Future: Magazines, Agencies

Berg have been working with Bonnier R&D exploring the future of digital magazines, and creating Mag+. Bonnier publish Popular Science and many other titles.

Mag+ from Bonnier on Vimeo.

Agencies have played such a crucial role in helping companies market their products and services for more than a century. Names like McCann Erickson, Young & Rubicam, J. Walter Thompson, Ogilvy, and Saatchi & Saatchi (among others) are practically household names. There’s even a massively popular and critically acclaimed television show capturing life in the golden age of legendary agencies on Madison Avenue. Yet the agency model was built during a time when there were only a handful of channels in which they could push one way messages en masse. Does that model still work in a time when nearly a quarter of online US adults now create content online?
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Icons: Lee Clow, Marge Simpson

It seems that Agencyspy is never in short supply of TBWA drama lately. As an addendum to this morning’s news of Jason Nichols and (possibly) Joe Shands’ exits, the latest scoop from Chiat LA-la-land is that Lee Clow himself is now stepping in to sort out the Nissan/Infiniti account, leaving GCD Kerry Feuerman “relegated to retail style ads for Nissan” according to tipsters. AgencySpy is hearing that Clow is intent on “cleaning up the lackluster work of the GCD and mass exodus of top Nissan creatives because of lack of confidence.”
Lee Clow
A special edition of Playboy, celebrating 20 years of The Simpsons, goes on sale today featuring Marge Simpson on the cover, the first time the magazine has featured an animated character as a centrefold. The Playboy cover illustration is designed to emulate a famous cover from 1971, while the feature inside takes the familiar form of standard centrefold images. There is also a “handwritten” resume in which Marge lists her turn-ons as “enough saucers for your cups”, while “men who work out regularly and take care of their bodies” are included in her turn-offs.
marge simpson playboy

Marge Simpson is on the cover of Playboy next month (tvsquad.com)
Marge Simpson bares all for Playboy (network.nationalpost.com)
Marge Simpson on the Cover of Playboy (manolith.com)
Marge Simpson graces Playboy cover (cnn.com)
Marge Simpson Poses For Playboy (entertainment.slashdot.org)
Marge gracing Playboy mag cover (news.bbc.co.uk)
Playboy’s newest cover girl: Marge Simpson (inquisitr.com)
The Simpsons: The Great Wife Hope (tvsquad.com)
Marge Simpson Shows Her Ta-Tas In ‘Playboy’ Magazine (pinkisthenewblog.com)
Marge Simpson In Playboy (mediabistro.com)
Marge Simpson, Playboy Centerfold? (takepart.com)
You’ll Never Guess Who’s Going To Be On The Cover Of Playboy Next Month!! (perezhilton.com)

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iTunes for Print, Hulu for Magazines

Traditional publishers — concerned that Apple‘s anticipated tablet computer could affect their business the way the iPod disempowered music publishers — are discussing possible strategies, including an industry-wide digital storefront where tablet users could buy digital issues or subscriptions without going through iTunes or the App Store.
digital magazine
As print publishers struggle to transition to the digital age (and essentially, survive), Time Inc. is shopping around an idea: a Hulu for magazines joint venture. The core of the plan is to create an iTunes-like digital storefront where content can be bundled into subscriptions and delivered to customers on multiple devices. According to All Things Digital, the plan is being well-received, with Hearst and Conde Nast reportedly expected to sign on to the venture.

Time’s “Hulu for Magazines” Idea Is So, So Doomed [Magazines] (gizmodo.com)
Desperate Mag Publishers Consider A Solution To Revenue Woes: Create A Giant Ad Net (paidcontent.org)
Time Inc. Vaunts ‘Hulu for Magazines’ (marketingvox.com)
Print Publishers May Create a “Hulu for Magazines” (mashable.com)
Publishers Eyeing Apple Tablet (ubergizmo.com)
Time Inc. wants a Kindle-alike (crunchgear.com)
The Hulu Complex: Mag Industry Looking At Its Own JV, Headed by Time Inc (paidcontent.org)

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Newspapers: John Rogers Says Future Not So Bleak, Chris Anderson Doesn’t Care. Meantime WSJ Is Cooking Up A LinkedIn Killer

Investor says future not so bleak for newspapers

A prominent US newspaper investor, and the largest investor in USA Today publisher Gannett, has said that the future for newspapers is brighter than many have predicted and that advertisers will return to print. John Rogers, CEO of Ariel Investments in Chicago made his comments to Bloomberg after Miami Herald publisher McClatchy and Gannett recently posted better than expected results.
Chris Anderson, the Wired editor-in-chief and author of ‘Free’, has had it with newspapers. No seriously, he’s through. He doesn’t care. And journalism? And Media? Kids those words are so passe. Anderson, who struck it big with his book ‘The Long Tail‘ and wants everything to be ‘Free’, has given a long interview to the German weekly Spiegel where he makes a string of provocative statements as he talks about the internet’s challenge to the traditional press.
The Wall Street Journal is to launch its own social network called WSJ Connect to rival the professionals’ community LinkedIn, according to reports. News Corporation‘s flagship title is looking to snap up some of LinkedIn’s 15m or so monthly visitors – recruiting Slingshot Labs to develop a website where professionals can create business contacts, search for jobs or find potential clients.
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Newspapers: Likely to Fold or Trying to Reinvent … Charging

In response to the the worsening plight of the newspaper industry – including newspaper closures, bankruptcies and cutbacks, 24/7 Wall Street has predicted which 10 newspapers will be the next to fold (or go all-digital)
citizen kane
A big newspaper company wants to give you news the way Burger King makes hamburgers: your way. MediaNews Group, the nation’s fourth-largest newspaper chain, said it would test a customized newspaper service this summer at The Los Angeles Daily News, one of the 54 dailies owned by the company. The service, which allows readers to pick and choose only the stories that interest them, is among the many maneuvers that newspapers across the country are making to respond to the changes the Internet has wrought on their businesses.
Independent and Times mull plans to charge for online content
The Independent and The Times are reportedly considering introducing paid-for content on their websites. Gavin O’Reilly, the new chief executive of Independent News & Media, owner of The Independent, said that although he had not formalised any plans, he was looking at paid-for offerings on INM’s websites, according to a report in The Telegraph.
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Print Deathwatch: Magazines, Newspapers

Its farewell to magazines that quit print under pressure from recession and digital media. Some brands continue online, but many do not.

eMarketer Sounds Death Knell for Newspapers
US newspaper ad revenues are expected to drop 42.5% in the next seven years, signaling a death spiral for the medium as readership moves online and to more real-time, interactive venues, according to a report from eMarketer. In its report, “Newspapers in Crisis: Migrating Online,” the research firm estimates that newspaper advertising revenues dropped 16.4% to $37.9 billion in 2008 and expects that by 2012, those revenues will tumble to $28.4 billion – slightly more than one-half the industry’s revenue peak of $49.4 billion in 2005.


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Newspapers: LA Times, New York Times

A year and a half ago, Jason Oberfest, who was then the head of Product Strategy and Business Development at the LA Times, told an audience at PSFK Conference Los Angeles about the major changes that the paper was making to address changes in publishing in order to become a leader in the new media space. It looks like those changes have taken effect: the editor of the Los Angeles Times, Russ Stanton, has announced that the paper’s online advertising revenue is now sufficient to cover the cost of the LA Times’s editorial team – for both print and online.
LA Times

Could the New York Times go under?
It seems the unthinkable, but some media commentators are speculating whether The New York Times could go under. A piece in the Observer yesterday put the spotlight on the Grey Lady, which is saddled with debts, a hugely expensive news operation and the cost of an expensive new building on Manhattan‘s 42nd Street. All of that would be a strain at the best of times, but as the US newspaper industry buckles under the enormous strain of the downturn these problems are all hugely exacerbated.

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I am an avid reader, and have a particular weakness for second hand bookstores (“fascinating” I hear you cry) … I can’t seem to pass by one without picking up a bargain. This has yielded both unexpected success and disappointing failure. In both cases said tomes end up residing somewhere on a bookshelf in my house. The net result of this is that I now have far too many books, a fact that was brought home to me in the past month. We are currently remodeling our home, and in preparation I spent what seemed like a whole day packing paperback and hardback books into boxes and then lugging them down the cellar. (Add in my wife’s large format design books and that’s a backache right there). There are now several teetering towers of book boxes taking up one whole end of said cellar. I decided something had to change (so first off, look out for many of my books on Amazon/ thrift stores/ my street in the coming months) but I also decided that I need a new way to read without acquiring mounds of paperbacks. Here’s what I found …

flying books

First off, the public library obviously can’t be beat. But there are other options out there, too, that can keep my acquisitive reading habit in check.For eco-friendly, instant-gratification, new millenial reading, there is obviously the Kindle (though – in a chronic piece of mismanagement by Amazon – it’s sold out at least until February 2009).

I have also found pay services such as BookSwim (inevitably: Netflix for book lovers), which allows you to hold paperbacks or hard covers for as long as you want. What’s not to like? Well, they emailed saying the plans start at $9.95 a month. That’s not technically untrue, but the deal is actually $9.95 for the first month for the least expensive plan. After that, it jumps to $19.98. A rather tired bait and switch.

BooksFree isn’t free, though shipping is. You can sign up for $9.99 a month, which gets you two paperback books at a time.

America’s BookShelf has a slightly more complicated, but less expensive setup. There’s an annual fee of $12 and you’ll need to be willing to share the books on your bookshelves. Each book you receive will set you back $3.50.

BookMooch takes a different tack. There are no costs, except for mailing. Give someone a book, earn a point which you can redeem to get a book. A similar concept for paperbacks at PaperBack Swap, which has a printable postage option.

BookCrossing is essentially a catch-and-release idea—books are left in the “wild” for you to pick up, read, and then return to a public place. Right now there are 28 books in NYC.

And to help you select your next book, check out:



What Should I Read Next

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