Magazine Brand Licensing, New Reader Behavior Measurements, Meredith’s Video Guarantee and NewFronts Pitch, Paywall Considerations, InDesign Tip: Export Document as Separate PDF Pages

Welcome to Technology for Publishing’s roundup of news, stories of interest, and tips for media industry pros! This week, we’re sharing posts highlighting how publishers are diversifying revenue via brand licensing, a new way to measure reader engagement, Meredith’s video guarantee and its first NewFront since acquiring Time Inc., things to consider before setting up a paywall, and more.

  • playboy_bunny_picFor publishers like Meredith, Penske, and Nylon, brand licensing is becoming much more than a side hustle these days, with major investments in global licensing initiatives and deeper involvement in product manufacturing and marketing. “Magazine brands remain remarkably resilient as distinct badges of curation, sober editorial judgment, and, for lack of a better word, class,” explains a Folio article, noting publishers are increasingly capitalizing on that cachet as part of their diversification efforts. At Nylon, for example, 20 to 30 percent of revenue is expected to come from licensing by 2019—not exactly chump change.
  • There are five types of reading behavior: Scan, Read, Read (long), Idle, and Shallow. That’s according to recent research that looks at how consumers read digital content and provides a new way to measure how long they will engage with articles. “Not surprisingly,” says a Nieman Lab post, “different kinds of news sites see different kinds of reading behavior.” For example, on a sports site, there’s likely to be more scanning, with readers looking for outcomes rather than narratives, it says. In contrast, on a how-to site, time spent on articles might be more intermittent as readers follow steps. “It ends up being highly predictive of how engaged someone will be with an article, and [publishers] should consider it along with the other metrics tracked by companies like Chartbeat,” the article concludes.
  • At its first NewFronts pitch since buying Time Inc., Meredith announced it will be extending to video the same guarantee it laid out for other products back in 2011: No sales lift, no charge. And tying into that, its presentation preview emphasized “brand safety,” addressing marketing execs’ growing frustration with issues around fraud and lack of transparency in the digital advertising business. “We have scale in video; it’s brand-safe scale. We think that’s a differentiator,” the publisher said. No mention of Time, Sports Illustrated, or Fortune. According to Digiday, Meredith plans to sell Time Inc. news and business titles “because their audiences don’t fit Meredith’s existing women-focused portfolio.”
  • Is your organization considering a paywall? If so, there are a number of decisions to make before making the move, says VP Clare Carr in a Digital Content Next article. What will be your free-article limit, for instance, and what will be your call to action? Aside from those and other considerations, Carr advises content providers to use their audience data to identify super-users, determine which content would work best behind the paywall, and most important, ensure you are providing value to your readers. The key, Carr says, is to “get your subscription offer in front of the right people at the right time.”

On the Technology for Publishing Blog

  • With InDesign CC 2018 v13.1, you can now export a document to PDF and create separate PDFs for each page or spread—a small improvement with a big impact on efficiency! Read Monica Murphy’s new InDesign tip for details.
  • ICYMI: Our Media Metrics roundup gives you the latest stats on 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’s user base, and more.
  •  From racial equality to climate change, consumers expect brands to take a position on the issues they care about most. See TFP’s recent infographic pick to learn how brand purpose affects relevancy and consumer trust.

Image: Folio

Visit our blog for highlights of interesting and noteworthy stories from the publishing world every Friday, and sign up for TFP’s This Week in Publishing newsletter. Think we missed something great? Let us know! Leave a comment below or drop us a note.

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.