A boom in tablet sales helped digital magazines boost their share of total magazine sales in the first half of the year, although growth has slowed and is failing to offset declines in print, according to the latest ABC figures. Digital sales increased 26 percent year-on-year to 369,040 -- down from the 59 percent growth seen last year, due to a slowdown in magazines reporting digital sales. Digital publications make up 2.9 percent of magazines' circulation, up from 2.3 percent a year ago.
Sales of the hundreds of paid-for weekly and monthly titles fell 4.4%, a loss of nearly one million readers, compared with previous six months, according to latest ABC figures. Even venerable titles such as the 62-year-old New Musical Express were far from immune -- its weekly circulation falling to 14,000, down 28% from a year ago. Following the high-profile recent closure of Nuts and the announcement that Company is going digital-only, a new wave of closures now looms.
Global ad spending will reach $534 billion in 2014 -- a 4.5% increase over 2013, according to GroupM's latest forecast, issued today. The company predicts investments in 2015 will rise an additional 5.0% to $560 billion -- finally exceeding the pre-crisis peak of 2007/2008 in real terms. Not in the Eurozone, however, which remains 20 percent below its 2007 advertising peak. The hardest-hit periphery countries of Greece, Ireland, Italy, Spain and Portugal are nearly half their 2007 peak.
Brands are beginning to ask why pay for engagement on Facebook when they get it for free on other networks, according to eBench's founder Matthew Burns. Coca-Cola is becoming a Twitter leader, accumulating a quarter of followers and mentions among non-alcoholic brands. Red Bull dominates that category on YouTube and Facebook-owned Instagram. Burberry has scored more than twice the engagement on Instagram that it did on Facebook, although it has seven times fewer fans.
More than four in five Brits (83 percent) still use the TV as a social hub for the household, opting to all watch in the same room, research from BroadStream Solutions has found. The research, carried out by YouGov, saw 2,274 Brits questioned on their viewing habits and discovered that nearly nine in ten viewers still regularly use the TV to watch their content live, although 24 percent admit they second-screen, using their smartphone or tablet device as they watch TV.
Ask.fm, the social networking site that has been linked to teen suicides, has been bought by IAC, the owners of brands such as Tinder, Vimeo and The Daily Beast. It says millions of dollars will be invested to make the site safer for users. The Web site, which has about 180 million monthly users, came under fire last year when teen Hannah Smith took her own life after being bullied on the platform. The founders of Ask.fm, brothers Ilja and Mark Terebin, will now leave the company.
Qatar Airways is seeking a global advertising agency. The Qatari government-owned airline has contacted agencies to submit proposals for a global campaign. It wants the appointed shop to produce ads to run in countries where the airline flies to more than five cities, including China, India, the US, Saudi Arabia, Australia, the United Arab Emirates and the UK. Activity will include print, radio, outdoor, digital, direct mail and point of sale. The process is believed to be procurement-driven.
Fashion brands House of Fraser, Jaeger & Hawes and Curtis have rolled out VMBeacon technology to engage with customers. Customers who download the Iconeme app will be notified as they pass shop windows containing interactive mannequins, welcoming them into the store and inviting them to launch the app. They can then browse or save the look, share with a friend or purchase from the retailer's Web site.
The impact of the upcoming iPhone 6 launch has been pinpointed by "Marketing," mainly by looking at what iOS8 will bring. The advances include HealthKit which monitors a person's health -- and, the magazine suggests, could be used in conjunction with iBeacons to direct people to healthy-conscious products in stores. In addition, it suggests, HomeKit not only interfaces with the 'Internet of things' but could open doors for deliveries. Larger screens will make the device more advertiser-friendly.
"Company" magazine, the monthly Hearst UK glossy aimed at younger women, will cease print publication after 36 years in September and go online-only. Hearst announced the print demise of "Company" the day before the latest ABC magazine circulation figures are published, for the first half of 2014. Anna Jones, Hearst Magazines UK chief executive, said: "As a standalone digital brand, Company is well placed to provide a unique and dedicated service to this dynamic 16-24 old female demographic."