OLD Media Moves

Economist sticks to its guns despite Web moves by competitors

October 6, 2007

Posted by Chris Roush

James Robinson of The Observer writes about The Economist and editor John Micklethwait and how the British publication is thriving despite downplaying its Internet presence.

The EconomistRobinson said, “Last month, the title unveiled a new marketing push, ditching its distinctive series of advertisements (typical example: ‘It’s lonely at the top; but at least there’s something to read’) in favour of a less haughty campaign designed to emphasise that it is far more than a business title.

“There are other innovations, too, including the launch of a glossy new monthly spin-off (it was previously a quarterly) called Intelligent Life, an attempt to provide Economist readers with ‘lifestyle’ journalism without dumbing down. Perhaps more importantly, it also gives luxury goods groups a chance to reach a big audience by advertising in a format they are more comfortable with.

“Micklethwait has introduced a financial column, Buttonwood, in the title proper to complement those on UK, US and EU politics. There have been online innovations, too, with a year’s content freely available at economist.com and audio versions of the title (call them podcasts if you really must) frequently at the top of the iTunes chart, a surprise hit if ever there was one. ‘It may not make sense in London or Manhattan but in places like California, where most people drive to work, it does,’ Micklethwait says.”

Read more here.

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