SYDNEY: Despite falling circulations, Australian magazine publishers still have quite a lot going for them in terms of readership profiles and purchase influence, but they are failing to persuade agencies of their case, an industry figure has argued.

Virginia Hyland, Founder and Principal of media agency Hyland Communications Group, addressed this topic in a panel discussion at the recent Mumbrella Publish conference in Sydney.

“All the trade press reports is that magazine circulations are down, but hang on,” she said.

“If Cosmo’s circulating what used to be 300,000 and now it’s 150,000 but you've got 700,000 people online, no-one’s coming back and saying, ‘What you’re not seeing is that the Cosmopolitan brand is more powerful than it’s ever been’.”

And not having such conversations is a potentially significant mistake, for both publishers in terms of revenue, and for agency clients in terms of reader engagement and likelihood to buy. (For more details, read WARC’s report: The problem with magazines.)

Research from the Magazine Networks trade body suggests that Australian magazine readers are cashed up and influential, with print magazine readers 38% more likely to post on social media, 17% more likely to tell others about new products and 36% more likely to place importance on brand choice.

Print magazine readers are also highly influenced by the content in the publications, with 65% of readers persuaded by recommended products, 59% of readers influenced by ads and 57% more likely to have purchased products advertised in the magazines they trust.

And, Hyland noted, an average of 77 minutes spent reading each edition “beats the six-minute blog where I'm spending a million dollars with my influencer money now”.

Magazine publishers have to fight harder and worry less about other mediums, she advised.

“My greatest fear is that the language some of the publishers use isn’t strong enough to make us (agencies) change our mind – to move our money away from Facebook, YouTube and all these frustrating places where we're now putting it,” she added.

Sourced from WARC