What Variety’s Struggles Show About Publishing Models

There’s a struggle going on in Hollywood right now between old and new media. Variety, the 107-year-old trade magazine, is not only having trouble finding a suitor, but has also come to the conclusion that its $40 million price tag may be too much.

The problem, like many traditional publishers trying to keep its heads above water, is that there are now many online-only trade publications, like Nikki Finke’s Deadline Hollywood, HollywoodLife.com and to a certain extent TMZ, who offer the same (and sometimes more exclusive) content that doesn’t reside behind a paywall. It’s the same story that’s playing out across industries. It’s hard to imagine that if you were to reinvent Variety today that you’d start with a print product.

Digital properties are more nimble than a weekly and trade publications are not immune to the changes in the media landscape. If Reed Elsevier wants to sell Variety, it needs to prove why a legacy media company can work in a digital world. And as the Post points out, dropping the price may be the only way out.


More in Media

YouTube is under fire again, this time over child protection

Adalytics Research asks, ‘Are YouTube advertisers inadvertently harvesting data from millions of children?’

Illustration of a puzzle that spells out the word 'media.'

Media Briefing: Publishers pump up per-subscriber revenue amid ad revenue declines

Publishers’ Q2 earnings reveal digital advertising is still in a tight spot, but digital subscriptions are picking up steam.

Lessons for AI from the ad-tech era: ‘We’re living in a memory-less world’

Experts reflect how the failures of social media and online advertising can help the industry improve the next era of innovation.