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    "A Software Update Is Available"

    “Update Is Available.”  “Updates were installed.”  As I move through my day and interact with various pieces of technology, it’s a constant refrain.  When I look down at my phone, I see that a new update is available.  If I dig down into the details, sometimes I see that it’s a seemingly small incremental jump.  Should I update now or wait for a more consequential update to come along?  If it’s a more significant update, do I press forward with getting the latest and best that my device has to offer, or do I opt to just stick with the stable features that I currently know and love?  Even my television now tugs at me to apply updates.  Quite a change from the “dumb” TV that I knew growing up!

    While the merits can be debated, it’s undebatable that the software industry has moved towards …



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    Friday Five for October 7 - 'a glorious time for print', Blendle's success and more

    The number of articles, opinion pieces and blog posts shared on the web every day can be overwhelming, but keeping up with industry trends helps us stay ahead of the curve. Here are 5 topics that caught our attention this week:

    Serial captured the imagination of not just its listeners, but also of publishers looking to podcasts as a new revenue stream. However, the LA Times used the format in a print series and found that it worked surprisingly well in attracting new subscribers

    A new Magnetic study finds that online magazine media is 41% more effective at delivering brand KPIs than other online environments

    "Forbes magazine is at the highest print readership in its 99-year history" according to its editor Randall Lane, who concludes that "if you’re focused on the product, this …



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    Five Tips to Improve Your Subscription Payment Success Rate

    With the rise of the "subscription economy,” auto-charging customers regularly in exchange for goods and services has become a popular business model. Of course, this is old news for publishers, who have been making use of renewals and recurring payments longer than most other industries. However, auto-charges come with their own challenges---recurring credit card payments have much higher decline rates than stand-alone payments, for example. Here are five tips to improve your subscription payment success rate: 

    1. Optimizing retries

    The most common reason for failed credit card payments is that the credit line on the account has been exceeded. For this 'insufficient funds' scenario, as well as in the case of technical errors, you will likely want to retry the payment before taking …



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    The Evolution of Electronic Information Delivery

    The media used to deliver electronic content in the publishing industry is continually expanding.  Publishers have adapted to many changes in books and magazines, and are now dealing with changes in web access, on-demand access to content, and the distribution of audio.

    Speaking of audio…

    This article in the Wall Street Journal highlights the growth of audio books, claiming it is the fastest-growing format in the publishing industry.  Sales in the U.S. and Canada jumped 21% in 2015 from 2014, according to the Audio Publisher’s Association.  Revenues from hardcover books and paperbacks may be declining, and even the use of e-books is showing signs of declining sales, but revenues from digital downloads are increasing. 

    Changing technology and changing behaviors

    Reading a story aloud …



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    Friday Five for September 23 - News from industry events and conferences

    It is conference and trade show season! Let's take a look at the key takeaways from a few recent industry gatherings as well as events that our AdvantageCS team will be attending in the next few weeks:

    The Media Briefing reviews the lessons learned at Digital Media Strategies USA 2016. A common denominator? Understanding the audience is the first priority for digital publishers

    At Digiday Publishing Summit, publishers shared their biggest challenges, from improving monetization models to diversification

    5 takeaways from the 2016 Online News Association conference include strategies for integrating with tech platforms and social media tools

    The AdvantageCS Sales team will be hitting the road this fall. Meet up with Dan and Mona at STM Frankfurt, The FOLIO: Show and ASAE …



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    AUG 2017 Set for February 1 - 3 in San Antonio

       

    It's time to start planning your trip to the 2017 Advantage User Group conference! Located at the Holiday Inn San Antonio River Walk (217 N St. Mary’s Street, San Antonio, TX 78205), the conference will take place February 1 - 3. Complete details and registration information will be on the client portal of the AdvantageCS website soon. Or contact your account manager or any member of the AUG Steering Committee for more information.

    Hope to see you there! 

     



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    Travels to Trade Shows

     

    The AdvantageCS sales team is hitting the road this fall to take part in some important trade shows. These industry events are a great way to network with a lot of people in a short time. The team loves catching up with old friends as well as meeting new ones. And learning new things along the way.   

    October 18: STM Frankfurt, held the day before the Frankfurt Book Fair, always has a lot to offer in the Scientific, Technical, Medical arena.  Dan Heffernan and Mona Hidayet will be in attendance.

    November 1 and 2: The FOLIO: Show will bring Dan and Mona to New York. Dan will be participating in this panel discussion on Wednesday afternoon, which is sure to be informative.  If you plan to attend, stop in and hear what the panel has to say. You can set up a meeting by contacting Dan  …



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    Friday Five for September 16 - Taking down siloes, newsstand sales for the first 2 quarters, the September issue, and more

    The number of articles, opinion pieces and blog posts shared on the web every day can be overwhelming, but keeping up with industry trends helps us stay ahead of the curve. Here are 5 topics that captured our attention this week:

    The publishing industry is revising its org charts---Hearst and Time, Inc. are going so far as to eliminate the role of "publisher"

    This type of reorganization aims at taking down siloes so that content can be shared across brands and platforms

    "For many publishers, their newsstand business is doing just fine, and it is still an important part of their overall business strategy and bottom line profits,” finds Magnet Data in their recent report on newsstand sales in the first half of 2016

    The September issue is the fashion publishing equivalent to the …



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    Friday Five for September 9 - The revenge of legacy publishers, the changing role of publishers, and more

    The number of articles, opinion pieces and blog posts shared on the web every day can be overwhelming, but keeping up with industry trends helps us stay ahead of the curve. Here are 5 topics that captured our attention this week:

    "The share of American adults who read books in any format has remained largely unchanged over the last four years," find the Pew Research Center in a recent study.

    College newspapers are cutting print schedules to focus on digital first. Is there a lesson to be learned for traditional publishers?

    FIPP interviewed five publishers on how they define their changing role. A common denominator? The focus on change management as brands, audiences and platforms evolve.

    Are "legacy publishers" getting their revenge? That may be true for The New York Times and …



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    Peeking Behind the Curtain of Advantage QA

    At any given time, we at AdvantageCS are working on at least one, usually more, large development projects, be it in collaboration with clients or as AdvantageCS-funded research and development. Recent examples include our eCommerce platform Cider, a Single Sign-On solution and Members Advantage, our membership project. From a QA standpoint, the challenge is to ensure that hundreds or even thousands of hours of development work get tested and that the resulting product is robust and easy to use.

    The role of testing in Agile methodologies

    Our software development projects are organized in an agile framework called Scrum. Unlike "waterfall" projects, agile projects don't have successive analysis, design, development, testing and rollout phases. These activities are executed …



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