Bob Guccione, Jr.'s Media Predictions
Bob Guccione, Jr. began his career at the age of 18 in the UK where he became Britain's youngest-ever publisher. A year later he returned to America and launched the monthly music magazine, Rock Superstars, making him America's then youngest-ever publisher. In 1985, he launched SPIN, the enormously successful music magazine that usurped Rolling Stone as the dominant pop culture magazine for 18-24 year olds. In 1997, Guccione sold SPIN to Vibe Ventures and in 1998 launched Gear, a young men's lifestyle magazine, which closed in 2003. In October 2005, Guccione completed the acquisition of science magazine, Discover, from Disney and formed Discover Media, LLC. In the two years Guccione ran the title before stepping down as Chairman in December 2007, the magazine returned to profitability. He is now helping launch a new luxury lifestyle magazine in New York called Prestige New York.
Guccione: My thesis was that media would continue to expand like the expanding universe that they wouldn’t eat each other. There’ll be nibbling around the edges. Internet is going to eat up some of the print. TV is going to eat up some of the internet. You know, mobile is going to eat up some of TV and print can eat up some of mobile. So everybody then eat, eat a little, but, generally, it’s going to expand. And even books which everybody writes off. No. More people buy books today than bought last year, and so on and so forth. They are being delivered in different forms that will only expand books even further. If individual blockbusters maybe less it’s because they are now producing tens of thousands more books each year and that will dilute individual runaway successes. Newspapers – well, again, that’s a Darwinian aging. Ultimately, newspapers are anachronistic because the things they deliver primarily are news which is usurped by the simultaneous media or television or internet, and they deliver classified information, classified, you know, the store has this for sale, I’m looking to sell my car, all of which is done better on the internet. So, in effect, newspapers will have to change radically. I don’t think they’ll go away completely. I think they will radically transform. That will be the most radical transformation of a media format. It will become part electronic, at least half electronic. It will become part free publication. The frequencies will change. The context will change. Some newspapers like New York Times will probably continue to be the way it is, give or take a little change here and there forever, because the newspaper record, and we go there looking for that. But all media will have to transform to where the product is precisely where the product should be and what the consumer wants that product to be. So website should deliver what a consumer goes on the internet for. You type in those keys, you put in your password, you’re going somewhere with a purpose. You pick up a magazine, it’s usually the opposite. It’s usually the removal purpose and to get lost in it for awhile. So, each medium has to understand that and I think we have predicted that.
Bob Guccione, Jr. contemplates the future of television, radio, the internet, newspapers and magazines.
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