Hearst Int’l President & CEO Duncan Edwards on Global Expansion & Rise of Mobile
The future of publishing is on mobile platforms, says Hearst Magazines International president and CEO Duncan Edwards in an interview with Publishing Executive. He has seen mobile's rapid rise in foreign markets such as China and believes publishers need to find a way to make the mobile reading experience as engaging for readers as the social media and video-centric apps they currently enjoy.
In July, Edwards will take a deeper dive into these topics and Hearst's global publishing strategy at the Yale Publishing Course (YPC).
YPC is a week-long educational program that assembles a faculty of magazine industry leaders to share forward-looking strategies. The seminar setting is also ideal for networking and idea exchange among industry peers. Additional program details and registration information can be found here.
How is Hearst monetizing its digital assets? Where have you had the greatest success?
Hearst is focusing on building a global digital content business, based on our global brands, which delivers large, well-defined audiences and is monetized by selling advertising in all forms and formats. We currently have an audience of around 300 million unique visitors per month, which makes Hearst one of the world's biggest global digital content businesses. We have had success in the U.S. but also in places as diverse as the U.K., China, and Russia.
What are some successful strategies Hearst has employed to grow its digital following internationally?
First and foremost we are a content business. We know how to engage consumers by creating content that they want to interact with and share with their friends. We have also developed a publishing platform that we are rolling out globally and that allows us to share content around our network in a low cost and efficient way. We have recently launched sites using this platform in Nigeria, Sweden, Denmark, and Norway, which are all markets where we have no print business and no local partner or Hearst office.
What important trends are you seeing in global media?
I am writing this from China where the use of mobile devices and interaction with social media is extraordinary. So called "we-media," the creation of content by individuals and opinion leaders on WeChat and other social platforms is the real competitor here for all publishers and traditional media companies including TV. We need to devote all of our creative thinking to building a compelling presence in the mobile environment, which is increasingly the first choice of our customers.
Read about Hearst's corporate data strategy here.
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