Catalog and Publication Outlook : Multiple Platform ProvidersDecember 2011 By Julie Greenbaum
According to the Publishers Information Bureau (PIB), publishers saw a 2.1 percent increase in advertising revenue through the third quarter of 2011, despite a slight 1.1 percent decrease in advertising pages. Consumer magazine ad revenue and pages grew in five of the 12 major advertising categories during the first three quarters, with double-digit page gains for Toiletries & Cosmetics, Apparel & Accessories and Financial.
The B2B segment also experienced a comeback through the first three quarters of 2011. The outlook for advertising in 2012 also looks positive, as some analysts believe that total U.S. advertising spending will continue to grow, and digital ad revenue will increase for consumer magazines.
Finding the Right Mix
A key focus for publishers and catalogers was how to continue to leverage their multi-channel marketing strategies. “Some publishers began to reorganize to better align their sales and marketing structures to support multi- platform products. They also integrated digital content creation into their unified brand teams,” points out Rick Marcoux, president of RR Donnelley magazine and commercial services. “Publishers accelerated development of, and investment in, publishing processes and technologies to extend their reach to mobile, e-reader and other ’third screen’ devices.”
RR Donnelley is helping its publishing clients integrate both print and digital platforms through the use of QR codes, generalized URL (GURL) and personalized URL (pURL) solutions. Its CustomPoint Solutions Group is also helping clients drive traffic from one channel to another. The latest version of its DigiMag 6.5 digital publishing solution has been enhanced for magazine publishers to now offer support for the Apple Newsstand storefront, Android tablet devices and apps for the Android storefront.
According to David Blais, executive vice president and president of magazines and catalogs for Quad/Graphics in Sussex, WI, advertisers today expect publishers to connect to their audiences through print, online, tablets, mobile and social media. But, each new channel can also create a substantial amount of work: “The whole industry—on the publisher side and the print side—has to redefine itself rapidly. While the trend to mobile and other content delivery is obvious, the challenge has been to monetize that trend and be effective and efficient across all of the channels.”