IDG's Carrigan Talks Strategy, Innovation at Virtual Conference
Bob Carrigan, CEO of IDG Communications Worldwide, provided a detailed and insightful overview of his company's innovative revenue strategies during the morning keynote at the Publishing Business Virtual Conference and Expo, held September 16.
Moderated by GIE Media's Chris Foster, Carrigan's keynote ranged over IDG's evolving approach to multi-platform content delivery and successful build out of an internal ad network and social media marketing plan, among many other topics.
IDG made headlines four years ago when the company was one of the first to cease print publication of some of its best-known titles. "It was a rather obvious decision for us," Carrigan told Foster, noting it came as the result of a plan put in place whereby when a certain level of profitability was reached in digital, a decision would be made. "I remember the meeting," he said. "It was a very short meeting."
Today, IDG derives 30 percent of its U.S. revenue from print products, compared to 66 percent five years ago, Carrigan said, while noting the percentage of revenue from print outside the U.S. is much larger. "The rate of decline in print has slowed," he said. "That's because we're getting to more natural rate bases, we're getting to a core of advertisers that are consistent [for] our strongest print brands."
In another move that caused ripples throughout the industry, IDG decided to leverage its expertise in the tech category and reputation with marketers to create and host its own ad networks. IDG today works with a number of third-party publishers—some of whom they compete with directly—to target audiences through specific market channels. "It's been a great service for our marketers, and it's worked out pretty well for the publishers. This is one of the fastest growing businesses we've had at IDG for a long time," he said.