Google Finds Flaws in Traditional Magazine Publishing Model

Google has filed a patent for them to create print magazines that will include personalized content and highly targeted advertising. Michael Arrington notes a few elements of the patent application that shows where Google finds flaws in the traditional magazine publishing model:

  • “Publishers often lack insight into the profiles of consumers who purchase their publications, and, accordingly, miss out on subscription and advertisement revenue due to a lack of personalized content and advertisements.”
  • “Consumer targeting for advertisers is limited, and there is virtually no standardization for ad sizes…”
  • “…advertisers sometimes purchase sub-optimal or worthless ad space in an attempt to reach their target markets.”
  • “Advertisers also have difficulty identifying new prospective market segments to target because they have limited insight into the desires and reactions of consumers.”

There is a lot of effort being put forth by publishers to bring their magazine business models online, and find ways to innovate to take advantage of today’s “digital lifestyle.” I am not sure how many of these publishers are aggressively looking for ways to innovate what print can be, and how their audience can find new and exciting ways to use printed media.

Google may well be one step ahead of us all, knowing that there will be a renaissance of print down the road, and that likely, it will take a fresh look to be successful here as well. There is also a *potential* for them to be a step ahead because they don’t have to undo a process and culture around print magazines that other brands have built for decades.

Likely, they will want to partner with established brands on the content side… so Google could end up helping magazines like BusinessWeek distribute and monetize not just their digital content, but their print content as well. Either way, it is always great to see new ideas around print.