The 38th FIPP World Magazine Congress drew to a close on October 12, 2011 with a gala ceremony at the Kingdom of Dreams in Delhi NCR. The Congress saw two days of concentrated discussions on various aspects that impacted the global magazine business. While there were many points that the delegates – from India and outside – would be pondering on, in the days to come, here are 10 takeaways that exchange4media has put together for those who did not make it to the Congress.
India: Destination of the future
The choice of the venue may have reflected this, but global leaders, including the likes of Time and Hearst were clear that the Congress could have taken place anywhere, and yet the conversations would have had been about the importance of BRIC nations, with particular focus on India. India’s unique market dynamics allow growth not just in traditional media, but also in new age media and the market composition of a growing middle class and dominance of a young TG make India an assured market of growth.
Faster growing B2B than B2C
In the magazine business, the business to business space was growing much faster than the business to consumer space. And an indicator of that may well also come in the fact that for the first time FIPP has a B2B publisher – David Hill, President & CEO, IDG International Publishing Services – as its Chairman. Hill made this observation, when the announcement of Chairmanship was made at the Congress on October 12.
Technology: Challenge and Opportunity
The progress in technology, and hence the growth in digital platforms, was one of the first challenges that was staring at the magazine business. However, the advent of tablets has turned to be a game changer for the industry. Tablets bring a fresh lease of life for the magazine business, also because it allows the opportunity to monetise the digital offering of magazines, finally. Whether it combined packages or collaborations, tablets were seen as the next big thing for the magazine industry.
Magazines should have different content strategy for their digital play
Experts informed that for a single brand, having different content strategies for Print and Digital had worked well in some global markets. While print provided comprehensive and analytical content, digital was confined to the specific informative content. And yes, in some cases, subscription based revenue model was fruitful, while digital relied more on advertisements. Having different editorial for different media verticals has also been effective.
Magazines in India still missing on mobile
Though India is one of the biggest examples of the growth of mobile as a medium, magazines were yet to extend their presence and take advantage of this. Very few titles, including the likes of India Today Group, had anything to talk about on magazines on mobile. Global chiefs informed that even internationally there weren’t any “killer” examples of magazines utilising the mobile medium well.
Engaged, and Engage More...
Many global leaders and advertising professionals reiterated that magazines offered the engagement component in a way that no other medium did. Magazines are one of the few mediums that can claim undivided attention of its reader and at the same time have the potential to allow a reader to live the brand experience. But magazines need to focus harder to further build on this strength.
Communities and Reader Relation
Magazines, by their very nature, build communities based out of people’s interests. It allows for a set of relevant audiences to an advertiser and can be a true form of targeted communication. And it is this nature of magazines that allows it a strong reader relation as well.
General Interest Missing
Nearly all conversations revolved around the success stories of niche and special interest magazines that understood and delivered on their brand proposition and reader expectation. But general interest magazines were missing from the examples cited.
Established and Credible will grow
Digital may be the future, but the present was about a happy co-existence of print and digital, where the industry’s core competency in its traditional avatar too had growth stories to share. Established and vintage brands that continue to be credible and relevant will see growth despite any declining circulation trends.
Survival of magazines in 360
While survival of magazines in 360 degree environment is a big challenge, publishers reiterated their commitment to keep investing in print. Creating the correct balance in investing in digital and print media was key to the growth of the business.