Magazines buck digital decline


By Alexandra Mayhew

I’ll be the first person to tell you to get across digital. Know the platforms. Understand how your audiences are talking. Engage. 

Now it’s clear that newspaper circulation is declining at a depressing rate in Australia. The fourth estate is essential in our democracy and minimal investigative journalism is most certainly not in the public interest.

In saying that, it is good to see the rise of digital journalism, even if many news organisations are struggling to turn a profit. It’s allowing information to get further and facilitates much better two-way communication.

This may not be news to you, but I think this might be – many magazines are bucking the trend with increased circulation.

Recent Ray Morgan research found that many magazines are actually increasing in circulation.

George Pesutto, General Manager - Media & Communications, Roy Morgan says:

“Australians clearly love magazines that are an extension of their personality and interests and advertisers should take note that this isn’t likely to change any time soon. Unlike their print cousins, newspapers, it would appear there is a place for printed magazines in a digital world also.

“There is a key element to this, though. Magazines in their categories are relevant to the people reading them, which is why they’re so influential. But the environment is more competitive in the general news and entertainment categories where, like newspapers, they compete against the immediacy and accessibility of digital delivery.

“Of course, magazine publishers will need to continue to develop their online and other digital platforms. The ones leading this space with relevant additional content not in the printed editions are already benefiting from extended audiences.”

So continue to organise your PR campaigns far in advance to accommodate the (sometimes painfully-long) magazine lead times – while ensuring you're flexible enough at launch to reflect digital discussions.