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  • Writer's pictureTom Butler

Readers Still Desire Ink and Paper

The Top 50 advertisers in the U.S. collectively spent $6.1 billion on print magazine ads in 2017. That is quite economically significant, although the number represents a steep drop-off of $417 million from 2016’s $6.52 billion.

But don’t write color print periodicals off in the obituaries section quite yet. It remains critically important to keep a diverse communications plan in place.

While there may be 200 fewer magazine titles, there are still 7,176 print magazines dividing market share.

Still not convinced? There were 766 new magazines and special edition publications that debuted last year, according to a report by the Association of Magazine Media (AMM).

So what does all of this data mean for any company, its executive leadership team, and their brands?

The report finds there is now a higher percentage of U.S. adults 18-29 (95%) turning to magazines, rather than Facebook (81%). We also know magazine patrons read longer and deeper into narrative than the causal Facebook users scrolling through a myriad of content.

As for trust – as in third-party validation – of search engine and social media platforms in general, this dropped 2% in the past year. Following recent Facebook Congressional hearings, that number may take an even deeper nosedive in 2018.

On the other hand, consumer trust in traditional and online media journalism rose 5%.

This shows magazine media brands are still quite influential.

When was the last time a feature on your firm or a bylined article by your corporate CEO was published in Fortune, Forbes or Time Magazine? I can speak from experience in saying that it’s always a great call to have to make, to notify your CEO client and their leadership team that the boss’ feature is in print and live online for customers and competitors alike to see.

Not only is this a difference maker to a brand or an organizational leader, but the audience is of much higher affluence. That magazine audience that you presumed was withering away has much deeper pockets and better spending capabilities – magazine readers more often have household incomes exceeding $250,000, says the AMM study.

When analyzing your firm’s product marketing and communications plans for 2019, 2020, and beyond, don’t simply put all of your eggs in the digital media basket. Perhaps consider doubling down to increase the company’s brand uniqueness in traditional media outlets. Spotlight messaging about your brand in sector leading magazine outlets may very likely set you apart from the herd.

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