IF you subscribe to the view that what happens in the US eventually trickles down to the UK, there are two interesting stories about the state of the media on the American online publication Foliomag.com which offer a mix of bleak predictions and a modicum of hope.
The first is an interview with the top guy at the very successful National Media Group, Jack Griffin, publisher of 18 magazines including Fitness, More, Ladies Home Journal, Family Circle and Better Homes and Gardens. Read it here
Griffin says print magazines are seeing some signs of life and thinks 2010 will be “a year of modest uptick”. He also says display advertising on the Internet “is going to be no one’s salvation” and points out that research shows 95 per cent of digital advertising goes to the top 50 players, and 75 percent goes to the top four.
“Everybody else is left with table scraps. It’s really hard to be a traditional media company and say you’re going to be a scale leader when you’re competing with the likes of Glam and Yahoo,” he says.
Instead you have choose a different path: “The path we’ve picked is high quality, branded content in affinity groups that pertain to our subject areas of expertise: Fitness, parenting, home, food. And we invest in the content creation and delivery and that’s both text and video, and in aligning our Web properties with our offline brands.”
It’s the words “high quality” that get me interested – they go straight back to what the NUJ is always saying, which is you have to invest in your journalism if you are going to attract readers/viewers/online users.
The second interesting article is 115 magazine and media predictions from senior media figures in the US – read it here
As it says, 2009 was a rollercoaster for the media, and 2010 is just blasting off… Read it and weep or feel hopeful, depending on whether you’re embracing the new media age or not.
Interestingly, given the direction being taken by Bristol’s newspaper group, Northcliffe, one publisher says: “The big guys who are all running around repeating the mantra of ‘local’ will find out how much they don’t know.”
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