Wise Use of Online Customer Data Leads To Print Rebirth

by | Mar 3, 2014

I like to read about media enterprises that are thriving. It provides hope for the industry, and hope for me personally as a writer, editor and self-publisher.


According to The New York Times, Etienne Uzac, 30, and Johnathan Davis, 31, founders of IBT Media, are bringing Newsweek back to print. Each issue will cost $7.99.

“You would pay only if you don’t want to read anything on a backlit screen,” Mr. Uzac said. “It is a luxury product.”

What I find fascinating is how this company’s online media strategy paid dividends and paved the way for this print rebirth. The Times reports that IBT began using online metrics (across its 10 media brands) to help tailor coverage to what readers truly wanted.

Dry corporate-earnings articles larded with financial data, for example, were poorly read. But Mr. Davis discovered that readers landed on earnings pieces by searching for a company’s products. So IBT began to de-emphasize numbers in earnings stories while highlighting a company’s product pipeline.

There is a lot of chatter about big data and its various uses, but here is one example an applied use of data that proved both successful and desirable.