Monday, 4 November 2013

Newspapers see the Web as an opportunity for digital publishing. They're not sitting on their hands.




I've often said that the 'threat' of the web to newspapers doesn't have to be that - it can be an opportunity. 

One way, as I suggested in an earlier recent Blog, was to turn the huge online audience that newspapers get, into a shopping mall. Get the readers to buy and take a margin.

Another, is to create online publishing through dedicated 'imagazines'. The Irish Independent Group, Ireland's biggest newspaper publishers, are doing just that through a series of imags.

They create and publish online with more and more advertising support. Key to it is Video because it's one benefit that a newspaper publisher can offer online, which they can't offer in the printed version.

Their current edition called 'Lineout' (http://supplements.independent.ie/?xml=line%20out%20iMag%20&iid=83143) gives you a sense of the effort, money and quality that is being put into them. This is actually, their 6th edition. 

Generally, this one is about Rugby (although there's lots of lifestyle features in it) and I've listed some of the video here in case you're interested, which Streamabout produced for them. What they've been able to do is to use their clout (unlike say, a start-up could) to call on big names like the Irish out-half, Jonny Sexton;



And the aspiring out-half, Ian Madigan;



Or legends like Tommy Bowe;



Or Conor Murray;



Or Peter O'Mahony;



And so on. And by having such high profile names (there's lots more in it), they can then draw in high profile advertisers who want to be associated with it. So it really works.

Lineout is only one in what is an ever-growing series of imagazine online publishing. The Independent also bring to bear a huge resource in editorial with really experienced people (such as Bairbre Power the Editor of Lineout) who understand how to put it all together.

And of course, by placing it on their site (www.independent.ie) they instantly deliver views and impressions. Substantial views.

Newspapers are not sitting on their hands contemplating the threat of the internet. 

They are capitalising on it.