Digital Publishing – A New Revenue Opportunity

(From the editor: This article was originally published on PODi.)
Most publishers have seen a steady decline in print volumes of their publications due to a shift towards delivery via various digital and online channels. This in turn has led to declining revenue streams for publication printers. The old saying “If you can’t beat them, join them” now applies to publication printers who are adding digital publishing solutions to their offerings. New digital publishing solutions enable printers and marketing service providers to offer a complete publishing solution, add new revenues, differentiate and become more “sticky” with customers.
The first digital publishing solution was the PDF. Still quite popular today due to simplicity and low costs, PDFs are used by companies to provide electronic versions of magazines, newsletters, sales collateral, spec sheets, etc.  While reading a PDF on a PC is viable; reading PDFs on tablets and smartphones often is cumbersome as the content is not formatted for the device. Nor is it easy to augment a PDF with video.

New solutions on the market, such as Xerox FreeFlow Digital Publisher,are providing a super easy way for print service providers to simultaneously format content for print, PCs, tablets, and smartphones. Users can view content through their browser or via a custom app. And online content can be augmented with additional content.

Recently I had the chance to speak to a couple of service providers, The QMC Group and Millenium Marketing Solutions to learn more about how they are leveraging digital publishing for their business.
The QMC Group  is a mid-size commercial printer with 55 employees in central New York. Their story is not uncommon for successful print service providers. The core of their business is offset printing and they are a certified G7 master printer. In order to grow their business they needed to find ways to augment offset printing revenues. They have added fulfillment services, custom storefronts, multi-channel marketing and now digital publishing.
Travis Thayer is the resident Digital Publishing guru at QMC. Travis told me that they have a large number of customers for whom they print magazines and other publications. Adding digital publishing provides QMC with a new revenue stream and a complete solution for customers, helps them differentiate from other printers, and it helps them sell more print.
QMC’s main target market is the higher education vertical as there are a large number of colleges and universities in New York State and QMC prints for a number of them already. By doing a little research Travis was quickly able to identify which of their current customers would be good candidates for their offering. A nice success story is the Cornell School of Engineering, which uses the solution for their alumni publication. Now alumni can easily access the publication via their tablets and smartphones.

In Maryland, Janice Tipplett, owner of Millennium Marketing is offering digital publishing services as well. As a marketing service provider, Janice sees the interest of her clients growing in online, social and mobile channels and digital publishing gives her a way to stand out in this field.
Millennium Marketing Solutions works primarily in the B2B world. Their first success with digital publishing is a magazine titled The Business Monthly.  It’s a monthly magazine/newspaper covering Howard County, BWI Business District, and Northern Anne Arundel County.
In addition to being able to view the publication in the correct format via a browser, Millennium uses Xerox FreeFlow Digital Publisher to create an App that users can download.  The App provides additional advertising revenue opportunities as well as enhanced convenience for the user.

Both Travis and Janice have indicated clients love the analytics features of the product which provides detailed usage stats, something not available in print.
PODi is excited to have both Travis and Janice sharing their experiences and advice in an upcoming webinar to help members learn about the digital publishing opportunity. You’ll learn about why adding digital publishing makes sense for them, how they see their target markets, top applications, what they’ve learned about what it takes to make sales and tips for newcomers. And you’ll have an opportunity to get your specific questions answered.
Join us on July 19th at 2:00 pm ET for this PODi webinar and because the webinar is sponsored by Xerox there is no cost for attending. You can register for the webinar on the PODi website

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