In early September, a resolute Steve Jobs told The Times' David Pogue that Apple had absolutely no plans to create a Kindle-like e-reader. Oddly enough, Jobs said the company was only interested in general-purpose devices because "people just probably aren't willing to pay for a dedicated device." This from the guy who created the iPod?
A magazine is a product. It's a tactile object. It's designed for a purpose. Thought of as a spoon, a magazine is a pretty good spoon, we posited, and asked some influential designers -- Walter Bernard, George Lois, and Luke Hayman -- how magazines can keep doing what magazines do best.
The news that the November issue of Gourmet magazine would be the last in the storied publication's history hit a certain segment of the populace with a wallop. The loss seemed incomprehensible. To them, Condé Nast's squandering of 68 years of equity seemed, not to put too fine a point on it, incredibly shortsighted.
All media are vehicles for persuasion and influence; TV power, however, was, until recently, assumed to be bordering on magic. Under a spell - this is how some nostalgic advertisers choose to remember consumers subjected to TV advertising in the time before TiVo. Back then, it seems, only the first Newtonian law - that bodies at rest stay at rest - prevented consumers from dashing, like Harold and Kumar, to a burger joint at the moment its commercial faded.
Most have it wrong. the digitization of media isn't today's critical issue. Today's critical issue is how the digitization of media has transformed consumer behavior and influenced successful business practices. While analog best practices are not wrong, they are incomplete and therefore they are less relevant.
Economic conditions being what they are, my agency partners have begun asking, "How can we justify branding budgets to our clients?" I generally answer their question with a question: How do you define "branding?" If their answer doesn't include short-term response metrics, I tell them they need to get a new definition of branding.
Consider this counterintuitive economic event: Currently, new cars can be cheaper than used cars of the same model. According to edmunds.com: "... Deals on some new cars are so generous that they actually make the new car less expensive than the year-old version of the same model."
Michael Wolf is one of the smartest and most influential figures in the media industry that most people have never heard of. If you have, it's probably for his stint as president-COO of MTV Networks, where he presided over a number of high-profile digital media acquisitions and revamped the sales organization.
The closing of Gourmet and three other titles in October, following a strategic review of Condé Nast's business by consultants from McKinsey, is yet another reminder of the magazine industry's woes - the latest victim carried off by a rising tide of red ink. As the wretched year of 2009 circles the drain, is there any way for magazines to stop the flood or even turn the tide?
America's move to digital televisions meant sharper pictures, better sound, a bevy of new channels and a collective pile of discarded idiot boxes that weighed well north of eight million pounds.