Sunday, February 11, 2007

Transforming a media company

IDG is a worldwide media company with annual revenue just about the same as McClatchy. They do lots of print (PC World, MacWorld, CEO magazines, etc.), run a lot of websites, present conferences and the like.

In this blog post, their senior VP/Online talks about the company's rapid transformation to a genuine multimedia, platform-agnostic operation. I'm astonished (and, I guess, encouraged) at the speed with which their revenue picture has changed. Online revenue is growing faster than print revenue is declining. In the U.S., 35% of the publishing revenue comes from online, and they expect 50% by 2009.

But the key, as Colin Crawford makes clear, is a wholehearted embrace of the necessary changes:

The more enlightened in our media world will figure how to allow their audiences freedom to create and share their knowledge and content and to mash it up in a way that engages users.

We have to become facilitators as much as content creators – our brands are trusted, they have quality content and loyal audiences – these are our competitive advantages but we’ll only hold onto those assets if we truly listen to our communities and provide appropriate environments for user initiated conversations and user created content.

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