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A Lesson for Radio from Condé Nast

What can you say about publishing companies which create apps that have little or nothing to do with the publications they publish?

You can say what Paid Content said about Condé Nast and its new iPad app, Idea Flight:

The app debuted last week and marked a new direction for Condé Nast as “service provider” not just a publisher.

Meanwhile, Hearst unveiled plans for its “App Lab”:

…located in a windowless, soundproof room on the 41st floor of its New York headquarters, last August. The lab is not in any way an Apple-type store, but is rather intended to serve as a “think tank” for marketers and ad agencies who work with Hearst.  The most impressive piece in the room is a large iPad-like touchscreen mounted on the wall. The screen enables digital whiteboarding and features the entire Hearst digital publishing ecosystem, including the simulation of all apps. With nearly 100 apps already in circulation, including Zinio digital replicas of all its 14 magazines, Hearst plans to issue a dozen more apps over the next year. The apps will be fairly divided between ones for existing magazine titles and ones that bear little or no relation to its periodicals.

In other words, Hearst as “service provider.”

What media companies like these are recognizing – and what you must recognize too – is that they are no longer in the business of their origin.

A media company today – yours, even – does not live in a narrow distribution channel.  Today, it lives across all platforms.  What separates one from the other isn’t the stations they own or the magazines they publish, it’s the ideas they generate and the relationships they sustain between advertisers and consumers.

Radio is not “radio,” it’s “media.”

And “media” is all about relationships and ideas.

Put that in your FM chip and smoke it.

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