Thursday, February 7, 2013

Morning Brief: NY gets ready for snow dump, while Chicago/Milwaukee get hit today; Dennis acquires Computer Active; new BlackBerry models reportedly selling briskly in the UK and Canada

I doubt you read TNM for the weather, but if you live in the Midwest or Northeast it is hard to not think about the subject this morning. Freezing rain is playing havoc with rush hour traffic this morning in the Chicago area, north into Wisconsin. The same system is expected to dump up to a foot of snow on eastern New York into New England this weekend.

Be careful out there, OK?

Yesterday TNM reported on the creation of a new digital media company, Apptitude Media, whose management bought out the ownership of the British Journal of Photography from Incisive Media.

It turns out that the BJP was not the only property disposed of by Incisive Media this week. Dennis Publishing acquired Computer Active from Incisive, a monthly magazine with a circulation of 118,188. The first issue of the title to be published by Dennis will appear February 7.

"We acquire brands with a view to invest and improve them, which is exactly what we plan to do with Computer Active," said James Tye, Dennis Publishing CEO.

Staying in the UK for a moment, the Guardian's Roy Greenslade today reminds us that next week British magazines will be set to release new circulation figures that will combine both print and digital.

"Many magazine brands are demonstrating that digital is the natural extension to their extensive and robust print base. The uptake of tablets by consumers is fuelling demand," said Barry McIlheney, the head of the Professional Publishers Association.

Early reports sat that BlackBerry is still finding a market, with sales in both the UK and Canada reportedly very brisk.

"In Canada, yesterday was the best day ever for the first day of a launch of a new BlackBerry smartphone. In fact, it was more than 50% better than any other launch day in our history in Canada," said Thorsten Heins, President & CEO of BlackBerry. "In the UK, we have seen close to three times our best performance ever for the first week of sales for a BlackBerry smartphone."

I'm not sure this should come as much of a surprise. There are a lot of BlackBerry owners out there, and while many have been abandoning the platform, many others are locked in. What these customers want, in the end, is a good mobile communications device, and if BlackBerry can deliver that then these customers don't have to make that painful move to a new platform. Both Apple and Android device owners are in the same position: locked into a platform where it is easier to stay with their current operating system than migrate to another and start over.