I write this post as Exact Editions have added a score of new titles to the platform in the last six months. This acceleration on content acquisition got me thinking about the battle for ‘real estate’ in the digital publishing world. With several established online magazine platforms on the market, it has now become a competition to convince publishers to come aboard. There is a kind of Noah’s Ark situation going on, with magazines scrambling to find a vessel as the tide of digital natives sweep over the Earth — well, perhaps it’s not quite that dramatic… However, for many magazine publishers, there is an important decision to make — which online platform should we place our faith in? Who is going to guide us in finding new digital audiences and generate new revenue streams?

Publishers making their way to the Ark

This led me to wonder whether a time will come when all magazines are accounted for? Either selling online subscriptions via a platform like Exact Editions, or selling directly through their own offering. Not if Private Eye have anything to say about it, they are sticking to their origami guns and continuing to push print subscriptions with great success. But even if there are a few rogues, I think we can expect that the majority of ‘big’ publishers will have made provisions to service digital subscriptions by 2025.

What we may not have seen fully-achieved by 2025, is the uniform offering of site-licenses to magazine archives. Many publishers have yet to capitalise on this market, either not seeing the potential of their magazine in this way, or not having the technological framework to satisfy the requirements of the library market, e.g. IP based access, full search capabilities. The matter of jumping ship can also seem complicated, as publishers may find themselves (or feel) tied to agreements they established in a hurry when panicking about the flood. However, there is always the option to solely sell institutions subscriptions via Exact Editions, we do not require you to also sell to individuals.

For publishers making this leap for the first time, or considering a change in provider, we urge them to consider their options carefully. Especially consider the magazine’s potential for selling subscriptions to universities or corporations. Is the content particularly aligned with an academic field? Are there already institutions subscribing to the title in print? Projected levels of interest can be checked using WorldCat, a free library listing website by OCLC.

Exact Editions foresee major growth in this market, based on a year by year dramatic increase in the number of subscriptions we are selling to institutions worldwide. Magazine archives are increasingly being recognised as cultural mines that provide an entryway into the contemporary perspectives of our predecessors, capturing the artistic, stylistic and realistic nuances that are often lost in more ‘rigid’ book studies or essays. The blossoming of semantic/sentimental history in the academic sphere has resulted in a growing demand for these online archives. Not only that, but there are stacks of magazines offering specialised insight into subject areas such as music, environmental issues, architecture, etc. Again, these titles offer students and professionals important gateways into technical fields and can serve as terrific starting blocks from which to develop learning and understanding.

If you would like to learn more about Exact Editions, or receive an informed opinion on the potential of your magazine in this market, please do get in touch via publisher@exacteditions.com