The Old-fashioned Facts on Magazine Media We’ve Been Waiting For

MPA-FACTbook2015-PRINTjpg_Page1There’s been a lot of dissent in how to count magazine readership data in a multi-channel brand environment. This is the info marketers and advertisers need to know about print magazines.

There’s been much written lately about the health of the magazine industry, and quite often opinions are based on info provided by the Association of Magazine Media (MPA). That data includes readership information across channels, as publishers transform themselves in multi-media brands.

The information is certainly encouraging to the entire industry, with the MPA reporting solid audience growth for media brands.

Yet when the MPA came out with their 360 Data approach late in 2014 to include digital readership and engagement, some felt the association was confusing the issue by focusing more on audience metrics rather than circulation. MPA’s Mary Berner defended the decision, calling print ad metrics anachronistic in this omnichannel environment.

Publishers, meanwhile, lamented the fact that the MPA no longer provided those “anachronistic” print-only figures like ad-page sales, circulation numbers and newsstand sales. The MPA got the message; their Magazine Media Factbook 2015 is stamped in big red letters “PRINT MAGAZINE FACTS ONLY” and those facts are looking pretty good.

According to these 2015 print-only facts, the magazine industry is vital, far-reaching, and remains a powerful consumer influencer. A few highlights from the report demonstrate the truth of this:

  • The number of U.S. consumer print magazines is higher now that it was 10 years ago
  • Several leading digital businesses have launched print magazines in the last few years
  • The top 50 marketers reported spending close to $7 billion in print magazine ads
  • Print magazines consistently rank first or second in reaching influential consumers

The 38-page report is exactly the kind of information that marketers and advertisers need to understand the tremendous impact of magazine print ads in today’s marketplace. Magazines reach a more affluent audience, engaging with the top spenders in many categories including luxury goods, home remodeling, decorating, gardening, technology, and travel.

Bring these facts to the next ad budget meeting and surprise a few folks. We appreciate this information from the MPA and Mr. Magazine for sharing it.  I’m sure it will be put to good use.