Many questions come to mind for publishers when considering whether or not to invest in a digital archive for your magazine now: Is it wise to invest while print magazines are still in a phase of serious decline and digital editions have yet to make up for lost revenue? How could a digital magazine archive contribute to their overall advertising budget when aggregators seem to be taking over the digital space? Will digital magazine circulation be enough to compensate for print declines?
The truth of the matter is that digital growth is on a serious rise, with investment return possibilities coming up sooner than we may have thought. According to PWC’s 2014-2018 data insights, the magazine publishing industry will see a record 0.2% year-on-year growth as overall digital gains outweigh falling print revenue in 2015. They predict that by 2018 total magazine revenue will reach $98.1 billion, up from $97.1bn in 2013. That said, they foresee digital consumer magazine circulation revenue will see the fastest growth globally, predicting it will rise at a 31.2% CAGR (compound annual growth rate), allowing it to reach $5.7 billion in 2018. So as companies see more success in turning digital magazine consumption from free-of-charge websites to paid-for digital editions, digital will move from accounting for 4% of total consumer magazine circulation revenue in 2013 to 14% in 2018.
So what does this mean for publishers in terms of when to make an investment for their digital archive solution? There are three key points to consider as we move into 2015 that will be pivotal in contributing to the above revenue scenarios:
1. Increased Digital Advertising Revenue
Global digital consumer magazine advertising revenue is rising at a 17.6% annually, which will add up to $12.4 billion in 2018. Compare this to a decline of -3.9% annual CAGR for consumer magazine print advertising revenue, and we see that advertisers are aware of this growth in the digital space and are already wanting to tap into it. As of now, most advertising is focused on magazine websites, but we see increased opportunities arising as more consumer magazines publish and re-purpose their digital content as electronic editions. Repurposing content has proven to be a key factor for increasing the reader’s interest and the advertiser’s opportunities.
2. Aggregators Are Yet To Take Off
Aggregators and all-you-can-read subscription services have not gained traction yet in the digital market. They are certainly on the rise, and there is no doubt they will find their place soon enough, with a multitude of advertising options to take advantage of. But in the meantime, the space is wide open for individual consumer publications to create similar opportunities for advertisers as the market calls for them to pave a new way through their digital experience.
3. Repurposed Content Is King
We are now officially at the point where consumers want to be able to repurpose content they love in a variety of ways, at any time. This creates an incredible domino effect in the market for the publisher, the content itself and advertisers to reach more people faster than they could via print. In addition, people are looking for guidance on how to creatively experience content that is meaningful to them. Packaging archived content and offering it to advertisers as a bundle and to consumers as a paid offer creates the ultimate win-win situation for establishing your unique digital presence in the market.
There are several ways to approach creating your digital archive, each of which depends on your long and short terms goals as a publisher and organization. But the fact remains that investing in a way to provide repusposed, historical content now could be your digital ticket to your next phase of growth, development and massively increased streams of revenue.
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