Monday, May 30, 2011

Quote, unquote: Rolling Stone founder on packaging print and web

The most important thing a magazine can do online is maintain its brand and be very strong in terms of delivering on that brand. And then link it to the magazine in such a way -- or at least this is going to be our strategy -- link it to the magazine in such a way that it does things in the same field with the same brand and the same point of view, but not things you can do in print. 
Now I think that you can build both successfully -- make the whole experience more exciting for your print reader and vice versa -- and then it's easier to sell to advertisers, I think, packages as well as the raw sheer buying that they do for tonnage.
But I think it's a mistake to think that you should put your magazine itself online. As you point out, there's not enough audience, the numbers are not there for ad sales, you're not going to get a lot of money on that.
The magazine business, or at least the leaders of the magazine business, have been struggling for a long time, they've invested millions upon millions of dollars because they've had their heads in the sand about this whole thing. And maybe they're figuring it out now. We never have gone that route. We've just been making money.
-- Jann Wenner, in an interesting Q & A with Advertising Age


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