Marco Arment and Subscriptions vs Sharing

The battle of the paid vs shared web has been raging on for years, and still no content provider seems to have struck a balance between the two.  Marco Arment’s iPad publication “The Magazine” is one such content provider, and it recently announced a change from a subscription-only policy to a metered paywall, more like the one the New York Times uses.  This struggle calls into question where the line should be drawn between free and paid content, how sharing should be treated, and how advertising plays a role in internet media.  Traditional advertising continues to decline in value, and for the first time, subscription revenue exceeds advertising revenue for the New York Times and the Financial Times.  For smaller providers like “The Magazine,” is there a way to balance free content with paid content?

Kate Spade’s Aggressive In-store iPad Integration

In a world where shoppers can access limitless inventory and product information, Kate Spade needed to give shoppers a reason to come in-store.  In response, the luxury retailers swapped out paper signs for iPads that display pricing and promotional information in select Tokyo locations. Beyond traditional displays, Kate Spade has incorporated product demos, inventory management, sharing functionality and more all geared at increasing dwell time in stores. 

Sephora’s Effective Mobile Strategy

For an example of effective mobile strategy, check out beauty supply store, Sephora. Less than three years after first launching a mobile application, Sephora has created two tailored mobile experiences, apps for iPhone and iPad, with different features and  content, to encourage purchases.  The iPhone app incorporates barcode scanning for in-store product research, while the tablet version features articles and branded content paired with product recommendations and purchase links.  The tailoring of the experiences has been highly effective, increasing mobile traffic, orders, and loyalty subscribers dramatically.