American’s Test Kitchen, Q&A on Apple News, Future of Book Publishing, Review of LinkedIn’s Mobile Apps, Media Metrics, TFP’s Infographic Pick of the Week, DPS 2015 Tip: Using Custom Fonts in Cards, Adobe Digital Publishing Solution v2015.7 Release

Welcome to Technology for Publishing’s roundup of news and tips for media industry pros! This week, we’re sharing stories about America’s Test Kitchen’s plan to expand to new platforms, the latest on Apple News from Apple VP Eddy Cue, Hachette CEO Michael Pietsch’s take on the future of publishing, LinkedIn’s revamped mobile apps, and more.

Americas Test Kitchen image

  • In a Nieman Lab interview, David Nussbaum, first-ever CEO of America’s Test Kitchen owner Boston Common Press, revealed his plans for the “Consumer Reports of cooking,” including reassurances that longtime host Chris Kimball will continue to be involved in ATK despite failed contract negotiations. He said Kimball, who is seen as “the face of ATK,” will stay on as host of ATK Radio and discussions are underway to see how he can be involved in other ventures. As to the company’s content strategy and evolving business model, Nussbaum said while continuing to focus on the PBS network, he’s looking to expand to new platforms, beyond Netflix and Amazon Prime. The company will also be exploring the launch of new shows, whether online-only or other types of broadcast offerings.
  • Six weeks after the launch of Apple News, CNN sat down with Apple VP Eddy Cue to discuss the goal of the app, how publishers are faring with it, concerns about tech companies controlling the distribution of news, censorship issues in China, and more. While the report says Cue likened the app to “a public service” designed to bring more news to the masses and free publishers from the burden of running the technology behind distribution, it also points out that Apple of course benefits by keeping readers in its domain—for one, by getting a cut of revenue under one of its advertising models. Motivations aside, some early reviews have been promising, the report notes, while others indicate publishers are “underwhelmed” by its performance so far.
  • Hachette CEO Michael Pietsch offered his take on the future of publishing in a Wall Street Journal post, noting that despite all the dire predictions around the impact of e-books, sales of digital books have accounted for no more than a quarter of publishers’ revenues to date and have in fact been declining over the past year. Print books, on the other hand, “have proved durable because, as a format, they’re simply hard to improve on,” he said. On the topic of self-publishing, Pietsch said the model does open up opportunities for those writers who want to reach readers directly, but for most writers, publishers will continue to be the vehicle through which they get promoted and, most importantly, paid. “Publishers’ essential work will remain the same—identifying, investing in, nurturing, and marketing great writers,” he said.
  • And a TechCrunch reviewer took LinkedIn’s revamped mobile apps for a spin, reporting that the just released iOS and Android versions are “cleaner and less cluttered” than previously but “noise” may still be a problem for some users. The company did overhaul the main feed inside the apps to make the interfaces more aesthetically pleasing and to allow users to opt out of seeing certain content, the report says. Other improvements include a “My Networks” feature that highlights contact updates in a card-like layout, significantly faster search, and a messaging update that includes more chat-like features.

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Image: Nieman Lab

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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.