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Tag: subscriptions

With New Subscription Models Comes New Customer Service

Citing NewBay Media as an example of publishers doing it the right way, Mickey reports that the B2B and niche outfit has invested in in-house customer service reps and explanatory display ads, and is even building out a YouTube channel with demo videos to address customer queries.

MIT Review Offers New Subscription Plan

The MIT Technology Review’s new “Insider” subscription plan, which the journal debuted last week, offers three tiers of annualized content access, Folio: reports.

Creating the Perfect Magazine Website

Ten years ago, most magazine publishers fell into two camps when it came to online magazine publishing. Some buried their heads in the sand and did little or nothing, apparently hoping this crazy fad would pass. We’ll call them “Reluctants.” Others jumped in, investing enormous amounts of time and money with little or no planning and mixed results at best. We’ll call this group the “Eager Beavers.” Of course there were publishers who did have a plan, executed it well, and achieved success, but they were more the exception.

14 Burning Questions from the May 2014 Mequoda Intensive

Last week, at our quarterly Digital Publishing & Marketing Intensive in Boston, we discussed multiplatform publishing, digital magazines, audience development and subscription website best practices at length. During these sessions, we gathered some of the best burning questions from our attendees.

Four Digital Magazine Best Practices from the May 2014 Mequoda Intensive

Digital magazine publishing changes from week to week, but last week, at our quarterly Digital Publishing & Marketing Intensive in Boston, we discussed digital magazine publishing opportunities in depth. The publishers we had the honor of sharing a room with – from niche consumer magazines to extremely niche B2B magazines – hailed from all over the country.

Mequoda’s Top 10 Subscription Website Publishing Posts

The subscription website publishing posts below get into subscription website best practices in design and monetization. They also dive into the many different archetypes that we’ve identified.

Mequoda’s Top 10 Digital Magazine Publishing Posts

These digital magazine publishing posts dive into digital magazine creation, publishing, and monetization. They are currently our most popular articles about digital magazine publishing.

Mequoda’s Top 10 Multiplatform Publishing Posts

Multiplatform publishing focuses on three main types of content: online, offline and live. More specifically, websites, email, magazines, video, books and events.

Our most popular multiplatform publishing articles covered the spectrum of producing white papers, to publishing on different tablets, to publishing blogs, video, websites and creative ads.

Top Digital Magazines by Percentage of Total Circulation

Last Tuesday we took a look at the 25 top magazines by digital circulation, according to data released by AAM for the period July-December 2013. That was a fun time, with several surprises.

Plain old Reader’s Digest turns out to have an awesome tablet magazine and leads all magazines in digital circulation. Unheralded American Media Inc., with its humble gossip magazines, OK! and Star, and its fitness magazines competing in a huge niche, Shape and Men’s Fitness, had as many representatives in the Top 25 as media titan Condé Nast.

From Magazines to Houses: The Multiplatform Publishing Empire of Dwell

Michela O’Connor Abrams, president & CEO at Dwell Media, is no stranger to innovation. Launched in 2000 as a modernist design publication, Dwell is built on innovation in architecture, including exquisite homes, and one of the products they sell is … homes! Prefab homes, to be exact.

The Rise of Magazine Memberships

Today, Digiday studied the premium subscription plans of heavyweight publishers upon the debut of Slate’s membership program.

The ABCs of Publishing: Why Legacy Publishers Have the Advantage

Several years ago, we were working with consultant Mark Young on some strategic issues for a joint investing publisher client. Mark said to me, “Don, you’re always giving examples of the perfect Mequoda operators, but does this work for other kinds of companies other than consumer magazine companies?”

Are Publisher Content Exchanges the New Black?

In an article for SIIA, Ronn Levine recent wrote about all the content exchanges going on in the publishing world. For example, The Dallas Morning News, Honolulu Star-Advertiser, The Toledo Blade, Minneapolis Star Tribune, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel will now offer digital products from the The Washington Post to their subscribers.

The State of Digital Publishing: Digital Natives Still Struggling

Digital publishing is booming for both digital natives and digital retreads (as Don calls legacy publishers). But there’s still work to do, and thank goodness for that because Mequoda still has much to teach!

Newsweek Pricing Makes a Splash, But Not in a Good Way

Today we bring you another installment in our ongoing magazine pricing series, What Big Publishers Are Doing Wrong.

OK, it’s not really a series. But lately we’ve been taking up the latest hot stories from the publishing industry, applying a hard Mequoda look at those publications, and finding something utterly different from the breathless coverage that other observers deliver.

Sauerberg Talks Subscription Pricing and Tech at Conde Nast

Crain’s New York recently had a chat with President of Condé Nast Bob Sauerberg to talk magazine subscription pricing.

The conversation is so Mequoda that you’d think they were discussing this all over a lunch at the Intensive. In regards to pricing, Sauerberg says: “We’re shifting from selling a print subscription for a low price to [selling] all access to our content for a higher price. And we’re in the early days of what that higher price is going to be.” As you know, we’re all about bundling all-access subscriptions, especially when intelligently priced.

The New TIME.com Design: Same As the Old TIME.com?

It’s all good until you see that money still lying on the table.

That’s how we think of TIME.com here at Mequoda. Last week it unveiled its new website design, to the general praise and adulation of the industry.

Is Apple Newsstand Getting Sloppy with Digital Magazines & Newspapers?

In a harsh but honest review from Talking New Media, D.B. Hebbard says that the Apple Newsstand is starting to look like a “dumpster.”

Is it warranted?

His claim is that they’re not paying enough attention to the quality of the content and so it’s getting harder and harder to find the magazines you want. This isn’t unlike the basic app store, where many apps can have almost identical names and apps themselves can be nearly identical but still be included – making the user experience not user friendly. Not to say anyone is doing better than Apple, but we all know everybody holds them to higher standards.

How Portals Maximize User Satisfaction

One of the most successful subscription websites in the world is The Economist, where the venerable news publication posts dozens of news articles every day, unique visitors from the US alone average 3 million per month, and its Online Media Index (OMI) is a healthy 3.61, meaning it has more than three times as many website visitors as it has US circulation.

Scientific American Pricing: When Good Publishers Go Bad

What is a “lifetime” product? At Scientific American, it’s their brand-new all-access bundle of print magazine, digital and a massive 150,000-article archive, dating back to the magazine’s first issue in August 1845.

Content Marketing for Digital Publishing Consultants

“So what exactly does Mequoda Group do for a living?” people ask us.

I have been involved in Internet marketing and publishing since 1995, when I was running an agency called Blue Dolphin Direct—primarily a print direct marketing and editorial consulting firm for a variety of magazine and newsletter clients. It was during that time when the folks at ComputerWorld had the revolutionary idea that we could sell subscriptions to their print magazine via the Internet. The program took about eight months to develop and was successful, in that we were able to sell print subs at a cost per order of about $65—a little below their average cost per order via direct mail. And that was the beginning of our journey.

Controlled-Circulation Publisher Finds Internet Success

One of Mequoda’s primary reasons for being is to help legacy publishers cross the digital divide.

And when it comes to Farm Progress, we’re talking serious legacy publishing – a company founded in 1819 which publishes, among many others, Prairie Farmer, the oldest known continuously published magazine, launched in 1841.

Making the Digital Magazine Leap from Replica to Reflow: Bonnier Counts on New Readers, New Ads

Field & Stream gets it right the second time
If you’ve read this blog for a while, you know that we’re big fans of Bonnier Corp. for its embrace of digital technology. You can read more about the digital edition of Popular Science here, and about Bonnier’s advances in tablet magazine advertising here.

Meanwhile, forward-thinking publishers like

Subscription Website Portals are the Key to Success in Every Niche

When the Internet burst on the scene and magazine publishers decided to get on the bandwagon, a lot of people simply shoveled their content up to the Web and called it a day. After all, there wasn’t a lot of guidance available in this brave new world.

Small Niche Digital Magazine Sells Like Gangbusters … but Apple’s Newsstand isn’t the Main Source

The “World’s Largest Circulation Biblical Archaeology Magazine,” as Biblical Archaeology Review (BAR) bills itself, lives in a small niche, parented by a nonprofit organization. It’s dedicated to studying the oldest civilizations in the world.

Yet it’s had a digital magazine since September 2012, well before many other niche publishers, and it’s making this commitment 21st-century technology pay off in a big way.

Partnerships Are Part of TV Guide’s Digital Publishing Strategy

Deadline is reporting that TV Guide has partnered with CBS Interactive in a cross promotional content deal. David Lieberman writes

Pacific Standard’s Web Traffic Hits New High

Columbia Journalism Review has an in-depth profile on the Pacific Standard. Sarah Laskow writes, “Pacific Standard has had an exciting January.

What Can Prison Teach You About Audience Development

Recruitment Advisor has posted a fun article about the audience development campaign that’s underway for the newspaper at the San Quentin correctional facility.

FutureLab Shows Off Digital Magazine Publishing Innovations

The Reynold Journalism Institute publishes a weekly update on innovations in journalism technology called FutureLab. Last week’s update featured a few innovations for digital magazine publishing.

Capital New York’s New Paywall is in the $6,000 Range

The price of must-read news about New York State and the city will cost you $5,990 per year. Lucia Moses from Ad Week writes, “Capital next month will start asking readers,

Why B2B Portals Matter: Legacy Publisher’s Subscription Website Supercharges Revenues

There’s no better example of how critical a subscription website can be to a legacy publisher than the story of Psychotherapy Networker.

This 30-year-old magazine was launched by a group of therapists who knew their colleagues had a need for in-the-trenches information, rather than lofty academic articles that didn’t help them in their day-to-day work.

Top 10 Digital Magazine Publishing Posts of 2013

We often hear about predictions for digital magazines; how they will grow, the revenue generation expected throughout the industry and the time frames associated with these numbers. These predictions are important, as they help publishers better prepare for the future. What’s more interesting, however, is discovering how people who are already consuming digital magazines are enjoying their experiences.

Chicago Symphony Debuts New Digital Publishing Strategy

The Chicago Symphony Orchestra (CSO) has just launched a new online multimedia magazine. Lewis Lazare for the Chicago Business Journal writes, “It is believed to be the first dedicated music journalism site ever launched by an American symphony orchestra.

Google Play Newsstand: Taking Digital Magazine Publishing a Step Beyond

When we first heard about Google’s new Play Newsstand for Android devices … we were underwhelmed.

“Ah,” we thought, “Google is about to prove once again that they may understand search, but they just don’t get premium content.”

“If they’re trying to take blog feeds and news feeds and tell us it’s a newspaper, oh no it’s not,” we said.

“The tablet respects books, newspapers and magazines as unique mediums. You can’t just disaggregate content and still call it a book, newspaper or magazine,” we said.

Magazine Industry Trends: Leveraging the Skills of Digital Natives

The New York Times has a fun article on the ever expanding duties of publishing assistants. Yes, most of them still have their daily coffee runs but they’re also being asked to flex their digital native muscles.

The Information’s Digital Publishing Strategy Mimics the Old Days

Digiday is reporting that The Information, a new tech news site from Wall Street Journal reporter Jessica Lessin is forgoing on site advertisements to focus its revenue strategy solely on subscriptions. John McDermott writes, “At $39 per month or $399 per year, The Information will have to entice readers to buy its information, a tough sell considering the abundance of free tech news sites. Lessin believes The Information’s differentiator is implied in its name; by providing exclusive reporting and analysis, tech professionals will pony up. The bet is similar to the one Lessin saw pay off at her former employer, which has built a sizable subscription business, thanks no doubt to many of its customers using their corporate credit cards.”

Publishers Get in the Retailing Spirit with Help from Digital Magazine Software

Many big box retailers were open on Thanksgiving, giving the post-holiday shoppers somewhere to go before the mayhem of Black Friday.

Some publishers got involved in the sales too, offering digital subscriptions at discounted prices between Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

Taunton Press’ Editorial Strategy Says No to One Offs

“We can’t afford to pay for content if it’s going to be a one-time use,” stated Jay Annis, VP of The Taunton Press speaking at the Act 4 Publishing Event at the Magazine Innovation Center at Ole Miss.

Publishing Executive has the full report on Jay Annis talk on content optimization and recycling. Linda Ruth writes, “Annis was there to articulate Taunton’s proactive approach to content in a time when the costs and monetization of content are proving challenging to many publishers. Taunton’s solution: To optimize the content through all the products that will serve its audience.”

Hearst Reactivates Past Subscribers With Email Insights

Direct Marketing News is reporting on how Hearst is using email insights to boost their subscriber base in both the print and digital worlds. Hearst has been using a massive subscriber database for years, but once the tablet showed up they realized they would have to market to those users differently. Elyse Dupré writes, “Converting print readers to tablet readers also helps Hearst cut direct mailing costs. So, Hearst decided to up its email marketing game and go from using email to drive engagement to using email to drive commerce and subscriptions.”

Google Play Newsstand Gives Digital Magazines a Boost

Digital newsstands just got an upgrade. Google has decided to combine their Google Currents mobile news application and their Play Magazine app into something called Google Play Newsstand, which competes not so secretly with Apple’s Newsstand app.

Ceramic Arts Daily Benefits from Social Audience Development

Every publisher has their own audience development strategies. In a Mequoda System, our three goals are to attract, retain and then monetize, which is done primarily through email. There are, of course, other ways of attracting new customers, like social media.

Do You Overvalue Your Email Marketing Strategy?

eMarketer has a new report on X + 1’s and Research Now’s new poll that takes a peek at how misaligned our marketing campaigns can be compared to consumer expectations.

Who’s Winning the Subscription Website Publishing Wars?

Subscription website publishing: It’s the core of every publishing business today. The website is where you drive traffic, post content to enthrall your audience and sell lots of products, including digital and print subscriptions.

The health of your subscription website publishing endeavors dictates everything else you do.

New York Times Paywall Reaches Massive Success

Publishers were initially skeptical about The New York Times charging for online content. We now see that the paywall has worked beautifully. In the last three months, 28,000 new subscribers are paying for The New York Times’ online content. This brings the total to 727,000 subscribers.

Lessons to Learn From Consumer Reports

Consumer Reports has been through a lot over the last couple years. The pitfalls and challenges they face are the same many legacy brands face as they try to navigate the digital frontier. Jim Romenesko writes about the hardships Consumer Reports has faced.

Digital Magazine Statistics: AAM’s Top 25 Digital Magazines by Circulation

Every six months, the Alliance for Audited Media issues its top 25 lists of reporting magazines for various data points. Most recently, this past June, it issued its list for the first half of 2013, including digital circulation, and the media promptly went with this theme:

Seventeen’s Big Video Push

AudienceDevelopment.com is reporting that Hearst is teaming up with AwesomenessTV to create a new YouTube channel for Seventeen. Arti Patel writes, “The Hearst Corporation is teaming with AwesomenessTV to co-launch a new freestanding YouTube channel as part of a joint venture meant to target teen girls through a multichannel network.

Hearst Shares a Glimpse Into 2014

The advertising community in New York City saw a preview of Hearst Magazine endeavors for 2014.

This article from MinOnline shares highlights from the Hearst announcement, including this piece of news from Esquire:

Publishers Partner With AOL’s Gathr

Audience Development is reporting that publishers have partnered with AOL on a new subscription service. Michael Rondon writes, “The service, Gathr, packages subscriptions to a variety of products and services at a discount. Offerings—there are currently 24 separate options—range from Pandora to Redbox to Norton AntiVirus software,

Business Insider Bets on Long Form

Capital New York is reporting that Business Insider will be investing in longer format articles. Business Insider founder and editor-in-chief Henry Blodget told Capital New York they plan on investing “hundreds of thousands of dollars” in long form content. Joe Pompeo writes, “A chunk of that money will go toward hiring an editor whose job will be ‘to decide the best frequency, length, and approach of these stories, as well as the time and resources invested in each one,’ said Blodget over email.