Popularity of Science Pubs, Publishers’ View Of Apple News, Young Brands Launching Print Mags, Hearst Mags Under Review, TFP CEO Margot Knorr Mancini: Cultural Resistance, InDesign Tip

Welcome to Technology for Publishing’s roundup of news, stories of interest, and tips for media industry pros! It’s turning out to be a very busy week, including posts on why the fact-based reporting of science titles is resonating with audiences, what publishers think about Apple’s Apple News pitch, why some startup brands are launching their own print publications, Troy Young’s review of Hearst titles, and more.

  • natgeosept18 coverScience-related publications are having “their moment,” Folio reports, noting readers are increasingly turning to the fact-based approach of leading science titles like National Geographic, Scientific American, and Smithsonian as a counterbalance to today’s “post-truth politics” and “fake news.” But it’s not just media’s credibility problem that’s driving the trend. Top science-based brands have evolved—across platforms—to make their content more accessible to readers. “The key for us is making these science stories relatable and real, with great characters and content that can inspire,” says NatGeo’s Susan Goldberg.
  • Publishers are open to Apple’s Apple News pitch, but having been “burned” by other platforms (cough, Facebook), they’re approaching it with some skepticism, says Digiday. Of course a big question still to be answered is how much money publishers are going to make once the content engine is chugging: Right now, Slate says, a Slate.com article with 50,000 pageviews brings in more revenue than one that gets 6 million pageviews on Apple News. Still, a publishing executive quoted in the article says of Apple, “They’re attentive, and you have the sense they’re human beings that are trying to nurture a relationship of some kind.”
  • Some young brands are going “old school” with print publications that not only help them better connect with customers, but—if done right—drive additional revenue by attracting advertisers and partners eager to tap their well-defined target audience. Take luggage company Away, which launched a print magazine that’s now included inside every piece of luggage it sells. “We knew exactly who the demographic it was going to because we were a direct-to-consumer company and these are our customers,” explains company president Jen Rubio in an Adweek post. That, she says, is “very appealing” to advertisers.
  • Hearst pubs are expecting some changes as Troy Young, the company’s new president, begins his tenure with reviews of all staff and operations (see This Week in Publishing). According to WWD, sources have said the former digital chief of Hearst Magazines is looking to “suss out any remaining editorial Luddites” and identify “efficiencies and improvements to digital performance and integration.”

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Image: NatGeo cover/Folio

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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.