Lean back 2.0 – new media demands new approaches

Andrew Rashbass, Chief Executive for The Economist Group, has shared a fabulous presentation called ‘Lean Back 2.0‘ to SlideShare. In it, he presents a case for what he calls ‘Lean Back Media’, a new age of media consumption typified by the way people use tablet devices for reading and browsing. His presentation makes a case for changes to the way The Economist Group approaches its business model, and it is required viewing and reading for any publishing company in the throes of rethinking their operation.

I’ve been using an iPad for 15 months, and it’s definitely changed my reading habits. I haven’t read a paper (dead tree) book for quite some time, and prefer instead to download titles to iBooks, or the Kindle app on my iPad. I haven’t moved to subscribing to journals through apps on my iPad as yet, because I find that quite a lot of longform journalism that interests me is shared through links on Twitter or through Zite, the personalised iPad magazine. Readership of  publications from The Economist Group would be in the higher demographics of our population I’m figuring, and their close analysis of the reading habits of their target group seems a very sensible approach to ensure they stay solvent in what are challenging times for newspaper and magazine publishers.

The real dilemma for newspaper and magazine publishers, is how they sustain profit given that the advertising model that was successful in print media does not translate in digital media. As Andrew notes in the slide below regarding advertising, “The Lean Back digital model is unproven and the transition will be treacherous.” The coming year or two will see who can come out still solvent, and quite possibly even thriving.

Andrew concludes his presentation with the big questions they ask themselves at The Economist Group. If you’re part of a media organisation today, hopefully you’re asking yourself similar questions and are planning for inevitable change. Interestingly, I think you can apply these questions to education. Look closely at them and see if you have any answers.

Thanks Andrew for a thought provoking presentation that goes a way towards envisaging what the future will look like for the publishing industry. Special thanks for opting to share through SlideShare, and making your company’s thinking processes available to people outside your organisation.

2 Comments

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2 responses to “Lean back 2.0 – new media demands new approaches

  1. Pingback: How Tablets Are Saving Journalism.. « Chats blog: Social Media & New Technology

  2. I love the feel, look and smell of a book (even though there may be a substitution for tablet devices for at least the olfactory aspect: http://smellofbooks.com/). There is a particular beauty to the tangible aspects of books- being able to turn pages, write a special message on the front page, even create a dog ear. I was reminded recently about the magic of books by a melbourne-based sculptor who uses old books as his medium- he posted this clip on Facebook: Ihttp://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=SKVcQnyEIT8&fb_source=message
    Alas, I love my ipad as well. I think there is room for both types of objects of desire in my life. Good one, Jenny.

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