7 skeptical reactions to the ReVicery29 deal; how to improve your foodie Instagram game; what’s next for publishers
Welcome to the latest edition of Ad Age Publisher’s Brief, our roundup of news from the world of content producers across digital and print.
Glossy media’s love affair with Instagram continues unabated. It seems like just about every major magazine brand has been pouring resources into making sure its Insta game is on point; much has been made of the fact that new-ish Cosmopolitan Editor-in-Chief Jessica Pels turns to the photo-sharing app for story ideas (see this April New York Times profile, for instance); and now Food Network Magazine is on newsstands with its Instagram-obsessed October issue, which is stocked with stories such as “The recipe for the most Instagrammable cake of all time,” “The 50 most Instagrammed restaurants in America,” “10 Ways to Be a Better Food ’Grammer” and more in a “Special Instagram Section.”
Spoiler alert regarding that last story: No. 1 is “Shoot in Natural Light”; sub-tip: “If you’re shooting in a dark restaurant: Ask a friend to pull up a white screen (not the flashlight) on their phone and place the screen near the dish to help light it.” And No. 10 has to do with noodles.
Tubular Labs, the social video analytics company that serves up performance data to hundreds of media brands, wants to shift the paradigm on gauging what counts as “success” in the video space. A spokesman for the Mountain View, California-based company tells Ad Age that it’s rolling out new audience metrics that focus on average watch time, which Tubular sees as a better measure of engagement than the usual yardsticks everyone generally has been paying attention to, such as view totals and counts of likes/comments (each of which can be pretty easily gamed, of course). And Tubular has been perfecting measurement tech that allows it to arrive at de-duplicated audience counts globally—also key to weeding out fraud given the plague of bot-driven views from some of the sketchier precincts of the World Wide Web.
Stay tuned to Publisher’s Brief for some publisher-specific metrics related to this new shift. For now, though, keep in mind: Given that major players ranging from BuzzFeed to Viacom are part of Tubular’s Global Video Measurement Alliance (GVMA), Tubular has the power to help set the agenda on what media brands and marketers should be paying attention to when it comes to video metrics.
Pivot to ... what’s next?
Ad Age is taking a deep dive into the challenges facing publishers in our upcoming Ad Age Next: Publishing mini conference. Here’s the basic idea, from the event description:
For publishers, this is a time of radical reinvention marked by a breakneck pace of innovation. To make sense of the changing landscape for both digital-native and traditional publishers, Ad Age is convening a high-level gathering of some of the best minds in the business. On Nov. 14, find out what’s working right now—and what to expect next.
Early-bird tickets for the half-day event are on sale now, and the line-up of speakers will be announced in the coming days.
California Sunday Magazine is releasing its “Escape” issue in print this coming Sunday. As the editors state in a note posted online,
Escape has been on our minds this year. We started seeing stories of escape all around us. So we dedicated a whole issue to the theme—escapes big and small, literal and figurative, terrifying and exhilarating and mundane. ... This issue unfolds in three chapters. First, escaping the past. Then, escaping the present. And finally, escaping the future.
You can experience some of the package online—e.g., “People in three continents share their idea of escape.” And there’s a live component to the issue thanks to a collaboration with sibling publication Pop-Up Magazine.
Cali Sunday/Pop-Up spokesperson Victoria Chow notes that digital marketers keep lining up to partner with the dynamic duo: “On the ad side, we worked with sponsors including Google and Eventbrite for this issue, related to the ‘Escape’ theme as well,” she says. For Google, for instance, “Our Brand Studio created a photo essay featuring the work of a photographer who uses Google StreetView to overcome her agoraphobia and travel and photograph without having to leave her own home”—and a version of the ad will also be presented live on stages across America via Pop-Up Magazine (including at Lincoln Center in Manhatttan on Oct. 10).
• “What the Taboola-Outbrain combination means for publishers,” from Digiday’s Lara O'Reilly.
• “Modern Luxury Debuts Men’s Destination ‘Mensbook’” (subhead: “The new men’s luxury destination will feature content centered on fashion and design by content contributors and a board of ambassadors”), from WWD’s Obi Anyanwu.
• “Newsday sells its free daily newspaper amNewYork,” per the New York Post’s Keith Kelly.
Wednesday’s news that Vice is buying Refinery29 has provoked some... let’s just say intrigued reactions on social media. A small sampling from Twitter: