Digital Publishers to Watch in 2014 - Part One

It’s a brand new year and we’re talking about what digital publishers are doing to change the digital game.  Consumers aren’t uncomfortable with the thought of content online, they’re just waiting for it to impress them - so who is impressing us?

Tablet displaying online digital publishers content

Pictures via Inxerta and Grumpy Cats

Publisher - New York Magazine

New York Magazine is making changes - why this would come as a shock to anyone is somewhat perplexing really. The Magazine is making the moves that some publishers are reticent about making themselves - but they’re edging forward, they’re thinking about the audience experience across different platforms and the delivery of online ads.

As of March 2014 the publication will be halving their print output in favor of bi-weekly issues, while increasing the editorial content of individual editions and really amping up their digital output via nymag.com.

What they are doing: 

They’ve summed it up quite well themselves in an article announcing the change to bi-weekly publishing which describes the move as: ‘reinventing the print magazine as a more substantial, more durable, and more visual product, while growing its digital offerings at nymag.com, Vulture, the Cut, and Grub Street’ -

On the digital side nymag.com are:

  • Launching a new vertical

  • Expanding existing segments

  • Expanding within native advertising

  • Implementing custom display advertising

  • Launching a new instagram channel that curates the best celebrity photography of the day

  • Introducing additional staff to support digital advertising

Publisher -  Conde Nast

Conde Nast are the media giant responsible for some of the biggest brands in publishing. Magazines such as Vogue, Vanity Fair, Bon Appetit, Wired and Glamour are just a handful of their 20 titles not to mention Conde Nast’s digital video network - Conde Nast Entertainment.

In 2011 the company launched its digital network and now their video output serves audiences across the majority of their publications. With YouTube channels for many of their brands such as Conde Nast Traveler, Allure, Vanity Fair, Epicurious and The New Yorker, Conde Nast have been serving video inventory that engages their audiences in niche verticals and we’re very interested to see that progress even further in 2014.

What they are doing:

What aren’t they doing? Conde Nast publications are popular all over the globe and here’s why:

  • Easy access, quality content, broad verticals

  • Video and lots of it

  • Apps and digital editions across devices and platforms

  • In November of 2013 Conde Nast posted ‘the largest audience growth among its competitors on all platforms

Here are just a couple of examples of how Conde Nast have created videos from feature stories and articles:

Allure - Jennifer Connelly

GQ video

Publisher -  BuzzFeed

Jonah Peretti founded BuzzFeed in 2006 just a year after co-founding The Huffington Post - the brilliance behind this venture was the premise of creating a publication based on what people wanted to read and share. By tracking viral content and looking at the data behind what people interact with, BuzzFeed have been able to create and publish content that people are drawn to, increasing visitors and amplifying content via social marketing. Since its inception, the publication has taken digital news and entertainment media by storm and the conceptualisation and technical and strategic mindset of this company make it a huge force to be reckoned with, and one that will continue to innovate the space.

What they are doing:

BuzzFeed has a section titled simply BuzzFeed World - watch this space because BuzzFeed have found a way to tell real stories that really matter while still maintaining the entertainment coverage that has made them such a big player in digital publishing. BuzzFeed also offer a long form content section ‘BuzzReads’ which takes a look at trending topics in much more minute detail and since hiring editor in chief Ben Smith to oversee this, the site has grown its monthly unique visitors to 130M. BuzzFeed also offers a comprehensive selection of video channels on YouTube and are constantly ahead of the game in delivering on demand content, trends and a consistently enjoyable user experience by understanding consumer behavior.

Who is impressing you in the digital publishing sphere? Let us know in the comments section below.

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