New Magazines from Unlikely Sources

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The print industry has had some strange movement over the past decade, especially in the magazine landscape. That said, print has never “died,” nor will it do so a very long time, if ever. The proof is that, while the dynamic of how to make magazines profitable has altered drastically, there are more magazines today than there were 10 years ago. A lot more, in fact!

One of the biggest sources for this boost in new magazines is from the least likely of places: digital and online service organizations. In their industry, print is an uncommon form of distribution, and a way to exercise a unique marketing opportunity. It also allows them to venture into the world of content distribution that, on their digital and online platforms, may not fit their model. Here are two perfect examples.

Case Study: Dating app “Bumble”

Bumble is a popular social and dating app that has been around for almost 5 years. It is a mobile-only application designed to shake up the gender norms re: woman and dating rules, allowing women a place to connect for dating, networking or meeting online. Just recently though, Bumble decided to broaden its focus beyond just connecting people and facilitating communication, by developing a print lifestyle magazine.

The magazine focuses on content related to what brings users to Bumble: dating, careers, friendships, and partnership. They even went so far as to create 4 sections in the entire magazine into 4 sections, labeled “You First,” You + BFFs,” “You + Dating,” and “You + Bizz.”  The print publication is exclusive to Bumble’s 50+ million users at the moment, with free copies able to be requested on the app, but the potential for it to scale into the general reading market is likely based on the contributors.

Case Study: Travel site Airbnb

Airbnb took the world by storm by offering an in-house solution to hotels and motels; connect people willing to lend their homes out with people needing short-term vacation rentals, business trip housing, or other travel accommodations. The company focused on helping travelers have creature comforts and feel at home while on the go,  and they expanded that in 2017 with a print publication.

The content leverages anonymous user activity on the Airbnb website to determine locations, events, trips, and travel ideas that are popular, and then crafts custom content for the publication on those topics. It not only provided new revenue options for the already thriving company, but answered a lot of questions that current Airbnb users were asking, and could not find answers to elsewhere.

Further Information

For more detail on about Bumble’s print magazine, click here. You can also check out this article about Airbnb Magazine.

If you would like more great content from Publication Printers and the Publication Printers Marketing Group, click here.

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Print is ALIVE & WELL

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10 Facts to Support Your Sales Efforts

  • Print publications are considered the most trusted news and content sources in the USA, with a 72% approval rate, higher than TV news, websites, and social media coverage. (Mediashift)
  • 95% of people under the age of 25 are reading magazines, with an average of an hour spent with each new issue, better than the average of 15 seconds a user spends on a website. (Magazine Media Factbook)
  • Print provides a tactile experience that is proven to increase engagement, memory of content, and sense of quality. (Sappi Paper)
  • 70% of Americans enjoy reading printed magazines even though they know they could find most of the same information online. (State of the Media Democracy from Deloitte Research)
  • Despite the vast amount of electronic and digital technology, print is still the favored medium across all age groups for reading and safekeeping of documents. (IPSOS; Two Sides; and Print Power)
  • In the U.S., more than 65% of paper was recycled, making it the most recycled commodity. (American Forest & Paper Association)
  • Private tree farmers average planting 4 million trees a day, 3-4x what is harvested a day for all uses, not just paper. (International Paper, Go Paper, Grow Trees website)
  • There are 20% more trees in the U.S. today than there were on the first Earth Day celebration in 1970. (American Forest & Paper Association)
  • Over 30% of digital transactions have an origin point that can be traced to print media. (PWC)
  • 66% of paper comes from sawmill scraps, wood chips, and recycled paper. Only 1/3 requires cutting down trees, and PPC only chooses paper that was responsibly farmed. (U.S. EPA/Choose Print)

Further Information

If you would like more great content from Publication Printers and the Publication Printers Marketing Group, click here.

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2018: Awards and Recognitions for PPC

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Publication Printers has grown a great deal from its humble beginnings in 1979. With that growth has come recognition not only as a printing company, but as an organization in general.

One of the most important things we can do as a company is to see how our brand has changed and how the industry sees us as a whole. There is no better way to do that than to look back at the awards, accolades, and recognition we received. Here is a quick rundown of 2018:

Colorado Biz names PPC 26th top Colorado private business:

The Colorado Business Magazine, more commonly known as Colorado Biz, puts out an annual list of the top 250 private businesses in Colorado. We have consistently been in the top 50 for years, but we made a 9 spot jump from 2017 to 2018, which shows how much progress we are making as a company.

Publication Printers was also nominated runner-up by the Colorado Biz readers for the “Best Printer” in the Colorado Biz Best of Colorado Business Choice awards.

PPC Takes Home the 2018 “Benny” for Heatset Web Magazines:

There are a number of annual publication printing award shows that span different types of print, different types of publications, art design, staff, and a gamut of other realms. For 2018, the most notable award we received was the Benny Award, one of the nation’s most recognized awards for print quality. Publication Printers also received several other awards in various categories from award shows:

Printing Industries of America: Premiere Print Awards

  • The “Benny” Award (Magazine: Heatset Web)

WSPA: Print Excellence Awards

  • Gold Award (Magazine: Heatset Web)
  • Silver  Award (Magazine: Heatset Web)
  • Bronze Award (Magazine: Heatset Web)

Printing Impressions: Gold Ink Awards

  • Gold Award (Specialty Magazine, Web)
  • Bronze Award (Trade Magazine, Web)
  • Bronze Award (Business Catalog, Web)
  • Pewter Award (Consumer Magazine)
  • Pewter Award (Magazine Cover)

Further Information

If you would like more great content from Publication Printers and the Publication Printers Marketing Group, click here.

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Magazines Still Need Print: The Facts

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Print is alive and well, despite the abundance of whispers still asking the question. Over the past decade, the magazine industry has seen huge shifts in business, due to innovations in online and digital media. However, no matter how big the shift has been, print remains vital to the industry, and will continue to be for the foreseeable future. Here are the reasons why!

Revenue matters, and print is still the breadwinner:

Advertisements from print were responsible for over $16 billion in revenue in 2016 (PricewaterhouseCoopers, commonly PwC). Around 87% of revenue related to circulation that year was also coming from print products.

Digital publishing has allowed for lower start-up costs for new publications, but the stream of revenue is not there for most. Only a select few, with the right niche topics and an abundance of alternative revenue streams (subscription video, social media advertising, tiered content strategies, other products, etc.) have found themselves extremely profitable with an all-digital publication. Most end up closing shop or integrating print just to balance the scale.

That said, to quote the president of Meredith’s National Media Group: “… print and digital; not print or digital. In today’s industry, balancing both is the key to success.

Data for print ROI has come a long way:

One of the biggest appeals of digital marketing and advertising is the ability to track information on a very precise level, or it used to be. With so many fake accounts and bots and other mechanisms, digital analytics related to sales or chain-of-purchase, or even just page views, is now incredibly hard to make accurate.

This does not change the fact that realistic data can be a huge asset. That is why so many publishers have worked to develop data algorithms that help prove ROI, track actual chain of purchase, and other vital details specific to print publications … and it is now a reality.

Bauer Media is one of the leaders pioneering print data analytics. Their software provides research data about advertisement and readership as a whole to help show advertisers how ads can help them meet their goals. The result is that Bauer makes ¾ of its revenue from print, and is thriving in today’s market.

Frequency and newsstand dates make a difference:

Digital publications, and online content producers in general suffer from online audiences expecting constant, consistent new stuff. As publishers strain to pump out content, they shift their focus from quality to quantity.

Print publications have a much lighter expectation for content, with weekly, monthly, quarterly, or even annual releases being perfectly normal. Not to mention, the slight variations in how often, and when it goes to actually producing the publication, can make a huge difference in dollars.

Vanity Fair is a great example of this. They combined December and January issues into a “holiday” issue, and also fused July and August to make a “summer” issue. This adjusted their schedule in the newsstands by just a few days, but meant saving a lot of money in printing costs. It also allowed them to have a flexible issue that they release in February related to the award show. It is not part of the normal print schedule, so it can fit in wherever is most affordable for their printer.

For digital publications, adjusting distribution makes little to no monetary change outside of the cost to produce content within a certain timeframe, and the staff needed to do it.

Further Information

For more detail on these facts about print and more, click here. You can also check out this article about 4 major reasons print is still around in a digital age.

If you would like more great content from Publication Printers and the Publication Printers Marketing Group, click here.

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Combatting The Top Assumption about Digital

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Digital is one of the biggest topics for publishers and has been for the better part of two decades. It makes sense, with the advent of the internet, the smartphone, and mobile devices all moving a majority of content consumption away from print and towards digital platforms. That said, the idea that print will “die” anytime soon is out of place. Digital is valuable to publishers, absolutely, but a lot of assumptions have been made as to what that value is.

Assumptions: Digital will be the end of print

First and foremost, there is an impression that digital is a “silver bullet” that can slay the print publication industry, and that digital and online titles are the only ones that will survive. If this were the case, there would be fewer print titles today than there were 25 years ago. The opposite is actually the case. Niche publications are storming the market, providing more printed content than ever.

Now there is definitely a lot of digital influence with these new titles, like websites and social media, but the money and effort are still in the print. Digital did not break the print publication industry; it actually helped it evolve towards more topic-focused and localized titles.

Assumptions: Digital means giving away content for free

Second on the assumptions list is that digital for publishers means “giving away your content for free.” For some reason, publishers have come to the conclusion that digital is the enemy of print because it involves putting all of the print content onto websites and social media in a manner that provides no return. Digital platforms provide all sorts of return if they used well. Publishers that do nothing but repost their stories online miss all the actual opportunity digital provides.

There are ad spaces to sell, new formats of content available to leverage, and entirely new audiences to discover. Digital does involve distributing your content, but there is nothing about digital that says you have to give it away with no return or not making money from it. In fact, if a publisher is “giving it away for free,” they are missing out on almost all of what digital is capable of providing.

Assumptions: Younger generations prefer digital to print

Lastly, there are assumptions that newer generations, due to the influence of digital, are reading less editorial content. This is because micro-content (like a Facebook post or Tweet) are a huge part of the digital platform culture. However, this assumption is incorrect.

Research shows that millennials are actually print’s largest and fastest-growing market. This is due to the fact that they are highly exposed to digital, and print provides them with a tactile component that is greatly missing from their normal lives. Also, print ads are native and a natural part of a print publication. This greatly differs from digital ads, which are disruptive. This backs up the fact that print that targets this generation also sees higher engagement with print advertisement.

To top this all off, while millennials are using print, baby boomers are really pushing into digital. Facebook’s largest age demographic is the 55+ group. Also, with age, ease of access is key, and digital solutions are far more versatile for people with poor vision, lack of motor skills, and other factors that come into consideration with age. Essentially, the market is moving towards print for the young and digital for the mature, further defending that print is not going anywhere.

Further Information

To see Printing Impressions‘ 10 things we got wrong about publishing in the digital age, click here.

If you want more great content from Publication Printers, click here.

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