The magazine industry—or what used to be called the magazine industry, to be more precise—is faced with disruption and change that’s unmatched in its history. That change is coming from multiple directions.
• Programmatic Advertising is big, and getting bigger. It accounts for US$15bn of $58bn in digital advertising this year, and 55 per cent of the money spent.
• Mobile is huge, but no one is close to cracking the monetisation code, and that is a serious problem as most branded media see 50 per cent and more of their traffic going here.
• Ad Blocking is endemic. 21 per cent of people in the US who use the Internet browse the Web with ad blocking enabled, and 41 per cent of millennials.
• Content Marketing is pervasive. Increasingly, brands are doing their own communication with their customers, using the proven methods of publishers. They’re now, in effect, the competition!
• Most troubling, there’s been a massive shift of ad revenue to businesses that have proven to be more adept at segmenting and targeting, especially Facebook and Google. In fact, Facebook and Google alone combined for $78bn in ad revenue in 2014. Google and Facebook alone—two companies—have more ad revenue then the entire newspaper and magazine industries combined.
In this context, we thought it would be useful to see what the folks at the front lines are thinking—the people charged with making budgets, pleasing investors, and assuring that their employees get paid. Here, 12 leaders from across the business tell us, in their own words, about their priorities and concerns.
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