Show Notes: Making the Rounds: MPA, ACT 3 and MediaNext
The fall and early winter were a busy time for magazine shows, with AMC 2012, MPA's Magazine Media Conference, taking place in mid-October in San Francisco, "Mr. Magazine" Samir Husni's ACT 3 Conference a week later, sponsored by the Magazine Innovation Center at Ole Miss in Oxford, Miss., and a Superstorm Sandy-rescheduled Folio: MediaNext conference in New York this past January, all garnering strong attendance and presenting forceful thinking about the state of the industry. Here are just some of the many highlights.
MPA: Magazine Media Conference
✔ Michael Clinton of Hearst, Chairman of the MPA, kicks off the show by saying magazine publishers should be “paper proud.”
✔ MPA President & CEO Mary Berner eschews conversation about doom and gloom, “demise and death,” and claims magazines as “powerful arbitrators of taste, style and influence” who can overcome digital disruption.
✔ Paul Bascobert, President of Bloomberg Businessweek, says it’s all about building engaged audiences and building the brands. Businessweek Editor Josh Tyrangiel says “we’re competing in an attention economy.”
✔ Adam Lashinsky of Fortune magazine and author of “Inside Apple” talks about his journey into the secretive world of Apple insiders.
✔ Ed Knudson of Digimarc and Morgan Guenther of Next Issue Media discuss new products and describe magazine readers as “sharers.”
✔ Patricia Fox of Yoga Journal and Michele Promaulayko of Women’s Health create programs and “challenges” that have ramped up the complexity of ways for readers to engage and feel like they’re getting value. Using social media is “part of the modern skill set.”
✔ National Geographic’s “Digital Nomad” Andrew Evans describes how he captures his globe-trotting on his iPhone and posts his adventures on Twitter. He’s the first writer to pitch an entirely digital story. He went from Washington D.C. to Antarctica on public transportation and live tweeted his journey.
✔ VC genius Ben Horowitz, co-founder of Andreessen Horowitz, says this time period in technological development is special due to the presence of three platforms: cloud computing, mobile and social, all of which he calls transformational.
✔ Dr. Jeffrey Cole of the Center for the Digital Future at USC has been studying media use around the world for twelve years, and foresees huge changes: possibly the demise of PCs, and Amazon expanding into same-day delivery, putting drugstore chains out of business—and eventually even selling automobiles!
✔ Food & Wine’s Christina Grdovic talks about building and monetizing events, including the New York City Wine & Food Festival that attracted 60,000 attendees. People’s Karen Kovacs discusses relaunching mobile and building a custom app.
✔ Russ Grandinetti, VP, Kindle Content, says Amazon wants to do for magazines what it did for books. He has learned from his experience with the Kindle Fire what an interactive magazine experience should be: customers like when it’s really simple to buy things, and when the content is there in the morning and they don’t have to look for it.
✔ Pamela Maffei McCarthy of the New Yorker: So what is a magazine now? The answer: “a crucial mass of writing, pictures, very often subject-specific. When it’s good it’s shot through with a distinctive sensibility and voice. Once we assembled these things in one place and shared with readers at one time on a regular schedule. Now there are a dozen ways we share it and we share it 24/7. The challenge is to hold it all together when we cross platforms.”
✔ Attendees take field trips to Twitter and Facebook, getting inside peeks while drinking blood orange vodka cocktails!