Content Distribution Strategy a Key to Survive and Advance

Silver lining in newsstand report: diversifying content distribution strategy; plus, audience development at Hearst Digital and a big comeback for Garden & Gun

Developing a content distribution strategy that goes beyond print and desktop is no longer a luxury – it’s a requirement if you want to stand any chance at sustained success.

Folio: recently dug into MagNet’s first-quarter newsstand sales study and found an interesting conclusion. The trade magazine also checked in with Garden & Gun to see how it came back from the brink of extinction, another story that’s instructive for multiplatform publishers. Let’s take a look at those posts and some other industry news.

Publishers Who Print Must Reassess Content Distribution Strategy

While the news for print-dependent retail publishers is pretty dismal, there is a bright side: a content distribution strategy that puts an emphasis on producing more in more ways … for more money, according to Folio:. While the post focuses on print, the lessons can be extrapolated for a multiplatform approach.

“Even though the newsstand sales environment is bleak, decisions being made by publishers have a major impact,” Jameson Doris writes. “So keep producing quality content but perhaps release it in a higher quality product and quit reducing your allocations, as MagNet suggests doing the opposite has proven to only be beneficial.”

Audience Development Driving Hearst Digital

Knowing your audience is a broad and overused phrase, but it’s more important than ever, according to a recent Folio: interview with Hearst Men’s Group Executive Director of Group Strategy and Development Dawn Sheggeby. Sheggeby discusses Hearst Digital’s micro- or “custom” approach to designing campaigns, and how that translates into a company that has “much more scale, depth and breadth of audience than any single media title can offer.”


Garden & Gun‘s Comeback Story

Another interview in Folio:, this one with Garden & Gun‘s parent company president and CEO, reveals how the magazine nearly folded before a triumphant return to prominence, due largely to a new content distribution strategy.

“We’ve also been attuned to the trends and people’s changing consumption patterns of media right from the beginning. We set out with a pretty strong Web strategy, and found a lot of success with our email newsletters which drive a lot of traffic. Again though, our newsletters are written with the same quality and the same amount of thought into them as anything that goes into our magazine,” Rebecca Wesson Darwin told Folio:.

“With our digital editions, we took our time in launching—we sat back and watched as other people figured out what was working because we weren’t in a position to just throw money at something. It really paid off for us. We’ve been nominated in the National Magazine Awards for best digital edition in the last two years since we launched it.”

A Parade of Executive Personnel Moves

Stephen Orr is the new editor-in-chief at Better Homes and Gardens, Folio: reports. Madhulika Sikka is the new executive editor at Mic. James R. Gaines is the new director of content at Atlantic Media.

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