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January 23, 2019

Publishing News


Conde to Put All Titles Behind Pay Wall In 2019
MediaPost: "Joining a growing movement by publishers on building subscription revenue, Condé Nast announced it will put all of its titles behind paywalls by the end of this year. Condé Nast has three titles already behind metered paywalls, allowing readers to access four free articles online every month: The New Yorker, Vanity Fair and Wired.The New Yorker set up its paywall in 2014. It generated about $115M in paid subscription revenue in 2018, up 69% from $68M in 2015, according to The Wall Street Journal. Its paywall also has not negatively affected online traffic: The New Yorker’s digital audience last month was up 12% from December 2015.Vanity Fair and Wired got their paywalls last year. Demanding payment from readers to access content signals the content is valuable, the company contends.However, it has the potential to alienate audiences not committed to paying for content — especially younger demos. Condé Nast also owns Glamour, Teen Vogue and Them, which draw in Gen Y and Z readers.In a memo to staff Wednesday, Condé Nast CEO Bob Sauerberg said the paywall strategy will not be a 'one-size-fits-all” initiative.' Just as we did for each of the brands currently behind paywalls, we will let consumer demand and engagement dictate how each brand develops their paid content strategy,” Sauerberg wrote. 'Some brands may have specific content that will be gated, and some will have a wider metered paywall."Every brand is distinct, and every brand’s paywall will be its own distinct product.' Condé Nast may also charge advertisers premiums to access its subscribers.Condé Nast lost $120M in 2017. The plan is to be profitable by 2020, according to Sauerberg, though the company hopes to rely on advertising for only half of its revenue by the end of 2022. Last November, Condé Nast announced Sauerberg would step down from his position once a new global CEO is chosen to oversee both Condé Nast and Condé Nast International... A few publishers have successfully put up paywalls and grown their subscriber base: The New York Times Company and Dow Jones (publisher of The Wall Street Journal, MarketWatch and Barron’s) had 4M and 3M subscribers in 2018, respectively."
 

Vogue Runway Charging Some Brands to Post Their Collection Images
BoF: "Brands looking to join the likes of Gucci and Chanel in Vogue Runway’s online index of fashion week collections can finally do so--for a fee. Joining Vogue Runway’s index of designers and brands is seen in the industry as a stamp of legitimacy, dating back to its origins as part of Style.com in 2000. The site now boasts 2.5M unique visitors during an average fashion week, and the title says its Vogue Runway app has been downloaded more than 1.8M times. Images from hundreds of shows are posted each season, often hitting the web minutes after models walk down the runway. But now for $20,000 a year--and pending Vogue editor approval--a designer or brand can have their lookbook or collection images uploaded to Vogue’s Runway website and app twice annually, according to a term sheet reviewed by BoF. The option has been available for at least three seasons, according to a source with knowledge of the publication’s strategy, and does not include reviews or other written content. It’s unclear how many designers have taken Vogue up on its offer, as brands that pay to be featured are not demarcated in any way. During the Spring 2019 ready-to-wear season for womenswear, Vogue Runway listed about 480 brands, according to the site’s index, versus about 445 the same season two years prior. While Vogue Runway previously only featured images of collections it also reviewed, that is no longer the case in recent seasons. 'Experts and brands will always prioritize using and referring to the genuine, ‘clean’ image directly from Getty, Imaxtree, or Vogue,' said a content strategist who works with fashion publishers. 'I think the past five years has proven that...the brand equity that Vogue has is parallel to few.' Vogue is seen as the most valuable title in Condé Nast’s portfolio, and the US edition is leveraging its authority in the eyes of brands and readers to generate revenue in new ways during a challenging time for the publisher. Vogue is in the process of rolling out a new membership programme for readers, for example, with tiered pricing models reaching as high as $100,000 per year. Offerings will include exclusive content and access to the magazine’s editors and exclusive events"...
 

Economist Launches Daily Podcast
Digiday: "The Economist is the latest publisher to launch a daily news podcast in order to broaden its reach in audio and ultimately drive people to subscribe.Starting Jan. 29., at 11 a.m. U.K. time each weekday, the publisher will release a 20-minute daily global current-affairs podcast, “The Intelligence.” The podcast will consist of three parts: an analysis of a prominent news story, a more in-depth feature and a lighter item to end. The show has been a year in the making and is hosted by Jason Palmer, co-editor of Economist Espresso, the publisher’s daily digest app, supported by a team of eight newly hired editors and producers"...
 

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Consumer Trust High In Tech, Traditional Media And Search
MediaPost: "Edelman's 2019 Trust Barometer survey, released Monday, shows how news, government, media and other events across the internet have changed the way consumers think and act. People have recently lost confidence in search engines and social platforms, which led to people shifting their trust to relationships with coworkers and employers. They have shied away from trust in Google and Facebook, and developed more trust in those they have frequent contact with.The shift in the relationship between consumers and internet companies creates new opportunities for business, according to the Edelman online survey of 33,000 respondents, conducted globally between Oct. 19 and Nov. 16, 2018. The study takes the average percent of trust from nonprofit organizations, business, government and media to determine the scores. Despite mistrust, trust in traditional media at 65% and search at 65% are at the highest historical levels, driven by large increases in developed markets and people staying informed. Conversely, trust gaps exist between traditional and social media, as seen in the U.S. and Canada with a 31-point gap as well as Europe with a 26-point gap.Democrats distrust the government most, and put the most trust in media. Republicans distrust media the most, and put the most trust in business.Gender also plays a role. A gap in trust between males and females remains in the double digits across several developed markets -- such as Germany with 12 points and the U.S. with 11 points--mostly driven by women's lower trust in business. More women at 22 points, vs. men at 20 points, who stay informed, share news and information more frequently.Ironically, trust did increase in a dozen of the 15 sectors analyzed.Technology remains the most trusted segment with 78%, and manufacturing follows with 70%. Manufacturing experienced the largest jump with seven points. Financial services rose to 57%--up two points--but it was once again the least trusted sector globally.Brands headquartered in Switzerland at 71%, Germany at 71%, Canada at 70%, and Japan at 69% are most trusted. The least-trusted brands are in Mexico at 36%, India at 40%, Brazil at 40%, and China at 41%. Interestingly, a 2010 timeline shows trust became an essential topic in business, but it wasn’t until 2015 that trust became essential to innovation.By 2017, trust moved into crisis mode and remained there in 2018--although the Global Trust Index did increase three points to neutral last year--yet 15 of the 26 markets surveyed still showed a high percentage of distrust."
 

Connecticut to Get LGBTQ Magazine
Connecticut regional magazines publisher Seasons Magazines announced that it will launch a regional for the LGBT audience in Spring 2019, called Connecticut VOICE. The magazine will be delivered free to more than 7,500 households (the publisher is taking the first 7,500 online sign-ups for subs), with another 5K free copies to be distributed at LGBTQ events throughout the year.
 

Opinion: 2019 Looks Like Another 'Year of Outrage' for Publishers
MediaPost contributor Rob Williams writes: "Looking at recent headlines, 2019 is shaping up as another “Year of Outrage” for publishers, some of which have had to apologize for their editorial and ad content. Four years ago, former Slate editor Julia Turner described 2014 as a “Year of Outrage” in a package of stories that seem positively tame compared with the Trump era. She also bemoaned the harmful effects of “outrage culture,” such as deadening people’s senses to important problems. January already has brought all kinds of outrage for publishers.For starters, an anti-LGBTQ group this week condemned Parents magazine for featuring a same-sex couple on the cover of its February issue. One Million Moms, which is part of the conservative American Family Association, proudly brandished its homophobia with the criticism that “Parents is using its magazine as a platform to promote the pro-homosexual lifestyle.” An in-flight airline magazine this week had to apologize after being accused of publishing an image of a pork dish in its January issue. Malaysia Airlines said it didn’t mean to offend anyone with a magazine ad for a restaurant that served pork, which is forbidden in the Islamic country. The national carrier also pointed out that the pictured meat in question actually was beef. Conservative opinion magazine the National Review on Tuesday apologized to readers after helping to fan the flames of outrage in a column that was later removed from its website. Columnist Nicholas Frankovich had describe a group of Catholic high school students as evildoers “who might as well have just spit on the cross” in response to a video clip that went viral on Twitter. The video that purported to show a standoff between the students and an elderly Native American man at a protest march in Washington. As it turned out, the incident was much more complicated, as lengthier videos showed more context.Rick Lowry, the editor of the National Review, sent out a link to its apology in a tweet that said, “NR’s editorial on Covington, including an apology for our f*** up. ”GQ’s Nathaniel Friedman apologized for his tweet that said, “Doxx ‘em all” in reference to the high-school kids. He said the tweet was “irresponsible” and occurred “in the heat of the moment because I was upset.” A freelancer for Vulture, New York Media’s pop-culture site, was fired from his day job as a post-production supervisor at INE Entertainment. Erik Abriss said on Twitter that he wanted the group of teens and their parents to die. Thankfully, no one got killed amid the outrage, death threats and calls to punish the students.Generally, it’s heartening to see publishers stir up outrage when it leads to healthy discussion and a higher understanding. But perhaps I’m too optimistic in a way that Slate’s Turner wasn’t four years ago.“The same cycle occurs regardless of the gravity of the offense, which can make each outrage feel forgettable, replaceable,” Turner wrote. Slate’s year-end review came 15 years after former Secretary of Education William J. Bennett published “The Death of Outrage.” The book pondered why there was so little public outrage amid evidence of corruption in the Clinton administration, specifically during the Monica Lewinsky scandal. Bennett needn’t worry about outrage culture now. It’s practically ingrained in the news cycle."
 

OTHER NEWS OF NOTE:








Retail News


Ahold Delhaize Closes Fiscal 2018 With Sales Gains
SN: "Net sales at Ahold Delhaize rose at constant exchange rates for the 2018 fourth quarter and fiscal year, including improved performance in the company’s U.S. retail grocery business. In a trading statement released Wednesday, Ahold Delhaize said sales totaled €16.55 billion (US$14.51B) for the quarter, up 5% (3% in constant currency) from US$13.38B a year earlier. Net consumer online sales in the period surged 27.3% to $972.4M from $740.4M, the Zaandam, Netherlands-based retailer said. Q4 sales rose 5.9% (2.6% in constant currency) to $8.59B from $7.85B. Online sales came in at $178M, up 15.8% (12.1% in constant currency) from $148.6M a year ago. “Sales performance in the United States continued to show good momentum,” the retailer said. U.S. same-store sales grew 2.7% in the quarter (2.6% excluding fuel), lifted in part by more favorable weather, compared with a 1% year-over-year increase in the 2017 fourth quarter, the company reported. “Online sales growth accelerated to 12.1% at constant exchange rates, as our food e-commerce initiatives started to gain traction at each brand,” Ahold Delhaize stated about its U.S. business in the fourth quarter. “Food Lion continued to benefit from the rollout of the ‘Easy, Fresh and Affordable’ program, now in 70% of its stores. Full-year 2018 market share across our brands is expected to have increased compared to last year.” For the full 2018 fiscal year, Ahold Delhaize’s overall net sales dipped 0.2% to $53.22B. However, at constant exchange rates, the company recorded a 2.5% sales increase for the year. Net consumer online sales for the year jumped 23.9% to $2.97B from $2.51B. Overall, Ahold Delhaize finished fiscal 2018 with 6,769 stores, representing a net increase of 132 stores (222 opened or acquired, 90 closed). Ahold Delhaize USA had 1,961 stores at year’s end, marking a net gain of one store (nine opened or acquired, eight closed). The company’s U.S. supermarket chains include Stop & Shop, Giant/Martin’s, Giant Food, Food Lion and Hannaford, as well as the Peapod online grocery unit. Ahold Delhaize is scheduled to report full 2018 fourth-quarter and annual results on Feb. 27. For the year, the company expects underlying earnings per share from continuing operations at the higher end of its previous guidance of €1.50 to €1.60."
 

Walgreens to Pay $269M to U.S. to Settle Fraud Suit
Chicago Tribune: "Walgreens Boots Alliance agreed to pay $269.2M to settle U.S. claims that the drugstore chain defrauded a federally funded health care program over insulin drugs and a consumer-discount initiative.The two settlements, announced Tuesday, cover allegations over improper billing. In the first one, the company agreed to pay $209.2M to resolve claims it billed Medicare, Medicaid and other programs for hundreds of thousands of insulin pens it distributed to people who didn't need them. In the second, Walgreens said it would pay $60 million for overbilling Medicaid by not disclosing lower drug prices it offered in a discount program... 'Overbilling and improper billing of Medicare and Medicaid unduly burden taxpayers and put the solvency of these vital health-care programs at risk,' U.S. Attorney Geoffrey Berman in Manhattan said in a statement. The company 'admitted and accepted responsibility for the conduct the government alleged in its complaints under the False Claims Act.' Walgreens said in a statement that it is pleased to have resolved the suits, cooperated with the government and "admitted no wrongdoing." The company declined to elaborate on whether it "accepted responsibility" for the allegations in the U.S. complaint, as prosecutors said"...
 

Amazon Trying to Poach Customers from FedEx, UPS
WSJ: "Amazon, which is rolling out its own delivery network, is trying to poach shippers from FedEx Corp. and United Parcel Service Inc. by targeting a common complaint: fuel surcharges and extra fees that drive up the cost of home deliveries. Amazon recently expanded its nascent home-delivery service, called Amazon Shipping, beyond test markets in London and L.A.. The online retailer is offering to pick up shipments from merchants’ warehouses and deliver them directly to shoppers, The Wall Street Journal has previously reported. The end-to-end service is part of Amazon’s quest to build up its own delivery network and handle more of the millions of items sold through its site. To woo shippers, the retailer is promising to cut out many fees that the traditional carriers use to pad their revenues, like extra charges to deliver packages to homes, during the peak holiday season or on weekends, according to an email sent last week to shippers in the New York area and reviewed by the Journal"...
 
Wall St. Journal (paid sub req.)

Target to Accept Apple Pay, Samsung Pay, Google Pay Hy-Vee Adds Apple Pay
USA Today: "Target, The retailer, which had been a major holdout, announced in a blog post Tuesday that it will soon accept Apple Pay, Google Play, Samsung Pay as well as “contactless cards” from Mastercard, Visa, American Express and Discover in all of its stores. Apple separately announced that in addition to 1,850 Target stores in the U.S., Apple Pay will be accepted at more than 7,000 Taco Bell stores, at more than 245 Hy-Vee supermarkets in the Midwest, at around 3,000 Speedway convenience stores, and more than 2,200 Jack in the Box locations. Apple Pay is now accepted at 74 of the top 100 merchants in the U.S. and 65 percent of all retail locations across the country – with the technology used more than any of the other secure mobile payment solutions. Last year, Costco completed the rollout of Apple Pay in more than 500 of its U.S. warehouses. And CVS Pharmacy and 7-Eleven also came on board"... SN: "Apple said yesterday that Hy-Vee’s more than 245 stores in the Midwest now offer Apple Pay to customers... Also ushering in Apple Pay are Speedway convenience stores and Taco Bell and Jack In The Box fast-food restaurants. Speedway has launched Apple Pay at about 3,000 stores across the Midwest, East Coast and Southeast, Apple said, while plans call for the payment tool to be implemented at over 7,000 Taco Bell and 2,200 Jack in the Box locations during the next several months. Apple noted that, with the addition of these new retailers, 74 of the top 100 U.S. merchants and 65% of all retail locations nationwide will support Apple Pay"...
 

Supplier Bankruptcy Leaves Amazon Go Shelves Empty
CNBC: "Shoppers at Amazon Go stores in San Francisco were faced with some empty shelves Tuesday morning after one of its local suppliers, Munchery, suddenly shut its doors on Monday. Amazon prepares some of its own food items for its cashier-less Go stores, and gets some from local vendors... Munchery was a San Francisco on-demand food-delivery business and supplied prepared food items to San Francisco’s Amazon Go stores. Employees at one Amazon Go location in San Francisco said it was not yet clear what would replace the Munchery items, but it would likely be another local supplier"...
 
CNBC 

What Will It Take to Dramatically Reduce Risk in Retail Supply Chains?
In RetailWire, Dave Wendland writes: "Whether it’s romaine lettuce, breakfast cereals or prescription drugs, never before has there been such significant attention given to overcoming supply chain hiccups and providing oversight and transparency. Supply chain risk management aims at identifying areas of potential trouble and implementing appropriate actions to contain it. It’s defined as identification of risks across the supply chain through a coordinated approach among supply chain members to reduce vulnerability as a whole. While risk has always been present in the process of reconciling supply with demand, there are a number of factors that have emerged in the last decade, which might be considered to have increased the risk level. These include: the globalization of supply chains; the trend of outsourcing; a focus on efficiency rather than effectiveness; reduction of the supplier base; volatility of demand; and lA number of these factors were identified across the pharmaceutical supply chain, which led the Healthcare Distribution Alliance (HDA), National Association of Chain Drug Stores (NACDS), and National Community Pharmacist Association (NCPA), among other leading trade organizations, to form a unified front to bring issues of adulteration, product tampering, counterfeiting and risks associated with global sourcing to the forefront within the Food and Drug Administration and the U.S. Congress. Signed into law November 2013, the Drug Supply Chain Security Act (DSCSA) remains a global mandate, requiring any company wishing to sell a pharmaceutical product in the U.S. to facilitate product “traceability” by 2023. In theory, this means a consumer should be able to pick up a bottle at a pharmacy and see all the hands that touched it prior to the point of sale. In practice, however, the law demands that manufacturers, licensers, distributors and dispensers track, collect and share product data at each step of the supply chain. A daunting task to say the least. Track and trace systems, in my estimation, offer a more streamlined method to quickly address risks as they present themselves, including responding appropriately to unexpected disruptions and minimizing financial and operational impacts to businesses across the supply chain.ack of visibility and control procedures. "
 

OTHER NEWS OF NOTE:










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