Good news from The Atlantic: A digital-first strategy results in profit
Here's some evidence (if anecdotal) of an interplay between digital, print and live events.
The Atlantic hasn't been in profit in, like, forever. Yet the decidedly niche, highbrow publication turned a profit in the fourth quarter of 2010 – and a multifaceted profit at that. Digital revenue was up 70%, events revenue was up 37%, and print revenue(!!) was up 27%. Overall advertising revenue grew at 37%. This means more people are experiencing The Atlantic in more ways, more often. That's a huge win.
What I find most interesting is Atlantic Media president's Justin Smith's assessment of how these results were achieved:
- creating a solid brand identity
- a digital-first strategy
- increased marketing activity
- expanding the live events offering
- "maintaining a relentless focus on hiring top talent"
Interesting that a Times-style paywall and endless slashing of the editorial budget don't make the list. What's that? People will actively seek out quality content and pay for different kinds of access to it? ... surely you jest!
Sincere congratulations to The Atlantic. Inspiring stuff.