cominer

Posts Tagged ‘Advertising’

Newsweek, Newspapers and Magazines: Not Undead (Yet)

In Entertainment, Technology on June 15, 2010 at 1:05 pm

So, on Monday — for people in the know, or at least those who might have been surfing — Newsweek’s website offered an experience that crossed the line from entertainment to metaphor.

Readers who typed a secret code were greeted with a large headline declaring “Zombies Attack!” and a series of stores chronicling an attack of the undead on the East Coast. There was a timeline, speculation about how the attack started and advice on fighting the zombies (aim for the head).

And while Newsweek’s staff posted a note stating “this isn’t some sort of commentary on our current ownerless limbo…” it’s hard not to see it that way.

The Washington Post Company announced last month that the magazine for sale and there’s been a variety of groups looking to take it over. In the meantime, the magazine is losing staff.

The question is are print publications like Newsweek already a bit undead?

A report out Tuesday from PricewaterhouseCoopers states that the Internet is set to overtake newspapers as the second-largest advertising medium, according to the Wall Street Journal.

The report points out that in the past five years, broadband penetration in the US has grown to 64% from 34% while newspaper revenue has declined almost fifty percent during that time.

And with the growing popularity of tablets and smart phones, PricewaterhouseCoopers sees the mobile ad market also growing, expected to quadruple by 2014.

While there are indications that magazines and newspapers will be able to capitalize on this emerging market, getting as much as five times as much for ads in iPads than they do for print — and that digital versions of magazines could help expand distribution, allowing for the delivery of issues in places where it’s actually easier to send a digital file than a print copy — it’s far from certain all of this will be enough to make a difference.

In the meantime, mobile ad giants such as Apple and Google aren’t taking any chances, battling to dominate the market and grab whatever advertising is to be had.

Of course, as with all competition, this is one battle that’s not exactly filled with polite niceties and it’s already attracted the interest of the Feds.

Maybe publishers such as Wired, GQ and The Wall Street Journal will find ways to make it work for them and develop significant revenue streams allowing them to survive.

Or maybe it’s already too late.

For Entertainment Weekly, Tag is It

In Entertainment, Technology, Uncategorized on April 16, 2010 at 10:27 am

Well, maybe.

The New Issue of EW has been "Tag"-ed

While there has been a lot of focus on magazines developing “app” versions of their magazines as they try to find new ways to reach readers — Time Magazine has done it, GQ has done it, just to name two of many —   some still believe that there’s something to be said for holding the thing in your hand and flipping through the pages.

At the same time, they recognize that maybe there’s some middle ground incorporating the print version of the magazine and the ability to go online for a little extra content.

So, welcome to Microsoft Tag.

In Microsoft hyperbole terms, Tag is “a breakthrough technology that transforms everyday things in the real world into live links to online information and entertainment.”

In normal speak, it’s a souped-up barcode that — after software is downloaded — allows for more much information and takes pretty much any reader with a camera-enhanced phone that can surf the web to make the journey from print to online.

While Tags have generally been used in advertising, Entertainment Weekly, which is out today with their summer movie preview, is taking a big step forward incorporating them into editorial content — allowing readers to jump from the page to trailers for 20 of the previewed films.

In addition to the trailers, readers will be able to visit “Tag”ed content from five advertisers.

While EW’s first effort with a new technology wasn’t as successful as they had hoped — according to Mediaweek, only about 5,000 people (out of EW’s 10 million-plus readers) made the digital jump when they worked with a different vendor — they think they’ve got the kinks worked out and more issues should be on their way.

Entertainment Weekly is saying that this first time anyone has used third party video content within edit though it is worth mentioning that Golf Digest used Tags in their November issue to allow readers to see extra content such as video of lessons being described.

So, what’s it all mean? Is having Tag technology going to save magazines? Who knows.

Here’s the thing… a couple of years ago, Gawker reported a rumor that EW was considering going online-only like the Christian Science Monitor. They actually didn’t appear to mean anything bad by it… they were saying the magazine’s ad pages were down (important to note they are back up; a spokesman says up from last year so far) and circulation while very good, was somewhat stagnant (which still seems to be the case), while their web traffic was just terrific.

I think what EW has done with this issue — and Golf Digest, previously — is recognize that it’s not an either/or situation. People like holding magazines, books, newspapers… they also like to go online.

So, while I am pretty much a Mac person, I have to give kudos to Microsoft for a technology that seems able to help bridge the gap between the two media.

Will more publications follow EW? Will EW follow itself and develop specialized content beyond links to ads and movie trailers?

Hopefully.