Art & Culture A Fit For Hearst

One of the ways SMW NYC helps attendees follow events easily is by segmenting the events into different Content Hubs. This content is hosted by iconic institutions, leaders in the area. And one of those is Hearst Magazines. Stimulating dialogue centered around the arts, fashion and cultural shifts, Hearst Magazines will serve as our Art & Culture Hub. We chatted with David Carey, President of Hearst Magazines, to give you a peek at what to expect at this vibrant hub.

This isn’t Hearst’s first time serving as a Hub for SMW NYC. How did Hearst first get involved?
The folks at Social Media Week approached us to host the Art & Culture hub in 2011, and we jumped at the opportunity to get involved in this initiative, particularly since social media has become so integral to what we do here at Hearst. We were thrilled to showcase our position as a leader in the digital space and there was no question we were going to participate again this year.

Our global theme for SMW12 is “Empowering Change through Collaboration.” How does Hearst support this?
Hearst has always been about collaboration. We’re known for being a great partner, whether it’s through our partnership with MSN on top-10 food site, with Scripps Interactive on Food Network Magazine or with Amazon on e-commerce initiatives. We’ll also see more collaboration within the organization, between digital and print, across our brands domestically and with our international editions. Hearst is a global company and our employees can and do share ideas and best practices around the world.

What major trends are you seeing in the publishing space with digital?
We are bullish on the tablet and e-reader space and expect that as it grows to scale, there will be a huge upside for magazine publishers to create new and additional revenue streams for consumers to get paid content that we don’t feel is going to replace or duplicate our print business. We’ve sold 450,000 digital subscriptions to date and hope to reach 1 million by end of year. Digital editions also enable us to create a more social and interactive experience for our readers.

We are also very focused on the area of e-commerce. Magazines have traditionally been a gateway to purchase for our retail partners so we are now looking at ways to benefit from that influence by striking e-commerce partnerships to promote our brand expertise and drive revenue share opportunities. Recently we’ve made an investment in-home design site Dering Hall, with whom we also have an editorial partnership with ELLE Decor, House Beautiful and VERANDA; with Amazon on e-commerce initiatives; and, even globally, where Japan is an e-commerce site.

This February, Hearst is serving as the Art & Culture Hub throughout the week. What can SMW NYC attendees expect to see from the Art & Culture Hub?
We have a great, engaging lineup of programming happening in Hearst Tower that week– including a Tweet-off between comedians, a panel on the influence of street style blogs, a conversation about the “new ghostwriter” on social media, and a keynote Q&A with music artist/entrepreneur Jermaine Dupri and our very own Adam Lavelle, chief strategy officer of iCrossing, the digital marketing agency Hearst acquired in 2010. I’m personally very excited to attend some of these sessions and learn from them.

Why Art & Culture at Hearst?
Our brands at Hearst fit in very well with the Art & Culture theme, as we cover subjects ranging from fashion and home to politics and pop culture across our magazine and digital portfolio. We have our finger on the pulse of what’s being talked about — the latest trends, technologies and cultural touchpoints, so it’s only natural that we would host this hub.

Hearst is pulling together some phenomenal events for the week. What event should attendees not miss but might not be on their radar quite yet?
In collaboration with the folks at Social Media Week, we’re pulling together some fantastic keynotes throughout the week and we’re also hosting the opening press conference on February 9 to kickoff this year’s festivities. We’re proud to be able to host the conference at Hearst Tower for the second consecutive year and hope that the attendees throughout Social Media Week will enjoy a fun, insightful roster of programming.

A big thanks to David for taking the time to speak with us. And you can see the full lineup of events at the Art & Culture Hub here, and make sure to keep up with the major speakers at this location on Twitter with our Art & Culture Hub list and by using #SMWHearst.