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  • BoSacks Speaks Out: Review and thoughts on the Digital Innovator's Summit in Berlin 2016

    BoSacks Speaks Out: Review and thoughts on the Digital Innovator's Summit in Berlin 2016

    I go to a dozen or more media conferences each year. Many I speak at and others I report on as a media analyst and journalist. I always hope to learn something new or hear different perspectives. I have seen the best and the not so great. Having attended the good and the bad, it is fair to say that I have a broad perspective on the subject of conferences and their worth to the attendees. After all, if there is no real intrinsic value to the "customer", what's the point? 

    That being said I recently attended for the fourth time FIPP'S Digital Innovator's Summit (DIS) which is held each year in Berlin.  It is by far one of the best shows I attend each year. I always look forward to it, because I walk away with greater insights into our business then when I arrived. Where some shows are about industrial cheerleading, this show is about practical insights and new media methodologies. This meeting had more than 600 attendees from over 30 countries. Just having the opportunity to meet and chat with these publishers from around the globe is a meaningful experience in and of itself. But there is much more to this event then schmoozing with peers. 

    There is nothing at this event that is not near perfect. The organization, the setting, the clever timing of the speakers, and the overall rhythm of the show is smooth, filled with professional insights and enjoyable. I'm not sure how they gather such excellence in presenters, but other organizations could learn a thing or two by observation and replication. I know as I write this that it sounds like hyperbole on my part, but it ain't. I don't lightly travel to Germany for three nights and then quickly return unless there is a strong reward, and here there is.

    by Bob Sacks
    Posted April 15, 2016
    (0) Comments

  • BoSacks Speaks Out: On PRIMEX and the Proven Haptic Power of Print

    BoSacks Speaks Out: On PRIMEX and the Proven Haptic Power of Print

    Leo F. Buscaglia (1924 -1998) was a teacher at the University of Southern California in the late 1960s when one of his students committed suicide. This so greatly affected Professor Buscaglia that, in his pursuit for meaning of the sad event, he formed a non-credit class titled Love 1A. As you might expect, there were no grades for Love 1A, because how could you possibly fail someone in this class on that subject?

    He became a cheerleader for Life, and he was most closely associated with the topic of love and human relationships, emphasizing the value of positive human touch, especially hugs. He once said, "Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around."

    You might ask, what this has to do with media and especially my review of the PRIMEX Conference held in New York City two weeks ago? Well, it was the professor who came to my mind when my good friend Daniel Dejan, who is the Print & Creative Manager of Sappi Fine Papers, opened the event.  I know a world full of nice and wonderful people, but I'd have to rack my brains to find a man or woman with more glowing love for life and humans and the pure joy of creativity. I know Daniel quite well, so it was no surprise that his presentation that day was "The Haptic Brain/Haptic Brand and the Neuroscience of Touch." And, as Professor Buscaglia said, "... too often we underestimate the power of a touch..." 

    by Bob Sacks
    Posted April 15, 2016
    (0) Comments

  • BoSacks Readers Speak Out: Time Inc, Newsstands, Gatekeepers, and Predictions

    BoSacks Readers Speak Out: Time Inc, Newsstands, Gatekeepers, and Predictions

    RE: The Fate of the Newsstand Isn't the Same as the Fate of Print

    Bo, I think we often gloss over the fact that the publishing industry has created a rather wide value gap in what we charge for subs vs single copy. I would submit most of the large publishers offer subs almost at the same price of buying one issue from the newsstand, therefore, driving the business south. XXXXX Media does not do this, and as a result we have 60/40 subs/newsstand. Also, our business was up last year and we budgeted another growth in single copy this year. (Submitted by a Publisher)

    RE: The Fate of the Newsstand Isn't the Same as the Fate of Print 

    Bo, you have been saying this for years and rightly so. Newsstand isn't the be all and end all for the publishing industry and not all the news is actually bad anyway. My titles are doing very well despite the overall declines. I have a sweet spot and my audience is strong. Thanks for all you do for the industry. I enjoy my morning cup of coffee and Bo. Although we have never met I feel like I know you and that we are friends. (Submitted by a Publisher)  

    by BoSacks Readers
    Posted April 15, 2016
    (0) Comments

  • BoSacks Speaks Out: Newsstand Sales Fall 16% and it still Ain't Armageddon

    BoSacks Speaks Out: Newsstand Sales Fall 16% and it still Ain't Armageddon

    So here we are again with some dreary numbers and a continuation of print's adjustment from King-o-the-Hill to mere but honored participant in the multiverse of the world's communication network.  Last year I gave my perspective on the subject, and it still holds true.

    I have many friends who are publishers and many friends who are printers. Most of these compatriots, that I know, despite the generally negative numbers, are doing well, and some are actually thriving. That's the funny thing about aggregate numbers - even if the overall analysis is bad or even terrible, and it is, it doesn't mean a damn thing if your printing plant or your publication is doing well. So there ya have it - the only meaningful bottom line in this period of stressful monetary communication wars is, how are you doing?

    As the printing pond gets smaller and smaller, which it obviously is by any standard of reporting, what is left by Darwin's publishing laws of supply and demand should become increasingly more expensive and therefore more valuable. All you have to do is to survive the current Armageddon and put out the most outstanding products possible for those who are still addicted and still hungry for printed reading products. Give the readers what they want, on the substrate that they want, and when they want it at that moment in time. Simple really. Just be beyond  excellent in every part of your enterprise.  

    by Bob Sacks
    Posted April 15, 2016
    (0) Comments

  • BoSacks Readers Speak Out: An Important Correction on "Print Ads with Money-Back Guarantee" & More

    BoSacks Readers Speak Out: An Important Correction on "Print Ads with Money-Back Guarantee" & More

    BoSacks Readers Speak Out: An Important Correction on "Print Ads with Money-Back Guarantee" & More

    RE: BoSacks Speaks Out: Major Publishers Bet on Print Ads with Money-Back Guarantee

    Thanks for sharing this article with your massive distribution list!  We all appreciate your ongoing support of magazine media. Just wanted to make one clarification.  We don't set a minimum ad spend threshold but in order to be eligible for the Industry Sales Guarantee, an advertiser must reach a GRP threshold of 150 Adults 18+ GRPs. On average, the Sales Guarantee programs we've conducted at Meredith are based on a spend somewhere between $1-$2 million over 12 months for print campaign - nowhere near the $10 million ad buy you mention as the requirement (although we wouldn't say no to that!).  Thanks again for your interest in this exciting new MPA initiative (and thanks for coming to the AMMC breakout session!). (Submitted by Britta Cleveland | Senior Vice President, Research Solutions)  CLICK HERE FOR THE COMPLETE ARTICLE

    by BoSacks Readers
    Posted February 17, 2016
    (0) Comments

  • BoSacks Speaks Out: Impact on Hearst-Condé Nast Venture to Merge Back-Office Ops

    BoSacks Speaks Out: Impact on Hearst-Condé Nast Venture to Merge Back-Office Ops

    Here is my take on PubWorx LLC, the joint venture to combine circulation, procurement and production functions by Condé Nast and Hearst Magazines. Distilled down to their lowest common denominator production departments are about great efficiency and superior quality, probably in that order, but variable depending on the particular organization. The skills include shrewd procurement and a great proficiency in manufacturing and distribution. On the other hand, circulation is still less a science and more akin to alchemy, but many circulator's will no doubt dispute that concept.  

    The conjoining of the two companies makes perfect efficient sense to me. Again with a probable dispute by some professionals who read this, production departments just make interchangeable widgets. We put ink or pixels in the exact right place and fling them hither and yon around the globe. It doesn't really matter if we are making one widget or a hundred. Our job is to coordinate at the most reasonable price with the best possible quality in that price range, and "ship" on time and with great regularity.

    The production process is agnostic to content. We don't really care what it is and so can combine and ship an unlimited number of disparate titles from unlimited companies.  As Archimedes sort of said, Give me a production staff smart enough and a fulcrum on which to place it, and I shall move the world.

    by Bob Sacks
    Posted February 15, 2016
    (0) Comments

  • BoSacks Readers Speak Out: On  IAB's Rothenberg, Ad Blocking, Native Ads & more

    BoSacks Readers Speak Out: On IAB's Rothenberg, Ad Blocking, Native Ads & more

    Re: BoSacks Speaks Out: - IAB's Rothenberg Blasts Adblock-Plus

    Many thanks for sending Rothenberg's IAB speech.  What gas!  It's been a long time since I've read anything that was so wrong to begin with and then got worse.  I've never understood the kerfuffle over ad blockers... but now I'm thinking that if this fellow hates them so much I should probably get one. (Submitted by a Publisher and Official BoSacks Cub Reporter) 

    Re: BoSacks Speaks Out: - IAB's Rothenberg Blasts Adblock-Plus

    How about freedom of privacy? I'd think that would include the freedom to go onto the Internet without being stalked. (Submitted by a Writer)  

    Re: BoSacks Speaks Out: - IAB's Rothenberg Blasts Adblock-Plus

    Bo, there are so many news and magazine sites i've stopped going to because videos start playing automatically or windows start opening in my browser. there are many sites that have so much multimedia going on that browser caches fill and never load properly or degrade the site performance. it's ugly. so guess what? whenever i learn of something of interest in an e-newsletter or in a news search, and i see that it links to a site that does that, i look for that topic elsewhere. (Submitted by an Industry Analysist)

     

    Re: BoSacks Speaks Out: - IAB's Rothenberg Blasts Adblock-Plus

    Mr. Rothenberg is wrong. No one wants to see ads. They are intrusive and unwanted. And, I would hope that the companies that are developing Ad Blockers are pro-profit. (Submitted by a printer)

    by Bob Sacks
    Posted February 15, 2016
    (0) Comments

  • Ad Blocking is Our Reward for Abusing Reader Trust

    Ad Blocking is Our Reward for Abusing Reader Trust

    Full disclosure: I may or most likely may not be the normal reading consumer on the internet, and for the record I do use ad blocking software. Without it my day on the web was increasingly a painful, slow and a terribly intrusive experience. Also for the record, and most importantly, I am willing to pay for the reading material I want and need. I pay for the New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post and Texture (formally known as Next Issue Media) among several others.  In fact, it is no secret that most of my working day is either reading on the web or writing about what I read. So I am something of an expert about the on-line user experience.

    Here is my take on the situation. Ad blocking is serious business brought upon us by our own misuse of trust given to us by the reading public, the trust we had correctly build up over the last 100 years as the guardians of publishing and of print.  I have always felt that the publishing community and the rest of the advertising internet infrastructure has from the outset abused the privileges of permission on-line.  I don't want to be tracked by companies that want not only a large slice of my wallet but also the uninvited intrusion into my mind and how I'm thinking and where I am at any given moment. I am also offended that these unsought intrusions that slow down my web experience with bloated and unwanted downloads.  FOR THE COMPLETE ARTICLE CLICK HERE

     

    by Bob Sacks
    Posted January 26, 2016
    (0) Comments

  • BoSacks Speaks Out: Print vs. Digital: Another Emotional Win for Paper

    BoSacks Speaks Out: Print vs. Digital: Another Emotional Win for Paper

    There is a recent article titled Print vs. Digital: Another Emotional Win for Paper, that came across my info-radar today. Articles like these are always popping up. They are interesting to me, because science must do what science does, question everything. As a geek-at-heart, I am all for the pursuit of knowledge. I sometimes think that all good production people are geeks, but that is a story for another day. 

    There are several things that must be pointed out in this article. The headline is click bait appealing to paper lovers and trying to confirm what they think they already know. However, the data here is not as overwhelming for the paper lovers as the headline suggests. The biggest issue is the supposed edge in the emotional response to paper as opposed to digital.  To me that is much more generational than a universal law of astro-advertising. 

    The main thing to remember here is that in a very meaningful way none of this digital-does-this-and-paper-does-that-science will matter as we proceed further. Why, you wisely ask? Because, we aren't ever going to go back to being a major paper transmitting society. CLICK HERE FOR THE FULL ARTICLE

    Posted October 06, 2015
    (0) Comments

  • BoSacks Speaks Out:  The MPA, the Association of Magazine Media, is looking for its next CEO.

    BoSacks Speaks Out: The MPA, the Association of Magazine Media, is looking for its next CEO.

    These are indeed turbulent times for a transforming industry, and forward thinking leadership is critical for the industry to help us adjust to these changing times.  Newsstand sales and subscription sales in general continue to diminish.  Are there standouts bucking the overall industry trend? Yes, most assuredly.  But overall, the trends are down for the industry.  Clearly we need to develop and broadcast a strategy that plays to our strengths and comes to grips with our weaknesses. Being in continual denial of our current position in the media wars just won't work. 

    For the record I am not a pessimist for the magazine media industry, nor a detractor of the print product. What I am is an unashamed realist. Print can accomplish things that digital can't and can provide a sizable ROI while doing so. At the same time it is obvious digital can accomplish feats that print products can only dream of. The downside with digital thus far is its slow growth of monetization for the magazine industry.  What we need is the marriage of the two disciplines combining digital's creativity and its accountability gained from increasingly reliable metadata with the comfort and traditions of print.  CLICK HERE FOR THE FULL ARTICLE

    by Bob Sacks
    Posted October 06, 2015
    (0) Comments

Publishing Executive E-Media

Folio

Adage Digital

  • YouTube Red Gets First High-Profile Original Series in 'Step Up'

    YouTube Red is moving from a home for originals from native creators to one with big-budget dramas.As YouTube parent Google looks to ramp up the paid video streaming service to better compete with the likes of Netflix and Amazon Prime, it is adding six new original series, including one based on the "Step Up" movie franchise, it announced at VidCon.Channing Tatum and Jenna Dewan Tatum, who...

    June 24, 2016 Read More

  • Nearly 400 Publishers Have Applied for Medium's Plan to Help Them Make Money

    In early April, Medium, the platform founded by Ev Williams, made a pitch to the publishing community: come to Medium, and we'll help you make money. There's not a publisher these days that isn't looking for new revenue streams, so it's not surprising that nearly 400 publishers have applied to participate in the beta version of Medium's revenue program, according to figures provided by a...

    June 24, 2016 Read More

  • Your Next Pizza Could Be Made by a Robot

    In the back kitchen of Mountain View's newest pizzeria, Marta works tirelessly, spreading marinara sauce on uncooked pies. She doesn't complain, takes no breaks, and has never needed a sick day. She works for free.Marta is one of two robots working at Zume Pizza, a secretive food delivery startup trying to make a more profitable pizza through machines. It's also created special delivery trucks...

    June 24, 2016 Read More

  • YouTube Ups Customer Service in Bid to Keep Content Creators From Defecting

    With the number of people who make their living from internet videos multiplying each day and competitors pursuing the biggest talent, Google's YouTube is overhauling customer service to make the world's largest internet video site a little less robotic and a little more human.At a video convention Thursday in Anaheim, California, YouTube Chief Executive Officer Susan Wojcicki will introduce...

    June 24, 2016 Read More

Unbound Media

  • Webinar On-Demand: Information + Content Architecture

    The latest installment of our webinar series in now available for on-demand viewing. This installment focuses on two elements required to build a successful website.  The two essential planning projects are Information Architecture (IA) and Content Architecture (CA), and we walk through both, and the best practices for each, in this webinar.  IA focuses on the backbone of a website and...

    June 20, 2016 Read More

  • Podcast: Why You Shouldn’t Just Give Clients What They Say They Want

    Agility's CEO, Jon Voigt, was a recent guest on PROFIT BusinessCast, a podcast that provides a platform for entrepreneurs to share insights and lessons that they've learned. Jon spoke to host Robert Gold about "Why You Shouldn't Just Give Clients What they Say They Want." A client doesn't always know what the best solution to their problem is, but Agility has figured out a way to identify their...

    June 10, 2016 Read More

  • Why the Listicle is Here to Stay

    Listicles have, unfairly, earned a bad rap. The format has been criticized by old school journos for being lazy, uninformative and poorly written attention span-killers. But regardless of what the naysayers say, listicles are insanely popular. They're everywhere, thanks to the success of BuzzFeed and its never-ending stream of lists like "50 Foods You Need to Eat Before You Die" and "17...

    May 26, 2016 Read More


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