The death of print may have been predicted as early as 1992 by Warren Buffet. Long before the internet was a twinkle in the eye of your cable provider, Buffet predicted that print would lose profitability, especially as consumers recognized available choices for obtaining information. Certainly, digital magazines and advertising have done well. In the “quest for clicks”, however, readers have become jaded and skeptical about what they see online. Clickbait, so-called “fake news” and security concerns have driven many consumers away from digital and back to the mediums they trust. It is now up to publishers to cater to their audiences and continue to build credence and confidence in all media formats.
Optimistic Statistics of Print
The Association of Magazine Media regularly publishes statistics and talking points about the magazine industry. Their 2016/17 Magazine Media Factbook reveals overall growth in audience development across different markets, including print and digital editions. In addition to many proof-positive statistics on print media, the report also included a fascinating statistic about why print magazine advertising works. It turns out that readers are more likely to recall information in print rather than digitally.
Other print #humblebrags:
The top 25 print magazines reach more adults and teens than the top 25 primetime TV shows.
The new generation of print magazines was born out of the desire to continue niche branding offline. With the success of her online presence, for instance, Ree Drummond, a.k.a. Pioneer Woman, has launched The Pioneer Woman Magazine. Gwyneth Paltrow has expanded to a physical presence of her Goop brand to include Goop Magazine. AirBnB has launched Airbnbmag. Facebook has launched Grow in the UK and Northern Europe to appeal to business leaders. Because these brands already have an existing fanbase, they’re relying heavily on an audience who trusts them to determine the success of their print product.
Other new magazines to the fold are heavily focused on certain niches. Food magazines, for instance, pick up where Food TV and cooking shows left off. Chip and Joanna Gaines, of HGTV’s “Fixer Upper”, have added to their growing brand Magnolia with the addition of their magazine The Magnolia Journal. Small magazines that include recipes and best practices for the modern household seem to be faring quite well, especially when you consider that just about anything can be found with a Google or Pinterest search.
Build Audience Trust
To continue building an audience who trusts your brand, you need to be strategic about integrating a printed presence. Yes, some magazines haven’t made it past the digital starting line but that doesn’t mean there isn’t potential to find success in the print market. The reader is looking for brands they can rely on to give them the content they want. While they may be initially interested online, holding a physical magazine in their hand may go further in increasing their reliance and building ad sales. Instead of the noise of the internet, readers are looking for a quiet moment with their favorite read. Will it be yours?