Magazines and Print Publishing
Below I have reprinted a short article from a recent Finnish survey on the International Federation of the Periodical Press which gives a reasonably upbeat future for many magazines arguing that those who use the internet are likely to read magazines and vice versa. The article argues that from the perspective of the advertiser it is worth using both media forms. with further research on this site is is apparent that unsurprisingly there has been great concern amongst magazine publishers about the effects of the internet and the development of associated electronic media. The results from the various surveys are upbeat showing that provided publishers adapt they can exert a valuable influnece on internet development. Whilst these findings are hardly cast iron guarantees of the future they show that in the current period magazine publishing is still alive and kicking.
Finnish Survey: Magazines and internet have natural affinity
Magazines and the internet have a natural affinity which makes them complementary, but their diverse characteristics also mean that they are not alternatives. Consequently it is valuable to use both media for marketing communications. This is the conclusion of a survey in Finland commissioned by the Finnish Periodical Publishers Association.
The Connection 2005 report is based on the Finnish Intermedia Study 2004, conducted by TNS Gallup Oy. It found that people who read magazines are more likely than non-readers to also use the internet. Conversely, internet users are more likely than non-users to read magazines.
This is particularly marked among people who are involved in specialist interests such as cars and hobbies. For example, readers of car magazines are a third more likely to use the internet daily than is the population as a whole. They also tend to spend longer on the internet.
When the study examined motives for using magazines and the internet, the strongest types of motive for both media were to obtain information and to be entertained. Ten motives were listed, and the six most important ones for both media were:
- Information and ideas for hobbies
- To learn new things
- Background information on new things and phenomena
- To spend some time
- To enhance your all-round education
- Ideas for spending free time
When people have a particular interest, it is natural for them to turn to both magazines and the internet for more about that interest. The specialisation of magazines is matched by the specialisation of the internet. In other words, both are excellent for targeting (from an advertiser’s point of view). Moreover both require active input from users – screening what is available, selecting what to pay attention to, and in effect becoming their own editors.
The profile of people who use both the internet and magazines is that they tend to be young, slightly more male than female, educated better than average, and in ‘upper white collar’ occupations or still studying.
TNS Gallup Oy interviewed 1351 Finnish-speaking people aged 12-69 years. A daily diary was used which recorded exposure to 36 media subgroups. The diaries were spread evenly across a four-week period.
Despite this rather upbeat finding present on the webpages was a link to ABC Electronic which has developed a range of services for auditing websites to provide potential advertisers with information. Below an earlier report complied by the Henley Centre argues that magazines by evolving have an important role to play in the age of the internet
FIPP‘s research consultant Guy Consterdine, gives his assessment of the findings
- There is a eightened importance of a medium‘s ability to create involvement and ‘engagement‘ rather than merely attract attention. Gaining attention is no longer enough - and magazines are superb at inducing engagement.
- Consumers are changing too, and keen magazine readers are more aspirational, sociable and interested in using technology than heavy users of other media. Technology and magazines go together as a neat pair
- The new role for magazines is to act as a bridge to interactivity.
- This must be closely linked-in to magazines‘ long-established roles, which The Henley Centre classifies into two categories:
- Accessing personal networks of trust, and providing a source of guidance and status.
- Their analysis focused particularly on core magazine readers - enthusiasts who can‘t resist buying magazines. It was felt this vanguard group would best show the future opportunities and trends for the industry
- People are now more ambitious about what they can discover for themselves. If they want to know something, they expect to be able to find it out, and more or less instantly. They feel more in control of information than previously. It‘s less of a mass-media world than it was, and more of a personalised-media world. This means more involvement and engagement
- The internet user is even more in control of the medium than the magazine or newspaper reader. Whereas the reader can only react to what is printed in the publication, the internet surfer can choose any topic at all and will expect to find something on it
- The internet is such a wide open, bottomless, uncharted and invisible world that the editing function which magazines can provide - reviewing a topic and suggesting avenues for further exploration - is a very valuable one. Magazines‘ own websites can be a useful part of such referrals, but in most cases they won‘t be the main online sources
- Core magazine readers are techno-savvy (see table). For example, they are more than twice as likely as the population as a whole to have their own website homepage. And they are twice as likely to take part in online discussion/chat groups
- People need trusted influences to guide them through the mass of information. Magazines‘ traditional position as trusted sources is invaluable here. Magazines are companions which are consumed in ‘me‘ time, making a private personal experience
- They pass on recommendations of things to do or buy, including websites and other sources to look at. Their suggestions can have the power of word-of-mouth recommendations
- The Henley Centre reported that this rubs off onto the advertising. Endorsements by trusted magazines can help create trust in a brand. Advertisers benefit from magazines‘ environment of word-of-mouth referrals.
The Henley Centre concluded that magazines have a head start in responding to the rapidly evolving post-mass-media world. Provided publishers give readers good reasons to engage with their magazines, and know how to harness that engagement, the medium has a great long-term future.
Magazine ads spark net searches
According to a study by the Retail Advertising and Marketing Association (RAMA) and BIGresearch, almost 50 per cent of consumers said they were most motivated to begin an online search after viewing a magazine ad.
47.2% said it was a magazine ad that sparked a search, while 42.8% cited television ads and 42.3% said newspaper ads. Respondents were allowed to select more than one medium.
Shoppers continue to use the web as a resource before determining which items to buy and where. According to the survey, 92.5% of adults said they regularly or occasionally research products online before buying them in a store.
The study surveyed more than 15,000 consumers
Fipp of course is very concerned about the Weaknesses and opportunities which can either enhance traditional magazine publishing or bring about its demise. Below is an example of a recent online survey requesting members to report on the success and development of their online presences in relation to their standard magazines:
Be part of FIPP's magazine website survey
Do you publish a successful consumer magazine website? Is the website attacting new audience or advertisers, making you money, building a community, developing your brands, creating successful online products – or proving successful in any other vital respect?
If so, tell us as part of FIPPs ‘Routes To Success For Consumer Magazine Websites’ survey. FIPP is updating the series, previoulsy published in 2003 and 2005. The objective is to examine good practice online among successful websites operated by consumer magazine publishers around the world, and to study trends.
The websites we are looking to include are those which the publisher considers to be successful. Success can be defined in whatever terms the publisher chooses to define it.If you feel that you have such a website, we would be most grateful if you would participate in the survey by spending a few minutes completing our online questionnaire HERE.
Fipp is developing a lot of careful research into magazine markets and their relationship to the growing intermedia world. Below extracts of the FIPP annual research forum held in Amsterdam in February 2007 highlights these issues:
Emap the UKs second largest magazine publisher came out with the following report in
Magazine researchers are responding to the increasingly complex media world by creating new studies of how people are using media today, and by demonstrating the continuing value of magazine advertising – included in a mix with the web and television.
Forty-five research professionals from magazine publishing companies in 14 countries gathered for two days to discuss ongoing research studies and issues. Five of the major issues discussed were:
- The increase in a media mix – especially among young people
- The need for more studies of how marketing campaigns benefit from using magazines in combination with the internet (and other media)
- The arrival of multimedia mega-databases for planning marketing campaigns across many platforms, including digital media
- Using the internet as a data collection method and showing how magazines and websites can complement each other in offering improved functionality to consumers
- New methods for tracking how readers' eye movements reveal how they consume magazine ads
October of 2006:
Time spent reading magazines and newspapers has remained stable over the past two years despite the growing use of the Internet, concludes a recent European survey from Jupiter Research.
Based on interviews with 5,000 people in the UK, Germany, France, Spain and Italy, the report finds the average European in these countries spends three hours a week reading magazines and newspapers, the same as two years ago.
This is despite time spent online doubling from two hours to an average four hours per week.
Broadband makes a huge difference to internet activity, with those who have it spending seven hours a week online, compared with two hours by those with dial-up internet access.
European web usage remains much lower than in the USA, with Americans spending 14 hours online, the same amount of time as watching TV.
Jupiter research director Mark Mulligan believes, reassuringly, that there are more market opportunities for ‘old media’ companies than ever, but says that the successful organisations will be the ones who can offer rich media content such as video and podcasts as well as more traditional content.
Multi-platform media brands work harder than single-platform media: Emap's 'Engagement Squared' study
Media brands which extend onto several platforms – such as magazines, online, mobiles, radio and so on – work even harder for the advertiser than brands which are only on one platform.
Emap Advertising conducted a study in the UK called Engagement Squared. It was based on interviewing over 3,000 consumers about their multi-platform media consumption and their response to advertising campaigns. This was supplemented by parallel qualitative research.
Consumers who use a media brand on more than one platform spend more time with that brand, and have a deeper connection with it, than consumers who only experience the brand on a single platform. For example Kerrang, which began life as a magazine only, now spans many platforms. Among Kerrang users who only use one platform (e.g. read only the magazine) 52% agreed it is a ‘cool’ brand, whereas 72% of those who interact with Kerrang on more than one platform agreed it was ‘cool’.
Similarly among FHM consumers, 66% of those who only read the magazine thought it was ‘funny’, compared with 74% of those who read the magazine and visit the website. 76% of magazine-only readers thought the brand is ‘sexy’, compared with 87% of those using both magazine and website.