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International publishers on the state of cross-border business

The nature of doing international business for publishers has changed dramatically over recent years. This topic was hotly debated during a panel discussion at the recent FIPP World Media Congress in Las Vegas. We share some of the insights from the discussion in a series of quotes from the debate. 

On how international business has changed


James Hewes Congress 2019 ()


“The nature of the international business has radically changed over the last few years. Talking about international business a number or years ago would have been a print licensing conversation. But now all of our brands cover multiple types of media and multiple types of activities, whether it's print magazines, digital websites, mobile solutions, apps and  social.”

- James Hewes, President and CEO of FIPP


On the importance of extending businesses and brands internationally


Jonathan Wright Dow Jones ()


“While working for US centric brands it is important to remember that huge opportunities do exist in Asia. For example, 50 per cent of the world's population will very shortly be residing (in Asia) and it’s very important that we tip to Asia and that we incorporate Asia as well as Africa, South America and Europe in our thinking. That's one of the hardest parts of the job.”

- Jonathan Wright, Global Managing Director, Dow Jones, Hong Kong


On licensing


Licensing panel at Congress ()


“The reality of international licensing is that it has changed significantly over the last two to three years where most of us have seen a slowdown in print licensing activity... But we've seen a significant increase in digital licenses and syndication. Actually syndication has become an increasingly important part of our business.”

- Tim Hudson, Director of International Licensing and Syndication, Immediate Media Co, UK (centre, in the image above)


On the importance of international partnerships

“You can be a big and leading player but it's not a bad thing to partner. We don't have the resources to tool up and make inroads in all the countries around the world to the extent that we want to. And therefore partnering is sometimes the best way to go in there and find symbiotic relationships.”

- Jonathan Wright, Global Managing Director, Dow Jones, Hong Kong


Yulia Boyle ()


“(Today) the dynamics are very different. We used to license our website and we used to license our content. It's more of a partnership now. We are looking at unifying all of our touch points in international marketing and local markets under one brand where we can have a consistent marketing and content message across all platforms. And the licensing arrangement is changing to more of a mutually beneficial partnership where it is more of a revenue share arrangement.”

- Yulia Boyle, SVP” Global Media and Experiences, NatGeo (left, in the image above)


On finding the right partners

“If your currency is content and you have strict standards and guidelines, you will turn down many deals for things that you don't want to do that will not align with what you want to achieve. But when we do get those partnerships right and when we do find those mutually beneficial partnerships - symbiotic collaborations - then regardless if it's print, audio or digital bundles, it creates a new era of partnerships.”

- Jonathan Wright, Global Managing Director, Dow Jones, Hong Kong


International ()


On partnerships for scale

“Partnerships for scale created a problem for many publishers because they needed social media partners for their content to reach wider distribution. Up to now, most of this happened on the terms of the platforms.”

- Jonathan Wright, Global Managing Director, Dow Jones, Hong Kong


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