Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Zinio digital magazine provider said up for sale

[This post has been updated] Zinio, the digital magazine provider is apparently seeking a buyer, according to a story published by Fortune magazine.
The San Francisco-based company has hired investment bank Montgomery & Co. to manage the process, with one source saying that the company is seeking between $50 million and $100 million. No idea yet if there is buy-side interest at that price.

Zinio raised venture capital in the early part of the aughts, from brand-name firms like Apax Partners, New Enterprise Associates, North Bridge Venture Partners and Commonwealth Capital Ventures. But those firms all sold their stakes (for very little) more than five years ago to a real estate and hotel magnate named David Gilmour, who currently serves as the company's executive chairman.
Among its ventures, Zinio Canada partners with Magazines Canada in its Digital Newsstand, whereby dozens of member magazines make digital replica editions available, both by subscription and single copy.

[Update:  Folio: reports that Zinio put out a statement saying, indeed, that it has retained a merchant bank to "facilitate capital raising strategies and discussions."
"While the company has been engaged in similar discussions in the past," [it said] "Zinio has never had a stronger vision, strategy and roadmap to engage the right set of potential partners."]

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8 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Too bad Magazines Canada didn't partner with a Canadian firm.

9:54 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hear, hear!

For an association that represents the interests of Canadian magazines, and given that the Magazines Canada online newsstand receives federal funding through the Canada Periodical Fund - it seems like a no-brainer that they should have partnered with a Canadian firm.

My magazine works with a local (Ontario) digital media provider who provides a level of technology and client flexibility that is far superior to Zinio or the other big players.

As a proud Canadian publisher, we strive to partner with Canadian suppliers as much as possible. In fact, the major suppliers who we conduct business with on an ongoing basis are entirely Canadian.

3:16 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Among its ventures, Zinio Canada partners with Magazines Canada in its Digital Newsstand, whereby dozens of member magazines make digital replica editions available, both by subscription and single copy."

And writers don't see a penny.

5:37 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"And writers don't see a penny." Huh? The Zinio is the magazine, in digital version. It's not separate, new or different. It's all part of the overall circ, not an extra revenue stream. Writers get paid for contributing to the magazine, which includes analog and straight digital versions, both of which figure in the title's total circ.

11:04 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Give me a break, obsequious one. Its a different format and it should have been a separate, additional revenue stream.

But publishers — since most are simply repositioned printing companies, the term is used loosely — have blackmailed writers into providing digital and online rights for the same amount of money that they used to pay for straight, first NA serial print rights. These are digital rights. They are a separate issue.

Oh, and by the way: I know for a fact that a few of those mags on Zinio never negotiated digital versions in their writers contracts, and are in violation of copyright. Have fun with Robertson III.

8:08 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Its a different format and it should have been a separate, additional revenue stream." If additional advertising revenue was garnered through the Zinio, you would have a point about compensated writers. But it is not. It's the same magazine, just offered in an alternative format. It's like saying, I want to buy eggs, brown or white. I choose brown. The farmer makes no more or less money. It's just another mode of offering the same product. Wake up. We're in a digital world, and that's simply the format some people want their magazines delivered. Under your logic, we should be charging advertisers again for appearing in the same magazine, albeit in digital format.

10:32 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

" Under your logic, we should be charging advertisers again for appearing in the same magazine, albeit in digital format."

Yeah, why aren't we charging advertisers to be in our digital editions? Why not sell different ads into the digital editions? I think we need to have more confidence in the value of our product, and stop giving it away.

11:44 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Why not sell different ads into the digital editions?" We have to stop this silo mentality. It's all about content delivery, or more precisely, giving the readers the content in the format they want it. That means we must deliver our magazines in a variety of different formats/media. Again, here I'm not talking about SIPs or spin-offs, etc., but the actual, original rendition of a particular magazine, offered in a number of different formats, all of which feed the overall circ total. If we don't do this, we are dead in the water.

10:02 am  

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