“Magazine advertising gains market share in the U.S., but the actual number of magazine copies is declining faster than ever: What in this crazy multimedia world is going on?”
This was the question posed by Dead Tree Edition last week in light of these recent industry stats:
- The volume of Periodicals class mail [which includes most U.S. magazines] decreased a stunning 12-plus percent last month versus February 2013, according to U.S. Postal Service numbers.
- Yet ad revenue for printed magazines went up in 2013, with magazines gaining some market share over TV, radio and printed newspapers (Kantar Media report.)
Why the seeming contradiction? Dead Tree Edition breaks it down nicely:
“Magazine companies survived [the past decade of declines] by cutting – staff, titles, and circulation — and by creating new lines of business with web sites, apps, e-newsletters, events, etc. Every week, it seems, we hear about another publisher (or, rather, ‘magazine media’ company) that’s now getting most of its revenue from non-magazine ventures,” states the article.
“Meanwhile, search engines and real people have learned to avoid content farms and keyword stuffers and instead to seek out sources of reliable information. Both seem to be concluding that having a ‘real’ – that is, print – publication correlates with well written, reliable, and objective information.”
This makes the printed edition ultimately more valuable to advertisers, even while circulation numbers go down as part of the new business model of magazines.
“Bloated circulation numbers are less relevant to advertisers, the article continues. “And they’re less sustainable for publishers, especially after the big January hike in postage rates (which may have affected the Periodical numbers in February) proved once again that we have to become less reliant on the Postal Service.”
It makes perfect sense, and supports our thoughts on how publishers are changing their business models to position themselves for growth.