Mag Bag: Ranking Magazines' Digital Efforts
Ranking Magazines' Digital Efforts
By now, most big magazine publishers understand that they must have a digital media presence, but that doesn’t mean they’re all doing it well. L2, which bills itself as a “think tank for digital innovation,” has ranked 80 consumer mags based on their digital “IQs,” evaluated on 350 data points in analytic categories, including site, digital marketing, social media, mobile, and tablet editions.
The top 10 magazines in terms of “digital IQs” were Wired, in first place, followed by The New Yorker, Entertainment Weekly and Glamour (tied for third place), Better Homes and Gardens, Time, Elle, Seventeen, Sports Illustrated and (tied for tenth place) Cosmopolitan, Forbes, People and The Economist.
According to L2, most magazines are still lagging behind in some key areas.
Less than half of the magazine brands in the study actively promote an advertiser or sponsor on digital properties beyond their Web site and tablet editions; only 15% coordinate advertising programs across two or more channels. Advertisers are also slow on the uptake: just 17% of magazine brands feature digital ads that are different from those appearing in print editions.
On the social media front, only 51% allow fans to post on their walls, and just 49% do regular fan polling. Less than one-fifth post 10 or more times per day.
On the positive side, magazine brands have moved swiftly to take advantage of tablet distribution: 98% are available on at least one of the four main digital stores -- Nook, Kindle, iTunes, Google Play -- and over one-third of the brands are available on all four.
People Revamps Mobile Site
People has introduced some changes to its mobile site that should allow easier, on-demand consumption across various mobile devices, according to Folio:. The site’s format is automatically adjusted to the device in use, and offers advertisers “snap banners” -- ad units located at the bottom of the screen which can travel with the content as the user scrolls down.
The trade mag also reports that Brian Orloff has been promoted to “mobile news editor,” a new position for the magazine. Orloff will be responsible for phasing in content based on the time of day and mode of access, in effect achieving editorial “dayparting.
Departures Revenue, Pages Up in September
American Express Publishing’s Departures is enjoying a strong third quarter, judging by the results from its September issue: Ad revenue is up 30% and ad pages are up 20%, year-over-year. For the year through September, the magazine, which is distributed to AmEx Platinum Card and Centurion members, is up 21% in ad revenue and 6.2% in ad pages.
That seems to compare quite favorably with the magazine business overall. Although third-quarter figures from the Publishers Information Bureau are not yet available, through the second quarter, total PIB figures show consumer magazines down 8.8% in ad pages and 3.8% in ad revenue. The September issue features a number of new advertising partners, including Abu Dhabi Tourism, Aria Resort and Casino, Carlo Pazzolini, Net-A-Porter, Paul Stuart, Ritz Carlton and Tod's.
Parade Launches “Dash Around the Table Tour”
Parade has launched a national food tour for its Dash brand, called the “Dash Around the Table Tour." The tour will visit 10 cities in collaboration with Parade’s various newspaper partners, creating sponsorship opportunities with local reach for national brands. The events feature Chicago-based chef and Parade contributing editor Jon Ashton, and is sponsored by Bella Sera Wines, Johnsonville Italian Sausage, Kenmore Appliances, and Ore-Ida Potatoes.
The centerpiece of the event is the two-and-a-half-hour, interactive “Make Mealtimes Matter Show” presented by Ashton. The events also include a Food Village Expo featuring local chefs, regional specialties, entertainment, retailers, artisans, and other area businesses. Cities on the tour include Pittsburgh, Destin, FL, Wilmington, NC, Champaign, IL, and Bend, OR.