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Readers Speak Out

  • BoSacks Readers Speak Out: An Honest Look at the Industry, Time Inc, High Times, & More

    BoSacks Readers Speak Out: An Honest Look at the Industry, Time Inc, High Times, & More

    Re: An Honest Look at State of the Magazine Industry - Summer 2017

    Many thanks for sending David Pilcher's interesting article, "An Honest Look at [the] State of the Magazine Industry."  If nothing else, the article demonstrates how difficult it is to get definitive information on the number of titles launched, folded, or running in a given year. Different sources provide different numbers, and the differences can be pretty big. For example, Mediafinder (one of the sources of data in the article) believes there are more than twice as many magazines published in the U.S. as Statista (another source). Quite a margin of error!  But more to the point, a really "honest" article about the state of the magazine industry would discuss the number of magazine pages being printed in a given year, to reflect trends in both ad volume and circulation.  Considering that Pilcher is writing for a printer's blog, the quantity of pages printed would seem like a much more pertinent metric than the number of titles published. Of course, the definition of "magazine" is at the heart of all of this anyway. And in any case, the state of the magazine industry can't be genuinely relevant to more than a handful of people.  The trends in our individual businesses matter a lot.  The trends in other markets or in other media?  Not so much.  CLICK HERE FOR THE  FULL ARTICLE

    by BoSacks Readers
    Posted August 08, 2017
    (0) Comments

  • Re: BoSacks Readers Speak Out: On the MPA Response to Mary Meeker Trend Report

    Re: BoSacks Readers Speak Out: On the MPA Response to Mary Meeker Trend Report

    Re: BoSacks Readers Speak Out: MPA Response to Trend Report, High Times, & Marketing

    1)     If the effects of magazine advertising are that compelling, why isn't the industry booming instead of contracting? Businesspeople are cheap -- if they don't see returns on their investments or best use of their costs, they stop them. Not all of their costs can be measured or known by outsiders. But somehow, Google, Facebook, and others are making money from free services to their audiences.  

    2)     If the engagement of magazines is that good, why are the publishing companies downsizing and always complaining about "monetization"? Why is it that small publishers seem to find niches but the big ones can't despite all those MBAs and sales people and research departments? The justification confuses research about emotional preference with actual use, frequency, and the benefits of immediacy and relevance.  

    3)     the funniest part? " Mary Meeker is a partner at the Silicon Valley venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers. Her analysis needs to be viewed through the lens of her role, defending her company's investments in incubation, early stage and growth companies." Duh! And let me guess -- Ms. Brooks is NOT paid to produce "the parrot is not dead -- he's pining for the fjords -- beautiful plumage that Norwegian Blue"? (Submitted by a Print Analyst)   CLICK HERE FOR THE FULL ARTICLE 

    by BoSacks Readers
    Posted July 26, 2017
    (0) Comments

  • BoSacks Readers Speak Out: MPA Response to Meeker's 2017 Trend Report, High Times, and Marketer's Struggles

    BoSacks Readers Speak Out: MPA Response to Meeker's 2017 Trend Report, High Times, and Marketer's Struggles

     BoSacks Speaks Out: Key Takeaways From Mary Meeker's 2017 Internet Report

    Hi Bo-It was great to catch up with you at IMAG last week.  I was also happy that you lent your authority (and timeliness!) to analysis of the 2017 Internet Trends Report.   As you can imagine, our MPA team gets a lot of questions about this data too.   I thought you might like to see some topline comments from our team to add to your analysis, specifically the Time Spent chart. 

    For starters, "Print" combines magazines and newspapers, making it a useless analysis for understanding either media. No detail is offered in terms of how many brands of either newspapers or magazines are used or which specific brands are part of this "Print" channel.  Forgetting that for a moment, as you point out, the data ignores the fact that magazine brands live across formats and channels-and consumers find and enjoy them in all those places. Magazine brands populate and drive internet and mobile platforms with their branded media; therefore magazine media make up vast parts of the internet and mobile experience and are part of that "time spent" too. 

    The Time Spent chart doesn't address Return on Advertising Spend. Nielsen Catalina Solutions data shows magazines lead all other media by large margins when it comes to return on investment.  And we know that magazine media is effective in driving business metrics across the upper and lower funnel. Qualitative research validates that magazines still lead all other media in consumer ad receptivity, trust, and engagement.   The presumption in this report seems to be that marketers don't realize that their spending is not allocated in proportion to consumer time spent; we believe that marketers are actually very savvy and know which media channels deliver business results.  Their allocations reflect that. Time spent does not correlate to advertising business results. 

    As marketers have begun to address the recent issues around "viewability," quality, and effectiveness of internet, digital and online video ads, there have been case studies demonstrating what happens when marketers pull back their online advertising.  In a highly publicized instance, Chase Bank reduced its online ad placements from 400,000 down to 5,000, and saw no change in business results or ads viewed. 

    Finally, it is worth noting that Mary Meeker is a partner at the Silicon Valley venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers. Her analysis needs to be viewed through the lens of her role, defending her company's investments  in incubation, early stage and growth companies.Hope you find our perspective helpful.   I'd be happy to discuss further at any time by Linda Thomas Brooks - President and CEO | MPA -The Association of Magazine Media)      FOR THE COMPLETE ARTICLE CLICK HERE

    by BoSacks Readers
    Posted July 26, 2017
    (0) Comments

  • BoSacks Readers Speak Out: Native Ads, e-Books, Newsstand Stats, & more

    BoSacks Readers Speak Out: Native Ads, e-Books, Newsstand Stats, & more

    Re: Ebook sales continue to fall as younger generations drive appetite for print

    Hi Bo, Newspapers such as The Guardian and New York Times love to write pieces that promote the myth that "Print is back!" in the book business. It is hugely misleading and ignores even what Nielsen itself says in other venues. At Digital Book World in January, Nielsen's Jonathan Stolper said that price is the most important and most influential barrier to entry for ebook buyers, and the increase in ebook pricing directly coincided with the decrease in sales. What we're seeing is consumers unwilling to purchase an ebook at the same price as a print book, rather than some nostalgia for print. 

    Furthermore, in 2016, Nielsen reported that US adult fiction sales are 50% digital overall at the Big Five houses. When you factor in nontraditional publishing sales-ebooks from Amazon Publishing as well as self-published authors-the digital share of book purchases changes significantly, more in the range of 75% digital overall if we're looking at fiction alone.(These types of articles push all my buttons, but I know you are very well-schooled in all these "print is back" mythologies, as your Japanese proverb indicates.) Safe travels & enjoy Berlin!(Submitt ed by a Publisher and Industry Consultant)  FoR THE COMPLETE STORY CLICK HERE

    by BoSacks Readers
    Posted July 26, 2017
    (0) Comments

  • BoSacks Readers Speak Out: Time Inc, Newsstands, Gatekeepers, and Predictions

    BoSacks Readers Speak Out: Time Inc, Newsstands, Gatekeepers, and Predictions

    RE: The Fate of the Newsstand Isn't the Same as the Fate of Print

    Bo, I think we often gloss over the fact that the publishing industry has created a rather wide value gap in what we charge for subs vs single copy. I would submit most of the large publishers offer subs almost at the same price of buying one issue from the newsstand, therefore, driving the business south. XXXXX Media does not do this, and as a result we have 60/40 subs/newsstand. Also, our business was up last year and we budgeted another growth in single copy this year. (Submitted by a Publisher)

    RE: The Fate of the Newsstand Isn't the Same as the Fate of Print 

    Bo, you have been saying this for years and rightly so. Newsstand isn't the be all and end all for the publishing industry and not all the news is actually bad anyway. My titles are doing very well despite the overall declines. I have a sweet spot and my audience is strong. Thanks for all you do for the industry. I enjoy my morning cup of coffee and Bo. Although we have never met I feel like I know you and that we are friends. (Submitted by a Publisher)  

    by BoSacks Readers
    Posted April 15, 2016
    (0) Comments

  • BoSacks Readers Speak Out: An Important Correction on "Print Ads with Money-Back Guarantee" & More

    BoSacks Readers Speak Out: An Important Correction on "Print Ads with Money-Back Guarantee" & More

    BoSacks Readers Speak Out: An Important Correction on "Print Ads with Money-Back Guarantee" & More

    RE: BoSacks Speaks Out: Major Publishers Bet on Print Ads with Money-Back Guarantee

    Thanks for sharing this article with your massive distribution list!  We all appreciate your ongoing support of magazine media. Just wanted to make one clarification.  We don't set a minimum ad spend threshold but in order to be eligible for the Industry Sales Guarantee, an advertiser must reach a GRP threshold of 150 Adults 18+ GRPs. On average, the Sales Guarantee programs we've conducted at Meredith are based on a spend somewhere between $1-$2 million over 12 months for print campaign - nowhere near the $10 million ad buy you mention as the requirement (although we wouldn't say no to that!).  Thanks again for your interest in this exciting new MPA initiative (and thanks for coming to the AMMC breakout session!). (Submitted by Britta Cleveland | Senior Vice President, Research Solutions)  CLICK HERE FOR THE COMPLETE ARTICLE

    by BoSacks Readers
    Posted February 17, 2016
    (0) Comments

  • BoSacks Readers Speak Out: On  IAB's Rothenberg, Ad Blocking, Native Ads & more

    BoSacks Readers Speak Out: On IAB's Rothenberg, Ad Blocking, Native Ads & more

    Re: BoSacks Speaks Out: - IAB's Rothenberg Blasts Adblock-Plus

    Many thanks for sending Rothenberg's IAB speech.  What gas!  It's been a long time since I've read anything that was so wrong to begin with and then got worse.  I've never understood the kerfuffle over ad blockers... but now I'm thinking that if this fellow hates them so much I should probably get one. (Submitted by a Publisher and Official BoSacks Cub Reporter) 

    Re: BoSacks Speaks Out: - IAB's Rothenberg Blasts Adblock-Plus

    How about freedom of privacy? I'd think that would include the freedom to go onto the Internet without being stalked. (Submitted by a Writer)  

    Re: BoSacks Speaks Out: - IAB's Rothenberg Blasts Adblock-Plus

    Bo, there are so many news and magazine sites i've stopped going to because videos start playing automatically or windows start opening in my browser. there are many sites that have so much multimedia going on that browser caches fill and never load properly or degrade the site performance. it's ugly. so guess what? whenever i learn of something of interest in an e-newsletter or in a news search, and i see that it links to a site that does that, i look for that topic elsewhere. (Submitted by an Industry Analysist)

     

    Re: BoSacks Speaks Out: - IAB's Rothenberg Blasts Adblock-Plus

    Mr. Rothenberg is wrong. No one wants to see ads. They are intrusive and unwanted. And, I would hope that the companies that are developing Ad Blockers are pro-profit. (Submitted by a printer)

    by Bob Sacks
    Posted February 15, 2016
    (0) Comments

  • BoSacks Speaks Out:  The MPA, the Association of Magazine Media, is looking for its next CEO.

    BoSacks Speaks Out: The MPA, the Association of Magazine Media, is looking for its next CEO.

    These are indeed turbulent times for a transforming industry, and forward thinking leadership is critical for the industry to help us adjust to these changing times.  Newsstand sales and subscription sales in general continue to diminish.  Are there standouts bucking the overall industry trend? Yes, most assuredly.  But overall, the trends are down for the industry.  Clearly we need to develop and broadcast a strategy that plays to our strengths and comes to grips with our weaknesses. Being in continual denial of our current position in the media wars just won't work. 

    For the record I am not a pessimist for the magazine media industry, nor a detractor of the print product. What I am is an unashamed realist. Print can accomplish things that digital can't and can provide a sizable ROI while doing so. At the same time it is obvious digital can accomplish feats that print products can only dream of. The downside with digital thus far is its slow growth of monetization for the magazine industry.  What we need is the marriage of the two disciplines combining digital's creativity and its accountability gained from increasingly reliable metadata with the comfort and traditions of print.  CLICK HERE FOR THE FULL ARTICLE

    by Bob Sacks
    Posted October 06, 2015
    (0) Comments

  • BoSacks Readers Speak Out: On ASME,  Time Inc., On Newsstand and Circ issues.

    BoSacks Readers Speak Out: On ASME, Time Inc., On Newsstand and Circ issues.

    BoSacks Readers Speak Out: On ASME,  Time Inc., On Newsstand and Circ issues.

     

    Re: The Shady Industry That's Trapping Door-to-Door Magazine Sellers

    Bob, thanks for posting.  Rita Cohen from the MPA summed up the situation - selling this way is worth the hassle because agents have connections that publishers may not have. "Our hope is that we can rely on the agents to do business as we put forth in our guidelines so that we can continue to get our content to as broad an audience as possible."  Since the MPA publishes guidelines on behalf of their members - the publishers, they have a responsibility to enforce them.  It is obvious they are not being enforced.  The MPA should be held to a higher standard in monitoring these activities.

    (Submitted by a Publishing Executive)

     

    RE: Blurred Lines Now Official per ASME

    It seems to us that the ASME has lost some of its teeth, and this is their way of playing catch-up and trying to stay relevant as the marketing dollars make more and more of the editorial decisions. Appeasement has a way of falling short in the long run, and consumers have a way of seeing through this kind of veiled attempt at maintaining lines.

     

    Simply waving around your guideline isn't enough to prop up your integrity when it starts to falter.

    (Submitted by a Printer)

    by BoSacks Readers
    Posted May 01, 2015
    (0) Comments

  • BoSacks Readers Speak Out: On Publishing ROI, Print isn't Dead, Frozen subs, Mr. Magazine, Big Data

    BoSacks Readers Speak Out: On Publishing ROI, Print isn't Dead, Frozen subs, Mr. Magazine, Big Data

    BoSacks Readers Speak Out: On Publishing ROI, Print isn't Dead, Frozen subs, Mr. Magazine, Big Data…

    by BoSacks Readers
    Posted March 17, 2015
    (0) Comments

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