Monday, October 20, 2008

Publishers Claiming Digital Circ on Rise

Publishers Claiming Digital Circ on Rise
By Dylan Stableford

Driven by environmental concerns and the high cost of international distribution, publishers are claiming digital circulation is on the rise.
The number of publishers claiming qualified electronic editions-i.e. digital copies-on their most recent BPA circulation statements increased 28 percent, according to the company. There were 286 in June, up from 224 in December. (The jump, in part, can be attributed to a rule amendment requiring just a single pre-audit per publisher, BPA CEO Glenn Hansen said.)

Cimarron Buser, SVP, marketing and business development at Texterity, added that "the increased use of laptops in a paperless world" has also helped spur on the increase of digital.\

Despite the increase, digital still accounts for a small percentage of the overall circulation mix. On average, electronic editions made up 13 percent of total circulation for all BPA members. In fact, of the top 20 magazines in terms of digital circulation tracked by BPA, just one-Renewable Energy Focus-claims a majority of its circulation digital-only.Oracle claimed a digital distribution of 146,545-a 19 percent increase-during the first half of the year, topping all BPA titles in digital circulation. Electronic editions now comprise almost 30 percent of Oracle's total subscriber base.
BPA's Top 20 Titles in Digital Circ First Half 2008


Magazines Wrestle with Future Business Model
By Tony Silber
SAN FRANCISCO-The magazine industry can't afford to have a "protectionist" strategy about businesses that are not growing, and instead should manage them for profit and apply resources to growing areas of the business, IDG CEO Bob Carrigan told attendees at the American Magazine Conference here Monday. In a wide-ranging conversation under the banner "Reshaping the Model for Magazines," Carrigan-who unlike fellow panelists Amex Publishing CEO Ed Kelly and Meredith EVP Andy Sareyan is an executive in b-to-b and in the tech sector-seemed to be more e-centric than either Kelly or Sareyan. Asked what the ideal revenue mix would be in the next few years, Kelly and Sareyan both said they want to reach a 40 or 50 percent mix between e-media and print. Carrigan said IDG is already there. "We're already in a space, in digital, where the advertising is bigger than print ever was," he said. "We're seeing an expansion in digital. We'll manage print as best we can." "We'd like 50 percent," Sareyan said. "But ad pages remain very important and they often lead an integrated buy." But how do you build a business when you're putting in more money than you're getting out? Carrigan said it's about creating programs that drive leads, rather than sell eyeballs. "There's no reason why worldwide magazine brands shouldn't drive very high CPMs," he said. And a strong database is critical for that, he added. "Marketers are willing to pay dearly for qualified leads." Kelly pointed out that Amex Publishing is owned by American Express-which has one of the largest databases in the world-and is partnered with Time Inc. "I spend a lot of my time trying to tap into that database, and tying into all the things we can do for marketers," he said. "The whole 360-degree approach is an area where we've had a lot of success." Social networks remain a distinct challenge for publishers. "There are things to generate revenue directly and there is indirect revenue," Carrigan said. "We try to get people to do one more thing on our Web sites and then sell against that." "We're only dipping toes in the water," Sareyan admitted. Kelly said: "I'm letting American Express figure it out and share their learnings with us."