Magazine Audience Grows on Mobile Web

Mobile and social emerging as the sweet spot for developing magazine audience; plus, ad blocking and Adobe

Magazine audience is the most valuable commodity publishers can acquire. All revenue efforts hinge on it. For legacy media, going about this acquisition was a fairly straightforward task, historically speaking. Today, it’s a sophisticated, demanding, and occasionally chaotic one. Readers change tastes and preferences on a whim; their consumption habits understandably vary with the overwhelming options put in front of them online.

Traditional print and even digital editions are now evolving to include nimble and dynamic mobile and social presences, not as complementary components of multi-platform publishing but as strategic cornerstones.

This is a good thing, because, as eMarketer points out, mobile and social is where magazine audience is gravitating, as opposed to full print and digital issues. Let’s start there this week!

Tracking Down Magazine Audience? Try the Mobile Web

Magazine audience (up 10% year-over-year) and ad revenue (predicted to hit $19.02 billion in 2015 and $19.75 billion in 2019, with digital accounting for about 20%)  are up, according to data from both the Association of Magazine Media and eMarketer. The question is, where will this audience be seeing these ads?

Well, fewer will be found among full print and digital editions, eMarketer reports. Traditional audiences are down 7% year-over-year, while mobile web readers have driven the growth trends, skyrocketing 67.4% from 2014 to 2015. Video has played a big part in this, and so, too, certainly, has social media for publishers, with Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram leading the way.

What Do Marketers Think About Ad Blocking?

If there’s one thing publishers and advertisers can agree on besides a love of money, it’s how frustrating it can be when something keeps you from seeing that money flow in. In this case, that something is ad blocking, and it’s one of the biggest concerns in the industry right now. Presently, the impact is minimal, eMarketer reports, but that impact could grow as more consumers adopt the software technology.

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According to data from PageFair relayed by eMarketer, Internet users using ad blocking increased from 144 million (or 4.9%) per month in 2014 to 198 million (6%) in 2015. Among Americans, that number sat at 45 million, or 16% of U.S. Internet users.

Still, marketers are not panicking. In May, upward of 45% said ad blocking is not a concern for their respective agencies, according to a Strata survey.

Adobe CMO on Mobile App Publishers

Highly recommended Q&A with Adobe Senior Vice President and CMO Ann Lewnes on mobile apps and other publishing considerations. Although the focus of the eMarketer article is Adobe’s own efforts, we’re sure many publishers can relate when it comes to magazine audience.

“It’s not an either/or – you need both. Your website has to be optimized for mobile, but the app allows you to engage with your customer in ways that the mobile web experience can’t. And then you don’t even need to talk about advertising, because you’re communicating and talking with your customer in a way that doesn’t feel like advertising. That’s why the app is critical. But the mobile web is also critical, and it has to be optimized for a mobile device. You need both,” Lewnes told eMarketer.
“On the app stores, you need to invest in SEO … so that you are going to be discoverable. We need to make sure that we have created an optimized search experience so that we pop up very easily. [The solution is not] a display ad. So once you download the app, then you’re in the experience, and we’re letting you take photographs, draw pictures, whatever we do. We’re getting you to download our product.”

Finding magazine audience development elusive? There’s a handbook for that. Download our free Organic Audience Development Strategy today!

To read more about magazine audience in the news, visit eMarketer.

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