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According to the latest National Readership Survey (NRS), Asda Magazine which is published by Publicis Blueprint has seen an increase of 5% in its readership, and now stands at 5,358,000. This comes just weeks after ABC figures established that demand for branded content remains high with 23 customer magazine titles appearing in the top 100 list of magazines by circulation. The latest results makes Asda Magazine the UK's fourth biggest publication by circulation; the magazine contributes a sizeable £260 million to the grocer's business each year.
Another supermarket magazine, Sainsbury's Magazine has strengthened its editorial team with Victoria Riedl, former Beauty Editor of Elle UK. Riedl is joining as Beauty Editor and will revamp the food and lifestyle title's beauty pages as well as share her expert tips and tricks with readers.
Meanwhile, global publisher John Brown has launched new electric vehicle (EV) website TheChargingPoint.com. The site aims to fill an important gap in the market, as 2011 is being seen as a launch pad year for the revitalised electric car industry. Providing visitors with advice, information, and all the latest news and opinion around the electric car sector, TheCharginPoint.com's editorial is headed up by editor-in-chief, and renowned motoring journalist, Gavin Conway.
Interesting news from August Media this week; the customer publishing agency has established a social media consultancy, continuing its investment in creating high-quality, engaging content for clients and is already working on projects for existing clients IKEA and Butlins.
In other publishing news, Condé Nast celebrated Glamour Magazine's 10th year by making the first ever issue available digitally through Glamour's Facebook page for 48 hours. New Media Age also reported that across the board, publishers are beginning to see significant increases in traffic after implementing Facebook functionality on their sites, including ‘Like' buttons.
Publisher of the free titles ShortList and Stylist announced they will issue a bi-annual men's fashion magazine, ShortList Mode, which will be distributed in London, Leeds, Birmingham, Glasgow and Manchester in a print run of 250,000. On the topic of men's fashion and style magazines, this week also saw the launch of self-styled "intelligent magazine for men" new UK quarterly PORT. According to Creative Review it mixes classic and contemporary elements, such as traditional magazine illustration alongside great imagery. The magazine also available as an iPad app, designed by Magculture's Jeremy Leslie, which offers a seamless transition to digital.
Over on Brandrepublic they have taken a closer look at how to create great video content as reports by IT and networking giant Cisco show video is set to dominate the internet in the coming years. In its white paper, published last year, the company predicted that by 2014, video in all its form would exceed 91% of global consumer traffic. Internet video alone is said to account for 57% of consumer internet traffic.
Apple's Steve Jobs made a surprise appearance at the 2nd March launch of the company's iPad 2. However, the "initial response from digital and tech specialists suggests the aim of making 2011 ‘the year of the iPad 2' could well be too ambitious" reported Brandrepublic. Despite offering a "thinner, faster and lighter" device with two cameras, HD video capture and editing, the industry is wondering if this will be enough to entice consumers. Speaking to Brandrepublic, James Tye, chief executive of Dennis Publishing, described the iPad 2 as a "good tidy-up" on the previous device, but its updates fell short of an overhaul. "A bit more power under the hood is going to be useful for games developers, but of little benefit to publishers," he said.
Following the launch of the iPad 2, speaking at the paidContent 2011 conference at the Times Center, Forrester senior analyst Sarah Rotman Epps urged media owners "not to over-invest" in tablet devices. Using News Corp's The Daily as an example Epps said: "This is a big market. But, to recoup the return on investment of the scale The Daily is putting out there, for example, Rupert would need something like a million subscribers to cope with that. Epps acknowledged the coming wave of Android and other tablets, which "will offer publishers a lot more flexibility over their monetization models and customer data. However - we see solid products with fatally flawed product strategies - products that are priced too high, relying too much on carriers for pricing and distribution strategy and are not radically different enough to grab significant market share this year." A few words of caution there from Epps that customer publishing agencies working on iPad apps ought to note, even if pricing might not be an issue.
As more newspapers and digital magazines are going behind paywalls, entertainment title Variety - also using a paywall method - announced the launch of a breaking news blog outside of its paywall. Like The Times, Variety hides all of its content, which consequently discourages websites from linking and sharing its content. The new Showblitz blog is designed to take on rival industry blogs that have stolen traffic from Variety over the years, while encouraging other websites to link to it again. This is a very interesting move by the publisher and as Wallblog writes something The Times ought to think about doing as it is another way of selling great content.