How to attract sailors and make them pay for digital content in a fast changing sailing world where there is
Increasing nautical competition
Free weather & tides available online
Chart plotters growing in sophistication
We carried out a lot of customer research and discovered that there was an opportunity not just for making the rich and detailed nautical data available in digital format, but also in bringing the information to life in ways that allow users to interact directly with it and enjoy value over and above that of the raw data.
We helped conceive the vision of becoming the leading "planning & learning brand" for Sailors by rolling out a phased set of services:
Guides & Directories
Learning - tools to help sailors of all levels
Planning - information for your journey
This was achieved with 1 technology platform providing a coherent solution for sailors.
A specific example is in the area of passage planning. The key sailing goal was "I want to go from A to B. I want to know how far it is and when I can get there". To deliver this, we provided an unique mix of planning features, as well as searching, live weather feeds, scalable maps etc, integrated under the respected "Reeds" brand established by the original publication.
The Reeds nautical almanac and route planner provide valuable sailing data, applications and advice to sailors, who use them weekly throughout the sailing calendar to plan their sailing trips. They are available as desktop and iPad applications so far and have monthly updates.
The content and services were free with book purchases for the first year and are now separate subscription services. Sales for both formats, iPad and desktop, are growing steadily, as new features are added. Feedback is positive, constructive and continuous!
"In terms of my first year sailing and purchasing various Garmin/Bellfield software and others to get me on the water, the Digital Almanac is by far the best interface and by far the most useful product."
"I've been playing with the online Reeds all weekend. It's great! A super addition to anyone's sailing library."
"I have found the new digital version really useful, especially on a delivery trip from the Solent to Milford Haven last month. Being able to flick through the new tidal stream info helped us quickly work out our best timings for the passage."
"Just wanted to say how much I like the new Reeds Online, very useful for passage planning from the office, very well thought out and ambitious."
"I have greatly enjoyed trying out the new Almanac application on my home computer."
"I think it is brilliant. I¹m sure it will develop further, but it is already very, very useful."