Saturday, June 30, 2007

Bye Bye the eBook reader?

Personanondata finds an in interesting YouTube 'concept' for an Apple eBook reader.

The movie shows an iPod which fits into a folding tablet device which opens out to give two reading pages. Cute. I slot my iPod into a Bose speaker system, why shouldnt I slot my iPod into an eBook tablet?

But this vision of the book-specific hardware is all wrong. Yesterday Apple launched its eBook reader the iPhone. The hardware-specific eBook reader was and is a mirage. The eBook reader that matters is the humble familiar web browser (Internet Explorer, Firefox, Safari, Opera -- you take your pick). Steve Jobs says that the iPhone is the best iPod ever. Its also the best eBook reader ever. The best phone, the best music player and the best eBook reader ever. All in one package, which does the phone and email as well. The iPhone will read Exact Editions digital magazines, but we still need photographic proof of that.

Google Book Search wasnt the first, but its method shows that digital editions will be page based (five years ago that was NOT obvious). All print pages will be web pages. Are becoming web pages. Once that equivalence is accepted its all down to the software which has to work within a web browser (preferably not Flash -- which the iPhone does not support) and to the databases which run libraries and subscription services. Pages matter. Libraries matter. Databases matter most of all. eBooks dont... They really dont, they are just collections of web pages.

Sunday, June 24, 2007


47th title in the shop. All the readers of this magazine care about the environmental impact of publishing and the ways in which digital editions can reduce that impact.

Print lives on the web (1)

There is a view that the web is such a potent and direly competitive medium that newspapers, magazines, books will not be able to meet the challenge. As though these wonderful cultural artefacts will be replaced by something else....... whatever that may be.

We think this gloom is misplaced. Print thrives on the web, and so far from being dead it gets a second life when relaunched as a digital edition and a searchable resource.

And its all too easy to underestimate the amazing cultural and social attachment we have to these systems of communication.

As an instance of the unreasonable love of newspapers and newspaper culture, consider Scott Walker, assistant managing editor of the The Birmingham News, Birmingham Alabama, who has re-engineered a coin-operated newspaper box so that it now sits in his living room and displays on an LCD the current front pages of his favourite newspapers.

We think its time that some devotee of magazines, took a leaf from Scott Walker's book and made the real coffee-table magazine. Manolis Kelaidis is already building the book with circuitry which hyperlinks.

Hat tip to Martin Stabe.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Environmental magazines

The Press Gazette today has a special section on the environmental agenda in the newspaper and magazine industry. It includes an important article from Peter Phippen, managing director of BBC magazines. As he says, we need 'a combination of rapid technical innovation and significant behavioural change'.

Press Gazette, 22.06.07, p 18. For digital subscribers link here.

Then Phippen covers key aspects of the distribution and recycling chain: the BBC is now using paper only from sustainable sources, paying careful attention to the way waste is generated, particular focus on polylopes and cover mounts. Its all praiseworthy and 'steps in the right direction'. But Phippen does not mention digital magazines or a digital strategy. What a missed opportunity! Get the digital magazine strategy right, and the BBC will not only save money, it will improve revenues and profits. Of course it will dramatically reduce its carbon footprint at the same time.

"Rapid technical innovation and significant behavioural change", yes that is something for the magazine industry to embrace at its core. Get the digital strategy in place. This is much more important than 'cutting down on cover mounts', though that is also a priority.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Rock Sound

So we now have 46 titles in the Exact Editions shop.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Dennis Publishing

Timing is everything in magazine publishing. In business.

The Guardian tells us that Dennis have sold some of their big US magazines for £121 million (think that is only a rumoured price). A year ago EMAP simply closed the US edition of its FHM which competes with Dennis's Maxim, included in the sale. But Dennis will hold on to The Week, which has been extremely successful in the US. Growing rapidly in the last three years.

EMAP are reportedly being circled by Private Equity. Perhaps the winning PE house should simply put Felix Dennis in charge.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Open Archives (5): Mousetraps and Cafes

The business of selling subscriptions has changed. Fifty years ago, the 'mousetrap' model of subscription-selling ruled. There are two parts to this commercial strategy: first you must have a fantastic product, a piece of cheese which smells terrific and which appeals to all the mice; second you need to have a well designed and secure cage -- and for consumer magazines, quarterly direct debit payments and a continuous flow of new issues, fitted the bill. Once the first piece of cheese had been tasted and the direct debits were in place, the mice tended to stay in the cage and renew their subs. Everyone was happy.

In fact, publishers, fifty years ago, had another factor working in their favour -- the mice were mostly hungry. The system worked even better if they were starving (there were no satirical magazines when Private Eye was launched, and Rolling Stone showed that rock could be intellectual, so these magazines grew like topsy).

Things have changed. The marginal cost of supplying information through the web is close to zero. It is effectively zero. When printing on paper, the marginal cost of supplying an additional copy is always significant. The web is now a medium through which vasts amounts of information are available to anyone with a broadband connection. Too much. The smell of cheese no longer has an attraction. With this abundance comes a wandering audience which knows that it can have everything, or at least anything that is particularly relevant.

On the web users are always one click away from something else, and the idea of a content cage or content silo makes little sense. Increasingly we are moving to a 'cafe' society, where abundance prevails and users expect to help themselves in a convivial atmosphere. The publisher is no longer a gatekeeper (severe frown, rejection looms), but an orchestrator and a host or service provider (friendly smile, no need for bouncers here). In H A Simon's words "Hence a wealth of information creates a poverty of attention".

Acquiring a subscription is still an attractive proposition, but it has to be presented more as club membership, as bestowing privelege in the core audience, with a premium service. If some are excluded, that may be an unfortunate commercial necessity. But in an information-rich culture our consumers value their priveleged information more if there is the prospect of sharing this (albeit after a lag) with the broader community, and they wish to be seduced with attention and selection rather than swamped with everything. Information subscription services need to be self-selective, individually definable, in an age of abundance.

The moving wall of a potentially Open Archive helps develop this 'cafe' society: of provisional exclusivity and selective membership.

There is still a role for subscription, but its use is primarily to enable the consumer to select the sources which he/she particularly wishes to receive and to enjoy them in the best possible ways. Excluding others from the information is not a primary objective (except in highly competitive situations).

There is a balance to be struck here and how the balance is struck will vary from one magazine to another. So the wall can be a moving wall -- in two senses, (1) month by month, issue by issue, more is included (2) if the publisher decides to stretch or reduce the gap between publication and Open Access, then this can be done.

O'Reilly is now selling Chapters

Interesting post from Tim O'Reilly. I have not counted how many different ways they can now sell or package rights in their books. But there must be at least a dozen e-commerce options, apart from the obvious one of buying the book as a physical object.

Every chapter costs $3.99, which buys you a PDF. If you were thinking of getting started with Ruby on Rails.....

Friday, June 15, 2007

Open Archives (4): Citeability and Moving Walls

There is a strong case for Open Access to scientific research and scholarship published in article form. This was crystalised in the Budapest Open Access Initiative in 2001. Scientific and scholarly research publications benefit from being openly accessible, because the value of the underlying research is enhanced when it is made freely, easily, accessible to other researchers. If scientific research is to be effective it needs to be cited and referenced; it is clear that open web-based publication makes it easier for researchers to cite the work of others in the field. Open web-based access is the way that research in an internet age can be most efficient.

The Budapest programme specifically limited its recommendations to:

The literature that should be freely accessible online is that which scholars give to the world without expectation of payment. [my emphasis].
This is an important limitation. For sure, commercial consumer publications are not obliged to follow the STM (Scientific, Technical and Medical) and other scholarly periodicals in providing free and Open Access to their magazines. After all most consumer magazines pay their contributors, often very handsomely. Yet it may well be in the interests of a successful consumer magazine to make a substantial portion of its archive freely accessible as a web resource. Why should this be?

One reason -- is that Open Access to an archive enhances the authority and renown of a magazine. Consumer magazines are often quite specialist, quite limited, in their appeal. But this tight focus is part of their strength and gives them potentially authoritative status. The reputation of a magazine or a periodical is immediately enhanced if its articles can be effectively cited, referenced, commented upon, by others. The prevalence and searchability of the web has enormously increased the extent to which magazines can build a reputation through links and citations. Citeability/referenceability/linkability is the strongest reason for making some portions of a consumer magazine archive available as a digital resource.

This way bloggers, enthusiasts, journalists, emailers, advertisers, and reviewers will pile in to amplify the reputation of the publication. An obvious way of gaining the advantages of a citeable archive, whilst not giving away the baby with the bath water, is for the publisher to make the archive freely available through the web, outside of a 'moving wall, so that issue become available after a period of some months (6 months, 12 months -- whatever is judged necessary to maintain the perceived value of the personal subscription). The concept of a Moving Wall in this sense comes from JSTOR -- an archival system for scholarly periodicals. Interestingly, JSTOR was originally set up simply as a way of archiving and aggregating inaccessible periodical archives, but they are now trying to reach through to an Open Access model (or a more Open model).

So making portions of a consumer magazine archive Openly Accessible makes sense if this significantly enhances the reputation and the authoritative quality of the publication, and if it does so without damaging the commercial prospects of the magazine. We think that in most cases it will clearly do so, but it is a matter for publishers to decide and our system enables publishers to control the extent to which the archive is open.

Because Exact Editions is a middle-man we have an interesting perspective on the dilemma of Open-ness. We do not publish magazines and our subscribers are always subscribing to a magazine where the publisher has control of the product, the subscription price, frequency, extent, design, copyright etc. Exact Editions is a distribution partner whose reward is a small commission on the digital subscriptions sold. So we are keenly interested in having more subscribers.

Furthermore, the way our deal works with the publishers we absorb the distribution and maintenance costs of the digital edition. So it costs Exact Editions, not the publisher, a bit more to maintain an Open Archive. We think these costs are easily containable within the parameters of the small commission we obtain from selling additional digital subscriptions, so we encourage our publishing partners to offer Open Archives with a moving wall. The marginal costs of maintaining Open Access are marginal. So you dont need to feel sorry for us!

On the other hand, if you enjoy the open archives and never buy a subscription you can thank us as well as the publisher for making this service available. We like subscriptions best, but we also like appreciative feedback or fan mail ;-)

Open Archives (3): Browsing Sells

We have compelling evidence from usage statistics: usage of a magazine's trial issues drives subscriptions. It certainly does. Interestingly, the different magazines have different conversion rates: for some magazines the conversion rate may be as low as 1 new subscriber gained for every 50 sample pages viewed in the shop, and for others the average can be 100s of pages freely viewed for each new sub. The highly pictorial magazines are highly sampled. I think this is a very positive take-home from our experience of digital magazines. A lot of users enjoy looking at the well-designed and glossy magazines in our system!

Some of the more specialist titles seem to pull viewers through to a subscription more rapidly than the general interest titles. Another interesting fact, the magazines are used from from front cover to back. All the sample magazines seem to be sampled/tasted throughout (there is a usage weighting towards the front of the magazine, the front cover -- this is one of our busiest last month, the contents pages -- this is our busiest last year -- and the opening articles -- lots of tasters have read this article on 9/11). This usage weighting towards the Front and the Table of Contents is a consistent pattern for magazine samples on Open Access and also for the usage of the titles by subscribers.

So what does this tell us? One lesson that we have taken from our monthly stats is that a significant increase in trial usage will boost subscriptions. It is actually a very obvious point, if a publisher promotes the archive of the magazine, and the quality of its back issues is more widely appreciated, more subscriptions will be sold.

Magazines are much like books in this respect. Just as Amazon's Search Inside works -- "Browsing pages sells more books", so also with magazines. Browsing sells more subscriptions. If only dentists waiting rooms were points of sale, we would be leaving his surgery with a couple of subscriptions as well as our dental floss. Of course, on the web they can become that.

This is one good reason for making a substantial section of a magazine's archive available as a free resource which prospective subscribers can search and browse. Usage of the archive will tend to drive subscriptions. But it is the publisher's choice to decide how much to offer for free access and our system now enables publishers who use our system to make this choice.

The Catholic Herald

The Catholic Herald, the leading Catholic weekly newspaper, joins Exact Editions today as the 45th title in our shop. It is a full broadsheet and has an archive approaching 250 issues. For the first six weeks the publisher is offering free access to the whole archive, for all-comers. So there are plenty of things on which you can do research. We usually pick out a few nuggets, so here are some items that caught my attention in a brief browse.

  • A scrumptious recipe for slow-baked lamb. I once ate a meal cooked by Timothy Gardner and it was very good.
  • With its extensive archive, this paper required a way in which searches could be ordered by first or last.
  • Also a way in which the user can jump to the issues of a specific year eg 2003 or 2005.
  • For a moment of reflection read about Oscar Romero.

Open Archives (2): The First Two

The Catholic Herald joins Exact Editions today with a substantial archive running back to 2003. For six weeks the whole archive will be freely accessible (including the current issue). It is a substantial archive of over 200 issues. Try some searches: here are 43 occurrences of the phrase: "Oscar Romero".

The Ecologist is also throwing open its Exact Editions archive of back issues, behind a six months moving wall -- this means that the archive is steadily enlarged as more issues are published. You should subscribe to the magazine to have access to the current issue, forthcoming issues as they appear, and the 6 issues contained by the moving wall. The open archive offers 23 pages with a mention of "Kyoto". Versus 33 occurrences for those with a subscription. I expect that the search term will continue to be used for many years.

More of our magazines are putting their archives open, to varying degrees, in the next few weeks.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Open Archives (1): How Open?

Exact Editions has recently improved its content management system, so that a publisher can determine HOW MUCH of the magazine archive should be exposed for open access to the general public, the general web user.

Our system is set up so that a publisher can offer five levels of access to an archival resource:

  1. An archive can be completely closed except to subscribers. This might be an appropriate solution for certain types of B2B publication (eg membership only magazines). None of the consumer magazines in our shop is completely closed.
  2. All the magazines currently in our shop have at least one, open, free trial issue. We will maintain this option for the publishers who want it.
  3. A publisher may opt to make all except the last year of the publication 'Open Access'. We call this option a 12 month moving wall.
  4. A publisher may opt to make all except the last six months of the publication 'Open Access'. We call this option a 6 month moving wall. We will also support more current, more proximate, moving walls: three months, two months, one month, should this be needed.....
  5. Finally, a publisher might opt to offer the magazine as a completely free 'Open Access' resource. Currently we are delivering The Publican for CMPi on this basis.

There are good reasons why some magazines should be completely Open Access -- many scientific periodicals have moved to this model of distribution. They now have to pay their costs by levying a charge from the contributors or sponsors of the research reported. Also, Open Access makes complete sense for magazines which are essentially free in print; but we think it is unlikely that a consumer magazine which is completely Open Access will sell many personal subscriptions.

So complete and immediate Open Access is not recommended for a consumer magazine which aims to sell personal subscriptions. But it, of course, does not follow that a consumer magazine which aims to sell digital and print subscriptions should be completely Closed. Far from it. But there is an interesting question as to "How Open should a consumer magazine be?" when it wishes to sell the most possible subscriptions? We will look at this issue in the next few days.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

The iPhone, with bated breath

Like most nerdy types we have been waiting for the launch of the iPhone for months. From its earliest demo , Steve Jobs was showing it with a newspaper web site and stressing the advantages of being able to read the paper on your phone......

Today we hear that the iPhone will come with Safari. Unlike most digital magazine platforms, Exact Editions only requires a standard browser on the client-side. Our pages are simple web pages, no proprietary file format, no Flash is needed.

So, it is looking secure that Exact Editions will run very sweetly on an iPhone. Furthermore we have live -phone numbers in many magazine web pages (International format phone numbers are callable with a click-through). The first user who confirms that you can click-call a number from a digital magazine on an iPhone, gets a free subscription to any of our magazines that they choose (send in a photo of yourself holding the iPhone with sample page, to claim your prize).

Here is a page with some live phone numbers. Please do not ring the New Internationalist's international offices, unless you need to do so!

Monday, June 11, 2007

Postal Woes

What is worse, a postal strike which appears to be looming in the UK? Or lousy postal rates which threatens to cripple magazines with a smaller circulation in the USA? On this read an excellent essay from editors of the Nation and the National Review, on the Bosacks blog.

Answers on a post card please (sorry, pathetic joke).

A digital edition does not solve either problem, but it can lessen the pain.

The Guardian's 50,000th issue

Published today. To celebrate they have put up 50 of their front pages, 50,000 issues since 1821.

Stepping through their front pages one notices how the pace of change and innovation has accelerated. The first colour on page one happens as recently as 1996. The Berliner format only covers the last few examples. More colour, reduction in format size, blockier layout......

The funny thing is, it is almost as though newspaper editors and designers KNOW that they have to make their product more like a web page. As though they secretly know that the future of print is to become a digital edition (oh yes, hand-in-hand with the print edition, whilst there is still a need for it).

They know this and are making their newspapers (and the magazines, which all newspapers increasingly resemble), more web-like, more suited to being presented as a digital replica in a web page (which in a month or two will be flipped horizontal to landscape on an iPhone). There is a hidden hand pushing print into a digital and web-friendly format, whilst at the same time the Official Doctrine of most newspaper and magazine publishers is that the web is different and their web version, needs to be repurposed, needs to be something other than the daily/weekly issue that they lovingly prepare in Adobe Files and which they messily Print.

Digital editions are still officially a backwater, in the book of most newspaper publishers and editors. The Guardian is a case in point it has a very respectable Digital Edition, but it is well hidden and comes as a surprise to many people who know their excellent but rather outmoded Guardian Unlimited as the popular face of the newspaper on the web.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Floating Jellyfish with Interactive Advertising

The Digital Magazines blog has a notice on the newly launched Jellyfish from the UK's National Magazines. This is a free e-magazine aimed at the teenage girl market. It uses a similar technology platform, Ceros with Flash, to Dennis's Monkey. John Weir's blog notes:

Like Monkey, it is based on the Ceros system, with lots of video, audio content and web links. Among the things I liked were the "click to rotate" feature on the shopping pages, and the fact that it links directly to a number of social media sites like Bebo and MySpace. Additionally, the magazine has marketed itself by producing behind the scenes videos for YouTube.

Only problem is the advertising - on which this publication will stand or fall. Only Garnier have supported the launch issue, and for the magazine to gain any traction, they will need more support from big name brands.

Advertising is certainly the problem, if it does not come through to support the proposition.

But it is also doubtful whether such new vehicles, even when backed by sufficient advertising, can possibly be the solution that the magazine industry is looking for. These interactive packages, using Flash, are not the magazine. The magazine is not getting a web presence, at best the audience is being projected an associated brand presence and a new media venture. If the new media venture works, there is still a question about what happens to the magazines -- should they gracefully retire from the web and abdicate any interest in developing a digital audience? Or should they still aim to develop a web edition and associated advertising, in which case they have created a competitor targeted at their own audience? Much more interesting and potentially fruitful for the magazine industry is the technology Seadragon, brilliantly showcased by Microsoft with a digital edition of the Guardian here. Print ads, which in their web presence could contain amazing, microscopic detail and interactivity will rejuvenate the value of branded advertising on the web. Print advertisements in their myriad digital instances would become referral agents for the major consumer brands. The punch would be packed in the zoomable fine print of the digital ad. Such ads would be using magazines (legitimately) as a Trojan horse to attract readers to the deep and interactive ad which cannot of course be printed in any magazine. But the magazine is a valid gateway and the demographics of each different magazine audience work to the benefit of the consumer brand, and the advertising agency, which can assemble its interactive audience as it sees fit. See yesterday's blog for more on the Microsoft technology.

Friday, June 08, 2007

Scaleable Print and Collective Seeing

Microsoft are developing some incredibly cool image technologies. They are highly relevant to the way magazines, newspapers and books will be viewed and read on the screen in years to come. From O'Reilly I found a link to an amazing presentation of Seadragon and Photosynth from this year's TED conference, by one of the developers, Blaise Aguera y Arcas.

One of his examples shows a digital edition of the Guardian (one of the very, very few newspapers which publishes a perfectly respectable digital edition). The digital newspaper in the Seadragon environmnent can be seamlessly zoomed and scaled. As Blaise says, newspapers and magazines "are an inherently multi-scale medium" but, ideally, the only thing which should constrain our digital view of the print is the number of pixels in the screen, and Seadragon enables indefinite and smooth zooming. The Microsoft team have inserted a doctored car ad in the corner of the Guardian page, so that one clicks on a thumbnail in the ad to see alternative model choices, and then within the thumbnail there is another thumbnail for prices and one for technical specifications. So print which would be 1 point, if it were real, and at normal resolution completely illegible, can be zoomed up to a comfortable reading scale. This additional tunneling into the detail, by zooming, has enormous potential for newspapers/magazines on the web. Zooming out is also important. Exact Editions' own 16-page view, has become for our users an important way of scanning the digital magazine.

Newspapers and magazines will certainly go this way, Seadragon or similar. All the publishers and the associated technologists who are busily developing repurposed web-sites and pale web imitations of their print offerings should mothball their solutions at this point (including the Guardian's own Unlimited service). Oh yes keep the HTML going, whilst there are eyeballs, but strategic planning must focus on the Print Edition and the Digital version of that........The printed look and feel is going to be with us for a long while yet.

Cool as Seadragon is, Photosynth may be even more important. You must see the video presentation to get the full richness of the software. Blaise shows us an incredible montage of Notre Dame cathedral, where a three-dimensional model of the building has been constructed from thousands of Flickr images of the cathedral (I guess every photo on Flickr tagged for Notre Dame, Paris). Its an amazing scaleable, zoomable, pan-able, rich, community-generated collage. A community-generated and optimised view of the building. Collective seeing. The software application is figuring out from the internal visual properties of the photos and snapshots how they should be joined up, registered, smoothed, or hyperlinked together. Scene recognition and optimised editing in one framework. A system which is hyperlinking thousands of photos on the basis of what they are representations of.

I would provide you more links to the Photosynth solution (here is one to a project, How We Built Britain, that has just been launched by the BBC and Microsoft) but the environment requires the latest versions of Windows, and I have a Mac so have not poked around these examples and cannot vouch for them.

There are some obvious ways in which Photosynth-type applications could be extended (eg in piracy, or in collective archives of self-scanned print images). Photosynth-ed images of scanned print would be a doddle. Can you see Microsoft doing an 'end run' round Google Book Search by encouraging readers to assemble and share collective digital copies of books?

These image-manipulating techniques, in the hands of users, will be incredibly viral and publishers need to figure out how magazines, newspapers and books are distributed through the web in an authorised way by the publishers themselves. Before the users do it for them.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Google Interiors

Google has antagonised many publishers by scanning and databasing books held in libraries, which are not out of copyright, and for which Google has not sought permission from the publisher or copyright holder. Some publishers have launched court cases, others are on the verge of direct action.

The court cases will proabably decide these matters in the end, but I wonder whether Google really needs to upset its potential partners by appearing to ignore the claims of copyright?

In this context, it is a relief to see that Google are at least seeking contractual authorisation before launching their new Google Interiors service.

Sandra Niehaus has a rare comic talent. Thurberesque.

Consumer Magazines and the Web Opportunity

We don't often see CEO's of major magazine companies talking intelligently and aggressively about their plans for the web. So its refreshing to read the interview with Ann Moore, CEO of Time Inc, on the Paid Content blog. She voices the fear which chills publishers when they look at the economics of web advertising, and lays out her approach here:

Here is the strategy. First, build the best of product. Differentiate it. Second, build the big audience and by that I mean you need partnerships with everyone. Then third, worry about monetizing it, but you got to have a big audience to make money on the web because the CPMs are low. I have said this publicly: The magazine model is a beautiful model because you got high margins; two revenue streams, the consumer pays and the advertiser pays; beautiful cash flow, you get the money up front. The average reader of Sports Illustrated delivers about $118 to the bottom line in Time Inc. The average very engaged user of can generate about $5 in advertising contribution. I need many more online viewers to equal one magazine reader. That is why you have to go for big volume and that is why you got to have partnerships. You do not do exclusives with anybody.
The abyss which terrifies mainstream newspaper and magazine publishers is that contrast between $5 from ads-only web users ("very engaged" users), and $118 from the ads+subs in print audience. Even if the audience is expanded 20-fold by the web, the revenues are treading water. Ann Moore seems to be driving her major magazine properties towards an ads-only, no-subscriptions web strategy. That may be right for Sports Illustrated and People magazine, but for many magazines that appeal to more specialist audiences a digital subscriptions strategy does work, its already working for magazines in our shop, and will be a key part of the right digital strategy for a consumer title. Most magazines appeal to niche markets -- which is the reason for their success in advertising. It is hard to make hard and fast rules here, but one would guess that a completely open web strategy funded solely by ads may well be a fruitful strategy for a magazine with over 1 million circulation. It is unlikely to be a productive strategy for many magazines with a circulation of less than 100,000 print copies. Over 95% of the magazine titles published, in this global industry, have circulations of less than 100,000 in their print editions.

Message to circulation directors: think digital and look for a subscription strategy which can support users who subscribe to different magazines.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Ordering Search Results

We have just introduced the option to sort your search results, by the date of publication of the issue in which the search term appears. If you search the 50-odd "open access" trial issues, for occurrences of 'David Cameron" there are currently 23 results, and they will be sorted by relevance (the default setting -- which will weight more highly a page on which "David Cameron" is a high proportion of the text on the page),
or by newest,
or by oldest.

There are some large archives lined up to come into the system. This additional function will be useful for sorting through search results on accounts where there are hundreds of issues because a customer has multiple subscriptions.