In a report covered by iamb, the first quarter of 2013 has yielded nearly 16% more internet ad revenue over Q1 2012. You can read more about the $9.6 billion revenue generation by reading the report here.
Truly, it’s a great thing advertising revenue is seeing an uptick. The digital space has a lot to offer advertisers, and it’s exciting to watch people get creative in the kinds of advertising options they offer. For instance, I’m intrigued by sponsored posts and native advertising, even if I think there are better options.
But so far, publishers and advertiser alike are relying on buying and selling clicks. Publishers’ sales teams know what kind of money they can get given the average CTR of a certain space, size and placement of an ad.
What if we remove the click? What if your sales team could promise every reader who flipped through their pages would be delivered directly their website, would be able to interact with their website, yet wouldn’t leave the publication?
In other words, if 30,000 readers flipped through your publication and got to an ad page, instead of seeing a full-page ad with a hopeful call to action, 30,000 readers would be presented with your advertiser’s website.
How much more could you charge, would you charge, if you could skip the click?
Another day, another study about how people say they use their tablets to consume digital magazines. Which of course spawns a blog post about what these people mean by what they don’t say.
Enough with the madness.
I’m reminded of the phrase, "What you do speaks so loudly, I can’t hear what you say."
We live in a digital age, which means asking people what they do with media is a fool’s errand. Why not just look?
I do agree with one of the points from the Dead Tree Blog: such tablet studies DO ignore the fact that the overwhelming majority of digital magazines are read on browsers, which of course are on all devices. Whether or not a casual user considers a browser based edition to be a "tablet edition" is impossible to discern, which is pretty much the point.
Among our own customers, we’ve been fascinated to see that if you have and promote a native app, that tends to be anywhere from 25-40% of your total readership. Mileage varies, of course, by audience as well as how you promote your digital edition. But the point here is that in today’s marketplace, to maximize readership, you do need to be on all platforms.
Four years ago, when people used to ask me about digital edition open rates, my comeback would be if they’re only thinking about open rates, they don’t understand their digital edition, since 2/3 of all reads came from website links, social media and search engines. Today, I’d say if you’re asking me about your tablet readers, you’re similarly missing the point. It is and always has been a war for attention, and focusing too much on a single battlefield is the surest path to defeat.
This Internet stuff is funny. It wasn’t that long ago that we were all concerned about how to get our content into iOs apps. And then Android Apps. But the future is likely to get even more fragmented. This slideshow by Mary Meeker is well worth your time to scan through, but the part that really grabbed me starts around slide 53 where she goes into wearable, wifi devices… followed by devices in our cars… and on planes. Point being, depending on what type of content you serve up, it might end up going to a devices that looks very much not like a computer. Marrying content to platform could be the next big thing.
On the heels of Zinio’s Z-pass announcement (think Netflix for digital magazines, which we’ve heard before) is this article by Hamish McKenzie which covers little new ground in saying that for digital magazines to really succeed, they’re going to have to stop looking like print magazines.
While McKenzie is right, to a point, it’s fairly absurd that not a single example of what the future looks like has an advertisement in it that’s anything but an IAB banner. If nothing else, this proves that while McKenzie may understand technology, he doesn’t really understand how the publishing industry operates.
Moreover, if you’re not going to figure out advertising – and again, the samples McKenzie links to clearly haven’t – then your entire business model is predicated on digital content sales, which at this point is still very much a precarious business.
Nxtbook’s Ubiquity product aims to do both – deliver a better reading experience for consumers while creating unique advertising platforms for advertisers. In the end, both ends of the problem need to be fixed to push the industry into its next great phase of advancement and Ubiquity is the only platform we’ve seen that does that. Don’t believe us? Check out this sample here and notice how it works for readers and advertisers alike.
We’ve found that lots of people need a great looking website that plays great on mobile and tablet devices. That said, a lot of these same people have relatively small needs. Maybe you’re a consultant or a single practice attorney… in that case, you need to look good, but you don’t want to spend a ton.
Did you know that we’ve recently launched Rent-to-Own websites? For as little as $999 down, you can have your site launched in under a week. Click here to read the details, or enjoy the video for more info.
One of the oft-overlooked advantages to having a digital edition are the additional revenue generation opportunities tied to going digital. While publishers are starting to embrace the win-win scenario of increasing attention given to ads by adding animation, video, and clear digital calls to action, there’s an additional purely digital advantage that some publishers miss: the sponsorship.
With 27 sponsor spots to choose from in a fully-loaded Nxtbook digital and mobile edition, this fact remains: having skyscrapers, banners and toolbar ads means your advertiser’s creative is seen by every reader for as long as he or she has the publication open. The ads will appear next to the digital edition during every page flip and every moment the reader is engaging with the edition. This is a value no other advertiser will have, and is what every advertiser should want. It is prime real estate, and media sales reps can sell it as such.
There are a couple of different strategies publishers can use with this. Some publishers sell different sponsor locations to different advertisers. Some publishers are mindful of their sponsor’s competitors, and when a reader gets to a page that has the competitor’s ad, the sponsor spot disappears for that spread. Other publishers might create animated sponsor locations which flip through a series of advertisers, all in the same position. Still other publishers bundle multiple sponsor locations together into a sponsorship package, selling a single sponsor the exclusive rights to the banner ads in that issue.
One such publisher is Bobit Business Media. This publisher created a magazine for executive vehicle management, Fleet Financials, and sells sponsorships to the tune of two skyscraper ads and a toolbar button. This issue was purchased by Volkswagen, an advertiser likely to benefit from reaching Fleet Financials‘ audience. By selling the sponsor locations as a package deal, a reader is instantly exposed to three complementary ads for Volkswagen that they can engage with or ignore for a time as they read the magazine. As the reader turns page by page, the ads are persistent, giving more time for the reader to notice and click on any of the three positions.
Digital editions are inherently revenue-generators. Whether you prefer the one-sponsor or the multi-sponsor path, it’s crucial for publishers to understand the value of these positions and to price them according to that value. Consider what you can offer your advertisers via sponsorships and let them know you’re ready to sell.
Like most of you, we pay attention to how people find us. I’m talking about the Nxtbook corporate site, as well as our (and your) digital editions. On our corporate site, in particular, we’ve noticed a drop off of search engine traffic, which would be disturbing if not for the fact that overall site visits continue to rise.
The culprit, according to this article, may be new browsers that block some of that vital search referral data, and instead lump those visitors into that big nebulous bucket we all have called "direct traffic."
On one hand, this isn’t a problem. After all, you’re still getting the visitor. But on the other hand, those of us who like to understand why that visitor came so they can replicate the success… well, things have gotten a bit harder for us.
From Blackberry CEO Thorsten Heims:
“In five years I don’t think there’ll be a reason to have a tablet anymore," Heins told Bloomberg’s Hugo Miller and Nadja Brandt. "Maybe a big screen in your workspace, but not a tablet as such. Tablets themselves are not a good business model.”
And we wonder why Blackberry is an also-ran?
Then again, if the only tablet I’d ever owned was a Blackberry Playbook, maybe I’d feel the same way.
Last week, Marcus Grimm demonstrated to a select Folio: audience the way to make money in today’s digital landscape. Acknowledging the banner ad has long lost what little power it had, he quickly laid out the savvy digital marketer and publisher’s next step in advertising. (Spoiler Alert: Grimm reveals that even when the banner ad was first released it only had a 44% click-through rate!)
Missed the webinar? You can still register to view the archive by clicking here.
If you’ve either loved the webinar and can’t wait to see the slides again, or if you’re not ready to commit to an hour strategy session in advertising, you can view the presentation slides on slideshare by clicking here.
As always, if you wish a one-on-one conversation about how your business should be handling digital advertising, give us a shout!
Ron Matejko is a publisher of some great digital-only magazines. He also writes periodically for Publishing Executive. Yesterday, he posted his opinion of how major news outlets "misused" Twitter during the Boston Marathon tragedy. While most of his objections were spot on, in my opinion, he whiffed on this one:
"By far, the most frustrating and head-scratching decision was announced by the New York Times, which took down its paywall during the height of the news cycle. What is the sense of having a paywall if it is going to be removed at a time when its content is most valuable. Are we supposed to believe this is a corporation with a conscience? The Boston Globe and Wall Street Journal dropped their paywalls as well."
Whether or not the Times has a "conscience" or not is debatable, though as a reader I tend to think there’s more than a little virtue in what they try to do. But more important, I think, is that the Times correctly assessed the situation and responded.
Truth is, the NY Times is rarely – if ever – a contender for "breaking news." That’s what TV is for. Instead, they are purveyors of thoughtful detailed news, and their paywall exists to cater to customers seeking quality, not immediacy.
The events at the Boston Marathon drove readers to seek breaking news, which – fortunately or not – tend to be a commodity product. The Times responded by allowing readers the ability to consume that commodity before they had the opportunity to provide the insight readers will desire in time.
What readers wanted Monday afternoon were the facts and Times removal of their paywall allowed them to provide them without frustration to readers, desperate for answers.