It sounds a little bit old school, but CNET, the technology website wants to recapture attention with a new quarterly print magazine. Unfortunately, CNET's owner CBS no longer has a magazine publishing arm, so its back to square one. But it may just recapture the sparkle in CNET that it needs.
So what is the broader market strategy for CNET. According to the NY Times, "The arrival of CNET in print is indicative of a trend: Brands that began
digitally are turning every day into #ThrowbackThursday by adding
versions in traditional forms." But print is somewhat of an odd partner for a technologically oriented brand, one that already has its own You Tube channel. Would it have made more sense to build out a tablet magazine model? Its choice of outlets for magazine distribution, including Target, Walmart, and Costco, may indicate its desire to get the CNET name more known across Middle America. Brand awareness drives more attention then back to its website.
The move to the magazine though is built on synergy. The inaugural Winter 2014 cover includes LL Cool J, star of the CBS drama NCIS: Los Angeles. With a first issue circulation of 200,000, the financial risk may also be minimal; the reward more impactful given the number of stories being written just as the issue hits the stands. Food Network and HGTV have found relative success with their respective magazine brands and with the departure of the Macworld magazine, there may just be room for the CNET magazine to thrive. So hail to the multi-platform strategy; the more available you are, the easier it may be to grow.