This week Julia Raphaely, CEO of Associated Media Publishing, takes us through how magazines can act as storefronts, the differences between the SA and UK magazine markets, why people are continuing to make time for print products, and the benefits of international collaboration between people who love magazines.
In the news roundup the team discusses Byline’s ‘pivot to print’, Disney taking a write-down on its investment in Vice, and belately discuss the Guardian breaking even.
In our own words: Chris Sutcliffe
We love talking about a lot of things on the podcast, from new print launches through clever membership schemes to brave attempts to turn around media business models. There’s nothing we love talking about quite so much, though, as any endeavour that validates our love of magazines.
We’re not alone in that. During our interview with Julia Raphaely, the CEO of Associated Media Publishing, her passion for the magazine format only became clearer the longer we spoke. Raphaely was, as she said, born to work on magazines, and the responsibility she feels towards the brands under the AMP aegis is easily apparent. Despite – or because of – that, she was also quick to acknowledge that magazines as they currently exist need to change to meet evolving audience expectations.
AMP’s ongoing experiment in making magazines digital storefronts is an attempt to adapt to those changing expectations. If, as in the UK, much of the customer journey now takes place online, how can a magazine prove its worth as part of a marketing effort? AMP’s answer is to place QR codes on the relevant pages in its magazine, both as a point-of-sale advertising technique and to provide evidence to marketers as to worth of the individual magazine in creating interest. As Raphaely explained, that scheme is providing significant uplift to AMP’s brands:
“We started placing QR codes around the magazine but in a very integrated way, because you don’t want to suddenly become a catalogue. We also had to upskill our editors who were curating the product because you can’t just plunk any product in your inverted commerce shop window.
“From mid-December 2018 to mid April 2019, which is a short period of time, our QR scans have grown from 7000 to 17,430.”
It’s still early days for the experiment, and Raphaely acknowledges that the SA media market still needs to undergo further changes in order to truly prove the power of print isn’t waning. But it’s evidence that, at the very least, the spirit of experimentation around magazine media is alive and well.
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