There is indeed gold in them there hills for magazines – and ALL media brands – if they focus on amplifying their brands rather than printing more issues.
Just ask the folks at WIRED.
From today’s news:
“The gloves are off here at Condé [Nast],” said Wired publisher Howard Mittman, whose magazine will end the year in the number-one spot for ad page growth at the company, up 24 percent. “We’re bigger than we’ve ever been, and we’ve put the brand in a place to focus on other things, like licensing deals.”
Licensing deals? You read that right.
This week, Wired will begin testing the waters with a small collection of limited edition “hybrid” products, such as Jack Spade messenger bags, “The El” bike, headphones and iPad cases. The title will sell this merchandise in a pop-up store that opens on Friday in the three-story Tower Records building in NoHo. “There are now opportunities for publishers to expand the footprint of their brands,” Mittman added. “We have more white space to play in — we are seeing passionate interest now from fashion and lifestyle brands, for instance.” One example is Burberry, Wired’s first-ever fashion advertiser, which can be seen in the November iPad edition. “Last week I went to Paris, Geneva and Milan. Five years ago, this wasn’t the most obvious trip for a Wired publisher to make,” Mittman said.
And it’s not just licensing – it’s also distribution:
The magazine has enjoyed a strong year, thanks in part to the iPad launch. The debut issue in June sold around 105,000 copies. Since then, that figure has leveled off to about 32,000 sold an issue. (On newsstands, Wired typically sells around 83,000 copies.)
So what does all this mean to the average broadcaster?
It means that the future belongs the desirable brand that can be amplified – amplified with more value in more dimensions across more platforms in more formulas to more consumers.
You’re not in the radio business. You’re in the brand amplification business.