Why Summit Media has gone fully digital


How about over 20 million monthly online users and 33 million followers on social media?

The announcement from Summit Media that it will cease to publish glossies clearly meant it has gone fully digital, a transformation long brewing in the midst of the changing publishing landscape.

Until recently, Summit Media was regarded as the country’s leading magazine publisher PHOTO FROM FACEBOOK PAGE

Many in the business community had long expected the announcement finally made official by the company on its website last Wednesday.

The announcement stated, “This month, Summit Media completes its full digital transformation,” crucially adding, “The 450-strong company can now be called digital first as it bids farewell to its magazine past, closing the six remaining print editions of brands already thriving online.”

The company’s magazine titles still officially in print circulation prior to the announcement were Cosmopolitan, FHM, Preview, Top Gear, Town & Country, and YES! magazine.

The full digital transformation marked the end of Summit’s 23-year run as a leading publisher of magazine titles. Yet the mood within the company is upbeat considering that it served as a shoutout that it has already attained its goal of being able to adapt to the digital operations 100 percent.

Summit Media president Lisa Gokongwei-Cheng stayed, “Today, we embrace the way our highly connected audiences now prefer to consume content. As we follow them from print to digital, we will continue our relentless pursuit and delivery of quality, up-to-the minute content and a dynamic and engaging editorial experience.”

Currently, the company’s websites that bring its popular magazine brands online boast of over 20 million unique monthly users and 33 million followers on social media platforms. It declares itself as the Philippines’ leading digital lifestyle network as well as belonging to the country’s top two local digital media companies.

Cheng noted, “Summit Media has become the leading creator of digital native advertising content in the country, generating more volume than all our competitors combined. On top of this transformation, the company’s other pillars, Outside of Home (OOH) media, book publishing, and content marketing remain robust.”

The six titles that remained up to the final run and will continue to exist via its online versions were arguably the strongest in Summit’s history. Fashion magazine Preview was its launching pad in 1995, while the feminine force empowering Cosmopolitan came out two years later. FHM, the top sexy magazine for men, appeared in the stands at the turn of the new century, same as Yes! magazine which is now carried on through the online community by Pep.ph.

The luxury lifestyle glossy Town and Country and leading car magazine Top Gear came into the picture much later.

Such brands were recognized each for having “its own strong voice and well-defined identity.”

Or as Cheng put it, “standing for something that resonated with our audience.”

Being a promoter of the print publishing medium, she expressed, “We will always owe a debt of gratitude to the medium, to the brilliant teams whose dedication and efforts created magazines that excelled in that landscape.”

While acknowledging its accomplishments in the print media platform, Summit is directing its eyes towards a future made promising by the advent of digital age. Cheng hoped, “Moving forward and into the future, we are excited as we continue to reinvent ourselves to become an even more compelling destination in a digital era where opportunities abound.”

Traditionally, producing a magazine issue entails a lot of time, personnel, and budget to accommodate the demands of thematic features and in-depth stories it naturally offers.

Summit’s full-on digital turnaround may be a big blow to the cause of the print media industry in general. But insiders have noted that news printouts will continue to remain relevant and in circulation for several more years.


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