10 Reasons to Add Video in Magazines Now That You Can

Video in magazines may be a relatively new concept, but the publishers who are tackling it are gaining long-term subscribers and more engagement

Why to use video in magazines

When a magazine goes digital and becomes a web magazine, it becomes alive. And that’s scary for some legacy publishers. Suddenly, ads become more valuable to advertisers because they can be clicked. Content becomes richer because it can be hyperlinked to references and authors on the web. Live content can be embedded with video in magazines and the editorial content doesn’t necessarily stop at the final publish date.

And if you’re not ready for that kind of transition, then your magazine may risk becoming ancient.

It used to be that sharing vertical video branded you an amateur, but not anymore. Startups are specializing in it, publishers are pushing it out, and consumers are, well, consuming it.



There are lots of easy and hard video options out there that need fewer cuts and editing. Listed from least effort to most, here are some ideas for how to add video to your magazine website, or even your magazine app if you have one:

  • Zoom interviews
  • Single-cut interviews
  • Slideshows of still images
  • Multi-cut blooper reels from interviews (to accompany the final article)
  • How-to videos
  • Video advertisements
  • Cooking videos
  • “News” segments with a dedicated host
  • An original series with a new episode in each issue

Harry Goldstein, editorial director, digital, at IEEE Spectrum magazine, who is video savvy, says that magazine publishers don’t need to worry as much about production as they think, when it comes to online. He says, “If there’s something to see, if there’s something to explain, and if video can tell that story, worry less about production values themselves than the content, because that’s what people are going to be looking at.” After all, people watch America’s Funniest Home Video-style dog and cat videos all day on TikTok, Facebook and Instagram. It’s not hard to beat that. And actually really easy to beat that if you add cats and dogs to your videos.

10 reasons to add video in digital magazines


  1. Something like a video series that is ongoing and only available in your digital magazine will keep people subscribed to watch the next episode from month to month.
  2. YouTube is responsible for 37% of all mobile internet traffic, and Video is On Track to Be Nearly 80% of Mobile Data Traffic by 2022, so you’d probably like to capture some of those eyeballs through your digital magazine.
  3. It can improve the quality of the content you’re publishing. For example, an article about how to paint DIY plant pots with kids can be improved with a how-to video.
  4. Engagement with the content will improve. For example, reading an interview becomes more dynamic when you see a video of the interview being performed, or even the best clips from the interview. And higher engagement in our experience leads to better retention.
  5. Advertisers are latching on to video ads, and they’re willing to spend a lot more on them (users like them too).
  6. You can offset the cost of video production by finding advertisers to sponsor your videos (product placement or pre-roll).
  7. You can build some brand personas with hosts that will further connect your brand with actual humans they can see.
  8. The absolute best way to improve a recipe in a cooking magazine is with a video on how to make it.
  9. It can be a lot easier than you think. For example, capturing a screenshare of a Zoom call is a very simple and fast way to record an interview.
  10. Video is recyclable, so later on you can add it to your YouTube channel and your Facebook page, and give it another wind.

If you have started to use video in your digital magazine, how are you using it, and do you think it’s improving the user experience and/or improving your subscriber retention?

    Will H.

    Thanks for the interesting article. I work as digital editor on outdoor leisure magazine’s website and YouTube channel. We are quickly adapting the publication from print to digital first.

    Video is an important way for us to reach new audiences. How we attract them from YouTube to visiting our website and subscribing is a challenge. And, it’s competitive. We create video reviews, how-to and touring videos.

    On YouTube, the measurement which is important to them is how much of your video people watch, not just how many times people view it. It’s a measure of whether people think it’s worth spending their time watching. You’ll soon know whether what you publish is entertaining, informing or educating viewers or not.

    Publishers also need to know how to optimise their videos on YouTube’s search engine to compete.

    We publish some videos for free and are paid to make others. But, we are at the stage where we give away too much of our video (and written) content for free. We will soon have to start charging viewers for it if we are to survive.

    Bentley N.

    Video “Web Traffic” is a measurement of data consumed, not of the number of videos consumed. Videos simply require more data to transport than any other form of media, except perhaps for software downloads. To truly understand how many actual videos are being consumed one would have to know the actual resolution, bitrate and length of every video being transported across the web.


      Thank you for your note Mr. Nelson. I’m not sure of your point but let me try restating my point to see if that helps. A lot of videos are viewed online, particularly on mobile devices which are a huge and still-growing platform for web access. Publishers have an opportunity to attract some of that video viewership, sharing, linking, etc. by adding video to their products.


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