Edwards calls for mag publishers to make big subs push

Magazines publishers need to undertake a "fundamental paradigm shift", dramatically rebalancing their marketing towards subscriptions, the chief executive of The National Magazine Company has claimed.

Addressing delegates at PPA's Subscriptions conference, Duncan Edwards called on publishers to embrace subscriptions and put digital at the heart of change, as the best way of addressing the needs of empowered consumers.

Edwards said that success in subscriptions could be attributed to strong brands, but that publishers would need to invest in order to succeed.

He told the conference 20 per cent of The National Magazine Company's magazines are now distributed through subscriptions. He said that developments in data technology had allowed a "one to one" relationship with consumers to re emerge, similar to that which used to exist between a shopkeeper and consumer.

Said Edwards: "The shop window is the PC, the shopkeeper is the database… They (the consumers) will choose how and when they receive information. They know the value of their custom and they know how to trade it."

He warned publishers not to be wedded to old models and criticised the "disproportionate money spent on the newsstand often simply to boost ABC ratings."

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