AS Media Exemplar essays (May 2013) Institutions & audiences: magazine industry (46/50)
“Evaluate the role of digital technologies in the marketing and consumption of products in the media area you have studied.”
I have been learning about the magazine industry, focusing on the NME action is published by IPC Media, who is owned by Time Warner. The magazine industry has highly concentrated, sourced by multinational conglomerates, this is cross media convergence. Time Warner is a multi-national conglomerate who own the publishing company IPC Media and the distributor Market force. Advantages of this are you keep profits in house, cross advertising opportunities, brand extension and financial exchanging which are all termed as synergy. In the heyday of the NME in the 1970’s with the circulation being 300,000 it has now dropped to 23,000 in 2012. This is due to the rise of technology and how we consume our media changing. Nowadays, the rise of Ipads, tablets and PDF versions of magazines via website such zinio.com are available. The first decline was due to the birth of the internet; with the increase use of the magazines couldn’t just rely on print. The NME launched NME.com in 1996, which was early. This represents the magazines attitude of experts on technology and early adaptors. The second decline was due to web 2.0, the rise of user generated content. This meant this was less need for professional journalism due to audience consuming their media via different revenues such as social networking, blogs, YouTube, why buy professional media when it is all available for free? The decline created prosumers; which were consumers who through web 2.0 were able to create and distribute their own media via online revenues. Since the NME was being rivalled by online pretense they jumped on the social networking barrel wagon and created their own profiles on them. This promoted brand awareness and helped them communicate to their fans on a more personal level. Time Warner owns many companies such as Cartoon Network, Warner Bros, Market Force, IPC Media, and Time Magazine, so they are able to cross advertise with these companies to help each other out such as the NME done a spread on the new Batman film which was produced by Warner Bros. The NME also used brand extension by launching NME tours, festivals, subscriptions, NME Radio and NME TV (which is no longer shown due to low audience level). They can also financially synergise by pushing profit form one sector of their media house to another. Recently Time Warner has been looking to sell their publishing sector of their empire, which shows the magazine industry isn’t doing very well. An exchange was due between Time Warner and Meredith but it was cancelled due to disagreement. But what will IPC Media do? Will they decide to go fully online with NME? SmashHits went all online after the second decline in 2006. Lonny the interior design magazine, which is graphically like a real magazine but PDF version available to Ipads, tablets, etc. was only
launched via online revenues. ILikeMusic is also only online it is made up of prosumer journalism, it is also free to access. There are going to be changes to the industry in the future that is undeniable, but will the magazine industry pull through? There are some qualities which the internet cannot replicate such as the tactile nature and glossiness of the magazines physical appearance and also the freebie, such as posters and in the NME the traditional snickers bar. These freebies tempt the audience even more into buying the £1.40 product. Also, the posters are generally used to pin up on the fans bedroom wall. Have you ever printed out photos and done the same thing? I think the answer is most likely no. even though the online advertising revenue of NME.com is £30,000 compared to the magazine advertising of £200,000 a month, adverts are still seen less intrusive via magazine. The Fly is the highest circulated magazine in the UK, although it is given away it relies solely on the advertising reference, profits from them is then pushes into publishing the products. It is how gradient as paper which is cheaper than other magazines to publish. The Clash survived by using high quality glossy paper, and expensive cover prices, their circulation of 47,000. The magazine is known as trendy to have in London, city areas due to it ABC1, fashionable reputation. I think in the future NME will end up online due to the high success rate of NME.com dueto 5.3million unique users and bigger revenue which profits a lot more through advertising via mouse clicks. There are two revenues in the magazine industry; sales and advertising. The NME profits £110,000 per month from sale, 50% goes to retailors, wholesales and distributor, which jeeps profit in house, due to distributor being market force, also owned by Time Warner. The second revenue is advertising, which receives £200,000 a month; this suggests that advertising is the most important which the audience is the real product. When a multinational owns companies in different sectors of an industry it is known as vertical integration, which is what Time Warner has done with IPC Media and Market force. Audience research is sourced by a magazines media kit which helps companies evaluate whether the magazine is suitable to advertise their product it shows demographics in the case if NME, 71% male, 65% ABC1, and 35% students, psychographics; early adopters, love films, experts on technology. Another source of audience research in from postal address tracking, using a website like acorn which shows information like job role, interests, ABC level.