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Magazine Industry Trends: Audience, Digital Ads, Paywalls for Online Content

Making sense of the latest magazine industry trends via top digital publishers: Rodale, Time Inc., Conde Nast, Hearst, IBT

So much news about magazine industry trends during the past month, in large part because of the MPA’s annual gathering in New York City. This news centers on audience development, digital advertising, and monetization strategies that funnel into subscriptions.

AdAge is on top of it, so we’ll let them take it from here!

Publishing Executives Discuss Magazine Industry Trends

The final day of the American Magazine Media Conference brought together some of the heaviest hitters in the business to talk about magazine industry trends shaping their approach. As AdAge reports, much of that talk centered on audience, advances, tech, and platforms.

“Facebook now owns our customer. Amazon owns our customer. Google owns our customer. And that’s what we have to get back, is that ownership of that customer so that we can sell them all of the other things that are part of our portfolios,” Maria Rodale told the audience.

Time Inc. CEO Joe Ripp spoke to the massive activity his company has undertaken to stay competitive in a crowded market.

“I’m still impatient. I still think we need to move faster. And we need to really embrace change faster. We need to figure out our ways into the new markets faster,” Ripp said. “We need to create much more content than we have in the past. And the organization is feeling that sense of urgency.”

Time Inc. Digital Advertising Revenue Up

Speaking of Ripp and Time Inc., they’re reporting higher digital ad revenue – 17% year-over-year and 11% for 2015 itself – despite stocks being down, while making yet another acquisition: Viant Technology, AdAge reports.

“It really takes our data capabilities to a whole new level, way in excess of anything Time Inc. has had before,” Ripp says.

In addition, Time Inc. is reorganizing ad sales teams into automotive, pharmaceuticals, and technology and telecommunications.

“We are confident that this new structure will deliver even better results for customers and increase our share in these categories.”

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.

Conde Nast, Hearst Join Powers in Forming PubWorx

As AdAge reports, Conde Nast and Hearst made a major announcement earlier this month, one we might not have seen coming but one that still shows how companies responding to magazine industry trends.

“With long-term trends exerting downward pressure on magazines’ ad-page sales and newsstand appeal, two of the industry’s biggest publishers said last week that they had formed a joint venture to handle back-office operations such as production, procurement and circulation,” Jeremy Barr writes.

“Condé Nast, publisher of brands including Vogue, and Hearst, publisher of brands including Elle, hope to interest other magazine publishers in PubWorx’s services, and chief executives Bob Sauerberg and David Carey said they’re happy with how the new company is being received by the market.”

Newsweek Getting Rid of Digital Paywall

Big news from Newsweek: No more metered paywall, AdAge reports.

“Previously, Newsweek.com capped readers at five free articles per month, before asking them to consider subscribing — as a digital-only customer ($34.99 per year), or as a print and digital customer ($99.99 per year). In the U.S., Newsweek has about 100,000 subscribers, when combining print and digital offerings, [IBT Media Chief Marketing Officer Mitchell] Caplan said, with slightly more digital-only subscribers than print subscribers,” Barr writes.

“The company isn’t doing away with digital subscriptions, however: Some content on Newsweek’s website will still be subscriber-only. Going forward, digital subscribers will have exclusive access to the magazine’s current issue, excluding its cover story. After a certain amount of time, the full issue will be free to all readers.”

We make sure to monitor magazine industry trends, and we have the market analysis to prove it. Download our free Digital Magazine Market Study & Handbook to check out our findings!

To read more about magazine industry trends and other news, visit AdAge.

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