TNGs New Distribution Fees A GameChanger or the Same Old Game

first_imgOver the past week I have spoken about little else than the new fees coming in from TNG, formerly The News Group, the largest wholesaler group in North America and responsible for over half of the continent’s magazine newsstand distribution. The fees, imposed unilaterally and to be implemented right away, range from two cents a copy to eight cents a copy, with 131 publications exempt.  TNG is imposing these fees in a move that is eerily reminiscent of the fee-for-distribution that Anderson News Company attempted to impose in 2009. The fee imposed then was opposed by publishers and resulted in ANCO going out of business. There are differences now. And whatever the outcome is, it will be very different from that of the ANCO affair.Which is good, as no one wants another wholesaler group to go out of business. No partner in the newsstand distribution supply chain could afford that today. As an industry, we need to try to create a situation where every member of the distribution channel is healthy and profitable. But the situation troubles me, a lot, and for many reasons. Some aspects of this TNG mandate are game changers. Some are not. But the businesses most vulnerable to the consequences of these changes are the independent publishers.I have heard—and probably so have you—comments made by some that this industry will become stronger, healthier, and more profitable by the removal of the “clutter” of the little guys from the newsstand. The irony is that the growth and stabilization of revenues in our business over the last two decades or so has come from the rise of special interest publications. Haven’t these guys been paying attention?I am troubled by the ironies. And I am troubled by the game-changing aspects of this, and by the aspects that are not game-changing at all.I am troubled that the extra fees are not being negotiated—they are being applied. That’s a game-changer. Now, is there a possibility that a publisher could talk to TNG to discuss other ways of skinning this particular cat? There might be. But to do so each publisher needs to take his or her own initiative to bring a plan to TNG. The initial wave of correspondence doesn’t include an invitation to show up at TNG to discuss. But I would encourage you to do so.The fee is expected to be updated every six months. That means that publishers cannot know what they should expect to pay for distribution of their newsstand copies throughout the coming year. They will be charged at the will of TNG. Budgeting for revenues for a year will not be possible. Planning for what might come down the pike is impossible. That’s a game-changer. The formulas used for imposing the fees are not to be shared with the publishers that they affect. Consequently, publishers have no say in how these fees are imposed, no way of improving their financial picture in the agencies. That’s a game-changer.  Experience tells us that once those fees are imposed, we cannot expect them to be rolled back. Wholesalers are not known to reverse fees, once imposed. This is not just me grousing about life. This is an explicit policy on the part of the wholesaler community. That would be the same old game. However, I have been told on excellent authority that this game is changing as well, and not for the worse. The six-month re-evaluation is formula-based. If a publisher’s standing changes for the worse, per the formula, the fee gets higher. If it changes for the better, the fee gets lower. So that’s another game-changer.Of course, once the fees are imposed, they will obviously not be restricted to TNG. They will spread to other wholesalers, of which there are mostly only two. That is the same game. I’ve heard from some industry sources that these changes are expected to succeed because the business models of publishers don’t rely on newsstand as a source. Publishers, I am told, discount subscriptions dramatically, so they don’t need the circ cash. They make their money from advertising, so they can afford to pay higher circ fees. But the publishers for whom these outdated business models still hold true are in many cases the ones exempted from the TNG fee. Many of the publishers taking the brunt of these changes depend on each revenue-generating channel to be profitable in its own right. Creating assumptions based on business models of the very publishers that aren’t hit by the consequences? That’s both an irony, and the same old game.Where we are now is not any one company’s fault, but the fact remains: There are deep paradoxes involved in the concurrent consolidation of the distribution channel and the fragmentation of publishing and its consumption. I take the wholesalers at their word that they can’t afford to stay in business under the current model. And we ignore this reality at our peril. With a 10 percent loss year over year on a fixed-cost business, the agencies need to find a way to bring their business models into alignment with today’s newsstand realities. The costs of maintaining their truck fleets are huge; the costs of maintaining their merchandising teams are huge. Revenues are slipping. And we as publishers need for them to stay in business. But from the supplier side, publishers also need to stay in business as costs keep rising and revenues keep slipping. I’ve done the math. Many of the publishers affected are already getting the thinnest slice of remit for the newsstand sales of their products. From the point of view of the wholesaler, the game is not changing as much as it needs to. The fees levied are not enough to create the profit. They are not enough to fix a system that no longer works. They are seen as a bridge. Something to keep the distribution channel alive while the game is truly, finally changed.So here we stand, yet again, on the brink of big sweeping changes, on the brink of a whole new way of doing business, and we still don’t know what it’s going to look like. But for today the changes are going to be about who can afford to stay in the game, who is going to leave, what counts as a “little” publisher and what the medium-sized publishers who don’t make the top 131 are going to do.Some are going to go with TNG’s plan. Some will talk about alternative plans, ones that meet the goals of the suppliers as well as their distribution partners, ones that keep the balls in play for at least a while longer. And some are already speaking to book distributors, direct distributors, and retailers directly. Companies are going to disappear from the system as we know it. Most—but not all—will be publishers. One thing that will not change is that publishers will continue to produce quality content that people want to read. And they will continue to find a way to get it into their audiences’ hands.The details of how that will happen are under advisement.last_img read more



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Amazon 10inch Fire tablets 50 off at Best Buy

first_img Turo is kind of like Uber meets Airbnb: You borrow someone’s car, but you do all the driving. I’ve used it many times and found it a great alternative to traditional car-rental services — in part because you get to choose exactly the vehicle you want (not just, say, “midsize”) and in part because you can often do pickup and dropoff right outside baggage claim.Between now and Sept. 1, the first 300 people to check out can get $30 off any Turo rental with promo code LDW30. Other Labor Day sales you should check out Best Buy: In addition to some pretty solid MacBook deals that have been running for about a week already, Best Buy is offering up to 40% off major appliances like washers, dryers and stoves. There are also gift cards available with the purchase of select appliances. See it at Best BuyDell: Through Aug. 28, Dell is offering an extra 12% off various laptops, desktops and electronics. And check back starting Aug. 29 for a big batch of Labor Day doorbusters. See it at DellGlassesUSA: Aug. 29 – Sept. 3 only, you can save 65% on all frames with promo code labor65. See it at GlassesUSALenovo: The tech company is offering a large assortment of deals and doorbusters through Labor Day, with the promise of up to 56% off certain items — including, at this writing, the IdeaPad 730S laptop for $700 (save $300).See it at LenovoLensabl: Want to keep the frames you already love and paid for? Lensabl lets you mail them in for new lenses, based on your prescription. From now through Sept. 2 only, you can save 20% on the blue light-blocking lens option with promo code BLOCKBLUE. See it at LensablSears: Between now and Sept. 7, you can save up to 40% on appliances (plus an additional 10% if you shop online), up to 60% on mattresses, up to 50% on Craftsman products and more. The store is also offering some fairly hefty cashback bonuses. See it at SearsNote: This post was published previously and is continuously updated with new information.CNET’s Cheapskate scours the web for great deals on tech products and much more. For the latest deals and updates, follow the Cheapskate on Facebook and Twitter. Questions about the Cheapskate blog? Find the answers on our FAQ page, and find more great buys on the CNET Deals page. 7 Tags Lenovo 130-15AST 15.6-inch laptop: $210 (save $90) Turo Rylo Share your voice Best laptops for college students: We’ve got an affordable laptop for every student. Best live TV streaming services: Ditch your cable company but keep the live channels and DVR. Post a comment Chris Monroe/CNET Free Echo Dot with an Insignia or Toshiba TV (save $50) Read Google Home Hub review $6 at Tidal Spotify and most other streaming services rely on compressed audio, which robs the listener of full fidelity. Enter Tidal, the only “major” service that delivers lossless audio — meaning at least on par with CD quality, if not better. Want to see (er, hear) the difference for yourself? Grab this excellent extended trial while you can. It’s just $6 for three months, and it’s good for up to six listeners. See it Lenovo Smart Clock: $59.99 (save $20) I thought this might be a mistake, but, no, the weirdly named HP Laptop 15t Value is indeed quite the value at this price. Specs include an Intel Core i7 processor, 12GB of RAM, a 256GB solid-state drive and a 15.6-inch display. However, I strongly recommend paying an extra $50 to upgrade that display to FHD (1,920×1,080), because you’re not likely to be happy with the native 1,366×768 resolution. Preview • iPhone XS is the new $1,000 iPhone X Use promo code 19LABOR10 to get an unusually good deal on JBL’s interesting hybrid product — not quite headphones, and not quite a traditional speaker, but something you wear like neckphones to listen to music on the go. Boost Mobile Now playing: Watch this: Read DJI Osmo Action preview HP Laptop 15t Value: $520 (save $780) $261 at Daily Steals via Google Express $999 0 DJI Osmo Action camera: $261 (save $89) Comments Apple iPhone XS See It Google Nest Hub: $59 (save $70) Angela Lang/CNET See It Rylo 5.8K 360 Video Camera: $250 (save $250) Tags $59 at eBay CNET Deals Amazon,I’m shocked — shocked! — to learn that stores are turning Labor Day into an excuse to sell stuff. Wait — no, I’m not. As much as I respect the original intent of the holiday (which became official back in 1894), to most of us, it’s just a bonus day off — one that’s blissfully tacked onto a weekend. So, yeah, stores; go ahead, run your sales. I’m listening. Perhaps unsurprisingly, Labor Day doesn’t bring out bargains to compete with the likes of Black Friday (which will be here before you know it), but there are definitely some sales worth your time.For example:We’ve rounded up the best Labor Day mattress deals.We’ve also gathered the best Labor Day laptop deals at Best Buy.The 2019 Vizio P Series Quantum is back under $999.Be sure to check out Amazon’s roughly three dozen Labor Day deals on TVs and audio. Google Express is having a big sale as well, one that includes deals on game consoles, AirPods, iPhones, laptops and more.Below I’ve rounded up a handful of individual items I consider to be the cream of the crop, followed by a handy reference guide to other Labor Day sales. Keep in mind, of course, that products may sell out at any time, even if the sale itself is still running. Note that CNET may get a share of revenue from the sale of the products featured on this page. TVs Speakers Mobile Accessories Cameras Laptops Automobiles Smart Speakers & Displays $299 at Amazon Tablets An Echo Dot makes a fine match for any Fire edition TV, because you can use the latter to say things like, “Alexa, turn on the TV.” Right now, the 24-inch Insignia Fire TV Edition starts at just $100, while the 32-inch Toshiba Fire TV Editions is on sale for $130. Just add any Fire TV Edition to your cart, then add a third-gen Echo Dot, and presto: The latter is free. Amazon’s Fire HD 10 lights your tablet fire, for less Sarah Tew/CNET Read Lenovo Smart Clock review $155 at Google Express Recently updated to include digital-photo-frame capabilities, the Lenovo Smart Clock brings Google Assistant goodness to your nightstand. It’s a little smaller than the Amazon Echo Show 5, but also a full $30 less (and tied with Prime Day pricing) during this Best Buy Labor Day sale. Apple AirPods with Wireless Charging Case: $155 (save $45) See at Amazon What’s cooler: A snapshot of a firework exploding in front of you, or full 360-degree video of all the fireworks and all the reactions to seeing them? Oooh, ahhh, indeed. At $250, the compact Rylo dual-lens camera is selling for its lowest price yet. And for an extra $50, you can get the bundle that includes the waterproof housing.This deal runs through Sept. 3; it usually costs $500. Sarah Tew/CNET Share your voice Turo: Save $30 on any car rental Formerly known as the Google Home Hub, Google’s Nest Hub packs a wealth of Google Assistant goodness into a 7-inch screen. At $59, this is within a buck of the best price we’ve seen. It lists for $129 and sells elsewhere in the $89-to-$99 range.This is one item of many available as part of eBay’s Labor Day Sale (which, at this writing, doesn’t specifically mention Labor Day, but that’s how it was pitched to us). 1:44 JBL Soundgear wearable speaker: $90 (save $160) $520 at HP Mentioned Above Apple iPhone XS (64GB, space gray) Though not technically a Labor Day sale, it’s happening during Labor Day sale season — and it’s too good not to share. Nationwide Distributors, via Google Express, has just about the best AirPods deal we’ve seen (when you apply promo code ZBEDWZ at checkout). This is for the second-gen AirPods with the wireless charging case. Can’t imagine these will last long at this price, so if you’re interested, act fast. $999 See at Turo Best Buy See It $90 at Daily Steals via Google Express Sprint The problem with most entry-level laptops: They come with mechanical hard drives. That makes for a mighty slow Windows experience. This Lenovo model features a 128GB solid-state drive, so it should be pretty quick to boot and load software, even with its basic processor. Plus, it has a DVD-burner! That’s not something you see in many modern laptops, especially at this price. Read the AirPods review DJI’s answer to GoPro’s action cameras is rugged little model that’s shockproof, dustproof and waterproof down to 11 meters. It normally runs $350, but this deal drops it to $261 when you apply promo code 19LABOR10 at checkout. $210 at Best Buy CNET may get a commission from retail offers. $999 Review • iPhone XS review, updated: A few luxury upgrades over the XR Tidal 3-month family subscription: $5.99 (save $54) David Carnoy/CNET Today only, Best Buy is offering $50 off of Amazon’s largest tablet, the Fire HD 10, bringing the price down to $100. That matches the lowest price we’ve ever seen for the 32GB model. (Disclosure: CNET may get a share of revenue from the sale of the product featured on this page.)See it at Best BuyBest Buy is also offering $50 off the 64GB version of the tablet, which now costs $139. See it at Best BuyThe Fire HD 10 was already a pretty sweet deal starting at $150 (which remains the price for the 32GB model at Amazon, by the way, though we’ll be watching to see if it matches Best Buy’s price). Sure, it lacks the elegance of the 9.7-inch iPad and can’t match the power of the 10.5-inch iPad Pro, but it’s definitely a better value — especially at $100. You get a 10-inch tablet with a high-res screen and solid performance, 32GB of storage — equal to the base model iPad — and hands-free Alexa capabilities. Sarah Tew/CNET Read the Rylo camera preview $999 Sarah Tew/CNET $60 at Best Buy The Cheapskate Amazonlast_img read more



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Police Arrest Baltimores Public Enemy 1

first_imgBALTIMORE (AP) — Baltimore police say they’ve arrested a 19-year-old man recently announced as Public Enemy #1, wanted in the fatal stabbing of 73-year-old man.Police indicated in a statement that Christopher Straham was arrested late Wednesday after police received tips about his location. Police say Straham stabbed the man to death on a street corner last week.19-year old Christopher Straham. (Baltimore City Police Department)Straham faces charges of first- and second-degree murder, first- and second-degree assault, armed robbery, robbery, theft and possession of a dangerous weapon with the intent to injure.Police say Straham was identified by a community tip after police released surveillance video.Police have not yet released the victim’s name. They say he was from Hungary and they are still in the process of notifying his family.last_img read more



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Fujitsu unveils device that lets printed paper become interactive w video

first_img © 2013 Phys.org Explore further New smart e-book system more convenient than paper-based books More information: via Diginfo Recognizing that tablet computers and smartphones have not yet made real paper obsolete, engineers at Fujitsu have created a device that allows people to use printed products in ways they’ve become accustomed to doing with electronic media. The system works by utilizing standard computer cameras, an overhead projector, image processing and electronics to run it all. In practice, it looks like a cylinder, about two feet tall that sits on the edge of a table. At the top of the cylinder is an overhang that contains the electronics, cameras and projector. To use the system, a person lays a piece of paper—or even an open book—on the table and allows the system to recognize it, which appears to happen very quickly. Next, the user reaches out a hand and extends a single finger for using as an interactive device. The system scans the finger noting its size, orientation, and even its color. This is to allow it to differentiate it from all other objects on the table. Once the system learns all it needs to know about the finger, the user can use it to highlight text on the printed page, graphics or pictures. Dragging them off to the side causes the highlighted material to be captured as a single unit and held for later use. The system also recognizes web page addresses and highlights them automatically. Tapping them with the finger causes the associated web page to be opened and stored in the area next to the printed material. It can also overlay information over the top of the printed material if desired.The engineers at Fujitsu also added another separate feature to the system that allows a user to manipulate virtual 3D objects in virtual space using their fist. At the demonstration, reps for the company indicated that the system is not yet ready for sale, but plan to make it so sometime next year. They added that they believe such technology would be very useful as a demonstration device, for travel agencies, for example, or as a way to allow users to interact with and fill out forms at governmental offices.center_img (Phys.org) —Fujitsu Laboratories has unveiled a new twist in touch-screen technology—an overhead projector/camera device that turns printed pages into interactive media. Called the Fingerlink Interaction System, it lets users highlight text or images using a single finger then drag them to one side for future use; tap on web-links and have web pages open, or use their fist to animate virtual 3D objects. This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Citation: Fujitsu unveils device that lets printed paper become interactive (w/ video) (2013, April 16) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2013-04-fujitsu-unveils-device-paper-interactive.htmllast_img read more



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