Axel Springer’s Push Toward Profitability, U.S. News Outlets Still Blocking Access in EU, Magazines Holding Their Own, How Brand Pubs Are Growing Audiences, InDesign Tip: Using the Search Feature in CC Libraries

Welcome to Technology for Publishing’s roundup of news, stories of interest, and tips for media industry pros! This week we include posts on German digital publisher Axel Springer’s plan for profitability, the large number of U.S. news orgs still blocking access due to GDPR, magazines beating the odds, how brand publications are building audiences, and more.

  • Mathias Doepfner photo“We will prove that digital content is going to be a profitable business with very satisfying margins,” says Axel Springer CEO Mathias Doepfner (pictured) in a Bloomberg report on how the German publisher “is winning the Internet.” While many digital media pioneers (BuzzFeed, Mashable, and the like) have seen their valuations sink as the big tech companies take in the lion’s share of digital ad money, Doepfner is expecting Springer brands like Business Insider and the European edition of Politico to be profitable either this year or next—and the publisher is building a brand new digital headquarters in central Berlin in a show of that confidence. Springer “is creating jobs, it is growing, and it has aspirations to grow even further,” says Doepfner in the article.
  • If you’re visiting or live in Europe, there’s a chance you won’t be able to access some of the largest U.S. newspapers there, as a third of them have yet to comply with the GDPR data privacy law (see our This Week in Publishing post in June). Nieman Lab and others report big news publishers like the Los Angeles Times and Chicago Tribune are still blocking access to readers in the EU more than two months after GDPR went into effect. And that’s surprising, say observers, given that more than 500 million people live in the EU and nearly 16 million U.S. citizens visited Europe last year—a large market. “[Those blocking access] are missing a great opportunity to engage a readership which goes beyond [their] perceived demographic,” says a student attending school there.
  • While a WWD report says the magazine industry lost some $417.5 million in ad revenue last year—losses that (as we all know) have led to cutbacks, layoffs, and closures—there have been some success stories. Wired was one of those, it says, growing its audience more than any other magazine in print and digital—a monthly average of 28% year over year—followed by Popular Science, with 25% growth. The New Yorker, Town and Country, and Elle Decor also saw some respectable numbers. Parents, highlighted in a separate Folio post, is still another magazine beating the odds, with a recent uptick in ad pages sold. “I think print is having its renaissance,” says EIC Liz Vaccariello. “But magazines have to find new ways to be relevant.”
  • A Fipp article takes a look at brand magazines and how lessons learned are helping them grow their audiences. Rather than just hawking their wares, brand pubs today are focused on engaging readers with, well, good content. That includes creative visual design and imagery, both print and digital experiences, and quality editorial. “Building product stories around people creates ongoing success and brand loyalty,” the post notes.

On the Technology for Publishing Blog

  • InDesign Tip: Are you working with a shared library with a large number of assets, where you have to scroll endlessly to find what you need? Now you can start typing in the CC Libraries panel search field and the asset window will continually filter down the possible matches as more letters are added. Monica Murphy shows you how it works.
  • ICYMI: TFP’s latest Infographic Pick explains how artificial intelligence, the Internet of Things, augmented reality, and other emerging technologies are impacting mobile app development.

Photo: Rolf Schulten/Bloomberg

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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.