Friday, January 14, 2011

Magazine publishers need to think like developers, stop pursuing the wrong goals: software CEO

Magazine publishers who completely botched their web strategy are now compounding their mistakes by getting their iPad strategy completely wrong, according to David Koretz, the founder & CEO of software company BlueTie and the chairman & CEO of online marketing developer Adventive
In a post on the Online Publishing Insider, he lays down a scorching analysis of how publishers are blaming the platform for their lack of knowing how to use new technology.
The core of the problem lies in how publishers think about the iPad. Just look at the headlines: "Will the iPad save print?" asks one; "Savior crucified" proclaims another. These headlines make two huge assumptions, both of which are totally wrong.
The first mistake, he says, is pursuing the wrong goal and refusing to abandon old ideas:
We don't need a print experience on the iPad -- we need a better content consumption experience for the iPad.
The second mistake is to think of a platform like iPad as a solution, rather than a tool.
The iPad isn't driving more digital magazines for the same reason that the Amazon Kindle isn't selling more terrible books.
Other points, into which he goes in more detail:
  • Opt-out is dead ( "If you start your discussions with the idea that you should be able to own and sell user data, instead of how you create an incredible user experience, you are destined to fail.").
  • Without a subscription model, digital magazines are doomed.
  • Publishers are wasting time arguing about revenue share instead of getting the advantage of being early adopters.
  • Publishers need to think like developers, about features and experience.
  • Publishers can learn from crack dealers by giving the "first hit free".
  • Publishers can avoid the mistakes of the music industry.
  • Technologies die for one reason: because something better replaces them. ("Make no mistake; the iPad will not save print publishing. Nothing saved the telegram, either."

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