MSM|October 6, 2011| Author: Kim LaCapria|Tags: , , , ,

Old Media Publishers Infatuated With Digital, Giving Flowery Speeches at Media Conference

kindle fire magazines

With the recent launch of Amazon’s Kindle Fire, magazine publishers seem to have finally embraced the digital future of periodicals and aren’t afraid to declare their love.

On a panel at the American Magazine Conference earlier this week in New York, magazine head honchos effusively praised the new medium as a savior and a profit center- with any reticence not too high up on the docket of discussion topics. Hearst head David Carey gushed:

“We’ll be there [on Kindle] from Day One… If you told me two years ago that we would have a chance of more than $10 million of consumer revenue from digital, we didn’t think it would be possible. That’s going to happen before you know it.”

Acknowledging that the Kindle Fire was “critical” to the success of Hearst’s digital strategy, Carey indicated the company expects to crack $10 million in sales by the summer. He also said that the 300,000 monthly subscribers is on track to double in “short order.” But Hearst isn’t the only cheerleader for the medium- Condé Nast president Bob Sauerberg agreed, confirming rapid growth:

“We have a $15 million business that came out of nothing, that didn’t exist a year ago.”

Mag publisher Meredith chimed in, but says digital hasn’t been as much of a powerhouse for their company yet- president Tom Harty admitted:

“…we don’t have a lot of consumers going out and buying $700 iPads at this point, so we’re learning a lot from our friends to the left and the right of us. The numbers are still very small, so it’s hard for us to draw a conclusion where we’re trying to build a long-term business model.”

Condé Nast and Hearst provide an interesting contrast, due to the volume difference between digital-only subscriptions and print-digital bundles.

[WWD]