Key Notes Vol. 02 No. 23

USPS Court Victory Could Cost Mailers BillionsDead Tree Edition is reporting that despite news reports to the contrary, the only thing clear about last week’s appeals court decision on postal rates is that the U.S. Postal Service won and mail-dependent industries lost. Sure, the Postal Service didn’t get everything it asked for – namely, making the 4.3% exigent surcharge permanent. But a ruling that is likely to bring in more than a billion dollars, at the expense of mailers, can hardly be called a loss for the USPS. As detailed in an article by the author for Publishing Executive (See Get Ready for Roller-Coaster Postage Rates.), the one thing the federal judges didn’t like about the current surcharge is the “count once” rule for determining how much the recent recession cost the Postal Service. The court sent the Postal Regulatory Commission back to the drawing board to come up with what could be called a “count multiple times” rule. Nothing, by the way, says that the new “count many times” surcharge has to be 4.3%: The PRC could decide to make it higher so that the Postal Service is fully compensated for its recession losses in a timely manner. And when the new “temporary” surcharge is supposed to expire, Congress might decide to make it permanent as a way of dodging real postal reform.  Source: Dead Tree Edition

Video Is In It For the Long Haulwith all the buzz surrounding video, short-form content has received a lot of the focus over the years. But that doesn’t mean publishers should forget about the power of longer-form video content, especially in today’s growing market.  According to a recent study published by the IAB, 36 percent of the polled consumers in 24 countries said they watch videos on their smartphones that are 5-minutes or longer in length on a daily or more frequent basis. [Editor’s Note: Might be time to start thinking about taking advantage of the 2015 Emerging and Advanced Technology Promotion by the USPS. Click here for details]. Source: FOLIO

America’s Toughest Turnaround / PMG’s Mission to Save the Postal Service Megan Brennan, the 74th Postmaster General and CEO of the U.S. Postal Service, took the helm in February and paints her challenge this way: The Postal Service is an “unrivaled network” that faces “stiff head winds.” One key reason: First-class mail, long the leading revenue generator at the Postal Service, shrunk by 61% from 1995 to 2013. Ultimately, Brennan will be judged on what she is able to control and how agile and innovative the Postal Service is in adapting to a changing marketplace. She starts with a boast no other CEO can make to his or her troops: “Every American is our customer.” Source: Forbes

Magazine Media Outlook Includes PrintDigital growth is coming, but it’s still far from becoming the central pillar of magazine media, according to PricewaterhouseCoopers annual Global Entertainment and Media Outlook. Overall, the industry is rebounding from several years of declines, and is expected to increase total global revenue in each of the next five years, topping out at $97.42 billion in 2019, up from $95.33 billion last year.  Consumer magazines get almost all their circulation revenue from print, and that’s not about to change. Even as the world gets inundated with devices—PwC forecasts that smartphone ownership will double by 2019—digital editions will still only generate a small fraction of what print does. Source: FOLIO:

Who is the OIG? Sometimes it can be confusing to keep track of who does what in this postal world. The U.S. Postal Service has a wide range of stakeholders, including a few entities with oversight responsibilities. The Office of Inspector General (OIG) is one of those entities. The OIG, an independent agency within the Postal Service, maintains the integrity and accountability of America’s postal service, its revenue and assets, and its employees.  Their recently published Semiannual Report to Congress shows they issued 74 audit reports, management advisories, and white papers. They also completed 1,955 investigations that led to 370 arrests and nearly $1.4 billion in fines, restitutions, and recoveries, $10.7 million of which was turned over to the Postal Service. Source: OIG