YUDU Makes It Easy to Connect Readers on Every Platform
If you’re plotting your digital strategy for 2013 (and you should be), U.K.-based multiplatform publishing provider YUDU has the blueprint. As the publishing climate continues down the path of rapid transformation, brands need to be especially nimble and responsive in an environment that is becoming less rooted in long-term change. This requires a more pliant and amenable internal unit that allows publishing houses –large and small–to effectively prepare for rapid technological developments.
As consumer expectations for digital content grow more demanding, how can publishers get the best results, effectively maximizing the user experience, while minimizing the costs? To answer this question, MPA sat down with YUDU to get their take on how publishers can take their digital strategy to the next level.
MPA: What are the biggest trends in digital publishing that YUDU sees today?
YUDU: The obvious one is the adoption of the tablet—from that flows everything else. One of the main trends is the non-standardization of any platform as an operating system. Many publishers have a presence on iOS, many of those also added something on Android, but they’re approaching it in a case-by-case basis in a way that doesn’t necessarily scale as the number of options proliferates.
This dovetails with the growth of pure digital titles. We don’t know if that’s the biggest trend of the moment, but it’s certainly one of the ones with the biggest potential impact on times to come.
MPA: Do you feel publishers should be on all available platforms? Or should they just focus specifically on a key few?
YUDU: Our view is that they should be on every channel. It’s a reading channel, it’s a delivery channel to a user, so the user should be able to pick up any tablet or smartphone and find their magazines.. The only barriers to that are the costs and the ease of doing it—but that’s the desired state. And, of course, it’s for people like us to provide an economical and very good work flow for [publishers] so they can publish in those different formats.
If each new platform that you want your magazine on means that you have to pay those digitization costs all over again, then obviously you’d want to focus on the top one or two platforms. If the incremental cost of adding your presence on a platform is much smaller than that, then there is no reason not to want to be everywhere.
MPA: What do you think is the biggest opportunity for digital publishers?
YUDU: Publishers should try and set aside the concept of just publishing a magazine and consider building communities—or forming an ecosystem—around the brand. Particularly while the brand has a lot of currency and while the print title, and its history, are very strong.
It needs to go just beyond a “Letters to the Editor” page these days; there is no reason for publications to limit themselves. They can now have a much deeper and richer connection to their readers.
MPA: What advice would you give to independent publishers contemplating a move to the digital space, but who may not have comparable means to the larger publishing houses?
YUDU: Smaller, independant publishers are actually in a good position to benefit from the move to digital because they’re suddenly on much more even footing; they’re no longer competing for the same limited space on the physical newsstand shelf.We see that titles that are from smaller publishers that are competing very strongly with the larger titles coming from the big publishing houses. So, definitely for the smaller titles there is an opportunity to punch well above your weight in the digital space.
If it comes down to one piece of advice: I’d say embrace digital; it’s a huge opportunity.
MPA: What’s the one feature that you would advise every brand to include in their publication?
YUDU: We definitely say to make the social features a much deeper part of your digital magazines. It’s a very strong way of monetizing and making a brand successful. One of the features we advise publishers to adopt is the ability for image sharing from magazines to social networks. And what we mean by that is, we see advertisements in magazines with very strong images and we encourage making it very simple for readers to share those images onto their social networks. Therefore, you’re not only just publishing a magazine in the digital space, but the advertisers are now getting the reach through all of those readers that select those images to push onto their social network. YUDU has the technology to do that.
Advertisers, and certain magazines, look to the beautiful images that they put in the magazine to go viral across the network. This means the magazine can go to their advertiser and say, “Look, it’s not only our audience that you’re potentially targeting here, but if you can make your content dynamic and compelling enough that people wish to share it, then it goes through our readers to the much wider audience of everyone they’re socially connected to—their entire social graph.”
MPA: What do you feel distinguishes YUDU’s solution from other platforms on the market right now?
YUDU: The speed and power of our production. It’s about costs, it’s about speed, and it’s about a very good reader experience at the end.
We have features for pretty much whatever you’d want to do as a magazine producer. You buy into our future as well as our past because we’re continually developing and rolling out new concepts and ideas.
MPA: What’s ahead for YUDU in 2013?
YUDU: One of the most interesting and exciting things ahead for us is what we’re looking at doing with HTML content. While users definitely want that full, rich, designed experience across devices, in some reading cases they would rather have the simple text and just get the content out of the article. We’re aiming to set it up so they can have both experiences and choose which view they’re looking at. They can go and see the full spread of the magazine but if they prefer to switch to an HTML-based scrollable view they can comfortably read on a small phone screen.
The people who have tablets frequently have smartphones as well, and they see no reason why they can’t read on both - but they want the experience to be rendered suitably for each type of screen. We think that all of the current phone platforms will become a very important element of monetization for magazine companies, and we want to make sure that we have a great solution for that. Our job in 2013 is to make a first-class experience.
To learn more about embracing the challenges in digital, join the MPA and YUDU this Thursday, September 27, for an in-depth lunch and learn.