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Media Pioneer Awards 2012: Winners announced

Media Pioneer Awards 2012

The winners of the 2012 Media Pioneer Awards were announced at the Specialist Media Show on 24 May at Thinktank Birmingham.

The Media Pioneer Awards were established by the Specialist Media Show in 2010 to recognise innovation and entrepreneurial spirit in niche consumer and b2b markets, across print, digital media, events and all the new activities that specialist media owners are pioneering.  The 2012 Awards were sponsored by Audience Media.


Autism Eye

First, a classic story of two experienced magazine editors who couldn't find the information they needed and decided to launch their own title.  With limited resources, they cleverly used social media to build an audience, partnered with an existing event, created a fresh and carefully targeted publication, and used digital subscriptions to build an international circulation base. Award was collected by Mark Hayes of Autism Eye.

Peach Business Tracker

Next, an innovative idea in a b2b market that cleverly exploited the strong personal network and credibility of an experienced editor to deliver a business intelligence service that quickly established itself as a crucial source for the industry.  Set up on a shoestring budget this has now attracted sponsorship and raised the profile of their magazine, website and events.  Award was collected by Christine Martin of Peach Business Tracker.

Tap Magazine

Publishers are having to reinvent themselves completely in the digital age, acquiring new skills in technical disciplines.  This specialist publisher decided to take their print magazines to tablets, and develop a truly native app that not only made the most of the platform but also fitted in with the editorial process.  This title has won plaudits from readers and achieved over 70,000 downloads, but more importantly has helped the publisher develop their own app platform, effectively becoming a software developer.  The title is Tap magazine from future and the platform is Future Folio.  Award collected by Chris Phin, editor.


The fourth winner is a truly inspiring story of one person with a vision to build a community for an overlooked group, and driving it forward on tiny budgets, creating an online resource and community, a high profile awards night, and a series of paid-for networking events, making a positive difference to many women's lives.  Award collected by Foluke Akinlose of PRECIOUS.

LOOP Digital Media

Our next winner took a big gamble to transform a specialist publishing business from a UK print centric publisher to a global digital business.  Using their archive of video footage and investing in the skills to create a highly rated custom iPad magazine, they tapped into a new source of global ad revenue and have turned a loss-making business into profitability.  Award collected by Sam Spurdens of Loop Digital Media.


And the final winner combines innovative thinking across print, tablet and web, driven partly by the brutal truth of High Street retail for niche publishers, but also deep understanding of its enthusiast readers and the specialist retailers in its sector.  Against the trend, they have just invested in production values in their print magazine, and developed a comprehensive subscription package that is proving highly popular with readers and advertisers alike.  Award collected by Mark Alker and Chipps Chippendale, Singletrack.


Mollie Makes

Firstly, an innovative back to front magazine launch that combines pioneering thinking in social media with a real love for the tactile quality of print, and has identified a new, younger segment of their specialist market, resulting in over 10,000 subscriptions and a swift move into profit.  The judges particularly liked the way the community created content that then was published in the print magazine.  Award collected by Mike Goldsmith for Mollie Makes from Future publishing.


The Media Briefing

Next, an audacious new b2b launch built around an innovative content curation model, complemented by original content and reports.  With just one full time editor, they built a strong website, a high quality set of e newsletters, and expanded into conferences and awards.  The judges felt that they used social media very deftly to engage their audience.  Award collected by Patrick Smith, Editor of The Media Briefing.



Audience Media are the sponsors of the 2012 awards.  Their innovative platform for publishing content effortlessly to web, print and multiple mobile devices, plus tracking customers across all channels, fits beautifully with the values of the media pioneer awards.  Audience Media have generously offered a free project build of their platform to all the winners of the 2012 awards.  


I'd also like to thank the judges: Tim Brooks, who launched Media Week, and has been MD at Emap, IPC and the Guardian, Peter Houston, content director of Advanstar and a former winner for the chromatography market, Andy Marshall, who launched Origin with a tiny staff, and now runs over 50 titles for Immediate Media, and James Evelegh, editor of InPublishing and a tireless champion for independent publishers.


It was a great field of nominations this year, and we found it very difficult to select the winners.  Please dont be discouraged if you haven't been successful this year; the judges would urge you to enter again next year when you may have more evidence of the impact of your ambitious strategies.


More about all the Media Pioneers here


If youd like to be considered for the 2013 Media Pioneers please contact carolyn@thespecialistmediashow.com

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