And while the future may be challenging, it is not bleak, says Frederic Kachar, CEO and chairman of Editora Globo in Brazil.
Kachar spoke (via email) to FIPP’s Cobus Heyl to provide pre-Congress insight on the Brazilian market, key trends and developments, and about how Editora Globo is meeting the future.
Please tell us a little more about yourself
I was born and raised in Rio de Janeiro but I live in São Paulo now. I’ve got a degree in Economics and, except for the first two years of my career, when I worked at Deloitte Touché Tohmatsu, I’ve always worked in the media industry, be it newspapers, magazines or both.
Please tell us more about Editora Globo
Editora Globo operates in Brazil. But we are talking about a continental-sized country with a wide demographic range so it’s no small feat to be ranked second among all magazine publishers in the country.
Our portfolio includes 12 magazine media brands, active both in print and digital, book and custom publishing divisions, a branded content studio and a news portal for women. Our brands reach a monthly audience of 5.9m readers in print and another 9.8m online. Our books are released in print and digital formats. We have more than 800 titles in our portfolio.
We have two weekly magazines, one focused on news and the other on celebrities and entertainment. Our monthly magazines cater to all tastes from fashion and interior design to small businesses and cars.
What is your approach to cross-platform content?
Our magazine brands can be found on four different platforms: print, web, tablet and mobile.
Our websites not only offer the web version of the print magazine (available only to subscribers) but also complement the magazine content and report on topics relevant to the brands on a daily rather than on a weekly or monthly basis.
The tablet version of the print edition takes advantage of the possibilities offered by this platform and gives the reader additional content such as photo galleries, videos and infographics.
Three of our magazines: Pequenas Empresas Grandes Negócios (focused on small businesses and entrepreneurship), Globo Rural (farming and livestock) and Autoesporte (cars) have namesake TV shows broadcast every Sunday morning on Globo TV Channel. Although we don’t control the content on TV, these shows help to reinforce our brands among viewers.
Still on the topic of cross-platform brands, how much integration is there between the different platforms to create cross-platform experiences, and can you give us a few examples of these?
Our readers are multi-platform users. We want them to engage with their favorite magazines in as many formats as a possible. Basically we need to be where our readers are.
All our print subscriptions include digital access to the tablet, mobile and web version of our magazines. For those who prefer digital-only access to our titles, our digital subscription is priced lower than our print + digital combo.
Our content is created in such a way as to take full advantage of all the possibilities offered by these platforms. We want our readers to have a seamless experience when moving from one platform to another.
When Brazilians took to the streets to protest against the government earlier this year, our weekly news magazine Época offered on its website live coverage of the protests with videos and minute-by-minute updates. In the subsequent issue of the magazine, the reader was able to read an in-depth analysis of the coverage that first appeared on the website
Furthermore, the mobile versions of our magazines are customized to offer an optimal reading experience on this device. The highlights and texts are shorter and more objective. However, our readers are encouraged to spend more time on the topic by accessing the tablet edition or the website.
For people not familiar with the Brazil market, what would you say are the top seven trends when it comes to magazine media?
Our top seven (in random order) trends are:
1. Native advertising: We really believe in the revenue potential for native ads, both in print and digital. Last year, we entered a very successful native ad partnership with GE that was renewed and broadened this year, with more features and the addition of a new title added to the lineup
2. Video: They are a great way to get the attention of our consumers, especially the younger demographic, and increase the relevance of our brands. For our fashion magazines, our readers now expect videos with backstage action from a photo shoot or the making of a cover. We also use the medium to offer readers the opportunity to have “live” interaction with our magazine staff. That said, the most important objective we are pursuing is the creation of web series able to drive the mission and personality of our brands, connect and broaden our audience in new ways.
3. Mobile: Audiences are now consuming news content on mobile more than ever before. We, as publishers, seem to be at the right place at the right time. We have the reputation and the credibility. We are working in making the best possible mobile experience for our audience. It never stops. The design and usability of our mobile sites is constantly evolving. And of course we need to find a way to monetise ourselves through mobile advertising.
4. Social media: Social media started as great places to get in touch with our audiences in a more personal fashion, but they have become a source of traffic, bringing highly qualified audiences to our sites. They also accelerated the growth of mobile traffic, since people intensively use social networks on their smartphones. We are constantly tweaking our strategies for these channels. For example, we have a strong presence on Instagram for some of our brands, interacting with millions of followers. On Facebook, our strategies to build audience reach and engagement have been referenced internationally.
5. Services: Our brands serve communities of interest all the time though their interaction on our websites and social networks. We inform them about the subjects they need to know about or the ones that they simply love. So it is natural that we, along with a few selected partners, are exploring the concept of offering premium services to our audiences.
6. Big data: we are in the business of knowing our customers. And we are exploring the use of the best available tools, following the highest ethical and technical standards, to go deeper in developing this knowledge and serving them better. This opens many opportunities for targeting on paper and digital.
7. Programmatic advertising: The market here uses programmatic intensively. We work with the players such as Google, Rubicon and others, using their platforms to get the best results for their campaigns.
How do you feel about the future of magazine media (or content-centric businesses) in general, and can you explain why you say so?
I don’t see the future as bleak. I see it as challenging. Native advertising, big data and targeted media are some of the tools that can help us out during this testing time. We face an uphill struggle when it comes to monetizing digital content of course, and this is getting even steeper with the introduction of schemes like Facebook Instant Articles and Apple News. It’s still too early to say how they’ll affect our business. But we’re dealing with a situation where we no longer have a monopoly on the distribution of our content. It’s up to us to find alternatives.
Turning our attention to the Internet and mobile in particular, please tell us more about your key focus areas here? What do you see as the main opportunities in Brazil, and why?
I have touched on some of these subjects, but can add that we have started designing our websites to be “mobile first” and then for other screens. It is a very important shift in design strategy for our products. For most of them, mobile is the main platform. It changes everything. We need to rethink our publishing strategy throughout the day and be very aware of the fact that Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Whatsapp are the apps most used by our audiences. Analytics is key in this case, because we need to measure everything from the length of the stories, to loading times and every other aspect of their experience.
You have mentioned native advertising above. How do you approach it?
It is getting more and more relevant both in print and on our digital channels. We started Estúdio Globo, a team focused on the creation of premium content for the brands. There are some important projects already happening, like what we are doing in partnership with GE. And we have quite a few others in different stages of development.
There is a lot of talk in other markets about the millennial generation, and how they are changing media consumption habits. Is this the same in Brazil, and what do you do to keep them engaged?
The millennial generation in Brazil accounts for around 40 per cent of our population. We’re talking about a generation that has got the art of multitasking down to a fine art, and searches for multiple but fleeting social experiences. We can’t take their loyalty for granted.
They get their news on mobile phones from posts shared on social networks and love to consume video all the time. So we have to develop a strategy for our brands to remain relevant in this sphere.
In addition, we need to work hard to offer a desirable experience on mobile platforms (as discussed).
Turning our attention to the FIPP World Congress (2015), where you will be part of the View from the Top panel. You have attended the Congress before, so have a good idea of what to expect. What are the things you look forward to most at the Congress in Toronto?
We’re going through some challenging, albeit exciting, times in our business. The event is a great opportunity to exchange experiences, build relationships and hear insights from leading executives in our industry. The sessions provide some food for thought and I always leave the FIPP events with a refreshed outlook on things.
- Frederic Kachar speaks on the View from the Top panel at FIPP Wolrd Congress 2015 in Toronto
- FIPP World Congress 2017, 9-11 October, London
Facebook on how Editora Globo increased engagement on the platform with Q&As