From the Editor: Your Outlook for 2012
Depending on whom you talk to in the industry, this is either a period of great opportunity, as publishers explore new frontiers, or it is a time of great struggle, as publishers strive to offset shifts in marketing spend (declines in print especially), and develop new products and revenue streams. For some, it's both. Regardless, few would argue that we are facing major changes brought about by new technologies, and content-delivery methods and formats.
It can help to know what other publishers see as their greatest challenges and growth areas, as well as what they are investing in. This is exactly what we examined in our annual Publishing Executive reader survey. (Thank you so much to the hundreds of you who participated!) Here's what you said:
The top 10 challenges publishing executives are facing:
1. Transitioning from print-centric to multimedia publishing and merging/integrating multiple platforms; keeping abreast of technologies and strategies for doing so.
2. Ad sales/revenue growth, shifts in marketing spend, new revenue sources.
3. Creating and/or monetizing digital publications.
4. Increasing content and expanding content formats (re: workflow) and sales without budget support/resources.
5. Audience development: Subscriber/reader/member acquisition and retention.
6. Social media strategies, monetization and ROI analysis.
7. Mobile strategies and creation of successful apps.
8. Web revenue growth.
9. Strategies for print to adapt and thrive.
10. Escalating costs.
The top 11 growth areas publishers are seeing:
1. Web (69% of respondents)
2. E-newsletters (47%)
3. Print (33%)
4. Custom Publishing (27%)
5. Webinars/virtual events (27%)
6. In-person events (24%)
7. Paid-content products—digital (21%)
8. Video (17%)
9. Paid-content products—print (12%)
10. Reprints/e-prints/content licensing (10%)
11. List sales (7%)
The top 11 publishing technologies/solutions for which publishers will be shopping in 2012:
1. Mobile app solutions and services (39%)
2. Digital editions solutions (37%)
3. Web publishing tools (30%)
4. E-mail marketing/newsletter solutions (27%)
5. Social media services (22%)
6. E-commerce solutions (21%)
7. Magazine printing services (21%)
8. Production/workflow/scheduling systems (20%)
9. Paper (19%)
10. Content/digital asset management tools (18%)
11. Circulation/fulfillment/database systems (18%)
Publishing Executive News!
I'm also pleased to announce the promotion of Matt Steinmetz to publisher and of James Sturdivant to managing editor. We also welcome Brian Howard, contributing editor, to our team.
Many of you know our new publisher from his years on Publishing Executive's editorial staff and his role in helping to run the Publishing Business Conference and Expo. Matt's business savvy led him into sales, and his rapid success led to his promotion to publisher. We are looking forward to Matt's business prowess to ensure the continued growth of this magazine and its related products.
James' features have regularly ranked among your favorites in our reader surveys, and he has contributed significantly and, I'm pleased to say, will contribute even more to our digital expansion, and editorial content, direction and growth.
Brian is a longtime writer/editor, whose career includes positions with Target Marketing magazine (where I used to work with him), editor-in-chief of Philadelphia's City Paper, and editor of a national music magazine and of an urban sustainability magazine. I'm thrilled to bring Brian's experience, intelligence and creativity to Publishing Executive.