Thursday, February 23, 2012

Digital newsstand Zinio rolls out a suite of design and interaction tools for publishers – Zinio Fusion

San Francisco based Zinio, the largest digital newsstand company, today announced that they would be rolling out a new suite of design tools for publishers and advertisers. Zinio Fusion will offer three tools for enhancing design and interaction of their customer's digital magazines.

Below is a portion of Zinio's announcement, followed by a conversation with Jeanniey Mullen, Zinio's chief marketing officer, on what the company's new suite of tools will do for Zinio customers.

ZINIO FUSION™ suite offers publishers and advertisers three different approaches and products for enhancing design and interaction of any digital publication:

  1. FUSION Web: Introduces an online do-it-yourself web tool that enables embedding of rich media, including audio and video, across any Zinio platform
  2. FUSION Design: Offers a simple build-out for interactive and multi-layered pages, leveraging an Adobe InDesign software plug-in tool
  3. FUSION Link: Completes the offering by enabling seamless integration and content transcoding for external third-party authoring tools such as Woodwing’s Digital Publishing Solution

"In general, with our Fusion suite, we were looking to create a comprehensive suite of tools and services that would allow a publisher or an advertising of any size, scale, or budget, to be able to innovate with interactivity based on what they felt most comfortable with, what their goals were in the business, and the types of budgetary constraints that they had as to it relates to their design team," Jeanniey Mullen, Zinio's chief marketing officer, told TNM this morning.

"On the most basic level, we wanted to put something out in the market that enabled publishers that had PDF versions of their magazines but had other amazing content assets, whether it was audio or video or photo slideshows or even reviews, to simply enhance what they are doing in a drag-and-drop methodology," Mullen said.

Zinio has been offering its digital newsstand customers digital publishing tools to enhance their digital magazines for while and this new suite of tools, being offered free by Zinio, is an extension of that service Zinio customers have received. "We've been offering that base level of Fusion tool for a while now and we've had a lot of people who've been quite happy with it," Mullen said.

"Some publishers are using it almost as a stepping stone to validate with their audience that they really do want interactivity and that they will spend the time with it, and to test out from an operational standpoint what it means to get into interactive content integrating into magazines. Others have decided to use it because they felt their magazine content didn't really need tons of bells and whistles, they just wanted to add a little enhancement here and there."

"The second level is an InDesign plug-in that allows a magazine company with a creative team that's a little more advanced to actually create a page specifically for the interactive format," said Mullen.

"So instead of overlaying the content, you now have the opportunity to play around with scrolling text built specifically for the digital edition and the digital experience, different layout of the page, different formats. Some publishers have used this as a stepping stone to make an investment in a larger digital tool or looking at how they are going to enhance and streamline their operations. Other publishers have found it quite fantastic in the format that it is especially from an advertising perspective when they have an advertiser who wants to test out in the interactive waters."

The next level is appropriate where the publisher already is involved in digital magazine production and wants to bring that interactive magazine back into Zinio's newsstand This reflects the incredible growth of digital publishing in just the past two years.

"The industry is changing so rapidly," Mullen said. "Zinio's focus is on being a distribution vehicle, a global newsstand, making content available to consumers and making it findable, and looking to introduce content to people in new ways and in new countries, and really engage them on categories of interest."

"Zinio's core competency or focus is not to become a design tool company. What we have done with Fusion Web and Fusion Design we felt was a really great service that would enhance what our publishers can offer. What we did with Fusion Link was really to look out there and say what Woodwind and Adobe are doing together is phenomenal and if companies and publishers feel that it is a value to them and their readers we certainly want to enable them to extend that reading experience into the Zinio newsstand and the Zinio ecosystem. So that regardless of where you are buying your Robb Report magazine you are going to be able to enjoy that same interactive experience that Robb Report intended you to have."

The Zinio Fusion suite has been in beta with some publisher for a while, including Robb Report, Oakley, Golf Monthly, Yachting and Car and Driver. Users (and publishers) who download the free Zinio app in Apple's App Store will be able to access two free issues that are currently using the Zinio Fusion tools – Robb Report and One Icon.

Here is Zinio's promotional video on its new Zinio Fusion digital production suite: