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Magazine Publishers Struggling in Public Equity Markets

Posted on Wednesday, May 31, 2017 at 12:29 PM

In the news: Public equity markets have proven not as lucrative as publishers would have hoped.

The recently aborted sale of Time Inc. serves as a cautionary tale to publishers considering a dip into public equity markets. Tony Silber of Foliomag.com sums up Time's failed venture thusly: "The company's three-year experiment with public equity markets has, by almost any objective measure, not succeeded. Ironically, at least according to one observer, being part of a public company -- Time Warner -- is what led to this outcome."

Time Inc. isn't the only traditional magazine publisher that has struggled in public equity markets. According to Silber, other brands that have faced similar challenges in recent years include Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, Reader's Digest Association, and Playboy Enterprises. However, digital brands such as Buzzfeed and Vox are attracting lots of venture capital these days. If any of these brands goes public in the near future, says Silber, we may be able to draw meaningful comparisons between traditional publishers and their newer digital-oriented counterparts. Read more here.

Also Notable

Re-exploring Search Engine Optimization

SEO hasn't commanded the magazine media conversation in a while, but don't be fooled. Publishers are still looking for ways to push their content to the forefront of Google. Popular tricks include, according to Lucia Moses of Digiday.com, converting websites to https, designing pages to be AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages) compliant, and engineering content so that readers spend more time with it. Read more about current SEO strategies here.

Print Ads Down, Digital Ads up at NYTCO

Digital revenue is on the rise at the New York Times Co., but print revenues took a sharp downturn in the first quarter of 2017. According to Erik Sass of MediaPost.com, in Q1 print was down 17.9 percent and digital revenues up 18.9 percent, for an overall ad decline of 6.9 percent. Read more here.

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