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  • 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
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  • 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
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  • 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
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  • 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

  • Dissecting the 1% Prediction of Magazine Sales

    Dissecting the 1% Prediction of Magazine Sales

    We keep reading and hearing about the reading public's love of print. Why then don't they show that love at the newsstand? Every year newsstand drops double digits in sales. If that is love, I'll take something else. We keep hearing how advertisers get better ROI in print. That may be true, but then why does advertising in print diminish every year? We keep hearing of the many new titles each year. Why then do all magazine sales show a steep drop in magazines sold? In the same vein why are print subscriptions dropping as well, (if not as fast as newsstand)? In the end, it doesn't matter how many magazines we print, the only relevant statistic is how many we sell.
    by Bob Sacks
    Posted September 26, 2015
    (0) Comments

  • BoSacks on addictive content and the audience of the future

    Bo Sacks on addictive content and the audience of the future
     
    Legendary publisher and one of the founding fathers of High Times magazine, Bo Sacks, was in London recently to take part in a tweetathon hosted by What's New in Publishing. FIPP caught up with him at the event to get his take on the current developments in digital media, and what's coming next for the industry.

    More competition than ever before (0:06)
    The thing is - in the 70s when I started out - there was only three ways to communicate: there was print, there was radio, and there was television. Each had its place. And each had few competitors in their sphere. The difference now is that there is more competitors than ever before. And it doesn't take a big bank roll to be a competitor. 

    BuzzFeed, Vox, Upworthy (0:41)
    They've come out of nowhere. And they've taken, what used to be called market share, but I prefer to think of it as time spent with media. And that's the new big equation. How much time the public spends with each, individual type of media.  

    Is it harder or easier to start a publishing company in the digital age? (1:02)
    No it's easy to get in, and it's actually easy for some to make money. The thing is - and it's not unlike print many years ago - not everybody makes it. Some do, some don't. Those that do make the addictive content will survive just great, won't be a problem.   

    There's no relationship between success and the format that you choose (1:35)
    Could be television, could be print, could be digital. If you have addictive content, you'll probably do very well. 

    Soon for all we know, we're going to project on the air (1:46)
    There'll be new formats. Right now we have cell phones as a format. We have desktops and laptops as a format. Soon for all we know we're gonna project, on the air, and we won't have a sub-straight at all. And we'll project words, and visuals - that's a different kind of sub-straight for a different kind of reader/viewer, and maybe we'll call them something else? 

    Not the Holy Grail (2:12)
    Video has a place in the media sphere, but it is not the Holy Grail. It is another way to communicate and absorb information. And the information you need is system specific: video is great for learning how to cook... learning how to play golf...maybe even learning how to do brain surgery. But along with the video has to come words, long form words. 

    And finally, what advice would you give to an aspiring publisher about what content the audience needs to see? (2:50)
    How we define content, is important to your question. And how we monetise that content is also important. I'm increasingly believing that just supplying content is not enough, you need alternative revenue streams besides your content.
     
    Jamie Gavin
    Posted September 26, 2015
    (0) Comments

  • With A Strong Brand, A Magazine Can Be Anything

    With A Strong Brand, A Magazine Can Be Anything

    Active Interest Media serves as role model for extending magazine brands and businesses.

    As we all know, the magazine industry is transforming from a print-focused concept to a broader, more media-diverse, "branded" approach to content distribution. In the new approach there are many extensions of the branded experience that lead to revenue success, and in many cases better, broader, and more stable empires than in the past. Active Interest Media (AIM) is a perfect example of brand extensions and off-the-page thinking.

    AIM has five distinct publishing groups and publishes some of the country's leading consumer enthusiast magazines, such as Yoga Journal,BackpackerVegetarian TimesYachts InternationalBlack BeltAmerican CowboyPractical HorsemanLog Home Living, and many more. I think the key phrase here is "consumer enthusiast" magazines. Look at the diversity of this publishing house and the broad reach they have. No single-topic concentration in this publisher's large enterprise, but rather five main categories each with a broad range of brands that satisfy passionate readers and their very particular interests.

     

    A few months ago I had a conversation with AIM's president and CEO Andrew Clurman. Andy said, "Today's operative words at AIM are diversification and proliferation. We are continually finding seams within the verticals we're in of unfilled audience interests and needs."

    What Andy is saying here and what all publishers large or small must be considering is the revenue extension possibilities of your readers/consumer's passions.

    CLICK HERE FOR THE COMPLETE ARTICLE

     

     
    by Bob Sacks
    Posted September 01, 2015
    (0) Comments

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Unbound Media

  • 5 Free Tools that Will Organize Your Content Curation Efforts For You

    Content curation, the art of searching out relevant information for your audience from a variety of online sources to then share via your own communication channels, has become an important daily ritual for many a digital marketer.  The objective of content curation is to provide your audience with valuable content, additional to what you and your marketing team are producing internally....

    April 06, 2016 Read More

  • Top 10 Sources for Free Stock Images

    Stock photos can be laughably terrible if you don't know where to look (See: 50 Completely Unexplainable Stock Photos No One Will Ever Use)  – especially the royalty-free ones. The good news is that websites boasting beautiful collections of high-resolution, royalty-free images are popping up all over the place thanks to the good will of talented photographers and agencies. Below is a list...

    April 04, 2016 Read More

  • How to Use Videos to Give Your SEO Strategy A Boost

    A Forrester study from way back in 2009 found that web pages containing videos were 50 times more likely to rank on the first page of Google than those without. This stat hasn't changed since then. That's because people really, really like to watch videos online. In fact, YouTube has been the second most popular search engine – second to Google – since 2009. YouTube is an easy-to-use and free...

    April 01, 2016 Read More


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