Magazine Advertising Trends: Mobile, Targeting, Paywalls

The media companies making news around magazine advertising trends include the Guardian, Financial Times, and more

Magazine advertising trends may not make for the most exciting material, but they’re important to monitor amid a climate that includes such pressing issues as ad blocking, viewability issues, targeting, and advancing technology, particularly on the mobile ad front.

With the rise of native advertising, digital publishers are paying much more attention to the quality of their ads, which is a welcome development.  But what else is going on across the industry? Digiday has the details, so let’s start this week with them!


FT on Magazine Advertising Trends: Mobile Advertising ‘Distracting’

The Financial Times is trying to jump on publishing and magazine advertising trends by taking a serious look at audience reception, Digiday reports.

“According to a study it did with 1,300 readers, print still commands long read times, with each person spending an average 32 minutes. Tablet is next with 20 minutes of read time, followed by smartphones at 11 minutes, and laptop/desktop at 16 minutes a day,” Jessica Davies writes.

“Readers graded smartphone ads poorly, with ‘intrusive’ and ‘distracting’ listed as the words to describe them. Half of respondents to a survey the FT conducted with Quantcast said mobile ads are more intrusive than desktop, although 37 percent of them said they’d be more influenced if the mobile ads they saw were more creative. Even more popular were personally relevant ads, with 33 percent said they’d be more likely to buy from a brand that had served them only personally-relevant ads.”

Guardian Launches Online Ad Targeting for Trending Stories

The Guardian is unleashing more refined targeting in an effort to generate additional revenue, Digiday reports.

“The new tool, called Pulse, will establish ‘surging’ stories — defined as 300 views per minute on a particular piece of content — with ad impressions then served specifically to those pieces. Additional first-party audience data will be layered on top, so the ads are targeting the advertiser’s chosen audience segments. This could be anything like football enthusiasts; tech lovers; finance and politics enthusiasts; or more general ones such as most engaged users,” Davies writes.


“Currently the tool works only for display ads, though pretty much any display ad format. In time it will be extended to both video and mobile. Pulse is auction-based, so the price will be based on demand, though the Guardian has set floor prices. … The plan with Pulse is to give advertisers access to the kind of viral pieces that aren’t planned. An example could be the U.K.’s unexpected heat wave last week. Weather is an all-year-round topic.”

Times of London Tweaking Paywall Funnel

Staying in the UK, a major player is playing around with its digital paywall, Digiday reports.

“The Times has a reputation for having the hardest paywall in the U.K., but it’s not opposed to some open-access experimentation — as long as it results in new subscribers. Last week the national newspaper introduced registered access, allowing non-subscribers access to just two stories a week in exchange for registering,” Davies writes.

“This doesn’t mark any kind of long-term relaxation of its paywall, which is turning a tidy profit: the number of subscribers has risen from 402,000 to 413,600 in the last year, with digital subscriptions growing from 170,000 to 182,500. In March, it changed its editorial mandate and dropped breaking news. Since then there’s been a 20 percent increase in weekday traffic from existing subscribers. The two articles a week, in exchange for details like email address and country of residence, are intended as a sampling exercise to attract new subscribers.”

Which magazine advertising trends are you tracking? Let us know in the comments!

To read more about magazine advertising trends and other news, visit Digiday.


Leave a Reply