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We kick things off this week with a new magazine launch from customer publishing agency Sunday following a pitch run through APA's ASK service. On behalf of Boden, Sunday has created a solution which is a pioneering departure from other retail customer magazines, breaking a number of magazine conventions along the way, with the new publication A Thousand Little Things. The bi-annual publication draws on social media to generate a crowd-sourced, co-created magazine which is a collection of thoughts, ideas, inspiration and items contributed by well-known journalists including Giles Coren, Piers Morgan, Jeremy Clarkson and AA Gill, as well as Boden staff and customers. The launch title will be sent to around 150,000 targeted customers.
If you are attending the 2011 FA Cup at Wembley Stadium this Saturday, 14th May, you will find that you are having a richer experience thanks to Haymarket Network and FATV. Haymarket Network has produced the Official Matchday Programme which allows smartphone users to access a range of FATV videos via QR codes that will help deepen the experience and allow fans to consume content across multiple platforms.
Meanwhile, Home Counties-based print company Newnorth will produce all of APA's print publications, including its directory and award and conference material, starting from May. Since joining the APA as an affiliate member two years ago, Newnorth has since won a number of magazine jobs from APA full members.
The APA has also bolstered its partnership with Econsultancy, the leading resource for digital marketing intelligence, reports and events, to offer members a new and improved programme of training. Through the partnership APA members will among other things receive a 10% discount on a range of courses which are available via Econsultancy.
A couple of dates to get in your diary. The speakers for the first Scottish APA Digital Breakfast in Edinburgh have been confirmed - find out who they are here! The event takes place on Thursday 19th May and will look at current trends in digital media, digital strategy for brands, social media for business and the role of email in digital marketing.
Econsultancy will be hosting its The Future of Digital Marketing event on 15th June, which takes senior digital marketing strategists on a fast-forward tour of the tactics and technologies that will change the way they engage with their audiences. For more information click here.
In other news, research by the APA has found that the majority of iPad owners prefer free branded apps to paid-for non-branded apps. 73% of the respondents would opt to download an app associated with a brand over an unbranded paid-for app, which shows that iPads have increased consumers' appetite for branded apps as long as the content is well-produced, relevant and engaging. Julia Hutchison, chief operating officer of the APA, said: "Consumers hold branded content in high esteem and brands should take heed of this fact. Consumers who interact online are more likely to buy if the company offers additional branded content, which is extremely compelling for brands."
Speaking of iPads, Brandrepublic reported that Condé Nast's US division is planning to roll out subscriptions to a range of its publications on Apple's iPad, including Wired, GQ, Vanity Fair and Glamour. It is reported to be the first major magazine publisher to bring an iPad subscription offering to the market.
Meanwhile cult technology brand Apple has leapfrogged Google and IBM to become the world's most valuable brand according to Millward Brown's annual Brandz survey. Apple's brand value soared 84% this year to £93.3 billion, on the back of iPhone 4, iPad and iPad 2 sales as well as desktop and laptop computers.
It has not been such a good week for Google, as this comes at the same time as Silicon Valley investor and writer Esther Dyson has proclaimed that Facebook will win out over Google in the long run. Dyson said that Facebook would end up being bigger than Google because it's in the "people" business and Google is not. However, maybe Google has got one back on the social network for now as revelations of Facebook hiring a PR agency to place anti-Google stories in the press continue to emerge.
Magazine lovers should head on over to the magCulture blog where Jeremy Leslie shares his latest find, a book about magazines. ‘Behind the Zines: Self-Publishing Culture' is a new book by German publishers Gestalten which looks at self-published magazines, from small zines to those with more ambitious print runs. It also offers interviews with magazine-makers and publishers.
In social media news, and on the back of a new Social Media Benchmark study by eDigital Research, Econsultancy has taken a closer look at which UK retailers are doing well on Facebook and Twitter and the opportunity of social commerce. According to Econsultancy, retailers are continuing to grown their presence on social networks, though less than half are currently offering consumers the option of shopping from these branded social media accounts.
Of the 20 retailers studied, it becomes apparent that fashion retailers have been creative with their Facebook landing pages, with most using custom pages with lots of colour and interactive content that encourages users to click on the ‘like' button. eDigital also found that just nine of the 20 are offering users the chance to shop from their Facebook pages, which they consider a missed opportunity. Read more about the study and its findings here.
On the topic of Facebook, according to research by youth marketing agency Dubit nearly half of UK teenagers have not heard of location-based check-in services like Facebook Places and Foursquare. Of those who have heard of these services, 58% did not use them because they "do not see the point". However, the most popular reasons for the adoption of the services by those who use them were that they find them fun and wanted their friends to know where they are. We expect this perception to change once Facebook Deals gains momentum and young people will be offered discounts through the social network.
Finally, US pop star Lady Gaga and social game producer Zynga have partnered up to create GagaVille - a neighbouring farm on popular Facebook game FarmVille. GagaVille will launch on 17th May and will showcase Lady Gaga's style and themes from her album and music videos; and gamers will also have exclusive access in FarmVille to songs from Gaga's new album ‘Born This Way' prior to the album launch later this month. Zynga is also partnering with Lady Gaga to offer branded virtual goods via Rewardville across ten of its games.