Sarah Chubb, President, Conde Nast Digital; Matt Jones, VP Mobile Strategy and Operations, Gannett Digital; Jeff Price, President and Publisher, Sporting News; Vijay Ravindran, Senior PP and Chief Digital Officer, The Washington Post Company; Marion Maneker, Columnist, The Big Money, moderator.

Sarah Chubb: Spent a lot of time thinking about “who we are”. One of answers is that they are known for a high level of engagement with audience. If are Conde customer you will probably get a number of their products and will expect them to be on multiple platforms. Invested a lot in iPad and iPhone because suspected early on that certain of their customers would not pick up a magazine from a newsstand but would like to read it on iPhone. Early adopters are their customers. When released GC did focus groups and found that readers liked using both an iPad and an iPhone. Have never put a huge amount of magazine content on the websites. Will have subscriptions to apps soon. Trying to understand dynamic between the print product, web and app product. Don’t know what the price for subscription will be, and what types of subscriptions there will be as well. Epicurious web format is very successful, but that’s for cooking and food and probably won’t work for their other magazines.

Matt Jones: the way the space is developing it is becoming a challenge to figure out how to manage multi-platform setting. More fragmentation happening and hard to figure out what will be real and not real in the future. Customer expectations are very high (partly because Apple has done such a good job). Hard to decide what technologies to rely on. They have multiple priorities, none is a “#1 priority”. Customers expect that products will evolve and continually get better. Want to sell the issue of the magazine rather than the individual story, but this may change depending on consumer preferences. Start and end points in a product is something new that isn’t a component of a typical web content and consumers like this. Agnostic about platform, is more a technology issue. Don’t have a concern over shifting consumer from print to a digital product. Legacy systems are not architected to deal with the world that they are dealing with now.

Jeff Price: small to medium size publisher and had to focus closely on their core competency so don’t get stretched too thin. Start with the real time web and then move to the magazine. Wasn’t about how to make magazine work on the iPhone/iPad, but was about how to serve what the portable consumer wants. Uses Zinio. Flip process on its head. Look at real time first and how to do that and then, later, figure out how to do it on the magazine. They have an advantage in that their content is highly scheduled. App is free, but have to subscribe to publication to get it. Keeps the connection with the customer.

Vijay Ravindran: At Washington Post they found that being big is a disadvantage because of all the legacy stuff hanging around. Where want to have a unique editorial voice that should be done in-house, for other stuff can use outsiders. Can’t afford an editor for every single device, but consumers with different devices have different expectations and is a difficult challenge. Very hard to figure out the level of investment for various different platforms as ROI cases aren’t known yet. A lot of experimentation going on in devices, forms of packaging and forms of payment. Natural equilibrium over time will come with print vs. electronic but not there yet by a long shot.


The TeleRead community values your civil and thoughtful comments. We use a cache, so expect a delay. Problems? E-mail