The Power and Future of PRINT…Part VI As told by Magazine and Magazine Media Makers…January 6, 2016
A Mr. Magazine™ “Quotable” Retrospective…
I have been a firm believer in print and its power even when many doubted its future and even its role in today’s media world. I have been quoted as saying, “As long as we have human beings, we will have print.” And that quote stands firm and true as we enter into a brand New Year.
Of course, I’m not oblivious to the fact that we live in a digital age…just check the many devices you and I are using on a daily basis, even the platform that you’re reading this on now as we connect. Yet that did not deter my belief in the role and future of print. Nor, will it ever.
However, as an academic and a professor of journalism, I’d rather share with you what others from the field say about the future and the role of print in today’s media world and tomorrow’s; that way it isn’t just my word you’re hearing and reading. Never would I yearn to be lumped in with others who pontificate to high heaven with their opinions and speculations for the condition of magazines and magazine media; be it print or digital or any other platform that may arise before I can finish writing this. The blah-blah-blah disease spreads pretty fast on its own, without any help from Mr. Magazine™
And so without any further ado, here is the sixth installment of the 136 quotes (in random order) that Mr. Magazine™ has accumulated over the last two years through the wonderfully informative conversations I have had with the game changers and the passionate entrepreneurs in the magazine industry.
81. “We wanted to make it easy for publishers to communicate to their customers where their magazines were available for purchase; not only via a traditional website, but also making it available via mobile, so that when people are actually in the store, they can get information about what’s available to help facilitate that spur-of-the-moment decision. We want to take off the “mobile blinders”, and put a “mobile spotlight” on our brands.” Joshua Gary, Senior Vice President, MagNet.
82. “Country Living had never dipped its toes fully into the country music waters, but if that audience is going to read a shelter decorating magazine, I think Country Living is the magazine for them. So, we talked about how to be very deliberate about penetrating that world without alienating our core readership, because I’m realistic; I know not all of our readers are country music fans and they don’t come to our magazine for celebrities and/or music.” Rachel Barrett, Editor-in-Chief, Country Living magazine.
83. “One of the results of living on your Smartphone is you crave a break and people like me and my friends; our readers, I think increasingly, new magazines bring a breath of fresh air and a treat. Although, like you, it’s my job to read magazines and keep up with everything that’s going on, I still favor them and bring them on vacation with me, because you read a magazine very differently on a long commute or a flight or in a beach chair than you do at your desk.” Emily Cronin, Editor-in-Chief, Trending NY magazine.
84. “In my case, I guess you could say it’s like putting a beggar in charge of a bank. (Laughs) I turned my passion, my addiction; my love for shoes into a business. I guess it’s part of my African background, take every opportunity possible for survival. It’s just a way of life for us.” Tinu, Publisher, Shoeholics magazine.
85. “I believe that tablet access for all brands has kind of flattened out a bit; if you look at two or three years ago when we all believed that tablets were going to soar and some believed they would replace print, but that hasn’t been the case. The paper format is still the primary vehicle that women want to engage with. They curl up with it, take it with them, and tablets have pretty much plateaued in the marketplace.” Daren Mazzucca, Publisher, Martha Stewart Living magazine.
86. “If you look at travel media; travel media has had a growth of 37% in the last three years and the research team says that because of two reasons. One: because travel is luxury, and two: because we’re all so attached to our desktops, tablets and phones; at some point in time, people actually want to put those devices away and have a lean-back experience and dream a little bit and plan a trip; do something for themselves.” Jay Meyer, Publisher, Travel + Leisure magazine.
87. “What we’re seeing from the business community is that obviously, from a brand awareness and storytelling perspective, print is still a really important tool for us and that’s also partially because we’re living in the luxury space. And luxury advertisers have really seen that print still works for them from that perspective.” Nathan Lump, Editor-in-Chief, Travel + Leisure magazine.
88. “I believe magazines will always be there and being strong financially and being a decent size, but not too big gives some companies an advantage in the marketplace… I think trying to figure out this business and what works is challenging and exciting. Putting together a nice group of folks, along with some good strong content, whether it’s editorial or art, and finding out this really helps sales is exciting.” Nick Singh, President, Engaged Media Inc.
89. “One of the things on one post-it is “create addiction.” And every time I look at content, because my editors will show me and get my opinion or they’ll show me the finished feature; I’ll look at it and ask myself does this piece create addiction or why would someone want to read more? Or would I want to read more next month? So, that’s one of the messages and if the answer is no, it doesn’t create addiction or that it’s boring; we won’t run it. We don’t run things just to run them. It has to have that special spark.” (on her use of post-it-notes for inspiration), Ana Ureña, Editor-in-Chief, Cosmopolitan Spain.
90. “Given what our print circulation is right now and the revenue that comes from it, which to me suggests that there is an audience who wants it, I don’t think it’s anytime soon. My biggest concern is the post office problems at this point. (Laughs) It’s not the audience; we have the audience. We’re doing really well with renewal rates and like I said, I think a lot of that has to do with the fact that we have this dialogue with the consumer that lets us give them what they want.” (on if he can ever envision This Old House without the print component), Scott Omelianuk, Editor-in-Chief, This Old House magazine.
91. “This is what print can do. Print is so different. Print is something that lives on forever. It’s not a commercial; it’s not a webpage; it’s not a posting; it lives on and it’s a document. And I think that’s what’s so lovely about it.” (on Michelle Obama guest editing an issue of More magazine), Lesley Jane Seymour, Editor-in-Chief, More magazine.
92. “No, I can’t see that. I don’t think that will happen. There may be some transition in people’s personal needs, but no, we will continue to do print. I do remember reading how excited everyone was when they looked at the first printed Bible and how excited people were when they found, I think it was in Israel, some original writings in a cave. They wouldn’t have been as excited if they’d found somebody’s laptop back then.” (on if she can ever envision a day print will not exist), Ellen Levine, Editorial Director, Hearst Magazines.
93. “I think the path to victory these days is opening your mind to what kind of businesses you can be in that may be obvious or not so obvious. And I also think to not being overly fixated quite honestly on digital as the singular path to prosperity for, call it, traditional media companies. I’ve seen a lot of people overspend and over-focus on digital and it’s grown their audience and in some case may have grown their revenue, but I haven’t seen a company transformed by just basically saying we’re going to go from print to print plus digital.” Andrew Clurman, CEO & President AIM (Active Interest Media).
94. “In our world we’ve got a lot of incredible loyalists and people of all ages who like the aesthetic of print, they like the print medium. And our print is profitable, it’s not the highest margin business that we have, but it’s profitable. I would say that it would be hard for me to imagine us getting out of print and just being event services and digital.” Andrew Clurman, CEO & President AIM (Active Interest Media).
95. “I think the bigger surprise is that in this day and age there’s so much of the world that somehow believes that the rise of digital media has undermined the importance of print media and I think we’ve proven that not only is that false, but it’s really the exact opposite. If you harness it correctly, digital media only enhances the power of print media because it gives you so many different pipes to tell the story.” Chris Mitchell, Publisher, Vanity Fair magazine.
96. “I’m a believer in the power of beautiful production quality and in telling that story, especially where there is a visual element, as only ink on paper can do.” Chris Mitchell, Publisher, Vanity Fair magazine.
Stay tuned for Part VII of the Mr. Magazine™ “Quotable” Retrospective…