Publishers understand the need to diversify, and there are plenty of smart channels in which to extend editorial brands, including live and virtual events. Events have the potential to unlock new revenue, solidify audience engagement, and bolster advertisers' integrated marketing campaigns.
Rick McFarland likes to compare his work at Hearst Corporation's data services to the creation of the Interstate Highway System. Before the Interstate System, it was a bumpy ride from coast to coast, fraught with dead-ends, detours, and sluggish speeds. Improving the nation's roads had been a long-standing ideal, but it really wasn't until President Eisenhower championed the military and economic value of a robust interstate highway that funding was put in place and action was taken.
Publishers have long been adept at gathering information about readers and audiences in the interest of producing better content and more effective advertising. But these processes were a lot more simplistic "back in the day" of print-centric magazines.