The print industry is here to stay, and at the same time, the industries that use print are changing. Magazines and periodicals are perfect examples of industries in demand, yet these media companies are also changing how they do business. Ad revenues are down; subscriptions are up (in some cases, 15% to 30%), and printers can serve these markets in creative and exciting ways.
Reread, Retain, Reward
Research shows over and over again that people enjoy getting mail and many prefer interacting with print pieces rather than digital advertising. People who read print media learn more effectively and retain more information. Magazine readers are diverse and include members of every age group, income level, sexual orientation and ethnicity. According to research, 91% of adults in the United States have read a magazine in the past six months, including 95% of adults under the age of 25.
Magazines provide trusted information, and compared to Internet and television advertising; magazines persuade readers to try new things, buy new things, and help them make purchase decisions. Paper-based reading stimulates emotions and desires, and helps focus attention. Readers have positive associations with brands that advertise in magazines, and often seek out more information about the advertised product or service.
According to “Mr. Magazine”, Samir Husni, Ph.D., the founder and director of the Magazine Innovation Center at the Meek School of Journalism at the University of Mississippi, magazines are here to stay. We don’t have a print problem, he explains. We have a business problem. The COVID-19 pandemic changed the business model in terms of distribution and revenue collection. Bookstores and newsstands closed, so periodicals need to depend on the post office to get to consumers. Advertisers have other, often less expensive outlets than print magazines. The loss of distribution outlets and advertising dollars is a real double whammy.
Quality over Quantity
In order to continue to publish, magazines need to deliver experience-making content, says Dr. Husni. People depend on the publications to which they subscribe to provide content they can trust, content that has been vetted and verified. Magazines are reinventing themselves by moving to quarterly publication, rather than monthly, or by releasing special editions. Timeless content that readers can return to will pay off for magazines as advertising models change
Making a print project stand out from the pack can grab a person’s interest when browsing the magazine rack. As a non-disposable media platform, magazines have an advantage in style over other types of media. One option to engage customers is a bookazine, which is a publication that combines elements of magazines and books. A savvy magazine publisher will look beyond a monthly subscription, and create special editions on niche topics their readers will want to read and save. By using embossed graphics, foil printing, and high-quality paper, a printer helps publishers impart a feeling of value. (Very savvy publishers will also branch out into digital or streaming platforms, such as podcasts or television, information about which will be available to consumers via their print base.)
A Knowledgeable Printer is a Valuable Partner
Building a relationship with a printer will make a good print partner aware of the challenges magazines and periodicals face. By offering quality printing, an experienced printer will ensure that customers who are now laying down $12 or $15 per magazine get a collectible item that they can showcase in their homes.