Exciting changes are underway at Nxtbook Media. Soon, our 3.0 product will be released to a small number of publishers as the culmination of our beta phase. The 3.0 product is true to the digital magazine industry, further building affinity to a print-like product, but doing so in a way that embraces the realities of a web world. Sculpted by an award-winning interface design company with input from readers and publishers, Nxtbook 3.0 will go further to build digital magazine readership and revenue than any product in the industry to date.
In the coming weeks, you’ll learn more about 3.0 right here. But for now, be sure to check out the first trailer here.
Hearst Electronics Group is the largest publisher of product information to the electronics industry. Their directories, eNewsletters, Web sites, Magazines, Webcasts, Inventory access tools, and databases are invaluable resources for engineers involved in product design. Todd Christenson is Publisher, Electronic Products, Hearst Electronics Group. He is responsible for redefining the digital look and feel of Electronic Products.
Electronic Products reports on important developments in products and product technology. Its editorial content serves as a key information source for engineers and managers. Project Analog helps keep EEs current on the latest technology trends in analog electronics and helps them make better-informed part and technology choices. This special digital publication includes a package of technical articles covering such topics as energy management challenges in personal hand held devices, selecting amplifiers to work with thermocouples, and a look at lens drivers used in handset camera modules.
The electronics market is truly global. As such, many international readers prefer to receive and read digital editions of business to business publications. This is especially true in the Far East, where 80 percent of engineers use e-books in their academic training. Therefore, Hearst Electronics Group decided in 2006 to develop a set of unique digital products that would become a competitive advantage in attracting readers and advertisers.
Todd Christenson has extensive experience with the development of digital editions of magazines. He considers Nxtbook to be an outstanding partner in developing the next generation of digital products. When they embarked on Project Analog, the Nxtbook team suggested a designer and was very proactive about being sure that social computing applications such as del.icio.us and Digg would be available to readers. The content display is more expansive and features a special sponsor bar at the right margin of the page. The cover has an animated contest feature to encourage readers to open the digital edition when it is delivered to their desktops. The Hearst team realized the value of providing their readers with links to other important industry information and developed an Analog News page that has links to content found in their competitor’s publications.
- Their digital editions are distinctive and hold readers’ attention. Their session lengths are higher than the industry average.
- The sponsor bar has been a big success, generating a click-through rate that is four times the industry average.
- The Analog News page has been a big hit with readers and is one of the reasons that their subscribers are such loyal readers of the digital edition.
- Print is not dead! Their number of print advertisers has remained constant as the number of digital advertisers has grown. Surprisingly, the URLs found in the print ads are a major source of traffic for the digital editions.
- They have worked hard at building good relationships with major search engines and get solid traffic from them.
- The digital edition and Web site work well together. The Web site promotes the latest digital edition and has breaking product news and a powerful product locator search feature.
- To serve global markets, sophisticated digital editions are essential. The speed of delivery of information is important to both readers and advertisers. The cost reductions yielded by digital delivery are substantial.
- Their new design features have helped yield excellent reader behaviors that help sell advertising.
- Given the success of the current digital editions, they are now considering a new set of digital-only products.
Gilbane Group Conclusions
- Their bold decision to link to content in their competitorâ€™s publications has paid off in more frequent reader visits as they become more fully integrated in their readersâ€™ quest for finding the right information from credible sources at the time they need it.
- Their new design feels less like a digital edition of a print product and more like a modern Web 2.0 information application. The bookmarking features are easy to use and search is well integrated. These features enhance the readersâ€™ experiences and build loyalty.
Note: This case study was excerpted from the 2008 Gilbane Report.
The NY Times features Readius, the first roll-up e-paper display due to hit the market next year. At $359, we’re still nowhere near a price that the average consumer will pick one up and at five inches diagonal with black and white text, we’re still nowhere near the size or resolution it will need to be if magazine publishers are to embrace it, but no matter…. it’s the type of product that could birth the magazine of the next generation.
At today’s Webinar, we asked publishers if they had to pick one reason to have a digital magazine, what would it be? The choices given were: Revenue generation, circulation building, cost savings, brand extension or environmental. The wimpy "multiple" option was not allowed.
Here’s how the percentages break out:
â€¢ Cost savings: 50 percent
â€¢ Revenue generation: 25 percent
â€¢ Circulation building: 12.5 percent
â€¢ Brand extension: 12.5 percent
The cool thing about a digital magazine is that by doing any one of the options, the environment automatically benefits (even though no one voted on it). In fact, the really cool thing about a digital magazine is that many of our publishers enjoy all of the benefits. But when we made publishers choose just one, that’s how the results played out.
Publishers gain more readers from the use of social media These readers come to your content because other readers tell them to.
The Nxtbook interface has been designed to encourage the sharing of links, not because most of your readers will, but because those that do will generate strong readership for you.
At BoardReader, you can see the "most viral" Nxtbook content out there – which Nxtbook digital magazine content is getting uploaded to forums the most. If you substitute the Nxtbook.com url for another digital magazine provider, you’ll also see that we outperform other companies. Why is this?
1.) Our interface was built to encourage link sharing. If your readers find you other readers, those are readers you don’t have to work to find.
2.) We’ve never charged for social media integration. We realize it’s an integral part of your digital edition readership and have always offered it as a standard part of the Nxtbook service.
NOTE: This case study was excerpted from the 2008 Gilbane Report.
Delivering Digital Editions to Victims of Hurricane Katrina
MARINE LOG America’s most respected marine industry monthly. It is dedicated to providing marine industry professionals with the information they need to enable them to design, build, and operate vessels, rigs, and offshore structures, profitably, safely, legally, and in an environmentally responsible manner. Today, MARINE LOG’s ability to deliver information has been enhanced by their Web site. Accessed from around the world, it makes frequently requested data available online and brings readers late-breaking news very rapidly. There are more than 30,000 qualified subscribers, and many more readers visit their Web site on a regular basis. John R. Snyder is the Editor and Publisher of Marine Log.
Shortly after Hurricane Katrina, John Snyder realized that his many readers on the Gulf Coast were unable to receive their traditional printed copy of the MARINE LOG by mail. He found that people were using the Internet to communicate during the crisis and decided to launch a digital replica edition to help reach those loyal readers who were so deeply affected by the storm.
Meeting the Challenge
John Snyder was introduced to Nxtbookâ€™s technology platform by his parent company, Simmons-Boardman. He was impressed with the Nxtbook technology and user interface. The compression technology kept file sizes manageable for distribution. The rich media capability allows them to add audio and video to their articles and advertising. MARINE LOG also likes to bundle whitepapers and brochures with the digital edition and has had several sponsored issues.
- The digital edition has been well received and has helped them to increase their circulation. It is especially popular in many distant international markets like the Far East, where many of todayâ€™s new ships are being built.
- Because their content is analytical and authoritative, the archive feature is very popular with their readers.
- An unexpected result has been the reinvigoration of their trade show presence, where the digital edition helps them demonstrate their content and rich media capabilities to potential subscribers and advertisers.
- The digital edition and Web site are completely complementary. The magazine is devoted to analysis of major trends and new regulations. They use the Web site for breaking news and online polls, and for cross-promotion of their directories and tradeshows.
- They will be expanding their online forums to help build a larger professional community presence.
- As their market becomes more global, the digital edition takes on greater importance.
Gilbane Group Conclusions:
- What started as a response to a storm-related crisis has become an important element of their product/marketing mix.
- Digital replica editions and their related Web sites are especially valuable in vertical markets where there is a need to keep an entire industry abreast of important news, events, research, and analysis. These readers are very loyal, making them very attractive to advertisers.
Can publishers make money from digital editions? According to this Nxtbook customer, they can:
In 2007, ITEM Publications saw $180,000 in digital publishing revenue
and $70,000 from optional digital ad revenues. â€œItâ€™s not huge but itâ€™s
not a difficult sale to make and it comes with high margins,â€ says
Dan Blank has written a great post about the variety of media we’re all consuming and the differences in how we react to it:
Itâ€™s a fascinating distinction because it crosses the line of
â€œcontent-creatorsâ€ and â€œaudience.â€ Super-users may create as much
content as they consume. Grazers may be similar to traditional
audiences, but even less engaged as they stream through massive amounts
of media, constantly filtering.
There’s an interesting challenge for magazine publishers here – and particularly publishers of digital editions – as most traditional magazines are formatted for grazing, as Dan defines it, and aren’t naturally hard-wired for interaction. Why does this matter? There’s at least two reasons:
1. By not encouraging interaction, magazine publishers are missing out on creating a "stickier" brand and because web analytics will continue to move more in the direction of engagement, stickiness will continue to be more important.
2. When people interact with your content, they post links to it, and links are the currency of the Web. It’s the simplest way to generate more traffic to your content and also makes your digital edition content that much more yummy with Google.
Simple ways to build interact inside your digital edition:
1. Make sure you’re promoting the RSS feed of your digital edition, which is free with Nxtbook Media.
Why this works: Those who use RSS readers are much more inclined to be Super-Users.
2. Post links to your digital edition content on forums.
Why this works: Ditto #1. While there are "lurkers" and grazers on forums, that’s also where the Super-Users can be found.
3. Blog about (and obviously link to) your digital edition content.
Why this works: Ditto #2
NOTE: This case study is excerpted from the 2008 Gilbane Report.
Information Today, Inc. is a leading publisher and conference organizer in the information and knowledge management industries. The company is widely known as the publisher of premier information and knowledge management titles such as EContent, EMedia, Information Today, Searcher, ONLINE, Computers in Libraries, CRM, and KMWorld. Bob Fernekees is Vice-president-Group Publisher for Information Today. His knowledge of high value digital content has been an essential ingredient in the transition from a print to hybrid media environment.
Streaming Media magazine is a quarterly resource for executives and technology managers who use online video and audio for both business communication and delivery of consumer content. Each issue of Streaming Media magazine focuses on a special theme and every issue offers must-read features, commentary, and reviews for readers in all markets. Streaming Media magazine is distributed in both print and digital editions. Written and edited by industry practitioners, experienced users, and streaming business experts, Streaming Media magazine is the trusted resource for organizations investing in enterprise, news/entertainment, and education applications for streaming and other digital media.
Online audio and video are now the delivery method of choice for both business and consumer content, and Streaming Media magazine covers the processes, products, and services that make it happen. Streamingmedia.com is the number one online destination for professionals seeking industry news, information, articles, directories, and services. The site features thousands of original articles, hundreds of hours of audio/video content, weekly newsletters read by more than 40,000 subscribers, and a wide range of services and resources dedicated to the streaming media industry. Streaming Mediaâ€™s aim is to
supply the community and those corporations implementing the technology with unparalleled information online.
The Information Today management team set the specific goal to moving subscribers from print media to a hybrid print and digital reading experience. Their publications are free and targeted towards groups of readers with specific professional interests. Creating the richest reading experience helps readers connect with their content more often and for longer periods of time. This helps them to generate additional advertising
Meeting the Challenge
Information Today has 12 magazines. Streaming Media is at the forefront of their digital publishing initiative and is the publication that most often experiments with new digital functionality. The team selected Nxtbook because of the ease of deploying digital editions and the very strong support for rich media. They like the Nxtbook business model and find them to be excellent publishing partners.
- They have had success in lining up sponsors for specific issues, including a newsletter promoting the digital issue.
- Because of their name and industry focus, Streaming Media advertisers and authors incorporate high-quality rich media. These links give some excellent examples of rich media in action:
- The associated Web site has lots of video, audio, and flash and is very well coordinated with the magazine and conferences. All aspects of the brand attract more people to the community and help sell more advertising and conference registrations.
- Their media kit is totally digital. The sales team likes to be able to demonstrate where the ad placement will be and to show typical digital ad performance data.
- Advertisers love the tangibility provided by Nxtbookâ€™s reader statistics package.
- They now attribute 70% of their revenues to digital publishing efforts.
- They prefer to provide both print and digital editions to all subscribers. The digital edition offers faster delivery of content and better searchability and linking, and is more vivid because of the rich media content and advertisements.
- The print edition is the physical presence that provides credibility for the publication. Readers still like to browse the printed edition.
- They experimented with online communities but had only modest success. The popularity of their conferences suggests that community is an important part of their franchise and they plan to try another set of online communities in the near future.
- Their publications are all free, so the goal is to generate eyeballs and clicks.
Gilbane Group Conclusions:
- The Information Today team has an outstanding grasp of how to offer a hybrid reading experience for their subscribers and new opportunities for their advertisers.
- Because digital editions are relatively inexpensive to produce, the incremental advertising opportunities and revenues easily justify the additional costs.
Lancaster, PA â€” January 5, 2007
digital publisher Nxtbook Media has reported record sales and traffic
for the year ending 2006. Sales for the year were 254% over the
companyâ€™s 2005 figures, and the number of Nxtbooks opened by readers
was 359% more than 2005 figures. In addition, the number of pages
viewed per Nxtbook reader increased nearly ten percent.
together, these numbers tell a compelling story,â€ said Nxtbook Media
CEO Michael Biggerstaff. â€œEveryone loves to talk about revenue and our
â€™06 increase was outstanding. But the dramatic increases in readers and
pages read per visit talk to the viability of the digital edition
marketplace and the overall user satisfaction of our publishersâ€™
Nxtbook Mediaâ€™s year-end traffic reports also
pointed out another trend consistent with other web content providers:
an astounding increase in the amount of video streamed from digital
â€œA 2005 to 2006 percentage comparison would be
too lop-sided to be meaningful,â€ said Biggerstaff. â€œItâ€™s simpler to say
that weâ€™re currently streaming hundreds of gigabytes of video per month
and that weâ€™re streaming the amount of video each week that we saw in
the entire year of 2005."
Biggerstaff attributed the dramatic growth to the following factors:
focus on product development. Nxtbook announced four major product
upgrades in 2006 â€“ far more than any other provider in the marketplace.
Product upgrades were designed to improve usability of the product as
well as to help publishers sell more sponsorships â€“ a key factor in
digital edition success.
- Increased focus on
International resellers. In 2006, Nxtbook Media added representation in
three countries, bringing the total of International resellers to six.
strong growth within the organization. During 2006, Nxtbook Media
tripled both its sales and production staff, but did so methodically
throughout the year.
that Nxtbook Media’s numbers are contrary to what others in the
marketplace have speculated regarding the viability of digital editions.
we occasionally read reports that publishers are struggling to be
successful with digital editions, our statistics show otherwise. At
Nxtbook Media, we’re working with more publishers than ever, more
readers are reading their digital editions each month and are staying
inside those digital editions for a longer period of time, so our
personal experiences are great and have only gotten better from month
Biggerstaff speculated why Nxtbook’s numbers may differ from industry perception:
we’ve been around for a while, so we’ve already seen what doesn’t work
and stopped doing it. As new competitors come into the market space,
publishers who work with them are missing out on the years of
experience we have. And second, of all the ‘veterans’ in the space,
we’re the ones who are working the hardest to evolve as the market
changes. We think this unique combination of market experience and
product development result in a positive experience for our customers."