CEO, UBM TechWeb
While many CEOs talk about shifting away from a dependence on print, Uphoff has overseen a dramatic transformation at UBM TechWeb.
Three YEARS AGO, United Business Media split U.S. trade publisher CMP Media into four separate businesses, led by four co-CEOs. One of those companiesâ€”UBM TechWebâ€”consisted of 65 percent to 70 percent of the old CMP but today is a very different company, according to CEO Tony Uphoff.
â€śAt the time TechWeb was formed, 70 percent of our profits came from print,â€ť says Uphoff. â€śToday, print is 10 percent of overall revenue and profits, although ironically we can still keep the largest magazine in the IT sector in InformationWeek.â€ť
TechWeb came up with a foundational platform called â€śCurvanomics.â€ť â€śThis was a clever way of articulating that myopic focus on audience and driving that audience up the value curve,â€ť says Uphoff. â€śThink of your audience as how many people you reachâ€”then move them along that curve.â€ť
TechWeb also had to define the balance between media and business informationâ€”nearly 40 percent of the companyâ€™s revenue comes from business information (paid content such as conferences, research and content purchased through analytics). â€śPart of the reason we wanted to look at that was the split between media and business information,â€ť says Uphoff. â€śThis focus on audience allows us to develop this on a refined level.â€ť
Part of that approach includes making events (both live and virtual) the centerpiece and organizing other products around those assets. Nearly 50 percent of TechWebâ€™s live event revenue comes from paid attendees. â€śWe could use our reach in online and other areas to drive audience to events and move them up the value curve,â€ť says Uphoff. â€śThe other thing is the amount of content we produce. We can capture that content digitally and move it around. If you and I were doing content planningâ€”by setting a calendar of things we wanted to cover online, in print or digital issuesâ€”we could look at what people are paying for.â€ť
Today TechWeb sees about 45 percent of total revenue from digital, 45 percent from live events and 10 percent from print.Â
VITAL STATS: Online and events were up 20 percent and 25 percent respectively in 2010, while print fell from 70 percent of revenue and profits in 2008 to 10 percent in 2010.