Topics, questions and answer highlighted in Innovations 2013 webinar

More than 150 people from all over the world joined FIPP today for the Innovations in Magazines 2013 World Report webinar, hosted by FIPP president and CEO Chris Llewellyn and Innovations editors Juan Senor and John Wilpers of Innovation International Media Consulting Group.

Senor and Wilpers presented case studies included in the report – highlighting on-going innovation in the magazine media industry or of interest to the magazine media industry – and afterwards answering participants’ questions.

Access a webcast of the Innovations in Magazine Media webinar.

Topics ranged from tablet apps innovations, e-singles, social media, e-commerce and mobile money, digital newsstands, video content and delivery, why print can still do certain things digital can’t and innovations in advertising.

They highlighted new skills sets editorial staff require, including being comfortable in front and behind the camera, deep understanding of social media and analytics and at least some skill in HTML. Furthermore, there is a clear case to bring developers into the editorial environment. “This cannot be outsourced anymore,” said Senor, and Senor and Wilpers suggest a ratio of one developer for every five journalists.

Participant questions included:
Which countries are most innovative (when it comes to magazine media)?

Senor highlighted innovations taking place in Brazil, encouraging participants to look towards Sao Paulo for innovation in both print and digital. “Second to that, there are the usual suspects like London and New York.” Wilpers also mentioned innovation in Germany and France, saying that increasingly they are beginning to see innovation in Asian countries, too, particularly China.

A question related to magazine app categories and downloads, and Senor indicated that lessons learnt over the past three to four years included that subscriptions work better than single copy sales, that the size of apps “matter greatly” (convenience of download) and that publishers cannot get away any longer with simply “selling PDFs in a kiosk”. They have to re-invent the experience.

Senor and Wilpers encouraged publishers to continue with experimentation. Said Senor, “this is really the beginning of forever, (trying and failing is not an issue) but we have to put money and effort behind our ability to tell stories across (transmedia) platforms.” Wilpers emphasised the importance of people, “not necessarily young people, but people with open minds and willing to experiment.”

Another participant asked about print innovation. Senor and Wilpers pointed out the Abril case study in the Innovations Report, as well as examples of reverse publishing (digital to print) indicating the importance of print, and indeed innovation in print. [Also watch here how we brought the cover of Innovations 2013 to life through print-to-digital AR technology. Several other print pages in Innovations 2013 were similarly enhanced]. Llewellyn further referred to the wide coverage in the UK of Net-a-porter’s imminent launch of their print magazine as an example of how magazines still have the ability to excite.

An interesting question asked whether “we can still talk about the magazine business,” given the cross-platform nature of what magazines do today. FIPP’s Chris Llewellyn mentioned that FIPP and the MPA (USA) have adopted the phrase “magazine media” to “explain the transmedia nature of our business”. Senor emphasised that regardless of the name, it is important to “go out and deliver transmedia (not multi-media) experiences (from a content – editorial and advertising – perspective, as well as how you sell advertising, i.e. transmedia audiences, not space).”

[Any thoughts on this? We’d love to hear from you – email Helen Bland and/or Cobus Heyl with your ideas!]

Innovations in Magazines 2013 World Report includes 80 of the best magazine media innovations of the past year. It not only celebrates innovation having taken place, but also aims to stimulate on-going innovation within the industry.

To put YOUR SUCCESFUL INNOVATIONS forward for the next edition, please contact John Wilpers at Innovation International Media Consulting Group.

Access a webcast of the Innovations in Magazine Media World Report webinar.

Visit for more on Innovations 2013 (and other FIPP publications) or to purchase a copy. You can also view a video interview with John Wilpers here.

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