OLD Media Moves

How the Economist thrives in new media world

October 30, 2007

Posted by Chris Roush

Jeff Bercovici of Conde Nast Portfolio writes Tuesday from the Future of Business Media conference in New York about comments made by The Economist global marketing director Susan Clark.

The EconomistBercovici wrote, “The Economist seems to be doing extremely well by staying narrowly focused on the refreshingly old-fashioned goal of increasing the number of subscribers to the magazine.

“While economist.com and the events business do contribute to the bottom line, says Clark, they contribute even more to building the Economist brand, and making it more likely that people will subscribe and renew and get into the habit of reading the magazine in their favorite armchair at home every weekend. The Economist’s readers, says Clark, ‘read us out of choice, they don’t read us to get ahead in business’ – which may or may not have been a response to Roger McNamee, an investor in Forbes, who said earlier on that ‘most of our audience wakes up every day hoping that somewhere they’ll get the insight that makes them rich.’

“Economist.com is (almost) free, then, because that’s the best way to make it easy for people to find stories and to decide that they like them so much they want to subscribe to the magazine. Clark isn’t worried about cannibalism: ‘most people would not read the entire magazine online,’ she says.”

Read more here.

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