Magazine Media Circulation and Distribution: The 2014 Magazine Media Moguls’ Great Expectations As Told to Mr. Magazine™… Part 3 of 5January 22, 2014
The Mr. Magazine™ First Ever E-Roundtable with 10 Magazine Media CEOs and Presidents
Circulation and Distribution: Focusing on Traditional Distribution with an Eye on New Ways of Reaching the Magazine Media Audiences.
What are some of the largest magazine media companies expecting from 2014 in the world of magazine media? What are Active Media Interest, American Media, Inc., Condé Nast, Dennis Publishing, Hearst Magazines, Heinrich Bauer USA, Meredith Corp., Rodale Inc., The Taunton Press and Time Inc. up to in 2014?
Well, for this installment of “The 2014 Great Expectations” the CEOs and presidents of the aforementioned magazine media companies offer their expectations regarding the status and future of magazine media circulation and distribution in 2014.
The CEOs and presidents are, in alphabetical order, Hubert Boehle, CEO, President, Heinrich Bauer USA, LLC, David Carey, President, Hearst Magazines, Steven Kotok, CEO, Dennis Publishing, USA, Steve Lacy, CEO, Meredith Corp., David Pecker, CEO, American Media Inc., Tim Rahr, President, The Taunton Press, Joe Ripp, CEO, Time Inc., Scott Schulman, President, Rodale Inc., Bob Sauerberg, President, Condé Nast, and Efrem (Skip) Zimbalist III, Chairman and CEO, Active Interest Media.
Now for the magazine media moguls’ “Great Expectations” regarding circulation and distribution of their magazine media for 2014:
Hubert Boehle: Wholesalers are asking for higher efficiencies and, as long as this is accompanied with better service at retail level, we will support this effort. Since Bauer Media is heavily single copy focused, the increases in postal rates will have a minimal impact on our business.
David Carey: 2013 was an exciting, transformational year for Hearst and for magazine media in general, and 2014 holds incredible promise in so many areas. Digital will continue to grow across the board – at Hearst, our ‘months to moments’ strategy is gaining speed as monthly cadence shifts to daily programming. In 2014, we will continue to make major investments in talent and content and we’re rolling out a new responsive design system that will cascade through our brands over the course of the year. We will build on the double-digit revenue increases of 2013, and the emerging pillars of programmatic and branded content will continue to dominate. Creating scale for marketers is of utmost importance.
Steven Kotok: I think we will see continuing separation between those magazines that have true consumer wantedness and a robust reader revenue stream and those whose circulation is supported as an expense to deliver an ad revenue stream with the former faring better than the latter.
Steve Lacy: We will continue our very successful initiatives to move more consumer subscription generation and transaction activities online. Also, we are in the early stages of a comprehensive project to enhance circulation profitability with particular emphasis on increasing consumer revenue from circulation activities. The emergency postal rate hike is significant and will require all media companies to keep a tight rein on costs to partially offset the impact.
David Pecker: Newsstand sales will continue to be challenged, not only from the pressures of digital, but from wholesaler demands for greater efficiencies. Publishers will have to continue to redefine their content for the tablet reader, extend their brands into other media, and reexamine their retail distribution to optimize it.
Tim Rahr: We expect modest growth in our print subscription business fueled primarily by our new PBS television show Moveable Feast with Fine Cooking. Other factors contributing to the growth include improved renewal rates from our auto-renewal programs and continually refining our online marketing tactics. As for all publishers, the newsstand remains a challenge. We are expecting a modest decline in sales – barring any significant disruption to the distribution system. As an aside, and this isn’t news to anyone reading your blog, we must get the interests of everyone in the supply chain aligned before the whole system collapses.
Joe Ripp: We will continue to invest in digital audiences. We will deepen relationships and broaden the value proposition with consumers by offering new and enhanced subscription packages like those introduced by PEOPLE in 2013.
Scott Schulman: Prevention magazine is poised for a big year in 2014. After reinventing two years ago, the brand has seen four consecutive periods of newsstand growth, and hit a very successful stride with double digit advertising increases in both print and digital. They’ve gained new readers through record online traffic and a revamped social strategy that has increasingly engaged a growing audience. We’re also building out smart extensions that have already captured new readers, from new branded books like “The Sugar Smart Diet” by SVP/Editorial Director Anne Alexander which debuted on the New York Times bestseller list, to the first ever Prevention R3 Summit held in Austin, Texas.
Bob Sauerberg: Condé Nast will continue the successful roll-out of our collaboration with Amazon – Amazon All Access – which offers consumers a convenient one-click method to purchase, renew and manage their subscriptions. Last year, we led the industry in audience growth in both print and digital. We will continue to focus on growing our audience this year and have the benefit of Condé Nast Entertainment’s digital video network, which had over 560 million views from its launch in March through December. This new digital content is introducing our iconic brands to new consumers we’ve never before reached.
Skip Zimbalist: We expect our total paid circulation, print and digital, to increase low single digits in 2014. Print will be flat, and digital will continue double digit growth. The recent rate increases by the post office will cause us to shift more distribution out of the mail. We expect newsstand to decline and specialty distribution to compatible retail.
Stay tuned for the next installment tomorrow when the CEOs and presidents of the top magazine media companies reveal their expectations regarding the status and future of advertising in magazine media in 2014.
©Samir “Mr. Magazine™” Husni, 2014