Swipe 2.0 2013 Conference Highlights
MPA Holds Full-Day "Swipe 2.0" Conference on Latest Developments in Tablets, Smartphones, Video, E-Readers and More
Swipe 2.0, now in its second year and held March 28 at the Grand Hyatt in New York City, is the only digital conference devoted exclusively to Magazine Media. It was the scene for breaking developments, product unveilings and insightful case studies from leading media companies and their technology partners. Sponsors included Adobe Systems, Inc.; Alliance for Audited Media; Aurasma; BlackBerry; Digimarc; Hybris Software; Kantar Media; Picsean Media; PressReader; and Zinio.
"It is no longer accurate or appropriate to talk about ourselves exclusively as ‘magazines' which to most people connotes just print--because it doesn't begin to measure our reach. Instead, we and others--the press, the advertising community, and Wall Street, for starters--need to think about, calculate and interpret the entire business and footprint of Magazine Media because our readers' desire for magazine branded content transcends any one platform...Let me give you six reasons...why it is the best time to be in the business of Magazine Media."
"Our industry has progressed beyond merely talking about ‘digital' as a quaint concept, to these new lines of business defining the entire marketplace. I want every one of you to walk away smarter than when you woke up this morning – and I guarantee you will.
THE MAGAZINE BRAND AS PLATFORM
"The keys to our turnaround: We assembled world-class talent--this is a people business after all. In addition to the force of the collected intellect and a spirit of generosity, we hire smart, creative entrepreneurs. We went back to the brand's DNA, and from there we developed a digital strategy that has allowed us to build a profitable platform. Our audience is up 330% since 2009, and our financials are up 76% since 2009."
CONTENT IS KING: HARNESSING & MONETIZING AN ICONIC BRAND'S DIGITAL GROWTH
"People come to the New Yorker for the best sentences and the best thoughts on any conceivable subject...We have always had a paywall on the web. I am not going to train a generation of readers that the content just comes out of the faucet...We are monetizing our web presence."
BUILDING A MAGAZINE BRAND ON THE WEB
"Content consumption is not just a publishing site--the magazine is its foundation, but content needs to be actionable...Plus we have ecommerce integration in our site. We have been layering in device-specific experiences for the cook in the kitchen or a crafter in Michaels who needs to find info on their iPhone immediately. We have the opportunity to provide the place where content and action meet for consumers who want to live beautiful, artful, creativ, and rich lives every day. Then we allow the community to broadcast what they have done."
WHAT LIES AHEAD: HOW MEREDITH IS TAKING ON THE FUTURE OF DIGITAL CONTENT
"We have integrated e-commerce into our experience--our users want it. It gives us data about what excites our audience, then our editors can curate. We have found that ‘Content is Queen, Data is King' because we can analyze data and offer focused insights for our mobile shopping experience and mobile wallet. The data we collect leads to insights about ROI, which we can then give back to our advertisers."
PRINT OR DIGITAL? WITH AUGMENTED REALITY IT'S THE BEST OF BOTH
Rob Whitehurst : "Augmented reality can bring print to life immediately. Consumers can engage with any image and can launch a website, phone call, tweet, Facebook and more...It's a new channel for revenue beyond the printed page itself. Advertisers can sell twice--the print and the augmented reality."
Rachel Gogel: "With over 60,000 downloads, we are noticing how our readers are interacting with our content differently. We have seen downloads all over the world--in 128 countries. It is exclusive content--consumers can only view it through GQ. People keep viewing it months later. Content is king--and AR can provide the ‘wow' factor."
BUILDING MAGAZINE REVENUE WITH ONLINE VIDEO
Jon Swallen: "When talking about video, I use the term ‘current' rather than best practices--we are always evolving and changing...26% of national brands are using online video--and roughly half are using it exclusively digitally, not on TV...Online you are stuck seeing the ad--but at 15 seconds, they are almost being respectful of the consumer. They don't want to make the audience angry."
Ari Bluman: "How do we bridge the gap between print, TV and all things digital? The most common bridge between television and digital is video itself. Giving first look opportunities is the most exciting for consumers--but it needs lots of education on how to reach audiences for the different teams. A lot of
THE RIGHT APPROACH TO DIGITAL VIDEO CONTENT
"We start by trying to understand users' needs and flow. So it starts with data--by looking at use during the day and during the week. During the workday, users want ‘marvel' experiences; at night, they are willing to be more involved. It also depends on events, like the inauguration...We pay attention to the ‘snackability' of the experience to make it sharable and instant."
NEW CONCEPTS IN DIGITAL MAGAZINE PUBLISHING
"We created the DemiZine™, which is multimedia throughout; even the covers can be interactive. As you go in, you see the content condensed. Users have 15 to 20 pages 26 times a year, every 2 weeks, rather than once a month. Across the top is the ‘inspiration'--the headlines. We had to rethink the editorial process--every lead is not a spread, it's a single page. It has the typical hierarchy of photos, but as you tap below you can make the other photos bigger. Short clips of video are interspersed with single shot stills."
AAM RESEARCH UPDATE: PUBLISHERS' PERSPECTIVES ON PLATFORMS, CROSS-CHANNEL AUDITING & METRICS
"As consumption evolves, a total magazine brand's footprint includes print, web, social, and more. We are listening to which metrics matter the most--all buyers say that publishers need to get on board with measuring multichannel. Publications are no longer print-bound--they are multichannel and digital numbers have grown fast--more than 160 million magazine editions have been distributed in past year."
WAITING OUT THE GOLDRUSH: WHY THE FORBES iPAD APP ISN'T THE SAME OLD STORY
"We rebuilt our digital based on HTML5 and refocused our cover--we wanted function and usefulness. It was all about the content. We made following our content and people core to the experience of our app. This was something I could take across all teams at Forbes--advertising, tech, editorial, marketing--and with the app you can immediately get a seamless experience between the web and the magazine."
EXCLUSIVE: INSIDE NEW YORK MAGAZINE'S NEW iPAD APP
"What drove our decision-making for this app? We wanted more interactivity, daily updates, social sharing and faster downloads. The tablet usage takes off in the afternoon and then escalates in the evening. We provide a simple, beautiful reading experience that is seamless from the weekly to the daily, which are offered as part of the ‘freemium' business model. You get a teaser on the daily, but if you want to read the story, you have to be a subscriber--the idea is to drive subscriptions from the app."
"Those were some very nutritious presentations. I'm here to help you digest them. The presenters are addressing the failings of the first generation of magazine apps, which were just replications of the magazine...These presenters are addressing the awkward transition between the app from the free world of the internet to paid subscriptions."
NO BOUNDARIES: THE HEARST YOU DON'T KNOW
"One of the first things we need to do is reset our value to the subscriber--charge fair market value for the magazine content. We are asked why the higher pricing by digital users? It's because they are first to the get the issue, they receive added content, and video and audio and interactivity. They get immediate satisfaction. They get to complete the impulse--to read and share and can even archive the content."
CREATING PROFITABLE RELATIONSHIPS WITH YOUR READERS
"Your readers are on tablets--and on them a LOT...What are they buying? $359 worth a year on those tablets. You can know what the readers are reading on the tablet and take advantage of that live experience. It's a way you can have a direct real-time relationship with the consumer...Plus you have back issues...You can create collections of content you can offer to your readers packaged and priced in different ways."
BETTER THAN FREE: SIMPLE FEATURES TO REACH DIGITAL MAGAZINE READERS
James Jacoby: "What makes content better than ‘free'? Content that invites conversations, makes them convenient and which are discoverable at a tap or click away."
Tim Moser: "How do we encourage these interactions when there's a ‘social button farm' on each page? Let's balance it so the social aspect is in the content directly....For the magazine industry it's about adding utility to the content. The key: a convenient, one-stop portal in a low-risk purchasing environment that provides a consistent user experience."
FLIPPING OUT: INSIDE THE BUSINESS OF FLIPBOARD
Paul Katz: "Users and publishers can create the most beautiful magazines for themselves. I can clip them into my own magazines I've already created or create a new one. This helps curators find them and other people can subscribe to personally created magazines."
Chris Cormier: "Mobile is our fastest growing segment. It's all about connecting the right guy with the right content--we're growing in print and online with our partnerships. We've established successful partnerships on Flipboard with Bally, Gucci, and Levi's did an entire branded magazine with us."
THE EVOLUTION OF READING
Jim Prussack: "People are using their smartphones for ‘me' time and they are looking to be entertained. We wanted to be part of that conversation. The Zinio application embraces the disruption on the device. It gives readers the opportunity to consume the content differently than ever before. Windows 8 is about embracing the functionality and capabilities of the platform."
Matt Collins: "Smartphone consumption is different from other screens--we talk about ‘snackable' moments all the time. We build experiences that are geared toward the smaller screen. The articles are formatted for the screen and allows you to purchase that article or that issue seamlessly on the phone...We maintain a relentless emphasis on quality and embrace the goal."
Jeanniey Mullen: "Both companies have made themselves available to Zinio to work with and collaborate on the device and the operating system
"Fllpboard started as a way to pull together social feeds but now they are allowing people to create their own magazines--over 100,000 in its first day. Swipe 2.0 speaks to the trends toward social recommendation for content and the desire for brands to become their own distributors of content. We'll be watching to see how many people are creating their own magazines and what it does to help or hurt traditional publishers."
WHERE MAGAZINES CAN GO WITH BLACKBERRY
"There are many ways to bring your magazine content to Blackberry 10. You can have application built for you, which would be very tightly integrated with the hardware; use an aggregator, which makes your content easy to be discovered, or use a platform partner, such as Mippin and PugPig, which makes your content that you've already spent resources developing easy to convert."
BECOMING A 21ST CENTURY MEDIA COMPANY
"Today we have a business problem. We can actually make things, but what we can't do is make money because of the structure of our business. We need to employ our resources where we need them--like actually having a marketing budget, not assume everyone knows who we are. Technology is interwoven but our business are full of walls--these walls must be broken down....When information flows both ways, we can talk to the audience but we can also learn about them and offer advertising as a service, not as something that bothers them....‘I'm a writer. I'm an editor. I'm an art director.' Rigid definitions of identity are from a former time."
WHAT DIGITAL DISRUPTION DOES TO & FOR MAGAZINE PUBLISHERS
"Don't worry about replacing your current iPad magazine experience--think about expanding it, building a direct relationship to the consumer....Prepare to partner promiscuously to get there quickly."
THE WHOLE STORY: THE CASE FOR LONG-FORM MAGAZINE JOURNALISM ON iPAD
"Magazines have not been tested to keep their quality in the face of technological change until the past five years. Then, Foreign Affairs was a bimonthly pub, with very little visual disruption. We took risks: We overhauled the design and added imagery to the cover. We increased our price with no repercussions...You have to expand on your platforms--our journalism is long-form and so is our video. And we provide the same authority we always have....You invest as cheaply as possible--all independent publishers are struggling with this."
THE MARRIAGE OF EDITORIAL & DESIGN IN DIGITAL STORYTELLING
Dan Revitte: "Back in the day, the digital department sat on one side of the office and the magazine sat on the other. I used to have to beg for content from the magazine...What started as a small blog--Guy Gourmet--we then created a microsite, so that it was searchable and showcased the individual franchises.
Bill Phillips: "Then we created Twitter and Facebook for Guy Gourmet so it spun off into social media. And then it turned into a recurring magazine franchise--it had not yet been in the magazine. We made it a deep dive into one ingredient when it went into the magazine, which was a very different experience than for the online reader. And then we expanded the interactive content for the iPad, and now there will be a branded book--a cookbook on steroids. It's interesting to take advantage of the various platforms."
TURNING "WHAT COULD HAVE BEEN" INTO EXTRAORDINARY OPPORTUNITIES
"Our pitch meetings are sort of gladiatorial feats. When our writer pitched profiling millionaire John MacAfee in Belize, he got the go ahead. Our profile was due to run in January, but then the story of MacAfee's dead neighbor surfaced and we had to strategize on how are we going to leverage what we had as well as when and where to do it. We had three all-nighters in a row to finish the story. We did a Kindle single, a new area for us, and we did updates on the web. We were able to keep on updating the magazine story on the web before we published the full profile in the magazine. We had over 50,000 downloads of the story, and it was #1 on Kindle singles list. It generated massive web and social traffic. All along, we thought about creating value for our brand and for our readers, giving it to them on the platforms they want."
"For magazines the rich photography and content haven't always been associated with innovation. But the last three presentations show that they should be. Digital editions provide new pathways and fertile ground for telling stories with more depth, more interaction and more growth."
ADOBE DPS & INNOVATION IN DIGITAL MAGAZINE APPS
"Digital magazines are driving innovation as they come into our daily lives...Readers are paying for editions--only 22% are reading for free. Per publication the readership is growing dramatically...We believe the multi-device approach is vital and it contributes to overall readership. Although tablets are used 75% of the time, 23% of publications are consumed on the smartphones. And smartphone engagement is incremental to tablet engagement."
CREATING CUSTOM CONTENT: AN INSIDE PEEK AT NG CREATIVE
Maura Mulvihill: "We have a 11.5 million images in our archive. National Geography Creative is our storefront. You can buy what you want. You can put together a custom campaign--or we can do it for you. We became the perfect collaborator for HSBC because we have specialties in geographic areas. They did not want stock photos--they wanted to say ‘wherever you are, we are.' We're cosmopolitan but we are local. The moment the campaign was conceived, the photographers and local HSBC people became part of the campaign--they were blogging to their colleagues, the bank, and more."
Jenifer Berman: "How do we use our content on behalf of our clients? We have some unexpected case studies such as La Mer, Vale mining, and Purina, where we functioned not only as an in-house creative studio, but we access all National Geographic content--photos, maps, video. We have a huge global footprint. We can leverage incredible content and tell stories in service to our clients."
GOOGLE & THE MULTI-CHANNEL MAGAZINE
"Our new storefront, Google Play, is about bringing premium content to the market, and it's not just about Android. We can make an app out of everything, but it's very confusing for users--there is a lack of consistency. We advise that you start with what you're good with--and then work to extend that. This multichannel storefront offered us multi-retail opportunities--for example, Maxim carried the brand into the movie, magazine and game store."
INSIDE THE SPORTS ILLUSTRATED 2013 SWIMSUIT EDITION
M.J. Day: "We shot on all seven continents. For example, you are in Namibia to provide an immersive experience. The picture shows all dunes, no humanity beyond the model...18 million of our readers are women. Women share content via Facebook and Twitter much more than the men. We created the insert sponsored by Target with tips to give something back to that segment of our readership."
Tanzina Vega: "I'd like to see when Sports Illustrated features a size 12 model."
Swipe 2.0 was preceded by a VIP reception held in the Grand Hyatt Gallery on March 27. The party featured signature drinks crafted by NYC top shelf bartender Lucinda Sterling and beats mixed by DJ Vida.
NETWORKING @ SWIPE 2.0
From speakers and sponsors to press and attendees, Swipe 2.0 was the scene to be seen.