Last night, under a collection of aviation aircraft in the MOTAT Aviation Hall, the magazine industry gathered to celebrate the achievements of its products and people at the 2017 Magazine Media Awards. Among the winners, it was Bauer that collected the most certificates, while Tangible Media and Fairfax followed.
Despite great circulation growth and increasing subscriber numbers Healthy Life Media’s Green Ideas magazine has had to cease production this year. And this isn’t the only magazine to do so in recent times. Quintessential Wellington publication FishHead also called it a day, and this news comes as Fairfax sells on another one of its own magazines. We chat to Healthy Life Media publisher Pip Mehrtens about the end of Green Ideas and what it takes to succeed in the magazine industry when audiences are becoming increasingly fragmented, and opting for digital over print.
When it comes to magazine readership, some titles have pass on rates in the teens, meaning that one copy of, for example, Woman's Day, is read by multiple people. The 'reading-it-in-the-waiting-room' factor is often talked about as a major reason for that, and even if they're reading an older issue, which they often are, it still counts. But why are waiting rooms filled with crappy old magazines? Thankfully, a team of Auckland researchers have discovered the reason: thieving patients.
The quarterly magazine readership and circulation figures have been released by Nielsen and the Audit Bureau of Circulation respectively, and, in what has been a consistent trend over the last few quarters, weekly publications continue to bleed readers while special interest magazines, released less frequently, continue to hold strong.
There's a lot of talk about the role the media plays in creating unrealistic expectations around body image (check out this disturbing video to see the lengths some will go to). But, surprisingly, there's been very little talk about the recent spate of itchy heads among women starring on the covers of magazines and whether they might be creating unrealistic expectations of scalp health.
While Clemenger BBDO's 'Blazed' campaign and Colenso BBDO/Proximity's Smartphone Line stole much of the attention at last night's Axis Awards, the magazine category showed that the Kiwi creative streak still extends to print.
Once again, Nielsen's latest readership results and the ABC's circulation numbers don't make for particularly pleasant reading for the magazine sector, with all weeklies charting declines deemed significant on the same time last year, plenty of other significant declines and a rare few increases. And, perhaps not surprisingly, the MPA and the various publishers are hoping to change the conversation from a one-dimensional discussion about quantity, to a multi-dimensional discussion about the quality of engagement across a number of platforms.
The magazine industry is doing better than its counterparts in newspapers when it comes to retaining readers, with the majority of New Zealand publications showing stable or increasing readership according to Nielsen Consumer and Media Insights.
It's a rather interesting period in the history of magazines and, despite the prevailing belief that shiny new digital toys are killing off paper, the latest readership and circulation numbers have once again showed the market is still in fairly good health in New Zealand.