Publishing Trends

Millenials Matter When It Comes To Magazine Growth
Posted: June 13, 2012

There’s a perception that younger readers don’t want anything to do with print. As Ms. Bazilian states in her piece, the perception is that millennials are only into “clicking on Facebook links and watching Youtube videos” rather than opening up a magazine to read it.

That perception is wrong, according to a Condé Nast study using data from a GfK MRI Study of the American Consumer. Bazilian writes that Scott McDonald, Senior VP of market research at Condé Nast, who conducted this study and a similar one six years ago, has come to the same conclusion for both studies; that “in certain categories, 18-to-24-year-olds are reading more magazines than ever before.”

And the two categories that led the way for this age group according to this study? Beauty and fashion magazines.

Categories that saw declines in readership among the 18-24 age group include women’s service magazines and weekly news magazines, due to “technological and cultural changes” which have altered reading habits.

In particular, women’s service magazines have about half the readership they used to because of higher levels of education and changing cultural norms amongst younger women today. Weekly news magazines have about half the readership among 18-to-24-year-olds primarily due to the rise of news being taken directly from the internet, according to McDonald.

The one category within weekly news magazines that hasn’t been affected by this same decline has been business titles. According to McDonald, this may be because the category is “’figuring out a new formula,’” or that the magazines are helping readers “figure out that information on the Internet can be iffy.’”

CPS's Analysis - The Condé Nast study is certainly good news for magazines. It shows how younger readers are still being created and maintained by quality print magazines.

What's far more interesting, though, is that the article confirms an underlying theme that CPS has been touting for sometime:Niche magazines are the prize fighters of strength and growth in an industry that's taken its fair share of hard knocks during the past few years.

In our "State of the Magazine Industry" research study (covering 2000 through the 1st Quarter of 2012), one slide gives the best and worst magazine categories within new magazine launches and folds. Condé Nast's study confirms CPS's extensive research that niche magazine categories such as fashion, beauty, men's fitness and celebrity are where the biggest growth has taken place -- and continues to do so. CPS's research also found that other magazine categories such as regional and food have shown good resiliency as well.

If you are interested in hearing more about this study, please call 970-221-0082 or email

The Adweek article "Condé Nast Finds Magazine Readership Growing Among Millennials" written on May 31, 2012 by Emma Bazilian.

ABC endorses "Meaningful Metrics on Digital Mags"
Posted: March 28, 2012

In an effort to nail down specifics on the use of tablets and e-readers in the digital magazine sales arena, the Audit Bureau of Circulations (ABC) proposed a new reporting format for sales of digital subscriptions and single-copy sales by platform. Where previous reporting lumped all platforms or devices into a single category – Digital - new standards would require the “break down [of] circulation by platform — web and mobile browser editions, tablet and smartphone apps and multi-platform offers. This data would include the number of unique browsers or devices, total visits and average visit length.” If passed, the new requirements would take effect in July 2013.

CPS's Analysis - This is a welcome proposal. Adoption would give both publishers and advertisers firm figures, rather than educated guesses, regarding audience makeup and behavior. Combining more relevant data on platforms and audience behavior will complement industry moves toward better use of Big Data, yielding better analysis of attribution, latency, and follow-on conversions as well as a more complete picture of where digital readers spend their time. We applaud the new proposal and we understand that new reporting requirements will take time to implement, but we encourage the ABC to set a more aggressive implementation date. Publishers and advertisers are salivating at the prospect of better demographics.

paidContent: The Economics of Digital Content article "Audit Bureau of Circulations endorses “Meaningful Metrics on Digital Mags" written on March 21, 2012 by Laura Hazard Owen .

Publishers Confused About Their Roles in Digital Marketplace
Posted: January 20, 2012

CPS's Analysis - Writer and speaker Peter Funt comments in a Wall Street Journal column about MediaNew's move to open "community news labs" as part of the broader concept of "citizen journalism." Funt believes this movement, which includes "coffee-shop journalism" is a "result of budget cutbacks and confusion among publishers about their role in the digital marketplace."Whether it be for newspapers or magazines, the concept of "citizen journalism" should carry its own 10-pound bag of salt. Peter Funt's take on the situation is accurate and straightforward. He uses an apt analogy: Professional sports teams don't invite citizen quarterbacks or citizen shortstops to play -- neither should professional media companies. "That's not journalism, nor is it much of a business strategy," Funt says. That doesn't mean local communities shouldn't be involved and engaged. The balance between the two is what needs to be developed.

The Wall Street Journal article "Big Media's Latest Mistake" written on January 13, 2012 by Peter Funt.

Chicago Sun-Times Heads Into The Digital Age
Posted: December 28, 2011

CPS's Analysis - Late in December Chicago's No. 2 major metro daily newspaper, the Chicago Sun-Times, was sold to a newly formed digital company headed by Chicago technology entrepreneur Michael Ferro and former Newsday Publisher and CEO Timothy Knight. As the Chicago Tribune article stated, the new owners are "running into an uncertain digital future." It's interesting to note that the article, written by the Sun-Time's biggest competitor, the Chicago Tribune, didn't say that the "uncertain digital future" the new owners were running into is the same uncertain future that the Tribune is facing as well. Something to watch is whether or not the new owners continue the recently instituted Sun-Times paywall for online content.

The Chicago Tribune article "Sun-Times' New Owners Envision Highly Digital Delivery, Products" written on December 23, 2011 by Robert Channick and Michael Oneal.

Publishers Lack The Use of Social Media
Posted: November 20, 2011

CPS's Analysis - Folio Magazine's November issue reported that magazine publishers were taken to task over the lack of social media strategies at the MPA's 2011 American Magazine Conference in New York. An industry expert, Scott Galloway, was reported by Folio as stating: "The reason you're having trouble making money is because you're not relevant -- profits are an indicator of relevance." Galloway couldn't have said it better. Today's magazines, if they want to stay alive, need to embrace the full spectrum of digital platforms and products to maximize their reach and impact. If they do so, revenues will increase.

The Folio Magazine article "At AMC, Magazines Scolded on Social Media Efforts" written on November 15, 2011 by TJ Raphael.

The Challenges of "Print-to-Online, and Online-to-Print"
Posted: October 28, 2011

CPS's Analysis - Conde Nast has released a print version of their website. “We wanted to give the reader a sense of what it is like to go through the journey of the shows, from New York to London to Milan to Paris,” Dirk Standen, the editor of, told the New York Times. It will be interesting to see how this reverse move (online to print) goes. CPS believes that in today's world of ever-evolving information dissemination, it doesn't matter which way you go -- print-to-online, online-to-print -- you're faced with the same challenges regarding readership, content, presentation and advertising.

The New York Times article "Finally, the Web at Hand" from October 26, 2011 by Eric Wilson.

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