At the Digiday Publishing Summit last week, Paul Rossi, managing director and executive vice president of The Economist for the Americas, sat down with Digiday editor-in-chief Brian Morrissey to discuss how The Economist has survived and thrived in these interesting times.
Rossi highlighted the positive impact digital reading devices, such as the tablet, are having on The Economist. “Reading The Economist is a lean back experience. It’s an armchair experience; it’s an airplane experience,” he said. “And the tablet is exactly that. It’s an immersive reading product. So we feel quite confident that, unlike the PC, the tablet is additive to our business”.
Yet, Rossi conceded that publishers still face challenges when it comes to capturing advertising revenue on these new devices. He pointed out that “print advertising is migrating, not necessarily directly to online or digital, but to other places”. Given this, it would be “suicide” for publishers like The Economist not to charge for online content. “It makes no sense in my mind if you think a magazine on a newstand has a value to a reader of $4.99 that you sell that to a reader digitally for 99 cents or $1.99,” he said. “I don’t understand the logic.”
Watch the full conversation between Paul Rossi and Brian Morrissey below.