Yes, the “media” part of “magazine media” was an emphasis, but there was a kind of cockiness in the air this week, based on a growing realization that magazine brands are really, really good at creating world-class content—across platforms. And aggregating audiences. And generating revenue. "Yes," the unspoken sentiment seemed to be, "Facebook, Google, Buzzfeed and other new competitors lead in some ways, but they’re not as well rounded as we are, nor as skilled in content creation as we are, and they don’t have generations of brand loyalty working for them."
Time Inc. CEO Joe Ripp took a swipe at the approach of many digital-only media brands when he said, “People who don't want to write listicles and want to do serious journalism are attracted to Time Inc.”
Maria Rodale also made a reference to low-quality internet content, but more obliquely, when she said, “Consumers are willing to pay for media that’s free of bullshit.”
But Hearst’s Carey put it best. “Who would have thought that the magazine business was such a springboard to all of these other media forms,” he said, “but we’re seeing that.”