NatGeo Redesign, Consumer Reports Tiered Membership Model, Meredith’s HelloGiggles Print Debut, Apple News Service, TFP’s Media Metrics, TFP’s Infographic Pick

Welcome to Technology for Publishing’s roundup of news, stories of interest, and tips for media industry pros! This week, we’re sharing posts about a major redesign of National Geographic magazine, early success with a new tiered membership model at Consumer Reports, Meredith’s debut of a HelloGiggles print edition, Apple’s plans to incorporate Texture into Apple News, and more.

  • NatGeo coverNational Geographic has a new look—a redesign that comes “on the heels of one of the most successful years in National Geographic magazine’s 130-year history,” an announcement on its website says. The changes include new sections, new typefaces, and premium paper stock, as well as “new visual story forms, thought-provoking essays, and even more stunning photography,” it says. The idea, according to editorial director Susan Goldberg, was to create “the same sense of wonder readers expect but with a bolder, more provocative, more captivating eye.”
  • Another iconic publication, Consumer Reports, announced it’s rolling out a tiered membership that aims to keep existing members in the fold while drawing in new readers looking for premium access. The plan ranges from a free service (in exchange for an email address) to a $55-per-year subscription that lets users chat with reviewers. Digiday says the brand, which has about 6 million paying subscribers, is seeing some early success with the tiered model, with 111,000 new members signing up since its rollout eight weeks ago.
  • Hoping to replicate its success with print versions of Allrecipes and more recently The Magnolia Journal and Hungry Girl, Meredith launched a HelloGiggles magazine, a brand it acquired along with Time Inc. According to Folio, subscribers of People are receiving the debut issue, slated to come out twice a year, with content geared toward “millennial women with a focus on beauty, fashion, and pop culture.” Says publisher Cece Ryan, “The genesis of HelloGiggles’ print edition came from the data that 60 percent of our Instagram followers said they would read a print issue of their beloved brand, so we responded.”
  • Apple is prepping a news subscription service that will integrate Texture, a magazine app it recently acquired (see an earlier This Week in Publishing post). According to a number of reports, the Apple News team is developing a premium service that is expected to debut within the next year. Magazine publishers participating in the program will get a piece of the subscription revenue action, though Apple isn’t providing details yet. “A new, simplified subscription service covering multiple publications could spur Apple News usage and generate new revenue in a similar manner to the $9.99 per month Apple Music offering,” a Bloomberg post notes.

On the Technology for Publishing Blog

  • Our new Infographic Pick highlights how brand purpose—from racial equality and women’s rights to immigration and climate change—impacts relevancy and consumer trust.
  • TFP’s Media Metrics: We’ve rounded up new reports on the latest publishing trends, including time spent on ad-supported vs. non-ad-supported media, growth in Google Chrome Articles for You recommendations, traffic driven by search vs. social, Facebook user numbers post privacy scandal, and more.
  • ICYMI: You can now enclose multiple consecutive paragraphs with the new Merge Paragraph Borders option in InDesign CC 2018. Check out Monica Murphy’s latest InDesign Tip to learn how!

Image: National Geographic

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Posted by: Monica Sambataro

Monica Sambataro is a contributing editor and copyeditor for Technology for Publishing. Her publishing background includes work for leading technology- and business-related magazines and websites.