2017 Called the Year of Magazine Media

Consumers have had it with the fake news. And advertisers are fed up with the digital ad mess. This has created the perfect opportunity for magazine media brands to deliver quality, trust-worthy content.

“For consumers who were pummeled with fake news throughout the election cycle, finding a brand that will provide reliable information is of increasing importance, and many are willing to pay for content that they can trust,” writes Ellen Harvey in Publishing Executive.

Publishing Executive staff spoke to the Association of Magazine Publishing (MPA) head Linda Thomas Brooks about this unique moment in time for magazine media brands.

“If there was ever a moment when all indicators in both the marketing world and in the consumer world pointed to us, I think this is it,” says Brooks.

It’s a perfect storm of factors helping to strengthen the appeal of magazine media.

For starters, Brooks quotes The Atlantic’s Bob Cohn on the value of editorial curation when he said, “Scarcity drives creativity.”

“Everybody got really excited when we figured out in digital media that you can just keep publishing forever and ever,” Brooks explains. “There are no bandwidth issues; there are no production issues. But suddenly everybody seems to have figured out, ‘Oh, maybe that’s not so great.’”

This leads, Brooks believes, to an opportunity for magazines to focus on the value of editorial curation.

The second factor is the fake news backlash that swept up many publishers who were banking on native advertising as a revenue model. Readers, it turns out, paint fake news and native ads with the same brush. Unfair? Maybe, but fake news is undoubtedly helping kill off native ads.

“Essentially what marketers have done is they’ve spent way too much time and effort at the bottom of the consumer purchasing funnel, and then not putting any effort into the top. They’re figuring out that they need the media, these quality brands,” Brooks explains. “They need brands that consumers have invited into their homes so that advertisers can basically ride along on that relationship.”

This isn’t just wishful thinking, either. According to 2016 MPA statistics, magazine media show the highest return on ad spend, offering ad partners powerful reach.

With both consumers and ad partners taking a fresh look at where they put their trust and their money, we truly are in a golden age for magazines.

UPDATE 02/20/17:

It was recently asked: When Magazine Media is compared with Social Media…”So how does one reconcile these vastly divergent narratives?” given Social Media is “…more than twice the size of the magazine industry and about five times larger than the newspaper industry.”

My answer? The essence of Magazine Media today is premium content from premium brands for a premium audience. https://freeportpress.com/magazine-media-in-a-nutshell-its-premium/