As a starting point, can you give us your overall comments or reflections on October’s numbers?
John Rood: Yes, they’ve told us we’ve won something. I’ve got room on the shelf for a prize, but it hasn’t arrived yet.
As candid as he is, when asked about digital sales numbers, Rood retreats to buzzwords:
Rood: I want us to feel like we’re partnering with retailers and showing them that the audience has become additive. This is not a replacement strategy like any other print medium, which is great. I don’t want to get granular, because I don’t think that does anybody any good.
We’re going to give the retailers a lot of detail on scale and share that’s drawn from the Nielsen/NRG survey we did. We can talk to them about ballpark in a way that would help them decide whether or not to do a digital storefront. Or whether or not to order up on a combo pack. If it helps them do their business better we’re going to try to share that with them.
Oh yeah, that survey! Elsewhere in the interview, Wayne hints that the results will be widely released — or at least released to retailers, who will talk about it a lot.
Wayne expands on the recently announced trade program in Part Two:
Bob Wayne: The biggest difference that you’ll see is a more unified trade dress to try to focus the point that the volume one trades are really starting points for meeting the characters in the same way that the #1s were starting points for reading in the periodical side. This will be the first time that we’ve had an effort to have a more coordinated look across the titles. I think you’ll find that our entire promotional focus will be to try to replicate the experience that periodical readers had with the book consumers; however we aren’t going to release all of them in the same month. They’ll be spread throughout the summer.
And finally, on the subject of lapsed readers:
Wayne: Most of the information is that we’re getting some younger readers but I would say that we’re still diving through a lot of the data. When we pull our whole presentation together we’ll be sharing a lot of information. I’m sure that you’ll probably be somewhere near where we’re doing that, so we’ll be happy to discuss it more when we have it all in front of us.
Rood: The sweet spot is 25-44, so like Bob said, we’ll be giving granularity to the retailers about how that might differ from our digital responses vs. our in-store responses.
We’re really looking forward to getting granular!