PPA PUBLISHING+: Print still brings in 78% of consumer mag revenue

Consumer magazine publishers still generate a massive 78% of their total revenues from their print products, according the fourth annual Publishing Futures report.

Magazine revenue: print still strong
Magazine revenue: print still strong

The survey of senior magazine executives predicts the figure will fall to 71% over the next two years, while income from the publishers’ digital brands will rise from 8% to represent 15% of total revenue during the same period.

By comparison, the survey found B2B publishers make only 40% of their revenue from print products, partly due to their increased focus on brand extensions through events.

The Publishing Futures report launched at today’s Professional Publishers Association’s Publishing+ conference at the Hilton London Metropole. It predicts that advertising and sponsorship will retain a stable share of publisher’s total revenues over the next two years, declining slightly from the current 36% of total revenues to 35% by 2014.

Digital will play a greater role in magazine ad revenues, growing its share from 17% to 27% in the next two years. The report also found that multi-channel advertising packages were increasingly leading to sponsorship deals rather than traditional advertising positioning.

The economic climate is causing continued challenges to publishers, the survey found, hitting advertising budgets and circulation and putting pressure on rates. Publishers also felt threatened by advertisers speaking more directly with their customers using information from their own databases.

The report added that B2B publishers were ahead of their consumer colleagues in terms of re-engineering their businesses to adapt to digital opportunities. It stated: "The change and volatility in consumer consumption patterns is still causing massive turbulence.

"There is a clear concern among a number of smaller publishers, especially in B2B, that they do not have the scale and resource to prosper in the austere and challenging environment."

But the study also found that the economic hardship has become "an accepted fact" for many publishers who are now "getting on with managing the challenges", looking for opportunities in overseas markets and emphasising revenue growth.

The PPA carried out the survey in association with Wessenden Marketing and InPublishing.

Follow @louiseridley and @mediaweek on Twitter today for live updates on the PPA Publishing+ conference.

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