Two days ago we launched a simple experiment, which was supposed to verify a certain hypothesis and to help us simplify the way we settle accounts with the publishers. The response of magazine publishers made us (delicately speaking) frightened: we received hundreds of mails with requests to be included in the experiment, and one of the publishers even threatened us a little!
Just to remind you: we made a proposal to magazine publishers to make a free iPad and iPhone application for them, in exchange we would keep the first 199 USD that the application earns each month. From USD 200 above the income is transferred to the publishers without any interests charged by us.
Update2: [April 21st, 2016]. Disclaimer! This information has expired. It’s been published in 2013. Since that time App Store has changed and so does PressPad. We do not offer free plans anymore, however PressPad mobile magazine apps remain affordable for publishers like you.
Long story short: We are looking for 10 publishers who will agree to publish their magazine in a new experimental pricing model. The publisher doesn’t pay us anything for the making and maintenance of the application, in exchange, we retain the first 199 dollars it earns every month. From $200 up everything goes to the magazine publisher (no revenue share whatsoever).
In 2013 many companies suddenly realized their position in Google was on the constant decrease and the SEO (Search Engine Optimization) techniques they used to implement were gradually becoming less and less effective. On the other hand, those web sites and enterprises whose main focus was on the content were growing and doing better and better.
Frankly speaking, I don’t know whether the change was imposed by Google itself (due to the search algorithm alterations), or whether it simply is an outcome of some more general changes in the Internet and the way modern societies view the web. One thing that is certain: the final user benefits from those changes.
There are many advantages of digital editions over traditional ones: direct-to-reader sales, access to the global market, or the incomparably lower costs of publishing. Today we will focus on a feature of digital editions that is less obvious, but impossible to ignore: the ability to monetize back issue archives.
The traditional publishing cycle doesn’t really account for the monetization of back issues. The older issues would be available in the archive on special order, but for most of the time, they will either be ground and turned into new paper or go up in smoke.
If in 2011 I had known what I know today, I probably wouldn’t have decided to start PressPad. This is a brief answer to the question raised in the title. Today we love what we do with mobile publishing but the beginnings have not been easy. And this is the stage with which a publisher who wants to build their own tool for publishing magazines on mobile devices has to deal.
I get this question a lot. How much will it cost? Is it worth doing? I’ve identified four areas that in all probability may create great difficulty for everyone who is trying to build and launch one’s own magazine app.
In PressPad, we follow the principle 1 + 1 = 3. This is the way in which our product is created, the way in which we consult new ideas, and also try to cooperate with clients. We believe that our knowledge of mobile applications marketing and our clients’ excellent content will be able to get through the TOP PAID rankings in stores with mobile applications.
Now, to a group of people with whom we want to cooperate very closely, we would like to invite companies and professionals from the field of Desktop Publishing (DTP). Over the last few months we have tested how such cooperation proceeds, and today we are convinced that all parties can benefit from it.
How does the cooperation with PressPad take place?
Business Insider reporting on the story even draws an optimistic conclusion that “(…) Even if the New York Times’ print paper, which still generates most of the company’s overall revenue of about $2 billion a year, were to shut down tomorrow, the company would still be able to fund an excellent newsroom”.
At $360 million digital arm of New York Times is still significantly smaller than paper but with a healthy growth it paints quite a good looking picture for the future.