Publishing Futures study demonstrates magazine brands shifting to a multi-platform future

Marius Cloete, former head of research at PPA, presented findings from the company’s recent Publishing Futures study at FIPP’s Research Forum in Hamburg on 16 June. 
The annual bellwether report benchmarks current and projected performance of the UK’s consumer magazine and business information publishers, highlighting the continued influence of digital channels in driving growth.
“The study received 106 responses and shows that normal trading environments no longer exist, and the new normal is all about diversification,” said Cloete. 
Cloete said that the B2B market was ahead in starting its digital diversification, and is now reaping the rewards.
Some key findings:
  • Year-on-year turnover among consumer magazine media companies increased by two per cent by the end of 2013 and by the end of 2014 is expected to be up 3.1 per cent year-on-year
  • Advertising and sponsorship opportunities make up 47 per cent of consumer revenues and digital accounts for a 24 per cent share of that total
  • Print still accounts for average of 76 per cent of overall revenues for media businesses in the UK. “Digital is not just digital,” said Cloete, it now includes events and ecommerce. It’s not a simple model.”
  • Cloete said the business model for consumer markets in UK will start to look a lot more like B2B, where we will start to see consumer companies diversifying, as they seek new revenue models. 
Digital opportunities
Extending range of products and services
Extending reach
Low-risk testing
Cost reduction
Digital challenges
Cost and complexity of digital
Human resources
Growing level of competition online
End-users becoming more fickle and demanding
“The time we once spent reading magazines is being replaced by things we can do on our phones,” said Cloete. “It remains a difficult game, but we’re seeing lots of successes. For many, it’s a challenge – wondering where to invest, or where your time and money will work hardest for you. But now, we’ve got an increase in confidence, profitability and turnover, and we need to remain focused on developing products that meet customers’ needs.”

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