Future uses archive content for specialist app series

Future Publishing is set to launch a raft of specialist apps off the back of its most popular titles.

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The 14 apps, including The 50 Best Guitars to Play Before You Die, Best Landscape Photos and 101 Best Movies of All Time, which will launch later this month on varying paid-for models, draw on archive content from the publisher’s most popular titles, including Guitar World, Digital Camera, MacFormat and Total Film.

The apps are priced between 59p and £5.49, which Future UK CEO Mark Wood said represents the uncertainty of the industry on pricing models.

“We’re on a learning curve with all of this. The whole industry is,” he says. Bundling subscriptions with print editions and other platform apps will be expected next year.

Mike Goldsmith, editor-in-chief of Future’s iPad and tablet editions, adds that tracking links within the apps will help inform product development.

“We’ve riddled the apps with tracking links so that we know what readers are looking at, commenting on, sharing and buying, and can use this to our benefit,” he said. “Affiliate deals with iTunes and Amazon, so readers can click through to buy the tracks or films that the app discusses, will give us an idea of what works commercially. It’s a real ideas machine.”

The long-term intention is not just to juggle brand content across print, tablet and mobile, according to Wood, but to leverage content so it can be repackaged and repurposed to license across international markets, with short-form video playing a major role.

“Our content is full of evergreen stuff that we have IP rights for,” says Goldsmith. “One of the things you have to consider when doing multimedia is making sure you don’t have the PRS knocking on the door for music royalties. And you can’t use Google images. We have a huge benefit in that we have all our own IP.”

At least a quarter of Future’s revenues are derived from digital streams. In its latest figures, released last month, the company reported profits of £8.3m, up from £7.6m in the previous year, while group digital revenue grew from £11.9m to £13.6m. It launched a T3 iPad app in October.

This story first appeared on newmediaage.co.uk

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