Posted by Adeline Chong on August 14, 2013 04:49 PM
Just like the beloved snack cake Twinkies was rescued from the depths of its owner's bankruptcy, Borders, a longtime staple among US retail bookstores, is getting a new chance at life thanks to a few global bookstore lovers that snatched up trademarks and intellectual property rights at auction after the brand went bust in 2011.
When it was announced recently that Borders would resurface in Singapore before the year's end, book lovers and sellers alike greeted the news with cautious optimism. After all, Borders Singapore—which had operated under the independent Borders Asia Pacific—quickly became one of Singapore's most iconic and loved bookstores when it opened in 1997—even emerging as the group's best performing outlet in 2006—but it quickly met its demise in September 2011 after its owner, Australia's Redgroup Retail, fell to a similar fate as its US counterpart.
In Singapore, the store's demise then seemed inevitable, bankruptcy or not, as loyal customers became disgruntled at the deep discounts offered to non-members and customers at large were baffled by the store's poor book selection and foray into non-book items like toys and cookware. The frequent sales also created a discount mentality amongst customers, eating into margins. Globally, the group's late foray into e-books and its big push into sunset product categories such as music CDs were also cited for its demise.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on August 5, 2013 06:06 PM
Jeff Bezos revolutionized the internet, e-commerce and bookselling (and then all retail) when he founded Amazon.com. Now he may want to do the same with newspapers, becoming the latest non-news-media figure to invest in a fading American print icon by buying The Washington Post.
It's difficult to believe that the e-tailing magnate will be able to do anything better with the Post than it already has in the traditional world of newsprint and ink, since that business model has become even more decrepit than the brick-and-mortar retail stores supplanted by Amazon's huge digital impact.
Another death knell for newspapers and their traditional ownership was sounded just a few days ago when Boston Red Sox owner and billionaire John Henry rescued the Boston Globe and other local print properties from the hands of the New York Times Co. by buying the once-proud publisher for a measly $70 million. There also remain rumors that the conservative industrialist Koch Brothers, along with several other non-media moguls, harbor a desire to buy Tribune Co., which owns the Los Angeles Times and Chicago Tribune.Continue reading...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on July 23, 2013 12:15 PM
Lonely Planet, the world’s largest publisher of travel guides recently laid off several dozen top editors and publishing staff from its Australian headquarters in a move that has caused further speculation about the brand's future—and the very future of travel and guide books altogether.
“It’s like a plane hitting the building,” said a long-term Lonely Planet author, Forbes reports. With the departures goes a large bank of institutional knowlege—a benchmark of the brand.
Since the the BBC sold the brand to NC2 Media in March, morale has been low. The company, which got its start in the 1970s, is a sitting duck at the crossroads of print and digital. “With this acquisition comes a global footprint, not only in the travel guide business, but also in magazine publishing and the digital space,” said a hopeful Daniel Houghton, NC2's executive director and Lonely Planet's COO at the time of the sale.
“The challenge and promise before us is to marry the world’s greatest travel information and guidebook company with the limitless potential of 21st century digital technology. If we can do this, and I believe we can, we can build a business that, while remaining true to the things that made Lonely Planet great in the past, promises to make it even greater in the future.”Continue reading...
Posted by Kristen Van Nest on July 5, 2013 01:16 PM
Founded in 2004, Thrillist started as a guide to New York City for recent male graduates. Today, Thrillist Media Group generates over $40 million in revenue , 45 percent of which comes from its e-commerce site, JackThreads, which it acquired in 2010 to complement its content offeringson its Thrillist and Crosby Press sites.
Unlike most media companies, Thrillist has over half a million credit card numbers on hand. The seamless shopping experience, where men can discover and purchase product on the same site, means that the user is more engaged and more likely to have intent to buy. “They’ve got their wallet in hand. They’re looking for recommendations and what to do and what to buy,” Eric Ashman, Thrillist Media Group's strategic advisor told brandchannel. “Reading GQ, your feet are up on the coffee table, you’re leaning back. And when you’re [on Thrillist], you’re leaning forward and looking for ideas and looking for recommendations and things to share with your friends.”
Refinery29, like Thrillist, is also at the forefront of seamlessly joining content and commerce. With 5 million visitors per month, Refinery29 focuses on building brand loyalty for the brands advertised on its site, but without a major complementary online store.
Whether it's driving sales or driving loyalty, both sites utilize and prioritize content over commerce.Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on July 1, 2013 10:37 AM
The comics industry is getting stronger, bringing in an estimated $700 million to $730 million last year, up from $660 million to $690 million in 2011, according to John Jackson Miller, the editor of Comics Chronicle. But the 20-year-old Vertigo, a DC Comics imprint that doesn’t follow the same, cookie-cutter superhero storylines, isn’t contributing much to that profit.
After 20 years of publishing without anything close to a big hit, there were lots of rumors that DC would pull the plug on Vertigo. Instead, DC is re-investing in the brand and launching six new series this fall, the New York Times reports. The hope is that mature readers, hip to the world of graphic novels, will pick up the new series and latch on in a different way than those following Batman’s latest squabble.
“Right now, we’re in the middle of Vertigo’s transformation from a relatively sheltered idea and talent farm to a much more competitive place,” wrote Marc-Oliver Frisch on his comic-culture news blog The Beat, according to the New York Times. “Whether or not this is going to help DC in re-establishing the Vertigo brand as a selling point, we’re going to find out in the next several months.”Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on June 25, 2013 11:41 AM
Dr. Oz has been working his medical magic and wowing the 25- to 54-year-old female demographic from the comfort of America’s television screens since he first appeared on The Oprah Winfrey Show back in 2004. Five years later, he followed in the footsteps of Winfrey and launched his own show, and now he's taking another note from the multi-talented star.
Oz announced that he will be launching a lifestyle magazine with Hearst. The publication, which doesn’t have an official name yet, is scheduled to have two issues come out in the first half of next year, according to Mashable.
"Hearst has a very successful track record of partnering with unique brands and personalities to create engaging content for readers," said David Carey, president of Hearst Magazines in a company release. "Dr. Oz's spirit and message clearly resonate with American women, and the time is right to translate that into a print and digital magazine that will introduce an entirely new category to the market."Continue reading...
Posted by Alicia Ciccone on May 28, 2013 01:21 PM
Following the official split of Rupert Murdoch's News Corp. into separate news and entertainment companies, the man in charge has unveiled the new logo for its News division—one that's very familiar to the Aussie media mogul.
The delicate script logo is based off of the handwriting of Rupert Murdoch himself along with that of his father, according to a company memo sent by CEO Robert Thomson. "The name is historic and the script is based on the writing of Rupert and his father, who have provided us all with not only a name, but a remarkable professional platform," Thomson wrote.
Earlier this month, the company revealed the name and logo for its independent entertainment division, which will be called 21st Century Fox following the spin-off. The name and logo are a clean update on the existing identity of News Corp's iconic Twentieth Century Fox brand.Continue reading...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on May 27, 2013 09:58 AM
Amazon is courting the lucrative world of fan fiction with its launch of Kindle Worlds, the first commercial publishing platform for authors and the first of its kind to create an ammicable relationship between the creators of the 'worlds' and pen-happy fans.
Often hotly debated due to copyright laws, fan fiction has been near-impossible to monetize. However, Amazon has secured licenses with Warner Bros. Alloy Entertainment division for the best-selling book series Gossip Girl, Pretty Little Liar and Vampire Diaries for starters. Over 50 commissioned works will debut with the platform in June, as well.
The platform will pay royalties to the rights holders of the 'worlds' and the fan authors will receive royalties based on story length: 35 percent of net revenue for works of 10,000 words or more, and 20 percent of net revenue for works between 5,000 and 10,000 words.Continue reading...