In Circulation: Words of wisdom from Jim Louderback, CEO of Revision3
Louderback focused heavily on online video, comparing its emergence and the broadcasting revolution it portends to the Internet to the print battles that many publishers are experiencing today.
"The way I see it, newspapers and magazines are not dead, but are changed forever," Louderback said. He later added, "There's more to online video than ‘Dance, Dance Revolution.' It's all real content with real information, and that's what all you magazine guys are good at."
He warned, however, to “beware the ‘cowpath'” — that is, the phenomenon where a new media emerges, but most publishers continue to use the same material in roughly the same way. He gave an example from his time as editor-in-chief of Ziff Davis' PC Magazine: When the magazine launched a Web site, it just threw its magazine articles onto the Web, unchanged, rather than adapting to the new media.
Now, with online video, he explained, the skills of special interest publishers — appealing to and super-serving a niche audience — can really come into play, as long as the medium is handled well.
The key to using video as part of your publication's branding efforts is to play to the medium's strengths, Louderback said. Tap younger hosts to appeal to the younger audience that online video will attract, and make sure those hosts, and their shows, are on Twitter, Facebook, MySpace and other networking sites so that viewers can find and follow them. These hosts have to be authentic and accessible to viewers.
Interact with your audience, and listen to their advice, he said, because they go online for social networking and expect it. They also expect to be able to access your content wherever and whenever they want, so make your content linkable, movable and accessible.
Louderback noted, though, that monetizing online video is still in the works. However, he shared, he has found that sponsorship models are most effective right now. The main point, though, is that online video helps build your magazine's brand name and impact.
“It's all about creating great media and driving audience, and then you can move people from video to Web or Web to print," he said. “Take those passionate communities and build something around it. Think about all different media as one brand, and focus on what makes the media strong.”