“It’s not fair that brands are not looking at print the same way they used to,” Sauerberg said. “We’re putting programs in place that help advertisers solve their problems, make it easy to do business with us and put more [ad] products on the table. We all go to market selling programs, and that includes digital programs.”
“Our ad revenue was up dramatically on the digital side [last quarter], but we still do a lot more print advertising, and it still has a better ROI by a factor of two times,” Lacy said, referencing a study Meredith did with Nielsen.
Selling print now means packaging it with digital and video content, and beefing up internal creative resources.
“Everything needs to be integrated because that’s how customers lead their lives,” Rodale said. “The story is the same for ad agencies and magazine media companies: The walls are coming down. We need to learn how to be flexible and nimble in a way that gets our message across. Sometimes that’s print, sometimes that’s video.”
Yes, video. With print long beleaguered, the group seemed eager to see another storied distribution channel flounder: television.
“There was a time that TV was able to raise CPMs 10% every year even with declining audience. Now, I think for the first time ever, you’re seeing real cracks,” Carey said.
All are focused on expanding video content to grab those shifting television dollars.
“We absolutely will compete with Time Warner” now that the spinoff is complete, Ripp said, noting that it was difficult for Time properties to pursue anything video-related while it was part of a cable company. “We are ready to acquire, reinvent and become a major cross-platform media company.”