A lively debate last night at NMK’s debate – “What happens to Magazines?”…
The demise of Arena last week invoked an interesting conversation about the power of blogging led by Ashley Norris, founder of Shiny Media. Where Arena’s digital offering really fell down, it was noted, was their lack of interaction from readers – without an interactive element the community that blogs gather around them is still-born. Arena’s supposition that this community would grow with no assistance was met with a certain amount of scorn “it was like they invented blogging” one panelist said.
Louise White at Incisive explained the somewhat difficult journey that Incisive had had to make from being magazine publishers to information providers. At the moment she is passionate about trying to bring the print closed circulation model online -combining email databases and analytics so that each reader’s every move is deeply tracked.
Simon Wear at Future has a clear idea of where their priorities lie having had a disastrous time with “Music Radar” – he thinks that kind of regrettable experience stemmed from Future trying to be a software company when their business is, and always will be, content.
Mike Soutar at Short List made a very interesting point about the change in reader’s expectations towards advertising. In tests they have done, readers have welcomed the adverts, understanding them as part of the free package. In the pub afterwards it was suggested (though not confirmed) that ShortList gets a lot of their content free of from interested parties looking to push a particular brand or service – just a subtler form of advertising?
Closing remarks were that the future for magazines is bright. We think it’s certainly going to be illuminating!