PBAA SEMINAR - Publishers: Newsstand Is Vital To Magazine Brand Success
The newsstand channel is more key than ever to magazine brands’ overall success, said two senior-level publishing executives speaking at last week’s Periodical & Book Association of America (PBAA) “Focus Forward: 2010” event.
Elle, which this year is leading all monthly magazines in total ad pages, owes much of that advertising success to its newsstand performance (sales up 12% over the past five years), she stressed.
In fact, because Procter & Gamble and all major beauty products manufacturers are linking advertising buys to large-scale in-store promotions in Wal-Mart, Target and other major retail chains, Elle intends to make 2010 “the year of mass retail programs,” Smith reported.
Moreover, these scalable retail promotion programs will be supported with dollars from advertising promotion budgets, as well as newsstand budgets, as needed, she said. Retail promotions implemented with beauty clients during 2009 contributed to advertising growth, and the more success that’s demonstrated, the more top publishing management will support expanding retail programs, she added.
More than ever, ad agencies and advertisers are looking for proof of magazines’ vitality in making their media buying decisions, agreed Steve Giannetti, who prior to forming SPG Media was SVP, group publisher for National Geographic. At a time when publishers and other online content providers are hard-pressed to get consumers to pay for content, newsstand sales, even if not the largest circulation or revenue component for a given magazine, provide hard evidence that consumers are compelled by a magazine’s content and willing to pay a substantial price for a single copy, he said.
The newsstand also contributes significantly to a magazine brand by introducing it to new consumers who will not only buy newsstand copies, but other brand extensions, Giannetti noted.
He also believes that publishers’ need to improve circulation bottom lines may actually present a window of opportunity to shift more resources toward the newsstand. While “it takes a lot of copies to sell a lot of copies,” and cost control is obviously a key publisher concern in the current economy, a sound, realistic strategic plan for increased newsstand investment could resonate with top management at a time when subscription channels are in “so much turmoil,” he said.
Publishers that are succeeding in using online sources to reduce subscription acquisition costs significantly should consider using some of those savings to invest in the newsstand, he suggested. --K.Lukovitz
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