Andrea Davies (Moderator), Consumer Practice Lead, Collingwood Advisory
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Q & A Speakers
Oswin Grady, Publishing Director, Kelsey Media At Kelsey Media, Oswin is developing the company’s growth plans across a series of specialist media brands. Previously, he was the head of specialist at IPC/Time Inc, then ran Radio Times at Immediate before moving on to become Managing Director at Bauer Media. He is also currently an executive and business coach working to support leaders and high potential talent, specialising in transition to leadership, leadership through change and creating positive workplace culture.
Mike Seaman, CEO & Founder, Raccoon Events Raccoon Events is a multi-channel media business that provides content and connections for people who love being active outside. Raccoon deliver audiences that are self-identifying consumers in the following markets: running, walking, climbing, cycling, snow-sports and equine. They own and operate 10 large-scale exhibitions across the UK and the USA as well as multiple highly targeted digital products. Mike is also a keen runner who loves ultramarathons and generally being outdoors at any opportunity.
Nicole Cooper, Founder & Owner, Touchpoint Live Media Touchpoint is a creative and innovative live event organiser, most well-known for creating and running DogFest and the VET Festival. She is an experienced events specialist with strong commercial, strategic and creative experience across a range of industries. With over 25 years in the media and live event space, Nicole combines strategic leadership with creative vision and is most known for designing and launching award winning brands such as Grand Designs Live through to music festivals, Design events, Awards schemes and most recently created the pet brands under the Touchpoint umbrella. She has created, launched and sold events from boutique to large scale festivals. Nicole has taken the company from two to fourteen annual events in 2021, attracting over 120,000 visitors and 750 brands, with a turnover of over £2.5m. Nicole is the vice chair of the AEO Organiser Group.
Andrea Davies, Consumer Practice Lead, Collingwood Advisory Andrea is an experienced business leader and strategic advisor and has spent over 20 years driving transformation at the forefront of B2C media. Andrea has held executive board positions at IPC Media, Time Inc. UK, TI Media and Future plc, leading strategy, M&A and running significant business units. She played a key role in the sale of Time Inc. UK to private equity in 2018. She set the strategic direction for growth, diversification and value creation, playing a hands-on role expanding brands including Marie Claire, Decanter, Wallpaper and Country Life digitally, internationally and into recurring subscription and membership models.
Topics and Takeaways
The business of publishing is looking up for many with the majority of publishers expecting revenues to grow. But for those without a clear digital path ahead of them, the outlook remains extremely challenging. The need to pivot from legacy operating models to focus on the audience has never been greater.
Subscription or membership strategies are one of the most important revenue priorities for media businesses. But holding onto subscribers gained during lockdown and countering subscription fatigue is a key challenge against a backdrop of cost of living pressures. How businesses are extending products to offer new, premium bundles to tie people in rather than relying on cut price offers.
With a challenging economic outlook as well as shortage of skills, publishers are beginning to consolidate their product development with focus on audio / podcasts and newsletters as low cost formats that deliver deeper engagement with audiences. Whether ad-funded or subscription-led, ultimately both business models depend on deeper audience engagement.
Businesses that adopt best practice when it comes to product-led development will build the most valuable business models. Whether the operating model is driven by subscriptions, e-commerce or advertising (or a combination of all three), to scale profitability requires new skill sets and mindsets, a greater awareness of product and a commitment to cross-functional collaboration.
Businesses which focus on technology, data and content analytics to build their audience engagement will be the best placed to inform and accelerate innovation. The ability to show investors an integrated tech stack, powered by data and analytics and the right people in the business to drive it are key value indicators. Media businesses need to think more like tech businesses as they look to scale.