Posted by Mark J. Miller on December 6, 2013 01:29 PM
Rolling Stone is taking a page from Donny & Marie Osmond. The publication that has covered and helped create rock music as we know it will debut a website next year that is all about country music.
The site, Rolling Stone Country, will be open for the public at some point in the second quarter. To get things started, Rolling Stone’s owner, Wenner Media, is opening an office in Nashville that will have 10 or 15 editorial staffers, Ad Age reports. And to help promote the site, Rolling Stone will publish its first-ever country-themed issue.
The venture is being pushed by Gus Wenner, the director of RollingStone.com and the son of Jann Wenner, the man who borrowed $7,500 from his family and his soon-to-be wife’s family in order to launch Rolling Stone back in 1967. "There's a really big void in the digital coverage of country music as far as giving it the serious attention it deserves," the younger Wenner said, according to Ad Age. "I saw some similarities (to NASCAR) and thought it could be an opportunity for Rolling Stone."Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on December 4, 2013 12:36 PM
After 80 years of printing, Newsweek announced last October that it would be going all-digital—a move that proved detrimental to the venerable brand. So now, nearly a year since it merged with Tina Brown's Daily Beast, Newsweek will be returning to print, albeit in a bit of a different form.
According to the New York Times, the company will begin printing a 64-page weekly print product in January or February. The 'new' Newsweek won't be as dependent on ad dollars, though.
“It’s going to be a more subscription-based model, closer to what The Economist is compared to what Time magazine is,” Newsweek Editor in Chief Jim Impoco told the Times. “We see it as a premium product, a boutique product.” In other words, suscription fees will make up for the product's lack of ad pages.Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on December 3, 2013 07:22 PM
Tina Brown, once the editor of venerable print brands like Vanity Fair, The New Yorker, Talk, and Newsweek, doesn’t even read magazines anymore. “The habit has gone,” she told reporters in India last month.
The “habit” is apparently gone for a lot of other folks, too. Everywhere you turn, consumers are looking deeply into their screens rather than into the pages of a magazine or newspaper. Advertisers have noticed and are moving more of their dollars into the digital world. New York magazine’s ad pages are down 9.2 percent so far this year, according to Ad Age.
That’s part of the reason the title announced Monday that it would be printing half as many issues next year—ramping down from 42 issues to 29—printing every two weeks while its website, nymag.com, will start publishing more content. The move will save the company $3.5 million in manufacturing costs—savings that will be recycled back into the magazine and website to product better content.
The announcement came fittingly on Cyber Monday.Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on November 26, 2013 01:41 PM
For those that still prefer to buy their books in print-form, retailer Books-A-Million has debuted a new way for consumers to get their paperback fix: a book vending machine.
Dubbed the Espresso Book Machine (though it doesn't serve up any caffeinated drinks), it can print out any of nearly seven million titles between 5”x5” and 8”x10” and ranging from 50 to 600 pages. One unique feature, though, is the self-publishing options. Consumers and aspiring writers can upload their digital reams of short stories, novels, family histories and images to the machine that can be arranged and printed on the spot.Continue reading...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on November 20, 2013 02:52 PM
Flickr, a pioneer in photo sharing, is taking a step backwards from its digital-only existence and introducing physical Flickr photo books, which consumers can create on the site.
Acquired by Yahoo in 2005, the service languished as competition to be the repository of users’ online photos heated up with Facebook, Google+ and Dropbox entering the fray. “Flickr was once awesome,... now we want it to be awesome again," Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer said after assuming the role last year.
Earlier this year, Mayer instituted a visual overhaul of the site, and now the addition of photo books will allow Flickr, which reaches 89 million people that have contributed over 8 billion photos, to better compete with multi-faceted platforms like Shutterfly. “We’re working hard to make Flickr great again,” Flickr VP Tom Hughes assured.Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on November 20, 2013 01:54 PM
Along with printed newspapers and books, greeting cards have been put on deathwatch for some time now due to the rise of digital communications via email, text and online greetings. But Hallmark, the biggest of them all, is fighting back.
The company has opened a new concept store in Kansas City, Mo., to test out new products and retail experiences that will keep the print brand relevant after a decade that saw the greeting card business fall 60 percent, Time reports. The brand has even opted to drop its full name, choosing to mark the store with "HMK."
What HMK is mostly pushing is customization. According to the Kansas City Star, consumers can buy cards, books, and cutting boards, among other things, that are customized. Plus, there are warm cookies when customers enter.
“We wanted to get credit for doing something buzzworthy,” Jack Moore, Hallmark Gold Crown president, told the Star. “We wanted our brand to feel younger and more exciting to today’s shoppers. We want the consumer to say, ‘Wow. This is different. This store will help me create the perfect, personalized gift that is not available anywhere else.’”Continue reading...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on November 18, 2013 01:47 PM
Forbes Media is the latest victim of a dying print industry.
Perhaps best known for ranking wealthy individuals worldwide, Forbes is on the block for an estimated $400 million to $500 million in a sale being handled by Deutsche Bank. Former Republican presidential candidate Steve Forbes, who serves as editor-in-chief told employees on Friday that they’d received numerous inquiries about a sale.
The venerable, 96-year-old brand, founded by financial newspaper columnist B.C. Forbes in 1917, has been confronted by declining ad sales and dwindling profits as print-based media brands struggle to transform content, platform and purpose in a world wired 24/7.
B.C. Forbes was succeeded by his son, Malcolm, who was known for his expensive tastes including hot air balloons, Faberge eggs, Victorian art, real-estate and a motorcycle collection—all of which was sold off along the way, including Forbes’ longtime headquarters, which was sold to New York University in 2010. Forbes began making changes to its privately-held structure in 2006 to augment its digital presence by selling a 45 percent stake to Elevation Partners, the private equity firm co-founded and backed by U2 frontman Bono and Roger McNamee for close to $240 million.Continue reading...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on November 7, 2013 10:41 AM
A major downside of the Internet is the escalation of selling and buying counterfeit goods, with $250 billion lost annually in the US to sales of faux items, according to Accessories Magazine.
The design and fashion industries have been hardest hit, with the bridal industry alone losing hundreds of millions of dollars with close to 600,000 fake wedding gowns bought online each year, the New York Times notes, but one brand, Brides Magazine, hopes to change that. The 79-year-old publication is doing its best to combat slowing print sales by full-on embracing digital, and with that, some industry-saving upgrades to its Wedding Genius app.
The 'Brides Against Counterfeiting' feature allows users to scan a website of a retailer or manufacturer to view an AuthentiGuard Prism—an embedded code that verifies an authorized retailer.
"This initiative will also protect our advertisers by pinpointing and reporting counterfeiters who are illegally marketing brand names online," Brides vice president and publisher Michelle Myers told Ad Age.Continue reading...