HBR Circulation Increase, Fast Co. Redesign, Future of Newsroom Automation, Scribd-Times Bundle, Adobe MAX Highlights and InDesign Updates, TFP’s Podcast Pick

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! Check out these posts on Harvard Business Review beating circulation expectations, a “more welcoming” design for Fast Company magazine, the future of automation in newsrooms, a Scribd-NYT bundle deal, and more.

  • HBR coverHarvard Business Review is reporting record-high paid circulation for the second year in a row, despite its decision to cut print frequency to bimonthly back in 2017. The secret to its success? “The critical piece of it was conveying to our subscriber base that their relationship with the brand was anchored in print but it is truly an integrated print and digital experience,” says publisher Sarah McConville. In a Folio Q&A, McConville and membership marketing manager Caty Trio detail the strategy behind HBR’s reader acquisition and messaging efforts, as well as social promotion, content marketing, pricing, and what’s ahead.
  • “More accessible, more friendly.” That’s how Fast Company creative director Mike Schnaidt describes the publisher’s redesigned print magazine, which debuted Oct. 15. “The state of business in 2018 is less techy,” he says in a MediaPost article, noting many of the brands the magazine covers are moving away from a futuristic aesthetic toward a “more welcoming” one. In addition to more infographics and illustrations, a new logo, and a revamped section called “The Recommender,” the redesign will have a “more gender-neutral appearance” while allowing for greater flexibility to switch things up over time, the report says.
  • No longer a thing of the future, automation is being used by most major news organizations today, mostly as a complement to general reporting. But increasingly, says Bloomberg EIC John Micklethwait, it is being used to create personalized content for very targeted audiences. While that has some advantages, he says, it also has some downsides, like the creation of “echo chambers…where consumers only get news with a particular political spin.” In a Global Editors Network post, Micklethwait weighs in on how newsroom automation could affect audiences and how journalists work, as well as evolving business models.
  • Variety reports e-book service Scribd is partnering with The New York Times to offer a subscription package that includes unlimited access to the Times and more than a million e-books, audio books, and magazines for $12.99 a month. The deal saves subscribers $4.70 per month over the cost of two separate subscriptions, the post says, noting the companies hope the savings will boost subscriber numbers as other media companies join on similar bundles, including Spotify and Hulu.

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Image: Folio/Harvard Business Review cover

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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.