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How Is Facebook Affecting Magazine Revenue?

Posted on Thursday, June 30, 2016 at 12:44 PM

In the news: As more and more readers turn to social media for their news, magazines and newspapers are reevaluating how best to reach them.

Readers are flocking to social media for their news, leaving publishers to figure out how best to reach them and generate revenue from such third-party readership. Publishers are adapting to the changing times. Some have forged partnerships with Facebook and other social media sites to access a wider reader base. However, this presents revenue challenges for the publishers.

The revenue problem presented by social media is multifaceted. Not only are readers now accustomed to free online news, but some publishers are alienating readers with intrusive ads. Some of these ads temporarily cover the news content until the user clicks out, while others autoplay sound or video as the user reads. This is driving readers away from traditional publisher sites to social media, where it's more difficult for publishers to monetize readership. Read more here.

Also Notable

Are Advertisers Spending in the Right Places?

Although many readers spend more time on tablets and smartphones than with print media, advertisers tend to spend the most on print. Caysey Welton of Foliomag.com, citing a recent KPCB report, notes in a June 28 article that "consumers are only spending 4 percent of their time [on print], yet advertisers are investing 16 percent of their budget there." Read her thoughts on the apparent disconnect here.

Print Advertising Revenues in Q1

The US Census Bureau has released its revenue figures for the first quarter. Overall magazine revenue is down 4.5 percent over last year, and newspaper revenue is down 4.4 percent. Digital ad revenues have remained mostly stagnant. Read more here.

Good News for News Magazines

It's not all doom and gloom for newspapers and magazines this year. Recent Pew Research Center statistics show that leading news magazines are holding up relatively well. According to Greg Dool of Foliomag.com, subscriptions among 14 major news magazines (including The Economist and The New Yorker) are down just 2 percent over last year -- a relatively modest decline. While the aforementioned Census Bureau statistics reveal digital ad revenue challenges, Pew Research reports that digital subscriptions and single-copy sales are on the rise. Read more here.

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