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Media Intelligence : MT Resource Guide 2011
returning to magazines more slowly than normal and more slowly than any other medium – behind what we expected.” Simon Davies, Head of Publishing at OMD and representative for media agencies on the Audit Bureau of Circulations’ executive committee, says the GFC has influenced consumers’ discretionary spend, meaning they have been confining their purchases to a favourite, rather than sampling from a range of titles in a category. “Magazine circulations have remained under pressure and it is unlikely that this will change while consumers remain focussed on minimising their household spending. The weekly magazines have been particularly hard hit in this area as they are largely a discretionary purchase. Ad revenue growth has also lagged behind the broader media market.” Davies observes that while the consumer focus is on shorter term retail activity, “mediums that deliver more immediate results with shorter deadlines” have profited. “It is hard to see any significant upward movement for magazine ad revenue until the broader economy starts to change,” he adds. Janice Williams, Associate Publisher at Universal Magazines says that the consumer magazines sub-segment, niche homemaker has not experienced the “circulation bleed” of the mass market home titles over the past 18 months. “ The niche home magazines hold their own because they assist consumers with project research, while the mass home magazines are more of a discretionary reading experience.” She continues: “We worked with McNair Ingenuity last year on a study called ‘People With Projects’ and found the line between recreational reading (‘dreaming’) and project research (‘doing’) is quite distinct. When consumers have decided to do a renovation, they see the purchase of $70 to $100 worth of informative niche magazines as a cheap investment compared to the project they are about to embark upon. But if their connection to the topic of ‘home’ is no more than a nice dream of something they’d like to do some day, then the option to spend on magazines becomes discretionary.” Competition for ad dollars has been “dog eat dog” among consumer titles and with other mediums, according to Steve Allen. “ The demise of the MPA was a major strategic mistake,” he asserts. “Each medium now has to compete for advertiser dollars, having to give them persuasive reasons to buy and telling the medium’s story.” Publishers have had to go it alone, and as a consequence, their publications have had to “revamp re-launch in a major way”. “Prevention, New Idea, Good Medicine, sydney & melbourne magazines, AWW, Woman’s Day, just to name a few,” says Allen. In the mire of competition, publishers and individual magazines are strenuously working to create and build their brands, engage their readerships, drill them for feedback and then use that reader insight to pitch their case to advertisers. And if they’re not doing that well and attempting to stay ahead of their main rivals, “they are likely to be on the long slippery slope”, says Allen. The flurry of recent rebrandings, new sections, spin-offs and all manner of group buys pitched to advertisers, are consistent with the “constant innovation” consumer magazines must employ to MediaTitles 35 The level of economy-wide advertising expenditure in australia is sensitive to economic activity. The rate of real growth in the australian economy for the five years through 2015-16 is expected to be faster compared with the forecast rate of real economic growth in the previous five years through 2010-11. growth in consumer spending will also pick up and this should promote advertising spending and periodical sales.* – IBISWorld OmD head of Publishing Simon Davies: the gFC has influenced consumers' discretionary spend The wOmen’S magazine market accounts for over half of the market circulation of consumer magazines, which is high in australia by world standards. women’s interests are changing and becoming more varied, which is resulting in major alterations to the content of existing women’s titles, as well as in the introduction of more niche titles. The share of the domestic magazine market held by imports is expected to be flat over the next five years, continuing a trend seen in the previous five-year period. magazines attuned to local needs appear to have ascendancy in most markets.* – IBISWorld p34-37 consumerPublish.indd 35 14/4/11 8:43:26 AM
MT Resource 2010
Media Trends+Strategy 2012