At MPA Conference, Publishers Embrace Change & Expand Brands Beyond Print
Monday night was the opening of the American Magazine Media conference held in New York City. All the major local American publishers were in attendance and many notable luminaries from other parts of the globe as well. I conversed with as many as I could including many of my London friends. I had the chance to chat with publishers from the Midwest as well as two Swedish publishers that I met last year. The conference focused on the topic of the Magazine Media Business and was well attended.
Mary Berner, president and CEO of the MPA, gave a passionate opening speech about the magazine media industry, which she made very clear should no longer be thought of as just the magazine industry. She said that pundits were saying that print is dying. She noted that those statements made her angry, and that she knew they were wrong. She said that inaccurate facts have been distributed by the media itself and they/we weren't telling the correct story.
Mary noted that consumer engagement in the magazine media industry is growing rapidly, which is why the MPA is testing new revenue streams and pathways. She stated that print is tangible and permanent, and that the industry has moved on to become more than just a print platform. "We build brands and engage consumers, and the adoption of our other than print venues are growing at a rapid pace." She stated in no uncertain terms, "We have the engaged consumers and we
can and will take it to the bank."
Bob Sauerberg, Jr., president of Condé Nast, spoke after Mary and offered the observation that, "Mary Berner in her role as president and CEO of the MPA is leading the way for us to turn our backs on the past." I found that an interesting turn of phrase. He also said, "Our willingness to change is obvious and important to note."
What's next is a question for the ages, Sauerberg went on, but never more so than right now. "Massive changes are in store for the industry." He also said that more content was created just yesterday than will ever be able to be consumed in a lifetime. He went on to say that we are in the unique position to "create, curate, and distribute," and those three actions are our road map to the future. "We as an industry are collaborating to enrich the consumer experience."
I have much to say about the event and all I heard. In the next few days I will write a full recap of the event.