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TALKING TIME: Slowly over the past few months, new Time Inc. chief executive officer Laura Lang has rolled out new strategies and changes to her executive team. That hasn’t stopped speculation about additional cutbacks.
Paul Caine, chief revenue officer and effectively Lang’s number two, largely avoided the topic while speaking Thursday at a panel during Advertising Week. Caine, sitting in the middle of a dais of marketing luminaries — Condé Nast chief integration officer Drew Schutte was to his left, and Carolyn Everson, a vice president of marketing at Facebook, to his right — stuck to pitching Time’s new advertising product, Amplify, which it introduced in late September.
“When we talk to advertisers about buying advertising within a branded experience, they often say, ‘We love that idea but how do we get scale?’” Caine said.
In the past, Time would have encouraged brands to advertise in particular magazines — say, Entertainment Weekly or Real Simple — and its sales teams would have handled different platforms. But with Amplify, the company offers brands the chance to marry new campaigns to existing editorial content — in print, digital or mobile — in any of its magazines. Call it a next-generation group buy.
“We can take it out of the Real Simple experience, which maybe reaches 18 million people, and give you the opportunity to reach 200 million through Amplify,” he said.
In addition, marketers can further target their advertising by making use of Time’s database of 65 million print subscribers.
In an interview with Bloomberg News two weeks ago, Lang said sales reps steeped in traditional media were getting trained to exploit the new technology and sell Time’s databases to marketers.
What happens to those who prefer the old division between print and digital? Are their jobs vulnerable? Speaking to WWD after the panel, Caine bypassed the question. “What makes somebody successful at Time Inc. is the ability to sell our branded-content and our consumer-content experiences.” In other words, Caine clarified, they have to be able to sell ads across all platforms.
He also talked about efforts to grow digital revenue as advertising and circulation in print continues to decline — Time Inc.’s first half of the year saw ad sales drop 6 percent to $855 million compared with a year earlier, according to Bloomberg.
Agreeing to sell magazine subscriptions through Apple’s newsstand is showing “wonderful growth,” he told WWD, though he declined to reveal specific subscription figures. “As a new channel stream, adding to subscription and [traditional] newsstand, the tablet magazine environment has been really robust for us,” he said.
He said growing Time’s presence
on mobile, tablets and online doesn’t mean it’s relying less on its print business. In fact, the two go hand in hand. “We’ve seen a double-digit increase [from 2011 to 2012] in print subscriptions based on the way we’re approaching content across all media and the way we’re making content unique to each form,” he said.
He again declined to provide specific print figures.