A few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to attend the FIPP Magazine World Congress, a conference that attracts magazine media professionals from all over the world. This year it was held in Toronto Canada (so it will likely be the only one I ever attend). I feel honoured to be able to learn from industry leaders and here are a few of my FIPP findings...
The atmosphere was definitely one of sharing... Industry leaders shared their business models, and in some cases, in great detail, they shared their vision for the future of their companies and their vision of the future in general.
A lot of the information was not only relative to the media industry but also relevant to business in general.
The most insightful items with respect to the magazine media industry?... Here are the top 5 learnings:
1/ There is a clear elimination of the word “magazines” from many companies. The leading companies are becoming media platforms and print magazines are one spoke on a brand wheel. Even magazine media as a term has been minimized with most companies calling their business a “content” business.
2/ Media companies are still challenged to monetize digital. There are a few niche players, such as Politico, that are doing it successfully. For Politico, they realized a more robust future was available in a niche way versus a general way and therefore they aim to be good at two things - National politics and creating policy. By building intimacy with their audience and being so good at it, they can capture a premium.
3/ Mobile first was a recurring theme. People are, on average, checking their mobile devices 100 times per day. Interesting factoid, attention spans have gone from 12 seconds to 8 seconds. (That’s less than a gold fish).
4/ Young Millennials see digital and print serving different purposes. Print is seen as an immersion, digital as a quick break. These rising stars of media feel that at different life-stages, they will turn to print over digital. Their caution to brands is to continue to treasure and value the brand. They feel that a magazine can be a community builder. Brands need to create connections, be willing to listen to the audience and to develop experiential events that resonate across generations. Create value for the consumer so that the consumer will value the brand.
5/ Several arguments about the enduring nature of print were made. A Publisher of a magazine out of the Netherlands, “Flow”, is doing some really creative things with their print magazine and readership continues to climb. Another Publisher reiterated that for advertising, print is more successful than TV or online.
Regardless of the presentation, there were a few common statements throughout... Change is going to continue, and fluidity is the new organizational reality, however people will always want a great story and therefore quality will win out.
To learn more about FIPP, click here.