Clement Charles

Clement Charles 's thoughts
October 7th, 2013

Tablet publishing – do’s and don’t, with Mario Garcia

I had the opportunity to see Mario speaking in Kyiv, last year. An impressive presentation. With 40 years of experience in the field, the guy is not very young, but it clearly has some of the most innovative and modern ideas in the field. A lot more dynamic and energetic than many young players lamenting about the “good old days”.
As usual, Garcia starts its conference with a rapid reminder of how recent the tablet are, as iPad arrived in 2009-2010.
For Garcia, tablet are a great tool for the industry. To do so, and provide great product to end users, you have to hire a tablet editor (which is rarely the case), to really have a dedicated product strategy for this devices, to embed as many multimedia content and interactive elements that you can. “It’s the bast ways to take print to the next level” confirm Garcia, with it’s unique 40 years of background in the industry .
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I really enjoyed its take on the current times we’re experiencing. “We are living the radio days of the tablet” says Garcia, “as radio guys arrived to TV and had to learn to move, similarly the mentality of newspapers is now dominant in tablet but it has to change”. Progressively, you need to provide more photo, more navigation and more attention’s attraction via images and pictorial elements. “Keep that finger happy” says Garcia. “With pops ups, additional information and informative elements… Keep navigation simple, but make it more pictorial.” 
What do we people want in a tablet ? 
“They news updates, curation content, PDF of the print edition”.  The eye-tracking studies for the Ponyter institute confirms it. It also shows that iPad and phones compete for attention, including during work and day hours. Quite recent, as it was precisely perceived as laid back, home / off-work devices in 2012.
“The ones that hit the spot”  
Garcia then shared with the audience some good examples, with “the ones that hit the spot” :
– o globo, the guardian: extension on the DNA, but not a tablet of the
– The Times of London. Pushing the lead story as the most “tablet friendly” stories, not the biggest headlines.
– La Presse, Canada. “Once of the most beatufil ones that you can”. The tablet actually inspired, changed the print edition itself. The same should apply for the writing production process: produce for the mobile, for the digital and then for the print. Further presentation will be from Guy Crevier, CEO of La Presse.
– Berlingske, in Danmark. Two edition per day, with fully pictorial content.
– VG+ Norway –  nothing to do with the print edition.
“Design for the eye, for the brain and for the finger”. 
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The importance of the fully multimedia production process is always more important, as you need to enrich the content is other material. Good to see that my ideas of 2002 are now becoming popular, even if Garcia is still often perceived as a “original innovator” when he actually provides the tips that newsrooms should have discovered on their own in 99 already.

Story telling,. Pop ups. Navigation. Look & feel.  
At the heart of tablet edition, is story telling. “Things change but core mission stays the same: provide great content that will attract audiences and capture their attention”.
More content about the World Publishing Conferences and Table Apps Summit will follow.


April 11th, 2012

Resell content… To produce more content

In this time of economic and industrial pressure on newspapers and magazines, the search for a financial and sustainable equilibrium in the digital landscape is a necessary imperative for all. In that logic, resell a part of intellectual propriety right after publication can be a very interesting low risk path.

It is not complicated to observe that most of the printed titles have a unilateral production process, which goes only one way, from production to broadcasting the content on various platforms to end as an archive, which is generally unused. Doing so, publishers are losing complementary income which could be generated by the reselling of those rights to other media.

To engage this type of process, the first thing to do is to have the adequate contracts with the journalists and the others creative within the production chain, that allow an integral session of the rights of the produced work, in addition to the usage in the salary given to the media, the rights to resell, to adapt and to translate the content. Of course, the content of agencies cannot be included in this lot and articles which are just adding a few words to star provided by news agency could not be redistributed.

On the basis of a solid and extensive property of the rights, the corporation then has to define its strategy of distribution by finding the right equilibrium between the generating new opportunities and the risk of cannibalization of its historical footprint. This last one can be considered as the combination of the physical zone of broadcasting of the media, of the language of the contents and of the topics which are treated by the publication.

The content in a language coming from a publisher limited to a single territory can be monetized in many other languages or in many other not competing territories, in many other types of media platforms, while limiting at the same time at the maximum risks of impacting the revenue related to the circulation of the original publication.

This strategy can definitely contribute to solve the vicious circle from which the Swiss and European press for more than a decade suffers. Indeed, media have, at the same time, less resource to pay their staffs while having lot more broadcasting outlets to fill up in a world with an increasing complexity. This naturally leads to lower quality services, thus less success, thus less revenue, thus less resource.

Generated new revenue without increasing the existing costs allows to find positive solutions to this paradox. Royalties generated by the sales of the contents allow to increase the quantity and\or the quality of the production resources, which engage and increase the relevance of the produced contents, thus of the audience and finally of the revenue. In that case, the virtuous circle is engaged. Those resources are enabling the creation of more original contents, truly in line with the identity of the media, and thus, with the value expectations of his historical target group.

Potential clients are not only media companies. In addition to be able to be provided all kind of current digital platforms (mobile, Web, DOOH) or coming platforms (interactive kiosks, games consoles, in – flight / in car entertainment), rights “distributed” could also be acquire by companies and institutions, which are always using more content to create added value for their clients, in their internal magazines, their newsletters or their corporate communications.

In bonus, with this distribution process, the media gives to its brand and its journalists, new opportunities of international visibility and in various kind of supports. Beyond revenues, a bit more fame is always a good thing. If we accept the idea that the Swiss press will not be saved by the government, by the corporation or by the iPad, the press will need to save itself, which is, at the same time, more exciting, more honorable and more poetic. In this logic, the redistribution of content will surly be one of the methods to get there.

 Clement Charles