Friday, July 29, 2005

More good news for digital editions

[Keyword: ]. Very interesting piece in the Press Gazette about the process of producing digital editions of newspapers - and the promising numbers of subscribers to those.

Strangely, ABC apparently don't include digital editions in their numbers because, says Richard Withey, The Independent's global director of interactive media, "advertisers argue that an advert seen in a facsimile edition is not comparable to an advert seen in print"

Also interesting is the money made by The Scotsman after it decided last year "it had to digitalise its archive, which goes back to 1817 and was daily from 1860, to preserve it. One benefit of digitalising it was that it could also be made available to the public and for research through Scotsman.com.
"The Scotsman charges users for a timed access — £7.95 for 24 hours, £39.95 for a month up to £159.95 for a year. Multiple access licences are sold to universities and businesses for a few thousand pounds and they are currently discussing a project with the Scottish Executive to make it freely available to all schools in Scotland. The paper has now digitalised up to 1950 and found the 20th century content to be the most popular.

"But the biggest surprise to The Scotsman has been the demand, which means its "substantial six-figure investment" will be paid off within three years."

Comment can be found at Poynter, which calls the article "an outstanding piece, marred slightly by its focus on just one of the major digital publishing companies, Olive Software. No mention of NewsStand, Advanced Publishing, Zinio, and several others, which ought to have been at least incorporated briefly".

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