technical specifications for the ADOBE .folio coming up in Q1 2014 under free license

Adobe has let it known that they will be coming up with the technical specifications of .folio format for e-magazines under free license sometime in Q1 2014. An inherent benefit of the .folio format is that it will allow newsstands to launch their own viewing apps for users to read digital magazines that have been built using Adobe’s Digital Publishing Suite. This, Adobe claims will lead to greater acceptance of digital magazines published using Adobe DPS which has already seen three times the growth achieved in 2013 as it has been the year before it.

What is also heartening for Adobe is that readers have been found to engage with the publications, with them tending to spend about 50 mins on average with DPS digital magazines in a month. Cost efficiency and ease of use of DPS has been attributed to the success of the digital publishing platform though also contributing significantly to the success story are the consumer marketing tools that are an integral package of DPS magazine apps. These features include the ability for readers to share articles using the social networking sites, feature that allows a particular article or an entire issue to be previewed for free and so on.

But what will change effectively for publishers and brands who want to adopt this de-facto standard? This free license will enable any newsstand licensee to implement its own .folio viewer. At this moment the only available viewer for .folios was the ADOBE Viewer, hence the big change.


Adobe DPS Release 27

The latest release of Digital Publishing Suite – Release 27 – is now available. With support for Pinterest, device GPS integration and Free Article Preview with Metering, the latest features in Digital Publishing Suite are designed to help you drive awareness of, interest in, and revenue from your publications. In addition, we have refined Folio Producer Service so that you can streamline and accelerate production.

New features that are now available, in release 27, among others:

  • Social Sharing through Pinterest
  • Device GPS Integration
  • Free Article Preview with Metered Content
  • Copy Folio

For a full list of features available in release 27, visit Bob Bringhurst’s Help Site, What’s New in this Release.

Pinterest Added to Social Sharing
Socially sharing images has become mainstream, and DPS apps lend themselves to this medium since they are often well designed with striking visuals. In addition to existing social sharing functionality, you can now allow readers to share the image of an article page on their Pinterest boards. Their followers can be hooked in by great visuals and subsequently experience the interactive and informational content in your app, such as recipes, infographics, fashion, and home improvement techniques. The goal with this feature is to increase the reach of your content through your readers’ social networks. With this capability, corporate publishers can drive brand awareness and magazine and newspaper publishers can develop new readership. Available for iPad and iPhone.

The following visuals illustrate the flow of the Pinterest reading experience in DPS.

  1. A reader shares the image of an article page from the app and posts it on her Pinterest page.
  2. Her follower clicks on the Pinterest image.
  3. Once the image is open, she clicks on “Visit Website.”
  4. After clicking, readers can experience interactive article content on device or in the Web Viewer.

Device GPS Integration
Mobile readers are exactly that: mobile. Your consumers are reading content on the bus, at home, and at work, in different geographies and locations. You may need to deliver different types of content to people based on location. GPS integration allows you to deliver targeted content through integration with GPS location data from the device.  Available for iPad and iPhone.

Consider the following use cases:

  • Promotional Entitlement Banner Enterprise customers can place a geo-specific promotional banner in the custom store or library. For example, if you’re sponsoring an event in Los Angeles, you can promote a free folio to each attendee in LA by showing a targeted banner. When users click on the banner, they can enter login credentials and be entitled to the folio. This allows you to connect with the audience and capture data from attendees. Once attendees download the folio, they remain entitled to it after they leave Los Angeles. The geolocation does not change the content that they are entitled to, but only changes the banner that they see in the custom store or library.
  • Region-specific folios  If you have a sales enablement app, you may want to entitle sales team members to region-specific content, such as lists of pricing, regional distributors, and retail locations. For example, your U.S. sales team will see a different set of folios in their library from the Latin America sales team. As in the use case above, if a rep downloads a folio from the U.S. and then travels to Latin America, the folios downloaded in the U.S. will still be available on her device. Requires custom store or library.
  • Region specific article or ad  The first two use cases cover GPS integration with the custom store or library. In this use case, you can change content within the article based on geography. For example, you may have an article on farmers markets, and want to provide HTML content on local markets. In the case of an advertisement, GPS integration allows you feature local vendors to help drive regional sales. In the image below, the advertiser is a European railroad company that has different travel agents in each U.S. city.

Free Article Preview with Metered Content 
In our last release, we enabled Free Article Preview, allowing publishers to pique reader interest by providing selected free articles in a folio, and offering upsell or subscription prompts once consumers click on a protected article. Previously, articles were either designated as “free” or “protected” in the Folio Producer Service. As promised in Colin Fleming’s Release 26 video on Free Article Preview, you can now set up an additional content type — “metered” — and define a certain number of articles available for free to engage readers before encouraging them to purchase premium content. Once readers encounter the paywall, convert them into buyers with subscription and upsell prompts.

The following images show samples of metered content and upsell prompts.

Copy Folio 
In release 27, production staff can also streamline the production process and improve collaboration with new Copy Folio functionality. With this feature, you can copy an entire folio to your account using one-click access from the Folio Producer Service, eliminating the need to copy and rebuild a folio article-by-article. Production staff can insert content, including editorial and advertising, from content contributors and agencies more easily with this streamlined Copy Folio workflow. In addition, you can automate folio copying with access to the Copy Folio API. Watch the Copy Folio video from Colin Fleming on Adobe TV.

DPS at Adobe MAX – 2013

Did you miss the Digital Publishing Suite sessions at Adobe MAX? If so, fear not. Most have been recorded and are live on Adobe TV. The DPS team led a lot of great tutorials on using Digital Publishing Suite, and those recordings are listed at the bottom of this blog post. Send your graphic designers and developers to those links in case they want to learn how to use DPS with step-by-step instructions.

Leaders in digital publishing joined us to discuss their digital publishing strategy, and we are delighted to share a full video of their talks here.

Corporate Publishing Session: Engaging Your Customers and Employees with Mobile Apps

Watch the full length video on Adobe TV.

Melissa Webster, Jose Andrade, Brooke Entsminger, Daniel Riley, and Christian Russo

As we said in last week’s Corporate Publishing Summit recap, brands and businesses are using Digital Publishing Suite in a range of use cases that we hadn’t imagined when the product launched several years ago. The following DPS customers joined moderator Melissa Webster from IDC to share how they use DPS to build apps for their businesses.

  • Jose Andrade from Publicis Life Brands Medicus and Brooke Entsminger from Lung LLC discussed how they use DPS for a medical sales tool.
  • Christian Russo from Sotheby’s International Realty shared their privately published app delivered to their real estate network.
  • Daniel Riley from UCLA School of Management showed us the alumni magazine, which is now only available on iPad.

Corporate Publishing: Key Takeaways

  • Efficiency: The panelists use DPS as an efficient mobile app platform. For pharmaceutical companies, this efficiency allows them to make quick changes for the review committee. For Sotheby’s International Realty, this efficiency allows them to deliver three to four updates per month.
  • Cost savings: UCLA has stopped printing its alumni magazine and only delivers it to alumni via iPad. Publicis and Sotheby’s International Realty have reduced printing costs by providing PDFs that the sales team can print if they choose.
  • Analytics: Understanding app usage helps each of our panelists define the editorial strategy moving forward. Because this app is new to Sotheby’s International realty, the team is looking at the daily use increase and the percentage of network downloads in order to understand its acceptance in the field. Publicis and Lung LLC are looking at the level of interaction between the patient and physician.
  • Marketing Mix: For UCLA, the DPS alumni magazine serves as a piece of the marketing mix, and the content is complemented by other activities conducted by the alumni office. However, Sotheby’s International Realty said that the app IS their marketing mix – in that it is the central means of communication with the field.

Magazine Publishing Session: From Print to Digital Media: Building a Digital Publishing Business

Watch the full length video on Adobe TVMAX
Bill Mickey, Anthony Cerretani, and Meghan Milkowski

Publishing magazines on iPad has become much more mainstream than it was at the 2011 MAX conference. The community of publishers is beginning to set best practices, but the jury is still out on some issues. The following DPS customers joined Bill Mickey from Folio to discuss their digital publishing stories.

  • Anthony Cerretani, Backpacker Magazine
  • Meghan Milkowski, Prometheus Global Media (Billboard, Adweek, Hollywood Reporter)

Magazine Publishing: Key Takeaways

  • Adoption of DPS: Active Interest Media (publisher of Backpacker) initiated a competition a few years ago to see which title could publish onto the iPad first. Evidently, the Backpacker team won. Cerretani’s team continues to push the envelope with our platform. At Prometheus, the creatives were champions of DPS, and because of their enthusiasm for the platform, they were willing to stay up late at night to figure out how to use it.
  • Production: Neither publisher has hired new employees to create the digital magazine. Instead, both have built in efficiencies to deliver the print and digital magazine at the same time. While templates are helpful, both publishers indicated that the mindset of the production team has shifted to include both digital and print.
  • Advertising: Backpacker and Prometheus encourage other publishers to sponsor special editions and magazine launches. Advertisers love being spotlighted in special issues.
  • In-app marketing: Readers love special editions and back issues. Backpacker said that it was worth investing in PDF replicas of back issues since they are popular with existing iPad readers.

Other MAX Videos


Why the outlook for tablet magazines is getting better

Another year of declining print sales for magazine publishers seems inevitable, but the digital future looks brighter. New research from Adobe suggests that not only are tablet magazines growing quickly, but that readers are even willing to pay for them.

Adobe has been on a mission over the last year to better understand where digital publishing is headed. As well as working with publishers using its Digital Publishing Suite (DPS) to push out tablet editions, Adobe has been meeting with these partners to get a feel of the state of tablet publishing.

Now, 12 months later, Adobe has compiled the results of its research that should be of particular interest to magazine publishers, advertising agencies and media ad buyers.

“The momentum we’re seeing in digital publishing is that publishers are actually able to make money off these magazines. They are coming to realize that these [editions] have business value,” Lynly Schambers-Lenox, Adobe’s group product marketing manager for digital publishing, told TabTimes.

Adobe has also benefitted from publishers’ appetite for digital content on mobile devices – Schambers-Lenox says that the Digital Publishing Suite has gone from publishing 170,000 digital issues a week in May 2011 to 1.8 million by the end of February. The Adobe exec added that magazine downloads (for editions using DPS) now stands at 75 million.

“It shows more and more that people are coming into the digital franchises of these publications, and consuming magazines and newspapers on smartphones and tablets,” she said.

Tablet readers will pay for content

Adobe’s study further details that readers are increasingly prepared to spend money on these tablet magazines.

When looking at the consumer’s willingness to pay for digital content, Adobe found that this stood at 65% of consumers in February last year before rising to an “all-time high” of 80% figure a year later.

“It is also interesting to compare subscriptions against single issues,” said Schambers-Lenox. “A year ago, that ratio was at 2:1 but now it closer to 3:1. People are definitely seeing value in digital magazines and want to have a long-term relationship with publishers.”

Adobe’s research found that total digital readership has grown an average of 30% across all publishers in the last year, with some publishers seeing that figure rise as high as 150%.

“We think that tablets are driving this growth. The iPad mini came in the fall and that’s definitely driving a huge number of readers, but there’s also a bit of movement around Kindle Fire and the Nexus 7.”

PDF rendering is a thing of the past

Some publishers are having more success with tablet publishing than others; case in point, the BBC’s car magazine Top Gear.

Just three months ago, the magazine was reliant on using PDF replicas for its tablet magazine, something Hearst and others have previously admitted to using, but it has since moved to using Adobe’s DPS.

The results have been staggering. Adobe says that total tablet magazine downloads have since risen 48% with paid-downloads and single-issue sales up by 62% and 79%, respectively. Ad revenue has also increased by an impressive 200%, while the reader time-per issue has quadrupled from 10-12 minutes to 40 minutes.

Top Gear’s success is the latest evidence to show the popularity of PDF rendering is fading, just as TabTimes forecast almost a year ago.

Asked if publishers were coming to realize that PDF replicas were limited, Schambers-Lenox as good as agreed, saying that the format worked well…three years ago.

“Three years ago it was a smart move. The risk was really low and you could take a PDF and transform it into a pseudo digital format. But now publishers realize they have to do more,” she said, adding that publishers are increasingly looking at offering digital bundles and tablet-first strategies.

Not that Adobe intends to stand still with DPS. The company says that publishers can now publish personalized push notifications to their readers (Men’s Health uses this feature to detail when the next issue is available) and adds that other new features include digital blow-in (the ability to offer subs within an issue) and greater support for social networks.

But perhaps the biggest improvement is the new ‘First Issue Free’ feature, which allows first-time users to download a free copy of an edition when inside the publisher’s container app.

TabTimes asked if reader frustrations with these container apps, which essentially only allow access to subscribers or one-off buyers, drove Adobe and publishers to make the change.

“I think that’s an accurate representation of the user experience in the past,” said digital publishing evangelist Colin Fleming. “It was not user friendly.”

Adobe says that it will go on to support Android smartphones and Windows 8 devices in the second half of the year (it already supports iPad and Android tablets), and sees smartphones as an “add-on” to tablet reading.

“We’re starting to see more publishers publish on smartphones,” said Schambers-Lenox. “National Geographic sees 75% of its readers on ‘lean back’ tablets, but also sees 20% of content being consumed on smartphones. The takeaway here is that the smartphone will contribute to readership.”

Good news for advertisers

Adobe’s report also shed a positive light on the future of tablet advertising, noting that readers are increasingly attracted to interactive ads.

Studying how readers responded to 10 different ads, Adobe research showed readers are increasingly shunning the static ads of yesterday.

“Advertisers are starting to step up and now blend and match the capabilities of the publication [with their ads]”, said Fleming. “For example, there’s a Jaguar ad on my iPad where I can swipe to revolve balance or bring the car to the forefront. This kind of interactivity is fun.”

Other brands, like John Varvatos, are experimenting with interactive ads that show videos. Adobe execs says they expect tablet ads to catch-up with other platforms, but admit that this will take time.

“TV ads have the best pull, but tablet ads only represent 2% of all ads so this is early days,” said Schambers-Lenox. “We’ll see the percentages shift around. Interactive ads are great, but there are not a lot of them out there at the moment.”


Adobe DPS 26: PDF article support in Android and Desktop Viewer

The following features are available for the v26 release:

Free Article Preview (iPad only): you can allow customers to preview content in a retail folio. Users can tap the Preview button to download and read all free articles. When a user navigates to other articles in the app, a paywall prompts them to purchase the folio. To enable Free Article Preview in a retail folio, select the “Enable Article Preview” setting in the Account Administration Tool, and use the Folio Producer Editor to mark specific articles as Free. (Free Article Preview is iPad-only and currently does not work with folios that have Sections.)

 PDF article support in both Android Viewer and Desktop Viewer: PDF articles are now supported on Android devices and in the Desktop Viewer. On Android viewers, you can take advantage of the PDF format to reduce file size, reuse iOS folios that have PDF articles, and use pinch & zoom on article pages. In the Desktop Viewer, you can now preview folios that have PDF articles, which is especially useful to preflight your folio for errors. The app version needs to be v26 or later to display PDF articles, but the folio with PDF articles can be any version. For a video demo, see the PDF Content on Android video. (Note that this is a change to the existing AIR-based Android viewer, not to the native Android viewer that is currently in development. In addition, PDF support on Android does not include displaying PDF files in the in-app browser.)

iPad library improvements: Icons now appear beneath each cover preview image in the library so that users can see which content is free or retail without an extra tap. Tapping a button with a price initiates a purchase. Tapping the free button or the cloud button initiates a download. A cloud icon appears if a user is entitled to a retail folio that hasn’t been downloaded. Tapping the cover preview image itself still displays a preview pane with additional information. If a custom library is configured to display only entitled folios, the preview pane does not appear when tapping the cover image. (Enterprise only) If your custom library displays only folios to which your customers are entitled, no preview pane appears. Tapping a cover image begins to download the folio.

Full iPhone 5 support: You can now create 1136×640 folio renditions to avoid letterboxing content on the iPhone 5. In DPS App Builder, you must specify an additional 640×1136 launch image (splash screen) to comply with Apple requirements for iPhone 5 apps.

DPS App Builder includes the following changes:

  • Asset links are now stored on the server, allowing you to use different computers to build the app without having to relink to copied assets. For example, an agency can go through DPS App Builder to specify most of the settings and files, and the client can then complete the app by specifying the certificates. When you edit an existing viewer, an “Asset stored on the server” message appears in the text field. Storing assets works only for an individual app; you cannot store assets on the server for use across multiple apps.
  • (Enterprise) When you create a custom store that takes advantage of new API features, creating a custom library is no longer required.
  • (Enterprise) If you want to continue using an older store that you’ve created, you can select Use Legacy Store APIs in DPS App Builder. However, if you select this option, you cannot specify a custom library.
  • The “Enable hot zone to display folio view controls” option now includes a hot zone at both the top and bottom of screen, not just the bottom.
  • There is a new option for specifying an optional privacy policy URL that appears in the library settings menu.

Web Viewer now includes the following improvements:

  • Embedded Web Viewer. You can now embed shared Web Viewer articles in your Web site with new support for iframe HTML tags in DPS. Include surrounding design elements that convey a consistent, branded experience for your customers. For a video demo, see the Embed Publications within Web Sites video. For an article with detailed instructions, see Embedded Web Viewer.
  • Web Viewer-only folio. You can create a special folio rendition for the Web Viewer that appears only in the Web Viewer browser, not on the device viewer. For example, you can create a 1024×580 folio that displays only a horizontal orientation, uses terminology such as “click” instead of “tap,” and replaces an unsupported panorama with a static image. See Creating a Web Viewer rendition.
  • Custom stores and custom Libraries are now supported in Web Viewer. Integrate a Custom Store and Custom Library within the Web Viewer to feature special content, offers, or promotions. Check the DPS Developer Center for information.
  • Optional privacy policy URL. You can configure a web link to your app’s privacy policy. This is supported in both iOS and Android Viewers.
  • Web Viewer analytics. Analytics data is now enabled for the Web Viewer.
  • Horizontal Swipe Only support (added in v25). The Web Viewer now displays “flattened” articles that have Horizontal Swipe Only selected.

New and enhanced Fulfillment Reports: The Fulfillment Report on the DPS Dashboard gives publishers easy-to-understand details related to the downloads of their folio content. The Fulfillment Report now includes additional data fields to make it easier to build informative pivot tables that show how many downloads for each publication, per issue, with a total for all downloads and a breakout showing web viewer downloads separately. A new Consolidated Fulfillment Report (currently called “Rollup Report”) gives administrators the fulfillment data for all publications associated with their account. Finally, all report data is now recorded daily instead of weekly.

Online purchase of fulfillment bundles:  A new online purchase option for 10,000 Fulfillment Bundles makes it easy for publishers to ensure their account is always in good standing. Fulfillment renewals placed through a reseller or directly from Adobe can sometimes take a few days to process. To provide a faster purchase option, publishers can now buy a serial number for a 10,000 fulfillment bundle through the Adobe Store and redeem that serial number through the DPS Dashboard.

Analytics improvements:
  • Complete articles read. You can track how many readers completely read articles in a single visit.
  • TOC tracking. You can track taps on the TOC button and also identify which articles are discovered through the TOC.
  • Readers that are directly entitled by publishers. You can get data about readers who sign in to the app and obtain folios through direct entitlement. You can optionally return the reader’s subscriber ID and subscriber type through the direct entitlement API. The subscriber type and subscriber ID values are passed to SiteCatalyst so that you can track how these subscribers engage with the folio.
  • Free Article Preview. When customers tap the “Preview” button to preview the issue, the number of preview button taps and the free articles that get previewed are tracked. The number of conversions after the issue is previewed is also tracked.
  • Omniture Visitor ID and Push notification token. For each reader, an Omniture visitor ID and push notification token (if the reader has opted in to receiving push notifications) is added to SiteCatalyst.
  • Web Viewer: Web Viewer information is tracked.

First Folio Free API improvement: Enterprise publishers can now use the custom library API to configure the subscription banner to display messaging depending on whether the reader is a subscriber and can appropriately provide messaging that supports the latest free retail issue feature.

Digital Publishing to iPhones: An Untapped Revenue Stream

WoodWing evangelist Victor Cardoso wrote this article:

“Publishing to the iPad and other tablet devices has been a welcome boon to the publishing industry. It’s established that customers are willing to pay for quality content in a portable, electronic form. And yet, the iPad — which has been the most successful tablet device — represents only 67 million devices worldwide. The iPhone, introduced earlier and available at a lower price point with carrier subsidies, has almost three times as many users with a 175 million device footprint.

The good news is that WoodWing’s Digital Publishing Tools, in conjunction with Adobe DPS, offers quick and easy creation of iPhone content with the option of creating universal apps — those that work on both iPhone and iPad.

As an example of how lucrative iPhone publishing can be, I offer up a business case of a particular WoodWing customer: Mainichi Newspapers, publishers of the popular TAP-i daily newspaper in Japan. With their iPad edition, TAP-i received a respectable 70,000 daily readers. But — hold on to your hats — with the recent inclusion of an iPhone edition, TAP-i readership swelled to over 200,000 readers daily. That’s not to say that every iPhone edition will receive similar success, but it certainly goes to show the potential inherent in the smartphone form factor.

For information on how to get started with an iPhone edition in your WoodWing Enterprise installation, check out our recent webinar,Adding iPhones to Your Digital Publishing Strategy, available on our YouTube channel.”

source: Victor Cardoso from WoodWing

ADOBE DPS : Analytics

Hello DPS users \ fans, here is a good document from ADOBE which explains what exactly can be monitored through DPS analytics using either the DPS PRO, ENTERPRISE of with a full SiteCatalyst account. Take for good that most of the “juicy” counters are not available to DPS PRO subscribers.

For example, what good is it to know if a page has been viewed when you could know how much TIME has been spent on it? How often has happened to us to flip carelessly through the pages of a Digital Magazine without actually “seeing” the content? Would we really care to monitor that kind of action?

Anyhow some counters are really handy, for example the fact that you can track ads and videos opened in them. There would be a lot to be explained for many metrics but most of them speak for themselves.

Baseline analytics are included in both the Professional and Enterprise editions of Digital Publishing Suite. Publishers with an Adobe SiteCatalyst subscription can access digital publishing data directly in SiteCatalyst for advanced analysis, leveraging the full suite of SiteCatalyst report categories. Also, Baseline provides pre-defined reports, while SiteCatalyst data views are configurable.

Here are the available metrics:

Metric Baseline Analytics SiteCatalyst
App Metrics
App Version
Viewer Version
Application Installs / App First Time Launch
App Startups / launches
Time Spent per Visit
Issue Buy and downloads
Issue Purchase Starts
Issue Purchased
Purchase Type
Issue Download Starts
Issues Downloaded
Issue Download Recoverable Errors
Issue Download Failed
Issue Download Pathing
Issue Download Cancelled
Issue Download Error Type
Publications & Issues
Issue Name
Issue Fulfillment ID
Publication ID
Articles and Content
Content Title
Ad Title
Article Title
Page Number
Sub-Page Number
Event Type
Content Type
Content Views
Ad views
Edit Views
Content Browsed
Online Status
Event Context
Path reports
Ad Title
Article Title
Rich Media
Overlay Type
Overlay Starts
Overlay Stops
Video Starts
Video Stops
Audio Starts
Audio Stops
Visitor Profile
Social Media
Social Share
Custom HTML tracking