“Fake News” is a Boon to WSJ Magazine

This country’s current sociopolitical climate is having an unexpected and welcome effect on the newspaper magazine industry.

According to Chantal Fernandez in Business of Fashion, it’s “proven to be a subscription boon for many of the nation’s largest newspapers, including the Wall Street Journal, whose parent company Dow Jones saw a 10 percent increase in circulation revenue in the most recent fiscal quarter ending June 30.”

As for the WSJ Magazine, the 10-year-old title is poised to release its largest issue ever next week. Ad pages and ad revenue are both up 5% year-over-year, according to publisher Anthony Cenname. This comes when print newspapers, in general, are still struggling with declining ad revenue in a tough market for print news.

The Wall Street Journal is adapting – as all newspaper brands must – to the new realities of news media, with a strategic digital pay wall, luxury print including WSJ Magazine and other titles, and live journalism events. In other words, they are not chasing a future that doesn’t exist but creating their own future based on reader lifestyles and partner opportunities.

As Fernandez explains, the current issue is proof of this, creating a lean-back experience for its readers that’s so powerful to luxury brands. And those brands are coming out in full to show their support.

“It’s not just a magazine supplement anymore, it’s becoming a big powerhouse,” explained Cenname, “despite the challenged luxury marketplace.

“Prada, Hermes, Balenciaga, Burberry and Michael Kors all expanded their page units, while other brands such as Carolina Herrera returned after an advertising hiatus,” he notes, according to Fernandez.

This is a large part of the reason why newspaper magazine inserts are such a bright spot in the industry, as Fernandez notes. Not only are they the perfect backdrop for luxury brand ads, they offer something that digital can’t – a tangible trust bump, at a time when trust is sorely needed by the media.

Congratulations to WSJ Magazine for building a title that resonates with their upscale readers and partners. Here’s to 10 more years of growing ad pages and revenue.