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October 19, 2017

Hearst Buys Rodale Print Operations

Hearst to Buy Rodale’s Content Business


It’s been a slow news week, so I’m glad to have something concrete: Hearst announced yesterday it is buying the content business of Rodale, publisher of health and wellness books and magazines. Rodale had announced in June that is was seeking a buyer. The announcement carefully describes the sale as covering the Rodale’s “content business”, so it’s possible that Rodale is retaining its licensing and “branded experience” operations (races, bike tours, that sort of thing). Either way, it’s an end to 70 years of family-owned independent publishing. Maybe I’m not glad to have this news after all.

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Digital Takes Nearly Half of Total Media Time: eMarketer


The Rodale sale confirms the obvious struggles of the publishing industry. A recent eMarketer estimate highlights the fundamental problem: people spend just 24 minutes per day with print media, compared with nearly six hours with digital media, four hours with TV, an hour and a half with radio, and 21 minutes with everything else. That's just over twelve hours total, although some of those hours include time spent consuming two media at once. Total media time is growing very slowly but the mix continues to shift towards digital. Duh.

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Online Video Spend Exceeds Digital and TV Advertising Combined: Magisto


More from our Department of the Obvious: ad spend follows media time. A report from media research firm MediaVillage finds that marketing communications investments have been flat since 2010 but digital advertising has grown at the expense of traditional “linear” broadcasting. Yet even those digital publishers need to look over their shoulder: video creation vendor Magisto reports that total spend on online video is actually higher than spend on digital and TV ads combined. Magisto admits it’s not a fair comparison – their video costs include all aspects of production, not just media. Even so, that Rodale-style organic farm looks better every day.

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