Despite dropping ad revenue and tough sledding at the newsstands, magazine publishers today are in a great place according to Mary Berner of MPA.
In a recent article in Digiday, Berner talks to Ricardo Bilton about the real state of the industry post 2008, and it resonates with what we are seeing in the marketplace as print brands grow while shrinking their circulation.
“We’re in the business of disseminating content through our brands. That can be anything from a print magazine to a video, to a digital experience,” Berner said, adding that the magazine industry is in a better place now than it has been in a long time.
“Magazines tend to be the first place that consumers go when they look for content online. The hardest thing to do is build brands across platforms — and magazines have that down cold. That’s our advantage. If you don’t screw it up, there’s lots of possibility,” she says.
And she asserts that there are several reasons why advertisers will stick with print to reach their audience, in spite of the rise in digital marketing.
“Print magazines are the only experience where consumers consider the advertising as an integral and desired part of the content experience. When you’re reading a magazine, you like the ads and you want the ads there as a part of your experience,” says Berner. “No other media can say that, except the Super Bowl. Sixty-three percent of people say that magazines will be a worse experience without the ads.”
Ultimately, she is bullish on magazines for three specific reasons.
“They do three things really well. They’re brand-builders, they understand what great journalism is, and they are also the best packagers of advertising programs in any of the media. Where they aren’t as good as the pure digital players is the actual technology side. And I would argue that that’s the easiest thing to buy.”