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Monday, May 12, 2008

IDG makes Money from the Web Shock!

This recent article in the New York Times explores how tech publisher IDG has seized the online opportunity. A cynic mught say that this came out of adversity, but hey lets not be picky. The once great InfoWorld was closed down as a print publication a year or more ago. Its online child now turnsover $1.6m /month in ad revenue and has a 37% margin. The magazine used to lose money on less revenue/month.

Pat McGovern (pictured) is one of the oldest print publishers on the planet - and one of the most successful, so interesting to see how even the most conservative of media execs can get it right.

These are the things it seems to me that IDG got right;

1) They saw the web property as an opporutnity not a threat and resourced it accordingly.

2) They understood that content written for the web is different from content written for the magazine.

3) They created some really useful "furniture" based around top tips to solve problems - a nod towards workflow integration.

4) They made everyone write for the web and progressively moved resources from mag to web as the mag revenues declined.

5) They adopted what they called a "web first" approach which means in terms, do the right thing for the web product and to hell with the consequences and then, as they say in the article,

"the only thing left to decide was the death date for the print edition"

Now I know this is the tech market and I know that the US market is more advanced than the UK in some respects, but isn't there just a little about this that pricks your conscience to do something differently today?

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