Ideal Ways Publishers Can Monetize Video

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In today’s multimedia world, there is an argument that content should be moving towards digital platforms. This includes, podcasts, blogs, and video. This really is not the case. The reality for most publishers is that the money is in the print. Thus, print is here to stay so long as that is the case. That said, it does not mean digital cannot provide further profits and additional touchpoints.

Video is the ideal example of this. The medium is the antithesis of print, which is why they are a perfect pairing for publishers. Content that print can cover video can, and visa versa. The same content covered in both forms has different feels and reaches audiences in different ways. Most important of all: they are the most versatile forms of content. They can both be distributed in numerous digital formats. Both can also be transformed into other formats, including having the audio stripped for podcasts and radio or text for blurbs and blogs.

Now print is already in a publisher’s wheelhouse, but video is not, especially when it comes to magazines. That means using video, let alone monetizing it, takes a lot of research and energy and trial-and-error. That said, there are some general ways to monetize video that publishers can take from other industries.

Creating subscriber-only videos

Many publications already use a subscription model to help increase revenue. Those that do not still understand the concept. Create unique editorial content, then tell audiences that if they want it, pay for it. Video is simply another form of content, so creating a gateway on a website or using private, subscriber groups on social media to make that content exclusive to subscribers is an easy jump for a publisher to make.

There are two ways to approach subscription-only videos. The first way is to tether the video into your existing subscription setup, meaning the videos would complement the editorial and be a part of your standard offerings to any subscriber. The other way is to make the videos under their own subscription, which is ideal if the publication is free or if the video content is 100% original and distinct from the editorial.

Bring editorial to life with live-stream

Video is not limited to the pre-record, edit, and distribute method. News coverage has done live coverage for decades, but it is now available to the average persona and organization, including publishers. Live-stream allows for instant coverage of a story, which can be great for timely pieces, as well as a round-up session where a publisher talks about the newest issue and top stories and so forth. It can also be used to add uniqueness to editorial and keep it active, even after the piece is publishers. Simply keep hosting new live-streams on that story’s page, and traffic will keep coming.

Publishers can also leverage live-stream on a subscription-boosting basis by putting access to the live coverage behind the subscription paywall. For example, you create this great editorial on an athlete, but you are doing a live interview with them too. The story goes up for free, but to access the interview live, or even the recordings afterward, you have to be a subscriber.

Educate the audience with video

Video courses are one of the most consumed things on the internet, and publishers have the opportunity to take control of that market. Publishers are constantly generating useful content that has an educational or recreational value to audiences. Changing that format slightly, or reformatting after publishing, to provide even more insight and education is easy with video. Better yet, let your advertisers do it. Then you get the benefits of video content related to your editorial, you didn’t have to create it, and you got paid for it.

Digital offers or partially-gated videos that offer educational value also help drive subscriptions. If the video is captivating and useful, and the audience can only access the first 3 minutes without a subscription, you’re likely to get people subscribing.

Further Information

For more information on how publishers can leverage and monetize videos, click here.

If you want more great content from Publication Printers, click here.

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Podcasts & Publications: Take Your Content to a New Level

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The word “publisher” has evolved drastically in the past 25 years. Once a term reserved for printed works, the advent of the internet has now taken publishers into entirely new media. One particular medium that has garnered extreme success for publishers is the podcast. A hybrid between radio and blogging, podcasts focus on educational or entertaining content, often featuring guests to provide validity and expertise.

In terms of success, iTunes alone recorded it 50 millionth podcast stream earlier this year. Podcasts average an 80% complete listen rate (80% of people that start a podcast finish or almost finish it), according to the 2018 Infinite Dial report. Also, the Interactive Advertising Bureau stated that in 2017, the U.S. podcasting industry reached $314 million in revenue, an 86% increase over the $ 169 million in 2016.

Now, what does this have to do with print publications, like magazines?

Use podcasts to make the most of your existing content

Magazines and timely print publications crank out more content than any other publishers. This means on top of the constant flow of new stories, there are ever-growing archives.

Archives are full of great content that should be leveraged, but taking dated content and make it relevant again is not a simple task.
Many opt for the “throw it up on social media” plan or add a boilerplate to every new story that links to the archives. These do make your archives easier to discover, but they don’t make your archives more relevant.

A more successful solution is to switch up the format of the content. This is where podcasts can come in. Look through your archives for stories that follow a theme, and curate a podcast series of your old stories. With a few minor adjustments and improvements to the content, it is easy to turn an existing editorial piece into a podcast story. Reaching out to the original sources for quotes or soundbites is great too.

These podcasts are entirely new content and will reach your existing audience and new audiences. They can also increase site traffic in two ways: publishing the podcast on the front page, and publish each podcast stories on the web pages of the original story.

Generate new content that print can’t cover with podcasts

Two of the most powerful forms of communication are the written word and imagery, but there is some content better suited for other types of media. Video and radio are long-standing options to cover the other content, but podcasts have become just as viable an option, possibly an even better one due to one thing: money.

To do video and radio right, a high-end studio and off-site equipment can be tens of thousands of dollars upfront. Even if doing the bare basics, both involve decent spend to produce, and then there are distribution costs on top of that.

Podcasts serve as a much more affordable solution. For a publisher looking to do it on a budget, a podcast can be produced for a few hundred up front and less than $100 a month (outside of time spent). To do the high-end podcast, $1000 upfront and a little over $300 a month after that.

Best of all, podcasts are extremely versatile content. They can live on a website, be on a radio, be used in video, and be downloadable or streamable. Also, audio is the easiest format content to consume, as it requires little to no effort, and can reach people on the go, like drivers.
Building a brand and audience takes an immense amount of effort. Publishers know that best, as they dedicate a lot of time and money building a sizable circulation.

Podcasts provide an instantaneous audience and distribution

Fear of having to start building an audience from scratch often keeps publishers from delving into other media platforms. It’s logical; if the existing print or online audience is not there, it is hard to justify the effort of making unique content to dedicating energy deliver it on those other platforms.

Podcasts escape both the issue of building a new audience and delivering the content. Actually, both issues are resolved by the same solution: where podcasts live. Almost all podcasts are hosted and delivered on high-profile applications, like iTunes, Stitcher, and Google’s podcast app.

A massive pool of people utilize these applications, and that pool covers almost every demographic and geographic group. The likelihood that a publisher’s audience already has a presence in that pool is very high. Not to mention, these people are already seeking content via podcast, and all congregated in one place.

Newer, more creative advertising options thanks to podcasts

Almost every publication makes its margins off advertisement, so more advertising options is a fast way to a publisher’s heart.

On top of the traditional commercial spots, podcasts provide prime placement for sponsored content. Interview an advertiser as a podcast story. Review a product. You can even run a print story with it to upsell the opportunity. Best of all, because it is recorded, you have full control of the script, even in an interview. You also have the ability to sell sponsorship for the podcast, offsetting the costs of the podcast and generates even more profits.

Further Information

For more information regarding podcast opportunities for publishers, click here. To learn more about podcast industry statistics, click here. Further details on why podcasts should fit into your content strategy are available if you click here.

If you want more great content from Publication Printers, click here.

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It’s a niche magazine market

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Large, national titles continue to struggle

The question of “is print dead” is still circulating around the magazine industry. However, it is the larger, more general-topic titles that are finding themselves truly pinched and struggling. Smaller, more specific titles, commonly called “niche,” are actually growing and expanding. Dedicated, specific audiences are the driving force behind this. They aren’t just consumers of content, but advocates that actively promote and support these titles. Titles that cover a wider demographic and geographic spread do not have that same buy-in from their audiences.

Titles that rely on their longstanding brands are having difficulty retaining audiences against the targeted content of niche publications. In fact, new niche titles are being created to fill the gaps being left by the larger titles. The other major component as to why larger titles are having issues: profits. The brand loyalty issue results in fewer subscriptions, which when combined with paper cost increases and shipping difficulty, all lead to struggles balancing profits and overhead.

Niche titles can skate some of these issues due to the audience buy-in, which helps bring in subscription and ad dollars. Also, smaller circulations means less print and fulfillment cost. Being niche doesn’t resolve the issues, but it helps in today’s market. Difficulty for all titles will likely continue unless industry-wide changes occur. In the meantime, niche publications will continue to expand their reach.

The Playboy Magazine Example

Playboy magazine is an example of this. Still one of the most recognizable titles in the US, it’s once 5.6 million circulation has now dwindled to below 500,000, and what was once a monthly will be a quarterly in 2019. Much of the change happening at Playboy can be attributed to a decrease in brand loyalty over the last 10 years.

The Chief Creative Officer of Playboy, Cooper Hefner, has even expressed that he plans to put more focus into online content, in an effort to “shift away from putting a lot of effort into the magazine” because of a lack of profits from the print publication.

Further Information

For more information regarding the success of niche publications, click here. To learn more about the changes to Playboy magazine, click here.

If you want more great content from Publication Printers, click here.

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SAPPI’s Ideas that Matter contest is back!

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SAPPI — one of the world’s most recognizable providers of dissolving wood pulp, paper pulp, paper-based solutions and biorefinery solutions — holds an annual contest that combines creative design and activism. Called the “Ideas that Matter” program, the contest provides recognition and support to designers that partner with organizations to bring great ideas to life. Over the course of 19 years, SAPPI has given out $13 million in grants to assist over 500 charities.

The process for each Ideas that Matter contest is simple. First, designers come up with a non-profit they want to support or develop an entirely original activism idea. Next, they create one or more design collateral pieces to submit that market and call to action that non-profit or cause. Then they submit, and SAPPI goes through and picks a few to dedicate funds towards supporting or bringing to reality.

The 2018 submission term for Ideas that Matter just ended, with entries needing to have been postmarked by July 18, 2018. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t start brainstorming for next year! Designers are a busy bunch and time is hard to come by, so start focusing your efforts on your ideas and cause, and you can be well prepared when the 2019 term rolls around (and we will remind you too!)

If you already submitted, judging will take place this August and the official winners will be released in October, and should you win, you’ll have six months to bring the project you designed to life.

For more information about the Ideas that Matter program, last year’s winners, or SAPPI, click here.

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USPS: CAPS Converting to EPS

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The United States Postal Service (USPS) reported a major industry change this past month. USPS is retiring its longstanding payment processing system known as CAPS (Centralized Accounting Processing System) next year, and will be requesting that all CAPS customers move over to the new payment system.

At present, there are thousands of existing customers on CAPS who will need to migrate their accounts over to the new EPS (Enterprise Payments System). Here are some important dates you need to know:

September 1, 2018

  • The ability to make new CAPS accounts will be terminated
  • USPS will only be allowing the creation of EPS accounts going forward

April 1, 2019:

  • All existing CAPS accounts must be migrated into EPS accounts by this date
  • Support for CAPS accounts (except for limited circumstances) will no longer be provided unless migrated to an EPS account

In order to help with the transition, the USPS Postal Pro team is taking charge of support for EPS migrations and can provide both guided walkthroughs and guideline sheets to simplify the process. Reach them by visiting the EPS website here or by calling (800) 522-9085.

For more information about CAPS and EPS accounts, click here.

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The Amazing World of Haptics

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Sappi Paper, one of the largest paper manufacturing companies in North America, has developed a phenomenal marketing campaign to spread the message about the importance of paper. In a book and a series of videos introducing the “Neuroscience of Touch” – we learn about scientific studies that prove that touch leads to a more positive experience of a product and therefore turns into a more significant memory.

We encourage you to watch the videos and order the book by visiting their website.

The content of each video is fascinating, however, publishers should pay special attention to video number six. It’s about how the medium impacts the message. The first part of the video addresses the advantages of print over digital in certain circumstances. The second, and possibly more powerful part of the video, talks about how the QUALITY of paper you choose has far reaching implications. (You can fast forward to 2:05 on the video clip to dive right into that part – remember, it’s video #6.)

Neuroscience

Print vs. digital:
Since 1990 there have been over 100 studies comparing reading on paper to reading on screen. All of them show that reading on paper is easier on your brain than reading on a screen. Not only is it mentally easier on you, but you remember more of what you read!

Studies have shown that reading online can increase stress levels and fatigue. They have also shown that memory and retention are better when reading on paper.

Brand and Paper Quality
Now for the exciting part… The presenter of the videos performed a study (Davenport & Eagleman – 2015) that was designed to exclusively measure how much the way a company is presented will affect what people think and feel about that company.

In the study, participants were introduced to three fictitious brands. The way each of the three companies was presented to the subjects was chosen at random. For each company, each participant was randomly given one of the three presentations:

  1. A brochure printed on heavy, high quality gloss paper
  2. A brochure printed on inexpensive, uncoated paper
  3. On a website

The design was identical (same images, same layouts, etc.) – meaning that the only change was the medium used to deliver the message. After spending 5 minutes reviewing the material, the subjects were asked questions to determine their comprehension and understanding of what said company is offering. They also were asked questions about their feelings – such as the trustworthiness of the company, the integrity of the company and their likelihood to recommend the company.

The results? First impressions were much higher when viewed on the high quality paper:

  1. The participant was more likely to have a positive first impression of the company
  2. The participant was more likely to recommend the company to a friend

They then brought the subjects back a week later to ask follow-up questions to measure long-term impact. The companies that were presented on the high quality paper:

  1. Had a higher favorability rating
  2. People were better able to recall the names of the company: 3-to-1 better than those presented on low quality or online!
  3. Were most likely to get rated for having the highest degree of quality (those presented on the low quality paper were rated the highest for causing doubt)

So you see, the medium in which you choose to deliver your content makes a difference. The paper you choose has a significant impact on how your publication is viewed by both your readers and your advertisers.

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National Geographic Leads the Social Media Pack

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Last September, freelance writer/journalist Aaron Taube wrote a fantastic article on “How National Geographic Gets 8 Times the Social Engagement of Other Publishers”. In it, he discusses the merits of engaging your audience. National Geographic understands this and they have capitalized on it, boasting eight times the engagement of competing publishers.

As we take a closer look at their success, we see that National Geographic posts meaningful content that makes their followers want to engage and share their posts. Take a recent Photo of the Day, titled “Something’s Fishy” (by Pacific Wild co-founder Ian McAllister) – the photo received more than 30,000 likes on Facebook in just over three hours. When you click the Facebook link, you’ll be directed to National Geographic’s website which tells you more about the photo and also links to pictures from the feature story “In Search of the Elusive Sea Wolf Along Canada’s Rugged Coast.” This is an excellent example of an engaging post that drives traffic to their website that contains a soft-sell subscription approach.

Something’s Fishy by Ian McAllister

Something’s Fishy by Ian McAllister

Rule of thumb: It is much more effective to post captivating content that delights your audience and guide them to your site than it is to hard-sell your subscriptions in social media.

If this all sounds swell to you, but you aren’t sure where to start, we can help! Publication Printers Marketing Group (PPMG), a division of Publication Printers, is here to help educate your team on the value of social media in combination with print in your marketing mix. We will assist in the creation of your social media pages, explain the benefits of creative content, and show you how to advertise to your target market with measurable results. Click here or call 303.936.4930 for details.

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Love Your Paper

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How upgrading your paper can improve your bottom line.

love your paper

“I will never go to newsprint again… This is the perfect stock for us! And the fact that several ad agencies and other media outlets have frequently commented on the substantial improvement in our products adds to the testimonial of the paper stock.” – Gary Hibert | Owner/Publisher of Colorado Parent

There are several powerful reasons why upgrading from newsprint to glossy paper can help grow your revenue. Here are a couple of the strongest:

Reason # 1 – Upgrade in Perceived Quality
By upgrading your paper, you are upgrading the quality of your publication. When compared side by side, your magazine will stand out above any other publication printed on newsprint. This improves the perception of your brand, increases the likelihood it will be picked up off of a rack, and therefore, more likely to be read by more people. As an added advantage, research shows that people tend to hold on to glossy magazines for a longer period of time and share it with friends and family. Advertisers understand these differences and will pay more to advertise in a higher quality magazine!

Reason # 2 – Upgrade in Visual Quality
Full color photos and graphic images really “pop” off the page on glossy paper. For example, if you are appealing to parents, whose worlds revolve around kids, when you think of kids, you think COLOR! Color attracts attention! Many of your advertisers already know this and they design colorful ads for this very reason. Are you providing them the best vehicle for that ad to stand out? In the world of publishing, best vehicle = glossy paper and heatset printing.

Test it Out
We are equipped with a complete digital printing department. As a test this month, why don’t you take the files from your last issue and print a dozen sales copies on gloss paper? You can give them to your top advertisers to obtain feedback.

The idea of making a change like this can be intimidating and overwhelming. But do not worry! You don’t have to do it alone – we are here to help every step along the way.

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File Prep: The Extra Step

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shutterstock_123870715

You have probably heard the phrase “print-ready” files throughout your graphic arts or publishing career. But do you really know what that means and why it’s so important?  Do you know what considerations should be made for perfect bound publications vs. saddle stitch publications? Did you know that the type of paper you print on how it will print (digitally or on the web press) will affect the color? Do you know how to correctly calibrate your monitor and which simulation profiles should be used in the Adobe software to proof your pages on screen? Are you familiar with the recommendations for running metallic inks or other PMS colors?

If this sounds completely overwhelming, don’t worry – we are here to help!

To break it down further, let’s look at why you need to know how to set up files for a perfect bound project.  A perfect bound book is created by stacking signatures on top of one another, grinding off the spines, then gluing and clamping the covers to the book blocks.  Because of this spine grind, files need to be prepared so that all text and images are even further away from the edge than on the other three sides. Something else to keep in mind with perfect bound publications is the glue hinge. This is the 1/4” area on the spine edge of the IFC to the first text page and IBC to the last text page that has to be clear of any ink so the glue can adhere to the stock when the cover is bound onto the text pages. Due to this loss, adjustments to artwork may need to be made to ensure content isn’t lost and/or crossover images line up when bound.

In the past, you may have supplied source files to your printer to output from and PDFs were only created for proofing purposes. With today’s technology, most commercial print workflows are now PDF-based.  This means that as long as your layout is built correctly for your project, you can now generate a “print-ready” PDF file to submit to your printer. This will minimize the potential for error and reduces the time it takes to produce your project.

PDF stands for Portable Document Format.  Supplying print-ready PDFs speeds up all of the processes required for your job in our pre-press department by creating a simple workflow, providing for a hassle free transition from design through print and delivery.

A print-ready PDF must meet certain criteria for your file to print without encountering problems. (Additional criteria may be required depending on your project specifications.)

  • The document’s page size is correct and exact.  (E.g.: do not set your files up to be 8.5 x 11 – they must be 8.375 x 10.875 for most magazines)
  • Files are supplied with a minimum of 1/8” bleed.
  • Any printer’s marks are outside the 1/8” bleed area.
  • Fonts are embedded or converted to outlines.
  • All resolution is 300 dpi at 100% of the final image size.
  • Artwork not meant to bleed is at least 1/4” from the trim edge; this is the top, bottom and face of the page.
  • Small black text is 100% black and not a mix of CMYK.
  • The file is supplied as CMYK and does not contain PMS colors or other color space such as RGB. If you are unfamiliar with this terminology don’t worry, we will convert it for you, though some colors may shift.
  • Any multiple-page PDF consists of single pages running from the front cover through to the back cover, including blank pages if needed.
  • All files are clearly labeled.

Once the layout has been built and meets the criteria for your project, you are now ready to export to PDF. We can provide you with PDF instructions for all major layout software and versions. These instructions will walk you through setting up a preset to generate PDFs that are usable by us. However, they will not “fix” files that are setup incorrectly.  Remember, if you have questions about color management, file prep and layout, we can help!

For these reasons and so many more, it is important that your files are set up as correctly as possible to ensure the highest quality on your publication.  Don’t be intimidated, however, as we have a resident Prepress Technical Advisor/Customer Trainer, Michele McNutt, who is here to help you every step of the way.  If you are in Colorado, we invite you to set up a meeting at our plant with Michele to get you on the right track.  If you’re not local and you need dedicated support in building your files, don’t worry – we can send Michele to you!

This is one of the many services we offer that sets us apart from the “other guys.” The experts in our prepress department and their availability to you is unparalleled. That’s because we believe in investing in the long-term success of our customers. We want to help you succeed and grow – and you might also refer your friends our way.

 

 

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Digital Magazines, a Happy Compliment to Print

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Digital magazines are awesome! We are big fans, but do we think they are the greatest thing since sliced bread? Only when used in conjunction with print. In our always on the go world, we are constantly looking for ways to optimize our time. Digital magazines are great for when you’re on vacation, but should they be a substitute for print? Definitely not.

In a recent article from FOLIO:  “Unpacking Print’s Luxurious Future”, Michael Brunt predicts that within the next few years, printed magazines will be classified as an affordable luxury item. When you look at the big picture, this prediction makes perfect sense. While Baby Boomers are flocking to social media and digital editions in record breaking numbers, Millennials are fleeing. Millennials are overwhelmed by the all too digital world, and seeking tactile experiences. This is where printed magazines can capitalize.

Millennials are constantly bombarded by screens, and are in search of ways to unplug. What better way to relax than to curl up with a printed copy of your favorite publication? Tablets and smart phones are excellent ways to stay up to date with your favorite magazines when you are traveling, but cannot compete with the multisensory experience of print.

WWD July CoverTribune Publishing’s Los Angeles Times and Penske Media Corp’s Women’s Wear Daily have just announced their unique new partnership. This is what happens when the worlds of print and digital collide to better serve consumers- increased readership across both platforms.

In the post, “8 Lessons From the Failure of Digital Magazines to Revolutionize Publishing” from Publishing Executive, D. Eadward Tree muses, “In the same way, we must first build passionate audiences that will crave our addictive content regardless of the medium and only then concern ourselves with fitting our content to the device du jour.”

WWD and LA Times are great examples of first creating content that consumers want and then serving it the way they desire, in a mutually beneficial way for both companies. We’re excited to see what the future holds for this lucrative endeavor.

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