Web Publishing Roll-Up: WSJ Makes You Pay, Google Shows Booksellers Some Love

4 minute read
Marisa Peacock avatar

There's nary a moment of quiet in the world of web publishing. The broadcasting industry confers about digital strategies, while newspapers work to increase revenue through mobile apps, and Google plays in the book publishing space. Andthat's not all...


2009 Digital Strategies Conference

On September 9, emerging online strategies were debated by broadcast media executives at the 2009 Digital Strategies Conference in New York City. Hosted by Clickability, Inc. (news, site), the conference tackled topics on re-inventing national brands for local coverage, controversial new monetization models and executive digital strategies.

In addition, sessions were lead by many key representatives of the broadcast industry. NBC showed how engaging local audiences based on new strategies has increased both viewership and revenue. The Wall Street Journal and Vanity Fair, among others, discussed paid content issues. Rapleaf and VMIX Media shared best practices for leveraging social media metrics to drive greater audience engagement and revenue.

Essentially the people affecting change at the broadcast news level, whether it be print, web or television came together to try to figure things out. Clickability, whose SaaS-based CMS handles a chunk of web and media publishing, demonstrated, above all, that the digital landscape is changing and new strategies are needed. Bringing the who's who into conversation is a way to get it started. Watch video of the event, or read their Twitter commentary of the conference.

Mediaspectrum Partners with Tribune, Shares AdSales Platform with the World

Mediaspectrum, Inc. (news, site) and Tribune Company have joined in an effort to support publishers industry-wide by enabling fast and secure self-service advertising. The Tribune recently implemented the partnered solution and now wants to make it available to others. And why shouldn't they? It aims to generate more ad volume efficiently and economically.

The Ad Sales platform, allows companies, like the Tribune to reach new and local advertisers directly. To its credit, Mediaspectrum is able to provide a scalable, self-service model that ultimately works to create a single advertising platform that will compete on the same scale as today’s major digital ad networks.

Learning Opportunities

Google Book Search + Local Booksellers = On-Demand Books

Despite all the strife that Google Book Search generated since its launch, it has managed to scan more than 2 million books old enough to fall out of copyright into the public domain. What to do with all those books? A recent partnership with On Demand Books is letting readers turn those digital copies back into paper copies, individually printed by bookstores around the world.

There is a slight catch. Only booksellers who ordered an Espresso Book Machine will be printing the book. The machine, which cranks out a 300-page gray-scale book with a color cover in about 4 minutes, at a cost to the bookstore of about US$ 3.00 for materials, costs US$ 100,000. However, the benefit of being able to print, bind and cut the book to size,hot off the press may outweigh the initial cost.

Current retailers include the University of Michigan Shapiro Library Building in Ann Arbor; the Blackwell Bookshop in London; the Bibliotheca Alexandrina in Alexandria, Egypt; the University of Alberta Bookstore in Edmonton, Canada; and Angus & Robertson Bookstore in Melbourne, Australia, with hopes of being able to add more printers with sellers in the next year, bringing the number of machines globally to about 90.

WSJ Makes Non-Subscribers Pay

The Wall Street Journal's mobile app is slated to be priced at US$ 104.00 for the year, or US$ 2.00 a week, for non-subscribers to the Journal in print or on the web. If you subscribe to either the print or online edition, you can pay just US$ 1.00 extraevery week. If you subscribe to both, you can have the app for free. While this is the most payment of any news publisher app, the WSJ app may simply be a driver for its web/print subscription model.

But in an announcement made earlier today, the Journal says it plans to include some free content in addition to the new fees that will be required for full access to Journal subscription content and new tools, like advanced save and share functions, enhanced market data, stock tracking and personalization options.