Five Key Trends for Magazine Media in 2015

FIPP President Chris Llewellyn discusses what changes the magazine media industry will need to adopt to over the next twelve months?

It’s time once again to gaze into the crystal ball and set out what I think 2015 will deliver.

We all have to think Millennial

As someone from the ‘boomer’ generation, it appears I must now bow out gracefully and hand centre-stage to that rather scary creature, the Millennial. Aged between 18-35 and making up about a quarter of the world’s population, they are now the power grouping that all marketers want to engage with. But they are a very different breed. They have never known a world without connectivity. They use social media rather than traditional news sources. They create their own content. They share. Clever media companies are working very, very hard to understand how to target this audience.

Video content will become a magazine media ‘must have’.

Every piece of research I’ve seen demonstrates the power of video content in engaging the consumer. Research from Forrester has calculated that one minute of video is equal to 1.8 million words. It’s quite a claim, and to be fair whilst I haven’t looked at the minutiae of their methodology, it feels right. Studies have demonstrated that the consumer spends double the amount of time watching video content online (desktop or mobile devices) than they do in reading text online. Further studies have shown that video advertising generates four times the leads of non-video advertising. It explains why Meredith, Condé Nast, Hearst et al have created, one way or another, video production units, and why more and more magazine media companies will follow.

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‘Print is dead’ will be dead

The launch of MPA’s 360° in the USA has changed the narrative regarding the health of the magazine media industry. This bold attempt to demonstrate the breadth of reach of a magazine brand beyond its traditional print base has generally been well received though is not without its critics. It’s a given that all audit methodologies have their own peculiarities, even those that claim to be measurable – what after all is the value of a ‘like’ or a ‘friend’ or even a ‘click’ – but they are discussions that will now see the end of the redundant  ‘print is dead’ debate.

The consumer will pay for content

Axle Springer and the New York Times have both recently invested in Blendle, a Dutch based content kiosk whose micro-payment software enables individual articles to be bought by the consumer. Another sign that the paid content opportunity has moved on a notch. There will be more experimentation in this area.

Frequency will move ‘from months to moments’

Duncan Edwards, CEO of Hearst International, has talked about how the consumer’s expectations had changed and that editorial teams had to move their thinking from ‘months to moments’. This will have massive implications for the creation, curation and sharing of content for all magazine media brands and all the production processes that surround it. As he further said, “If you don’t have something new for your audience at 6am or 7am in the morning, you are out of the game. We are seeing extraordinary growth in our digital audiences as a result of that.” Think about that.

Comments

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts Chris. Great points. I particularly liked your concept of “from months to moments.” That’s really important thinking for most publishers to understand.

    Reply

    Yesterday, I was waving a copy of National Geographic in my home, insisting that my 12-year-old daughter put down her iPhone and read something educational.

    In the middle of my rant, I became so captivated with the stories on the cover that I sat down, began to browse the issue, and then …

    … downloaded it onto my iPad so I could experience the content in a richer environment.

    And I’m no Millennial.

    Reply

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