Professional publishers have to execute on several fronts to stay relevant and profitable in a digital world: social media, data management, ecommerce and generating and leveraging a committed audience. Just in case you thought it was going to be easy...
That's the word from Mark Read, CEO of WPP - also WPP's head of strategy - who opened our Digital Media Strategies 2013 conference, taking place in London on Tuesday and Wednesday.
He told the gathered throng of senior media professionals that the global tides of mobile, digital consumption and device proliferation will leave no one untouched.
"I don't know, for the print publishers in the room, I'm going to cheer you up," he says, before showing the latest WPP stats on the shrinkage of print from a global adspend perspective; from 37 percent in 2007 to 18 percent in 2017.
-- Shift to mobile: But mobile ads are growing right? Yes, but "it will be deflationary in general," warns Read. "If you go from pounds to pennies in digital, the shift to mobile is when you go from digital pennies to when it's even tougher."
-- Low cost vs niche publishing: Read draws a distinction between low-cost, mass appeal sites, the shining example being Mail Online, and more in-depth niche content destinations, where "not many people can win at this end of the spectrum."
But why, he asks, have magazines - the traditional entertainment publishers in print - taken on the online entertainment mantel online, as Mail Online has?
"Magazines particularly have passionate readers with narrow interests and I've always been perplexed why they haven't built stronger presence online. You would have thought they would - maybe it's the difference in the publishing cycle.
"Why has the Daily Mail built a position as an entertainment site that Hello!, Grazia, any other supposedly better-qualified publishers could and should have done?"
-- Ecommerce: Be in no doubt - getting this right is crucial. Read points out that Net-a-Porter now employs more journalists than Harpers Bazaar. "When you look at this are looking at an ecommerce site or a magazine site?" he asks.
-- Data-driven buying: Forget the jargon around real-time bidding ad exchanges - all you need to know is that the world's biggest advertising agency holding company wants to add more efficiency to he ad buying process - and it needs your help.
"We've decided to invest in tech to drive the buying side of the business. Agencies used to deal with things through faxes and manual process - that's no longer enough. we need to deal with publishers more directly and I would urge publishers to work with on us on this.
"There are a lot of people there whose job is to take margin out of the process. Our job is to share that margin back."
Follow the event on Twitter via the #DMS13 hashtag.