Part two: Gregg Hano interview
Part two of TNM’s interview with Gregg Hano, CEO of Mag+. Part one can be read here.
The conversation turned from what publishers could do with their digital editions, to how publishers of existing magazine brands could attract younger readers to their digital publications.
And I think that if they would focus on that, what they would see is that younger potential customers will migrate to these brands. Because people will trust those brands, as brand names. They have brand equity. They have goodwill with consumers.
A brand like Saveur, Popular Science – WIRED does a pretty good job of this in many cases – or Glamour, will find younger customers, that aren’t inclined to read printed material, magazines, will engage will engage with their brands. And they will engage with them regularly, if they are delivering content to them in the way they want to receive it.
I think, if we have it all taken a lesson from Vice, we’re crazy, right? I mean, these guys are brilliant, crazy. They work in every medium. They started as a magazine. An irreverent magazine, of course, but as a magazine. Now they are worth bazillions of dollars, getting investments from the largest media companies on the planet. And doing great work. And engaging with an audience, that I would venture to say, most media companies would kill, or pay $250 million, to engage with.
I have children who are 24 and 26 and I watch how they engage with media. I marvel at the opportunities that are sometimes missed, by brands that young people believe in and trust, because content owners are not engaging with them in ways that connect with them in their lives.
What is Mag+’s view of the new release of iOS 8 from Apple. and the new iPhones, with their larger screen sizes?
We are really excited about the new screen sizes, because we think the content is going to really look fantastic. We think that all that momentum into larger screen sizes, more functionality, is tremendous. What an exciting time to be doing what we’re doing, we’re ready and we’re prepared for those launches.
I think device size has been very interesting. I know around our office, for example, everyone here was an Apple junkie, an Apple fanboy, and then one of our young guys came in with a Samsung phone with a large screen size. And for the first couple of weeks we made fun of him, and we were “oh my God, does that thing fly, too? I mean, look at the size of that.”
But over time, many of us looked at it and said that’s a pretty interesting device size.
I think the screen sizes are a personal preference, and I think what many manufacturers want to do is gIve as much personal preference to people as they can.
I applaud larger screen sizes, I think it is tremendous. I happen to like my traditional sized iPad, my wife hates it and she wanted a mini, which she absolutely loves.
Our younger daughter likes her iPhone 5, is absolutely fine with it and, frankly, doesn’t want to tablet, even thought we’ve offered her one. And I was texting with her after the announcement (about the new iPhones) and she is thinking about the 6 Plus. And I said “isn’t that funny, you didn’t want a tablet, you loved your small phone, and now you want the 6 Plus.” She said because you can game on it better, because it is easier on the eye.
What we’re going to be doing with all that is enabling our customers to create the most compelling, beautiful content that they can create for every single screen – for Android and iOS. Trying to make it as simple, and easy, and flexible as possible for them to do it.
It is an exciting time to be in the space because we’re still going through this amazing revolution – content revolution, device revolution – it’s just changing absolutely everything.
I don’t for one minute believe that the printed page is dead, but I do believe strongly that we are going to see continued increases in the time spent on devices. And the number of devices that people own.
And whether it is a corporation or publisher, getting the content onto the devices that people want, optimized for the device, delivering it when they want it, is what is going to help these brands grow. You have to go there or others will move in and take the spaces that they should rightly own.