Spinning a NYLON Web…
Written by Nxtbook Media
Nxtbook Media has had the proud privilege to produce the digital edition of NYLON Magazine for a long time. In fact, we were already producing the publication in 2006 when the title entered into a brilliant partnership w/ MySpace, which exposed both the content and the format to what was then the largest social media playground on the Web.
In the years since then, NYLON has experimented with a wide variety of digital subscription plans. Certain issues were offered for free, trial subscriptions allowed readers to try out the digital magazine, etc.
All the while, though, NYLON has experimented with print subscriptions, too. In one case, Urban Outfitter shoppers were able to get free subscriptions to the magazine. (In fact clicking on this link will show you Urban Outfitter blog posts that reference NYLON – the synergy between these two brands is quite tight.) But it was this partnership that created the digital magazine dust-up of the week.
Apparently, NYLON made the magazine to convert some free trial subscriptions to free digital subscriptions. (NOTE: We say apparently because – while we make the digital magazine for NYLON, we don’t manage subscriber lists or send out e-mails) That decision – most would agree – is pretty clever. The cost of digital delivery is inexpensive and readers love NYLON content, even if they’re less than willing to pay for it. In fact, here’s a Tweet where someone was tickled this happened to them.
Unfortunately, NYLON’s email didn’t let the subscribers know why they were being converted, which caused some to speculate incorrectly that NYLON was doing this for all of their subscribers. Blogs (including NBC) only told the first half of the story. Others, like Gawker, edited their posts to be more complete.
In the end, what can we learn from this? Probably several things:
1) NYLON’s only fault is in being somewhat unclear in their communications. People today are being pummelled with content and we quickly forget which content we paid for and which content we didn’t. As a publisher, if that’s your criteria for altering someone’s delivery, remind them why you’re doing it.
2) If you make the decision to go all-digital, some readers will love you for it. Others won’t. Guess what? The same thing would happen if you shut down your website and went all print. Some applaud change. Others… not so much.
3) Think creatively. It’s easy to pick on NYLON for this snafu, but ask yourself: When’s the last time you found a partner to cross market subscriptions to? When’s the last time you used teaser digital subscriptions as a way to use your CONTENT to find more readers? More than anything, today’s world requires rapid, simple experimentation and NYLON should be praised for thinking outside of the box, even if it resulted in a slight misstep this time around.