Are Custom Publications the Future of News Reading?

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custom publishingCustom publication has a new meaning. It’s seems that the term has been hijacked by the consumer.  When I started in publishing, it was a term that the printing company used to refer a bespoke publishing job from a non traditional publisher, for example a company report or event guide. Now it has moved down the chain and is been used by publishers to refer to how the reader is taking control of the content they are been served.

On the digital frontier, the perception of how we define a magazine is changing.  The power of the editors will diminish as they are forced to relinquish control of how magazines are packaged. Today’s reader no longer want to be told what is important to them, they want more creative control of the content that you are marketing to them. Magazines are facing a challenge as the market pushes them from the traditional ‘one to many’ format (one defined layout for the masses) to a ‘one to one’ format (content is chosen and arranged based on the profile of that reader’s tastes).

We can see this already in the digital news media space.  I have spoke alot this week about Google Reader  decision to close down due to the changing behaviour of  the consumer news consumption habits.  They prefer  ‘bits and bytes’  instead of full articles on listed stories.  They have multiple sources that they use for their individual tastes and they would prefer to consume them all in one go with apps such as news aggregators.

There are a lot of benefits to be becoming a pioneer in this market.  There are technologies available today such as 3D Issue Hubs that enable publishers to create their own news aggregating eco-systems.  You can embrace this trend and allow users to consume not only your content in a responsive digital magazine format but also publish snippets of third party content that facilitates your audience’s additional needs.  These snippets are been pushed through web 2.0 formats such as RSS and are freely available.


For example, we operate in the digital publishing sector.  Through our main site, 3D Issue, every day we blog about interesting developments in our market space.  Each month we create a newsletter to our clients which is basically a review of our monthly blogging activities.  We do not have the resource to report on everything and we are aware that there is a lot more activity in this and peripheral markets that are of interest to our readers. I want to increase the  stickiness of our monthly newsletter, and as I know what alternate news source my readers are interested in, I can harness those resources through the inclusion of their RSS content and help drive traffic to those articles by packaging them within our digital edition.  This is commonly used practise in standard online media platforms and should be adapted by magazine publishers.

Should the reader choose to read a third party article, you can service that article through a browser embedded inside your 3D Issue Hubs publication.  So you will service the reader’s content needs, push traffic to the third party site and content while retaining your audience within your platform. Its win, win.

By Paul Mc Nulty


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