Magazines: a fast-changing, vibrant business

By AdNews | Sponsored

emma sponsored this year’s Australian Magazine Awards, and introduced the Impact Award to recognise the individuals who have contributed most to this ever-changing and vibrant business.

What is a magazine? Once a simple question, now increasingly difficult to answer as publishers move to multi-platform integrated offerings, events, merchandising and various other activations of their content.

Publishers have moved beyond traditional models in adapting to changing consumer habits and technology. A live event can be used to generate content for website-hosted video, print feature articles and social media posts. This creates new, exciting ways for publishers to connect with consumers as well new avenues for brands to connect with audiences. 

This is why we introduced The Impact Award to this year’s Australian Magazine Awards. We wanted to capture the significant contribution being made by inspired individuals across publishers, driving this new multi-platform thinking and turn it into reality. 

All of the entries were inspiring but was the three finalists who stood out, showcasing the smart thinking that is helping to drive the magazine industry forward.

Each finalist was unique.

Angela Heathcote (highly commended) stepped outside her role as the commissioner of content to that of content creator. She has increased the level of video publishing on the Australian Geographic website and social channels, creating editorial and branded content for advertisers.

Anna Preston (winner) is a key driver behind Bauer’s activist agenda that has delivered major research projects and renewed purpose-led activity that is making real change in women’s lives.

Jen Skorobogaty is part of the Pacific Magazines team putting data and insights at the heart of their offering by developing new campaign measurement products for their clients.

But there was one underlying theme to all of these entries: passion. Each of the finalists has delivered above and beyond expectations due to their commitment to and passion for their audiences.

It is this understanding that is reflected in the latest emma data, which shows how Australian magazine brands continue to deliver significant and engaged audiences. This success is fueled by the depth and diversity of offerings, as well as publishers’ ability to tap into key passion points of their audiences.

We also see the variety of business models that are available to publishers. The two most read magazines are custom magazines distributed through the supermarkets, both delivering large and significant audiences. The next four are the key monthly and weekly paid competitors in the major women’s category. In fact, seven magazines deliver audiences of over one million Australians, and each Top 20 publication delivers over 500,000 people, even before you add in digital audiences and other brand touchpoints.

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This scale of audience demonstrates the resilience of the printed product even as the models for titles evolve toward multi-platform engagement. At emma, we have focused on developing the best in market cross-platform readership. This has been achieved by using industry currency data such as the IAB Australia-accredited Nielsen online audience metric and emma remains the only cross-platform measurement of magazines using industry currency data.

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Ultimately, it is the highly engaged readers that attract advertisers to magazine marketing opportunities, as well as the strong loyalty that audiences have for their preferred magazine brands. Magazine brand consumers are high value, early adopters who are deeply engaged and willing to pay for content, whether that’s for a printed product or an experience.

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