The very first session at the 3rd FIPP Asia-Pacific Digital Magazine Media Conference in Seoul, Korea, today (20 September) looked at how content is changing for publishers, and what they are doing to deliver it appropriately to their readers.
Nicholas Brett (pictured), managing director, magazines, BBC Worldwide, UK, charted the journey of the Good Food brand from its inception in 1989. The magazine has always been successful, Brett explained, but as technology developed, so did readers’ demands. The launch of the Good Food website came from readers’ demand for a database. “Readers were crying out for a database”, said Brett, explaining one of the reasons why the website was launched, after fearing it may cannibalise the print brand.
“Publishers need to realise that the customer is now king. If you are a savvy publisher, you will recognise this, and give your customers what they want”, Brett said. The Good Food website now attracts five million unique users per day, and 36 per cent of its website traffic comes from mobile devices, which indicates how this content is being consumed.
Jati Hidayat from Femina Group in Indonesia talked in this session about a new direction taken by the company in recent times, whereby the editor-in-chief has become chief community officer. It is now the job of the chief community officer to manage the brand across platforms, explained Hidayat. “Content from our brands must be able to be passed on among platforms and shared by community members”, he said. Femina’s brands encourage direct participation from their communities, and the company’s aim is to empower women through its content.
Hidayat described a campaign created by the company with the aim to empower women, which included a competition, events, seminars, exhibitions and relationships with radio and TV stations. During the campaign, Femina was able to engage with more than 13,000 women in Indonesia and overall inspired more than 22.5 million people. This engagement alone shows how the company had changed direction and is focusing on what its readers wants, and the best ways to reach them to achieve an optimum response.
Joel Ingulsrud, East Asia sales director at WoodWing Asia Pacific, Japan was the final speaker in this morning session, who talked about the necessity for efficient workflow and parallel editorial flow in order to meet the challenges of multi-platform publishing. Ingulsrud used Photo J magazine as an example of this efficiency, as the magazine acted as soon as the iPad was launched in 2010 and created an app. Of course, the app has developed since then, but Ingulsrud believes that adopting this platform early on gave the magazine a huge advantage over its competitors. The launch of Apple’s Newsstand has helped Photo J’s app to achieve a 300 per cent boost in readership.