The Economist Group
The newest Newsweek strategy is both old-fashioned and radical. It's old-fashioned in the sense that it is reviving a ghost print brand with printing presses on two continents. It's radical in its pricing. Even the high-flying, high-quality weekly New Yorker only charges about $79 a year, while Time goes for $30 and The (monthly) Atlantic for about $25. Newsweek is going way beyond those prices.
Natalie Massenet is telling a joke: "'So, we've discovered this great media delivery system. We've been fine-tuning it, rebuilding it in-house. We are veryexcited about it. You can practically smell the ink! You can bend it! It has incredible resolution - on both sides! - and the battery life, well, it never runs out!'"
We are sitting in a glass conference room at Net-A-Porter, the online retailer that Massenet that started in her flat 14 years ago.
The final tally came in this week for print magazine advertising in 2013. It is the typical good news/bad news scenario.
Ad pages - the industry's traditional measure - were down 4.1 percent for the year. That could be read as a step forward from 2012 when the decline was 8.2 percent.
Today, in an exclusive in-depth video interview with BoF's Imran Amed, Natalie Massenet, Lucy Yeomans and Tess Macleod Smith discuss the thinking behind Net-a-Porter's new print magazine, Porter.
Top fashion titles such as Vogue, Glamour, Marie Claire, Harper's Bazaar, Elle, InStyle and People StyleWatch all finished 2013 with growth in print ad pages, according to the Publishers Information Bureau, which released its end of year numbers Thursday.
However, the industry as a whole saw print ad pages decline 4.1% last year compared with 2012, said the PIB report, which tracked 207 magazine titles.
The comparison is slightly skewed, however, because the titles PIB tracked in 2013 are not exactly the same as those monitored in 2012, according to Mary Berner, president and CEO of MPA
ONCE upon a time, it was common for scientists to receive letters from researchers working in other institutions, asking for reprints of papers they had published. It was the usual practice in those days for journal publishers to furnish authors with a couple of dozen such reprints, precisely for this purpose-but, if these had run out, a quick visit to the photocopier kept the wheels of scientific discourse turning, and though it was technically a violation of copyright, no one much minded.
As part of my New Year's Resolution, I resolved to review what was going on with digital pricing strategies for magazines. I did not look at Apple or Android devices, only at websites. Look at what I found:
The last few weeks have found fewer app updates released and more anecdotal evidence that the Apple review team is falling behind in releasing updates and new releases. It is hard to see that this would have had anything to do with the recent App Store meltdown (where the subcategories were broken) or the recent Beyonce release, but today a flood of updates finally appeared.
The news about the return of Newsweek to print spread like wild fire. The media world, social and otherwise, lit up like a Christmas tree heralding the news of the return of the 80- plus-year-old magazine.
However, this Newsweek, is not going to be the Newsweek of the past. It is going to be a magazine that will make its own news and create its own weather. "There is a lot of very, very shallow news reports," Jim Impoco told me in a phone interview. "People are looking for much deeper dives, for much more context."
In some unwelcome (but not unanticipated) news, Time Inc. staffers were told Monday to be prepared for layoffs as the publishing giant tries to shift its model from a print- to a digital-centric one. The company needs to make itself more attractive to potential investors as it prepares to spin off from Time Warner in the second quarter of 2014, and cost cuts are one way to do that.