t kidding around. NewFronts spotlighted Time Inc.’s latest planned advances, FolioMag.com reports.
“Looking forward, Time Inc. is aligning its distribution strategy in three primary video formats: social and live, short form and long form. The company has already been actively producing content in each of these buckets, but is expanding its programming to serve advertisers with more data and the content and audiences they’re seeking. One of the biggest reveals was an entirely new OTT People and Entertainment Weekly branded channel that will produce and air over 100 hours of original content this year,” Caysey Welton writes.
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“Additionally, the company has teamed up with Xumo to stream even more of its content on smart TVs and OTT devices. Recently hired chief digital officer, Jen Wong, followed Battista on stage and expressed her excitement for the company’s unsung hero: data. She explained that the company’s recent acquisition of Viant will provide them with intelligence advertisers should be excited about and described the platform as a ‘promotional powerhouse that marketers can tap into.'”
Facebook Instant Articles Is Not the Answer, Says Silber
Folio: Vice President Tony Silber might be the voice in the wilderness as Facebook Instant Articles is gaining popularity among media companies and converting doubters, but in a recent FolioMag.com post he warns publishers that the service is not in their best interests.
“Instant Articles might make engagement easier for publishers and their audiences on Facebook, this side of the argument goes, but what it’s really doing is training content consumers to use social media for news, not the websites of the actual producers of that content. It’s converting Facebook into a media company, only one with no content-creation costs. There’s no need to hire editors, writers, photographers and the like. We do it for Facebook, thank you. All the while Facebook is learning, adding to the data, getting smarter about its users (our readers), which allows it to sell advertising to those people in new and more intuitive ways,” Silber writes.
“So if Facebook is transitioning to a content company—“quality” content in the feed has long been an algorithm priority, and live video is a new one—what does that mean for content producers? Well, yes, the audience is there and that audience needs to be engaged. But is the loss of direct contact with the audience, the ceding of ad dollars, and the movement away from individual websites except for referrals really a good thing when considered in the long-term, secular sense? I say no.”
Digital Magazine News: A Shutdown, an Acquisition, and a New Publisher
Enthusiast publisher Harris Publications is ceasing operations in the face of the “rapid ascendance of digital media,” FolioMag.com reports.
Bisnow has been acquired by private equity firm the Wicks Group, FolioMag.com reports.
Kim Armenta is the new publisher of Vegas Magazine, FolioMag.com reports.
How’s the digital publishing market treating you these days? Let’s discuss in the comments!
To read more about the digital publishing market and other industry news, visit FolioMag.com.