2013 Fall Sales Newsletter Fall Newsletter : Page 12

set up e-mails that go out to subscribers and activate [alert] e-mails to editors. They handle the whole production side of that.” Because of the integrated workflow process, both production and fulfillment operations are handled without any extra burden; updated subscriber lists and other necessary data are exported by the publisher with a click of a mouse. On the editorial side, multimedia created for websites can easily become an enhancement for digital and mobile subscribers. A recent example is an Appalachian Trail Conservancy-sponsored video contest in celebration of the trail’s 75th anniversary. “We already had this video on hand and it was just a matter of sending the files over to Sheridan and for us to indicate where it was supposed to go [in the magazine],” Folgar says. Publishers, editorial staff, and freelance contributors need to engage in regular “smart planning” sessions, not just to figure out how to re-purpose print content for digital, but also how to invent new, mobile-accessible ways to tell stories (editorial) or promote goods and services (advertising). The online video phenomenon is an example of how traditional media professionals have added to their storytelling or promotion skills. Using low cost video and audio recorders (a/k/a smartphones), supplemental, mobile-friendly content is easier to acquire and incorporate into web editions and mobile apps. Step 7: Recognizing Barriers and Opportunities Early magazine apps demonstrated the potential of mobile, multimedia content delivery. However, monetizing this content has been an elusive goal. Subscription plans, available on digital newsstands like the App Store, Google Play, Amazon, and Zinio, offer unprecedented levels of discoverability and ease of access. However, many publishers find the 30% cost associated with subscribing via these platforms daunting. The early obstacles to in-app purchasing have been overcome, at least technically if not politically. However, publishers must still deal with multiple, competing digital distributors for the delivery of mobile apps which, for many, are still a small percentage of total subscribers. In addition, the discoverability potential of digital newsstands can be offset by the presence of competing publications, or the sheer number of digital titles. As an alternative, some specialized publications are electing to focus on their own digital fulfillment, with digital newsstand sales as a backup. Digital subscription strategies are varied—and sometimes a cause for debate. Under the “freemium” model, an app containing basic content can be downloaded for free, with a subscription plan that allows users to pay for and unlock premium material. The bundling approach makes mobile app access part of a cross-platform subscription offering. Some publishers believe that doing this without adjusting prices lessens the perceived value of the mobile platform. (A minority of these offer digital apps as a standalone subscription. More often, publishers create a tiered pricing structure, with “all access” packages priced at the top.) PAGE 12 Going Mobile: Revenue Opportunities for Publishers

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