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Magazine Revenue: The Latest Trends and Headlines

The publishers making magazine revenue news include Gannett; plus, digital advertising, print circulation, and more

If generating magazine revenue were easy, we wouldn’t exist. It’s our mission to make it easier for digital publishers [1] and print magazines alike, and one way we accomplish that is by meticulously tracking industry trends to inform our approach and practices [2].

Having said that, you can’t believe everything you read on the internet, of course! Each new study, each article on mergers & acquisitions, each Facebook algorithm change must be received in context, and publishers can’t allow themselves to be thrown into a panic or a state of elation with bits of bad news and good news.

So without further ado, here are a few recent articles from MediaPost [3] that cover some weighty issues when it comes to magazine revenue.

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 [4] for FREE instead, to find out how you can improve your digital magazine rapport with subscribers.

Gannett Acquires ReachLocal to Drive Digital Media, Ads, Magazine Revenue

One major legacy publisher wants to become a more agile digital publisher, MediaPost reports [5].

“After its persistent efforts to buy tronc, formerly Tribune Publishing, Gannett Co., Inc. announced its plans to acquire digital marketing company ReachLocal, Inc. with the goal to enhance Gannett’s digital revenue by 50%. Gannett, which owns USA Today and more than 100 other media properties in the U.S., plans to acquire ReachLocal for roughly $156 million at $4.60 per share in cash,” Sara Guaglione writes.

“That’s a 188% premium to the unaffected closing price on Friday, June 24, 2016. The transaction has been approved by the Boards of Directors of both companies and is expected to close in the third quarter of 2016. ReachLocal, founded in 2004, provides digital marketing and advertising services for local business in markets like home services, healthcare, automotive and professional services, with over 16,000 clients across North America, Latin America, Europe and Asia/Pacific.”

Study: Digital Advertising on the Rise

Juniper Research’s “Worldwide Digital Advertising [6]: 2016-2020” bears some good news for the industry, MediaPost reports [7].

“According to the white paper ‘Digital Advertisers vs. The Ad Blockers,’ global digital advertising spend across mobile, wearable and online devices will exceed $285 billion by 2020. That’s up from an estimated $160 billion in 2016, despite the growing use of ad blockers – thanks in large part to an average annual growth of 22% in mobile and wearable advertising spend,” Guaglione writes.

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 [4] for FREE instead, to find out how you can improve your digital magazine rapport with subscribers.

“Other key findings reveal that mobile advertising is expected to undergo a 64.2% CAGR (Compound Annual Growth Rate) over the forecast period, as users continue to switch to mobile devices as their main browsing device. On the other hand, online ad blocking is expected to contribute 70.2% of all lost revenues in 2020, with the rest coming from mobile platforms.”

Print Ad Dollars, Circulation on Decline

On the other hand, the U.S. Census has some bad news, MediaPost reports [8].

“According to the Census, total U.S. newspaper publishing revenues including advertising and circulation fell 4.4% from $6.51 billion in the first quarter of 2015 to $6.22 billion in the first quarter of 2016. (The Census doesn’t provide separate figures for ads and circ.) U.S. magazine publishers saw total revenues fall from $6.66 billion to $6.36 billion, for a decline of 4.5% over the same period, again across both ads and circ,” Erik Sass writes.

“The first-quarter declines come atop similar percentage declines in total annual revenues last year, also per the Census. Newspaper publishers saw total revenues fall 3.8% from $28.1 billion in 2014 to $27 billion in 2015, while magazine publishing revenues fell 3.7% from $29.4 billion in 2014 to $28.3 billion in 2015.”

Facebook Makes Another Change, and Publishers Might Not Be Pleased

Facebook is tweaking its algorithm yet again, and for publishers who have gone all in with the social giant’s Instant Articles, this latest update might be a bitter pill to swallow, MediaPost reports [9].

“The new system prioritizes personal content over news and information, which in turn, takes precedence over entertainment content, as set forth in Facebook’s summary of the ‘values’ determining which types of content get the most exposure. It covers all types of content from publishers, including article links, video, and live video,” Sass writes.

“However, there’s a silver lining for publishers that succeed in getting users to actively share their content, as this is more likely to show up in their friends’ newsfeeds than content coming directly from the publisher’s own Facebook page.”

Is your magazine revenue holding strong or struggling? Contact us today [10] if it’s the latter, and we’ll help you turn it around to the former!

To read more about magazine revenue in the news and other industry trends, visit MediaPost.com [3].