The Magnetic appeal of magazines

April 27th, 2015

Magnetic, a new marketing agency for magazine media in the UK, has just opened its doors for business. Funded by some of the biggest magazine publishers, it is promoting the merits of magazines as a medium, in much the same way as Thinkbox does for television, and Newsworks does for newspapers.

Magnetic has launched with a piece of research, Rules of Attraction, a study undertaken over two years and involving 15,000 magazine consumers, to provide a fascinating insight into the value of magazines. Its data highlights half a dozen characteristics of magazines, such as the inspiration they provide, the sense of belonging which their readers have, and the influence of magazine media.

But perhaps the characteristic most relevant to our industry is that of ‘immersion’. As Douglas McCabe, CEO of Enders Analysis, says on Magnetic’s site, “We all know that when we pick up a magazine, we actually spend real time consuming it and we’re truly immersed in it. We tend to be quite focused on it. We’re not simultaneously doing half a dozen other things.”

The research reinforces this. Only 5% of consumers are doing other activities while they are reading magazines. As Magnetic explains, “Magazine moments are ‘media mindfulness’ like no other content experience.”

It’s this reader immersion in the medium which makes magazines such a successful platform for branded content. Readers of a magazine are attentive and involved in a way which outstrips other platforms. The ‘engagement’ which our industry has always promoted is the ‘immersion’ of this study; and the research, which confirms the continuing value of magazines as a medium for advertisers, similarly confirms their value as a platform for our work.

Commissioned for newsstand magazines, this study is a reinforcement of the power of magazines for us and our clients. Apart from anything else, it’s a reminder of just how popular magazines are as a medium and, as a consequence, how responsive readers are to their content. Or as Douglas McCabe says, “the most extraordinary thing about the magazine environment is that not only is there a relevant audience in place, but there is an audience fully-engaged, engaged in a way that almost no other media can achieve.”

Paul Keers is London Bureau Chief of White Light Media

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