Canadian Magazine Industry News
2 February 2011,     TORONTO
Talking good content and digital at Ad Week
The third annual Advertising Week conference was recently held in four cities across Canada. The Toronto edition of the conference played host to Beautifying the Internet, which featured industry players from Sweet Potato Chronicles, AOL Canada, M2 Universal Digital, Pictela and Twist Image.

Discussing whether or not the increasing focus on digital in publishing has meant better content, AOL Canada general manager Graham Moysey said the mechanisms to make great content online are there and being improved. “I think content is going to get better, more glossy, more tactile,” he said. “Digital media companies are going to get more aggressive about distributing great content. Like a hot knife through butter, good content will survive.”

Moysey however noted Canada needs to up its game in the digital content world. “We are gating too much quality content, it’s not being distributed well enough in Canada,” he said. “What are some success stories of content from Canada being distributed on the web? Canadians need to step up. Traditional outlets aren’t able to distribute it, independent outlets are doing it but it’s not getting the eyeballs.”

Sweet Potato Chronicles
co founder and former FASHION Magazine editor in chief Ceri Marsh argued for the benefits of online content versus print, saying when you create a digital magazine you know what the final product will be. “There is always a lunch bag letdown when you get the print magazines in,” she said. “Always something went wrong with the press, errors you might have missed. With digital, you’re designing the finished product.”

Engagement is also higher online, said Moysey but noted ad spend is still embarrassing for the medium. “Spend numbers are embarrassing because there isn’t a mechanism for advertising online,” he said. “13% of ad spend is spend digitally and the medium has 26% engagement. We need to bridge that gap.”

Of course you can’t talk digital without saying iPad – and the same was true at this discussion. Moysey called it a “phenomenal device”, but said there isn’t a standard form of monetizing content on it. He said this leads to stats like the app Angry Birds currently making 20X more money than the New York Times on the device. 

Advertising Week is organized by the Institute of Communications Agencies (ICA), along with its member agencies. The 2012 edition will be held from January 23-27.



— Val Maloney
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