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  • BoSacks Speaks Out: On Charlottesville, Nazis, Trump, Hate and Love

    BoSacks Speaks Out: On Charlottesville, Nazis, Trump, Hate and Love

    It's not what we do in times of peace and tranquility that defines us, it is what we do in times of crisis that makes history and explains us to ourselves and our posterity.

    I usually try to avoid politics in these pages, which some have told me they find odd and out of character for an old outspoken hippy who was a twice elected politician and former publisher of several underground/over-ground political publications. 

    As most of you know I live in Charlottesville, Va. I am an immigrant coming south to live a little over five years ago from upstate New York. I have lived in many places both urban and rural. Charlottesville suits Carol and me, and we love living here.  It is a thoughtful, lovely community rich in multiculturalism, arts, music, history and natural beauty.  I enjoy living here more than anywhere else I have lived. 

    Yesterday that peace was temporally blown-up. We were invaded by self-proclaimed Nazis. They came here to disrupt a peaceful community and do as much harm as they could. They came with hate, helmets, shields and weapons. They came to "kill" our unity and ended up killing one of our citizens and grievously wounding dozens of others. 

    They succeeded in their mission far beyond their expectations. How so? They were endorsed by the President of the United States as co-equals. The Nazis were grossly and intentionally conflated with the peaceful defenders of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness for all by an ignoramus. I could go into writing pages of my outrage for the infant-king we are now saddled with. I could dissect his every infantile move of the last two years leading up to the recent, but sadly not the last, disgrace.  But I won't. 

    I write this rant to try to reconcile and understand my own feelings and share my disgust. It didn't have to be this way. It doesn't have to be this way. Hate is obviously historic. Was there ever a time when it wasn't present somewhere, in some place or another? It is a sad reminder that with all the progress humanity has made in the last millennium we still have pockets of venom. (For the Complete Article Click Here)

    by Bob Sacks
    Posted August 13, 2017
    (0) Comments

  • BoSacks Readers Speak Out: An Honest Look at the Industry, Time Inc, High Times, & More

    BoSacks Readers Speak Out: An Honest Look at the Industry, Time Inc, High Times, & More

    Re: An Honest Look at State of the Magazine Industry - Summer 2017

    Many thanks for sending David Pilcher's interesting article, "An Honest Look at [the] State of the Magazine Industry."  If nothing else, the article demonstrates how difficult it is to get definitive information on the number of titles launched, folded, or running in a given year. Different sources provide different numbers, and the differences can be pretty big. For example, Mediafinder (one of the sources of data in the article) believes there are more than twice as many magazines published in the U.S. as Statista (another source). Quite a margin of error!  But more to the point, a really "honest" article about the state of the magazine industry would discuss the number of magazine pages being printed in a given year, to reflect trends in both ad volume and circulation.  Considering that Pilcher is writing for a printer's blog, the quantity of pages printed would seem like a much more pertinent metric than the number of titles published. Of course, the definition of "magazine" is at the heart of all of this anyway. And in any case, the state of the magazine industry can't be genuinely relevant to more than a handful of people.  The trends in our individual businesses matter a lot.  The trends in other markets or in other media?  Not so much.  CLICK HERE FOR THE  FULL ARTICLE

    by BoSacks Readers
    Posted August 08, 2017
    (0) Comments

  • Bosacks Speaks Out: With Magazine Ads down 16%, what does it mean to the magazine Industry?

    Bosacks Speaks Out: With Magazine Ads down 16%, what does it mean to the magazine Industry?

    Let's be honest, although many attempt to do so, there is no way to find a positive spin to the data in this or any industry-wide report with magazine ads down another 16%. As an industry, we have seen negative numbers every year for a decade. Were you expecting a change?   Newsstand sales of magazines have plummeted at least 50%, and periodicals run through the USPS have dropped 55% and diminish each year.  Meanwhile ad sales, as seen in this report, continue on their long decline seeking a yet undiscovered plateau.   

    We have seen associations use sleight of hand to try to change the subject and use illusory metrics. Has that helped?  We have seen pundits declare that all is well and that print will live and be prosperous forever. Neither of those is helpful as a solution nor a recognition of the situation at hand.  

    While we were discussing this new data my friend Mr. Dead Tree offered this to me in an email yesterday: 

    "Maybe the message needs to be what AA and the other 12-step groups say: To fix a problem, first you have to acknowledge you have one. On the print side of our industry, there seems to be lots of denial and not much innovation."

    My hypothesis is that there is no longer a magazine publishing industry at large as we once understood it. There are however individual sectors that are incorrectly lumped into a total of false equivalency. There are the large publishing houses that have absolutely nothing in common with small niche publishers. Yet somehow, they are deemed to be in the same industry with incorrectly compared metrics. There are regional publishing houses that have little to nothing in common with enthusiast titles, but they are also judged by the same over-all criteria. 

    Let's be honest, although many attempt to do so, there is no way to find a positive spin to the data in this or any industry-wide report with magazine ads down another 16%. As an industry, we have seen negative numbers every year for a decade. Were you expecting a change?   Newsstand sales of magazines have plummeted at least 50%, and periodicals run through the USPS have dropped 55% and diminish each year.  Meanwhile ad sales, as seen in this report, continue on their long decline seeking a yet undiscovered plateau.   

    We have seen associations use sleight of hand to try to change the subject and use illusory metrics. Has that helped?  We have seen pundits declare that all is well and that print will live and be prosperous forever. Neither of those is helpful as a solution nor a recognition of the situation at hand.  

    While we were discussing this new data my friend Mr. Dead Tree offered this to me in an email yesterday: 

    "Maybe the message needs to be what AA and the other 12-step groups say: To fix a problem, first you have to acknowledge you have one. On the print side of our industry, there seems to be lots of denial and not much innovation."

    My hypothesis is that there is no longer a magazine publishing industry at large as we once understood it. There are however individual sectors that are incorrectly lumped into a total of false equivalency. There are the large publishing houses that have absolutely nothing in common with small niche publishers. Yet somehow, they are deemed to be in the same industry with incorrectly compared metrics. There are regional publishing houses that have little to nothing in common with enthusiast titles, but they are also judged by the same over-all criteria.  FOR THE COMPLETE ARTICLE CLICK HERE

    by Bob Sacks
    Posted July 26, 2017
    (0) Comments

  • BoSacks Speaks Out; NASA Calls Bullshit on Goop's $120 'Bio-Frequency Healing'

    BoSacks Speaks Out; NASA Calls Bullshit on Goop's $120 'Bio-Frequency Healing'

    In an age of abundant fake news, unlimited ad fraud and other nefarious communication systems to defraud both the public and the publishing community, I continue to wonder where fake and even dangerous advertised products fall in the current scheme of publishing things. My question is this: if a publisher knowingly and in the pursuit of profit promotes known or dangerous junk products, is it in any way responsible and/or liable?  Forgetting the legal possibilities, is it also contributing to the demise of overall trust in media? I think so.  

    Last month I vented about two such known opportunists. They were Doctor Oz and Gwyneth Paltrow's yet to be released Goop magazine. I asked, "If we continue to create 'fake or alternative news' or promote 'selling junk health products,' then we have to accept the moniker we deserve. Media is much more about profit then any quaint perception of truth. "  

    Where do we as an industry draw a line between honor and income? Where does credibility start? I ask because Paltrow's team is in the news again. Who is the complainant this time? Would you believe me if I said it was the National Aeronautics Space Administration (NASA) who called out GOOP for fraudulent claims. Yes, you heard me right, NASA.  

    The GOOP brand among other insane claims "is now promoting stickers called 'Body Vibes.' The product, which I remind you, is literally a sticker, uses 'NASA space suit material' to 'rebalance the energy frequency in our bodies'."  

    Ladies and gentleman of the publishing jury, with all the endless impediments to honest journalism that we are currently confronting, are you willing and ready to defend a known charlatan? Is it really worth 30 silver coins to join the pantheon of hucksters?    

    Am I missing something? What is your opinion?

     
    by Bob Sacks
    Posted July 26, 2017
    (0) Comments

  • BoSacks Speaks Out:  Takeaways from Digital Innovators Summit 2017

    BoSacks Speaks Out: Takeaways from Digital Innovators Summit 2017

     I have the privilege of attending about 16 publishing media conferences each year. The shows I go to run the gamut of media publishing enterprises. I attend meetings with editors (ASME), circulators (MBR), and production folk (PRIMEX). I meet with various groups of media professionals such as regional publishers (CRMA, IRMA), large publishers (MPA, IMAG), Digital Book Conferences, and International Conferences (FIPP World Conference). It is by attending these broadly different events that I gather my perspectives on media and deliver the opinions that you read each day. 

    In most of these events there is a discernable pattern. In some spiritual way most of the meetings open up with a similar chant or mantra. The audiences hum to "print is not dead, print is not dead, oh lord please agree that print is not dead." After that apparently mandatory professional obeisance, the conversations are all about digital processes, digital strategies and new digital revenues.   

    You've heard me say that I live in the future and only come to the present to give lectures about what is ahead for publishers. There is one show that I go to each year that doesn't follow that mantra trend and is as much a part of the future as I am. It is the Digital Innovators Summit hosted by FIPP and held each year in Berlin.  It is by far one of my most favorite events. The agenda there is all about successful digital methodologies currently and actively in place. If you work for a company with vision, get them to send you to DIS. It is an event that I would recommend to any company that wants to see the future of our business in action today.  FOR THE COMPLETE ARTICLE CLICK HERE

    by Bob Sacks
    Posted July 26, 2017
    (0) Comments

  • BoSacks Speaks Out:  Grappling with Ad Fraud and its Nuances

    BoSacks Speaks Out: Grappling with Ad Fraud and its Nuances

    Charles Dickens once penned the now famous line, "It was the best of times, it was the worst of times."  I am going to counter that with a quote from Art Buchwald, "Whether it's the best of times or the worst of times, it's the only time we've got." I bring this up while trying to grapple with advertising and the best/worst of times we now find ourselves in.  Here is an open question for us all. In an environment of unlimited content, there is also by default unlimited advertising. What is the revenue destiny of unlimited ads and unlimited content?  Do you know the answer?  

    It's obvious that there is now more complexity going on in our industry than at any other time in media's long history. So much that it is hard to keep up with the constant changes on any meaningful level. Among those changes ad fraud is one of the hottest of topics. What does ad fraud really mean other than the theft of something valuable?  What are the far-reaching parameters of ad fraud? What do they include?  

    Perhaps the obvious place to start is a recent news release from the Association of National Advertisers which proudly boasted that ad fraud will drop 10% this year from 7.2 billion dollars to about 6.5 billion. To that I suggest that all quantifying statements on this topic are at best a guess and at worst an additional fraud.  

    Ad fraud is not yet a trackable science. There is no benchmark from which to make any kind of all conclusive declarative statement, least of all that it is going down.  If there is a known fact anywhere here, it is that the fraudsters are and always have been many steps ahead of the supposed "rule makers." The problem is that you can't track by any means what you don't know. So, any statement that ad fraud is going down is patently absurd. While it might be possible to define in broad terms what ad fraud is, it isn't possible to quantify it now.  

    Is ad fraud about robots(bots) pretending to be humans clicking on ads?   CLICK HERE FOR THE COMPLETE ARTICLE

    by Bob Sacks
    Posted July 26, 2017
    (0) Comments

  • BoSacks Speaks Out: On MagNet Q1 2017 VS 2016 Newsstand Sales Results

    BoSacks Speaks Out: On MagNet Q1 2017 VS 2016 Newsstand Sales Results

    The following data is new and fresh. There has been no time for proper analysis or deep study. It looks like newsstand sales are down -13.4%, and sell through looks to be down to 24.4%. As noted below this is a limited version of the data. It is worth noting that Hudson Atlas News is not included in these totals nor is Barnes & Nobel.  There has been some discussion of the Mary Meeker 2017 data in this newsletter over the past few days, and this new Magnet data does seem to parallel that other data set. But that too is just a set of numbers. Some have said those numbers are biased. I put forth the proposition that all analysis no matter how innocently prepared is to a greater or lesser degree biased. You take what you understand and apply your own real time experience to it for meaningful comprehension.

    I have many times and continue to point out that this data and other charts are an aggregate of everyone and, although they might be interesting, averages contain both winners and losers. There has always been death and destruction in the magazine business. But there have also always been winners, and I believe we need to continue to focus on the winners.  

    I take the position that at our peak of production in the early years of the 21st century, when our competitors were only TV and radio, we had reached a print position of irrational exuberance. We topped out because readers could/would support it. Now as we head into a more digital focused age of media distribution, it is harder, but surely not impossible, to justify an existence for print titles. The bar for success in print is now higher. The readership is now more refined and narrow. Niche enthusiast titles rule the roost and general mass market titles are fewer and fewer.  Still, there is plenty of room for print titles and the paper that supports the process.  

    The days of irrational exuberance in print are over, but we are reaching a point of cogent maturity for publishers, printers and paper manufacturers. Print will be around for quite some time, not as a commodity, but as a luxury item worth paying for. The only catch is that what is printed has to be worthy of the commercial exercise to produce it. 

    Posted July 26, 2017
    (0) Comments

  • Re: BoSacks Readers Speak Out: On the MPA Response to Mary Meeker Trend Report

    Re: BoSacks Readers Speak Out: On the MPA Response to Mary Meeker Trend Report

    Re: BoSacks Readers Speak Out: MPA Response to Trend Report, High Times, & Marketing

    1)     If the effects of magazine advertising are that compelling, why isn't the industry booming instead of contracting? Businesspeople are cheap -- if they don't see returns on their investments or best use of their costs, they stop them. Not all of their costs can be measured or known by outsiders. But somehow, Google, Facebook, and others are making money from free services to their audiences.  

    2)     If the engagement of magazines is that good, why are the publishing companies downsizing and always complaining about "monetization"? Why is it that small publishers seem to find niches but the big ones can't despite all those MBAs and sales people and research departments? The justification confuses research about emotional preference with actual use, frequency, and the benefits of immediacy and relevance.  

    3)     the funniest part? " Mary Meeker is a partner at the Silicon Valley venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers. Her analysis needs to be viewed through the lens of her role, defending her company's investments in incubation, early stage and growth companies." Duh! And let me guess -- Ms. Brooks is NOT paid to produce "the parrot is not dead -- he's pining for the fjords -- beautiful plumage that Norwegian Blue"? (Submitted by a Print Analyst)   CLICK HERE FOR THE FULL ARTICLE 

    by BoSacks Readers
    Posted July 26, 2017
    (0) Comments

  • BoSacks Readers Speak Out: MPA Response to Meeker's 2017 Trend Report, High Times, and Marketer's Struggles

    BoSacks Readers Speak Out: MPA Response to Meeker's 2017 Trend Report, High Times, and Marketer's Struggles

     BoSacks Speaks Out: Key Takeaways From Mary Meeker's 2017 Internet Report

    Hi Bo-It was great to catch up with you at IMAG last week.  I was also happy that you lent your authority (and timeliness!) to analysis of the 2017 Internet Trends Report.   As you can imagine, our MPA team gets a lot of questions about this data too.   I thought you might like to see some topline comments from our team to add to your analysis, specifically the Time Spent chart. 

    For starters, "Print" combines magazines and newspapers, making it a useless analysis for understanding either media. No detail is offered in terms of how many brands of either newspapers or magazines are used or which specific brands are part of this "Print" channel.  Forgetting that for a moment, as you point out, the data ignores the fact that magazine brands live across formats and channels-and consumers find and enjoy them in all those places. Magazine brands populate and drive internet and mobile platforms with their branded media; therefore magazine media make up vast parts of the internet and mobile experience and are part of that "time spent" too. 

    The Time Spent chart doesn't address Return on Advertising Spend. Nielsen Catalina Solutions data shows magazines lead all other media by large margins when it comes to return on investment.  And we know that magazine media is effective in driving business metrics across the upper and lower funnel. Qualitative research validates that magazines still lead all other media in consumer ad receptivity, trust, and engagement.   The presumption in this report seems to be that marketers don't realize that their spending is not allocated in proportion to consumer time spent; we believe that marketers are actually very savvy and know which media channels deliver business results.  Their allocations reflect that. Time spent does not correlate to advertising business results. 

    As marketers have begun to address the recent issues around "viewability," quality, and effectiveness of internet, digital and online video ads, there have been case studies demonstrating what happens when marketers pull back their online advertising.  In a highly publicized instance, Chase Bank reduced its online ad placements from 400,000 down to 5,000, and saw no change in business results or ads viewed. 

    Finally, it is worth noting that Mary Meeker is a partner at the Silicon Valley venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers. Her analysis needs to be viewed through the lens of her role, defending her company's investments  in incubation, early stage and growth companies.Hope you find our perspective helpful.   I'd be happy to discuss further at any time by Linda Thomas Brooks - President and CEO | MPA -The Association of Magazine Media)      FOR THE COMPLETE ARTICLE CLICK HERE

    by BoSacks Readers
    Posted July 26, 2017
    (0) Comments

  • BoSacks Lecture: "The Truth About Digital Lies" Recapped

    BoSacks Lecture: "The Truth About Digital Lies" Recapped

    Samir Husni, aka Mr. Magazine, held his annual ACT 7 conference at the University of Mississippi in late April. The program was a good round up of what is going on in publishing, what our hopes and fears, challenges and opportunities are, and what the most forward-looking publishers, large and small, are doing to create success in their businesses. And on the last day, drawing together the threads of what had been discussed and adding fresh thoughts in his usual outspoken way, Bo Sacks gave his take on it all in a presentation entitled "The Truth About Digital Lies."  

    Some of the current dialog about magazine publishing, Bo believes, stems from simple nostalgia, a yearning for the grand old days of the past. That's all well and good unless, by looking backward, we fail to look forward, and by remembering what once worked - but doesn't any longer - we fail to move past traditional thinking, we fail to break new ground, and we fail to challenge our own long-standing assumptions. 

    Because, like it or not, most of the reading public is leaving print behind. We spend more time with digital devices, where we get instant access to any and all information, than we spend with the printed word. Time spent on digital has exploded, from less than an hour in 2010 to over five hours in 2016. By 2021, nearly 90% of all internet traffic will come from smartphones.  

    A corollary to the reality of this shift in attention is this: attention can be monetized, but publishers are failing to monetize it effectively. The companies making money from the changes in audience attention flow are Google and Facebook. Well over half the digital ad spend goes to Google and Facebook, with no other digital publisher enjoying even 4% of the total revenues.  CLICK HERE FOR THE FULL ARTICLE

    by Bob Sacks
    Posted July 26, 2017
    (0) Comments

Publishing Executive E-Media

Folio

Adage Digital

  • DA: Ad Tech CEO Charged With Felony Attacks on His Own Kids

    Zainali "Zain" Jaffer, CEO of ad tech company Vungle, was charged with a slew of felonies involving his 3-year-old son and 1-year-old daughter in San Mateo County, California on Tuesday, according to police.Officers responded to Jaffer's home in the 1000 block of Lancaster Road in Hillsborough, California on Sunday at about 4 a.m., Steve Wagstaffe, San Mateo district attorney, told Ad Age.Jaffer,...

    October 20, 2017 Read More

  • E!'s Latest Snapchat Show Is a Take on the Makeup Tutorial

    E! is beginning its third Snapchat Show on Saturday, a makeover series sponsored by Abercrombie & Fitch."Face Forward" is E!'s take on the standard makeover tutorial. In each of the eight episodes, its beauty and hair experts will give one girl a complete style overhaul culminating in a celebrity-inspired photo shoot.E! has been at the forefront of creating content for Snapchat. The pop culture...

    October 20, 2017 Read More

  • YouTubers Rhett and Link Sign First Endorsement Deal With Wix.com

    YouTube stars Rhett McLaughlin and Link Neal, who have made a name for themselves with their popular morning show "Good Mythical Morning," have signed their first endorsement deal.The pair, who also appear in the YouTube Red show "Rhett & Link's Buddy System" and just released a new book inspired by the show, worked with Wix.com on a series of digital videos promoting the web development...

    October 20, 2017 Read More

  • More Speakers Announced for Ad Age Next

    The first Ad Age Next conference is just one month away. We've packed two days with speakers covering everything from augmented reality and blockchain and facial recognition, to millennials and collaboration.Here's a look at some of the new additions to the agenda:MediaLink's Chief Marketing Officer Dana Anderson will offer her thoughts on how today's brand leaders can successfully navigate the...

    October 19, 2017 Read More

Unbound Media

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    October 23, 2017 Read More


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