“We jumped from 2020 to 2023 in a weekend:” Bauer UK CEO Chris Duncan on building subscriptions through a crisis
A revenue drop of 80% and staff scattered to the four winds isn’t what you want to be dealing with in your first week at a new company. But this is the situation Bauer’s new CEO of UK Publishing Chris Duncan had to face when he joined the company from Times Newspapers, just three weeks after lockdown began in April 2020. “My first week was just, can we keep the lights on? Can we keep the business running?” he said.
18 months later and Bauer – publisher of magazines such as Take A Break, Empire and Grazia – has emerged as one of the pandemic’s winners. Total subscriptions are up 41.8% year-on-year, with print subscriptions up almost 30% and digital circulation having doubled over the past twelve months.
To capitalise on this growth, Bauer are now looking at enhancing their membership offerings, enticing long-term subscribers to spend more with brands. It’s a smart strategy, and moves like this will become more important as the fight to retain these new subscribers begins.
Politico is being sold for more than $1 billion; here are some of the smart moves it made to get there
Axel Springer is buying the whole of Politico for a rumoured $1 billion. Hailed as both a rare digital news success story and slammed as everything that’s wrong with digital news, Politico has redefined political journalism on the Internet and built a robust business. Nieman Lab looks at some of the things they’ve done right. (They aren’t the only media company on the move today: Forbes also announced they are going public in a SPAC deal that values them at $630 million.)
Last month, it was reported that Vice would be “putting a greater emphasis on videos and other forms of visual storytelling.” Yesterday, they announced layoffs. This isn’t quite such a stark cause-and-effect as the headline makes out; their video content has been hitting big numbers, and there are only around 20 staff affected this time (compared to the 155 laid off during the pandemic last year).
Everyone is talking about the top content report from Facebook, but it’s not what it seems. Thomas Baekdal runs through the report and what we can learn from it. The bottom line is that Facebook is actually pretty boring, and most people spend their time interacting with posts from family, friends and groups. The proportion of ‘content views’ that are actually from publishers is miniscule. Encouraging for those worried about misinformation, but perhaps less encouraging for social media managers…
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