Media Magazine

Bonnier: Innovator of the Year

Posted on the 09 May 2011 by Themarioblog @garciainteract

TAKEAWAY:  Bonnier is the publishing innovator of the year for the diversity of its media offerings—-and banking on the tablet as it projects a total of 20 titles with iPad apps by year’s end.

Bonnier and iPad apps

We all remember the excitement when Popular Science magazine appeared with its iPad app edition.  It had all those bells, whistles and, of course, pop ups that were the surprise that made users of that first iPad1 jump in their seats with excitement while saying: Wow, this is what the tablet is all about.

Then, of course, we saw , and continue to see a barrage of magazine apps that pop up on the cover and sort of fizzle once you start navigating.  The explosive piñata is the cover, and, after that it is a party without champagne or mojitos.

So it is interesting to see that the Bonnier group, which publishes Popular Science, has been chosen as the 2011 Publishing Innovator of the Year.  Well deserved.  According to those who gave Bonnier the award:

Bonnier Corp. has been selected the
%0A" title="2011 Publishing Innovator of the Year">2011 Publishing Innovator of the Year by Publishing Executive magazine. An industry leader for its approach toward digital platforms, Bonnier was one of the first to launch a magazine title on the iPad with Popular Science last May, and has followed that up with aggressive R&D work on tablets of all kinds, apps and the launch of its iPad-only magazine, Roadtrip.

It was a unanimous decision among the Publishing Executive staff and the editorial advisory board. “Bonnier has been taking a leadership position in a time of significant industry transition, and setting the industry up to learn from its efforts,“ said Noelle Skodzinski, editorial director, Publishing Executive and Book Business magazines.

What I find more convincing about the award is a statement from Terry Snow, CEO of Bonnier Corp, saying that:

The goal of our dedicated team is to keep Bonnier at the forefront of digital media innovation.  Starting with our launch of Popular Science+ on day one of the iPad; to our tablet-only publication, Roadtrip; to Skiing Interactive; and the most recent research from our R&D department, studying user expectations and behaviors on tablets, I couldn’t be more proud of the work we have done as a team here at Bonnier.“

At a time when magazine publishers like Conde Naste have expressed their disappointment with the success of their iPad mag apps, here is Bonnier announcing that the Swedish media company will bring to more than 20 the number of tablet launches by the end of the year.
For Conde Naste, which announced they are slowing a bit on their iPad editions, acknowledging that conditions aren’t quite right yet to deliver the ideal app editions at the kind of scale that advertisers want. Of course, it does not mean that they will not continue to develop iPad editions, but they will put the publications perhap;s through a closer scrutiny before they create an iPad edition for it.  As we know, Conde Naste, like Bonnier, has been an iPad editioning pioneer with such apps as Wired, GQ, Vanity Fair, The New Yorker and Glamour. Since then, Golf Digest, Self and Allure have followed.

But there is a chance Conde Naste is going to teach other app publishers a lesson, by offering a very special value for its app subscriptions.  Only yesterday, the company announced it is close to a deal to begin selling its magazine issues on the iPad for $2 each and will offer yearly subscriptions for $20,

To me, here is the key: this is a new platform, and we know that users are willing to pay for that first edition to see how it works, then there is a sharp drop in the number of continue to buy that magazine after that first impulse and curiousity.  With the right prices, I feel that the mag app subscriptions will do better.  In fact, if media companies take a page from Apple itself, they will realize that the low price is a key to success.

blog post image
Wired magazine iPad app: bells and whistles, a pop up a minute: Conde Naste

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