Posted on May 31, 2013 in Archive

The big publishers making digital an equal part of their strategy

31May

Finally! The big publishers are starting to realise that to keep up with the times and cater to the expanding reading habits of their audiences, they need to include digital as a balanced part of their strategy.

Forbes Magazine is an example of one such forward-looking company. Recently it has revamped its business model to accommodate the different reading desires of different audiences.

It is generally the case that print readers want one thing and online readers want another. Forbes’ Chief Product Officer, Lewis Dvorkin clearly knows this doesn’t have to spell defeat for publishers.

‘The distinct consumer experiences are not incompatible with a single brand vision. In fact, properly executed, they can complement each other’.

For Forbes, the realisation that a blend of content can lead to multiple pathways has resulted in a digital do-over that ensures the company remains relevant.

Photo of digital magazines - from big publishers

Digital and print working together

An example of their digital innovation can be seen in their new magazine app, which combines their print heritage with a window into their online content, and has received a fair amount of positive press.

The future of Forbes magazine rests on ‘a fluid, branded experience across multiple platforms and devices that’s tied to a sustainable model for journalism.’

Forbes sounds like they’re on the right track, although I did notice they’re not publishing on Android or Windows. Apparently, not every reader gets a ‘fluid experience.’ Sticking to the iPad shows Forbes still isn’t thinking about the large potential subscriber base outside America, which they’ll need to go after in the long term.

If publishers don’t have a clear vision for the future and don’t offer their audiences the ability to participate and explore different consumer experiences, they will fail to hold our attention.

Some publishers are realising that in the digital age, the release of timely, quality content means greater relevance and the production of iterative and responsive content for a range of platforms attracts a wider audience.

Those who are managing to keep connected are doing so by turning their digital operations on their heads and capitalising on the advantages of convergent media.

These publishers are the ones who know that print and digital are inseparable elements of a single production strategy and who are finally adapting their business models to reflect the equal importance of the two formats.

Image of Forbes magazine app courtesy of Forbes