Can Maghound Spark a Sagging Magazine Industry?
We want to accomplish all of those things before we do a large, expensive and aggressive marketing campaign. So our marketing is modest, but that's by design during this beta period.
Inbox: It would seem that lower prices can be found than what Maghound is offering if consumers search for them. Is that a concern?
Ventresca: We want consumers to view Maghound as a good deal. But this is not a deep-discount, bargain-basement pricing, lowest-place-to-go on the Internet type of approach. At its core, Maghound is a service brand, not a discount/value brand. And we think that's important because we don't want to devalue magazines in the marketplace. We think that's happening too much already in other channels.
A lot of those [discount] offers are temporarily test offers anyway. So, yes, someone can always search the Internet to find the lowest price available, whether it's a price that's authorized by the publisher or not.
But the second thing is that a lot of it too depends on the magazine that you're buying. … Depending on your title mix, you might be paying a couple dollars more [with Maghound] or a couple dollars less.
Inbox: What's on the horizon for Maghound and are digital editions a possibility in the future?
Ventresca: We definitely have expansion plans. We're already starting to design and program for additional features and functionality for the site. And digital is certainly one of those areas. How digital gets executed is yet to be determined, meaning are we going to have stand-alone, a la carte digital issues that we're going to charge for? Are we going to have a digital article or two that we would send to the consumer as a bonus or thank-you gift? Or are we going to post digital articles on the site to help improve the shopping experience so that consumers get a better sense of what each brand is about before they add to their account?