After promotional emails were sent to readers informing them that new digital editions were replacing their print counterparts last Friday, Penton officially announced that its Technology Media Group, which publishes Windows IT Pro, DevPro, Power IT Pro and SQL Server Pro, among other brands, will go completely digital starting in May.
Peg Miller, the company’s tech group leader, says the only remaining print title will be System iNEWS ProVIP, which is a high-end and high-priced journal.
The Technology Media Group is one of about 18 different b-to-b verticals that Penton targets.
Miller says the transition was triggered by a combination of signs. Research done with readers and advertisers indicated that interest was shifting to the digital platform and that was translating into an increase in digital edition readership. "Over the last year, we started seeing double-digit gains in our digital edition subscriptions—and those were a very basic edition without our full strategy," she says.
That strategy includes relaunching the digital editions with a richer media experience including audio and video.
While Miller declined to provide details on the performance of the print brands. Nevertheless, Miller says the new production workflow is freeing up the content team from what was previously a print-centric approach. "This has liberated our content team from print-centric deadlines to think more about what the customers want," she says.
Miller also declined to offer details on any changes in subscription pricing and advertising rates, but notes that ads are being sold on more long-term schedules rather than the one-offs that made frequent appearances in the print editions.
The staffing implications of the change are unclear at the moment and Miller says resources will continue to be looked at as the new digital production workflow is ironed out over the next year.
Transitioning to all-digital formats has become a common occurrence for publishers, particularly in the technology vertical. But only a few years ago, that meant online-only. Now, of course, publishers have more platform options available to them. Ziff Davis Enterprise announced its "OmniDigital" strategy last October when it planned to take its brands all-digital, focusing on websites, mobile sites, tablets and digital editions. That plan had barely gotten underway when ZDE was sold to online lead-gen company QuinStreet in early February.