Seeing media outlets change business models in this day and age is no surprise, with major newspapers moving their subscription business from paper to online.
Yet, with a publication like Bloomberg Businessweek that is already online, the changes come as a matter of regaining lost revenue from shrinking advertising, according to Megan Murphy, editor, Bloomberg Businessweek.
“Bloomberg Businessweek subscriptions have been historically underpriced, and extensive focus group and market research showed us that readers are willing to pay more for a high quality, intelligent, globally-focused, multi-platform brand that is backed by the credibility of the Bloomberg name,” Murphy told The Drum.
“And as the advertising landscape shifts, we believe putting a greater focus on reader revenue is key,” she added.
The new business model then aims to give readers choice in their subscriptions.
“Our new tiered membership model gives readers more substantial benefits for joining the Bloomberg Businessweek community and the ability to select the package of access points that meets their consumption habits best,” said Murphy.
Included in the tweaks in a new section called Pursuits, a revamp of the magazone’s “Etc” section, which Murphy hopes will continue to attract advertisers.
“We think Pursuits is a new, equally compelling addition to the magazine, and that with its long-form narratives and beautiful photography it's more consistent with the look and direction of Businessweek on the whole,” said Murphy.
“We also believe it will be especially appealing to advertisers, who still matter very much!” she added.
Among the changes are an option for subscribers to take part in quarterly conference calls with Bloomberg Businessweek’s analysts and key business leaders.
“We want to extend a more intimate interaction with these key thought leaders to our subscribers so that they can better understand the people, the companies, and the products behind the news,” said Murphy.
“And we are embracing the new role of a media brand these days: to provide information in different, innovative ways,” she added.
Murphy was unable to share adoption numbers as, “It's only been a week since the relaunch, and our first call has not been announced, so there are no results to share quite yet.”
Subscribers appear to be enthused by these new changes, with Murphy noting that “the majority of subscribers have expressed enthusiasm for our new direction.”
“This is very gratifying since we spent seven months refocusing the brand with their interests at heart,”said Murphy.
“Readers expect us to take them behind the news to deliver the insight and analysis they need to understand a rapidly shifting global economy,” she added.
At the end of the day, the objective for the revamp was for “sharper storytelling and a cleaner, more consistent design,” according to Murphy.
“[Businessweek aims to] be more global with more on-the-ground reporting from all over the world, as well as American, European, and Asian editions; and meet readers where, when, and how they consume business news by launching new digital products, like our redesigned app and "Daily IQ" newsletter, and digital access to thought leader calls and events,” said Murphy.
“And all of these improvements demanded a new business model. Success will be gaining additional subscribers across the globe who feel more connected to, and invested in, Bloomberg Businessweek,” she added.