Apprise's Charlie McCurdy Talks About the Decision to Sell Canon
McCurdy: It's not so much about growing digital revenues, as expanding digital services—for users as well as marketers. With the right content, the right audience slices and the right marketer tools, these services can be very profitable.
Skodzinski: Canon publishes 24 print publications, with a total circulation of more than 325,000, in advanced manufacturing. What percentage do print publications contribute to the company's overall publishing revenue? Has this grown or declined since Apprise purchased Canon? If it declined, do you see it coming back? If it has grown, by how much, and to what do you attribute that?
McCurdy: Print currently provides about 60 percent of the revenues of the Publishing Division. This was about 95 percent of publishing revenue in 2005 when Apprise got involved with Canon.
It's interesting—we do extensive audience research regarding where people go to get various kinds of information, everything from search through live events. In our sectors, print magazines continue to be very important for a large majority of design engineers and manufacturing managers to track developments. (Our pubs tend to be very technical, rather than newsy.) Our revenue mix has caught up to the content-consumption mix, and will continue to evolve with it.
Skodzinski: Did custom publishing contribute to Canon's growth? If so, how significantly and in what ways?
McCurdy: We've seen custom spend overall shift sharply to digital from print post-recession. This is partly driven by the targeting capabilities of Canon's Master Audience File, in digitally delivered products.
Surrounding the Strategy
Skodzinski: Where/how do you see print publications fitting in to today's (and tomorrow's) successful publishing companies?
McCurdy: As previously mentioned, print can and does have a roll in providing know-how to our audiences in ways that other media don't. Audience research helps us tailor this.
Skodzinski: You have a history of successfully growing media properties. What is the first thing you look at when evaluating a company for growth potential?