Guest post by Nina Link, president and CEO, MPA – The Association of Magazine Media
2010 was a year of change for the magazine media industry. Positive change.
For the first time since the fourth quarter of 2007, magazine ad pages and revenue increased. Total magazine readership held steady. Additionally, 2010 saw the emergence of the tablet computer as an exciting new platform to display the rich photography, beautiful design and curated content of magazine media. And magazine media companies embraced smartphones as another channel to reach consumers with their branded content.
The innovation and experimentation that helped define this past year for magazines will help propel the industry to even greater heights in 2011. Here are some of the positive trends we see for the magazine industry in the coming year.
The power of print. Magazine readership will hold steady and advertising pages and revenue will increase in 2011. Reader engagement with magazine content – edit and advertising – tells a compelling story about the ability of magazines to connect with their audience and drive people to take action. The industry’s acclaimed 2010 advertising campaign promoting the power of the print platform will carry on into 2011.
Increased digital focus. There will be expanded efforts to migrate magazine content to mobile platforms via tablets and smartphones, mainly through apps. At MPA, we’ve identified more than 600 magazine apps through 2010, a number that surely will grow in 2011. Magazines will expand their social media activities, boosting their connection to their audiences, driving traffic to their websites and even creating new revenue streams from social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter. And magazines will continue to add more original content to their websites, establishing even deeper connections to their communities.
Emergence of iPad competitors. Samsung has the Galaxy Tab and Barnes & Noble has the Nook. More tablets are coming in 2011, giving publishers additional channels to reach consumers eager for content from trusted brands.
Emergence of iTunes competitors. Look for the debut of several digital storefronts that offer consumers an alternative to iTunes. The creation of these digital storefronts will facilitate new ways for consumers to subscribe to their brands and receive content on an ongoing basis via their mobile devices.
Promotion of magazine media audience measurement. There will be a focus on moving to an audience magazine metric that will expand over time to a cross-platform brand measurement. The industry will work to ensure that market-mix models properly represent magazine media in communications planning and emerging digital platforms.
Infusion of talent. The emergence of new digital platforms will draw new types of talent to the magazine industry – people who understand cross-media selling and digital marketing, and creatives who possess content-creation skills in video, audio and print.
A creative renaissance in the magazine industry. Expect bold new creative developments for magazine content in 2011. Tablets and smartphones have sparked the beginning of a creative revolution in the magazine industry. Simply put, this revolution is transforming the way that magazine content is created and consumed.
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