10 noteworthy links from last week – April 9, 2012

  1. Reflections of a Newsosaur: Publishers lost $27 in print for every digital $1 gain In the future this period will be described as one where the publishing business was baptized in fire. Everyone is still struggling how to create revenue in digital, while traditional publishing is bleeding money. I’m fascinated by those in traditional publishing who ignore digital because they aren’t affected by this overall trend. It’s a little like watching someone refuse to move his house because the flood that’s drowning his neighbors hasn’t reached his house. Yet.
  2. Time Inc. Hearst, Conde Nast, Meredith Launch “Netflix For Magazines” – Peter Kafka – Media – AllThingsD This is an interesting concept, a “Netflix for magazines”. You pay a flat fee every month in exchange for 32 magazine titles. However, I doubt that it will work. Apart from Android users not being used to pay for content, there are several things I’m doubtful about. Some are raised in this article, like support for the two platforms with much higher monetizing potential: Apple App Store/iPad and Amazon Appstore/Kindle Fire. Potentially, they’re waiting with the Kindle Fire until Amazon supports in-app subscriptions before launching on the Kindle Fire.Another thing is the experience: all magazines in the same separate app, but are they PDF-replicas of the print issues? I’m not sure why people would want to pay for that, really, especially since it’s not included in the print subscriptions. If they’re created for the tablet, like Wired’s or Popular Science’s iPad editions, this has got potential. If not, I say “flop”.Third, most important: what will Apple say about an app that is directly competing with their Newsstand? The Next Issue app is a newsstand of its own. Potentially, Next Issue could open for every magazine which would make it into even more of a competitor. Of course, Apple gets a cut of the shares, but at the same time would give up part of designing the user experience which Apple shouldn’t (and probably won’t) compromise with.
  3. iPads Boost Doctors’ Efficiency At University Of Chicago, Study Shows The tablets’ ease of use proves to be efficient even for doctors. In study at the University of Chicago, most of the doctors-in-training on average say that the iPad made them more effective, shaving off about an hour of administration.In Europe, 26% of doctors say they own an iPad and spend a quarter of their time (!) on it.There’s obviously a large consumer base for digital issues of magazines targeting doctors and hospitals. With the low cost of publishing iPad and Android editions of magazines, this is an opportunity. There are a few great examples of B2B magazines, for example Pizza Today, Range Magazine (a magazine for the pilots of Southwest Airlines) and SKF Evolution.
  4. Talking New Media: B2B publisher Macfadden Communications Group releases a new iPad edition for its title Pizza Today This is an interesting piece about Pizza Today, a B2B magazine for the pizza industry. It also points out an interesting problem with B2B, the circulation model for magazines and app store.
  5. How to Monitor your Digital Publishing Strategy 3 good tips for what to monitor when you publish an app/magazine on a tablet. Seasoned publishers most likely already have this down, but for everyone else this is a good start.
  6. Tablet metrics emerge for digital magazines Recently the magazine industry announced a set of voluntary guidelines for sharing metrics on digital/tablet editions of magazines.  Here’s an excellent overview from @RobORegan on what’s there today and what’s missing.
  7. How To Install Instagram On Your Android Phone In 23 Easy Steps This is a great illustration of why Android devices aren’t generating as much revenue as iOS devices (according to one source, only $0.23 for every $1 Apple’s App Store generates) even though there are many more Android devices than iOS devices. Simplicity is the key, and simplicity requires control of both hardware and software. Or at least uniformity in the software. In either case, Android doesn’t have that. This is why Amazon’s Kindle Fire will succeed better than Android devices in general.
  8. Clay Shirky on newspaper pay models: ‘We are renegotiating the relationship between reader and publication’ This is indeed something that magazines have to think about as well. What do you call your digital edition? How do you define it, as something extra that’s included in the regular subscription or a service entirely on its own? This not only affects readers and their incentive to pay, it also affects you and your organization. If you name and treat it as “exactly as my paper magazine, but on tablets” you end up with an organization producing 20th century magazines on 21st century devices. In the short run, this approach will most likely be more profitable. But the long term winners will be the ones who understand the 21st century device and produce content for it.
  9. Sorrell: Web Has Created More Value Than It Has Destroyed This should really be called “Digital has created more value than it has destroyed”, because it’s more about the disruption created by the information era. It’s so much more than “the Internet”. But that’s a small point, this is well worth reading. Many industries are seeing disruption and new actors taking big chunks of profits, and the only way to deal with it is, well, to deal with it. To paraphrase Darwin: “It is not the strongest of the businesses that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is the most adaptable to change.”
  10. Amazon Inches Toward Releasing Its Own In-App Purchase System This is a smart move on Amazon’s behalf. They’re right on Apple’s tail, with Amazon’s Appstore $0.89 in app revenue for every $1 Apple’s App Store makes. With in-app purchases, which also would mean subscriptions for magazines and the like, this will make more app makers and publishers prioritize the Kindle Fire over other Android devices.

Even more information about tablet publishing