Why printed magazines are valued by readers

Like everything in the print media world, magazine publishing is undergoing a transformation.

With readers getting information and news from many sources today, magazines are competing for the time and attention of their audiences and publishers are rethinking their business models.

Some magazines, like the 97-year-old Harvard Business Review, reduced frequency and redesigned the look and feel of their publication. Focusing on core readers, HBR also offered a series of digital options and put more resources into each issue. This resulted in a 10% increase in subscriptions.

Like other forms of ink-on-paper communications and marketing, the idea that print magazines are dead or dying is false. The truth is that magazine readers are very loyal and—while they also take advantage of digital offerings—prefer the experience of receiving and reading traditional printed publications.

Why do readers value printed magazines?

First, there is credibility. According to Michael A. Clinton, President, Marketing and Publishing Director at Hearst Magazines, print enjoys a sense of credibility that other platforms lack.

Clinton explained this to Folio, “We’re living in a very tipping-point moment, where consumers and advertisers have begun to step back and say, ‘What are the environments I can trust? What is the content that I can trust? How do I know real people are reading this content, that it has true authority?”

Second, there is digital overload and clutter. This is understood even by companies like Facebook which launched its own print magazine called Grow in June 2018. The high-end quarterly publication has no advertising and is available in select business lounges at airports and train stations.

At the time of the publication’s launch, Leila Woodington, Facebook’s head of business marketing said, “Grow by Facebook is a business marketing program that shares thought leadership content directly with our clients through an annual event as well as print and online marketing channels.”

And last, there is intimacy. There is nothing like going through a magazine page-by-page, especially when it is from a niche publisher that is providing content of interest to an enthusiastic reader.

As Terri White, Editor-in-Chief of the film magazine Empire from the Bauer Media Group explains, “The intimacy is unrivaled” when readers hold print in their hands, “a visceral, powerful connection” is created and “you cannot underestimate how much people just want to feel something real.”

Printed magazines are unique and the experience of receiving one in the mail and reading it cannot be replicated by any other media format. This is what is most valuable to readers and advertisers alike.

At Printwell, we are committed to keeping our customers informed about the advantages of print media and how it works best within the mix of channels available to publishers. If you would like to learn more, please contact your account representative for a consultation or send us a message here and someone from our account team will get in touch with you.

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