Since setting up Planet Ink Ltd two and a half years ago the digital publishing market has grown and grown.
We got into it because in our view, digital is the future of newspapers.
Or at least, of how they will be read.
Cheaper, easy to distribute, far more environmentally sound and with the ability to break down user habits and encourage subscription.
All the things that make traditional print newspapers fall down.
In that time we have had talks with many platform providers, but have so far stuck with Yudu Media as our publishing partner, for a number of reasons.
We feel their technology is at the top of the game. They allow self-publishing. Their technical support is second to none that we have experienced so.
But most of all, for their development and strategic thinking.
Today they have delivered probably the single biggest boost so far to the profile of digital publications in the UK.
The digitisation of a national daily title.
It’s been kept under wraps for a while, but launched in a blaze of publicity today.
You can view it here.
Promoted in the printed edition, it invites subscribers to enter their email address, so they can receive their free edition every day.
And with it, provide valuable information to the marketing department on reader habits from the resolution of computer screens to the kinds of linked clicked.
Now, some could argue that the Metro isn’t a proper national newspaper.
But I’d disagree.
In my view, the Metro is setting the trend for national newspapers.
By making itself available for free in print, it began a process I remain convinced other newspaper groups will one day have no option but to follow.
And by making the same title free online, using digital, it is again leading the pack.
I’ve long argued that the Daily Record, for instance, should go free to claim back its place as Scotland’s champion, as well as digital full time.
In MD Mark Hollinshead they have someone who really appears to ‘get’ the potential.
And they are at least examining the possibility – thanks to freesheet Record PM and of course Business 7.
A niche title, Business 7 has also gone down the road of having a free digital edition available, as I blogged here previously.
Digital editions won’t mean the death of traditional print.
They are too engrained in our psyche, too convenient for some, steeped in tradition and easily available.
But in digital, they have found an ally. And a way of engaging a new generation of readers and their future reading and media consumption habits.
Media groups are wrestling with having to decide between investment in web or print, unionised staff are suspicious of the brave new world, while accountants demand more for less.
With digital, they can bridge that divide.
The best in print, on the web, while maintaining the spirit of what a newspaper is all about.
By bagging Metro as a client, Yudu not only raises its own profile in an increasing crowded market, but that of the whole digital publishing industry.
Which begs the question. Who will be next to join the digital revolution?