Interview with Zite CEO Mark Johnson
June 11, 2012 | 9:10 am
By Paul Biba
Zite is my favorite personalized magazine on the iPad. I much prefer it to Flipboard, as it has a much better aggregation of materials and a superior user experience. StrategyEye has an interview with Zite’s CEO about the state of digital media. Here’s a snippet:
¤ What are the main barriers for publishers seeking to monetise online?
The technology pieces are mostly in place now. There’s a system of micropayments that’s been enabled by devices like iPad and the iTunes store. There are also ways to protect your content these days. You have delivery devices like the iPad, which is a really good mobile reading experience, very similar to the magazine. I think at this point it’s on the players in media to rethink what their business model is and try to innovate.
¤ What impact has Apple’s Newsstand had on digital publishing?
I think its impact has been minimal, and part of the reason for that is that it’s a distribution platform where Apple is taking a pretty big chunk of the magazine. You see a lot of major magazines not go onto Newsstand and I think it’s because they’re worried about someone else owning the distribution channel.
¤ Overall, how do you see the digital content publishing space evolving?
There is going to be a lot of consolidation. There were a lot of aggregators popping up last year, a lot of different kinds of news-readers, and in the past month or so we’ve lost Ongo, a collaboration among three major media companies, and Yahoo!’s Livestand. I think you’re going to see more of that happening this year. You’ll find a few players coming into the market, but it’s going to be harder and harder for them to differentiate themselves, and harder also to break out, because Pulse, Flipboard and Zite are way in the lead, and it’s going to be hard to get ahead of the pack.