Why Does Paper Persist? ICv2 Founder/CEO Reveals the Rationale for Magazines
Sherpa to the $10 billion pop-culture retail market (which includes anime, manga, comics, graphic novels, games, toys, and movie- and TV-licensed products), ICv2 has become the go-to pop-culture business resource for The New York Times, Wall Street Journal and a generation of retailers. However, with a circulation of about 10,000, the ICv2 Insider's Guide is the rare magazine that bucked print-to-Web trends by spinning its print title off of its successful Web site.
ICv2 Founder and CEO Milton Griepp spoke with Publishing Executive about the industry prejudices that prompted his company to start publishing a magazine, how its Web site and magazine coexist in the multichannel media jungle, and why not all traffic is equal in the eyes of advertisers.
INBOX: Why did you launch a magazine from your seemingly successful Web site?
MILTON GRIEPP: We launched the magazine because there was more interest in print from our advertisers than in online. That continues to this day, with print a larger share of ad revenues than online (although the online audience is much larger). ...
From my perspective, that's because people are hanging onto their prejudices and continuing to buy print ads, even though the Web is a more effective means of communication. We go where our advertisers want us to go though, so we're going to continue to publish the magazine until that changes.
INBOX: How do advertiser's attitudes toward the Web compare now to when you started publishing print books in 2002? Has there been any evolution?
GRIEPP: Maybe it's because a lot of our advertisers come from a print-reliant business (publishing), but I'm amazed at the slow pace of adoption of the Web. Certainly there are more ad buyers using the Web than when we launched, and they're increasingly sophisticated about how to use it and how to measure response, but there are a lot of our advertisers for whom the default option is print. Offering beautiful graphics, printed on nice paper, in a quality editorial environment is what a lot of our advertisers still seem to be looking for.