Digital Innovation Digital Publishing
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The Must-Read Publishing Stories You May Have Missed Aug 16th 2019

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In defence of a free internet, inside Glamour’s print to digital transformation, and more…

To be (free) or not to be (free)? That is the question.

Many of you will have heard industry professionals say that making content free on the internet was publishing’s biggest mistake. It’s an idea that Zenith Media’s Tom Goodwin explored in a detailed piece for WNIP last week.

But is the view that free-to-access news breeds poor quality content and diminishes the value of news a fair one?

This week, Jon Mew of IAB UK defends the free internet, and argues that we should think again when it comes to disparaging the sheer volume of free content online. “The knowledge and information that people have at their fingertips today wouldn’t be believed by our pre-internet selves,” he writes.

Education and knowledge shouldn’t be available only to the wealthy and privileged. It may seem like there are endless issues with ad-funded and other free access models, and these make publisher’s roles as the gatekeepers of quality content all the more vital.

We’d love to know what side of this difficult debate you fall on. Feel free to tweet or email us!


What’s new this week

IAB UK: In defence of a free internet

Last week, Zenith’s Tom Goodwin wrote a piece on why making content on the internet free was our biggest mistake. Here, Jon Mew, CEO of the IAB UK argues why we should think again.

Inside Glamour’s print-first to digital-first transformation
“It’s really important to point out that the print circulation of Glamour was really healthy when we were looking at changing the format to a digital-first brand,” said Glamour’s Publishing Director. So what made the brand decide to go digital-first, and what lessons have they learned from their transformation?
Print ads that address readers by name: Hearst marrys online and offline worlds
The publisher recently announced MagMatch, an ad product that uses readers’ online behavior to send them targeted print ads.
The “remarkable transformation” of a print publisher: Highlights from WAN-IFRA report
Aller Media Finland pivoted to digital and deployed a two-pronged strategy: reactive (short-term turnaround) and proactive (invest for future growth).
Publishers can “create richer, better content for their audience” with Question Hub, says Google
The world’s leading search engine doesn’t have answers to many of the questions asked on its platform, and has launched the Question Hub for publishers, so that they can help fill in the gaps.
Facebook is launching a News tab, and offers publishers “millions of dollars”
The company would be willing to pay up to $3 million a year to license content from news outlets, according to people with knowledge of the discussions.
How the Stylist Group doubled advertising yield by boosting targetable inventory to 100%
Stylist’s new data strategy has seen its targetable inventory soar from 45% to almost 100% of its audience.
Opinion: Google closing the Incognito loophole is an opportunity, not a disaster
If the closing of the Incognito loophole threatens the future of paywalls, then it’s an opportunity for publishers to explore more user-centric reader monetization options.
Inside Penske Media’s expansion to China: WWD and Variety
Over the last couple of months, Penske Media Corporation has made some great strides in its global expansion plans, launching in China two of its brands: WWD and Variety.
Less than half of Google searches now result in a click
We’ve passed a milestone in Google’s evolution from search engine to walled-garden. In June, for the first time, a majority of all browser-based searches on Google resulted in zero-clicks.
How publishers are building habit with short-run newsletters
With newsletters becoming an important part of the reader journey, a host of interesting innovations have appeared in the field. 
13.6% of readers still come from Facebook. Here’s why you should care about them
Publishers should still be aware that Facebook gets readers to their websites. Our new reader data study reveals that Facebook brings 13.6% of readership to online media. 
The ‘Acceptable Ads’ guide for digital publishers
The Acceptable Ads program could provide a net-positive middle ground to balance publisher and consumer needs.
Multi-dimensional metering: The next phase of intelligent engagement
Going beyond just paid subscriptions, the multi-dimensional approach allows publishers to leverage many options along a continuum of visitor engagement and relationship.