This is a great story and it’s all about “re-thinking print“… my 2014 theme for PMC! Let’s recap:
1. Giant publishing family sells Newsweek to media mogul who spends millions trying to revive readership.
2. Mogul gives up and sells to IBT Media, a small digital publishing company.
3. IBT recreates Newsweek to be web-only.
4. Success of digital version triples traffic to Newsweek site and readers urge publishers for a printed version.
5. Publishers re-think the model, and will now print a limited run of magazines, sell them at a higher cost than the online version (but still at a profit), and position the printed magazine as a LUXURY product.
By not trying to recreate the old Newsweek business model, IBT has created a new one, opened their revenue streams to new possibilities, provided their customers with the content delivery method they prefer, and oh yeah… put Newsweek back into printed circulation.
What does this spark in you? Are their opportunities to print limited run materials for your clients? What projects that you work on could be segmented into digital versions and luxury printed items? There are an awful lot of newsletters and e-books out there that might be perfect for small print runs. Just re-think it, and help your customers do the same!
Tiny Digital Publisher to Put Newsweek Back in Print – NYTimes.com
The Graham family, longtime newspaper publishers, gave up and sold it for a dollar. The media mogul Barry Diller spent tens of millions trying to revive it, only to throw in the towel. Even Mr. Diller’s star editor, Tina Brown, could not stop it from going out of print.
But where giants failed, IBT Media, a small digital publishing company, sees a growth path for Newsweek, the struggling newsweekly magazine it bought for a pittance last summer.
Etienne Uzac, 30, and Johnathan Davis, 31, founders of IBT Media, believed they could recreate Newsweek as a vibrant and profitable web-only magazine. But now, having tripled Newsweek’s online traffic, they plan to punctuate the magazine’s comeback by turning on the printing presses again. Hard copies are expected to hit newsstands on Friday.
Break out the banner headline: Newsweek Is Back From the Dead!
“We had no real plans to bring it back into print,” Jim Impoco, Newsweek’s editor in chief, said during a recent interview at the company’s headquarters in Lower Manhattan. “We called it the p-word.”
But Mr. Uzac said readers urged them to return to print. “I had heard it would not be viable, but then I looked into it and decided we could sell some copies for significantly more than it cost to make,” he said.
Newsweek’s print ambitions are modest. It plans to print 70,000 copies — at its peak two decades ago, circulation was 3.3 million — and sell them for $7.99 each, with the magazine’s content also available online for a more affordable price.
“You would pay only if you don’t want to read anything on a backlit screen,” Mr. Uzac said. “It is a luxury product.”