We are experimenting with replacing our ‘Media Links’ post with a feed of ‘Recommended Reading,’ where we will not only suggest to you what we think are some of the most interesting articles around today, but we will highlight why we think they are worth reading. Do let us know what you think!
Patch redesign emphasizes social as path to revenue growth, StreetFightMag.com
Patch, AOL’s hyperlocal news venture, has come under much fire for disrupting local news markets across the US and for failing to find a business model. This article claims that Patch is moving “away from a traditional editorial news property and into a more social, user-driven service:” is this a step in the right direction towards commercial success? What can others learn from this?
Fortune Changes iPad Strategy, Introduces 'Freemium' App Edition, AdAge.com
As this article says, most paid-for magazine tablet apps offer nothing but a storefront to non-subscribers. Fortune has introduced a new iPad edition with a mix of free and paid content, in “an effort to make the app worth swiping through even if you're not a subscriber.” This allows the magazine more of a chance to both attract new subscribers, and to serve ads to non-subscribers: two new potential revenue sources
Time Out set free in slimmer format, The Guardian
Time Out has gone free with a reduced number of pages, meaning fewer film reviews and fewer cinema listings, John Plunkett points out. In the past, the magazines listings were a prized feature, but now, “best go to its website for detailed listings,” the article suggests – presumably a reflection of the consumer’s shift to online when looking for this kind of information.
Funded By $22M From Publishers, Wanderful Media Reinvents The Newspaper Circular, Tech Crunch
This is an interesting story because it shows 12 major US newspaper companies (including Gannett, McClatchy, Cox, Hearst, Washington Post, etc.) uniting to help circulars (printed flyers containing coupons and information on sales) make the move to digital and retain them as an important source of revenue.
Nola Media Group announces digital initiative one week before Times-Picayune reduces print days, Poynter.org
Given that a persistent complaint about the reduction of print days in New Orleans has been that many residents do not have broadband or easy access to digital, such an initiative seems like a smart move. For example, the article notes that one part of the project will fund the purchase of 66 iPads for community use in the New Orleans Public Library system. As both news publishers and libraries are important centres for information for their communities, this alone seems like a measure that other publishers might want to consider following.
For more industry news, please see WAN-IFRA's Executive News Service.