Thursday, May 31, 2012

For many B2B media companies, digital development is now out of their own hands

If GIE Media's new consumer digital edition is one possible vision of the future direction of the industry, the alternative vision can be seen in this new app for the Questex Media Group title Luxury Travel Advisor.
Luxury Travel Advisor Mag HD is an app costing $3.99 that then gives readers access to the unaudited title (Questex dropped BPA in 2009 to go with VAC, though I only saw publisher's statements on the magazine's website).

The app not only requires a payment, rare in magazine apps, but it also does not appear under the Questex name. Instead it is appearing under the name of their production vendor, Superior Media Solutions. SMS is a Libertyville, IL based company, formed by in 2007 with ties to the CEO of Questex. Questex outsourced the digital pre-press and production of its 31 publications and
directories in 2010.

As for the app, it appears to be outsourced, as well. This can be seen in the last line of the app description – patent-pending Media Deck™ technology – which is usually found on the app from BlueToad or RRD.

Outsourcing is used, of course, to cut costs (so is dropping BPA audits). But good outsourcing usually brings other benefits, capabilities the company doing the outsourcing usually doesn't have internally.

Here we have a new digital app that merely is a hard to read replica edition of the Flash flipbook, which itself can be seen on the magazine's website under the Nxtbook Media, yet another vendor.

All this outsourcing is making me dizzy.