OLD Media Moves

The secret to digital success at The Economist

November 27, 2011

Posted by Chris Roush

Roy Greenslade of The Guardian in London takes a look at The Economist and its success when interviewing CEO Andrew Rashbass.

Greenslade writes, “So in this interview, his first for more than four years, he says he wants to tell a commercial story, not an editorial one. In fact, it turns out to be more of a digital story.

“Rashbass begins with a preface: ‘Print sales are holding up but I expect them to go backwards.’ Then he continues: ‘I’m relaxed about that because I am convinced we will end up with a bigger paid circulation in the end.’

“He is not talking about the magazine’s website users, but about the anticipated take-up for the Economist’s tablet apps. It is 18 months since the magazine launched a Kindle app and about 12 months since it did the same for the iPad and iPhone.

“Now the magazine boasts 100,000 digital subscribers. They do include website users, though they are the minority. Kindle accounts for a smallish proportion too. The bulk has been attracted by the iPad app.

“It is a screen replica of the print issue’s pages that eschews any need to scroll, making it a reading experience that is far closer to holding a printed magazine itself.”

Read more here.

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