Fortune now gets less than 50% of its revenue from magazine
Yale Insights interviewed Time Inc. chief content officer Alan Murray about the changing world of journalism, including how some of Time’s publications have adapted.
Here is an excerpt:
Q: What is the business model?
Right now, the economics don’t work. With most of the brands, the print magazines still bring in the majority of the revenue, though that revenue is declining each year. Fortune is an interesting case, and probably unique among the Time Inc. brands, in that it crossed over and gets most of its revenue and profit from non-print sources. The print magazine is only about 40% of its revenue. It gets another 20%-25% or so from digital, which has grown very rapidly, and then another 35% or so from its conferences and executive communities which have become a very big part of the Fortune business.
But broadly for journalism, it’s tough. I’ve spent the last 10 years of my career helping print organizations transition to digital. First the Wall Street Journal, then Time Inc.. As a journalist, I went into it thinking, if I could get the journalists to understand the rhythms of people reading on their phone, understand how to write shorter and faster, understand how to deal with video and interactivity, if I could get them across that culture change, there’d be a business model waiting for them at the other side. But there’s not much of one.
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