Why are magazine sales increasing?
Magazine sales generally are on the increase. According to Roy Morgan, an additional 250,000 people started buying magazines between March 2019 and a year ago. While gossip mags may struggle with relevance in this day and age, targeted special-interest magazines seem to be doing particularly well.
So why are magazine sales increasing?
- Digital Sales of Print Magazines
Any media company worth its salt maintains, and communicates with, huge customer databases. As these databases were collected by media brands, the relationship with customer and brand is enviably strong. Trust, authority and excitement about the brand deliver engagement rates that e-Commerce crowds would die for. All this means that media companies have carefully been increasing basket sizes and selling more and more to this channel for the last decade. This is particularly the case for niche magazines, which may have had 15% of their circulation from this channel 20 years ago, and 50% today.
- Proliferation of Outlets
Magazines can be purchased almost anywhere, and some of the newer outlets are really shining. The supermarket chains contribute to a growing fan base and offer a great browsery for discretionary readership.
- Expansion of Traditional Outlets
It has been a tough market for newsagencies that have not adapted to the times, but those that have are now running brilliant businesses. It is not uncommon for a newsagency to take a customer-centric approach and look to expand its spend per customer. The modern newsagency often has its own direct marketing business and sells all the sundry gift products as well as calendars, diaries, journals and more.
- Digital Media has Become a Shouty Ad
The pleasure of digital to the marketer is measurability, but the problem with measurability is that you know what’s working and it’s often just the best offer. As a result, Facebook, Instagram and search engine results pages become long shouty ads – especially on mobile. The drop in search engine use is strongest among 16-24-year-olds, who tend to do the majority of their search on mobile. Research in the UK tells us that the digital landscape of competing voices, even on a search engine result screen, is putting off many users, even in social. Sometimes the customer just wants the information.
- The Product Itself – Curation is a Thing
Having an Editor who knows the market really well and sorts the information for you can be pretty cool. This is especially the case with special-interest topics, where you just want to dig in and get the good stuff without wading through the rest.
- The Experience of the Product – Time in Mind
Of course, what Magazine Editors all know is that time in your own mind is part of the joy of consuming a magazine. In the attention economy, time with a magazine is time spent with self. If it’s clear that you’re in the hands of someone who knows their stuff, you come back for more.
- Magazines Are Now Packaged for the Audiences of Today
The last decade has been a time for producers of magazine media to have a good think about what they do. It’s no surprise that we see high-frequency gossip mags like Cosmo closing down and the more slow-paced niche publications like WellBeing thrive.
It’s counter-intuitive but in this sped-up world, WellBeing publishes over 60,000 words every two months – that’s almost a books worth of reading. Yet WellBeing has gained 18.9% YOY increase in readership according to the Roy Morgan poll to March 2019. WellBeing also publishes on the web, News, Facebook and Instagram, but the core experience of this community is intimate, time-in-mind spent with a print magazine.