I spoke at last week’s CIMCIG conference on marketing in the recession. Another speaker, Andy Cassie of CIB Communications, made a few predictions about the construction marketing environment, including a suggestion that one major construction title and one architecture title might disappear (I Twittered about this at the time and it apparently prompted some concern within one or two of the major UK publishing groups with AEC titles).
Late on Friday, thanks to TenLinks.com, I then read that US publisher Questex Media is to abandon Cadalyst magazine, the last US print magazine devoted entirely to CAD (it also has an excellent website – much linked from this blog). It’s reported: “The move by Questex may have been due to the current economic recession and cutbacks in print advertising.”
Frequency of publication was cut back last June, and now Questex is divesting itself of Cadalyst from the end of this month (February 2009). In the meantime, Cadalyst editor-in-chief, Nancy Spurling Johnson, is said to be trying to lead a management buy-out so that they can continue the online resource and potentially resume the print magazine when finances allow.
I believe Andy’s conference remarks were based on an ongoing analysis of a CIMCIG/CIB survey which showed where construction businesses were likely to be spending their marketing budgets in the near future, and print advertising is certainly one of the areas of decreasing importance.
Doubtless, the recession is already having an impact: most of the main weekly AEC titles in the UK are much thinner these days. Recruitment advertising has dwindled and there are fewer ads for products and services to support editorial content; publishers are increasing spend on online content; and – Andy said last week – online readership is growing at the expense of print readership (he said 25% of Contract Journal‘s readership is of digital copies not print).
Even if the mainstream UK titles survive this savage downturn, one has to wonder if the same could be said for Construction Computing if UK experience follows that in the US. AEC focused Construction Computing, or maybe BTC sister title CAD User, could go the same way as Cadalyst (or perhaps the two might merge properly – recently CC has been an insert stapled into the middle of CAD User).