Tuesday, 20 January 2015

Netflix-style magazine services aims to win over print readers

When the first iPad was released in 2010, it was thought and hoped by many that the move of magazines from physical form to tablet versions would be the ‘saviour’ of the magazine industry. Household names were quick to get on board with the trend and began producing digital versions of their publications in the form of mobile apps.

Figures compiled by Bloomberg, however, show that only 4% of overall magazine circulation is made up of app subscribers, with the majority of readers still opting for a traditional, physical magazine instead. And although the growth of magazine apps has continued to grow since launching, this growth has slowed down in the past 18 months.

Extreme close up of various magazines layered over each other, with a Tablet on top, at the forefront.
Magazine apps are struggling, according to statistics

Hoping to revitalise the magazine app world is Magzter, who have just launched a new Netflix-style newsstand service, which allows users to pay a monthly subscription and in turn have unlimited access to 2,000 online versions of magazines. Magzter has existed for a while, but as a pay-to-read service designed for purchasing individual titles. The new Magzter Gold package, though, grants users access to huge number of magazines across iOS, Windows, Amazon and Android apps for a flat monthly fee.

Magzter will look to provide competition for Next Issue Media, who launched back in 2011 with a much more limited range of magazines – about 140 – but with a similar pay-per-month/all-you-can-read setup. Next Issue have just secured a lucrative $50 million investment from private equity firm KKR for their first big marketing push, so the arrival of Magzter Gold could create an interesting battle for the digital magazine market.

Of course, these kinds of services have a long way to go before they’re able to reach the levels of Netflix and Spotify, who boast 50 million and 12.5 million users respectively. But with heavy investment in Next Issue and healthy competition to be provided by Magzter, could 2015 be the year that kick starts the magazine migration from paper to pocket, or will readers still opt for a physical copy of their favourite publication?

Wednesday, 14 January 2015

Charlie Hebdo 'survivor issue' smashes print sale records

French magazine Charlie Hebdo has seen its latest issue set record sales figures, with copies of the weekly publication completely selling out in France.

It’s the first issue of the satirical magazine to be released since twelve staff members were killed in the attacks on their Paris headquarters on 7th January, with thousands queueing up at newsstands for hours before dawn in order to try and pick up one of the first copies of the new release.

People lined up in a queue for Charlie Hebdo 'Survivor's' edition
 A queue at 6am for Charlie Hebdo (via @lucbronner)

Charlie Hebdo usually has a circulation of about 60,000 copies, but due to an overwhelming and phenomenal demand, publishers announced that they would be increasing the print run of their ‘survivor’s issue’ to a staggering 3 million in order to satisfy demand. This number has since again been raised, with approximately 5 million copies being printed. The issue is also available in six different language versions.

Local newsagents and newsstands in Paris sold out within minutes of opening, as the French people looked to show their support for the magazine. All proceeds from the magazine sales will go to the victim’s families.

Wednesday, 7 January 2015

Bringing print advertisements to life

For many modern businesses these days, the notion of advertising in print is undoubtedly of a lower priority than it used to be. We often hear of magazine and newspaper closures due to poor circulation figures, and when digital and online advertising is bigger than ever, a lot of companies may question the benefits of investing heavily in a print-based advertising campaign.

But recent years have shown that some big businesses still very much value their newspaper and magazine campaigns. There are a number of ways to spice up your print adverts, and if done well, they can end up being equally as effective as online and digital adverts.

A great example of this is Motorola’s interactive advert which appeared in Wired magazine in 2012, promoting their then-new Moto X mobile phone. Paper-thin micro components were used in the ad, including a battery and LED lighting, which let readers experience the phone's full range of available colours by changing them at the touch of a button.

Motorola's colour-changing 'Moto X' advert 

This fantastic interactive advert came a year on from French carmakers Peugeot, who chose to highlight their new 408 Sedan’s safety features by ingeniously inserting an airbag and a ‘hit here hard’ button into their print advert. This featured in over 50,000 copies of the Brazilian business magazine, Exame.

Peugeot produced this innovate advert to showcase safety features

More recently, as smartphones have become more and more commonplace, companies have been able to push boundaries with their print advertisements even further. In November of last year, Ford created a series of three interactive ads which, with the help of your mobile phone, highlighted different features of the new Explorer SUV.

 Ford's series of three smartphone-based print ads

Wednesday, 10 December 2014

The Power of Print Adverts

Print adverts can seem out of vogue nowadays when digital is everywhere, but when done well it can have the biggest impact. According to a recent study, the key to creating a successful print advert is:

· To establish appeal – the main motivators are love, fear, greed, and duty

· Having a headline which grabs attention – appealing to self-interest, a news story, or creating curiosity

·  Appropriate and innovative use of images

One of the most enduring images from World War 1 is the recruitment poster of Lord Kitchener entitled ‘Your County Needs You’. First published by London Opinion during the war, the poster has become a residing image in the public in association with the war (although it was never officially used as a government poster). The powerful use of the eye contact and finger pointing, paired with the headline which appeals to self-interest and a sense of duty ticks all of the boxes of how to create a compelling piece of print advertising.

WW1 'your country needs you' poster

A more recent example of creative and effective print adverts would be McDonald’s. Over recent years McDonald’s have perfected the use of simple imaginative images to market their brand. Their simplistic design for their offer of free wifi brilliantly uses the fast food images to create the universal wifi symbol, tying the promotion in with their brand.
McDonalds wifi advertising poster

Whilst they are effective in their own rights, print ads can also be effective combined with other formats for a combined campaign. The Metro Trains video ‘Dumb Ways to Die’ was incredibly popular online, viewed over 93 million times on YouTube, and their print ads tied in perfectly with the theme and content of the video. Tapping into the success of the video, the ads portray the memorable scenes from the campaign with lyrics from the catchy song, using the popularity and originality of the video to create minimalistic posters which relate to train safety without directly referencing the incidents. 
Metro Trains advertising campaign

Monday, 29 September 2014

Stopping the Press: The UK's Oddest Newspaper Headlines

Everyone knows the importance of a good headline.
An exclusive, dramatic or exciting headline is a fantastic way of firing up sales and helping a publication fly off the shelves. 

Filling some of the UK's smaller town's papers with news must be a tough job in itself, let alone creating a stand out headline that gets that village or town talking. However it seems a few journalists really will go to any length to get the public reading their print. We've rounded up a couple of the best stop the press headlines that, erm, might not have quite stopped the press...

Friday, 22 August 2014

UK magazines lose 1million print sales in first half of 2014

The Audit Bureau of Circulations said this week that sales of paid-for weekly and monthly titles fell4.4% compared with the previous six months.

Publishers have been dealing with a declining industry for over a decade, the internet and digital publications providing tough and unrelenting opposition.

PressMagMedia - Print sales lose £1million
There are around 500 paid-for and free consumer magazines officially audited by ABC, 114 with a circulation of 20,000 or fewer copies.

News and current affairs publications were the most resilient. For example, The Week increased its print sales by 1.1% to 200,000 and its digital sales were up to 26,283. It charges digital subscriptions and bundles with the print product.

The UK edition of the Economist was down 3.5% on print sales, but digital sales grew 72% to 21,780. With an average combined circulation of 223,730, the Economist is the top selling UK news and current affairs title.

The main point to note here however is that only 70% of the Economist’s print circulation was paid for, with nearly 60,000 copies being given away for free.

Zoe Bale, head of press at media buying agency, Carat said:

"If you look at titles doing well in print and digital it is generally the ones with a high subscriber base or loyal readership, business titles like the Week and Economist and some of the food titles, that are doing really well.

"The reason the magazine sector struggles a little bit is that it is a fickle marketplace. There is much less [brand] loyalty than in say radio or newspapers. All publishers are looking to diversify, they are experts in content, so there is still huge opportunity."

Find out more about press advertising.

Thursday, 14 August 2014

Perfumed Magazines: Still More Than a Whiff of Success

Remember those magazines with perfume ads that allow you to smell the fragrance?

They still exist! Yes, we thought they must have been long gone too. Probably because we do all of our reading online, these days.

PressMagMedia - Magazine Advertising
But, according to a report from analytics firm, MediaRadar, perfumed print ads have had a fragrant year. In the first six months of 2014, magazines ran 17 more ads with scent strips for perfume and cologne brands than they did the year before.

The report looked at 177 consumer magazines and found 296 scented ads in total. Dior Parfums placed the most ads with scented pages, followed by Chanel, Ralph Lauren, Calvin Klein and Chloe, said the report.

Donna Kalajian Lagani, senior VP-publisher of Cosmopolitan said,

Hearst’s Cosmopolitan  title printed the most ad pages with scent samples at 48, followed by Elle and Time Inc.’s InStyle with 42 pages each.

"The best way to have women buy a fragrance is to have them smell it."

She went on to s the most effective approach to this is via 'magazine scent strips'.

George Janson managing partner and director of print for Group M, said,

"We know that in-book scenting generates trials and pays off in terms of ROI, plus, no one has really figured out a way to sample digitally."

Find out more information about press advertising