Spare a thought for the Publishing Industry

Article first written for Figaro Digital

Spare a thought for the publishing industry. Having shed the reticence in adopting new technology (think of the suspicion with which the web was originally regarded) in favour of gay abandon on the iPad, many are finding their new obsession is not quite the panacea they thought it was. Pouring resource into creating magazine apps so complex that many readers never discover some of the more hidden content, publishers are shouldering considerable costs and all too often gaining minimal, sometimes diminishing return.

This seems fundamentally unfair. For a traditionally risk-averse industry, the level of experimentation in such a new technology is impressive. The publishing industry can’t afford not to produce content for the iPad yet at current returns, it can’t afford to continue. Critical to achieving a balance I believe, is the adoption of new business models more in tune with content agencies than traditional advertising and cover price-based publishing models. To do otherwise I suspect will mean more and more brands will opt to redirect marketing spend away from advertising and paid media, to their own content and their own channels.

Not as bad as all that

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