UX teams must be pragmatic and favour operational revenue

Immediate’s digital magazine content comes in three formats – PDF, enhanced PDF and fully interactive magazine.

Although it’s easy to scoff at a PDF magazine, readers want the content online and this quick solution adds to the value of a subscription immediately. Some PDF solutions completely suit a particular type of content and audience.

One example is the Gardener’s World iPad app which has used embedded audio to allow readers to play birdsong from within a feature about garden birds.

gardener's world magazine

Content discovery and subscriptions are as important as improving the product

Following on from the last point, iteration is as much about enabling readers to find existing content and about selling current products to customers as it is about improving the content per se.

That blend of optimisation and improvement is another part of the pragmatism needed from both editorial and product teams.

Well-loved brands can give new products a lead in empty markets

Another great case study. In the pursuit of new revenue streams, the You and Your Wedding brand started a venue search engine, a transactional lead based business doing something that previously didn’t really exist.

The brand is strong enough to ensure that over time a good share of the venue hunting audience may use the product, and significant referral fees can be gained in what is a highly valuable market.

you and your wedding venue finder

Think like a retailer

This is probably the chief point to be made. Immediate Media has a CRM database with 4m records, and more than 1m subscriptions.

Using this data smartly to increase transactions is the key point.

A case in point is the Radio Times’ rapidly expanding travel business. In the 15 months since launch it made £5m in revenue, £1m in January 2014 alone.

Travel partners were chosen based on the audience demographic and the ability to achieve complex integration comfortably. These partners include Holiday Extras, Riviera Travel and Voyages of Discovery.

As this model is working well, the next step could see it being rolled out for a product such as insurance.

rt travel on ipad

Find the balance between ‘editorially led’ and ‘product driven’

Part of thinking like a retailer is having the right organisational structure and mix of staff. This chart shows what the approach is at Immediate Media.

immediate staff structure

Build an adaptive enterprise through long-term investments in owned technology

Immediate is creating publishing tools which its brands can use easily. There’s no doubt that if you have a large editorial team, especially across brands, investing in creating an easy to use platform is wise.

Creating dynamic content can be as easy as clicking and dragging elements within the CMS.

Are you a publisher exploring new revenue streams? Leave a comment below.