Saturday, December 29, 2012

12 Apps of Christmas: November – publishers struggle to keep the doors open as print ad pages continue to decline

The Twelve Days of Christmas runs from Christmas Day to the evening of January 5th, or Twelfth Night.  TNM's 12 Apps of Christmas, which began last week, looks at the significant media events and new media apps of 2012. Today we have reached November. The last segment will appear New Year's Eve day.

As we moved into November we could finally see an end to the dreadful Presidential election cycle. Locally, I awoke the day after the election to find that my representative, a darling of the Tea Party movement, had been soundly defeated – replaced with a war veteran whose patriotism had been questioned during the campaign, despite her having lost both her legs in the war. At least some sanity seemed to have returned to the world. (It didn't last.)

A really nice new tablet edition was released in the month by the Denver Post, their Colorado Ski Guide. Created using the Adobe DPS, the app comes from the MediaNews Group division of Digital First Media, a newspaper company that, despite its name, it would be safe to consider the most backwards digitally in the industry. (There is more to being a digital company than redesigning the newsroom – real digital first companies like revenue and profits, as well.)

But even as it seemed as if the industry was beginning to consolidate its thinking about publishing platforms, new ones were being announced, such as PRSS, the platform from the publishers of the travel tablet magazine TRVL. As I am writing this, the publishers are out showing off their platform to publishers in hopes of encouraging early adopters.

Mag+, which has been around as long as the iPad, released its own SDK in November in hopes of getting developers to expand the platform even further. It was a good move, as one of the mistakes publishing vendors make is not constantly changing and growing the capabilities of their publishing solutions. We live now in an age where if a product does not frequently change and improve quickly finds itself left behind.

Early in the month, TNM reported on the latest B2B ad page report released by the ABM. It showed that business was slowing for B2B publishers as the latest time period – July with that November report – was filled with bad news.

In fact, things are getting worse for the B2B sector, not better. The August report, released in December, show no improvement – and more of the same means things are getting worse for publishers who had hoped 2012 would end the string of bad years.