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As has been the custom in this column since before I went gray, we end the year and our EContent 100 issue with a peek into the revenue-generating models that will dominate the coming year. Content is faced with an acute problem: The advertising support on which it counted is veering noticeably into marketing budgets and especially their own content projects. This has been a long time coming (a decade, in fact), but only now are we seeing publishers panic enough to commit to some radically different models or take the ones that have been out there for a while more seriously. A din of good and bad ideas rather than a clear direction is what we will get in 2014.
Posted Dec 13, 2013
It used to be really hard to create good content. Twenty-five years ago if you wanted photos of your product it was a chore. As a kid I remember watching the process in my dad's advertising agency in Knoxville, TN. First you needed several thousands of dollars of professional camera equipment and lighting. Then you would gather all the products and shoot endless rolls of film, which you would then ship off to be developed and wait weeks for the actual shots. It was tedious at best and even then you would wind up editing things in a dark room. It would take me hours to resize clip art with a photostat machine that now takes seconds and requires a click and drag with my pointer. In 2013 if you are a major brand and you want a killer photo of your product, it takes one step: Search.
Posted Nov 21, 2013
If you doubted Andrew Sullivan's decision to leave the Daily Beast and make The Dish a reader-supported venture, you may be eating your words. Having raised over $800,000, Sullivan launched a subscription only magazine called Deep Dish. As of Monday, November 18, 2013, readers can subscribe to the monthly magazinewhich features long-form journalism.
Posted Nov 19, 2013
Ebyline.com, a platform that links brands and publishers with experienced freelance journalists, announced the release of Ebyline Payments for WordPress, a plugin for the popular publishing platform that allows anyone to pay their blog contributors or editors with the click of a button.
Posted Nov 19, 2013
Amazon.com introduced Amazon Source, a new program that enables independent bookstores and other retailers to sell Kindle devices and accessories, and earn money while doing so. In addition to a discount on purchasing Kindles and Kindle accessories for resale, retailers will have the option of receiving 10% of every Kindle book purchased on Kindle devices sold by the bookstore for the first two years after a customer buys a device.
Posted Nov 07, 2013
OwnZones announced the opening of its advertising-free platform for premium niche content. It currently hosts more than 80,000 pieces of video, audio and text media, and will continue to expand its libraries to meet the growing demands for niche content. Users can explore via search or through its seventeen curated topic groups at launch.
Posted Nov 05, 2013
Gale, part of Cengage Learning and a publisher of research and reference resources for libraries, schools and businesses, announced a new purchase option - a Usage-Driven Acquisition (UDA) model - for its Gale Virtual Reference Library (GVRL) ebook platform. This new purchase model will allow libraries to purchase ebooks based on actual usage, allowing libraries to perform evidence-based collection development. GVRL delivers reference content and series non-fiction titles to all types of libraries.
Posted Oct 31, 2013
Accenture announced that it has built and will operate an end-to-end e-commerce and direct to consumer distribution solution for HarperCollins Publishers ebooks globally. The project will commence with the launch of HarperCollins' CSLewis.com and Narnia.com.
Posted Oct 31, 2013
Traditionally, publishers were limited in pursuing two time-tested avenues to revenue: selling subscriptions and/or advertising. But lately, content commerce strategies like in-text advertising and sponsored content have come of age, providing the potential to change the digital content dynamic and excite publishers that are struggling to remain relevant to readers and users.
Posted Oct 30, 2013
The New York Times is using the newsstand to reach digital subscribers, according to gigaom. If you buy the Sunday, Nov. 3 issue of the times at a newsstand or a Starbuck you'll get a four week trial digital subscription. Readers will find a sticker on the inside with a code to gain access via the web and smartphones-though the tablet editions are off limit.
Posted Oct 24, 2013
With his recent acquisition of the Washington Post, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos believes he can persuade readers to pony up for a daily bundle of news on a tablet, similar to traditional print bundles. "People will buy a package. They will not pay for a story," Bezos said recently during a meeting with editors and reporters. If his plan works, it could serve as a viable business strategy for other digital publishers going forward-especially if paywalls aren't working and if those news bundles are personalized for readers, say the experts.
Posted Oct 16, 2013
Many of you are probably surprised that Instagram doesn't already have ads (especially after Facebook acquired it), but it's true: thus far, your photos of food and dogs have not been monetized. That is all changing, according to a blog post from Instagram.
Posted Oct 08, 2013
The Dallas Morning News announced it is discontinuing its paywall and creating a premium digital experience for subscribers. The paywall was instituted in the first quarter of 2011. Beginning Oct. 1, content from the Morning News will be accessible to everyone, free of charge.
Posted Oct 01, 2013
Mobile advertising is on the rise-who do you know who doesn't have a smart phone these days? In fact, according to the Pew Internet Project's research on mobile technology, 91% of American adults have a cell phone-56% have a smartphone. That level of penetration presents both opportunities and challenges to content providers hoping not only to connect with their audiences, but also to monetize those interactions in some way.
Posted Sep 27, 2013
ActionX introduced the first mobile commerce platform that connects the dots between mobile customer acquisition and mobile retargeting. In addition, the company closed a venture funding round, bringing the total raised to $5 million, led by SoftBank Capital, Verizon Investments, Lerer Ventures, AOL Ventures, Golden Venture Partners, and select angels.
Posted Sep 16, 2013
A print subscription to People will no longer get you free web access, according to paidContent. The magazine launched new digital products - including one that costs $200 a year -- and though it has bundled digital access with print subscription in the past, new subscribers won't get that same perk. For $112 a year you can get a print subscriptions or the People Digital Plus package (which includes digital and tablet access as well as access to the CelebWatch and CelebFood apps). For $20 more you can add a print subscription to the Digital Plus package.
Posted Sep 10, 2013
Press+, which provides monetization solutions for publisher (mostly in the form of metered pay walls) has announced a new solution for entertainment and news entities that focuses on monetizing video content. According to The Wrap, Courtroom View Network-and online service that streams courtroom video-launched the Press+ solution which allows viewers to watch a few minutes before they are asked to pay.
Posted Aug 29, 2013
It's the time of year when my life nearly has been taken over by my garden. Between the watering, the weeding, and the picking, I'm thinking about hiring a small staff. Frankly, it's a wonder that I still have a job because come May, my mind is always wandering out into the yard. When the sun goes down or the weather turns bad and I'm stuck inside, I'm combing Pinterest for ideas-most of which I'll never be able to implement. This spring, though, many of my thoughts were consumed by compost ... or the lack thereof.
Posted Aug 29, 2013
LinkSmart, a provider of in-content audience development solutions, announced the LinkSmart Marketplace, which enables online publishers to develop and share high-quality reader traffic through in-content links. Many large digital publishers currently use LinkSmart's audience development platform to direct their reader traffic to high-value areas such as breaking news, video, e-commerce and sponsored landing pages.
Posted Aug 27, 2013
If you've been looking for new revenue streams to monetize your app, Amazon may have just answered your prayers. It introduced the Mobile Associates API for Kindle Fire and other Android devices, enabling developers to sell millions of physical and digital items from Amazon.com within their apps and games.
Posted Aug 27, 2013
Mag+ and Appboy are joining forces in an effort to help digital publishers convert readers into loyal users. Customers of Mag+'s digital publishing platform, which include magazines like The Atlantic and New York Magazine as well as many international corporations, can now access Appboy's mobile relationship management (MRM) platform to build their businesses.
Posted Aug 21, 2013
Last year's mobile data traffic was nearly 12 times the size of the entire internet in 2000, according to Cisco. Global mobile data traffic in 2012 was 885 petabytes per month, compared to internet traffic of 75 petabytes per month in 2000. That's a lot of bytes-and traffic continues to grow.Given this exponential growth, and related opportunity, organizations of all kinds are eagerly looking for creative ways to connect and compel consumers to engage with their content, and their advertising, via mobile devices. As they do this, they're looking for effective ways to monetize those apps to drive revenue to the bottom line in ways that range from paid content to advertising, and more.
Posted Aug 19, 2013
youAPPi, a provider of mobile application distribution and content monetization solutions, announced the launch of a self-service mobile monetization solution for publishers. The solution is designed to enrich mobile publisher content and add an additional revenue stream to supplement advertising dollars.
Posted Jul 25, 2013
The Fancy is a blend of Pinterest and Amazon, selling items curated by users, and investors are taking notice. According to Bloomberg, The Fancy just got an influx of cash with $53 million in investments from Len Blavatnik along with such notable names as American Express and Will Smith (yes, that Will Smith).
Posted Jul 08, 2013
Physical books, movies, albums, and video games can easily be swapped and resold between different owners without fear of reprisal from the original publishers/copyright holders. So why can't the same be true of digital versions of these and other media? That's the question more consumers are asking, according to results of a recent WorldPay study titled the "Digital Generation Report."
Posted Jun 28, 2013