MediaRadar was at the 2018 American Magazine Media Conference, February 6th, 2018, in downtown Manhattan. There were many great panelists, discussions, ideas, and awards given out, to and by the leaders of the industry.
Every year, many magazine media and business professionals get together at the event to discuss, celebrate, and reminisce about the state of the industry.
Speakers included members of Meredith Corp., Amazon Fashion, GTB, The Association of Magazine Media, Hearst Magazines, Essence, Active Interest Media, Allure, New York Magazine, ESPN Magazine, FOX Networks Group, WPP, as well as other well-known names like Gayle King and Ronan Farrow.
Needless to say, there were industry-leaders aplenty.
State of the Industry
While there have been some slight lingering concerns amongst those in the industry as of late, the aura of the event proved to be one of hope and excitement.
Despite the fact that there are new advertising mediums popping up on what seems like a daily basis, print publishers still have the opportunity to be leaders and innovators, as was evident by the many talking points of the event.
Among those points were plenty of enlightening, positive takeaways.
Here are our top 4 takeaways from the 2018 AMMC:
The Industry is Still Growing
Among the many interesting points made, were a bevy of statistics worth noting.
According to Steve Lacy, Chairman at Meredith, there were over 700 new magazines launched in 2017.
On top of that, Lacy also stated that, in 2017, total magazine audiences increased every single month, compared to the year prior.
These two notes from Lacy show that there is still clear growth within print, and that many still see high value in the medium.
Ronan Farrow, Contributor to The New Yorker, was adamant about the fact that "Magazines are not dead." Which, in broad view, could be looked at as a theme of the entire day's event.
Farrow sat with Gayle King to discuss "How magazine media fights for the truth" - a very important sentiment in today's advertising landscape.
Farrow talked about the importance print is playing in seeking the truth in media, and gave his advice to media companies, saying, "Don't skimp on fact-checking, and don't skimp on the legal review."
It's important that we fight for the truth in all forms of media. Here, magazine media professionals appeared to be leading the charge.
"Cracking the Code"
What makes legacy brands live on? According to Kim Brink of GTB, it's "Understanding what their brand promises."
Brink stated three ways for legacy brands to "Crack the code":
1. Be empathetic to the customer
2. Stay true to your brand promise
3. Celebrate your base
Once again, the sentiment of trust shines bright. These three actions are all ways for print media companies to build lasting relationships with their readers and their advertisers. It also points to a way for legacy brands to remain strong in a fluctuating media mix.
For print publishers to remain prevalent, the key could simply be acting more human towards their customers and business partners.
The Future of Magazine Media
The general feeling towards the future of magazine media? Excitement.
Eli Lippman, Director, Audience Development at American Media, Inc., said that the future of magazine media should call for complete and total measurement. "Measure everything. Which headlines work best. Which covers and celebrities sell the most."
After all, data is what drives improvement for publishers, and just because magazine content is printed, that doesn't mean the same means of measurement cannot be used to analyze its effectiveness.
Pam Wasserstein, CEO of New York Media spoke to this idea as well, saying that publishers should "leverage data to speak to advertisers and your audience."
Another strong sentiment of the night, was that it's essential for print publishers to build trust with advertisers and readers.
Julie Alvin, Senior Digital Director, Meredith, said that "You can sell trust and brand affinity with print. Print ads have more impact than digital ads. About 30% of readers purchase a product after seeing an ad in an issue."
All in all, there is a general feeling of excitement due to the fact that magazine media has the opportunity to be at the forefront of two of the most glaring issues in media today - truth and trust.