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LinkedIn: Must-Have Business Information

Magazine article Information Today

LinkedIn: Must-Have Business Information

Article excerpt

Traditional publishing has been struggling for 20 or 30 years to generate revenues from the fast-changing online world. The Pew Research Center's Project for Excellence in Journalism's Nieman Journalism Lab article, "Press Publish 9: Pew's Amy Mitchell on the 'Challenged' State of the News Media in 2013" (March 18, 2013), painted a bleak picture.

The phrase "challenged state" is a gentle one, but the publishing organizations affected by the digital revolution reach beyond newspapers and magazines. Professional publishing companies have been hard hit and are likely to face even more Hurricane Katrina-scale storms in the future.

For connected people, online has become synonymous with "must have" information. Pervasive connectivity, mobile devices, and a growing desire to be in touch continue to expand. I suppose a plateau will be reached, but not quickly.

Conde Nast captured headlines in USA TODAY: "Conde Nast Launches Magazine-Branded Video Channels," by Roger Yu on March 12, 2013, with an announcement that it was going to roll out an "original Web video series." The idea is that these programs will "attempt to leverage the brand recognition of its titles."

The USA TODAY article had a "been there, done that" tone. One traditional media giant views the efforts of a well-known magazine publisher as "an attempt." The effort is likely to be an expensive one because making a video is more costly than taking an ad from a Madison Avenue agency and sending the file to the magazine printer to be included in the next issue.

The USA TODAY article added the following:

      Backed by corporate sponsors,
   its collection of webisodes
   --ranging from two to seven
   minutes--will be distributed
   on YouTube and the video
   pages of the magazines' websites.
   The initial series will be
   tied to Glamour and GQ, focusing
   on fashion, cosmetics
   and health. The company plans
   to introduce video channels
   for its other magazines. Each
   series will have several episodes
   available at launch and
   future episodes will be released
   weekly.

Conde Nast plans movies, TV shows, and online videos, described in the USA TODAY article:

      The programming tied to
   Glamour will feature four
   shows: "Elevator Makeover" (a
   girl gets a makeover during an
   elevator ride); "Glamour DOs
   and DON'Ts of the Week" (fashion
   and cultural trends); "Fashion
   Week Ride-Along" (a camera
   follows Glamour's editor as
   she attends New York Fashion
   Week); and "Why Do Guys ..."
   (comedians survey men on the
   streets of New York City). The
   GQ channel also will have four
   shows: "Fighting Weight" (a
   workout guide); "The Ten" (men
   count 10 items they can't live
   without); "Car Collectors" (collectors
   share their possessions);
   and "Jogging with James" (entrepreneur
   James Marshall
   shares his marathon training).

Advance Publications, owner of Conde Nast, generates about $7 billion a year in annual revenue, according to Media Data Base. The company publishes the venerable PARADE magazine Sunday supplement, owns local business publications, has some cable television operations, and operates dozens of traditional newspapers. The company's television and cable interests may give Conde Nast an edge in rich media production. The play is a bold one. Media Data Base reports that Advance Publications' revenue was about $7.9 billion in 2007. If this estimate is correct, Advance Publications has a good reason to support Conde Nast's push into online publishing, advertising, and rich media. Advance Publications, if the financial data are somewhat accurate, wants to have revenues climb. To be fair, even the best-managed traditional publishing companies face similar challenges.

More Industry M&As

Contrast the boldness of the Conde Nast initiative with what looks like a ho-hum deal. LinkedIn, a privately held social media site popular with job seekers and consultants, bought Pulse, a news-reading app for tablets. …

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