Emap Inform is going to put much of its content behind a pay wall. I have a simple question. Is this the same content that is now available for free? If so this is doomed. Hopefully this is new premium content. If it isn't all that will happen is traffic available for ad sales will drop and information sales will be modest.
Sorry for lack of posts lately. As sometimes happens in the real world, I have been busy. The pain is not over yet. Emap Inform has announced more reducndancies even though the business continues to do well (according to its CEO). The MD of Inform, Simon Middleboe, says the changes are about becoming a multiplatform business and building paid content. Some might think that sounds like a strategy hooked onto the back of inevitable cut backs as the print recession gets worse.
This all comes on the back of Apax writing down the value of their investment in Emap. Apax of course have already lost their shirt on Incisive Media.
Poor Apax, who are invested in both Incisve Media and Emap have just written dwon their equity investment in Emap from £300m to nothing. Accounting rules require a marekt value of assets to be applied at the time of posting accounts. According to the Guardian, GMG chief Carolyn McCall says that Emap has "intrinsic value" (I though vlaue was something to do with Money) and maks £100m a year and profits are up.
Uh kind of. The truth is that on sensible view of value if Emap were sold today it is highly unlikely that any money would be left over after paying off the debt to hand to shareholders. It is also true that the mag business is having a tough time and the exhibition business is patchy and digital has a long way to go to be a major contributor to growth.
William Reed has bought an Internet business! Having struggled for years with what the net is all about, the WR management have done the wisest thing and bought an online only business called Food Navigator.
Promotion to WR audiences should accelerate the subscription growth and at first glance the Food Navigator people are exploiting lots of the revenue streams that WR will need to learn how to deploy if the 100 year business is to survive.
With most of the the profits in WR being in The Grocer, and most of that driven by copy sales and job ads, both of which are terminally compromised this may not be the most expensive deal that WR has ever done, but it is certainly the most important. Let's hope they know how to manage the integation.