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Damian Loth: Digital Publishing 3.0 Born With iPad & iTunes Newsstand
Damian Loth says digital publishing is evolving dramatically, and opportunities abound for smaller publishers today that have never existed before. Loth was speaking to an audience of writers and publishers.
On a recent conference call with freelance journalists and aspiring magazine publishers, Loth explained what he meant by the three iterations of digital publishing.
He said the first was the eBook, which provided unrivalled levels of distribution and visibility, while slashing production costs. The problem early on was a flood of poor quality eBooks which stained all eBooks by reputation. Loth says the question of quality started to have less impact once the legacy publishers finally climbed on the digital bandwagon - creating fierce competition in the process.
According to Loth, this forced many publishers to embrace blogging as the preferred publishing platform. A choice that came with its own inherent problems. He says that despite the well publicized success stories, such as the Huffington Post selling for $300m, the gold-rush days for bloggers are over.
Loth asked "Do you even want to be locked into a 12 stories a day news cycle and a race to the bottom in terms of what you're prepared to run as a headline - just for the page views you depend on for ad revenue?" and pointed out that writing for big-name blogs such as Gawker, is akin to "working in a digital sweatshop."
"If you ever see 'Meet The Crippled Gay Guy Who Climbed Mt. Whitney' on our cover, you'll know we sold the magazine to Rupert Murdoch for $100m" said Loth, making light of the point that readers buy magazines for different reasons than they click "link-bait" headlines on blogs.
Loth continued, emphasizing that he and business partner Kevin R. Smith positioned Men's Essentials Magazine as the thinking man's guide to: health, fitness, money, women and life" to appeal to a different segment of the market, and deliver a different publication - based on quality articles.
Loth closed the interview with "The fact that Men's Essentials ranks alongside Men's Health, GQ and Esquire on best-seller lists, should give all independent publishers confidence to throw their hat into the iTunes Newsstand ring."