Citbank's Ingall To Mags: The Internet Is About To Peak
"Online seems to have leapfrogged right over other media, but given just what happened to the direct mail category over the last 10 years, the prediction for online is that it will spike pretty soon," Mark Ingall, director of global strategic media and global marketing for Citibank said Thursday during a keynote at the Advertising Club of New York's annual Magazine Day. "Over time... that's going to weigh [in decisions], and we're going to have to turn our attention to something more traditional."
Ingall also made it clear this is a promising development for magazines, noting that their capabilities for engaging consumers haven't been fully exploited.
"So the way we're going to be approaching some of these conversations in the next 12 months is to say, 'Okay, now's the time you've got a chance to grab some of that back.' And we recognize that magazines really haven't been given a fair break at going for that [engagement] category as well," he said.
By the same token, Ingall warned that magazines cannot survive without the Internet. "If there's any publisher or editor in here who thinks they're going to survive just with print," he challenged, "I look forward to seeing whether you're here in five years' time."
Ingall's prediction was a bright spot in an address that otherwise seemed ambivalent about the future of magazines, painting a picture that was both encouraging and discouraging for the print medium. For example, Ingall cited a rise of paid circulation and newsstand sales from approximately 323,000,000 in 1985 to 362,000,000 in 2005, a 12 percent increase over 20 years.
He also pointed to a 256 percent increase in the number of magazines monitored by the Audit Bureau of Circulation (ABC) over the same period, from 1,500 to 5,340.
Later, however, he mentioned that in the same period cable penetration has grown 1,300 percent. And while magazine revenue has grown a respectable 663 percent in the last 20 years, now topping $24 billion, cable's performance is even more remarkable, with total revenue rising from a paltry $72,000 in 1980 to more than $18 billion today.