In an industry which is constantly searching for new methods of generating revenue, the world of digital publishing provides possibilities to recover losses as sales of some print publications suffer. Obviously, paid content is one method, as well as developing applications to deliver news on an array of multimedia platforms. The New York Times is just one example of a paper which has thrown itself into the fray of digital publishing, with a wide array of multimedia applications. The Philadelphia Media Network has adopted one of the most aggressive digital strategies to date by subsidising digital tablets for its readers.
As one recent Poynter article shows, there is more scope than ever to produce topical publications rapidly - take ABC News and The Washington Post who published ebooks after the death of Osama Bin Laden. However, there are also several news organisations that, in addition to focusing on bringing current news to their readership in digital format, are also making the most of all their content from previous years.
Upon the recent arrest of gangster James Bulger, The Boston Globe produced an ebook, consisting of three volumes, using the paper's archived content related to the story. The Boston Globe has a long tradition of rapidly publishing books related to hot-topics, although before the advent of the digital age such printed publications, known as 'instabooks', were often related to sports teams and their recent victories.
Now, as the ebook format becomes ever more sophisticated due to the increasing popularity of smart phones and tablet computers, more high resolution colour images, along with video and audio clips, can be incorporated into the product. The multimedia collage which is the ebook provides a unique experience for the consumer and makes the most of a resource available to all newspapers: their own archives.
NBC News is also attempting to capitalise on the financial value of its archived content. NBC Universal have launched a new website which will allow users to purchase archived information from a range of subsidiary organisations, including Universal Pictures, NBC Photobank, NBC Radio, Universal Studios and, of course NBC News. If the site proves to be successful, it may inspire other major media organisations to adopt similar a strategy and centralise the sale of their archived information.