In the last week alone I have read countless articles bombarding the average person with intelligence, insights, and fear regarding what the future has to hold for digital publishing:
- A company who has launched a digital newsstand that allows you to buy with Facebook Credits
- Google’s plans for a digital newsstand launch in July and a 7-inch reading device
- The beta launch of a company that lets readers create their own magazines using HTML5
- Traditional business models for publishing being thrown out the window
- The death of Apple’s iTunes for publishers
- The death of reading by children under 13
- The death of digital publishing due to advertiser revolt (wow…lots of death articles)
- Device-less digital reading abilities
- Anti-trust lawsuits
- Domination of the Ultrabook – followed by the death of Ultrabook
And the list goes on and on…
Let’s face it, the world of a publisher today changes faster than we can keep up with. Every time we brief our teams about a new opportunity, strategy, direction, or effort the whole landscape seems to shift. The only thing that is consistent is that change is going to keep coming.
If you are a publisher looking for success in the short term, what do you need to be thinking about? This list of digital publishing realities for the remainder of 2012 might just help a few of us keep focused as the changes keep rolling in.
- Your reader will have a smartphone, PC, and/or tablet of some type this year. Create brand connections through all of those devices. This doesn’t mean you need to create a standalone app of your publication in all cases. It does mean you need to have a simple-to-get-to user experience from all of these devices.
- Google has decided to use its leverage to make you use Google+. If your brand is not using Google+ your search efforts could get impacted from some algorithm changes Google is making. Look into this.
- You’ll need to make a pricing decision. Will you give the digital version of your publication to the print subscriber for free, for a smaller fee, or for no discount at all? You need to have a defensible position on this for your subscribers. Come holiday time, this will be a big deal.
Capitalizing on advertising:
- Retail advertisers are going to want to insert digital catalogs for the holidays and not just interactive ads.
- All advertisers are not staffed to create multivariate ads for every platform your brand might be. They want some standards and standard reporting (even if it is a small set of information).
- There are unique opportunities for you to work with an advertiser to create something digital to reach your collective audience. This could be a game, a utility app, a QR code offer, or more. But don’t discount the opportunity to co-op with your advertisers.
While this list is short, it can give you quite a bit to consider as you move into the summer and holiday planning months. There is tremendous opportunity to capitalize on today, as we plan for an ever-evolving future.