During February, the month when the Audit Bureau of Circulation verified figures for print (and sometimes digital) magazines land, BikeBiz took some time out to interview several of the cycling industry's consumer facing publishers. Here we catch up with Cycling Weekly publisher Time Inc:
In one of the more interesting horizon expansions you’ll read about this year, Time Inc (Formerly IPC Media) acquired UK Cycling Events last month.
As well as the obvious database advantages, the move opens up new avenues for the publisher, explains publishing director Keith Foster: “UKCE are a market leading company in a growing area of the market. We have worked closely with them for many years on the Cycling Weekly Sportive Series and we could see they were an exceptional company. With a portfolio of over 50 cycling events and a customer database of over 70k, they were also a very good strategic fit and exactly the sort of company we wanted in to help us begin to transform our cycling portfolio into a truly multi-platform business – across print, digital and experiential. “
With the industry largely suffering a downward trend when it comes to sales and subscriptions to print magazines, Time is looking beyond their traditional stronghold, despite their position as one of the market’s big fish.
“It’s no secret, it’s been a tough year for all print publishers across the board, but we have performed in line with the market generally and also comfortably retained our market leading position – with a 59 per cent share of the ABC audited print cycling magazines sold. Print aside, recent investment in new digital platform technology and greater online resource has also led to some very significant digital audience growth, not just through our websites, but also via social media platforms.”
With 65 staff working across five regular print brands, as well as two websites and side projects, Time continues to invest in resource to drive the business forwards. Throughout 2015 Foster expects to start seeing benefits of the investment in responsive digital platforms, each of which are now compatible with tablet and mobile viewing. In-house developed video content is part of the plan to draw viewers, for which the UK Cycling Events link up will be key in content generation.
“We no longer think of our portfolio as being just a mix of print or digital media. It’s more about our ability to deliver audience scale and demographics to advertisers. The acquisition of UKCE is clear evidence of our intention to grow, by becoming a truly multi-platform business,” concludes Foster.
For more insight into the consumer media, see the rest of our series here.