Monday, December 15, 2014

It's Time to Get a Grip on Digital Magazine Publishing

This headline, from Advertising Age last week, says all that needs to be said about the current state of digital magazine publishing: "Major Ad Buyer Tells Magazines It Won't Buy Tablet Circ Like It's Print Any More". For those who think this is just a hollow negotiating tactic on the part of ad buyers, think again. This tactic's got teeth: it works because digital magazine publishing, as it is currently being done, doesn't.

Should we even be surprised? An industry expert recently told me that "at this point, many publishers view digital versions as a non-strategic platform. The bias is toward easy, fast and cheap." Does that sound like a compelling value proposition for advertisers?

Yeah, I didn't think so either.

Guys, listen: the experiment has run its course. We gave it a shot, but the results are in: digital replica 'flipbooks' do not work. We're going to have to try a little harder if we want to compete with the other digital media that are threatening to run us out of business. Honestly, who wants to thumb through one of these flipbooks on their smartphone? They are cumbersome, poorly laid-out, and unengaging. It's time the industry gets serious about digital magazine publishing. Announcements like the one above are just the tip of the iceberg. If we continue to regard new, expensive, and powerful digital devices as glorified .pdf viewers, our readers are going to take their eyeballs elsewhere. If we continue to indiscriminately replicate our print content on electronic devices and insist on calling it a 'digital edition', we will soon find ourselves on the wrong side of a large-scale advertising exodus. And, if we continue to disregard the predominance of smartphones in the consumer market, the media industry will leave us behind.

These things are all different sides of the same coin, and we've been talking about them for a while. Perhaps it will take more major announcements like the one above before we start getting taken seriously. But that time will come, and when it does, you'll want to be ahead of the curve.

PixelEdge is your turnkey solution for digital magazine publishing. Our digital apps come with full support, maintenance, guidance, and content-delivery. To you, this means that you don't have to devote any of your own resources and at a fraction of what it would cost elsewhere. Find us on the web at, or email us at today!

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Paper versus Digital: Why Most Magazine Apps Don't Cut It

I'm going to let you in on a little secret that seems to have eluded many of today's magazine publishers:

Paper and digital are not the same!

If this seems obvious to you, then you should ask yourself the following question: why are the majority of digital magazine apps simply taking print content and replicating it in digital versions? 

If you don't know what I mean, scroll through the Apple newsstand or download the Next Issue app. The majority of digital magazine apps are simply carbon-copies of publishers' print versions. Now, I don't know about you, but I didn't pay $400 for a new iPad only to have it deliver me the same functionality as a simple piece of paper. It's no wonder digital magazine apps are getting such bad press lately.

You may have seen another post of ours, where we talk about the importance of doing something unique with your branded digital magazine apps. The idea is to craft a universe around your brand by leveraging multiple points of engagement with your readers, each point offering something of unique value.

Here are some unique ways you can leverage your digital magazine app:

- Audio & video content with the ability to cache files for offline access
- Navigable resource guides
- Social media feeds and social sharing capabilities
- Personalized user interfaces and exclusive content targeted to specific reader interests
- Targeted push notifications
- Forums and user-generated content
- Interactive activities and guides
- Fully scrollable articles (ditch the 'digital flipbook')

Publishers need to scrap the "I need an app because everyone else is doing it" mentality. Simply having an app without thinking about the role that it will play within your larger brand structure will more than likely result in disappointment. Moreover, publishers need to get out of the print-production cycle mindset. If you want your brand to stand out, you need to be engaging your readers frequently with high-quality content over a variety of channels. Done the right way, a unique, branded digital magazine app can play an important role in this strategy. 

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Why Your Company Needs Digital Publishing Software

One of the main reasons that media businesses fail is that their presence is not quite as broad as it needs to be. Technology has opened up entirely new avenues for digital marketing, and now people around the world are using the internet as a means of searching for information, reading, and communication. Media companies that learn to adapt and increase their online and mobile presences are much more likely to succeed. Typically a company will need to hire out to a third party that offers digital publishing software to help drive business.

Cost is usually one of the main reasons that a company refuses to branch out into the digital world. The cost of developing a user friendly application might be too steep for some business ventures. Most cost effective digital publishing software will lack user adaptability, and can lead to low comprehension rates among readers. Taking an exact replica of print media and converting it to a digital version increases download time and decreases ease of reading.

If your company is looking for a platform that will drive your business forward, PixelEdge should be your first stop. Our digital publishing software is both affordable and effective for every business. Each application is built with the goals of the client's company in mind. Over time, PixelEdge will help adapt your application to the growing needs of your customers and business. All of the technical work will be completed by professionals with years of expertise behind them. PixelEdge also offers full technical support. Choose the most professional, adaptable, and cost-effective company for your digital publishing needs. PixelEdge is focused on helping their clients grow their businesses and enhance their reader engagement!

PixelEdge is a mobile publishing agency dedicated to helping magazine publishers have effective mobile presences for their publications. We provide our clients with cost-effective apps that enhance the values of their brands, all for a fixed monthly price.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Should you let Facebook host your content on its mobile app?

As I'm sure you have heard, Facebook recently announced that it is developing a proposal to offer content hosting to media companies via its mobile app. At first glance, this seems like a compelling idea: Facebook is a huge driver of web traffic, particularly for media companies, and over 50% of digital media engagement occurs on mobile devices. If you're a publisher who is not already leveraging a digital publishing solution, there's a good chance you've considered jumping onto the e magazine bandwagon. But publishers should be wary. Here are some important things to consider:

1. Impressions on Facebook do not necessarily translate to brand recognition or loyalty

If someone clicks on your article in their newsfeed, reads and enjoys it, but then moves on, the probability that they will remember your brand is low. When your content is hosted on Facebook's servers, this means that the web traffic your content generates will not be yours. The crux is that Facebook controls the medium, and their ultimate incentive is to keep all of its traffic from leaving, plain and simple. Publishers right now are driving traffic through Facebook to get readers onto their websites, interacting with their content and enjoying memorable, sustained interactions with their brands. Facebook is attempting to change the game by positioning itself as the ultimate destination, rather than the conduit for digital media engagement. For publishers, this threatens brand recognition and undermines their attempts to generate loyal readers.

2. Social media is (probably) not the foundation of your brand

Social media is important, no doubt about it. Advertisers today value your content's ability to be circulated far and wide via Facebook, Twitter, and similar channels. But here's the thing: when you post an article to Facebook, you're competing with every other piece of content posted to the newsfeed for impressions, clicks, and shares. And there's a whole lot of content being posted to Facebook. Ultimately, winning content will be that which is optimized for the social medium. Are you optimizing your content for social? Are you confident in your ability to generate explosive viral content on a regular basis? If the answer to either of these questions is no, then social media is not the foundation of your brand and relying on it too heavily is a risky proposition. Rather, you need to connect everything you do into a bold narrative that spans your distribution channels. Your readers deserve the value your content offers. Why force them to drown in Facebook's limitless sea?

PixelEdge is a mobile publishing agency dedicated to helping magazine publishers have effective mobile presences for their publications. We provide our clients with cost-effective apps that enhance the values of their brands, all for a fixed monthly price.

Friday, October 31, 2014

Stay Relevant With Our Digital Magazine Software

It’s time to get your name out there and reach the new, mobile generation with an app. Digital magazine software is a steadily growing industry as everyone reads their magazines and newspapers on the go these days. Here at PixelEdge, that’s just what we do - we help enhance the value of your content by increasing your reader engagement and your opportunities for monetization. We do this month after month and year after year by building strong, long-term relationships with our clients.

First, we’ll work with you to create a branded app and then enhance it with additional features based on your ongoing feedback. With us, you’ll gain access to knowledgeable experts and their expertise who are focused on enhancing your content while delivering more value to your publication. We are always here to communicate with you and hear your questions and  concerns, and we value each and every opportunity to do so.

We all know that the internet is changing the game. Many people do not buy magazines and newspapers anymore. Instead, like most of us, they read these publications on their phone, tablet, or computer. How do you plan on keeping the attention of your audience if you’re still only printing your publications? It’s time to stand up to the competition and stay relevant. Here at PixelEdge, we can help you do just that.

Create a bold narrative for your brand that spans tradition and digital media. Call us today and let us help you get started.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Get Ahead With Digital Publishing Software

If your media business needs help moving forward into the digital era you need to look into digital publishing software. This type of technology allows you to create, publish and optimize your mobile applications and mobile magazines. People move quickly and expect their technology to follow suit. With the PixelEdge solution, it has never been easier to push your content across multiple mobile devices. Learn how you can increase your mobile presence with digital publishing software.

Your business will likely fall behind if you are not staying abreast of the latest digital medial trends. With our digital publishing software you can easily reach your audience on their mobile devices and tablets. More and more people read their news digitally, and readers are beginning to expect the ease and convenience of their digital devices for their media consumption. If you take your content mobile, it becomes easily accessible to millions of people. Analyze and track your company growth, engage with clients, and manage your brand digitally with PixelEdge's digital publishing software.

PixelEdge is a leading digital publishing software platform. We design an app for your publication and work with you to make sure that the application is branded properly. We also work to continully optimize the application to meet your overall company needs. Your brand presence will increase when you learn to embrace digital media with PixelEdge's digital publishing software.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

3 Quick Data Tips

In the last few months we have noticed a strong trend towards giving subscribers access to data and information via digital apps. While it is necessary to design content specifically for smartphones and not simply replicate print versions on digital devices, the real challenge is how to allow subscribers to easily access the data and information that most publishers possess. Below are some suggested ways of leveraging data to improve your publication.

Do you publish a resource guide? 
If so, your app could allow subscribers to search it based on their own criteria. A magazine covering mergers and acquisitions, for example, can publish a listing of all M & A firms and allow subscribers to search these firms based on geography, size of deal, industry and other criteria.

Do you publish summary financial data? 
Your app could give subscribers results based on individually specified criteria. A publisher covering commercial loans can allow subscribers to get summary results by geography, currency, underwriter, trustee and other parameters.

Do you publish technology trends? 
Your app could let subscribers get data for specific time periods and devices. A publisher covering mobile technology trends can allow subscribers to get usage data by region, platform, price range, etc.

PixelEdge not only offers a convenient publishing platform on which to leverage your content. Our software expertise can help you leverage the information and data in your servers, enabling your publication to offer readers what they value most.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Monetize with Mobile Advertising: What are the Options?

Despite a projected decrease in print ad revenues for the trade magazine industry (about 4.4% annually), digital ad revenues are expected to grow at an annual rate of 12.8%, reaching almost $2 billion in 2018Changing trends have pushed gaudy pop-ups out of popularity. Now, advertisers can be more creative when engaging readers. Options like sponsored content and rich media build high levels of ad engagement without annoying readers. Here are some digital advertising options that could work for you:

Location-Based Ads: Sell mobile ads based the on the location of your subscribers (if the subscriber approves this feature). This is particularly effective because it enables advertisers to target their audience geographically.

Rich Media: This can mean video, sounds, or games. You can cater what types you choose based on your audience and their interests. The most effective types of rich media advertisements are interactive, complementing the surrounding content and always giving readers an option to close out. As long as these ads don’t interfere with the content of the app, they are a smart option.

Sponsored Content Ads: As a relatively new concept in advertising, sponsored content is also what's known as a "native" ad. This term, which according to Mashable was accidentally coined by the investor Frank Wilson, indicates that an ad matches the content and user interface of where it is placed.  This is most commonly seen on news and video sites, where advertisers display articles or videos that are of interest to the audiences of these sites. These ads gear content to readers' interests while still being promotional in nature. Content for sponsored articles or videos can be created by your staff or your sponsors. 

At PixelEdge, we are always exploring new, effective ways to monetize your app. Contact us to learn more about the advertising and app publishing possibilities available.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

How PixelEdge Could Benefit Your Publication

If you work in the publishing industry, chances are you're considering digital publishing. You may have even looked at various digital publishing solutions. Rather than recite a bunch of familiar buzzwords, I want to present two straightforward reasons why PixelEdge is the solution you've been looking for.

1. Adaptability

Developing an app is expensive and complicated and, if you haven't done it already, I'm willing to bet cost is the number one limiting factor. While there are cheaper options, most lack adaptability. Their features sets are neither versatile nor customizable to your publication or your readers. They require that you do all the design work yourselves, which (if you lack digital design expertise) means that you are simply taking your print content and publishing an exact replica to a digital platform. This may sound fine, but consider the fact that most of your print content is probably not optimized for digital devices and their varying screen sizes, and may also take an absurd amount of time for users to download. Finally, these solutions will not offer your readers any technical support should they have difficulties using the app. All these factors combine to create a low-quality reading experience. This is not the way you want your brand to be represented to your readers, but don't just take my word for it.

At PixelEdge, we've developed an alternative that is affordable and effective. We start by developing a basic app for you and then enhance it based on your needs and opportunities. Plainly, this means that we can adapt your app over time at no additional cost to you. For a fixed monthly price, your features set is always customized for your audience and your content is optimized for all of your readers' digital devices. Finally, we offer full technical support and expertise. Your continued partnership with us ensures that your app gives readers an optimal reading experience that is an impressive representation of your brand.

2. Convenience

PixelEdge wants digital publishing to be as convenient as possible for publishers. Our team executes all the technical work so you can focus on the content. Simply submit your print design work in any file format and we will optimize it for your digital app. We can even take the content straight from your content management system so there is no added burden on your team. Below is an example of what our conversion process can accomplish:

The image above is a client's print design in a .pdf format. Notice how the graph is detailed, small, and difficult to read. In cases like this we can actually take the raw data to create a new graph for your digital version that is much more visually appealing, easy to read, and engaging:

This is just one of the many ways our convenient conversion process can work for you. We can also add interactive elements to charts and graphs to make them even more engaging. If you're interested in learning more, please don't hesitate to contact one of us. We would be happy to set you up with a demo, answer any of your questions, and even do a mock-up of what your app could look like.

At PixelEdge, our business model is focused on long-term partnerships with our clients. We are committed to finding you new ways to generate revenue with your digital publication while enhancing reader engagement with each iteration. Our philosophy is very simple: add value to our clients' publications, month after month and year after year.

Interested in chatting? Send me an email at and I will be happy to schedule an appointment. Or, simply visit our website at today!

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Ditch the Print? Paper’s Place in a Digital World

Most publishers concede that digital is here to stay. But when told to transition from print to pixel, many publications still struggle with tight budgets and little technological expertise. A full and immediate transition seems unrealistic, and there is still conflict over the future of print. In April, the Wall Street Journal wrote about the purposeful place of paper-intensive catalogs for retail websites. However, by June, Ad-age countered that in our “digital, eco-conscious world,” even the ubiquitous table catalog has no place and needs to join the digital age.

If that’s true of the glossy editorial-style magazines, where does this leave trade publications with their data-heavy text? Stuck between the pressure of dwindling ad sales and hesitancy to move toward digital, what can professional publications that don’t want to abandon paper do with digital? The answer is, frankly, a lot. Here are just a couple of ways your digital and print publication can complement one another.

Enhance Your Digital Version

Yes, PDF viewers are easy, low-cost options to put text on a tablet. But readers want what they can’t get with paper. Consider experimenting with video, audio, and interactive data. Or invite readers is using infographics and interactive charts. Simple things like adding vibrant colors and rich images make readers excited to come back to you publication again and again.

Invite Participation

Your material shouldn’t just talk at readers. Allow them to talk back! Avoid unmonitored comment boards, and instead link your blog and social media outlets to your publication. This will allow the kind of reader participation that is key to engagement.

By realizing the digital world’s strengths it is possible to have a digital publication without laying print to rest. While there is no doubt that the world is moving toward greater digitization at every turn, your paper and digital publications don’t need to be at odds. If the two can complement each other, it’s a win for both you and your readers. 

Check out how can help you deliver a digital publication to your readers.

Friday, August 1, 2014

Content Promotion is Key to Market Penetration for New Magazines

In previous posts, I've written about the need to chart a new publishing approach that leverages the power of digital media for established publications. Here, I want to briefly discuss how we can use digital media to grow publications that are still in their infancy.

If you've recently started a new publication, you are no doubt facing a number of challenges including the need to attract advertisers and generate revenues given a small readership. As someone with experience working at startups, I know these problems can overwhelm and draw your attention and energy away from that which you got into the business to do: produce something great.

As I've mentioned before, digital publishing gives you a great deal of flexibility when it comes to distributing your content. Once you've produced an article, the marginal cost of distributing it to each additional reader is virtually nothing. This presents a wonderful opportunity for new publications: you can now give away samples and previews of your content without paying high costs for printing and distribution. This provides an inexpensive means for you to promote your publication and gain access to new readers.

This method also streamlines the processes of content creation and marketing. Since your magazine's content is your marketing collateral, you don't need to divide resources between content creation and marketing. Through social media and other online channels you can gain access to virtually limitless pools of potential readers. Encourage them to download your app and give them some things for free. Trial issues, sample articles, blog posts, and newsletters are great places to start.

You believe in your content, so allow it to promote itself and give you a larger return on the time and energy you devote to making it great. Enable new readers to think "I like this, and I want more".

Ultimately, your readers are the lifeblood of your publication and they have more long-term value than any advertising partnership or interim revenue stream you establish in the early stages. I'm not suggesting you shouldn't pursue these things. Just don't sacrifice the quality of your content doing so.

Send me an email at for more information, and visit for examples of our current work. 

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

New Ideas for Reader Engagement with Digital Magazines

A few weeks ago I watched, amused, as a two year-old girl tried to decode the ancient edifice known as a 'book.' Green Eggs and Ham had a user interface she was utterly perplexed by: she was trying move between pages by swiping along their surfaces, like one would on an iPad. After numerous failed attempts, the girl's mother stepped in to demonstrate the archaic act of physically turning the page.

Apparently, this is not as uncommon an occurrence as we might have hoped.

Although anecdotes like this might cause us to retort with a back in my day-esque quip, they are also indicative of the fact that tablets, e-readers, and other digital devices are fundamentally changing the way we think about, and interact with, digital media. These devices offer huge opportunities for publishers. Below are a few ideas.

1. Deliver Your Content More Frequently

Do you remember when music first started being digitized and the iTunes store took off? This was a challenge to traditional album sales, but it also presented an opportunity: digital media allowed studios to sell songs individually because they no longer incurred the costs of producing and distributing physical CDs.

Now, consider these principles as they apply to digital publishing. Because you distribute your content via a digital medium, you are no longer bound by the same constraints that you faced when you published only in print. Without incurring the costs of printing and distributing a full magazine, you can deliver content to your readers in more frequent, smaller bursts.

Blog posts, short articles, and even video and audio updates are among the many ways that we can engage our readers between issues. The average smartphone user is within six feet of a tablet or smartphone at any given time, so we should be taking advantage of the opportunity to engage them more regularly. This holds the potential to keep your brand in readers' minds and ultimately make your content more valuable, given a more engaged readership.

2. Converse with your Readers, and Enable them to Converse with One Another

Studies show that people prefer doing things as part of a community, rather than independently. As a digital publisher, you have an entire community of readers at your fingertips, waiting to be engaged in discussions about your articles. Why not take advantage of this?

Comment sections in articles and forums within your app are an exciting way to enhance user engagement by facilitating discussions among your readers. These discussions increase the vitality of your content by enabling it to grow organically, driven by user comments and discussion.

If you're worried about needing to moderate the content of forums and comments sections, remember that you have complete control over your app interface. Require that users' comments be displayed under their real names to prevent anonymous spamming and trolling. One solution could even be to link user profiles to LinkedIn or Facebook accounts, which has the added benefit of integrating your app with existing social media. Reserve the right to ban user accounts from commenting if they post inappropriate content. Finally, reward users who post regular, positive content by featuring their profiles in forums and comments sections and perhaps even give them access to special content within your app. These are methods that Facebook and LinkedIn utilize to encourage positive user engagement. If you put them to work you could transform your magazine app into its own miniature social network.

Interested in these ideas? At PixelEdge, we are continually working to bring digital publishing solutions to magazine publishers, no matter what their sizes are. We are your partners in mobile publishing, and we put our expertise and experience in the hands of each of our clients. Send me an email at for more information, and visit for examples of our current work.