Special Report: Publishers’ Outlook 2011
Clinton: I think we have all been unsuccessful in getting the consumer to pay for content on the Web. The media world and content providers at large trained the consumer that they [did not have to pay]; but now we have Steve Jobs to thank for getting consumers to pay for content. …
We have about 50 apps … that live in iPad, Nook, on the iPhone and soon-to-be emerging Android tablets … [and] 95 percent of them—because we have a couple other little experiments—are paid apps. … We'll have … consumer revenue and advertising revenue.
PE: What's on the horizon for you in terms of mobile/app initiatives?
Clinton: … We are building bundled content and advertising. So, for example, in the October issue of Esquire, we have the "Best Restaurants of the Year," … and then we built it out with different content online, and … again in a different way on the app. So the consumer can follow … iterations of the content on different formats, and we bundle those and sell them to an advertiser. In [the Esquire] case, Buick bought that whole bundled program.
PE: What do you think will be the biggest challenge this year?
Clinton: …A lot of younger media professionals … don't have full appreciation for print, for what magazines do.
The magazine industry came together about a year ago and launched an advertising campaign, the Power of Print. It's been measured by research companies—MRI and Vista—and [has achieved] very, very high scores in terms of consumer buy-in to the magazine product. The whole idea was to change the conversation so that, yes, we live in an ever-changing digital world; however, … the magazine-reading experience seems to be very much what the consumer wants. That's always a challenge, to … keep that conversation front and center. That's why we called our site "the magazine conversation"—when you go on it, you will see we did newsstand intercepts and subscriber/user-generated video and so forth.