Newsweek Going Fully Digital in 2013

Newsweek on iPad

After 80 years in print, Newsweek recently announced it will cease all print publications at the end of this year. Newsweek will consolidate all of its existing publications into a single, worldwide edition named Newsweek Global, targeting a mobile audience.

“Exiting print is an extremely difficult moment for all of us,” says the company’s statement. “But as we head for the 80th anniversary of Newsweek next year we must sustain the journalism that gives the magazine its purpose—and embrace the all-digital future.”

While the publication’s print sales declined nearly 10 percent in the past year, its digital presence has seen significant growth. now attracts over 15 million unique visitors a month. With data from a recent Pew Research Study indicating that nearly 40 percent of Americans get their news from an online source and mobile device & tablet use growing exponentially, Newsweek felt the time was right for the transition to an all-digital format.

“In our judgment, we have reached a tipping point at which we can most efficiently and effectively reach our readers in all-digital format. This was not the case just two years ago. It will increasingly be the case in the years ahead,” (Baba Shetty, CEO).

The last print edition of Newsweek will be their December 31 issue.


Source: A Turn of the Page for Newsweek

Branding for Blunts: How would Ad Agencies Brand Marijuana?

Proposition 19, the recent initiative to legalize marijuana for the masses in California may have failed, but that’s not stopping ad agencies, firms and potential future growers of the “cash crop” from thinking about how to brand pot should it ever make its way onto convenience store shelves.

Just what might a carton of joints look like? How magazine advertisements try to persuade you to buy one brand of pot over another? Newsweek recently asked two of New York’s most well-established ad agencies, Pentagram and Mother, to show their take on what pot branding might look like in the future. Package designs, billboards, print ads, even images of an iPad weed recipe app are all available for your viewing pleasure in a slide show on Newsweek’s site, presenting us with some interesting –and humorous – ideas on how pot products might be branded across various mediums.

Northern Lights, a pot brand developed by Pentagram, takes its name and design inspiration from the effects of a well-known, award-winning strain of marijuana. The brand’s mascot, Onehit the Wonder Moose and his smoky breath, representative of the Aurora Borealis (aka the Northern Lights) adorns packages billboards and magazine ads that focus on the lighter, more humorous side of marijuana use.

Mother shares a similar vein as Pentagram in its approach to pot branding, but with a very different look and feel to their designs. Mother’s Finest, is a pot brand composed of various blends similar to tobacco products by Marlboro or Camel, with each blend having its own unique appeal. With branding reminiscent of art and design of the 60s, psychedelic patterns and heavy serif fonts are used throughout environmental displays, packaging and signage. Color is also used as a signifier of the mood that each blend is best suited to.

“We imagined ‘Mother’s Finest’ to be the Marlboro of weed and established an occasion based marketing and packaging approach to give consumers the exact high they were looking for based on the activities of their particular day” (Mother New York).

Print in The Age of The iPad

Time Magazine on Apple's iPad

It’s an understatement to say that May 2010 was a big month for the publishing industry.

Even before it’s hotly anticipated arrival in stores nationwide in early April, chances are you had at least heard of the iPad. Launching internationally in May with both Wi-Fi and 3G + Wi-Fi versions available, this device is without a doubt going to change the way consumers, developers and publishers view the digital publication or “e-zine”.

The iPad offers publishers a chance to come up with enhanced e-books that contain images, links, background material, embedded audio and even video (Priya Ganapati, Wired Magazine). Not only is it changing the face of many well-known publications, it also offers unique new ways for advertisers to reach out to their customer base – and larger players are quickly jumping on the bandwagon. FedEx, for example, has a three-month, exclusive advertiser deal for Newsweek iPad apps. Publishers prepared with their own apps stand to make enormous potential profits: Time is charging $200,000 for a single spot in its first eight issues designed for the iPad (Chris Foresman, ARS Technica).

Interestingly, despite the growing popularity of e-readers like the Kindle, Nook and iPad, and the growing demand for apps on these devices, the market for printed publications remains stable. According to Mediamark Research & Intelligence, readership among consumer magazines grew nearly one full percentage point higher over the last year and more than four percent over the past five years. Averaging 300 million paid subscriptions last year, it would be foolish to say that no one reads magazines anymore.

“Clearly, magazines continue to resonate on many levels with consumers, and this is reflected in the enormous trust and value readers have for their favorite magazine titles.” (Jack Griffin, President, Meredith International Media)

The Power of Print Ad

If you’ve flipped through any well-known publication recently, you may have noticed an ad in support of printed magazines themselves. Titled The Power of Print, it’s a $90-million campaign that launched earlier this month (April for weeklies). Headed by media giants Time Inc., Conde Nast, Hearst Meredith Corp. and Wenner Media, The Power of Print campaign aims to convince readers and advertisers alike that print is still as relevant as it’s always been while also preparing readers for the apps that are sure to come on e-readers and other mobile devices.

“Going digital is very important to Time Inc., but I don’t want my clients to believe that no one is reading the printed word.” (Ann Moore, Chief Executive, Time Inc.)

With more devices like the iPad to come, is the death of print closer than we think or will the persistence of publishers at Time and Wenner Media lead to its revitalization? For the time being, it looks like keep on enjoying the best of both worlds.