Financial times is reporting that Rupert Murdoch’s eldest son Lachlan is closing in on a joint offer for a group of trade magazines owned by Nielsen Business Media (here). There’s no telling if PDN will be a part of the sale but the story goes on to say that Nielson would like to shed the print publications because “investor focus on its exposure to declining print advertising revenues could impede a successful IPO.”
I don’t know how far from the tree this apple fell, but if Lachlan is anything like his father he will be happy to find out PDN still has pay walls in place and still charges a premium for subscriptions. If anyone is poised to weather the storm it’s niche publications like this. Everyone seems to be talking now about jacking up subscription prices and installing pay walls as a way to remain insolvent and magazines like PDN suddenly seem ahead of the curve since they never bothered to chase numbers by dropping those revenue streams and relying purely on advertising. Much to the chagrin of photographers who dislike all the contests aimed at them I do think the business model for magazines includes a healthy revenue stream off your readers. In the last 10 years most magazines have taken a loss in that department in favor of inflated numbers to present to advertisers. Those days are over. My only advice for publications looking to embrace/monetize their readers is to drop the smugness.