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Welcome to the thoughts, news and insights of Air Business.

wednesday, 4 august, 2021

Print Post-Pandemic: Positive outlook

Writing for InPublishing, Air Business CEO, Adam Sherman, gives his view on the future of print as we emerge from lockdown.


It had become very easy before the pandemic to write-off print as a viable medium in the face of a – seemingly – overwhelming surge of digital content. To some, print was heading towards niche status. Yesterday’s product; just for purists.


However, I’ve always believed in a place for print in the market. Whether on its own or part of a bundle, print has a valuable part to play in the mix. The pandemic and lockdown conditions showed just how exciting that part could be and how positive the outlook is.


Many of our publisher clients saw an increase in subscriptions over lockdown. From March 2020 to January 2021, we supported them with campaigns and round-the-clock customer service, and saw increases of up to 36%, many of which were print or print bundles.


It’s more than 12 months since the start of lockdown and many of those ‘new’ subscriptions have renewed. It demonstrates that customers have returned to print and, crucially, liked it enough to stay with it. It also suggests a demand for a more tranquil, tactile reading experience that print satisfies so well.


But, what next? Publishers should keep the momentum going with print content aimed at a post-lockdown society that is willing to embrace change and new experiences, and discover and rediscover new passions. Whether it’s craft, travel, sports, cooking or DIY, the benefits of print as a medium to guide and instruct can be substantial.


Print publishers may also wish to explore different frequencies. For example, would fortnightly issues bridge the gap between instant digital content and waiting a month for new content? It’s the full print experience without a large gap between editions.


There is a note of caution to be raised, however, in the form of new Value Added Tax (VAT) and Duty regulations relating to the movement of goods (including magazines and periodicals) into EU member states from countries outside the EU. These took effect from 1st July 2021 and, as a result, all goods imported to the EU are now subject to VAT.


Air Business has established business models to fit the circumstances and requirements of our customers but publishers not prepared for the changes may struggle to get their content distributed effectively. However, this should not be seen as a reason to reduce print runs. Demand from subscribers in the EU for high quality, English-language publications is holding up strong as ex-pats seek a taste of home or follow their favourite interests, or local customers access content that isn’t necessarily available in their home markets.


And whilst customers could get all this through an app or browser, there’s still nothing quite like the soft thud of paper on doormat and the anticipation of a new edition.


You can read the article on the InPublishing website and subscribe to their newsletter.

friday, 18 june, 2021

Stuart Lacey, Managing Director of Air Business Subscriptions, to retire

Stuart Lacey, Managing Director of Air Business Subscriptions for more than 22 years, has announced his intention to retire later this year.


Stuart joined Quadrant Subscription Services in 1993, and came across to Air Business when it bought Quadrant in 2011. During this time, he has built the business into one of the leading subscription management providers in the country.


As we all know, the last 12 months or so have been challenging in the way we’ve worked through the pandemic, and I’m very proud of the way Air Business has maintained service throughout this period for its customers,” said Stuart.


“I’ve also had time to reflect about my own personal situation and my plans for the future, and have decided that the time is right to make this change. I have been privileged to have worked with so many fantastic people through my time with the company and I know how much I’m going to miss them. I wish everyone, colleagues and customers, all the very best for the future.”


Duncan Taylor will succeed Stuart as Managing Director. Duncan joined Air Business in 2013 as Program Development Director, becoming Group IT Director in 2015.


Adam Sherman, Air Business Group’s CEO, commented, “Stuart’s contribution to Air Business Subscriptions, and the wider Air Business Group, has been huge, and I’d like to thank him for his drive and determination to drive the business forward. Air Business Subscriptions has been at the forefront of innovation and service in the subscription management industry, which is losing a big personality and advocate.”


He added, “I’d like to congratulate Duncan Taylor for succeeding Stuart later this year, and to thank him for his leadership of our Group IT function. His extensive experience of Air Business Subscriptions, its clients and solutions stands him in good stead for his future role.”

thursday, 20 may, 2021

New Customer Experience Director for Air Business Subscriptions

Air Business is delighted to announce that Paul Hatch has joined the group as Customer Experience Director for Air Business Subscriptions.


Paul comes with extensive experience in subscriptions management, fulfilment, marketing and customer experience gained working in both the outsource and media sectors. Most recently Paul worked for TI Media and helped manage the transition following the acquisition by Future plc.


“Air Business has a desire to continue to build a world-class and world-leading business, both technically and customer experience-wise, and Paul is certainly the man to help with this ongoing ambition”, said Adam Sherman, CEO of the Air Business Group.


Paul added, “I know Air Business well and am excited to join at a time when the ambition here has never been higher. I believe that my client-side experience and change-management skills will complement the existing team at Air Business Subscriptions and ensure our delivery aligns with our ambition.”


Paul will report to Duncan Taylor, Joint Managing Director of Air Business Subscriptions, and be based at its Haywards Heath office.


friday, 23 april, 2021

Air Business is nominated for PPA Industry Partner of the Year!

We are very pleased to share that Air Business has been shortlisted for Industry Partner of the Year at the PPA Awards 2021.

Our submission was based on the extraordinary efforts our staff made to ensure our customers continued to receive an excellent service throughout the Covid-19 pandemic.


We are also sponsoring a new category this year, the Best Response to COVID-19 Award, which highlights the best examples of how the publishing industry has reacted to the challenges of Covid-19


View the entire shortlist on the PPA Awards website.


Tune in to find out who the winners are at the virtual awards ceremony on June 23. The ceremony is free to attend and registration is open to all. Register on the PPA Awards website now.

The PPA Awards 2021 Finalist Logo

monday, 29 march, 2021

New Event: Cost Transformation and Balancing Risk in Publishing

Join Air Business at the PPA Leadership Summit 2021 to discuss which cost-cutting and investment strategies will deliver rapid efficiencies and long-term growth for publishers and media companies.


Media companies have faced more challenges than many sectors during the pandemic, but this period of reinvention has also offered opportunity to streamline business models.


Fresh thinking is changing how content is produced and disseminated, and we’re witnessing cost and revenue models change significantly as a result.


Join our Cost Transformation and Balancing Risk Thinktank session at the upcoming PPA Leadership Summit to explore which cost-cutting strategies deliver rapid efficiencies, and conversely, where publishers should be investing to achieve long-term growth.


The Thinktank will be moderated by Rob Barham, Group Sales Director, and Graham Johnson, Consultant Development Director.


Visit the PPA Leadership website for more information.

PPA Leadership Summit 2021

friday, 26 march, 2021

Naked Mailings Win For Taylor & Francis!

Taylor & Francis Group’s Naked Mailing project was a clear winner at their annual, global internal award ceremony yesterday (25th March).


Taking the Sustainable Impact award, the project was described as “a really great example of how a simple idea, whilst challenging to implement, can make a massive difference on our footprint on the world when it’s adopted by a business on the scale of Taylor & Francis.


Removing the plastic lamination and polywrapping of over 900 research journal titles should remove three million plastic bags a year from the environment. Presenting the award via video on the Taylor & Francis Group Facebook page, Informa’s Group Head of Sustainability, Ben Wielgus, said there was “no debate” around who the winner would be.

Taylor & Francis Award

The Award was received on behalf of the project team by Rebecca Nobes, Senior Manufacturing Controller (left), and Lauren Jackson, Production ST Manager (right), who thanked the various teams involved as well as the global printing and distribution partners, like Air Business, who supported the project.

Taylor & Francis Award

Congratulations to the team from everyone at Air Business!


You can read more about Taylor & Francis’s Alternative Mailing Packaging trial, as well our Corporate Social Responsibility activities and certifications.


tuesday, 23 march, 2021

Fingers Crossed for Naked Mailing Award Success

Taylor & Francis Group’s Naked Mailing project has been nominated for an internal award.


The project, which we were delighted to support, involved removing the plastic lamination and polywrapping of over 900 research journal titles to produce ‘naked’, environmentally-friendly mailings to subscribers. Removing the lamination ensures the journals are fully recyclable, and the use of FSC-accredited paper and cover board ensures their sustainability.


It has been nominated in the Sustainability category of the Taylor & Francis Awards, which recognise the efforts made by its employees around the world.


The awards ceremony will be streamed on the Taylor & Francis Group Facebook page on Thursday 25th March from 12pm.


You can read more about Taylor & Francis’s Alternative Mailing Packaging trial, as well our Corporate Social Responsibility activities and certifications.


Good luck to the team!

tuesday, 16 march, 2021

Air Business heroes take away the stress!

We were delighted to receive a testimonial from a client about our support of their operations in 2020.


Trevor Simpson, Head of Production Operations at Haymarket Media Group, said:


“Air Business is truly an unsung supplier hero to keep Haymarket UK’s overseas subscriptions moving throughout 2020. The commitment and communication Air Business showed us was second to none, informing production daily of the ever changing landscapes and challenges that were faced.


All the staff at Air Business worked tirelessly behind the scenes to keep our overseas subscriptions delivering to the quickest and most cost effective way while racing towards Brexit, which they also prepared so well for.


I thank each and everyone of the staff at Air Business for taking away that extra stress!”

wednesday, 24 february, 2021

New Covid-19 Testing Programme

Air Business is launching a rapid Covid-19 testing programme at its Head Office.

As part of the Government’s continuing drive to increase the availability of testing in private industries, this programme aims to reduce the prevalence of the virus in the highest risk areas.

From the week commencing 1st March, Air Business will offer rapid-turnaround lateral flow tests to all permanent and agency staff working regularly in the Hatfield facility.


Coronavirus icon

monday, 25 january, 2021

Getting Naked with Taylor & Francis

Air Business has successfully partnered with the Taylor & Francis Group to support their year-long Alternative Mailing Packaging trial. This involved removing the plastic lamination and polywrapping of over 900 research journal titles to produce ‘naked’, environmentally-friendly mailings to subscribers.


Removing the lamination ensures the journals are fully recyclable, and the use of FSC-accredited paper and cover board ensures their sustainability. With ISO14001:2015 certification for environmental management, Air Business has made a commitment towards the protection of the environment so was well prepared to help with the trial.


“We’re committed to minimising the impact of our business on the planet while also meeting our customers’ requirements and delivering their satisfaction,” said Adam Sherman, Chief Executive Officer of Air Business. “I’m pleased that customer feedback to the changes has been so positive, and that we can continue supporting Taylor & Francis towards their goal of reducing use of plastic wrap and lamination globally by 100% in 2022.”


Stewart Gardiner, Journals Global Production Director at Taylor & Francis, added “Air Business was fully supportive of the AMP trial, and together we tested four different mailing options back in 2019, moving on to the naked mail rollout through 2020. I’m grateful to them for their can do attitude and investing in new equipment and workflows to make this project a success, helping us move towards our plastic reduction targets.”


Read more about Taylor & Francis’s Alternative Mailing Packaging trial, as well our Corporate Social Responsibility activities and certifications.