Hearst Magazines more than any other publisher today is beating the print drum loud and hard. They are so bullish on print that even Michael Clinton, the President of Marketing/Publishing Director took to the company’s website to make the case for print saying that Hearst values its core print business and readers do as well. He talks about how Hearst is driving print circulation with digital and mobile experiences. He used the company’s T-Mobile Tuesday promotion back in April as an example which he said generated 235,000 paid subscriptions to 13 Hearst magazines in just one day with two more coming up this year. So what is Hearst’s secret? While other companies are shuttering print publications Hearst has been launching them like the recent airbnb magazine and The Pioneer Woman, the latter being a break out hit. This dedication to print isn’t just within the magazines group. Hearst Corp on a whole is bullish on print and has been diving deeper into it with acquisitions like The Pioneer Group which is a network of local newspapers in Michigan. The company also acquired the Connecticut print and digital assets of 21st Century Media Newspaper, LLC back in June. So this is no show. Hearst loves print and they are investing in it heavily.
At Hearst, we value our core print business, and readers do as well. The most recent report for the first half of 2017 shows that, for the industry as a whole, print circulation is consistent, and, at Hearst, it was even slightly up. What’s more, more than half of our portfolio has seen audience growth, which is especially impressive considering that many of our brands have increased the cost of their subscriptions.
This also comes after Hearst Magazine’s chief content officer Joanna Coles beat the print drum in a lengthy interview with Business Insider saying that when you read something in print you actually absorb it in a different way and after being asked by the interviewer if print is going to die, Ms. Coles replied:
Oh God no. I think print is going to get printier, I think it’s going to get richer, and I think people are going to appreciate it more. I mean books didn’t die. Everybody said, “Oh my god, everything’s going to go to e-books.” And there is nothing better than getting on a flight with an iPad stuffed full of books to read and only one small piece of digital equipment to read it on. I mean, heaven not getting on with seven books, which is how I used to travel. Now I don’t need to. But there is something about the luscious, tactile quality of a magazine which is a real luxury I think. Every week I get calls from people, either celebrities or brands or tech companies, saying, “Can you help us make a magazine?”
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