While most publishers pay at least lip service to being "multi-platform" and ramping up to be triple threats with print, online and events, John Kilcullen, senior vice president of performing arts at Nielsen Business Media, who oversees titles such as Billboard and Hollywood Reporter, refers to his team’s approach as the "Quintuple Threat Model." "You have to have strong print, digital and face-to-face properties and you have to have the aptitude to understand the leverage of data, content and marketing solutions in the licensing and joint-venture world," he says.
Kilcullen says his mandate is video, mobile, international, and he’s had to take some very entrepreneurial steps to act on it. Staffers bought video cameras at Best Buy and worked with interns from NYU’s film school to train reporters and build an in-house video lab, all for about $20,000. "We’re starting to build up a footage archive that we’re able to monetize through mobile and through sponsorships on our Web site," says Kilcullen.
Staffers are trained to consider content not for a specific channel but how it can be leveraged in many ways. "People get obsessed about their Web site, but it’s really about the interactive experience on the go," says Kilcullen.
"We deliver content that’s not just defined as news, but also reviews, data, features, deals, database tools, community access, things that provide full branded portfolio value. People in magazines focus on two revenue streams;advertising and subscriptions. That is so myopic. People buy data, people have parties and events, people want thought leadership and intelligence online."
The brand is building a nontraditional portfolio. Billboard Mobile has more than 35,000 subscribers and Nielsen is preparing to launch Billboard Live, a series of restaurants and music clubs.
Kilcullen sees a broader competitive threat as well. "When we define our competitive set, we look at The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, citizen journalists, bloggers, companies investing in video, first movers in mobile," he adds. "The threats are too numerable to mention, but I don’t say Reed, Crain, McGraw-Hill, or Hanley Wood. We have to make the right choices and it’s more about competing for time and trust and how to occupy more of it."
The ability to break the traditional focus of advertising and circulation as primary revenue streams.
The uncertain corporate environment of Nielsen Business Media.
Video, mobile, international focus, data, licensing and marketing agreements.
Daily newspapers, bloggers, citizen journalists, early adopters in video and mobile.