"It's very clear that circulation of print magazines in all markets has declined because of competition from the internet," says Ambarish Chandra. "Magazines have to figure out how to embrace and integrate their print products with digital." (Credit: Eric Chan/Flickr)

How print magazines can sell more ads

To survive, experts say print magazines should target a group of consumers called “multihomers.”

“Targeting is as important as ever,” says Ambarish Chandra, assistant professor in the department of management at University of Toronto Scarborough.

In a study of magazines in Germany, Chandra and Professor Ulrich Kaiser at the University of Zurich found that magazines offering targeted advertising both in print and on the web can charge more from advertisers.

Magazines create interest around a specific topic, which attracts readers with similar interests. The more homogeneous the magazine’s audience, the more attractive it is to advertisers looking to target a specific type of consumer.

And, it turns out, people who get their information from more than one medium—”multihomers”, as Chandra and Kaiser call them—are particularly appealing to advertisers.

“You would think that advertisers would rather go after people who consume media from one source,” says Chandra. Such people would be easier to find and to track.

But it turns out that the “multihomers” are more likely to see a brand’s message more than once. “If they can reach you via print and online it’s more likely that they can convince you to buy the product,” says Chandra.

Magazines with websites will have the advantage over those that don’t, because they will attract a homogeneous, targeted audience that will also be getting their information through more than one format. Such magazines can therefore charge more for their advertising space.

“It’s very clear that circulation of print magazines in all markets has declined because of competition from the internet,” says Chandra. “Magazines have to figure out how to embrace and integrate their print products with digital.”

The study will be published in an upcoming issue of the journal Management Science.

Source: University of Toronto

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