Northstar CEO 'Tired of Apologizing' for Print Success
Skodzinski: What is the company's largest revenue segment?
Kemp: Our print business. Print continues to be a very important part of our business. Overall, it's a little less than 60 percent of our revenue.
Skodzinski: How does that compare to the past few years?
Kemp: Well, over the past couple of years, we've added a couple acquisitions. Overall, print, as a percentage of total revenues, has declined, but I really get a little tired of apologizing that print is still a significant part of our business, simply because our print business has held up relatively well. It clearly has been down the last couple of years, but not as dramatically as a lot of print products. And, in fact, I get a little annoyed that people make a virtue out of the fact that print is such a small part of their overall business by way of the fact that it's declined so dramatically over the last couple of years.
Our print business is actually pretty healthy. It's not growing—this year is about flat compared to last year, and was down a bit last year (low single digits) ... but it's not in terminal decline, and frankly we're relatively bullish on print and the markets we serve. But clearly the fastest-growing parts of our business are not print.
Skodzinski: Where do you see that figure in two years? Five years?
Kemp: Right now, our digital business is about 20 percent. I mentioned before that our face-to-face event business is about 10 percent, and our subscription information business is about 10 percent. And a little less than 60 percent is print. ... Because digital and face-to-face and subscriptions are growing, I would guess that in two years our print business is probably going to be around 35 to 40 percent ... and I would say that digital will probably be at least 25, and 15-20 [percent] would be face to face, and another 10 to 15 percent would be information subscriptions—depending how quickly things move.
Skodzinski: What does your paid subscription information business include?
Kemp: We have products on destination reports, professional hotel reviews, travel alerts, and this is information that is paid for by subscribers, in most cases travel agents who want access to this data. They may have clients interested in going to Ireland, or specifically Dublin, for example, and you can put together reports from our data.