June 2015 Issue


News Features

Web users are showing a willingness to pay for content through subscriptions, but publishers and apps are seeing mixed results with premium tiers, according to a March report from BI Intelligence that explores categories increasingly relying on recurring payments to monetize content. The report finds that while some companies use a purely subscription-based model, such as Netflix, many others employ a "freemium" plan. Under this structure, all users gain basic access to content-which is often supported by ads-but can pay to upgrade the experience, perhaps unlocking certain features or accessing an ad-free version.
By - Posted Jun 29, 2015
If you work in the digital content business there are probably a few terms that are constantly coming up in your world. Among them are "content marketing" and "mobile." But what happens when those terms collide, and you have to start thinking about mobile content marketing? If you haven't already started pondering how to fit this into your content strategy, it's time to start.
By - Posted Jun 26, 2015

Featured Stories

Journalists have long relied on numbers to support narratives. Some in the field have even been doing deep dives into the data to find the stories buried inside-that's not new. But fresh interest, new data sources, and cheaper tools are mainstreaming what was once an advanced and specialized area of the newsroom. Today, even more reporters are translating columns and rows of information into compelling text and impactful visuals.
By - Posted Jun 01, 2015
If you were measuring by the size of the headline fonts, 2014 looked as if it were an inflection point for venture capital (VC) investment into the digital content industry. According to Preqin, which tracks data on the investment industry, VC funding in the digital content industry reached $683 million in 2014, more than double the $286 million invested in 2013. A series of discussions with VCs already active in the digital content space revealed a real appetite for further digital content opportunities-provided those companies searching for funds bring with them scalability, engaged users, revenue, and quality.
By - Posted Jun 22, 2015
After a period of relentless hype, clarity is emerging on use cases for Big Data, and the toolsets are also showing signs of maturity. Digital media publishers may have been slow to join the Big Data party, but it is not too late. This article provides a quick overview of the Big Data tools for publishers, and the focus here is not on internal business intelligence use cases, but on the content-creation side of the business.
By - Posted Jun 03, 2015

Columns

On the morning I wrote this, I used 10: email, Evernote, GitHub, Slack, Google Docs, InDesign, text messaging, Basecamp, Excel, and (gulp!) Word. I use these tools interchangeably under the guise of organization. However, if I track back to my digital production schedule 10 years ago, InDesign, Excel, Word, and email were my only writing/communication tools. Even though the technology is streamlined, I'm using twice as many tools to accomplish the same core tasks that I did 10 years ago.
By - Posted Jun 02, 2015
A reporter was interviewing me a couple of weeks ago, and he asked if he could "push back" a little on a word that I used. It was a word that, in his mind, was one that we marketers tend to throw around a lot. He said, "Tell me-what is strategy?" The good news is that I didn't have to come up with a great definition all on my own. Michael E. Porter, a professor at Harvard Business School, has a great answer.
By - Posted Jun 09, 2015
YouTube is, of course, only 10 years old-and online video, as a whole, is a very young industry. And yet, within that time frame, digital stars, multichannel networks, and branded entertainment have risen exponentially. This growth has been mostly driven by tweens (ages 8-11) and teenagers who obsess over online video creators the way that people used to obsess about the Beatles. It's why multichannel networks, such as AwesomenessTV, have their own young adult book imprints, and why DigiTour Media is doubling the amount of in-person shows it hosts this year featuring social media stars.
By - Posted Jun 16, 2015

Faces of EContent

As the founder and creative director of the independent, alternative online travel publication Compass Cultura, the range of Jeff Campagna's role is necessarily broad. "I guide the creative scope and editorial vision of the publication and also manage the nitty-gritty, day-to-day stuff that most executives rarely deal with," Campagna says. He runs the company's social media presence as well as handles most design and development. "But perhaps my most important duty is participating in the editorial workflow. We only publish three articles per month, so we take this very, very seriously."
By - Posted Jun 05, 2015

Case Studies

Although traffic to Total Gym's mobile site is rising, the conversion rate from smartphones is significantly lower than from desktops and tablets. "As mobile is getting to be a bigger piece of traffic, it leads to the challenge of, ‘How do we get that traffic to be as productive as possible for us, and how do we convert more of that traffic to orders?'" says Joe Crowley, American Telecast Products' VP of marketing. Total Gym launched a live chat option in 2013, but months later, the company wondered if another resource would help increase engagement and, ultimately, conversion rates.
By - Posted Jun 15, 2015