Hearst Magazines wants to help other magazine publishers out — and pump up the productivity of its own operations in the process.
The group has formed a publishing service targeting medium to large-sized publishers with titles that have circulations between 300,000 and 1 million. The new group, called Hearst Magazines Publishing Services, will make use of its relationship with CDS Global, a publishing operations firm owned by Hearst, to print and digital services to clients. Such services may include consumer marketing, procurement, production, Web site, app and e-edition development or management, content creation, financial management or subscription management and fulfillment.
Hearst Magazines executive vice president and general manager John Loughlin told WWD that the decision to offer such a service came after a handful of clients inquired about services outside of CDS’s management-based offerings.
“Hearst will go further up the value chain,” said Loughlin, who will run the new group. “We can help build circulation models for third-party publishers. Potential clients could have access to our digital asset management system.”
CDS, which is operated separately from Hearst, manages end-to-end business process outsourcing across 450 print and digital titles, including magazines from big publishers like Condé Nast and Rodale to smaller ones like August Home Publishing and Garden & Gun LLC.
“If you think about the challenges that a smaller publisher faces today, it’s not just about creating an editorial product,” he said, explaining that they need digital and mobile capability, as well as marketing plans that incorporate email and social media.
Clients—of which HMPS has none yet—would be able to take advantage of Hearst’s digital infrastructure. Loughlin said this includes the company’s development of 21 digital editions of its print magazines and the 1.5 million digital and paid subscriptions it has on file for those editions.
When asked if Hearst would have access to information about its competitors as a result of the formation of this new group, Loughlin said: “When we work with third party clients, we are extremely careful about guarding their proprietary information. The company built a Chinese wall between our business and our clients’ businesses.”
The HMPS team will include only the highest–level executives, he said, including Hearst Magazines’ head of consumer marketing and the head of production.
“We think our scale can be put to good use for smaller publishers. We think scale will be vital to long-term success in the media industry.” Loughlin offered, turning to Hearst’s strategy. “The world is going through a period of real consolidation. We are committed to the magazine business. We are committed to growth and we are going to be here a long time.”