Are Media’s Jane Huxley on the survival of print media in Australia and the acceleration of e-commerce in publishing

“We’re selling a magazine every second in Australia right now,” Are Media CEO Jane Huxley said at Mumbrella’s Publish conference on Wednesday. “That’s not a sign of a business slowing down anytime soon. If we sold a magazine every ten minutes, yes, we could say yes, it’s something to start thinking about, but we sell an extraordinary amount of magazines.

Are Media is Australia’s largest women’s content company, according to Roy Morgan, and reaches nine out of ten women each year through its portfolio of brands, including The Australian Women’s Weekly, marie claire, Gourmet Traveller, Better Homes & Gardens , Woman’s Day, Country Style. , paradise of beauty and generosity.

Are Media CEO Jane Huxley at the Mumbrella Publish 2022 conference.

During the fireside chat, Huxley shared his vision for the changing publishing landscape in Australia, with top priority shifting to Are Media as CEO and making strides in e-commerce.

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“I think Are Media has built up a really good muscle over the last two years and learned pretty quickly how to work from home,” Huxley said. “The team pivoted very quickly, and we never missed a deadline, and it was pretty amazing to see people adapt so quickly to the print side of our business, which takes a lot of creativity. , it requires a lot of people working together. The way people have adapted was phenomenal.

As Huxley took his first steps into the Park Street publishing house, Huxley clearly knew where his top priorities lay.

“It was to keep that stability that the former head of the company really worked hard to create and to show up for the company,” she said. Being the company’s first female CEO, I feel like I had an advantage from day one. A lot of our organization looks, feels and sounds like me, so I had a little natural advantage there.

When Huxley took over 15 months ago, she sat at reception, fielded calls and went to news agencies to pack shelves, which Huxley considered crucial to understanding the company.

“Supply chain is everything to a CEO. I hadn’t worked in mag publishing. I’ve been in content companies all my life, but I didn’t really know how magazine publishing worked. “, she said. “So I followed the supply chain, from the initial idea that we wanted to put in the magazine, until it arrived in the hands of a customer. “

Jane Huxley at the Mumbrella Publish 2022 conference.

Huxley said she sat and worked alongside individual teams for each magazine within the company, then talked to designers and reviewed all of the technology that underpins the entire company, with Huxley adding: “I went to the print shop and then followed that through to distribution, where we pick and pack the magazines, put them in lorries, we send a lorry to every news agency and supermarket in Australia and New Zealand , twice a week. The operation behind this is extraordinary.

Regarding the future of Are Media and the publishing industry in Australia, Huxley said that while magazine circulation shows no signs of slowing down and there is a clear need for print titles here, the future of content for the enterprise is e-commerce.

“We’re proud to be in the printing business because customers love it. However, we are starting to invest more in the digital marketplace and have amazing communities at Bounty and beautyheaven.

In March, Are Media acquired Australian e-commerce company Hard to Find. The Acquisition Will Significantly Expand Are Media’s Existing Content Commerce Capabilities, Strengthen Its Revenue Diversification Strategy, and Leverage Hard to Find Technology to Engage Audiences Even More With Are Media’s Brands and Content .

“When you think about the role of magazines and the role of content at Are Media, traditionally 125 years ago the role of magazines and content in Australia has really been to inform, to influence, to inspire, and that that happens at the end of that is, there’s usually a transaction,” Huxley said. “We have audiences that are browse audiences, but a lot of our audiences at the time in print and digital today is what we call intent-based audiences, especially in the home industry.”

She added, “These customers buy the magazine and browse the product with the intention of doing something. The way we monetize that is clearly through broadcasts and then through advertising, because advertisers see its position very clearly in an intent audience. But, when you take it a step further, the future of content for us is e-commerce.

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