WMC: The 360-degree opportunity: View from the top

A session report from FIPP World Magazine Congress featuring a panel of global CEOs discussing how their companies were responding to the issues and opportunities facing the industry today

Oct 13, 2011 03:15:00 PM | Article | Gunjan Prasad

The two-day Congress was wrapped up with Aroon Purie, chairman and editor-in-chief, India Today moderating the session -- “The 360-degree opportunity: View from the top”, in which a panel of global CEOs discussed how their companies were responding to the issues and opportunities facing the industry today.
When asked if print was dead, Rupert Heseltine, chairman, Haymarket, UK responded, “We, as a group, have become platform and frequency agnostic. No one size fits all and if required, we will launch print magazines. While at the moment 68% of our investments are in print, we see the share of digital and events growing in the future but not at the cost of print. The revenues will grow and all platforms will co-exist.”
He further suggested that user-generated content and editorial content can sit side-by-side, but the media owners should know how to harness the power of people. “We need to change the label of being called traditional media as there is nothing traditional about us. We are highly creative and innovative.”
When asked how the business was changing, Maurizio Costa, deputy chairman and chief excutive officer, Arnold Mondadori, Italy said , “Our major issue is competition from international market. Ten years ago Mondadori had 99% of local market, now we have shrunk to 70 %.” He said the target of the group would be to churn 10-15% revenue from digital media in the coming years.
Phil Scott, managing director, ACP Magazines, Australia, suggested that specialisation in editorial was the way forward. “We need to produce serious, valuable, scarce content to remain viable and relevant. In the digital world there is limitless choice and inventory. Domain expertise is the only way forward.”
Reiterating his belief in the print industry, Pierre Lamuniere, chairman and group publisher, Edipresse, Switzerland, said, “The biggest threat to our industry is the lack of faith publishers have in the print medium. If we do not believe in it, how will we convince the world!”