The Future is Bright: The Future is Digital
The future of the publishing industry has become clearer over recent months with major announcements from some of the market’s leading players.
This week Time Inc. announced plans to offer a tablet edition for all 21 of its magazines by the end of 2011. That will make it the first major publisher to make all its titles available across all platforms.
This marks the biggest commitment to digital sales yet for Time, which already has tablet editions of its four biggest titles — Sports Illustrated, Time, Fortune and People — but not the rest. Now the remaining 17, including InStyle and Entertainment Weekly, will make the jump as well.
“Now is the time for us to make this bold commitment,” said Maurice Edelson, Executive Vice President, Time Inc. “In the coming year, there will clearly be many more consumers using tablets, accelerating demand for content and driving advertiser interest. We are putting ourselves in a great position to take advantage of these opportunities.”
Time also announced an agreement with Barnes & Noble to sell digital subscriptions and single-copy issues of Fortune, People, Sports Illustrated and Time on the Nook Color starting later in August. The rest of its titles should be available by the end of the year.
Time’s digital titles were already to most tablet owners, including those with iPads, Android tablet and the HP TouchPad.
The company says that its digital content and other magazines apps have already been downloaded uwpards of 11 million times and that it has sold more than 600,000 digital copies of Fortune, People, Sports Illustrated and Time alone.
In a similar move the Future Publishing Board of Directors confirmed recently that the publishing house will speed up their move to digital content as they continue to experience difficult trading conditions amongst their print titles.
“As a result, the Board has decided to accelerate transition of Future US into a primarily digital business,” their statement read. “This process may take 12 to 15 months, to allow time for existing subscriptions and other contractual obligations to be fulfilled.”
Digital publishing has proved ever more important to Future Publishing, according to its latest interim management statement. Digital advertising revenues rose 25 per cent in the quarter beginning October 1st 2010, while print advertising revenue declined ten per cent in the same period. Digital now accounts for 32 per cent of Future’s total advertising revenue.
Customer publishing revenues were up 18 per cent in the period where Future launched a dozen apps and a new print publication on the Apple brand.
“We expect the trading environment to remain challenging throughout 2011, but our progress online and in customer publishing – our main growth areas – and in our tablet and mobile development – is pleasing.” said Future chief exec Stevie Spring