Digital Publishing
3 mins read

The must-read publishing stories you may have missed this week

Netflix resurrects NME’s print mag for a special issue, why online publishers should be optimistic, and more…

The rise of the undead magazine

Outside of the political chaos that seems to be enveloping many of us around the world, the media industry has its own strange story to tell this week, with the news of the Netflix-NME partnership in the UK.

On the one hand, the news that Netflix, the world’s seventh-largest internet company by revenue, has chosen to resurrect a print magazine that was shuttered last year is heartening to many of us who have watched the print magazine industry struggle with declining ad revenues over the past decade.

But what does this mean for the future of the ‘special issue’? If we see more magazines being resurrected as special editions primarily as content marketing for another brand, are we in problematic territory?

Few would turn down such a revenue offer, but we’d love to know what the frequent print publishers make of ‘zombie’ print mags returning from the dead like this.


The case for optimism if you’re an online publisher

When it comes to measuring the health of the digital publishing industry, I think it can be easy to fall victim to a form of confirmation bias. It typically doesn’t make news when a media org hires a new staff member, whereas layoffs, because they involve dozens of people losing their jobs all at the same time, tend to attract more notice.

What’s new this week

Is the Netflix-NME partnership the future of ‘special issues’?
NME’s surprise return to print is a demonstration of just how well it has managed to sustain its online presence. But is this a future that other ex-print magazines can really look forward to?
Knight Foundation and GNI announce local journalism initiatives
The Knight Foundation announced yesterday that it will be investing $300 million over the next five years to strengthen journalism by focusing on the future of local news.
63% of publishers to boost content production in 2019, study finds
Most publishers expect to increase the volume of content they produce in 2019, even in the absence of additional funding.
23.1% higher click-through rates: Google’s AMP increases organic traffic for publishers
A comprehensive, large-scale study on the impact of accelerated mobile pages on search performance shows a direct positive correlation between AMP and organic traffic.
“Start dating your readers”: How to build a long-term relationship with your audience
A recent survey found that 52% of media executives will focus on reader revenues this year, and we know that leading publishers invest more in engagement than acquisition.
14 top referrer sources for publishers (by word count, device type, and categories viewed)
The apps that saw the most growth last year, SmartNews, Flipboard, Instagram, Google-Other, also tend to have most if not all of their audience on mobile. 
TechCrunch launches premium offering: “Repository of all things that no one tells you”
Digital publisher TechCrunch—which specializes in tech news, reviews and profiling startups—recently launched its first premium offering, Extra Crunch.
Fighting the pervasive mentality that content must be free
Whenever the sentiment is shared that people simply won’t pay for content in the digital age of abundance, it’s likely that Facebook or Google is lurking around a corner. 
Magnetic CEO Sue Todd on the true value of magazine media to advertisers
Sue Todd speaks to us about their newly-launched ‘Pay Attention’ campaign, aiming to highlight the importance of quality attention to advertisers.
On reading AI article, Guardian columnist asks, “Does anyone have any job openings?”
OpenAI, a non-profit artificial intelligence research company recently announced that it had developed one of the most advanced language modeling algorithms, called GPT-2.
First signs of a subscription model for podcasts
Following in the footsteps of many publishers who are focusing on a “pivot to paid” this year, some podcasts are also offering subscriber-only, or early access, to podcasts.
Bo Sacks: The newsstand is not irrelevant
The newsstand is often misunderstood and is more complex than most realize. There are an unusually large set of varied businesses focused on the selling of magazines on the newsstand.
The “single most effective way” to increase subscriptions, according to Google
We’ve seen data from Google that shows that email newsletters are the single most effective way to get people to decide to subscribe.

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