Warners Group the UK magazine publisher have launched a community for painters and artists where their two consumer magazines for artists: Leisure Painter and The Artist are freely available to members of the community. Warners decided to use Exact Editions to provide the magazine component of their service (which also has videos and community areas for blogging and discussion) and we were pleased to be able to offer them a solution which meets the key requirements of a community or membership service:
(1) the access to the service is entirely and directly controlled by Warners, though the content is managed, updated and delivered by Exact Editions. In consequence there is no user, or consumer, data on the Exact Editions side of the relationship. The consumer journey is managed by Warners and no user log-ins or passwords are required at Exact Editions. Exact Editions does not even know how many people might be using the service. This separation of service provision from user data greatly simplifies the user journey.
(2) the service provided by Exact Editions is pure magazine, there are no extraneous ads or links to additional content offerings, and the two magazines (or more if additional magazines or bookazines were to be added) can be searched in common or separately
(3) Exact Editions will provide a white-labeled solution for a fixed annual fee with no limits to usage and with new issues added to the archive as and when they are produced. Exact Editions will also provide support to community members in relation to the operation of the database and the user interface.
We look forward to working with many more magazine publishers as they decide to move the focus of their publishing and their customer retention towards ‘membership’ or ‘community’ models. The increasing emphasis on user privacy, GDPR, and web security are all factors pushing publishers and readers towards one-stop solutions where the need for multiple log-ins and password hiccups can be reduced. This may be one of the strongest factors pushing the industry towards white-labeled services, but in the medium term it may be even more important for publishers and others to build services where groups of magazines can be offered together (and also separately) to digital readers. White-labeled magazines lend themselves to this mix and match approach to digital distribution.
The ability to plug digital magazines into a community service is another aspect of Exact Editions adoption of a “streaming” approach to the delivery of magazine content through the web. The promotional Reading Rooms that we are now offering to all the publishers that use our platform are another example of the advantages of streaming.