The news hasn’t been all kind for the magazine industry lately – despite a PwC forecast of US consumer magazine ad revenue growth, last month, Kantar Media reported thatÂ magazine ad revenue had fallen 3% year-over-year in H1. But, there is some good news, according to the Association of Magazine Media. Citing new Kantar Media data, the MPA says that in the US, the number of brands advertising in magazines with tablet, online, and print editions has been on the rise, up almost 40% year-over-year in H1 2012. That calculation is based on a monitored sample of 60 publishing brands with print editions, websites, and tablet editions. Looking beyond print exclusively provides “a more complete picture about magazine media,” says Mary Berner, President & CEO, MPA. Indeed, the number of brands advertising on that sample of 60 magazines has risen to 14,949 in H1 of this year, up from 10,768 in H1 2011 and 9,536 in H1 2010. The data also found year-over-year audience growth in the combined print and online audience.
Magazines Find Success With iPad Apps
The MPA also conducted its own research during the week of October 1, 2012, finding that magazine-branded iPad applications are seeing high levels of success. At the time of the research, 13 of the 15 highest-grossing iPad lifestyle apps were magazines apps. Magazines apps also made up 10 of the 15 highest-grossing health and fitness apps, and 10 of the 15 highest-grossing magazine apps.
Some Mags Do Digital Better Than Others
According to a PricewaterhouseCoopers forecast from June, within the US consumer magazine publishing ad market, digital will see the fastest growth, rising by a compound annual growth rate of 18.5% to reach $2.86 billion in revenues in 2016. That growth will begin with a 17% rise this year, from $1.23 billion to $1.44 billion.
Some magazines will be better poised to capitalize on that growth than others. An L2 report [download page] from July looked at 80 global consumer magazine brands, assigning them a “digital IQ” based on a weighted ranking of 350 data points across 5 factors: mobile (such as app availability); site (including navigation and search functions); tablet (including digital edition availability); social media (such as fans, followers count); and digital marketing (including monetization).
The study found that of the 80 brands, just 1 – Wired – scored in the “Genius” class, with an IQ of 140 or higher (its score was 140). Yet, another 26 landed in the “Gifted” category, led by The New Yorker (131), Entertainment Weekly (129), Glamour (129), and Better Homes and Gardens (128). Better Homes and Gardens has been singled out recently by Nellymoser for its use of mobile action codes.
Overall, the study found just 15 of the 80 brands scoring in the challenged (12) or feeble (3) categories, with Town & Country ranking dead last with a score of 41.