Tablet Newspapers and Magazines | Episode 6

Welcome to the Tablet Advertising Professionals Podcast Episode # 6, Tablet Newspapers and Magazines.

Today, we’re going to go over print versus digital – in both newspapers and magazines. Which direction is the market moving?  How quickly is it moving?  And what do you need to do as a publisher to adapt.

We’re also going over digital newspapers.  What are the different companies out there doing?

Are they using HTML5?  Are they using Apps?  Or what’s going on?

And digital magazines.

Is interactivity important?  Should users need to download them?  Are PDFs sufficient?  Should they be web-based?  Should they be app-based?

We’ll be going over all of that today.

So first of all, print versus digital.  The decline of Print Advertising Revenue.

If you look at the chart, since 2005, print advertising revenue has actually declined over 50%. In 2003, it started out at around $46 billion, and gradually increased until about 2005 and then it dropped… and dropped… and dropped.  With an incredible decrease from 2008 to 2009.

A lot of that has a lot to do with the iPhone, the iPad, the technology coming down in price and people finally realizing the benefits over print in switching over.

Today we have the rise of the digital advertising revenue, and there’s been over a 100% rise since 2004.

If you’ll take a look at the chart, you’ll notice the print is declining over 50% again.

Online is increasing at a slower rate than print is declining.

Does that mean people are not consuming as much information?

I don’t think that’s the case.  There are just too many platforms to consume information on now that those two are just not primary.

And 23% of tablet new users get digital access of some kind through a print newspaper or magazine subscription.

23%, so as a publisher, you’d think it is very important to have a presence on the tablet, whether in App or HTML5. Because a quarter of tablet users are paying for subscription and that’s incredibly important to take into consideration.

So, Apps versus web-based papers.

There are a lot of pros to each, Apps are a little bit snappier.  They’re native.  The only problem is, especially when it comes to magazines, if you want a native App, you will have to download that magazine.

The whole reason digital takes off is because of the real time aspect of it.

So, you get up to date information, and it’s never outdated.

If you have to download a hundred megabyte magazine every time you want to read it, it is easier to just go to a website to get real time update.

Financial Times is actually the first one to bypass Apple’s 30%.  Apple takes 30% of the subscription through their Apps store.  And Financial Times said, “We’re not having that.”  So they built an HTML5-compatible publication. And users can actually go and subscribe.  It’s formatted for the Tablet, and it works on all different types of Tablet and across multiple devices and smart phones.

And the New York Times is also experimenting with something similar.

So, let’s take a look at a case study.

The MIT Technology Review invested $124,000 on development for their iPad App.

Now, it is important to keep in mind that iPad in particular is built in iOs, which is built on Objective C.  A completely different language than web developers are used to.   And when you have a web development shop in-house, you’re going to need to either outsource that.  Or you’re going to need to train your developers or you’ll need to hire someone else to come on.  And that can get very, very expensive.  It can take a lot of time. And there are risks involved.

If you take a look at The Daily, which was Rupert Murdoch’s tablet-based magazine, he spent millions of dollars, $20 million to $30 million dollars developing this and they just shut it down last week.  Because the cost of maintaining that is not offsetting the amount of subscribers they are getting because it is too easy to go on the web and get free information.

With print it’s a little easier to justify a subscription for delivering papers to your house.  You could see it.  It’s tangible.

But now with the web, it’s so easy to get things for free.

It’s tough to switch people’s mindset into paying to get an online subscription, so that was part of the problem.

The other part of the problem was, again, those large downloads.

If you have a quick 10 minutes during your coffee, to read the newspaper or the magazine, and it’s going to take 30 minutes to download it to your device before you can even read it, you’d say, “Forget it.”

You are going to go to the web, you’re going to pull up the information instantly and you’re just going to consume that.

So, I think any sort of large download, for Apps on magazines and newspapers, is probably not the best idea.

So, in order to make it work, MIT needed 5,000 subscriptions, but it only resulted in 353 subscriptions.

Again it was expensive and time-consuming, so they are actually looking at HTML5-compatible solutions.

One of the things in developing Apps, you have Android, all the different screen sizes.  You have to develop for Android, develop for iPad, develop for Windows.  I’m talking about Windows’ Surface, we’ll see how the traction gets on that.

But, anyway, so you’re developing for several devices.  Whereas if you are developing in HTML5-compatible websites that formats automatically to different screen sizes, with responsive design, then you’re really, really looking at a one-size fits all solution.

And the good news is a lot of HTML5 components are actually based on different languages for development that your developers may be already familiar with so you won’t need to outsource it.

So next episode, we’re going to be looking at Black Friday Tablets sales.

Was it the hottest item everyone expected?  We’re going to look at everyone’s Christmas wish list, adults and children.  And see what the hottest tablets are this year.

And we’re going to take a look at the holiday shopping on the iPads.

We all know that internet shopping has sky-rocketed once again.  How much of that was done on iPad?

How much of that was done on the desktop?

Remember to connect on our LinkedIn group, follow us on Twitter, join our Facebook fan page or just go to, sign up for the newsletter.  And get all the latest updates on the Tablet Advertising Professionals group.

Until next week, have a great weekend and enjoy the holidays.

And we’ll talk to you soon.

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