Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Could Samir Husni have finally converted to realism???

In Samir Husni's post of October 17th, The Media Changing Landscape according to Kevin McKean, VP and Editorial Director of Consumer Reports, Husni agrees with McKean 5 points for " what we must know of to succeed in the industry' of magazines:

1) There is an historic shift in media habits (towards digital delivery).
2) Advertisers chase their audience (who are migrang online).
3) As a result of this shift, traditional media are experiencing a squeeze (most dramatic in print).
4) Online media is growing.
5) We have been witnessing the rise of the citizen-journalist.

I agree with all these points and surprisingly, so does Husni. Amazing, in one felt swoop he has managed to contradict every one of the points he so confidently defends about the immutable nature of print in his blog, his presentations and his debates with Bosacks.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

A world without National Distributors!

I'm sure the wholesale community would love to dump the ND's. There are two problems with that scenario. First is that most of the ND's act as a bank for the publishers in one form or another. I'm not quite sure if all the wholesalers are financially sound enough to take on that responsibility. Secondly, from what I can tell the WS are not technically advanced enough to function in an e-marketplace. There has been no recent investments in upgrading technology or personnel who are savvy enough for the new world we've entered. With that said, I do agree with the concept. As evident by all large global companies, extra layers in the supply chain are constantly being eliminated.

One idea would be to fund an organization such as Magnet to act as the portal for all business dealings between publishers, WS, and retailers. There could free exchange of ideas, suggestions and problems so that everyone is on the same page, and has the same access to information.

Unfortunately there are too many "Secret Deals" going on that prevents any type of cooperation. WHERE ARE THE LEADERS OF THIS INDUSTRY AND WHY ARE THEY SO SILENT???

Friday, October 12, 2007

How about this: get rid of National Distributors!

How about this dear Diogenes: let's get rid of the national distributors. What are they doing anyway, just collecting 10% to send out invoices. I know there is a bit more, but the truth, is that the industry needs to find a solution where publishers talk and deal directly with wholesalers and/or retailers. I tried to develop such a web based system in the past, but the mountain of entrenched positions was too high to climb. Surely, in this day and age, with online markets that function efficiently for all kinds of perishable and non-perishable goods, we can find a workable solution for printed magazine distribution.

Here's my cheeky prediction: those national distributors that do not own wholesalers are going to see their livelihood threatened, and those that do not proactively try to find constructive and forward-looking solutions may not be around after 10 more years of this newsstand sales decline.

What am I missing here?

Someone needs to comment on the recent article by Baird Davis. His duality is astounding. In the opening line he admits that because of the "lack of leadership by national distributors and publishers, the wholesale community has taken matters into their own hands."

In an industry that everyone has criticized for it's passiveness, Mr. Davis has come out and said that the magazine wholesalers are improving industry services, and that the publishers and national distributors are in "real danger" because of this.

Imagine that, a group of financially troubled companies taking steps to not only improve their own business models but also help the industry as a whole emerge from the morass of the last decade.

He goes on to say that the very same national distributor's and publishers should get together to stop the wholesalers from doing this.

I must confess that I'm not an industry pundit but neither am I a fool. What the wholesalers are doing is what is needed, and for what it's worth the publisher's and national distributors should not lament the changes but rush to embrace them.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

What about SHRINK

In Harrington's article about SBT(read here), there were 2 sentences about SHRINK. It seems to this maven that once the inventory problem is settled (and it has to be) the BIG battle will be about who eats the SHRINK. Does anyone alive really believe it is only 2%. If so, reply to this blog because there's a bridge that I'd like to sell you.

Inside sources say that the SHRINK is more then 5% and can run as high as 8-10%. So lets do the numbers. A 4 billion dollar industry divided by 2 equals 2 billion. Five percent of 2 billion is 100 million dollars a year. Now that's a fight worth having. This will be better then the "Thrilla in Manila"

More to come...........

Tuesday, October 09, 2007 on to learn

It's about time someone TOFTT (TOOK ONE FOR THE TEAM). With all of Anderson's ranting and raving, at least one good thing emerged; SBT is out of the closet and staring directly into our faces.

The publishers and national distributors (are they the same, Gee it certainly looks that way) can no longer pretend it's not happening. So the 2 big questions remain; who eats the shrink and who foots the bill for the switchover?? Something tells me it's not the retailers. (LOL) I would love to be a fly on the wall in the conference rooms of some of the big players.

Let me throw out another idea, since the system is going to be fixed one way or another, why not throw RDA into the mix as well. Maybe if the weeklies would pay the same as their fellow magazines there would be more money in the pot for the retailers. But, what do I know??

more to come..........