People always ask me, “How’s the magazine doing?” Lately, though, the apologetic tone of the question feels more like somebody’s asking me about my terminally ill uncle than my place of work.
“Better than newspapers,” I tell them, because the magazine business really is OK. In fact, the outlook is very promising. Readership is up, which includes a nice spike in the younger demographic, and with the decline in newsrooms people are hungrier than ever for in-depth stories about the world they live in.
Sure, the advertising has slowed down in a sluggish economy, but by no means has it dried up. Businesses still need to hock their wares, and our magazine has produced great results in all of our core categories, from home, health and travel to dining, retail and entertainment. In a down economy, you want an advertising vehicle you can count on.
You also want content you can trust, which is how our magazine has consistently distinguished itself from the local competition. Sure, good press doesn’t hurt, but if you or your ad agency buys an ad because a magazine says it will write about you if you do, the press you get is tainted, and readers don’t trust it. What we offer instead is editorial integrity, which attracts eyeballs—more than 107,000 sets of them—attached to Madisonians who are invested in their community, and in concepts like buying local, whether it’s a meal, a car, a health care plan, or a kitchen table.
If you don’t believe me, here’s a snippet of media expert James Brady’s conversation on Forbes.com with former chairman of Magazine Publishers of America president Jack Kliger on the topic:
“I don’t know if the magazine business will ever again be as robust,” [Kliger] said. “But ads will still be very important, the dominant revenue. Magazine advertising really works. And consumers like magazines. There’s value to original and trusted third-party content. Young people may not like newspapers anymore, but they like magazines. And we really do have good print journalists and editors who can learn the new digital platforms."
Original and trusted. And doing just fine, thanks.