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EMAP (East Midland Allied Press) was formed in 1947 by the merger of the Northamptonshire Printing and Publishing, the Peterborough Advertiser, the West Norfolk and King’s Lynn Newspaper and commercial printing sections at Rushden, King’s Lynn and Bury St Edmunds.

7 The magazine division was founded when the staff gambled that a weekly angling publication would be a hit – and in 1953 Angling Times was born. This

was soon joined by another weekly heavyweight, Motor Cycle News, bought from its founder in 1956 for a hundred pounds.

7 EMAP became a PLC in the late 1970s.

7 1996: agreed to sell its 65 newspaper titles, including the 300-year-old Stamford Mercury, to Johnston Press for £111m.

7 2008: completed the sale of its radio, television and consumer media businesses to Bauer for £1.14bn.

7 2008: remainder of the company taken over by its owners, the private equity investment group Apax and the Guardian Media Group.

7 2012: renamed Top Right Group, and announced that its content, events and data businesses would be separated into four standalone companies. The

content subscriptions business that owns leading B2B brands such as Retail Week, Health Service Journal and MEED, has retained the EMAP name.

Multi-platform MEED: a good llustration of the significant growth in digital products at EMAP

What other areas are creating revenue streams? Our events business is extraordinarily strong: it represents 40 per cent of our entire revenue and has been growing double- digit for the last ten years. We have over 100 events with five that are over £1 million turnover each in the UK and Middle East. The events bring communities together for learning at large-scale conferences with high-profile speakers, for networking and close-knit debate for chief executives. There is also our Awards programme, which celebrates and rewards excellence within our markets. We continually refresh and evolve the events portfolio to make sure the events are relevant and up-to-date for the markets we serve.

What other strategies do you have for growth? One of the things that has had the biggest impact on our growth is our Corporate Subscriptions strategy. Three years ago, nearly all of our subscriptions were bought on an individual basis – so an individual would make the choice to subscribe to Retail Week or Health Service Journal. Today, 20 per cent of our subscriptions (which total 16,000) are bought as part of an organisational wide subscription that a company has chosen to buy to invest in their employees’ education, learning and as an business information source. A typical deal is 200 subscriptions, which

would include 30 print, 50 apps, and 200 licenses to our desk-top. This is working so well because organisations renew at

a higher rate than individuals, they don’t move on or change in the same way that individuals do. Individuals renew at 70 per cent and organisations renew at 90 per cent.

How is the advertising market performing? Like most other media companies, print advertising revenue has sharply declined over the last few years, with organisations looking for other ways to reach their target audiences. Today print advertising makes up a fraction of our revenue – instead customers buy a wide range of other products, which range from sponsorship of our events, creating original content together, original research to digital products. We call these marketing solutions and they deliver over and above the awareness that print advertising can.

What are your best performing brands? Our best performing brands are Health Service Journal and Retail Week, but lots of our other brands are performing exceptionally well, gaining new subscribers as well as seeing customer growth.

What new initiatives stand out? In March 2013 we launched a major new product, Health Service Journal Intelligence. A segment of HSJ customers who provide essential services to the NHS had identified a need to understand the complex structures and future strategies of NHS Trusts so that they can work with Trusts more effectively. In response to this, we developed a data intelligence product that profiles the

people, finances, geographical locations of every single one of the UK’s 475 health Commissioners and Providers. Layered on top of this data is HSJ’s unique journalistic perspective, intelligence and analysis, producing reports predicting the strategies of those NHS trusts in the future. The product was co-created over a year with eight customers that included businesses like KPMG and Pfizer. This product is high value and sells for an

average of £11,000 per a year. Since the launch in March, we have smashed the revenue targets and expect the product to grow into a £4m product in the next three years.

What is EMAP’s core philosophy?

One of the things that is central to our business and to our growth, is our obsession with customer joy. People use lots of different words to describe this – customer-led, customer happiness, customer engagement. But what I mean by customer joy is that customers derive real value from our products – they are helping them in their every day professional lives.

Where do you see the company in five years? The future for EMAP is in digital and events, where we are seeing the most growth. In five years’ time, we’ll have created more digital data products and launched lots of brand new events. Print will definitely be a smaller part of the picture. But we are committed to creating and delivering content on the platforms that our customers want it on.

Magazine World | Issue 86_2014 37

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