A ‘glorious’ future for ‘good’ magazines
March 4, 2009 by admin
Despite the growth of online news sites, “good” printed magazines will continue to flourish, according to a panel of media professionals.
At the New Media Knowledge (NMK) event, Mike Soutar, the founder and Managing Director of Shortlist, a free men’s lifestyle magazine said: “Magazines do a number of things other media can’t do. The experience can’t be replicated.”
Simon Wear, chief operating officer of Future UK, a company that publishes over 150 specialist titles agrees. “I think the future is glorious,” he said. “Good magazines will always have a place.”
He thinks the current downturn will even have a positive effect on the magazine industry.
“Consumers have been given too much choice and the quality has dropped,” he said.
When the PlayStation II was launched, 13 PlayStation magazines appeared on the market.
But with the credit crunch Simon believes only the ‘quality’ magazines that know their audience will survive.
“It’s all about remembering who you are. Stop being a software company and start being a content company.”
The problem with publishing magazines online is that they do not make money. Ashley Norris, Director of Shiny Media, says that consumers do not want to pay to view articles online.
John Menzies Digital sells online versions of the top 100 magazines, but only manage to sell 80-100 of each magazine per week.
Ashley Norris also points out that advertisers are often disinclined to pay large sums for adverts that are not really looked at.
He realises this is an issue but remains positive. “People are ad blind to a degree but it’s about working with the brands to create ads that are interesting to look at and grab the imagination of the reader”, he says.
Andrew Davies, co-founder and Managing Director of Idiomag, thinks online advertisements can play a huge part in helping magazines to get to know their audience. Software can track which adverts users click on and how long they look at them, thus helping to determine what the audience is interested in.
“You have to meet the user where they are. You might be publishing to the mass but you have to involve the individual. You have to know your audience,” he said.
So while publishing magazines online might not be overly profitable, it is extremely useful.
Story by Alexandra Murphy