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Tag: subscriptions

The Magazine Subscription Website Business Model

The magazine website is one of nine subscription website models that Mequoda has identified and defined. We do this because designing a website is as much about establishing a business model as it is about “design,” and so many people simply don’t understand how the different models are used, leading to websites that don’t drive revenue the way the publisher expected.

MAD Magazine Offers a Haywire Digital Edition

The last time I read MAD magazine was as a young teenager. The thing I loved the most, besides Spy vs Spy (the Wikipedia link is included for you young people), were the tiny cartoons that showed up randomly throughout the magazine. I literally loved the randomness and the need to search each page from top to bottom, like an I Spy book, then turning the magazine whichever way was necessary and holding it up to my face to make it readable.

More Magazines Are Betting on E-Commerce

A few years ago we were wondering what magazines would do in the digital age. We expected subscription websites to grow in popularity, but we weren’t sure what prices would be associated with digital subscriptions or which ancillary products would develop.

Did People Just Invent the Best Subscription Model Ever?

The New York Times is reporting that People is changing its subscription model. Christine Haughney reports,”On Monday, the magazine is introducing four new subscription packages. It is trying to attract younger, tech-savvy celebrity fans with a $10 annual subscription to its new CelebFood and CelebWatch apps.

Paywall Experimentation is a Digital Publishing Trend

Publishers have been experimenting with their paywalls all summer. See why paywall experimentation is a digital publishing trend. Esquire has been up performing all kinds of paywall experiments this summer. FOLIO reports that in July they put “one of its magazine features behind a paywall.

Online Subscription Marketing: A Long Way from Direct Mail Packages

As you may have noticed, Mequoda is a firm believer in the power of email newsletters as a marketing channel – so much so that a Mequoda subscription website is built specifically to give away content and harvest email addresses, rather than sell magazine subscriptions.

Bezos Keeps the Reader in Mind

Back to the basics, that’s what Jeff Bezos has in store for The Washington Post. Speaking by phone Bezo told The Post,”We’ve had three big ideas at Amazon that we’ve stuck with for 18 years, and they’re the reason we’re successful: Put the customer first. Invent. And be patient,” he said. “If you replace ‘customer’ with ‘reader,’ that approach, that point of view, can be successful at The Post, too.”

Game Informer’s Domination, La Presse Passes on Paywalls

According to AdAge, Game Informer accounts for one third of all digital magazine subscriptions. Michael Sebastian reports, “The 22-year-old magazine, which previews and reviews videogames, has a digital replica circulation of nearly 3 million, making it the top circulating digital edition, the Alliance for Audited Media said.

Using Content to Drive your Audience Development Plan

How recycling, repurposing, and repackaging content can create alignment in your marketing efforts

The number of steps required to create an effective audience development plan often confuses people new to organic content marketing. One of my favorite tricks is to use the acronym ARM to help people remember that there are three distinct elements or parts in a content driven audience development plan. A is for attract; R is for retain, and M is always for monetize.

Harvard Business Review Focuses on Multiplatform & Boosts Circ 10%

Audience Development had a report earlier this month on how Harvard Business Review increased prices and increased their circulation at the same time. Michael Rondon reports, “HBR has seen total circulation jump close to 10 percent in the last 18 months, up to 260,315, according to the Alliance for Audited Media. Both paid subscriptions and single-copy sales were up over 7 percent in the first half of 2013.”

American Ceramic Society Subscription Website = Mequoda Method 101

When it comes to showing off a perfectly executed subscription website, they don’t come any more perfect than CeramicArtsDaily.org. Along with all our other Mequoda top operators, they’re golden in our eyes because of eye-popping statistics like these.

Vogue, Allure, and New Yorker Blossom in Print, E-Commerce and Blogging

The Guardian has a full report on how the luxury titles at Conde’ Nast have been performing. Josh Halliday reports,”Thumping in at 430 pages, the September issue of Vogue is the largest since the financial crash of 2008. More significantly, it carries more advertising than any edition in the past five years, with 272 pages bought by luxury brands including Ralph Lauren, Gucci and Dior. Is this a return to the boom-time at Vogue House?”

The Periodical Subscription Website Business Model

The periodical website archetype is often associated with newspaper brands and other news periodicals that include trade papers like Computerworld and Variety.

Periodical subscription websites may also be called news sites, online newspapers, online magazines, online newsletters, or online journals.

The New Yorker Embraces Multiplatform Publishing (And Does it Better Than Most!)

The New Yorker just boasted a milestone of 10.7 million unique visitors to their website from across the globe. Meanwhile, their circulation is up 17.7% year-over-year to 1.05 million.

Editor Nicholas Thompson says that the jump in traffic has to do with their new emphasis on breaking stories and web-only stories. He also claims they’ve been working on basic SEO and Facebook open graph integration.

Wait, Who Bought Newsweek?

Even though Jeff Bezos’ purchase this week knocked them out of the spotlight, a relatively unknown company, IBT, publisher of IBTimes.com bought Newsweek. What nobody is failing to mention in their news reports is that when they Tweeted about the acquisition, they only got one re-tweet and it was from someone else at IBT. So, if you measure popularity by Twitter influence, these guys are relatively unknown even though their company does have a cool 19k followers.

TIME Doesn’t Know What to Do With All This Traffic

Back on April 1 Don wrote a post entitled Saving TIME Magazine: or, the Future of All of Us. Don’s vision of the future, even for faltering weekly news magazines, focuses on creating a niche product like any of our clients or followers who implement the Mequoda Method, even if the scale is a bit different.

Times Says Magazines Lose Print Readers But Gain Digital Readers

The New York Times has a new report on magazine subscription and newsstand sales. Christine Haughney writing for The Times reports, “Magazines continued to struggle with sales of subscriptions and newsstand copies in the first half of 2013, but they made inroads in selling digital editions, according to data released on Tuesday.” Women’s magazines and celebrity weeklies were the hit the hardest as they try to compete with online outlets.

Newsweek and Boston Globe Sold

Newsweek was sold over the weekend to IBT Media, reports Capital New York. “IAC/InterActive reached a deal to sell Newsweek, which has been publishing since January as a digital-only version of the old magazine, to the owners of the International Business Times.” IBT Media has stated that Newsweek will remain a digital-only publication.

Publishers Manage the Multiplatform Puzzle

Publishers are taking a great deal of time and research to get multiplatform publishing right. FOLIO Magazine took the pulse of a couple publishers to see what steps publishers like Rodale are taking to make the shift to multiplatform publishing easier.

Publishers Add Sponsored Tweets into Ad Packages

Publishers are jumping on board the sponsored Tweet bandwagon, reports Digiday. “In addition to the AP, publishers as diverse as People Magazine, Entertainment Weekly, Women’s Wear Daily and Slate have given sponsored social content a whirl in the interest of scratching up new revenue. It makes sense. With millions of followers, Twitter is a powerful distribution platform for them. Every little bit helps. The risk, of course, is user backlash.”

Alerts Increase Open Rates, Tech Blogs = Trade Pubs and Time Inc’s New CEO

MarketingpProfs has new research dedicated to the most effective words in email subject lines. In the study, performed by British marketing firm Adestra, “Emails with the word “alert” in their subject lines have a 38.1% higher than average open rate and 61.8% higher click rate”.

Mequoda Weekly: July 15 – 19th, 2013

Catch up on the Mequoda Daily’s blog posts for this past week

The Economist’s Rich Subscription Website Teaches Us All a Lesson

For a publication with roots deep in the Victorian era, founded by a conservative Scottish hatmaker, The Economist is a surprising innovator in the modern publishing era.

Apparently, despite its stodgy beginnings and reputation as a snobbish, upper-crust British media voice – just look at all the photos of all the elderly white men running the show in the 2013 annual report – there are some very nimble commercial minds behind it these days.

TRVL Magazine App Takes Publishing Industry on an Adventurous Ride

iPad-only magazine blows up the envelope gorgeously

It’s not often that someone defies conventional wisdom so profoundly and still makes a success of it.

But that’s what TRVL magazine has achieved.

TRVL is the first magazine published only in a mobile version, having been founded in 2010 by Dutch partners Jochem Wijnands and Michel Elings (who supposedly compared their love of travel at a party and launched TRVL the next day).

The Newsletter Subscription Website Business Model

The newsletter subscription website model is simple, clean and editorially-focused

Newsletter publishers, particularly those on the B-to-B side but also those with consumer titles in the finance and health fields, were among the first to embrace subscription websites. Perhaps that’s because the newsletter subscription website archetype is the easiest type of subscription website to build. The file size of newsletters is generally manageable, whether the newsletter is 8, 12, 16, 32, or more pages, since it is mostly text and often limited to black-and-white or two-color.

The Economist Turns Email Clicks into Digital Subscriptions

In my recent escapades of combing through the email calendars of publishers large and small, I’ve discovered a few secrets about the brands I’ve been spying on. The biggest secret of all is that rarely do any of them stick to a systematic system of email publishing.

Typically all of our emails are written, edited and scheduled to go out on Friday the week before. We publish at 10am Eastern when we publish editorial emails (Monday – Thursday) and 2pm when we publish promotional emails. Sometimes we switch it up to test out which times work best, but overall it’s fairly consistent.

The Netflix of Magazine Subscriptions Now Has 100ish Titles

Next Issue, basically a Netflix for magazines subscriptions, now has over 100 titles. For $14.99 a month people get access to about 93 different publications and growing quickly. Bloomberg Businessweek, People and The New Yorker are just few of the publications available on the service. Their platform works on tablets and PCs. StackSocial, an eCommerce platform for tech publishers, is offering a two-month subscription to Next Issue Premium for free.

NYTimes Introduces Metered System to Mobile Users This Week

On June 27th, The New York Times will implement the same metered system it uses on the web to its mobile users. The metered system allows non-subscribers access to three articles per day, but if the reader wishes to read more than three, they will be asked to subscribe. For now, video will remain free, but content will be limited.

Mequoda Weekly: June 17 – 21st, 2013

Catch up on the Mequoda Daily’s blog posts for this past week

More Digital Magazines Hit the Newsstand as Tablet Ownership Rises

According to Pew Internet & American Life Project’s May survey, tablet ownership is on the rise and looks like a trend that’s going to continue. In the month of May, out of the people surveyed, 34% owned a tablet.

The largest increase was seen with people between the ages of 30 and 49, with almost 50% of people in this age group reporting tablet ownership. All age groups from 18-65 regardless of race or income have seen significant growth in tablet ownership from November 2010 to May 2013 at a pretty high rate. The iPad still takes the cake with 53% of the tablet market, while Amazon’s Kindle Fire makes up for 31% and the Samsung Galaxy making up for 19%.

Black Belt Magazine: 9,600 Digital Subscriptions in 12 Months

Debate rages in magazine land about the future of the industry, and especially the role that digital magazine publishing will play in that future. But at least at Active Interest Media, there’s little doubt about what’s keeping Black Belt magazine in fighting trim, and there’s plenty of earned optimism about the digital future.

Black Belt sold 9,600 digital subscriptions since debuting its app in April 2012. That volume puts it in the top third of AIM’s 42 magazine products, all of which have digital editions. “We’re excited about the consistent growth month over month,” says Andrew Clurman, AIM President & COO.

The Atlantic Takes Digital Publishing to a Weekly Frequency

The Atlantic Weekly debuts on Friday and will feature content from the print magazine and website on a weekly basis. Individual weekly copies will go for $1.99 on Apple Newsstand and monthly subscriptions will run for $2.99, while yearly subscriptions will go for $19.99. New issues will be released every Friday.

Rather than create new content, they will pull

Essential Website Homepage Ideas for any Subscription Website Redesign

At Mequoda, we do a lot of work with clients who are starting from scratch with online publishing and subscription website marketing. They get the full benefit of the Mequoda Method because we build their website to take best advantage of SEO and optimize it for conversion of visitors to email subscribers and, ultimately, buyers.

We also have clients come to us who put up a website years ago when the Internet first blossomed, and without any research or data to guide them, those websites were built, well, badly. Those early websites were an exercise in slapping the magazine on the Web, and organizing the site exactly like the magazine.

$3 Billion: Get Yourself a Piece of the Digital Magazine Action

The Internet is swimming in articles and blogs in which pundits opine that the tablet revolution isn’t that big a deal for the magazine industry. Nothing to see here, they say. Move along. One blogger even cites one of our very own tablet study statistics – that only 26% of tablet users prefer digital to print magazines – as proof that the tablet is merely a flash in the pan.

Content News: Branded Content Takes New Form

Are you surprised content marketing and social media are legitimate Internet business models?

Content marketing was poised to be one of the top Internet business models because it isn’t gimmicky like other forms of online advertising. Most true forms of content marketing allow users to sample content before making a purchase. Perhaps that’s the way marketing should always be.

Mequoda Weekly: May 27, 2013 – May 31, 2013

Catch up on the Mequoda Daily’s blog posts for this past week

The Tablet: Key to Your Online Empire, Not Just Your Digital Magazine

With all the talk about tablets and digital magazines these days, it’s tempting to think of the desktop or laptop, and the website you worked so hard to establish back when those were your only options for publishing on the Internet, as buggy whips – soon to be obsolete.

After all, our 2013 Mequoda Tablet Study found that a full 55% of respondents own or have access to a tablet. Yes, that means you’d better be building a digital edition of your publication.

Mequoda Weekly: May 20, 2013 – May 24, 2013

Catch up on the Mequoda Daily’s blog posts for this past week

Is EatingWell’s Subscription Website Teaching Meredith a Lesson?

We talk a lot about the Online Magazine Index – OMI – that’s a fairly accurate measure of a publisher’s Internet savvy. In subscription website publishing, you should easily have more unique visitors to your website than you have print subscribers.

If you’re not driving more Internet traffic than you are selling paid subscriptions, something’s desperately wrong with your audience development program. And if you don’t have an audience on the Internet, you’re going to be invisible in the coming years as print fades away and subscription website publishing becomes the only game in town.

Mequoda Weekly: May 13, 2013 – May 17, 2013

Catch up on the Mequoda Daily’s blog posts for this past week

How to Create a Profitable Website

I’m a big fan of planning.

And I believe that your website is a reflection of your entire business and business model.

A visitor to your website should quickly be able to understand your mission, your audience, the scope of your content, and even how you make money.

It always surprises me that people don’t start the process of building a profitable website by building a website plan. While the website planning process can seem complex, it really can be boiled down to answering a few simple questions:

In Subscription Website Publishing, Queen Martha Rules … For Now

How big is the Martha Stewart brand? The formal name, Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, pretty much says it all. And Googling the name for news of the company in the media world delivers stunning results.

Page 1 of Google results delivered nine listings from the website itself, and the usual listing from Wikipedia. One the second page, I found several news articles about its decision to fold two of its four magazines into the flagship product. More on that later … but more interestingly, I couldn’t find a single other search result that wasn’t from the website itself or from subscription retailers like Amazon … and I finally gave up on Page 9.

In short, Martha Stewart Living owns its own name in Google search, which is to say, on the Internet. I’ve never seen that kind of result when Googling any other publication. If there are any other references to the company on the Internet, they can’t compete with the company’s optimization of every single page for organic search and every magazine outlet that sells the magazine!

How the iPad is Saving the Publishing Industry

Anyone who doubts that the iPad is the most important media-related technological innovation in all of human history should re-read those dates. And the exciting thing for those of us who live and breathe magazines is that we get to live through it!

Subscription Website Publishing Proves Its Worth

The New Yorker shows that it’s not only the wave of the future, but can also remedy the sins of the past. Take a trip with me today to the Big Apple, home of The New Yorker magazine. This venerable publication, like everyone else in the industry, has struggled in the Internet era with declining ad sales and even more recently, with consumer disdain for print media.

Forbes Hits Digital Magazine Publishing Out of the Park

When people aren’t talking about Kim Kardashian’s pregnancy these days, it seems they’re talking about iPads. And when they talk about iPads in our world, they’re talking about digital magazine publishing and apps.

Saving TIME Magazine: or, the Future of All of Us

Digital magazines can thrive, but they can’t be Yahoo

On March 3, 1923, TIME magazine was born. It was what most publications were in that era: an aggregator, dedicated to rewriting the news from around the world in pithy, pointed nuggets. To their prospective financiers, founders Henry Luce and Briton Hadden boasted that the average reader could get through an entire issue in 30 minutes.

Mequoda Weekly: March 25th, 2013 – March 29th, 2013

Catch up on the Mequoda Daily’s blog posts for this past week

Mequoda Weekly: March 18th, 2013 – March 22nd, 2013

Catch up on the Mequoda Daily’s blog posts for this past week

Website Design Samples of Our 16 Archetypes

Gas stations, supermarkets and bookstores are all retail businesses. They all resell products, yet the specifics of their business models and their physical infrastructures are very different. Optimizing those specifics will support higher revenue, lower operating costs and happier customers.

Content Marketing Strategy

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