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Adobe’s Digital Publishing Suite for Tablets

Digital Magazines

The recently launched Digital Enterprise Edition from Adobe is “a turnkey set of hosted software services and viewer technologies to create, distribute, monetize and analyze digital magazines, newspapers and publications.” The primary objective of this new edition is to ensure that large publishers can implement a customary tablet-publishing solution without apparently creating any hazards for the existing publishing process and infrastructure. Having said that, another one of this new Digital Publishing Suite’s goals includes enabling publishers to monetize content on a subscription basis via two mediums namely, Apple App Store and Google’s One Pass service for magazine and newspaper publishers.

As many as 3,000 publishers and content authors are already using the new edition’s pre-release version. To name a few, these publishers comprised of players like Martha Stewart Living, Omnimedia, National Geographic and Conde Nast, which publishes WIRED and The New Yorker. Now, we have already discussed what the primary goals of the new software are. It is now time to see how the goals can be achieved. It is intended to be done by directly integrating a customized tablet publishing solution with the publishers’ backend systems without devouring the existing processes and infrastructure.

Along with integrating the backend editorial publishing processes, the new Digital Publishing Suite also integrates third-party subscription systems with Adobe’s Online Marketing Suite. The benefit of doing this is seen through the real-time data provided by the marketing component and the analysis on content usage. “These integrations allow publishers to customize Digital Publishing Suite to best meet their business objectives — including enabling cross-merchandising and [gaining] insight into how readers interact with content and advertising“, wrote Adobe Systems digital publishing blogger Dave Dickson. And also continued highlighting the suite’s new Viewer Builder service and wrote – “Of special note is the new Viewer Builder service that allows publishers to automatically create a publisher-branded Content Viewer, without restriction on number of apps created or the file size of the apps.”

The ultimate goal of Adobe through this new solution is for the publishers to be able to, on a wider-logistical level, distribute content to devices like Apple’s iPad, the Android-based Samsung Galaxy Tab and Motorola Xoom, and RIM’s forthcoming PlayBook. The choice of delivering the content is with the publisher. Meaning, he / she can either choose to deliver content from their own web sites, or through content aggregators and mobile marketplaces such as the Apple App Store and Android Market.

A major issue with this new suite however is with regard to its pricing. Agreeing to the same, Forrester Research Vice President James McQuivey, said that one of the most essential issues relating to electronic content that needs to be resolved is its pricing. His crafty analogy of the existing content pricing issue with the credit card processing business comes quite handy in understanding the issue better. He says, “a single entity in the credit card business acts as a secure platform on which millions of consumers can transact with thousands of businesses. Credit card companies charge from just below 2 percent to as much as 5 percent for low-volume, high-risk merchants,” McQuivey noted. “Seen in this light, you can better understand why I argue that the long-term resting point for these kinds of platform fees is going to end up below 10 percent.” Though the explanation seems to be quite interesting there needs to be something done to resolve this issue.

Adobe Senior Vice President Wadhwani, thinks otherwise with the launch of this new adobe solution and says, “Google One Pass will open up the market for publishers and that healthy competition between technology providers will ensure a vibrant future for digital publications.” I say, couldn’t have agreed more.

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