SVP, Online ﾕ IDG Communications
Crawford’s evangelism of online revenues, and their rapid rise, has driven him to announce that the company will steer its mission away from print and bring Web-centric operations to the core of the company’s revenue strategy.
Perhaps no other company has been more illustrative of the “revenue tipping point”, real online revenue growth exceeding print losses, than IDG Communications. The company has been experiencing staggering growth in its digital revenues over the last few years, thanks in part to the efforts of Colin Crawford, who, as senior vice president, online, has been leading a cultural and operational revolution within IDG to accommodate what he sees as the company’s new central business model.
In a blog post in early February, Crawford caused a minor sensation by announcing that to help encourage the rise of online revenues, “we’ve changed the business mission of our organization away from print. Going forward, IDG Communications will define itself as a Web-centric information company complemented by expos, events and print publications.”
Crawford says print products that can’t keep up will be left behind (such as the recent closure of InfoWorld). “We love magazines” he adds. “As long as we can produce them profitably, we will continue to publish them. But our investment focus is in growth areas such as online, mobile and events. While I expect to see many print publications go away, and circulation be drastically reduced, quality magazines with loyal audiences will remain part of many brands’ product mix.”
Crawford has since been promoted to head up the PC World and Mac World brands as president and CEO of PC World Communications and Mac Publishing, describing the move as a strategic shift from evangelism to execution, with the intent of bringing the brands close to what he calls a “platform agnostic” approach to delivering content.
During his 14 years at tech media giant IDG, Crawford has helped drive the digital platform to such an extent that it currently represents 35 percent of the company’s total U.S. revenues. He projects it will account for 50 percent by 2009.