Friday, July 13, 2007

Magazine market shows mixed messages

Emap's consumer magazine revenues are down but its digital revenues are up (and likely to increase, according to this report); Reed Business Information is freezing recruitment. The periodicals garden, b2b or consumer, is looking rather like my own garden at the moment: wet, uninviting and populated by unhappy looking plants.

Dennis is trying to drum up interest from its own readers and doubtless Emap will decide that trusting its magazine-centred communities is the sensible thing to do next.

There is also renewed speculation around Emap selling off its tv assets.

Yet, while all this is going on, I keep getting job opportunities posted to me.

Put that together if you can.

Emap results: Yahoo/Reuters, the Herald, MAD, the Scotsman,
RBI: Press Gazette
Dennis: mediaguardian
Emap tv: Yahoo/Reuters

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Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Top gear: BBC converges the brand

The BBC has brought the Top Gear brand under one roof. This might not sound like a revolutionary step but it is. For the first time, a 'public service' television programme, its online avatar and the print magazine of the same name will be physically and philosophically together, operating as a 'virtual company'. If nothing else, it pioneers an official new level of co-operation between BBC Television, BBC Online and BBC Worldwide.

It will also give Michael Harvey, editor of the magazine, a major new role in expanding the brand across the globe. Top Gear magazine has licensed editions in several territories, and this can now be tied in with sales of the tv show overseas, with sponsorship opportunities (especially in the USA) and with brand extensions such as ... aftershave (just imagine the aroma; Castrol R and petrol, perhaps).

Will other publishers, broadcasters and onliners squeal? Perhaps they will, but with the less-than-expected licence fee settlement now clear the BBC will probably make the argument that it needs to generate as much revenue as possible from its commercial activities, and also that this kind of reorganisation brings managerial efficiencies.

If the Top Gear experiment succeeds in getting these three bits of the Beeb to work together there will be a massive machine in operation.

Question - how does this compare with Ofcom's proposals for an online Public Service Publisher?

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IPC cuts back on soap

We all know that magazine publishers are having a harder time than they would like, but really! It would appear that IPC cannot afford to put soap in the men's toilets, at least not on the 10th floor. A lovely new building? Check. Smart facilities? Check. One hand drier of a particularly crumby nature for a multi-occupancy gents? Check. No soap or handwash? Check. I bet Wallpaper* doesn't have to put up with this kind of thing!


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Thursday, July 05, 2007

Go East: Indian Magazines boost Emap portfolio

Emap has joined BBC Worldwide in the rush to own a slice of the action in the Indian magazine market. As reported in The Scotsman, Emap has bought into Next Gen Publishing of Mumbai.

However, Next Gen's own press release sheds a little more light on the purchase. It is actually Emap Publishing (Nederland) B. V.which has acquired a 40.1% stake. Next Gen already licenses two titles from Emap - CAR INDIA and FHM India.

Commenting on the tie-up, H.S.Billimoria, Chief Executive Officer, Next Gen Publishing said "The entry of Emap as a partner throws open vast opportunities for Next Gen to become a leading media group in the country."
About Next Gen Publishing Ltd.

Next Gen Publishing Ltd. (Next Gen ) was setup jointly by the Forbes Group and HDFC Limited to offer the best in the field of publishing through niche / special interest magazines and business directories. Next Gen aims to become a leading content generation company across media platforms.

Current product portfolio -
Smart Photography, India's No.1 imaging magazine
Car India & Bike India for automobile enthusiasts
Computer Active, a jargon-free magazine for all computer users
Commercial Vehicle, exclusively for the heavy automotive and truck industry
The Ideal Home And Garden for young homemakers
Forbes Yellow Pages, India's fastest growing Yellow Pages in Ahmedabad, New Delhi & Mumbai.

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