Print and Digital Publishing: Which News Do You Want First?

The online magazines making print and digital publishing news include ALM, Time Inc., Forbes, and Meredith

Print and digital publishing … diametrically opposed? By no means! In fact, when it comes to multiplatform publishing, Mequoda Members know that a print product is an important piece of the puzzle if it’s at all possible to pull off.

Some magazine publishers get this, and others don’t. Of course, they all have their own reasons. covers a few of them in recent articles, and they involve some interesting principals, with good news and bad.

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ALM Brands Embrace Digital Publishing, Unification

American Lawyer Media, made up of multiple properties, is in the midst of a major transformation, reports.

“The business media and events firm has undergone a comprehensive reimagining of its editorial structure, aimed at shifting the company from a large bucket of related but independent brands to a cohesive, integrated news organization serving the legal, financial, real estate, and insurance sectors. Under the reorganization, ALM’s 170 reporters and editors — who populate brands and verticals like The American Lawyer or Credit Union Times — will work closely with a series of ‘theme desk editors’ to develop stories that might resonate audiences across multiple brands,” Greg Dool writes.

“It’s hardly the first time a major media organization has attempted to integrate a house of mutually relevant but separately operated brands. The key difference here, according to ALM’s editorial director, George Haj, is that this reorganization is not driven solely by a desire to cut costs or necessarily increase efficiency. No redundancies have resulted, and no layoffs will occur. … The challenge is embracing the digital revolution at scale while still maintaining the relationships ALM’s portfolio brands have worked so hard to foster with their respective audiences.”

Update on Time Inc. Projections for Print and Digital Publishing

Time Inc.’s attack is ambitious, impressive, and succeeding on several levels … but print isn’t one of them, reports.

“The company, which had previously forecasted 1 percent to 5 percent of growth for 2016, has readjusted that forecast to flat to 1.5 percent. This, after it reported that it generated $4 million ($769 million) less in Q3 2016 revenue versus the same period ($773 million) last year. The company is, however, up by $6 million H1 2016 ($1.459 billion) versus H1 2015 ($1.453 billion),” Caysey Welton writes.

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“When diving into the numbers, the outlook for print is not great. Print advertising, subscription and newsstand revenue are all down. Print advertising took the biggest hit, down 13 percent compared to Q3 of last year. Subscription revenue is down 7 percent, and newsstand down 10 percent. Cumulatively, those three balance lines account for $528 million in revenue; meaning print supports 69 percent of the company’s total revenue. … Digital advertising was a huge bright spot in today’s report. It grew 65 percent in Q3 versus last year. However, in the greater context, it still only accounted for $127 million of its $769 million in revenue. That’s definitely not pocket change, and the growth is an indication the company is moving in the right direction, but it still has a ways to go to catch up to print.”

Meanwhile, Meredith Sees Unprecedented Growth

Time Inc. might be sputtering in print, but Meredith is making gains, reports.

“Meredith Corporation saw a 3 percent revenue growth, reaching a record $1.65 billion, the company revealed today in its FY 2016 report. The company, known for its large female audience, also reported that it reached an all-time high of 102 million American women,” Ellen Cools writes.

“Even in a year of industry concern over print revenues, the publisher boosted its magazine readership to a record 127 million. Overall advertising for its National Media Group, which includes such titles as Better Homes and GardensShape, and Parents, grew 6 percent. Interestingly, print advertising increased 3 percent and circulation revenues increased 5 percent to $329 million.”

New Forbes President on Brand Objectives

Great interview at with recently installed Forbes President and COO Mike Federle, highly recommended read.

“The media business, by definition, is just getting more and more complex. All of the changes going on in digital media and content distribution — it’s a constant reinvention that has to go on in the industry. So one of my initial points of focus is going to be how we can simplify as much as possible — how we bring new products to market and how we all work most efficiently together,” Federle told Cools.

“The complexity in the industry is around some huge trends and shifts going on. Obviously [the industry is moving] towards mobile, so a lot of our attention is there; it’s also on content distribution across platforms and how that’s changing our business.”

Print and digital publishing is pretty much what we’re experts on. Contact us today to exchange some ideas!

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