The focus was on the newsstand business, its relevancy to publishers, how to stabilize it, as well as the current and future roles of each of the channel members… wholesaler, national distributor, retailer, and publisher, and how we as an industry engage the retailer to promote and increase sales.
Wholesaler participants included David Parry, President & CEO of TNG and Shawn Everson, Chief Commercial Officer of Ingram Content Group. Three CEOs of magazine media companies also joined this segment of the ACT 6 Experience. They are Hubert Boehle, CEO of Bauer Magazine L.P., Andy Clurman, CEO of AIM (Active Interest Media) and Eric Hoffman, CEO of Hoffman Media.
Videos of all the presentations will be posted on this site in addition to Linda Ruth’s reports. Linda, thankfully, accepted the role of the scribe of the ACT 6 Experience.
Here’s Linda’s report on Andy Clurman’s presentation…
Andy Clurman of Active Interest Media spoke of the integrated approach and expanding reach of a successful publishing company. AIM is a case study in the flexibility and adaptability referenced by Folio’s Tony Silber on Act 6’s Day 1. The evolution of AIM has been such that, although it looks from the outside like a magazine publishing company, it has become much more than that.
Yet AIM was built for and by magazines. AIM publishes special interest titles in categories grouped around marine, sports, home, healthy living, outdoor, and horses. With six different groups, each of which encompasses multiple sub-groups, and over 50 magazine brands, AIM creates events, videos, and marketing services. They have a digital audience, membership programs, and have created an online education program. The brands and the business were built on magazines, and around the content, authority, and audience of their magazine program.
Clurman points out that, in building a company around the enthusiasm of the audience, entire groups can be, and are, run without a stitch of advertising, based on the wants and needs of the audience itself. As is indicated by the company’s name, the audience is actively engaged, connecting through print, digital, events, video, newsletters, classes, and social media.
For AIM, partnerships with specialty retailers are an important piece of their brand development and monetization strategy. This could range from a connection relating to products that the retailer carries or highlights in the stores to, at the extreme end, creating an SIP based on the retailers priorities and making it available exclusively in retailer stores.
Keys to building their brands, including publications that have dwindled and been marginalized, include upgrading the value of the publications through improving paper quality, cover and concept testing, developing specialty distribution, and partnering with distributors and retailers. It’s important to break down the silos and start talking to one another if we’re going to break out of the rut we’re in. We need to prove the efficacy of magazines as merchandisers.
Magazines are the story-tellers that amplify the value of the products found in partner retailer stores. This creates a basis for mutually-beneficial partnerships.
Click below to watch the first video from the Reimagining The Newsstand featuring GilBrechtel :
Click below to watch the second video from the Reimagining The Newsstand featuring Eric Hoffman:
Click below to watch the third video from the Reimagining The Newsstand featuring Andy Clurman:
Stay tuned for more reports from Linda Ruth and more videos from ACT 6 Experience…