Hearst’s International Push, Digital ‘Blueprint,’ New Business Insider Website, New Media vs. Old Media, AEM Mobile Tip: Creating a Content Map

Welcome to Technology for Publishing’s roundup of news and tips for media industry pros! This week, we’re sharing stories about how Hearst is growing its global digital network, a “blueprint” for digital transformation, Business Insider’s reversal of the distributed model, the relationship between new media upstarts and old media parents, and more.

Holding hands image

  • Gary Ellis, chief digital officer at Hearst Magazines International, told Digiday that the publisher is currently extending its “media operating system” across more than 300 titles and 46 international markets, calling it “our elegant weapon.” Described as a technological backbone that enables editorial and business units to share resources, the so-called media OS rolled out in the U.S. in 2014 with the goal of increasing content reuse among titles. Today, Ellis said, it’s key in Hearst’s plan to grow its global digital network, with capabilities that allow international editorial teams to pinpoint the performance of stories across sites and “localize” them for specific markets. So far, results have been positive: As of March, the company reported 230 million monthly readers outside the U.S., an increase of 28% over last year.
  • Other legacy publishers successfully transitioning to digital are providing a “blueprint” for news operations still building their strategies, Poynter reported, noting a recent New York Times memo highlights some major changes already underway industrywide. According to Anne Vasquez, chief digital officer at Tribune Publishing, execution remains key in the shift from print-centric thinking to more visual storytelling. For newsrooms still struggling to become digital first, the article outlines five steps: Don’t try to be everything to everyone; conversely, stay focused on what you cover best; free staffers from the confines of print; explore multiple story forms, including visual; and organize resources around topics instead of department.
  • Business Insider launched a new website that will feature content created specifically for social platforms. Called “Insider,” the lifestyle site is a reversal of the trend toward distributed publishing models, whereby content is posted directly to social instead of to traditional homepages. After primarily posting just short video clips to Facebook, Snapchat, and YouTube for the past 10 months, Insider is getting its own site so the publisher can offer “more editorial versatility,” including written stories and visuals that don’t work well on platforms, The Wall Street Journal reported. “We expect the lion’s share of the views will remain on distributed, but we are really excited about doing different types of stories we can’t do right now,” said EIC Nicholas Carlson.
  • Elsewhere, Bloomberg columnists Rani Molla and Shira Ovide looked at the relationship between new media upstarts and “old guard” companies like Disney and Hearst, saying, “Hot shots of new media are like twentysomethings who live in their parents’ basement.” There are mutual benefits, they point out: Investments in digital natives are helping legacy companies reach young audiences, who are moving away from traditional sources of news and entertainment, while those cash infusions are helping to keep the lights on at new media properties like BuzzFeed, Vice, and Vox, among others. But there can also be some tension “when the upstarts start to test their parents’ boundaries,” they say, noting traditional companies are more constrained when it comes to the type of content they want to be associated with, for example. And there’s always the risk that their investments won’t produce returns in the long run. Nevertheless, such arrangements are expected to grow in number: Verizon and Hearst, for example, recently announced they were buying millennial-focused video company Complex Media.

On the Technology for Publishing Blog

  • AEM Mobile: In this week’s Adobe Experience Manager Mobile Tip, Monica Murphy shows you how easy it is to create a Content Map, along with ways to sort content using filters.
  • Media Metrics: In case you missed it, this month’s roundup covers long-form storytelling on mobile, consumers willing to pay for ad-free browsing, the continuing growth of social media, brand awareness on platforms, and more.
  • TFP’s latest infographic: If you’re thinking about using A/B testing to optimize your site, make sure to check out our infographic pick outlining key elements to test for and what to avoid.

We’d like to honor all those who have served our country as this Memorial Day approaches, and wish everyone a great weekend!

Image: Digiday

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.