What makes a magazine title flourish in the digital age?

When it comes to magazines, research shows we read more, we read for longer and we subscribe more often to print editions than to digital. Leading magazine publishers are looking at innovative ways to engage their audiences and are adapting their products to appeal to today’s readers.
 

Why do people still buy printed magazines?

There’s no doubt digital media has the advantages of reduced distribution costs and the ability to incorporate multimedia content. However, there are still some essential qualities that digital will simply never fulfill in the way a printed magazine does. Digital media is often consumed in shorter bites, scanned rather than read, whereas printed material can be much more reader-friendly and is an experiential media.

Readers no longer buy printed magazines just for the information contained within; the internet has largely taken over this role. Instead, readers buy a magazine to have an experience that goes beyond information.

The YouGov ‘Magazine Consumption’ report found that despite the growth of digital publications, people feel a strong affinity for print titles, with more than two-fifths (43%) of magazine buyers preferring print to digital. A similar number (42%) like the look and feel of printed magazines and a third (33%) choose hard copies of publications because they find them more convenient.
 

Adapting to the digital age

Just like the music business has had to adapt to the new revenue model of music sales via downloads, magazine publishers understand their audience and are looking to build stronger relationships around their brand. Events and experiences attract paying audiences and highlight how smaller specialist magazine titles can punch above their weight.

In recent years we have seen an increase in the number of high-end titles operating in niche or specialist areas. These magazines tend to attract a loyal readership, happy to pay for a quality product and enthusiastic to receive each new issue. A high standard of content – combined with modern design and quality print – results in a collectible product that digital cannot touch.

We don’t believe that the appeal of the printed magazine‚Ääwill ever disappear. Style, content and circulation models will continue to adapt in the digital age, but a market for print will remain.



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