Once Again, Content Is King, Queen and Aces

CCO_CoverCustomers are will to pay for quality content minus the BS. And publishers are taking it to the bank.

The American Magazine Media Conference (AMMC) held in New York a couple of weeks ago had a wholly different tenor than the previous year. As Tony Silber of Folio described it, “There was a kind of cockiness in the air … based on a growing realization that magazine brands are really, really good at creating world-class content—across platforms. And aggregating audiences. And generating revenue.”

That’s a lot of praise for a medium that’s taken so much flak lately.

The praise was bolstered by the release of the Magazine Media 360 Brand Audience Report released the same week. The report, a product of the Association of Magazine Media, is a new industry metric that “measures audiences across multiple platforms and formats to provide a comprehensive and accurate picture of consumer demand for magazine media brands.” Basically, it’s a report that emphasizes the results of what magazines do best: create compelling content that engages readers in print and on screen.

Again, high praise.

Maria Rodale, who created her own media buzz by announcing that Prevention Magazine would be going ad-free in print, wasn’t shy about sharing her opinion about what readers want.

“Consumers are willing to pay for media that’s free of bulls**t,” she said. One could sense the heads of consumers everywhere nodding their heads in agreement, but with the pervasiveness of ad-blocking browser extensions, how many consumers used to the free content buffet will actually pay?

Hearst Magazines president David Carey may have summed up the industry’s revived self-assuring perspective best when he said, “Who would have thought that the magazine business was such a springboard to all of these other media forms, but we’re seeing that.”

It’s a lovely sight.