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BLIPPAR Talk to the experts. Don’t try and do it on your own. It will cost you – in technology, man-hours and additional content investment – and you will likely not convert without any knowledge of what has and hasn’t worked previously/ how to get the highest conversion rates. I would strongly advise against an own-app/white- label approach – as this cannot

take advantage of the broader eco- system of interactive advertising that a platform like Blippar offers. An advertiser will not want to turn a single advert interactive in only one title – they’ll want to turn their whole media-bought campaign on.


Do a test case. Pull out any magazine and do four pages and a cover. Use good content. Then use free Layer software to create an augmented piece. Discuss it with someone who doesn’t know what it is. Because a) you will go through the production process and b) you will see the reaction. If a publisher does it themselves, they will really get the feel of it. Once they have done that, they will be ready to commit to six issues. You need to do it several times. You can’t just do one issue and say ‘it doesn’t work!’. Set up a good pilot, with objectives, multiple issues, and dedication.”

VIEWA Evaluate the existing skillsets and workflows of your business first. A quality journalistic application to the creative ideas and good content is critical to the success of any AR activation. Imagine scanning an article to discover lackluster

content behind the scan – snooze.

Publishers need to be buying or partnering with a service provider because they’re looking for new and additional ways to distribute content and generate revenue, not because they’re buying the technology part of AR.

AR aiding the shopping experience

(as most people are conjecturing) but a very actively converting ‘present’ for the top performing media partners and advertisers. Blippar client stats speak for themselves – with tens of thousands of consumers interacting hundreds of thousands of times with the higher-performing campaigns.” Meredith Corp in the US has run more than 200 activations, according to Mobile Marketer, which says the US publisher tested different technology: “We’re pursuing augmented reality now,” said Doug Crichton, director of mobile engagement at Meredith. “So far, AR is driving more reader engagement than QRs/tags did.” “The key for this to take-off in print media is less in the ‘AR’ definition or content implications of what this technology can offer than in the power of image-recognition to trigger a plethora of different interactive content experiences for the print-reader off any image or page,” says Butcher. “These experiences don’t just have to consist of ‘floating’ things coming out of or enhancing the page, but can offer valuable utility such as a multitude of instant ‘buy now’ links, video formats, sweepstake formats, gaming, polling, ‘add to calendar’ functionality, social- media connectivity, photo games and virtual ‘try-ons’ and much more. Within print media a better term to ‘augmented reality’ is ‘interactive print’ – as that really encapsulates the power of what’s happening here.” Lens-FitzGerald believes AR definitely has a future, and one which will make money.

ON YOUR MARKS: Popular AR tools

n BLIPPBUILDER – self-creation and publishing tool. Monthly license fee.

n LAYAR CREATOR – €45 per-page, decreasing with the more you buy. The grid function allows publishers to align buttons and videos on top of a page.

n VIEWA – publisher model is zero upfront cost, with revenue share from the incremental revenue earned from AR.

Maarten Lens- Fitzgeral, co- founder of Layar

pay for AR and the readers are using it. “We’re seeing 38 million downloads of our app globally. Some 40,000 publishers and marketeers are registered and using the Layar creation tool. But, of course, we are always so impatient. We want millions and millions, but that’s not the case with AR. It works really well, but you have to build your audience – like your first website. So you have to be committed and you have to be smart about it. It is just a matter of time before everything will be augmented. I will be able to press a button and receive more information about something, everywhere I look.”

“We’ve been doing this for five years and have only priced our services for the past two years. And month-on-month, year-on-year, our revenues are going up. So if having a future means that people will value the service so much that they will pay for it, then that keeps us working. So the publishers are willing to

Publishers’ returns Immediate Media has already seen increased sales and is moving into the next phase – advertising. “We are beginning to experiment implementing AR with ads, and are getting a fantastic response to this,” says Macklin. “Right now, everyone is learning. Advertisers are learning. We’re learning. But I think it’s here to stay. “It really is important in the publishing industry for people not to just think about creating a print experience, but what users want from digital experiences. AR is a great way to bring the two together.” Butcher is bullish: “The worst case scenario is a more engaged, interacting readership, which should enhance sales of publishers’ print editions. The best case scenario is a compelling advertiser proposition where they join and help drive

» issue 83_2014 | Magazine World |17

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