Losing Ads to Net Is a Top Concern

By Moseley, Bob | Folio: the Magazine for Magazine Management, January 2000 | Go to article overview
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Losing Ads to Net Is a Top Concern


Moseley, Bob, Folio: the Magazine for Magazine Management


PUBLISHERS EXPECT TO LOSE READER ATTENTION, STAFF AND MARKETSHARE TO ONLINE MEDIA THIS YEAR, A READER POLL INDICATES

Publishers believe that ad sales will grow moderately this year, but also fear that the Internet will continue to gain advertising marketshare, according to a FOLIO:-commissioned survey. Asked which trends and dynamics would be most likely to affect the publishing industry in 2000, respondents named the Internet and circulation economics as their principal concerns, and noted that e-commerce is of particular interest.

For instance, Tom Potratz, publisher of Discover, says that while e-commerce has positive and negative implications for publishers, the bigger concern is, "Who is going to be left standing when it all shakes out?"

Meanwhile, publishers blame the Internet for the ongoing talent crunch and believe that the migration of their top staffers to dot.com companies will continue. "It's clearly a time when human resources are driving companies, and it's affecting the way you manage," says Tom Florio, publisher of GQ. "I spend a lot of time making sure my staff is happy and feeling challenged. The industry is losing lot of talented people to the Internet," he says. "Long-term, that will affect magazines the most."

The good news is most publishers polled by FOLIO: believe that ad sales will grow in 2000. Cyndi Stivers, president and editor in chief of Time Out New York, says the key to continued growth is a broad advertising base. "We feel diversified enough so if there's a hiccup in the ad market, it won't hurt us," she says.

                          What are the top issues
                          facing the industry for
                              the year 2000?
Internet's growth in gaining
advertising marketshare                 55.3%
Circulation economics                   42.1%
Shifting labor market, including people
moving to dot.com companies             18.4%
Industry stratification brought on
by consolidation                        21.1%
Other (write-ins)                       21.1%

Respondents say other concerns include the Internet's challenge to intellectual property, its ability to steal readers' time and attention, and the Internet's growth as a content provider.

Respondents also note that it is imperative for the magazine industry to reinvent the circulation model, extend the core of the magazine business into multiple revenue streams, and aggressively reduce cost structure.

                             How much of your
                           readers' time do you
                         believe your magazine is
                          losing to the Internet? 

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