Digital Magazine Vendor Throws in Towel – Cites Economy
Written by Nxtbook Media
In 2009, there shall be blood – or, at least not enough money to continue some ventures. Last year, Adobe announced plans to run Yahoo ads beside PDFs. In theory, this would give publishers a low-cost way to monetize their digital editions. (Assuming you think a PDF is an "elegant" enough reading experience to be called a digital magazine, which we don’t.) In a note to those using the service, Adobe said, "Thank you for your
Beta program. Unfortunately, due to a reassessment of priorities in
the current economic environment, Adobe is discontinuing the program
effective March 31, 2009."
The only problem with Adobe’s announcement is that they want to blame the economy without recognizing the inherent flaws in the program from the beginning, most of which are covered quite well by TechCrunch. However, TechCrunch missed a few points:
* Adobe partnered with Yahoo – not Google. I don’t think this plan would’ve worked with either, but Google’s ad serving has been better forever.
* The best digital magazines go to highly focused niche advertisements, offering publishers the ability to charge more for highly targeted messages sent to highly targeted audiences. You don’t use ad serving for that. You use salespeople signing partnerships with key advertisers who pay a lot, and get a lot. They pay a lot more than $5 a click and a lead is worth way more than that to them.
* A true digital magazine is designed to be an elegant reading experience. While some are better than others, most all are more engaging than the PDF format.
In some cases, the economy will be to blame for business failures. But more often, it only exposes flaws in strategy and execution which would’ve shown themselves at some point, regardless of the climate.