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an eco-system of interactive advertising which extends beyond their pages into outdoor, the retail environment and into consumer’s homes, offices, schools, museums and more. Publishers can monetise this directly by upselling (and self-creating) interactivity on their rate-cards, or simply sit back and wait for the interactive advertiser dollars to flow in post their interactive editorial efforts.” “On one level, publishers are getting a reasonably easy innovation,” says Lens- FitzGerald. “Innovations for publishers were pretty expensive. They had to build websites, iPad versions and build the teams behind this; all eating away at their print version. With AR, they can do something in the digital space and use it to enhance their print versions. You don’t have to hire extra people for this. If you go deeper, you can use AR to upsell ads. One publisher tagged its videos by saying ‘this was brought to you by such and such bank’. And that is a way for them to earn money. There is a direct benefit to publishers because they can say you can have a video on your ad and that will be, for example, £1,000 extra. On the other hand, just being interactive has an influence on ad buying. Having it as part of the mix is advantageous to publishers. Another way for publishers to make money is retail.” Says Schwartz: “En masse, brands are doing it better than publishers to date, but they don’t have the media channels to drive a sustained audience. There’s a heap of dollars put into the promotion of a single activation or campaign without the reason for people to use the app again. They just don’t have the content. In terms of publishers, however, Bauer Australia has delivered strong proof of performance from its magazine portfolio with a monthly active audience of 4-500,000 users.”

Operating costs Producing interactive content is clearly going to cost – but, it needn’t be a fortune and, say the service providers, it can be easily recouped. “Potentially, it costs very little technology-wise,” says Butcher, “although production, design time and content, of course, comes at a cost – and one should not be invested without the other.” Lens-FitzGerald gives an example of how

operational costs can be contained: “Glacier Media, a large Canadian local news publisher, started out with around 20 daily newspapers

‘Click and buy’ is a key part of AR

they wanted to enhance. They expect to make CA$7.4m

extra, due to ad up sales, over the next two years. They’ve

trained the editors, producers, production

people and sales people. The sales people phone up the local flower sellers and say: ‘You want your ad augmented – it will cost you a $100 more’. They are on target, running this programme successfully, and didn’t hire anyone extra. Once you have the processes in place and have your formula, it can be very easy. If you are a glossy magazine, for instance, you just have to do a video when you are doing the photo shoot and you have good augmented reality content. You have to think about these things when you are running your magazine production. But once you have the experience and know what works, it’s relatively easy. Other examples are Seventeen magazine and Redbook. Almost all their products are shoppable. Or you can add to a wish list, because with Seventeen, you can’t sell to teenagers. There they collect all the photos and links of the products and that’s all the work they have.” Schwartz says: “Depending on the costs of the service provider, margins can be lucrative if the audience is built correctly using the service. Juniper Research has outlined that


In 1966, Professor Ivan Sutherland invented the first model of one of the most important devices used in both AR and VR today – the head-mounted display, or HMD. While it might have been around for a few years, in one shape or other, the phrase Augmented Reality is believed to have

been coined by Professor Tom Caudell, while working in Boeing’s Computer Services adaptive Neural Systems Research and Development project in Seattle in the early 90s. In a search to find an easier way to help aviation companies with an engineering process, he began to apply virtual reality technology and eventually created software that overlay the positions of where certain cables in the building process were supposed to go. This meant the mechanics didn’t have to translate what they found described in abstract diagrams and manuals. At around the

same time, two other teams were also making steps into this new world. LB Rosenberg created the first functioning AR system for the US Airforce known as Virtual Fixtures, which were pictures he described as cues to help guide users in their tasks.

AR revenues are looking to top US$5.26bn by the end of 2016. Why can’t publishers share revenue in this emerging publishing channel?” Lens-Fitzgerald says the publishers doing AR are ‘the mavericks’. “It’s not just ‘getting it’, it’s about adding something to your writing processes. It’s being gutsy enough to say, ‘Ok, we’re going to add something and you will have to work an hour longer every day to do this. Fancy saying that to somebody? And it’s being committed to it and realising it’s going to be tough at the beginning and that you’re not going to get 100s of thousands right off the bat. But once you learn what your audiences want, you can create something that your sales people can start selling. If you push that as a manager you will be successful. But not all publishers are comfortable with this.” Immediate Media is clearly comfortable with AR. Says Macklin: “Additional pressure on editorial and art teams? I think they love it. I think they are really excited about being able to create a whole new dimension to the editorial experience.” But there is no need to overdo it. Macklin admits that the company is still working out how many ‘Blips’ per issue. “Every page does take time and effort to set up. We tend to make a cover and there will be specific features that are designed to work with Blippar. Doing too much will get tedious. It has to be something which is fun to play with.”

Readerships AR’s not just for the young. “We expected AR to work better with titles that have a younger readership – that’s why we started with the children’s and preteen titles,” says Macklin, “But it works equally well, if not better, on titles for older readerships – for example, The Radio Times and Gardener’s World. We have been blown away by the response of those Gardener’s World readers to Blippar. I think people dismiss how curious the older generation can be about technology. But when they have something they are interested in they are just as inclined towards it, if not more so. They’ve got money; they are the fastest growing age group of iPad purchasers and fastest adopting group. So it makes sense that they will also be one of the fastest growing users.”

A key benefit of augmented reality is the upselling of ads

lUS-based Blippar acquired Netherlands outfit Layar in mid-June, the deal concluding as Magazine World went to press.

issue 83_2014 | Magazine World |19

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