New Arenas of Magazine Ad Revenue

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By: Cindy Seebeck

It’s no surprise that the consumer magazine industry is struggling to secure Ad pages and keep their publications vibrant. But how many of you know that a fair amount of the well-known publishers such as Hearst, Time Inc., Bonnier and Meredith, have line extensions that are revenue generators for their brands? Are the publishers really on life support as many would want you to believe, or are their profit centers shifting?

Do you love the South? Sweet tea, peaches, antebellum estates, and traditional values. Then, not only should you subscribe to Southern Living Magazine you should consider staying in one of their preferred hotels scattered across the South. Or, better yet, consider one of their planned communities in Asheville, Tallahassee, Chattanooga, Bald Head Island, Beaufort and beyond for your home. This will allow you to live in a neighborhood that embraces the values of the South starting with the environment and architecture that flows through to the Southern traditions you create.

Are you a foodie?  Do you eagerly anticipate your copy of Food & Wine so that you can dive into making the next best recipe for chicken and dumplings, or spicy glazed meatloaf?  Perhaps you not only enjoy prepping and preparing the food, but like to invite guests in and set an elegant table to accompany your meal. Well then, you’re in luck: Food and Wine has a collection of dinnerware, glassware, and cookware that they developed with Gorham that takes their knowledge of testing recipes and how best to prepare and serve them to your dinner table. All their table accoutrements are sold exclusively at Amazon.com.  What about wine with that dinner?  Check out Saveur’s wine of the month club where the magazine editors hand select their favorites for you to try each month. They will even suggest recipe pairings to go with the wine!

Are you a fashionista?  Do you devour the pages of ELLE for the latest in fashion advice and style but can only dream of owning designer clothing? Well, your dream can now be a reality with ELLE’s line of clothing sold at Kohl’s and Target. You can shop this season’s must have dresses, skirts, and sweaters for a fraction of the cost.

Do the above examples of publisher line extensions entice or incite you? Are the publishers on life support due to a decrease in Ad pages and trying desperately to keep their business afloat by diversifying? Or, is their business much more vibrant than is immediately apparent when just looking at them from an advertising perspective?  If you take a quick look at their year-end financial reports, it seems that diversification may be happening due to poor magazine Ad revenue performance.

A well-informed print negotiator may be enticed by the poor performance and diversification and work to leverage line extensions as part of their overall print negotiation? Would the publisher push back with, that is a separate business unit and we can’t cross over that line? Or, would they say, that’s an interesting request that we’d like to consider? Trying to cross over the line may just allow your agency to put a whole new spin on print negotiations that gives your client added exposure in new business areas that have previously been untapped. Go ahead, give it a try.

After all, isn’t it our responsibility to constantly innovate and push beyond the status quo on behalf of our clients?

CATEGORY: Advertising