Publishers share recipes for international brand development

Psychologies Magazine transformed from a magazine brand into a worldwide brand. Arnaud de Saint Simon said that the magazine has a strategy with three pillars: content, paid events and paid content. “People are looking to invest in their wellbeing,” he said. “What we realised in the content business is that we still have a good amount of people who are willing to pay.”


People pay for their well-being, he said. “We are shifting to apps, programs, events. We deliver a lot of events, we organise cruises all over the world, we send people to spas, we do conferences and shows. All of these are paid, and all of these are opportunities for people to meet and connect and interact with our brand.”

At Haymarket, “we need to have a flexible approach to how we’re working with partners and flexible across platforms, in which we engage with our audience,” Lewis explained.

“In terms of the international licensing, the number one piece of advice would be to remain flexible. For me, it’s not about this platform or that platform, it’s about taking content to where our audiences are and where they expect us to be.”

In recent years, the perception that print is dead or dying, has been prevalent. Among large international licensing businesses, like Immediate Media, the rumours of that death are exaggerated.

“We think print is a great platform,” Hudson said. “In the last couple of years, we’ve signed a good number of licensing deals. We’ve seen growth across the board. From our perspective, print is a growth medium. What has changed over two years, is profile of our partner. Now, our partners tend to be smaller, quicker to market. The deals are happening quicker.”

The discussion turned to whether print was still a main revenue stream, and each of the panelists discussed how their company was approaching it.

The difficulty for a publication like Psychologies, said de Saint Simon, to be focused on innovation but also do 90 per cent of the traditional work of a publisher. “We’re changing the organisation of the company to give meaning to what we’re doing, to adapt new ways of working, to adapt tech like design thinking, and growth on a horizontal scale instead of vertical,” he said. “We don’t talk about how we really think and motivate people to serve and be efficient in this transformation.”

Clearly, in the continued transformation process, there’s pressure on traditional revenue streams.

Alastair Lewis said he has stopped differentiating between print and digital revenue areas. “If we’re going to look for innovation to drive new revenue, we need to have stability in order to look at more innovative approaches.”

At Immediate Media, Tim Hudson said they try to focus on both. “It’s only across certain brands can you have the scale to do so,” he said. “We definitely try to focus across the two, but some markets and some brands, it can be difficult to deliver the scale.”

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