July 16, 2010

Magazines Take a Stand


A decline in magazine newsstand sales is a common headline this year. Buzz about decline in newspaper subscribers and increase in digital technologies that are argued to be taking the place as the tool for media consumption, such as the iPad or Nook.

As one may suspect, there is always another side to the story.

Recent data released from GfK MRI reveal that consumer magazines showed a print readership growing by one percent from spring 2009-spring 2010. A MediaPost analysis took a longer view at a decade's worth of MRI data that showed the total audience for 81 top titles increased eight percent from 2000-2009. 

Interestingly, as consumers continue to read magazines, advertisers continue to walk away. From 114,910 ad pages in the first half of 2006, the industry total dropped 32 percent to 78,218 in the first half of 2010, according to the latest figures from the Publishers Information Bureau.

This may be the result of agencies successful sell on the growing trend of digital media and popular social platforms. Advertisers intrigue with sophisticated data collection captured on digital channels that are often difficult to measure, may also be a factor of persuasion. Cost-effective (can I say cheap?) digital budgets are no doubt also a dangling carrot for smaller marketing budgets in comparison to the larger traditional media buy options.

The bottom line: It does not matter what agencies are selling or what advertisers want - It's about where are customers are. And my guess is more often than not, it's probably a little bit of both. 


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