Just last week, Alan Rusbridger, the editor of The Guardian, claimed that no national newspaper group has a "credible five-year business plan". The FT Group and News International might disagree, but he has a point. The proliferation of web-based content has placed pressure on all publishers, not only the nationals, to evolve their models in a fast-changing media landscape.
This sets the context for the announcement this week from Brand Republic Group, of which Campaign is part, that it is to move to a new model that involves the introduction of digital subscriptions. The strategy is designed to offer Campaign readers greater flexibility and a stronger product. At the heart of this strategy lies the belief that with quality content comes a price-tag, a belief that Campaign readers have long seemed to share and demonstrated by your support for the print version of Campaign as a paid-for title. Above all, the changes are driven by audience demand. We serve readers across print, events and online, with the fastest growth coming online (Brand Republic has experienced a 150 per cent growth in the past three years to reach 700,000 monthly users).
Changes will roll out over the summer and Campaign subscribers will have three options. You will be offered the choice of subscribing to the magazine or online services alone. In addition, for just £40 on top of the current Campaign print subscription, there is the offer of premium access, which includes a copy of the print magazine and access to the biggest portfolio of marketing and communications content anywhere in the world.
This includes an improved Work section, A List and Top 100 reports, content from magazines including Marketing and PR Week and membership of a Brand Republic club that will offer discounts on our conferences and awards shows.
The strength of this model lies in its flexibility. While online content, such as job ads and blogs, will remain free to access and non-print subscribers will be afforded access to a limited amount of online news on a metered basis, the "crown jewels" of Campaign's online content will be available exclusively to premium and online subscribers.
These exciting changes will ensure that Campaign can continue to invest in both the quality of its print product, to which Brand Republic Group remains very much committed, while also focusing greater resource upon the provision of up-to-date, interactive, incisive online content. Not only does this seem to be a very credible and long-term business plan, it will also allow us to bring Campaign alive in many new and different ways, vastly improving the Campaign editorial product.