The team at fashion e-tailer Net-a-Porter, have launched their much anticipated global fashion magazine - PORTER. Expertly designed and edited, PORTER is staffed by fashion media executives and journalists from some of the world's best magazines including; Harper's BAZAAR, VOGUE and Esquire. Thanks to the free PORTER app, the magazine is shoppable interfacing with net-a-porter.com as well as third party sites. PORTER has similar production values you'd expect from VOGUE or Harper's BAZAAR and is a serious move into publishing without a hint of magalogue in sight.
Watch the PORTER Promo (Video)
The PORTER Magazine Strategy (Video)
In this exclusive video produced by The Business of Fashion, the Net-a-Porter team open up about their strategy and aspirations for the magazine as well as the importance of listening to women's needs.
Starting 2014 off with a bang, News Corp's NewsLifeMedia have announced the launch of their 10 week online health and fitness program - body+soul revolution. Supported by a $1.5M marketing budget, for $99 (or $149 for 2), members can leverage the support of a range of experts across; personal training, yoga, general medicine, naturopathy, nutrition, psychology, parenting, astrology to help achieve health and fitness goals.
Curious, I put together a quick comparison tool (below) and while not perfect, it does show body+soul revolution as being a serious contender in the market by leveraging a ready-made audience. Body+soul revolution is clearly the most well-priced option for members with the highest gross reach of the programs compared. The gross audience estimate is the total of known social media stats (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest) as well as magazine audience. Web traffic has not been included due to lack of data availability on the non-media brands.
Membership Program Comparison Tool
Google have launched Google Play Newsstand, their new Android app for magazine, news and blog content. Merging the Play magazine app and Google Currents (news app), readers can subscribe to magazines and newspapers within the app as well as their favourite blogs and news sites - all optimised for mobile available on or offline.
Users in Australia, UK, US and Canada have been automatically upgraded from Google Play magazine app to Google Play Newsstand. Google Currents users can upgrade to Google Play Newsstand by downloading the new app where their content should be ready and waiting.
Watch the Google Play Newsstand video (1.11 mins)
Earlier this month Australia's two biggest newspaper publishers; News Limited and Fairfax Media unveiled their digital paid subscription models. Both publishers offer a $1 for the first month for full digital access and between $15 (Fairfax) and $16 (News+) thereafter. Fairfax offer everyone access to 30 free articles per month before being asked to upgrade - they also send you an alert once you've read 25 free articles which is also handy. Newspaper subscribers will also automatically receive full digital access if they have home delivery on two or more days a week. News+ offer limited (approx. 3) free access articles before being asked to upgrade. News+ also offer Fox Sports content as part of their subscription package.
Fairfax Media Subscription Offers
Sydney Morning Herald Subscription Offers
Watch Fairfax Media's consumer commercial below
News+ (News Limited) Subscription Offers
News+ Subscription Offers
Fox Sports News live 24/7 live streaming
Fox Sports match news videos
Unlimited Taste, Body + Soul, Escape, Confidential, Best Weekend.
Watch News Australia's News+ product video below
images and videos via: smh.com.au and news limited respectively.
Magazine publishers are the producers and custodians of some breathtaking imagery. Many, hold large archives of beautiful, carefully curated image collections that extend back years. Magazines are also active on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and produce other content like video and of course, articles. What if you could enhance your images with content your brands already produce and make it interactive?
Thinglink promises to make images; more interactive, more shareable and more engaging. Your audience will spend more time consuming your content - the goal of every publisher. The first thing to understand is Thinglink has nothing to do with watermark or scan technology. There are no apps to download or mobile scanning to do.
What is Thinglink?
Thinglink creates images tagged and saved with rich media and interactive content. The image is then embedded on your website and shared with followers on social media. Interactive content is recognisable to the reader via small symbols the user hovers their cusor over - including video, social media, music, links (wiki's, websites, profiles etc.). Now, there are many images on the Thinglink website made by Punters - some great, others not so much. BUT, in the hands of experienced magazine designers and marketers, this tool could really help your content sing. I aim to bring ideas and tools for publishers of all sizes and budgets, and the good news is - the basic business plan is free for commercial use.
How can publishers and brands use it?
Magazines can use this tool to create an image for their magazines to share on social media, embed on blogs and anywhere else. Linking it with Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, online subscription page, competitions etc. It seems only limited by imagination (and design skill). The still-shots captured here don't do the interactivity justice - so please be sure to check it out online. You can set up your own profile here at: www.thinglink.com
Images via: Thinglink.com.
Will you gaze into the future with me a minute? With the myriad of opportunities technology has afforded publishers, do you wonder where else it could go? I found this fascinating video from IDEO - a global design consultancy ranked one of the most innovative companies in the world by the Boston Consulting Group (IDEO also worked with Zinio back in 2001).
The video, entitled The Future of the Book is a "design exploration of digital reading" which tours three product prototypes (named Nelson, Coupland and Alice) which re-imagine the digital book. The video originally created in 2010, could mean the future is not too far away. The idea won a number of awards and the technology could equally be applied to magazines.
1. NELSON - a reading experience that offers different perspectives and ongoing discussions as well as fact checking. Giving readers what they need to form their own opinions on topics.
2. COUPLAND - determines the key reading materials based on your professional network, organisation or university. Keeping you up to date with what's going on in your field.
If you've just watched the video, you'll see the potential opportunities for publishers, advertisers and audiences - particularly extending reader engagement and gamification of content.
The burning question is - are we there yet?
Images and video via IDEO.com
My top picks so far (in alphabetical order)
Launched in 2010, Adore Home is "Australia's first online only home an lifestyle magazine". At around 186 pages it feels like a "normal" magazine in length and carries a selection of quality advertisers. The clean layout and design-focused editorial contains links to both the adore store and other web locations including etsy.com. The editorial is less copy-dense than other titles with plenty of images and shorter text rather than long-form features - so it's a delight for the person seeking a real burst of visual inspiration . image via: adoremagazine.com
Now on its third issue, lovingly created by three friends and colleagues, this charming stand alone magazine app showcases the delightful surprises that often await readers in a skillfully executed digital edition. Packed with artful video, images, audio and sometimes interactive backgrounds you never know what will pop up in this made for iPad app. The point of difference is storytelling rather than e-commerce and focuses on "the local, personal and unique". Artisan does not currently carry advertising and the trio are open to collaborating with fellow artisans. Download via the Appstore. image via: artisan-magazine.com
Curating "the best in Australian and International design", est magazine (now in its 8th issue) promises readers inspiration with an "Australian twist". Clean, minimalist design delivers a cohesive editorial flow with market edits at several points throughout. I like this tried and true format as it retains interest throughout the book giving the reader visual breaks at regular intervals. A generous helping of beautifully-shot imagery makes reading est a pleasure. Est is only available to subscribers so you'll need to sign up to read it but it's well worth the 30 seconds it takes to do so. image via: estmagazine.com
I've mentioned this magazine before and I had to include it in this post. This is the 2nd issue and at 115 pages it's packed with products, hints, tips and how-to's. With a demanding monthly publishing schedule, HTF may get the jump on less frequent titles which can help them better leverage their ever-changing range of gorgeous products. This month, as well as the design and food features, there's an extensive travel feature giving HTF magazine a well-balanced editorial mix and point of difference to its competitors whose focus is largely only on design. image via: hardtofind.com
Launched this week by online fashion behemoth Net-a-porter.com this online magazine is set to impress. Among it's team of creators are former media executives, fashion editors, journalists and stylists. With a free subscriber base already over 1.5 million this is a serious foray into publishing as too will be their (as yet unnamed) 300-page print magazine launching later in 2013. Luxury advertisers are already lining up to advertise in the print magazine which will be available via newsstand and subscription. image via: net-a-porter.com
Published the last Friday of the month, readers are invited to "see what the future of magazines looks like". This made for iPad app is handsome and brimming with insight through highly targeted tech business articles. Each issue is dedicated to a specific tech topic e.g. startups, emerging markets, mobile. TNW recently tweeted their current issue (The Startup Issue) received 41K downloads - more than all other issues combined! With its more masculine feel, TNW magazine features an elegant design with minimal imagery which ensures the high calibre content remains centre stage. image via: thenextweb.com
The reader experience (PDF page-turner + embedded video) isn't super-slick like many apps but works well on desktop and iPad (not sure about Android). What is impressive is how products are styled normally throughout the magazine yet if you hover your mouse over certain items they can be purchased from the hardtofind website. This clever design feature keeps the layout true to the magazine experience without feeling like a magalogue.
Musings about magazines.
I'm a Sales and Marketing Consultant from Sydney, Australia.