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One-push publishing is the way forward

Peder Bonnier, Head of Digital Media at the publishing house that bears his family name, is adamant that magazine publishers should be expecting – even demanding – a one-push solution across all tablet platforms.

Peder Bonnier

Posted on: 01 July 2011

Bonnier is set this week to launch its first publications on Android, heralding the arrival of one-push – in other words publishing magazines to iOS and Android operating systems from a single InDesign file. Without any extra resource, effort or additional cost, a magazine can now simultaneously go to market on both the iPad and Samsung’s Galaxy Tab 10.1.

Bonnier is the publishing house that developed the one-push solution on its Mag+ Software as a service publishing platform. Mag+ is now the flagship product of Bonnier spinout company Moving Media+. When I speak about taking magazines on to tablet devices, I define myself as a Mag+ customer.

This week, five Bonnier magazines, already published on iPad, will be pre-loaded on the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1, when it becomes available in Sweden on June 29th.

The first English-language magazine to cross the operating system divide is expected to be Pop Sci+, heading to Android in the autumn. Pop Sci+ launched in 2010 on the first generation iPads, with Steve Jobs declaring it “king of the hill” at the iPad launch presentation.

This new chapter in tablet publishing couldn’t come soon enough. As a publisher, I have to say I’m not interested in any software that’s going to make me add editorial resources to produce the same issues for different platforms.

Of course, we have to be where our readers are, but I don’t want to add editorial work to access the new audience. One-push is a realistic and appropriate expectation. As soon as software companies are expecting me to bring in extra staff to get my magazine on to the next device, they’ve lost me.

I expect and get the same functionality and the same quality of experience from both formats, with one push. This includes the double-layout designs that are possible with Mag+ on iOS.

It’s because the design and layout still works across big screen sizes. Almost anything from 8.5 inches and up is transferable, though it depends on the aspect ratio. I’m really impressed with the way the magazines look on the Galaxy Tab.

Well, there is one change; Bonnier Publishing chose to lock its magazines in landscape mode on the Galaxy. On iPad, Mag+ allows the publication to be read either vertically or horizontally.

The integrated approach to device publishing simplifies the business model, as far as Bonnier is concerned.

We will be charging the same “cover price” or subscription fees for our magazines, regardless of which device they are downloaded from.

Mag+ has developed an interface allowing the Android sales platform to be integrated into Bonnier’s own subscription system.

We’ve got a little more independence in the Galaxy Tab ecosystem, when it comes to reader offers and promotions. But I’m really happy with the Apple Newsstand too.

The reader’s subscription is to the publication, not the device. As far as I’m concerned, it should be irrelevant what device the magazine is read on.

With a paper magazine, you don’t have to pay for a new subscription if you move, you simply have your subscription re-directed to your new address.

So this means that if you lose your Galaxy Tab, we can re-direct your subscription to the new device, whether it’s another Galaxy or an iPad.

With iPad, it’s a little different as the customer information isn’t automatically provided to us, but the customer just has to opt in, and again, their subscription is transferable from device to device.

The integration carries for advertising rates as well. We’ll be setting our rates based on tablet readership across both devices. There won’t be a separate rate for iPad or Galaxy Tab.

We have a line up of blue chip advertisers expressing excitement about the possibilities of a high-value presence on tablet magazines.

Our advertising rates won’t be different from one device to the other, but we are differentiating on print versus tablet. We’ll be charging substantially more per tablet reader delivered to advertisers. The tablet medium vastly outperforms; it’s incomparable to any other medium I’ve seen.

Market research, believed to be the first in the world comparing the impact of paper ads against tablet ads for the same publications, threw up extraordinary results. Dwell times were 60% longer on tablet ads. In terms of readers spending time on an ad, remembering it and responding to it, the impact of the tablet ad was twenty times higher than the printed ad from the same page on the same publication.

The firm who did the research couldn’t believe it – they’d never seen results like this.

And in terms of preparing for the next device, I’m relaxed about whatever the next device for our magazines proves to be. The Motorola Xoom will be easy – it’s also Android-based and the screen’s the same size as the Galaxy Tab. But whether it’s webOS on the HP TouchPad or BlackBerry OS on the Blackberry Playbook, I’ll be expecting my magazines on all of them, with one-push.

About Peder Bonnier
(Details last updated: 1 July 2011)

Peder Bonnier is Head of Digital Media at Bonnier Publishing.


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