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Magazines Are Increasingly Experienced Online

Oct 27, 2014
Industry trends

MPA
Introduced in September 2014 by The Association of Magazine Media, Magazine Media 360° is a new industry metric that captures demand for magazine media content by measuring audiences across multiple platforms and formats, including print/digital editions, websites and video.  The Magazine Media 360° reports rely on data from leading third-party providers and currently covers 150 magazine media brands from 31 companies, representing 95% of the reader universe.

Released on October 22nd, the initial Magazine Media 360° findings show a more than 10% year-over-year increase in consumer demand for magazine media across platforms (please see below).

Magazine Media 360 Audience Mix
From our perspective at Tinypass, the evolving composition of the audience mix, i.e. the formats in which people are choosing to consume their magazine content, is of particular interest.  As a percentage, print and digital edition consumption fell by 8% while consumption on the web – desktop, laptop, mobile, and video – was up 22% over the previous 12 months and now accounts for a third of all magazine content usage.

Built to support premium publishers on the open web, while also being architected to interact with physical fulfillment operations, Tinypass is uniquely positioned to help the magazine industry maximize its profits in this quickly changing media landscape.  If you are interested in learning more, please drop us a line at [email protected].

Media REDEF in the News

May 12, 2014
Industry trends

REDEF
Great piece in today’s Tech Crunch on our favorite DJ of the Internet, Jason Hirschhorn.  MediaREDEF is the newsletter of choice around the Tinypass office, helping us keep tabs on developments in the world of media and technology in a way that we would never be able to on our own.

Jason has a proven track record as a media innovator, having worked on projects as disparate as television hardware with Slingbox to social networking at MySpace.   With $2.25 million in funding from investors including Bloomberg Beta, The Chernin Group, Brett Ratner, Jeffrey Katzenberg, Mark Cuban, and James Murdoch, amongst others, Jason will continue to define what it means to “curate” digital content while having the opportunity to develop a business model that reflects the value that he and his team deliver to inboxes, and coming soon, smart phones, every day.  Check out TechCrunch for the full story.

With ‘Unbundling’, The New York Times Continues to Lead

Apr 24, 2014
Industry trends

NY Times NowWith apologies to The Financial Times, which successfully introduced a metered paywall long before any other high-profile daily, The New York Times continues to lead the mainstream publishing world when it comes to online business model innovation.  Initial success came in the form of its well-documented, metered paywall.  Based on its just announced first quarter financial results, see http://tinyp.as/1jGN9cR, the next phase of its paid content growth will be driven by unbundling its content and selling those bundles to interested niche audiences.  We believe that the NYT Now app – http://tinyp.as/1tGTKfs – represents the first example of this niche content approach.

In today’s TechCrunch, Darrell Etherington – http://tinyp.as/1hrR7V8 – does an excellent job a summing up The Times’ thinking:

The New York Times apparently wants to get more of a good thing while the getting is good, too, so it’s looking to further unbundle its core offerings with standalone software that could eventually spin into still more new revenue streams. To that end, it plans to launch dedicated apps devoted to food and to opinion.”

He goes on to note:

“While very different companies, it’s interesting to see NYT pursuing a strategy similar to that of Facebook in seeking growth. One app to rule them all is an approach whose usefulness is being called into question in every industry, and media is no exception.”

To toot our own horn a bit, we wrote about this very approach last April – see http://www.tinypass.com/blog/the-digital-stock-keeping-unit-aka-the-dsku.

“In a world of infinite niches, curation, and content customization, we here at Tinypass believe that the time is long overdue for content providers to begin to think differently about their SKUs, about how they package what they sell.  There is untapped value in “Thinking Differently” when it comes to digital media.  The naysayers grumbled that it was sacrilegious to break up the LP.  See Steve Jobs.”

And earlier this year we spoke to Accenture about the very same thing – see http://www.tinypass.com/blog/tinypass-included-in-accentures-pulse-of-media-series.

First came online subscriptions, now unbundling with its smaller financial commitments, to be followed in the not-too-distant future by micropayments.  Tinypass can help with all three, shoot us an email to find out more – [email protected]

What McDonald’s & Coca Cola Can Teach Content Owners

Mar 25, 2014
Industry trends

Imagine for a second that you run a business that is dependent on a single revenue stream and that single revenue stream is both in chronic decline and is increasingly being gobbled up by global, multi-billion dollar competitors – see below.  What would you do?

Online Advertising
CPM
Top 50 Sites Command 89% of Online Advertising Market
2014-03-25_18-41-18
Source: Interactive Advertising Bureau

Well, according to David Carr’s column in this past Sunday’s New York Times – see http://tinyp.as/DavidCarr – for many online publishers the answer is more of the same – doubling down on the broken business model of chasing pageviews, which, by the way, further depresses their lone source of revenue.

We’ve written about this issue previously – both here http://tinyp.as/1elTPhC and here http://tinyp.as/1kyrc5E.  What’s a publisher to do?  For starters, online publishers would be well advised to take a page out of the “monetization strategy” of the fast food and consumer packaged goods industries.

What do Big Macs and Diet Cokes have to do with content you ask?  Long ago, both McDonald’s and Coca Cola recognized that not all of their customers were alike, and furthermore, that a minority of their customers drove the bulk of their revenues, i.e. the 80/20 Rule.  With this one customer insight, companies were able to begin tailoring offers in an effort to maximize revenue.  This approach has worked wonders in all sorts of industries yet curiously the world of online media treats everyone – from the most engaged audience member to a passersby – the same, i.e. they show them an advertisement.

With the Web turning 25 this month, it’s high time for content owners to adopt more sophisticated business models, business models that Tinypass enables.  (See the below chart.)

user engagement levels
Using our data, software, and services, we provide our clients with a path forward to a more profitable future.  Shoot us an email at [email protected] to learn more.

Publishers Need to Appreciate the Technical Challenges Involved in Monetizing Their Sites

Jan 31, 2014
Industry trends

This week the Internet is abuzz with news of all of the new news sites being launched online. Both William Lauder’s piece in the Wall Street Journal “News Websites Proliferate, Stretching Thin Ad Dollars” – http://tinyp.as/1iQzswk – and Ken Doctor’s piece on The Neiman Labs web site “The newsonomics of why everyone seems to be starting a news site” – http://tinyp.as/1ejAkpW – do an excellent job of running down the litany of new entrants.

If the new publishers are confident in their prospects based in part on “new forms of digital advertising” they are going to be sorely disappointed.  The Journal article points out that:

“… ad buyers and industry executives say the proliferation of new sites and automation in ad sales is driving down advertising pricing—by as much as 70% in some cases—making it tougher for sites to turn a profit from traditional online advertising. More news sites means more ad space is available.”

To the publishers’ credit, many recognize that building their businesses solely based on advertising isn’t tenable. Jim VandeHei, the president and CEO of Politico and Capital New York, said as much to the Journal’s William Lauder:

“People don’t appreciate how difficult it is to do interesting journalism that is monetizable and sustainable over time. We would never build a media product based around [web] traffic and advertising. That is a fool’s play in this day and age.”

The article goes on to say that VandeHei hopes subscriptions will eventually account for about half of his revenue.

What Politico and others publishers moving toward hybrid paid/ad supported models don’t appreciate is how difficult it is to build, support, and evolve a paid content platform. We’ve seen this phenomenon first-hand. Publishers set out on their own and build the most basic homegrown solution, perhaps a monthly recurring subscription, only to quickly find that they are out of their depth.

When an audience becomes something more than a monolithic eyeball, what were once anonymous readers are suddenly paying customers. Paying customers come with their own set of demands, from account management and security needs to cross-device access rights and in-app authentication. Paying customers also create data, lots of data that in turn requires a sophisticated analytics package to glean and analyze. Does the publisher’s homegrown system come with its own analytics package?

The aforementioned is just the tip of the iceberg of things that publishers need to consider as they rightly seek to diversify their revenue streams. What happens six months down the road when the publisher needs his or her homegrown system to offer a promotional code, a discount, new pricing and access rules, mobile compatibility, support for new payment methods, support for multiple media types – access to web pages, podcasts, MP3s, PDFs, live and on-demand video, etc., etc.  You get the point.

We are thrilled by all the new entrants in the online media space and we wish them all the best. By focusing and innovating on what Tinypass does best – ecommerce for content – publishers are free to focus and innovate on what they do best — creating valuable, compelling content that resonates with their audiences.