Friday, June 06, 2008

People Will Always Get Sick

Like death and taxes, you can count on people falling ill and needing health care. So what does that have to do with the fact that people aren't reading as much as they used to?

Meredith Corp. publishes books and magazines. You've heard of Ladies Home Journal and Better Homes and Gardens? Sadly, the ladies aren't home so much any more, and there's less spare change around these days for anyone to shell out needed cash for a fancy magazine.

The publisher will be scaling back in its book division, where sales have declined. Three percent of the work force is to be made redundant, to go along with the elimination of the children's book unit. They'll stick to their strong suit, the Better Homes and Gardens items, and give up on a weakening market.

If there is less demand for its books, where does Meredith Corp turn to make a profit? Their employees know publishing, so where's the future demand? Where else, as the population ages, but health care?

Fewer people are reading, but the demand for medically oriented materials will grow. Meredith Corp is buying up Big Communications, which does the marketing for numerous health care-type businesses. Even better, Big Communications has experience in the digital sphere, which is said to be the next big thing.

People will always get sick and health care industries will want to promote their products to the medical professionals who need to know about new products. When you're too old to lift a spade, and don't have the physical ability to paint the dining room, you won't be snatching up the latest edition of Better Homes and Gardens. But you'll be glad that your primary care physician is reading up on the latest statin.

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