A millenial take on digital magazine publishingThe millenials want magazines, but want them their way. Here we highlight two magazines geared for the millennial audience, one already being published and the other in the planning stages, that may provide a clue to how the millennial generation thinks about magazines.
Regale is a magazine "created and compiled by millennials, for millennials." The intended readers are twenty-somethings trying to figure out how to live on their own for the first time. The idea began as a blog but became a magazine idea when the editor, Jenna Stratman, began talking to her friends and they offered to write articles.
The digital magazine, created in Issuu, is available online and has a tablet edition. It is available for free to anyone that wants to read it and Stratman doesn’t plan on ever creating a subscription for the magazine. “I want it to be accessible to anyone and everyone," she explained, "It’s aimed at people just like me.”
To make money she plans on looking for sponsorships with niche businesses. She also plans to expand the Web site to have more material that won’t be found in the magazine. This will create consistent traffic in between the spikes generated by the release of each quarterly issue.
The second millennial magazine, The Holocene, is still in its infancy but is being touted as another example of sub-compact digital publishing that will save magazine publishing. The Holocene, if it is successful, will be two things. First it aims to be a periodical, a magazine about crafts and makers, with writing, photos and, most essentially, step by step guides for crafters that work intuitively on devices. Second, The Holocene will provide a platform for others to create their own periodicals using the tools developed.
In an interview with Melville House's Dustin Kurtz, co-creator Brett Sandusky shared the vision for the magazine.
As digital publishing products become more and more ubiquitous, transformations are taking place and one of those is related to content format, length, and monetization. What The Magazine is proving right now is that it is possible to monetize small, targeted chunks of content. There has long been an issue with trying to monetize smaller snippets of content outside of the ad revenue approach — look at blogging for an example. But, here, we are saying, this content is valuable, and it can stand on its own. In light of this, it’s an exciting time to be launching a microzine."Unlike the traditional magazine subscription model where subscribers purchase an entire issue, the creators say they are looking to a different type of subscription. Along the same lines as buying individual tracts from a music album, readers will be able to subscribe to only the content they are interested in, rather than purchasing the whole which may include content they don't want.
Co-creator Kim Werker, in her blog, gives a little preview of the content that might be available in The Holocene.
We managed to come up with a really exciting idea about delivering crafts instructions on mobile devices in a very simple step-by-step way similar to GPS turn-by-turn driving directions. That made my day. (I mean, seriously, picture this: Instead of loading a full-page-width PDF onto your phone and zooming and squinting to try to read the next instruction, you load up an app that delivers – in gloriously readable text – the next instruction only. Then you swipe for the next step.The microzine will not be considered mobile-only. Readers will be able to access their content on every device they own. "If your toaster oven is internet-enabled," said Sandusky, "we want to be on it."
The Holocene may be on to something. It was publicly voted one of the ten finalists of O'Reilly TOC's Publishing Startup Showcase.
-Jolene Robinson, Magazine Training International; January 17, 2013
Magazines will continue to shift to digital formats in 2013More titles will shift to online-only in 2013 due to declining ad revenues for print magazines. Experts predict that the new year will bring another year of transition for magazine publishers.
It appears news and celebrity magazines look the most vulnerable as digital apps and online sources are more friendly to video and interactive content. On the other hand, magazines devoted to long-form journalism, fashion titles, and home furnishing magazines look to be in the best shape to survive 2013 in print.
“Although people will always–hopefully–want to read what we now call a magazine, magazines have to stop thinking about themselves in the traditional way and have to start thinking of themselves more as content providers, with the content being distributed on the platform most suitable for the content itself–print, web, tablet, smartphone, etc.,” says Martin S. Walker, chairman at Walker Communications, a print consultancy.
Read more about what some top magazines are doing to deliver content in engaging new ways.
-Jolene Robinson, Magazine Training International; December 27, 2012
Major newspaper launches e-book publishing programContent is king in digital publishing and the walls that used to define media companies as magazines, books, and newspapers seem to be disappearing in the digital universe. The New York Times announced the launch of two publishing programs that will allow them to deliver new and existing content as e-books.
In collaboration with Byliner, The Times will co-publish up to a dozen New York Times / Byliner Originals in the next year featuring narratives in areas in which The Times has reporting expertise including culture, sports, business, science and health. The new e-books may or may not stem from Times reporting. The key is that the titles will offer new and original content that is not available in the paper or on NYTimes.com.
On the other hand, the new TimesFiles are curated selections of articles from The New York Times archives. These selections will be republished as compelling narratives about a particular topic or event. Built in collaboration with Vook using the Vook e-book publishing platform, the TimesFiles collection will have 25 e-books available on Monday, December 17, with many more expected to come in 2013. Read more about the launch and companies involved.
-Jolene Robinson, Magazine Training International; December 17, 2012
The Daily: A digital dinosaur in two years?The Daily, the first iPad-only newspaper launched in February 2011, is extinct. The publication will close on December 15. At its launch many thought it could be the savior to the struggling newspaper industry. So what went wrong?
Andy Boxall, a writer for Digital Trends, argues that The Daily either ignored or underestimated the power of social media and news aggregation. Apps such as Flipboard, Pulse and even Huffington Post surpassed The Daily's reach because they are free and use social algorithms to compile news.
Boxall explains, "By not adapting to current news consumption trends, and not allowing other online news sources, blogs, and websites to link to its content, it was an online dinosaur, despite its flashy modern exterior."
The cost of producing the app as well as internal financial woes and an organizational split at NewsCorp also played a role in The Daily's losing fight for survival.
Still, The Daily will not likely be forgotten by publishers. Rupert Murdoch said in a statement “From its launch, The Daily was a bold experiment in digital publishing and an amazing vehicle for innovation." It was an experiment that other publishers will study carefully as they search for a digital publishing model that will work for their publications. Read more from Andy Boxall.
-Jolene Robinson, Magazine Training International; December 10, 2012