Time Inc.

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This morning’s news included a piece on Conde Nast shuttering 3 big magazine properties. The company lost in excess of $120M last year keeping print properties churning. Magazines have been under web attack for over a decade. Magazines aren’t in the readership business, they’re in the entertainment and enlightenment business. As audio and video production became more common, entertainment and enlightenment moved to the web, albeit watered down.

Conde Nast will get it right.  It just needed this kick in the ass. Content experts are content experts. Content poseurs are content poseurs.

The death of radio was predicted and it still reaches 93% of US adults weekly. The end of network TV was also predicted…nope.  

Sorry publishers like Conde Nast, Time Inc. and Meredith have bloody noses. But for now at least, the holding company approach has become a little zaftig.




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Time Inc. is reducing its global workforce by 6%, effectively shrinking its news organization at a time when news is more extensive than ever.  There is more to report, more media to share, more interest and access. If you were to look at all news organizations I bet they’d be contracting. Well maybe not the HuffPost, but the total number if people in the business.  Why?  I suspect it is because of citizen journalism. Citizens find the news, shoot it on camera phones and send it to the highest bidder in seconds. And they blog it.

A similar contraction has been happening in the network TV business. TV viewership for ABC, CBS, NBC and Fox is down relative to the population. What are those people doing?  They are not reading magazines (another story).  They are on the internech (pronounced neck). But, what are they doing and watching on the internet? Videos.  

In my marketing and brand consultancy, I promote myself as someone who help “redistribute marketing wealth.”  New technology and new trends (see above) redistribute content, functions and services. The airlines were not in the plane business, they were in the transportation business. As the calendar pages flip by, marketers need to not forget to ask themselves “What business am I in?” “What consumer purpose am I serving?” “What role do I play?”

That’s how to get beyond the dashboard.  That’s where the future at. Peace.

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