Using back-issues and other types of media to create a more robust and valuable magazine library
If magazine libraries and magazine memberships are being combined with magazine subscriptions to transform the publishing industry into a growth medium, magazine libraries are the nexus of this trend.
In this post, we’ll look at how two savvy magazine publishers have created magazine libraries that go beyond the basics to add even more value to their products.
As you may recall from prior articles, we believe that a successful magazine library  includes three basic components: back issues, dynamic collections, and special collections. Here’s a brief recap:
Back issues typically span at least 3 to 10 years and possibly much more, especially when the content is evergreen or historical.
Dynamic collections are made possible by identifying topics that commonly accrue a large collection of content drawn from many issues. Whenever a new issue is released, articles are added to these dynamic collections based on topic or category.
Special collections are a variation on the above where editors hand-pick a much more limited number of articles from past issues and curate them into a special issue or special collection. These special collections can be tied to events, holidays, content sources or any number of other appropriate themes.
Each of these can be enhanced, and additional content can be added to make your library even more valuable to consumers. Making your library more valuable impacts initial conversion rates by creating more new subscriptions each month and improves retention rates and lifetime value by making sure your subscribers stay engaged longer.
Consumers are telling us loud and clear what they want—are you listening? How much would you pay for that information? Download a copy of our 2018 Mequoda Magazine Consumer Study  for FREE instead, to find out how you can improve your digital magazine rapport with subscribers.
While you might think that back issues must be limited to issues that were originally published as part of the same magazine subscription associated with your magazine library and magazine membership, there is an alternate approach that adds value.
The Biblical Archaeology Society includes two additional magazine archives and complete issues in their back issue collection. These related publications add 50% more to the total collected content of more than 7000 articles and 22,000 images over 40 years of Biblical Archaeology Review.
Another example, Yankee Publishing, offers has a Travel Library that includes more than 90 issues, 1,500+ articles, 7,500+ gorgeous New England photos and more than 25 Special Collections.
Since a magazine library’s dynamic and special collections are drawn from the back issues and arranged by topic based on automated categorization or manual curation, when the back issues of related publications are added to a magazine library, value is added to the back issue collection, dynamic collections and special collections.
Even more content
Biblical Archaeology Society takes the next step of adding other media related to their topic, which includes video lectures, books and even an encyclopedia. Yankee adds on-demand streaming of their TV show, Weekends with Yankee.
Now let’s take a look at how a talented copywriter describes all the benefits of subscribing to the Yankee Travel Library:
- Instant access to the Yankee website, including the current digital issue of Yankee Magazine
- Instant access to the searchable Yankee Travel Library & Digital Edition of over 1,500 articles, more than 90 issues, and 7,500+ gorgeous New England photos.
- On-demand streaming of Weekends with Yankee, including the first two seasons.
- Upcoming digital editions of Yankee Magazine on the website (accessible on any device or platform!)—you’ll be notified by email when new issues are posted.
- Curated Special Collections—including 21 Must-Visit New England Towns and Villages—available only online.
- Upcoming 6 print-edition issues of Yankee Magazine per year, delivered right to your door.
No other source in the world has everything about New England, all in one place and vetted and curated for your easy access and use.
Magazine libraries and magazine memberships are two of the key strategies we use to help publishers grow their audience, revenue and profits.
Over the past two decades, we’ve guided more than 300 niche publishers through the process of transforming themselves from legacy print publishers into multiplatform operations that often dominate their industry niche and generate operating margins that surpass those created by their legacy print business. Learn more about how we can help you apply these strategies to your publishing business by scheduling a FREE consultation  today.