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December 14, 2014

“State of the Magazine” addresses the present and future of print

by Stacey McLachlan

It was a pretty early morning for the publishing industry at the State of the Magazine address, held Oct. 17. Account managers, sales reps, publishers, and advertisers straggled into the Vancouver Convention Centre at the crack of 8 a.m., and armed with complimentary coffees and croissants, settled in for an insider look at publishing and sales research.

Presented by Magazines Canada, the presentation shared some encouraging details about today’s publishing economy -- and smart speculation on what’s to come. It’s been a hard few years for magazines, so it was a pleasant surprise to see plenty of positive figures up on the screen. 200 new magazines have launched in the past five years; 59% of Canadian titles were launched post-Internet.

Readership interest and average readership per title have stayed stable since 2009, but most surprising, perhaps, is the changing average age of these readers: 5% younger than the average population. “The numbers were surprising, but really wonderful to hear,” shared one magazine sales rep, post-event. “And the fact that young people are the biggest magazine readers is just so completely opposed to everything you think and are told, so it’s encouraging to see hard numbers disprove that.”

Even the most established of publications has turned to online or mobile content at this point, and State of the Magazine made sure to address this exciting evolution of format. Content isn’t disappearing -- it’s “spreading” off the page and to “wherever audiences are developing”, be that on websites, digital newsstands, or tablets. The challenge for publications in the future is to embrace print and digital in tandem while adding value to both. Examples from the New Yorker and other special digital edition were shared with the audience for inspiration.

As mentioned before, State of the Magazine took place Monday, October 17, 2011. Missed out? You can find the presentation online here:

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