Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Digital sales data cause for nightmares

Image source: CDS Global, image of print subscription report

In a recent story by Audience Development, the nightmarish state of digital magazine sales data is revealed. For those working in circulation, digital newsstand results can be even harder to come by than those for print copies, and are much harder to digest.

Apparently, digital storefronts such as Apple, Kobo and Zinio all use different reports, and nothing is standardized. Zinio is the only one that offers any kind of automated dashboard, but none of the vendors use an existing fulfillment system.

Whatever reports they send, publishers have to decipher and massage the data to glean any sort of useful information.

Thankfully, there are groups working to fix this problem. CDS Global, for example, aims to collect sales and subscription data from all of the digital newsstand providers, standardize it, provide sales and revenue recognition and track it.

But for the average publisher trying to track their digital sales, it's likely going to be some hefty Excel handiwork for a while yet.

Have you figured out a digital circ system that works for your magazine? Share, share!

--- Colleen Seto

Thursday, June 7, 2012

The Walrus uses reverse psychology ads in Calgary

Those in Calgary may have noticed a rather unusual magazine ad campaign taking place on billboards, C-trains, and restaurants. WAX, a local ad and design agency, has created a "reverse psychology" ad strategy that encourages people not to subscribe to The Walrus, an award-winning national magazine.

The long-copy approach of the ads demonstrate what readers would find in the magazine, so if you're averse to the ads, you likely wouldn't be a Walrus reader anyhow.

Co-publisher Shelley Ambrose says, "We’re dedicated to reaching intelligent and thoughtful people across the country, and we’re confident that Calgarians will rise to the challenge. The campaign is presented as a challenge to people, so they’ll take a closer look at the magazine."

The campaign is part of a focus on Calgary by The Walrus that includes a refreshing and honest cover story about Calgary in the magazine’s June issue by local writer Chris Turner and an event tonight on Calgary's Cowboy Culture at the EPCOR Centre’s Max Bell Theatre.

For more details, visit Design Edge Canada.
                                                                                                                  --Colleen Seto