The millennial magazine market: a craving for print in the intangible age?
On Revenue: The panel tackled the often side-stepped topic of advertising revenue in magazines and the increasingly muddy line between editorial and paid content. Eleanor Mills, Editor of the Sunday Times Magazine, says brand partnerships that fund content the magazine would otherwise not be able to produce are “win win”; however magazines must make a “clear” distinction between paid and editorial content in order to maintain the “reader’s trust”. Tom Loxley, Co-founder of Rakesprogress Magazine, urges independent magazines to “look for alternative revenue streams” such as hosting events or building a solid subscriber base.”Digital, which is supposed to have killed magazines, is a key marketing tool.”
On Subscribers: Alice Vincent, Author of ‘How to Grow Stuff’ and Arts and Entertainment writer at The Telegraph, believes “the newsletter is the new blog” and this shows people’s willingness to subscribe to something curated and delivered to their “precious space” (their email inbox), rather than having to hunt for it. Steve Watson, Founder of Stack, says his magazine subscription service successfully relies on people’s love of print. Tom Loxley says “subscribers are great, you can interact and learn from them”. Rakesprogress aims to reach 3000 subscribers to form a solid revenue for the magazine. Eleanor Mills says The Sunday Times magazine has large numbers of subscribers who access the magazine online. Thanks to the pay wall structure this only adds to the success of the magazine, (the most read quality newspaper supplement in the UK), proving that print is not the only form of survival for magazine. Mills says subscribers allow them to work out what people like to read most.
On Millennials: By all logic the magazine market should have been lost to the millennial market, but by some miracle the age of free content has had the opposite effect. “Students are willing to pay £10-15 for a magazine” says Tom Loxley. Alice Vincent believes “Millennials value experiences over things so magazines that lead experiences – holidays, recipes” have a place in the “small homes” of Millennials. Eleanor Mills believes this is due to the craving for the “tangible in a digital world”. In regards to the younger generation she says her daughters (12 & 15) who love Polaroid cameras and record players are an example of the need young people have for tangible, prized possessions…
“The younger audiences are now interested in the things that we thought were ‘granny’, in a world where everything is mass produced and intangible there is something very special about something you can touch.” @EleanorMills
— Women in Journalism (@WIJ_UK) January 18, 2018
On Quality: “People want to believe that you’re creating the magazine with the same passion that they’re reading it” says Tom Loxley. “What people want is the sense that someone’s filtered it for you, people subscribe to quality long-form journalism” says Eleanor Mills.
Many thanks to Borough Wines, Nonsuch Shrubs and Lurville’s Delight for sponsoring the event.