Traditional magazines have experienced a rough ad market since the twin forces of tablets and the recession rattled the economy. As a result of falling ad revenues, magazine publishers are rethinking their business models. Increasingly, this means joining forces with other media channels.
Writing for the Wall Street Journal, Keach Hagey recently reported that when the new HGTV magazine hits the shelves, it will be supported by Hearst and Scripps Network Interactive, which actually owns the HGTV channel. Readers of the new magazine are likely to be viewers of this channel and will probably be interested in the same content that they access through the channel.
The publisher is taking this step in hopes of bolstering readership numbers and therefore, ad money. So far this year, marketers have reduced their ad spending in traditional magazines by 4%. Execs at Hearst and Scripps may feel they are reducing their risks by rolling out a new title in this way. Just a couple of years ago, they successfully launched a new title that was connected with the Food Network channel. That title, Food Network Magazine, has done well compared to competitors such as Cooking Light.
Michael Clinton, marketing president and publishing director of Hearst Magazines, says it’s all about understanding “the 21st-century model.” Maintaining a profile in several channels – website, magazines and TV – builds a strong audience and offers advertisers multiple ways to access these consumers.
Based on the success of this strategy, marketers may find other media firms moving to start new magazines which will open ad inventory for a wider range of products.[Source: Hagey, Keach. TV Lends a Helping Hand in Birth of a New Magazine. Online.wsj.com. 28 May 2012. Web. 6 Jun. 2012]