Pulishers Convert Print Titles to Digital to Improve Targeting, Slash Cost ….

Posted on: 4/30/12

By Mark J. Miller

In recent months, Ziff Davis Enterprise and Penton Media’s technology group have grabbed headlines by announcing plans to convert their magazines to digital and abandon print.

In the case of Ziff Davis Enterprise, which was subsequently acquired by QuinStreet, the plan moved print publications BaselineCIO Insight and eWeek to a variety of digital formats—the desktop, smartphones and tablets—to give users access on virtually any device they wanted to use while cutting costs in paper, postage and printing.

Similarly, Penton’s tech group plans to move the lion’s share of its print publication to digital-only format this month.

But these aren’t the only companies exploring the possibilities of digital-only content. Advanstar Communications’ Locum Life, a brand aimed at traveling doctors working in out-of-the way locales, returned as all-digital in January after being out of print for a year.

“The digital-delivery strategy actually made us more effective at getting our content and advertising to the travelling doctor,” said Drew DeSarle, VP-market development sales at Advanstar.

He said the company assembled a team that consisted of its production Web media designers, marketing manager and chief editor to review best practices for optimizing for digital distribution. The group decided to use landscape rather than the traditional portrait format.

“The production and design team need to be on the exact same page in terms of the template design, level of interactive, use of audio, video clips and slide shows—all of which have to be identified and coded to work properly and quickly via whatever production platform is being used,” DeSarle said.

The most important thing, DeSarle added, is for there to be a single team who has been specifically identified as being responsible for getting the digital magazine out the door on time. “[This] is an immense challenge since an all-digital format goes well beyond the scope of traditional print publishing and converting a print page to a Nxtbook page,” he said.

Full Article: BtoB Media – Publishers convert print titles to strictly digital

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