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Future: Digital ads going from strength-to-strength

July 30th, 2009 | No Comments | Posted by in Advertising, Magazines

Specialist magazine publisher Future has reported a resilient and ‘healthy balance sheet’ in the face of recession with a 15 per cent increase in online advertising revenue in the nine months to June 30.

The company released an interim management statement today, which suggested that although print advertising revenues were down 8 per cent, this was offset by the growth in online advertising – resulting in a total fall of only 4 per cent.

Online ads represented 22 per cent, nearly a quarter, of total advertising revenue – up 19 per cent year-on-year – over the same period.

In the company’s interim report, CEO Stevie Spring said: “While it is premature to talk about a market recovery, there has been no deterioration in trading conditions since the half year.”

A third of the group’s revenue comes from its US operation and it capitalised on a favourable US exchange rate against the sterling with a 24 per cent stronger US dollar in the reported period.

As a result, the publisher had come out relatively unscathed through what it called ‘exceptionally challenging market conditions’, with an overall revenue decline of just 2 per cent, or 9 per cent calculated on a constant currency basis.

Publishing revenues

In the UK, which generates the remaining two thirds of the company’s income, publishing revenue, based on constant currency, was down 6 per cent. The fall in revenue was mainly due to a decline in PC gaming, personal computing and automotive titles, the report suggested.

In the same period, publishing revenues for the US operation fell 13 per cent, on a constant currency basis. The publisher blamed ‘greater exposure to generic advertising market volatility’ in the territory, particularly with regard to its digital business.

Future’s future

Future produces more than 80 newsstand magazines, 62 websites and 25 annual live events on special-interest topics, such as computer games, film, music and sport.

Spring, who according to paidContent:UK, ‘never talks down the health of the magazine industry’, was bullish about the future of the publisher:

“I am confident that when recovery comes, Future is well-positioned to benefit. We’ve continued to invest in both new products and new people and, more broadly, our strategy remains firmly on track. We are in the best shape we can be in for the mid-term,” he said.

Future’s annual results for the year to end of September will be announced on November 26.

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FIPP 09: Charging for content or e-commerce – how will mags make money?

May 6th, 2009 | 2 Comments | Posted by in Events, Magazines

“I insist that we are going to have to end up charging for our content wherever we can,” said Roberto Civita, CEO and chairman of Brazilian magazine publisher Abril, today.

“The more segmented the more we’ll be able to do this, the less segmented the less.”

Civita wasn’t the first publisher at this year’s FIPP World Magazine Congress: yesterday Guardian Media Group’s Carolyn McCall said charging for specific sections of Guardian.co.uk was a consideration.

He also echoed comments made earlier in the day by Google’s UK MD, Matt Brittin, who said publishers could learn from the e-commerce industry.

Magazine brands should be ideally placed to do this, for example, by placing direct links to buy on advertisements, he said.

Civita was adamant that magazines will continue and that the industry shouldn’t get hung up on what platform this happens on (“I really don’t think it makes any difference if we’re talking about paper or the new e-papers”) – it’s the quality of the product that matters

Fellow panellist Cathie Black, president of Hearst Magazines in the US, added to her Conde Nast’s counterpart’s remarks about the importance of brand.

“Strong brands will be brands going out into the future. Strong brand, strong advertising, strong editorial,” she said, adding that Hearst brands should be at the centre with spokes from them crossing into e-commerce, merchandising, and other media revenues, like TV spin-off ‘Running in Heels’.

So – print’s going to survive and while online will grow (and e-readers too) – where does that leave digital content?

Both Black and Civita agree: magazines’ digital offerings should be differentiated from what else is available in their sector online.

“We must continue to emphasise the things that have made our magazines what they are today: remained tuned to interests and characteristics of our readers (…) maintain our integrity and ethical principles which are the cornerstone of our greatest asset, our credibility,” said Civita.

And – one parting thought from panel chair Lord Heseltine, chairman of Haymarket – the two platforms must work together:

“The pure-play people have got to keep promoting their product. If we have a brand we have a natural promotion vehicle. I’ve seen examples where pure-play people have launched very successful sites, much more successful than ours, but it’s only been a matter of time before we caught them.”

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Falling Off A Blog: The online equivalent of a magazine production desk

February 12th, 2009 | No Comments | Posted by in Editors' pick, Magazines

RBI’s Karl Schneider on implementing new digital operations at the magazine publisher.

Full post at this link…

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Launch-time round-up: TotalFilm.com revamps; Politick magazine targets 18-35s; ecoforyou launches

October 22nd, 2008 | No Comments | Posted by in Magazines

A press release courtesy of magazine publisher Future tells of the relaunch of TotalFilm.com – complete with a new editorial team for online.

Andy Lowe, acting digital editor, and George Walter, who has temporarily moved from GamesRadar.com to work as launch editor, will head up the online staff. Contributions to the site will also come from the print magazine team.

The new look site promises ‘hubs’ of content for individual films, in particular new releases, aggregating user comments and related external links. Video on the site has also been ramped up, with more use of clips for Q&As with actors and directors.

In the print sphere: Politick!, a £3.99 quarterly ‘aimed at young people 18-35′ (good news for anyone over 30 – that’s officially young then), is preparing for its debut.

The title, which claims no political bias in a press release, hopes to better engage young people with politics and the political process.

“This isn’t about us telling them we like the Arctic Monkeys. And this isn’t about Cameron, Brown or Clegg. We’re not going to tell anyone who to vote for or what to think. We just want to help young people to realise that they can change the world,” says editor Laura-Jane Foley.

Good luck to Politick! – that’s no mean feat…

Finally – ecoforyou, the green living, digital magazine announced by PlanetInk earlier this month, has launched. The first issue is free from the magazine’s site and boasts video, 34 full-colour pages and Flash animation. A text-only format, which is compatible with screen readers, is also available.

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links for 2008-07-01

July 1st, 2008 | No Comments | Posted by in Uncategorized
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June 25th, 2008 | No Comments | Posted by in Uncategorized
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