Mobile navigation


Digital trends: 5 minutes with… Les Csönge

With digital transformation and emerging new tech trends continuing apace, we grab five minutes with BlueToad’s Les Csönge to get his take on digital publishing.

By Les Csönge

Digital trends: 5 minutes with… Les Csönge

Q: What’s new in the world of digital publishing?

A: Apart from technology advancement which is ongoing and exciting I think different channels of content published digitally are expanding and many establishing themselves as being important, useful and profitable in their own right. Things like audio and podcasts, video including live broadcasts are two key areas. From a strategic point of view many Publishers are now taking their digital side of publishing more seriously and not just as a very basic add-on to their printed publications.

Q: Where do you see change happening in the future?

A: Digital-only publications will grow as they allow more frequent generation and distribution; this will start with supplements and special niche projects and extend into either complementing or even replacing printed titles. Advertisers will start to produce specific advertisements designed for digital publications incorporating the benefits of interaction, tracking and recordable calls to action such as registering for an event, buying a product, subscribing etc.

Q: How can publishers make (more) money?

A: “Where value flows money goes.” Content is still king, it just needs to be channelled to readers in a comfortable, pleasurable, engaging and responsive way. Traditional revenue has come from subscriptions, advertising and sponsorship of print but there are other avenues that digital publishing enables such as affiliate commissions on click throughs from products and stories, joint ventures with brands who can have a personalised branded edition of publications and then contribute to distribution.

Q: How can digital editions help publishers’ print editions?

A: Despite being in digital publishing for over twenty years, I still believe and preach the old adage of Aristotle: “The whole is greater than the sum of its parts.” Print and digital working together is more powerful than each one individually. I have seen great success in bundling them together to create a third subscription offer of ‘Print & Digital’. As the ability for people to browse and buy printed magazines from shelves in newsagents and shops declines, the attraction to publishers to sell directly via the internet grows and a digital edition which gives the potential subscribing reader the opportunity to view and experience an extract or even last month’s full edition before buying, either the print edition or the digital edition or both, is a very valuable and productive tool.

Q: What tech trends are you observing?

A: More focus on mobile device reading and interaction, the increased use of audio, video, live feeds, more personalised and variable content, the increase of digital publications that are not a copy of the printed publication and instead become a standalone hub of content bringing various elements together in a structured reading format. Increase of AI and the introduction of VR.

Q: What role does AI have to play?

A: Artificial intelligence is a massively growing element across all aspects of our lives, sometimes exciting, sometimes scary. For publishers, there are some simple but clever opportunities, one of which that springs to mind is the connection to reader actions and behaviour of a digital magazine reader, their actions are already monitored and reported as analytics / statistics but by connecting AI to this data and the use of word and topic tagging, a picture can be built up of each individual reader and a personalised channel of content can be generated automatically from current and archive content that the reader can access via their personalised channel and even subscribe to updates; “wow, I love this channel it has everything I am interested in.”

Q: What’s in the pipeline from BlueToad?

A: BlueToad has spent the last fifteen years continually developing and enhancing its software and service based on publisher feedback, often gained from their readers’ and advertisers’ feedback.

I see us continuing that strategy and combining it with our own very experienced team knowledge, keeping a keen eye on future trends and new technology. We do have some exciting new offerings in the pipeline for 2023 in distribution technology and corporate markets.

About us

For more than a decade, BlueToad has been the digital content partner of choice for thousands of publishers across the globe to create and monetise beautifully responsive digital editions and web content. With an office in London, BlueToad is committed to providing its award-winning solution to publishers in Europe, including its privacy compliant and disability accessible (WCAG) offerings.

BlueToad works with all types of content, including magazines, retail catalogues, circulars, marketing materials, business documents and website content.

The BlueToad Platform helps customers:

  • Take control of their brand and content distribution strategy without relying on a third party aggregator or newsstand application;
  • Deliver engaging mobile optimised content to readers;
  • Monetise content through subscriptions and digital ad units;
  • Launch single, multi-pub, or website applications for web and native iOS or Android; and
  • Incorporate cutting edge technology like audio articles and topical content channels.


Phone: +44 (0) 208 068 5546