Fifth annual PPA Independent Publisher Conference and Awards 2013

“Don’t write off print quite yet!” was one of the messages that came through at the PPA Independent Publisher Conference held at the Montcalm Hotel on Dec 6th.

PPA CEO Barry McIlheney kicked off a packed agenda, interspersed with a series of polls conducted via hand-held voting machines (and announced by Conference Moderator Mark Frith). That said, although just over half of the audience (53%) had launched a new print product during the past two years, three-quarters (75.4%) had launched a new digital product. Some 40% saw a printed magazine as still playing a central role in their business in two years’ time, compared with 60% who saw it as one of a range of products.

We also learned that 48% of independent publishers had a full social media strategy in place while 51% tweeted occasionally, leaving a mere 1% claiming that a social media strategy was simply not on their radar.

Other gems of information we gleaned from the event included the fact that the total UK digital market is worth c £25 mn per year and that 96% of all app downloads result in no sale (Nick Howitt, Frontline). Farmers count their pennies and share their magazines – each issue of Farmers Weekly is read by 2.8 people. However, they’re not all behind the times, with 31% of subscribers owning a tablet and 23% using it for business (Luise Mulholland, Farmers Weekly, RBI). Jeanette Carlsson (@newmedia2.0) highlighted the need to focus on “useful” data rather than “big” data; Will Drew (Restaurant Magazine, William Reed Business Media) described the phenomenal success of the World’s 50 Best Restaurants which has acquired a huge social media following and made the transition from B2B to B2C. Other fascinating contributors included: Jim Bilton (Wessenden Marketing); Paul Newman (Photography Portfolio, Future); Alex Martinez (Sigaria, winner of Digital Product of the Year); Jane Toft (Mollie Makes, Future); Liezl Hollander (Dennis Publishing); and the final View from the Top panel discussion with Graham Bond (Hemming Group), Marc Hartog (Apptitude Media), Louise Kittle (IOM Communications) and Ian McAuliffe (Think, winner of Independent Publishing Company of the Year, Team of the Year and Customer Magazine of the Year).


The PPA Independent Publisher Conference and Awards 2013

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