Cross Media
During the Digital Innovators Summit in Berlin, Adobe unveiled its plans to launch Adobe Publish, a platform that builds upon the foundation of Adobe Digital Publishing Suite (DPS) to address mobile-app publishing, sometime during the summer of 2015.

Adobe explains it will allow customers to make mobile apps for phones and tablets without requiring development and to produce and distribute great content in simple, cost-effective and modern ways.

The company referenced its work five years ago with Conde Nast to develop a new approach for Wired magazine to be published as an interactive magazine on the iPad. From this work with Conde Nast, Adobe built DPS, which Adobe claims to have resulted in the launch of thousands of apps and has delivered hundreds of millions of publications (.folios) to tablets and phones.

Adobe explains it then went through another important phase of mobile publication development with Fast Company to launch a new app on the App Store, which helped its work towards what will be launched as Adobe Publish this summer. Adobe provides what it describes as the three main tenets of Adobe Publish:

 1. Apps on all major mobile platforms for phones and tablets without requiring any development skills. The experience of those apps should be immersive and elegant and bring audience directly into content that is well organized and inherently feels like what a mobile experience should be;
 
2. Adobe Publish customers can create, organize and deliver content in a way that is extremely flexible, simple and cost-effective; and

3. Enterprise-grade administration tools that are flexible enough to allow any enterprise, media company or university to organize all of the people who are involved in producing these experiences in a way that make sense. Designers, writers., marketers, producers, data analysts or outside agencies will get the flexible workflows they need to deliver amazing content into Adobe Publish apps.

Building on its September 2013 launch of FreeFlow Core, Xerox is now introducing FreeFlow Digital Publisher in Canada as a means of extending print publishing into digital publishing from a single workflow platform.

FreeFlow Core, with its Web-based architecture, is a modular and scalable central workflow system, which includes the ability to drive Web-to-print and automate finishing work. The integration of Xerox FreeFlow Digital Publisher allows users to prepare and route files to their Xerox press for printing or to send digital versions of the same project through Web browsers or mobile apps that can be downloaded from Apple iTunes Store, Google Play or the Amazon App Store.

Developed in partnership with GTxcel, FreeFlow Digital Publisher users can produce electronic versions of print campaigns but with the inclusion of video or audio, while also tracking readership through built-in analytics. Content processing software within FreeFlow Digital Publisher automatically prepares the PDF job to create digital publications for mobile apps, Web browsers, social media and other digital channels.

The software  allows users to manage each publication with an included dashboard, in order to manipulate placement of rich media, restrict access, manage email subscriptions and push notifications, and more. Analytics are included to provide customers with metrics like readership, open rate reports, app tracking data, and clicks by platform.

Hemlock Printers today announced a new partnership with Tagga, a rising cross-channel marketing company based in Vancouver, British Columbia, which works with high-profile brands like Red Bull, Ulitmate Fighting Championship, Adidas, Stonyfield, Sun-Maid, Canon, Paramount, Old Navy, Lindt and Ferrero Rocher, among others.

Tagga is primarily focused on integrating social, Web and mobile technologies, using platforms like SMS messaging, Facebook and Twitter, to create connections between brands and customers. Its Cloud-based cross-channel campaign software – and related reporting functions – allows clients to determine where and when a consumer is interacting with their brand. This ultimately results in very precise conversion-rate metrics. Tagga also runs a Labs division to provide creative services geared to this cross-channel approach.


Through the partnership, Hemlock will be able to supply customers with interactive print opportunities, as well as interactive digitized content that is accessible from mobile, tablet and desktop devices for unique promotional campaigns.


“We work with a wide array of leading brands for their print and distribution requirements, and this partnership now allows us to provide an exciting new dimension to their marketing plans,” stated Richard Kouwenhoven, President and GM of Hemlock. “Using a small footprint for QR or SMS codes on their packaging, hang-tags or catalogues, a bold and simple interactive connection can be made with compelling promotional or informational offers.

“We know that now over 70 percent of Canadians use their mobile phone while shopping in-store,” continued Kouwenhoven, “So we looked to Tagga to help us take the print connection to the next level."


Hemlock Printers works with its own roster of high-profile brands through print and is one of the largest commercial printers in the Pacific Northwest. The company operates out of a 100 percent carbon neutral plant in Burnaby, BC, with offices in Victoria, Seattle and San Francisco.


"We knew Hemlock was the right partner for us to expand our offering in the print realm,” stated Amielle Lake, Tagga Founder and CRO. “We already work internationally with Adidas, Dole, Red Bull and many others, but saw an alignment with the focus and scope that Hemlock could bring to a whole new segment of the market.”



The Toronto Star, Canada's highest circulation newspaper, has begun limiting access to content on its Website. Starting today, readers will have to pay to access more than 10 articles a month. While an introductory offer will give online readers access starting at 99 cents, the full price will be $9.99 a month. It is the last of Canada's major dailies to do so.

As a part of the offer, Toronto-area readers can receive a print copy of the Saturday Star with home delivery. Current home subscribers will have free online access, as long as they are subscribed using an automated payment option.

Last year, Canada's two national newspapers, The Globe and Mail and the National Post rolled out their own paywalls. The Globe and Mail charges $20 per month for unlimited online access and The National Post charges $9.95.

In 2011, a survey of 1,700 Canadians by the Canadian Media Research Consortium found that 81 percent would not pay to read news online and 90 percent indicated they would seek free alternatives if their preferred news Website started charging for content.

“Online news consumers, long used to getting their news free when production costs were mostly subsidized by print and broadcast advertising, are balking at the idea of having to pay for content now that revenues are falling below the level needed to sustain media operations across various platforms,” says Donna Logan, one of authors of the 2011 study.

Torstar, the publisher of the Toronto Star, also announced its second quarter results recently, which saw net income drop from $32.6 million in the same period in 2012 to $18 million this year. Net debt was also up $19.9 million in the quarter, totalling $187.6 million.


Torstar Corp., one of Canada’s largest media companies and publisher of the Toronto Star, the country’s largest metro daily newspaper, has merged the online coupon and flyer sites of Save.ca and Flyerland.ca.

As a result, the company, through its Metroland Media Group, has re-launched Save.ca, which began in 2000 and is now visited by more than two million Canadians on a weekly basis. The company claims Save.ca provides access to the most comprehensive offering of online savings of popular brands and digital flyers from retailers across the country.


“For the first time in Canada, one site will bring together savings through coupons and flyers, and with our new shopping list option – the only one of its kind in Canada – we streamline the online deals and purchasing process – something no other site does for Canadians,” stated Doug Guan, Director, Digital Retail, Save.ca.

The re-launched Save.ca Website, according to Torstar, now links brand deals to retailer locations to streamline the shopping process. The new site also features a printable shopping list option to organize savings from all featured retailers and brands. Users can also decide to print deals on the spot or mail a hard copy to their mailbox.

Torstar provides the following Save.ca user statistics, based on a February 2013 survey of 1,395 male and female Canadians between the ages of 25 and 54:

More than 50% have used more than 30 online coupons in the past year,


More than 90% use coupons as new product trials before becoming a loyal shopper,

More than 75% of users who have tried a new product with an online coupon continued to buy the product,

More than 90% of users share their online savings with friends and family, and

More than 95% of users have purchase a product form a difference brand because of an online coupon offer.


The Government of Canada announced last week that it has made electronic publishing the standard production method for all documents going forward in an effort to reduce costs.

"Our Government is committed to delivering information to Canadians in the most efficient and cost effective way," said Minister Tony Clement, President of the Treasury Board. "From now on electronic publishing will be the default for all government organizations, significantly reducing the amount of large volume printing and the costs associated with it."

According to the Minister, between 2011 and 2012, the Government of Canada spent about $19 million in “printing, distribution, and warehousing of communication products.” In the United States, the Government Printing Office (GPO) purchases upwards of US$400 million from private sector suppliers, most of whom it claims are small operations with 20 employees or fewer. The GPO itself has a budget of US$126 million.

The revised Procedures for Publishing, came into effect June 1, replacing the previous policy which was came into effect in May 2005. The objective of the procedure is to “ensure that Government of Canada communications products are readily available to Canadians and are published in an efficient and cost-effective manner.”

Section 6.1.2 of the revised Procedures for Publishing states: 

[Departmental senior managers are responsible for] ensuring that on-demand printing is carried out by default, rather than volume printing, using the most economical printing option and in black and white unless colour printing is deemed necessary.

“Volume” printing is only to be done in the following situations, as dictated by section 6.3.3:

  • - a printed version is specifically required under legislation, regulations or parliamentary procedures
  • - the product informs the public about key information related to health, safety or security issues;
  • - a printed version is required to meet the specific needs of the target audience;
  • - the size or format of the product does not allow for printing using commonly available printers;
  • - an existing contract for printing, warehousing or distribution services, put in place prior to these Procedures taking effect, cannot be cancelled, or the cost of cancelling the contract exceeds the benefits; or
  • - the Minister or the person designated in Schedule VI (Part III, Column II) of the Financial Administration Act requests the printing;
 The full Procedure can be viewed here.


Time Warner has announced plans to separate Time Inc from its operations to become its own independent, publicly traded company, a move that will be complete by the end of its calendar year.

"After a thorough review of options, we believe that a separation will better position both Time Warner and Time Inc,” said Time Warner Chairman and CEO Jeff Bewkes. “A complete spin-off of Time Inc. provides strategic clarity for Time Warner Inc., enabling us to focus entirely on our television networks and film and TV production businesses, and improves our growth profile. Time Inc. will also benefit from the flexibility and focus of being a stand-alone public company and will now be able to attract a more natural stockholder base. As we saw with the prior spin-offs of Time Warner Cable and AOL, we expect the separation will create additional value for our stockholders.”

Current Time Inc. CEO Laura Lang will stay on through the transition, but will not head the new separate company. "Laura indicated to me that we should find a different kind of CEO for this new public company, and I respect her decision," Bewkes said. "She has been a great partner who has given Time Inc. forward momentum to make this transition possible, and I look forward to working with her to select the right leader to head the company as an independent entity."

According to the Wall Street Journal, Time Inc. may take on close to a billion dollars of debt in the transaction. It also reports that Time Inc.’s operating income has dropped in half over the past five years despite cutting nearly a billion in costs.

Last month, rumours circulated about the possibility of a merger of assets between Time Inc. and Iowa-based Meredith Corp. The story was published by Fortune magazine, itself a Time Inc. publication. Meredith Chairman and CEO Stephen M. Lacy confirmed that discussions took place: "At Time Warner's initiation, we discussed combining our National Media Group with certain Time Inc. brands to create a new publicly traded company.  There are natural synergies between our two portfolios; however, we respect Time Warner's decision and certainly remain open to continuing a dialogue on how our companies might work together on future opportunities."

Time Inc. is one of the largest branded media companies in the world. The company's magazines reach more than 110 million Americans each month, and its websites attract nearly 50 million unique visitors each month. It publishes popular titles such as Time, Sports Illustrated, InStyle and People.

Mere days after The Globe and Mail implemented its pay system for its online content, the Toronto Star, Canada's highest circulation daily newspaper, announced similar plans to commence in 2013.

While complete details of how the system will be implemented have not been released, the newspaper announced that most of its print subscribers will get full access to thestar.com's content.

"This move will provide a new source of revenue for the Star that will help support our ability to provide readers of both our print and online editions with the best and most comprehensive package of news and information in Canada," wrote Publisher John Cruickshank. "As our digital content evolves and becomes more extensive, we believe it is necessary to supplement our print and online circulation and advertising revenues with digital subscription revenues."

The Globe and Mail's pay system requires a subscription fee of $20 a month, otherwise users are limited to reading 10 articles on their Website. Viewing stories via links will not count towards the quota. Postmedia newspapers such as the Ottawa Citizen, the Montreal Gazette and the Vancouver Sun already have paywalls in place, and the group announced further implementation plans for 2013.

Other notable North American publications which invoked a paywall model include The New York Times and the Wall Street Journal. The Wall Street Journal reportedly has over one million digital subscribers representing under half of its 2.3 million total circulation while the New York Times has more than half of its 1.6 circulation consumed digitally. According to a new report by the Audit Bureau of Circulations, The New York Times has grown its circulation roughly 40 percent compared to a year ago due to the inclusion of its paid digital subscriptions.


Quebec City-based Dynagram made two central announcements at Graph Expo in Chicago. The company has introduced a new eBook software package, aimed at book printers to produce a value-add to their customers, as well as a update to its inpO2 imposition software.

The eBook software is designed around a token system, which, when affixed to printed copies, allows purchasers to download an electronic version. 

"Printers cannot afford to wait until print/ebook packages become standard," said François Guérard, CEO of Dynagram. "Despite the Amazons and Apples of this world, we believe printers still have value within our industry. Readers will still want print. And they will want ebooks. Both 'p' and 'e' books can thrive together. Dynagram is committed to helping printers thrive through these exciting new times."

The company's inpO2 imposition software also enters version 5, which sees improvements to its Document Manager to now allow prepress staff to quickly insert or replace document pages and move documents or pages inside the run list, with drag and drop of single tree nodes. A quick access to the run list is now possible from the contextual menu of the selected page, allowing users to visually set or adjust documents from the light table.

Page thumbnails and inpO2 Profiles: PDF page thumbnails can now be displayed, instead of high-resolution PDFs, for greater ease of use.

Marks flexibility: Text marks and side guides can be placed on one or both sheet sides, and may or may not follow the work style (turning axis of the sheet) for double-side positioning.

Export and Import of inpO2 Presets: New functions were added for the exchange of inpO2 presets between workstations. The Import or Export can be done for one type of Presets (Sheet, Imported mark...) or globally for all user Presets. Imported Presets can either replace existing ones or can be merged. Should a different Preset with the same name exist, the conflict will be detected and a suffix will be appended to the file name.


XMPie has announced a new feature for its uStore product which will allow printers to provide its clients with a new way to sell printed goods through social media site Facebook.

“With uStore Facebook Connect, we give our customers the means to truly take their multichannel capabilities to new heights. Now they can create apps for their clients’ Facebook pages that enrich social media interactions by adding highly-personalized and relevant print to the media mix,” said Jacob Aizikowitz, President of XMPie. “This allows brands to add value to their social media presence while extending their online relationships with fans into the tangible and engaging physical world, creating an overall richer and more valuable brand experience.”

Fans of a company can click on an application within the company's Facebook page which will then take the users to available document templates. It will then be populated with personalized information once permission has been received. The system will then generate a PDF proof of the document and take the user along to the ordering process. Finally, once the order has been placed, the user can then notify his or her acquaintances via a shared news item.

XMPie uStore Facebook Connect is an add-on available to customers with uStore 6.0 and PersonalEffect Print MI or higher.


Canada Post will be hedging its future on e-commerce, says Canada Post CEO Deepak Chopra.

In an interview with The Financial Post's Tim Shufelt, Chopra responded to allegations that Canada Post was becoming obsolete. Chopra claimed the perception is greatly exaggerated.

“I can see in the end a viable, healthy, vibrant company. To get there, we have to go through some adjustments. It’s a race against time,” he said.

Chopra said although the company was buoyed by monthly bills and statements  for the first 40 years, e-commerce will be the next phase.

“Paper has some great qualities,” said Chopra. “We live in a decade of duality. You’re going to need your printed magazine, at least for a while. And you can have it on your tablet. This decade of duality gives us a transitional phase to reposition the business.”




SFGate, the online presence of of the San Francisco Chronicle, has published an article titled Technology And the Death of Print Media. Written by contributor Greg McFarlane, the article contends that print media will soon be "more dead than Rasputin."

McFarlane states that while it has had a great run of 560 years, technology has made print obsolete as a means of communications: "Given the choice between carrying a static piece of paper that can be cumbersome to navigate, one that becomes a relic the second it's published, and a dynamic device that conveys information instantly, is it even a question as to which one will dominate the market?"

McFarlane points to the decline of newspapers such as Denver's Rocky Mountain News as an indicator of print's looming demise.



Montreal-based Transcontinental, continuing with its strategy to provide multi-platform marketing services, is combining its Media and Interactive divisions into a single sector, under the Transcontinental Media name. 



The new operational structure will be led by current Transcontinental Media President, Natalie Larivière, who has been developing Transcontinental’s digital products and services since 2006. As well, Christian Trudeau, President of Transcontinental Interactive, will be leaving the organization on October 31, 2011. 



The sector will now be responsible for products and services in publishing, distribution, data analytics and management, as well as interactive marketing solutions (mobile, digital promotions, etc.) and digital media.


“After three years of developing our interactive marketing products and services, it became a natural step to provide our customers with an integrated offer by grouping them in our media operations,” stated François Olivier, President and CEO of Transcontinental. “Supply and demand in the marketing communications industry has changed rapidly, reflecting the ever-growing presence of communication channels such as mobile technology and social media. In this new environment our customers want to reach their target customers more effectively by using a combination of media, digital and interactive solutions.



“Concretely, the reorganization of our digital activities and interactive marketing solutions will make it easier to market our products and services and emphasize our offer on the various communication platforms, while continuing to deploy our other media and printing products.”


Transcontinental states that its digital activities and interactive marketing solutions now generate more than $175 million in revenues on an annualized basis and employ some 1,000 people in Canada and the United States.


UPDATE SEPT. 28: Amazon has made the formal announcement of the Kindle Fire. It will be US$199 and start shipping on November 15. Amazon has also announced a new e-ink based Kindle model known as the Kindle Touch. Unlike its previous models, it will not have a physical keyboard, instead relying on a touch screen. 3G version is US$149, Wifi-only model is US$99. Further down the range, a non-touchscreen Kindle will be US$79 (which is subsidized by advertising, unsubsidized models are $30-$40 more). Canadian availability is unknown at this point.


Mega online retailer Amazon is set to announce its offering in the increasingly crowded tablet market space on Wednesday this week. While other companies have failed to dethrone Apple's iPad, Amazon's effort is seen as having the most potential to drain sales from the Cupertino-based computer giant.

Expected to be named the Kindle Fire, the device is built upon the open-source Android platform. Google, however, is not involved with the development, and the tablet is not expected to be able to access Google's Android Market for applications.

Amazon released its own Appstore on March 22, aimed at Android phone users. It has received significant traction with daily free apps, and deep discounts. Today the store has over 3,800 applications.

Amazon launched its first-generation Kindle reader in November of 2007 and soon became the leader in eBook devices. Based on e-ink technology, the devices caused its eBook sales to surpass the company's paperback sales at the end of 2010.

The new Kindle Fire is expected to use a more conventional colour screen and is a response to Barnes and Noble's Nook Color device and also the iPad. Tech industry blog Techcrunch reports that it will be a a 7-inch device which shares many similarities with Research in Motion's PlayBook.


FedEx Office has announced it has upgraded its cloud printing offerings to include printing from Google Docs, the software giant's online productivity suite. FedEx Office is the first to offer this type of inter-connectivity to Google's cloud application suite.

FedEx Office Print Online customers can transfer documents from their Google Docs account for printing and either have it delivered to their door or to a local FedEx Office location for pick-up. The FedEx Office Print Online application was launched in 2007 and today gets more than 250,000 unique visits on average per month.

"As the first national print retailer to offer cloud printing technology, we are excited to meet the growing demand for mobility with FedEx Office Print Online. Our enhanced solution makes Web-based printing easy, wherever you store your files," said Anthony Norris, vice president of digital access marketing at FedEx Office.

Google Docs is becoming an increasingly popular alternative to Microsoft's Office application for small business and personal use. While it lacks many advanced features of Microsoft's offering, it is offered for free and, as a cloud application, can be accessed anywhere with an internet connection.

In 2007, Adobe and FedEx Kinko's (as it was then known) caused an uproar in the printing community when Adobe released its Acrobat and Acrobat Reader software with a FedEx Kinko's button which sent the documents directly to a FedEx Kinko's location. Adobe eventually backed down and removed the button with an update.
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