It's Not About the Delivery Platform - Content Remains King
The future of printing is not always as it appears today—or what various e-pundits would have you believe. In fact, one of the bright spots in the world of print is actually magazines, a medium that advocates of "e-everything" claim is going the way of the t-rex and his buddies.
According to a study of over 1,000 consumers sponsored by InfoPrint Solutions, some 67% of respondents feel that e-readers like Kindle or the iPad have their place, but prefer holding—and reading—a printed magazine. More than 9 out of 10 (92%) of magazine subscribers receive their magazines in a printed format, and when asked about delivery preference, 90% indicate they prefer the printed pubs to the e-reader or online version. Some 87% say they will continue to favor their print magazine subscriptions, which are actually on the rise—up 4.3%. Only 24% intend to switch to e-readers over time.
More interesting, overall magazine readership has increased 11% in the 12 years since Google became the go-to directory for information on just about everything. The growth in readers and subscribers is contrary to the trend in magazine advertising revenues, which were down 18% between 2008 and 2009 and have continued to slide. What this indicates is that while most of the mags that reach your mailbox are thinner due to less advertising, these pubs are actually valued media. People read and re-read them, go through them multiple times, and, as research has repeatedly shown, pay attention to the ads.
Still, as magazines compete for readers' eyeballs, they need to pay closer attention to their subscribers and providing a seamless experience. Sandra Zoratti, Vice President of Global Solutions Marketing at InfoPrint Solutions, was deeply involved with the magazine study. She says it ultimately comes down to relevance—and that means content. Take a look at the interview I did with Sandra at the On Demand show, before the full results of the study were released: