Communities will help Future launch magazines

Media group Future believes there is still potential in print products if they are created collaboratively with the target market.


The special interest publisher, which unveiled “disappointing” full year results today (24 November), sees digital products as the main driver of revenue going forward.

But chief executive Mark Wood explains to Marketing Week that print publications thoroughly researched before launch with the relevant communities can pay off.

“We have a new model using community editors in the design and pre-launch process.”

He says that the company uses social media “to learn what the audience wants and have them engaged from the start.”

The publisher has launched two print titles this year, Practical Photoshop and craft and lifestyle magazine Mollie Makes (pictured). Wood says the latter went into profit within four months.

N-Photo for the Nikon camera community appeared on news stands today (24 November) and Wood says it had nearly 40,000 followers on the Facebook site before it appeared in its print incarnation.

He says: “We want to launch more magazines and we have the template to do so successfully.”

However, it is the focus on digital products that will provide long-term growth and turn the company’s heavily loss-making US division around.

Wood, who replaced former CEO Stevie Spring in October, says that the launch of Apple Newsstand, where digital editions of magazines can easily be ordered and downloaded, was a “game-changer” and the ability of digital product to appeal across territories will drive Future’s business.

He points out that 38% of digital edition sales come from the US and 22% from the UK and Wood says this demonstrates “that the full range of our content will have strong appeal in the US market.”

He adds: “We want to do more to customise our content for that market and sell advertising against this.”

Other strong markets are France, Germany, China, Korea and Australia and Wood points out that “on a world wide basis this points to the potential for new ways of liaising and partnerships” and more scope for translated content deals.

Wood says that technology news and reviews site TechRadar is ripe for such customisation and there is potential in Future’s gaming and cycling brands too.

Regarding customer data he adds that the company is building up “quite a good profile of customers and it will continue to do this because it wants to target the very valuable customers.”

The company receives data from subscriptions taken out via the Newsstand but not from one-off sales. Wood says: “We work with Apple all the time on this. They are trying to help publishers and are in an active dialogue and listening.”



    Leave a comment