Yesterday Diary Directory was one of the first to report on the closure of the print edition of Company magazine. A sad day for all those in media who have worked there over the years, for the readers who are growing up reading Company magazine, those who have enjoyed Company magazine when they were younger and then moved on, and for the pioneering editor at the helm Victoria White.
Yet it really isn't the end. Reading the statement from Hearst Digital, the decision to stay connected to their audience of 16-24 year old females has been the driving factor. MediaTel points to a declining average monthly circulation of 31.8% year-on-year but Hearst point out an increase of 46% of traffic to company.co.uk in the last 6 months. If they've moved from print to online for their news, fashion, features, then Company are now in the best position to service them.
'As a standalone digital brand, Company is well placed to provide a unique and dedicated service to this 24 old female demographic. Company already has a strong social presence across Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and YouTube and this focus will ensure this audience remains a key part of Hearsts product portfolio.' Anna Jones, Chief Executive Officer, Hearst Magazines UK
A business decision, taken by Hearst to building a bigger online presence and no doubt being able to commit to bigger digital projects and campaigns. I'm looking forward to seeing what they can do, especially seeing that they were one of the first UK magazines to link up with Google+. What we lose in print pages we gain in an experienced media team with a loyal following that will now work solely on the digital side. They are working with the next generation; the 16-24 year old market is one of the most technologically advanced in the world, ready to consume fashion and news in the most creative ways, so keep an eye on Company to see what they bring to the future media.
It's also interesting to read all the tweets who took this as the 'closure of company' because it simply isn't true. Print is just one channel for a publication, in the mix of all their routes to market. Porter, for one, is proof that if your product has a customer, it will sell. It may well be that the shift of the younger consumer has literally left Company in the print version but they're still there in other senses.
'Company Magazine has earned a loyal following since its original launch in 1978 and I’d like to thank the hard-working editorial team, led by Editor-in-Chief Victoria White, for their continued dedication and passion as we take the brand into this next phase.' Anna Jones, Chief Executive Officer, Hearst Magazines UK
I was at The Industry interview with Terry Mansfield, a consultant at Hearst and as he said ‘The big media companies of the future haven’t even been created yet’. So watch this space for a new direction. Free from print deadlines, Company can excel in the here and now, becoming digital experts and adapting the traditional business model for media. Who knows? Maybe they'll go back to print one day or maybe it will look completely different format - a leaflet, a postcard? After all the Company team are all expert content creators, so as I talk about in Content is King, their skills are transferable. So don't be sad for Company magazine, be excited for their digital future.