661: DC Thomson - Publishing Newspapers and Magazines In A Digital World
Welcome to the tank bloke writer podcast, your guy to future Tech Trends and innovation in a language you understand now over to your host, Neal, Hughes, welcome back to the technical writer. Podcast. I'm reporting from the magenta live event here in Barcelona, and I came here wanting to learn more about exactly what does the adobe magenta partnership. Really mean I quickly learned adobe makes every experienced personal while magenta is making every moment. Shop aboard, the community and open source tax still seemed to remain at the heart of everything which is going to be a great thing. Not the main theme here is experience driven commerce. So I set off with my backpack my laptop and microphone not searching for truth and destiny. Canaan, confer, but searching for stores that would interest you all about industries that you wouldn't necessarily associate with technology and how they're. Averaging tech to create experiences, and it was also particularly inspired today after listening to Bruce Dickinson from iron maiden. Yes, you heard me right? He performed Keno here that really resonated with me. He talked about the music industry of course, but also by how not evolved with the times we might have ended up with free music. We've also got hundred dollar tee shirts and even more expensive concert tickets. It's a model that doesn't work all serve anyone. But while here I came across the lovely people at DC Thompson, which is a private company, and one of the leading media organizations in the UK is headquartered in dundy, Scotland with a London base in the world, famous, please treat the company publishes newspapers magazines, but as recently diversified into new media, digital technology, retail and television interest too. So I wanted to explore how these very traditional industry as diversified into new media and Creighton experiences for his readers. So bookable hold on tires. IB meal is all the way to boss Alona so we can speak with coasted Morrison and Allen Melrose from DC Thompson. A massive, warm, welcome to the show. He saw the listeners who you all and what you do. Hi, I'm Chris Morrison. I'm head of digital DC Thompson where a Scottish face on publisher, publishing, newspapers, magazines, metals. I worked with the department and my background is largely advertising commercial Jin as I mostly in the space. So DC Thompson, he's one of the leading media organizations in the u. k. publishing newspapers and magazines. Can you an overview of exactly what you guys do and what brings you to magenta this year? Yes. So we have to digital team to see Thompson media, which is a media part of DC Thompson grip obscene newspapers magazines with a product site of that. So the team digital, basically, Mel, any tosses vote websites patients on the evening impeach Turner's. The reason we're here magenta line is we've started. Turning out to attention them, really helping the business participates revenue lines on. That's really diversifying into ecommerce. So we currently have three online shops, one of the agenda two to them in the one up to migrates magenta too. So we're really, here's I guess, to network really keeps to be gentle partners just starting on that journey. So it's really a by Freddie, which is very much a legacy. I'm shy. She say transitioning to be much more, I guess, much diversify lines. So I would imagine the digitalization of everything has been challenging the traditional industry of publishing physical media such as newspaper magazine. So can you tell me more about the kind of challenges that you've encountered? I mean, have you overcome them and why you believe the future is actually brought for publication? Yeah, it has been very challenging because we take prince revenues which still jotted revenues, DC Thompson media. So we're very Scott comes. I guess it's the girl St. that protect core revenues diversifying. Revenue lines. Monkey products aware very much, not enough. Diversifcation Haitian and launching products spot of that. I guess it's been very much slowly slowly catch monkey with, especially some of our editorial colleagues you are very, very Princen can just really making up journey into digital space. I think I'm so we've been very careful to him Wisconsin, weekly online of the years. Rene much moral incidents has been quite a journey frozen till I five years ago. We also noted she'll puts PC Thompson. So we have been experimenting with lots of different things. It's people come through the content to mining shooting, Manatt, celery, Tena kind print declines declines. My advertising sue against the big switch for us is like a nice open advertising for ten years in the jobs space, the realities. You caught me same revenues from digital and most of that or. Although the advertising sny worth more than the other media, the autists today's giggle, it's not always marble. Here is actually if you. It only having models as lines to remi- sketching are not writing. It doesn't really stop to the future for publishing. So that's why Robin flying things like ecommerce platform school Zinger, but as meaning ravioli McCoy, huge audiences our audiences bigger night in that ever been. But it might not be you have your member time or subscription might want something else. Hype, immediate, moose sin. John's rarely. Yeah, I will say if industries as well. I mean, we've Saint Bruce Dickinson. Haven't we waves saying music is the first to be? Yes. Music frame, but the t. shirts, custom journalist, the same thing. Yeah. So I mean, we, we have payrolls, which makes it easier for some of his culturally, I guess thing is a business. Hi, to be perceived giving me content, three wisely concept drives the, you know, access to it Waller dries. Actually, these on on-drives harshest side are on rounded product or somebody else's rounded over margin, or we've got an we were become vacant, sell gin, you know, in not Merimee as genuine revenue inboards. And so it's just guest this finding different nuanced. So the so the same Hammett magenta line is experienced driven comments. Tell me more about how you'll embracing technology on the kind of experiences is able to create a not only remained relevant also continued to thrive in a digital age solving. Alas, me probably four years. We've seen value. Martin stocks quite sophisticated on essentially means we can push pull data everywhere, but what it gives us a single view, Twenty-eight our websites. So when somebody comes on, whether even when they're anonymous, we know what they're looking at where. We're watching potentially what their pricing and we can offer the my personalized service based on what they're looking at based on what we think they would like to see when we heard from the enough from the ten to one of magenta breakout sessions this morning, making sure that we're using all those cues, make sure we give the user what we want to see. So we have a monthly rituals around about fourteen million monthly views. So essentially what we can do with with that huge marketing engine is make sure we are driving customers where we think they'll have the best experience. One of plumping puts in front of service piece of content or whether we can actually sweat any piece of contents, make sure we can maximize value of that context. We spend quite often time the cost. The value of atoms actually drops much because of the programmatic challenge on publishers of facing actually really sweat each piece of content to make sure reporting either right call to action to drive through to our shops, right colts to try to invent we may be having or to a subscription off our or. Another piece of content even really can sweaters pages so that single customer view realize us to maximize value all of our content role of our users. Interesting. In the morning, we are quite young ace. So although we have shelves for. As a department vunerable got involved in the revolt the first or have you deal all personalization, Wisconsin. So like we bought at margin for our law quo files, he thinks like me, do a waltz action. Have you changed content on the page? We know against outlets on average from changed on Saint from early, it's recommended and we can do about in real time. And it was interesting discussions morning when they say, well, actually, most of the ecommerce rationalization comes post transaction actually, never like all we do is look at this rich can see the hateful and triggers and cues. You've go all the way up and they might never meet her parts. So that's quite incursion for us. 'cause like BASF, right in bar, weaving do not for years, we'll be one on personalization in the emails. Now, like I say, change content on the page. It's awesome for people for our payrolls Seguin say on. So that's quite right might well actually develop. More info. Impulse from should be rouses. We're much by tools. Doc in place on that liberalism. Conceal the thing, if I outed let us cleaning DP, are we had already spent two years? Are they to ensure we understood it. PR in mind so much buttocks when king when you we're going to be compliant with his offer. Carpark Jason. I guess the is going to be interesting for us. Ly is only sensor far sense you boy is actually finding will happen. So we connect all of us. So, I mean, obviously, has. VR nizing remark in Clayton in general or gas. We've got Mark inclined that Setsuko reminds me of criticism of the inaugural buffalo Honey Mark platform there. Okay. Error. So right Heidi, we at moves. So over the last few years I've not adopting personalized services are from reading everything in a magazine, a newspaper to only will interest me. I'm curious, have you explode waste is still in able those happy accidents that goes delightful experiences that you used to get from driving bookshelves in a bookshop or picking up something that you would never ever find in a recommended view algorithm? Or do you think that's gone forever now, Stephanie not gone sumit meet. We spent time test this Molly and the reality is that. So what we find is that, for example, emails for these of Swain. If if we just pass our size on, you know, up to bomb, we dig up big our lists across Morton times convince Rex kind of like is based. I think what we know your profile is what we miss his, that curate content east of the illogic infants concepts and understandings audience. So when garage takes to your, what will James they just know are gonna fly? Not those stories. We more traction than anything else, but we got best but slice phones. So gal put coming. I later this month Willion Tober. Yeah, familiar this month, which will impassioned is a big part of that. When we did toy with the idea of me hit highly actualized, but it just feels in two all does he actually people still want on? You are publishing rights. People do on people, tell them what we should be are consuming. Yeah. And I think an example owed smarter necklace. You have well. Well, obviously, sometimes you just go into the menu. 'cause you anyway, you're not being got rather than. Why am I know getting? Because it's just it's over personalized in my guess is my opinion, lots, no major who'd you stumble, three things. Year. Thank you. Come across that way. You'd never would've chose Bruce Dickinson. Sort of the just gave the snow by having a coffee with some the and then ending up investing in an edible Gleich. This stuff doesn't happen if you will only see what's absolutely. And I think as well up, I've no is was a holiday, and we're all looking in a small town all the time. I'll be looking down and I'm not about you going. I'm gonna get my inspiration when I put that phone down and understanding it something staring at train win. But we in those moments. So what really might stay Thompson standout craft for me is your consumers flies will cry is a may all spam across multiple generations sesame. You're at the forefront of change and are organically stimulating the imagination to produce dynamic in compelling content. So what are the biggest changes that you've seen from your audiences that span those? I have multiple generations. And how are you changing to meet their increasing expectations? I guess what the things is already grown massively. Thank. You think. Rebels are also growing. We to lots of worker and content to make sure that we are producing the right content for online, not just driven by treating off-line. So because of that, we can conveys it play on teller at a at Dettori Callixte lobster, McComb gut instinct which they used to very much. Also, we've got great freeze department. You don't get any more gray examples as is golf, we because we public in Scotland. There are morning newspapers during Gulf Fritsch ears, right to print content rankles online, very successful for right. Continental mountain biking online is massively engaged with tonight. We're starting to inform our tour or colleagues about where to put the effort on online. So mix with much more efficient as newsrooms makes us much more engaged audience respect as well. I think one of the other can really big changes we've seen off taken are knitted products. We've mentioned earlier with three U2.. Tables on our two dailies. One of our issue only puts energy voice in the optic. So the, I guess, the tight to pay for Clinton all t- content base, especially in this mystique news generation where living in causes, publishers, lost problems. But luckily I think because of the type regional, especially publisher VR. We really are raised in each without proper Texas too. But especially lying with we into right now, actually. Value on content. Be taken that same basements in publishing originally vote our audience tools actually Saudi amortizing Lebanese, but lives have powerful for this for me to right and I, we supplied out from our rebuilding the Schultz interesting to go to apply that same business logic shooting the show. So we have and moves across with January soil offline. Your calls are everything was in the shop since you've is in poets in Sean, did Obama analysis on realize they might two percent of them never sold so asking if you'd experience well, and then I'm the founding Ovalles shopping. Our readers zero over older zone, understanding night. The is for us a really important point party says, give them a good experience online show them told us, and I make it really easy for them to foon because they still Prospal. Now in order to support his maybe. John's. So do you get to hear about any feedback from anyone, any of your readers. Good and bad. I suspect mainly. A year from people when they have a real. Yeah, I go to customer service team from sits within what we call our price when she's where shops live on. We've quite a loyal page, turning audience for any reason. They cannot access that election, a piece needed dishing. We get a huge feedback. So we guest, I guess we find out by any problems with the -nology. Sometimes it's user. Behavior problems, and sometimes it's technology conviction, but we hereby in each source, this problems we get onto that that's acknowledged or someone else technology. We're still pursue the grants to hear feedback meeting meeting quickly. I'm I guess what's most viable? He ever thing the new magenta to shop is on metrics Musset reposited. So we knew gets increase, emot-, Vetter speed, lords, massively improve. We knew that would come go, we went to dishes, so that's obvious improved, huge interest. We import free Comber, but all our other metrics massively mustering revising. So I guess you see to the results rather than hearing it from the sea. There are buying more frequently on rose or volume. Not more customers. Interesting for one of our John's fat Mr. to the show business was the same skills with the arms speaker. This is. Into a digital was this year that will come in. So we know is nice to move in number of users on our side. Bobby increased the number environs I seventy percent car conversion rate from search several resent our revenues already patriot license for your one in three months. So it was a big risk for us to be on magenta menia edition. You have any recommendations on carbon to golden spend a of money or license, and it was about a vibe. I reason why do you need to spend that much money? So it's been. So what does magenta main ta and how is it helping you achieve your experience driven goals? I mean, you have mentioned a little bit about, I think it's, I think one of the new from something that's feed something you're paying for its focus will focus on KPI. So MRs become a bit more alliance to that. I think the gentle too because we had such positive KPI's in the first few months without really spending all the money right marketing trying to drive more people to our our apartment south means it gives us via confidence that we can get our ally on any marketing budget. We invest not in that kind of Avia. So I think he's just giving us one focused on Tubul constants. Actually, we can give a mistake mocked in. She got with our network four million monthly users. We can actually drive them to the site NS we get in there reading lightly, get into purchase. I mean, we, we've be work in communities of. Where the evaluation, you're always assuming the chance for my tall in days, in addition came right mosit- me on our developers like walking me. So we everything we do Marcin hitters, press editing. View in jobs is in the gentle, and that is fortunately important or think was been gained firm Marne easy as well. Govan's developers. He gets these four as well, which is slightly definitely want us to that because mash them at all from our press, you're basically stop of stock over. He's got this really nice mix off, you know, got us community airlines and they'll help each other in the wall summer up Choi ago. Any mentioned us. They use instant dressing saying, Hello, Russ insane persons. So so his own new such certainly said anything that excellent. She goats at magenta live this year. Other key takeaways event, you'll going to return home with Harris allies. Ation. A big thing for me because we go that skillset settings night, our department in done in other areas, but we haven't spent any time in the show. So I think we literally scratched the surface of pacing US Forest platform and also our shops woman earlier on their own branded products or selling subscriptions. I'm hallways and some brand products and some other stuff that traditionally actually sought white company. I used to work for his for the meal and nail, and it's kind of like that whole and used for sale of flowers in March or aprons and Dino for actually who might your point by oven for five million users? Well, we know what they're interested in is writing content rights. So why you notice deliver them more by products. Unpromising emulate was that's a much more successful retirement Semillas. So looking to the future. So what is next for DC Thompson media? Is that anything else you can share with me today? This quite a lot of things to come. I think now of komo's were spending as a company, a lot of time around the diversification of revenues, launching new products thing that we've got having a single customer view as we know what our audience interested in. We can segment them into passion points. We've spent quite old time over the last year owned innovation. What was innovation lip likes to DC Thompson media protests swell of the ideas come tonight. Dan, have those ideas is one thing, short business Creighton ideas. We're, we're actually really good at what we've got to figure out is how we prioritize as pipeline. I think the equal myself because we know so much of I tell users, we've got great example, Jen. We built a segment around our audience like gin and trending topic of Asli must've in certain we built. A proof of concept on websites around very small segment to die confined on our networking gin, and we basically content for that in our network. Once we go, Chris mass Bill, talk to websites, and then we basically have grown that website almost Cleveland writing for searchlight team away. This search helps. We will win huge authority in Google on Jin scope jn eat. We really specialize in of June subscriptions in Jin Lavin's Geno specialist genzer combined. So I think that models definitely something that will take fusion, whether that's the affiliate models which is currently will Jenkins are actually we on that particular site, a loss of Jin products, other people partial to what other ecommerce sites can we get into night with a real handle will not gonna take really understanding high to finance. It really understanding high to write for such a gruel asshole. Jains new them with the Jin can we will in many, many. Of the number one search terms on Google above gin distillers, this big markets. We've done that Zeiss investing all of money or a lot of time. So I can take the next iteration of those. Are that kind of ecommerce on elements of owning his ears of passionate. Ingest Rican, grow chances arrived on voice. Also year exploiting voice activation searchers. We haven't division, they. Months ago I was made genius to be on. This is not. In terms of get sort of eighteen to twenty five vehicles. Eight sharks only. I will find it won't being brought to the point transaction yet all that research discovery, all of us in not Greek peoples in done by Aston Yugo or city. I've been playing around with it to try it so far somebody my age I should for the first time recently with my nephew, he's dubbed was looking up something on the internet and she's not. Why are you talking? What are you just lost. Meetings, slowly towns, golden shootings for us quite interested in for not highly view in terms of new. We built experiences or right nationally tell us Newham insead in Oman release homeless. What a huge k. for coming on tonight, but fun to let you go. I just, I think you remind listeners the best way I signed up tonight with your progress or maybe even reach out to your team cycle. Any questions after listening to our conversation. So they're probably based is to giggle, DC Thompson, Maurici t. media, happy touch with anyone yet happens to talk about act, takes what we've been doing for the last few years. They don't want streak types. So I love how they say Thomas have made it age Rausing to the challenge of ensuring publications, not only remain relevant but provide unique experiences. So in a world of echo chambers and cherry picking content, I think it's needed more than ever to maintain not thought that helps us all. Well, that's just a big. Thank you for taking the time to Fatema tonight on a heavy enjoy. For the rest of magenta live. That was so many big takeaways from our conversation today on live how they're passionate about innovation and exploring new ways to create experiences, but without accelerate the decline in traditional print sales because there are some harsh reality is around ad revenues in digital being much, much less than that introduce no print. But also it was a result of these challenges. They've been forced to diversify and their success in unlikely researches. Creighton experiences for Jin. Lewis is a great example of nine went Wente diverse for and went to innovate and also love the point that Allen raised about sometimes not wanting to be something on Netflix or reading a new story that was recommended for is by an algorithm. Yes, personalization is great, and it makes our lives easier. So Miller tell him only impact most of the time, but too much of it is a bad thing, stumbling across things that we would never choose to look at through those happy accidents in life is possibly what helps us grow as individuals. But enough of me preaching marks on the Mullick. Let me know your thoughts about everything we've talked about today. This week's events all in fact anything at all, and you can reach me by Email tech blog writer at outlook dot com. All Twitter app, Neil c Hughes, but I'm afraid we're time on today's episode, but don't worry, I will return tomorrow with another great guest. So a big, thank you for listening and until next Dobie straighter. Thanks for listening to the tag globe, ROY support cost until next time. Remember technology is best when it brings people together.