The magazine industry—or what used to be called the magazine industry, to be more precise—is faced with disruption and change that’s unmatched in its history. That change is coming from multiple directions.
• Programmatic Advertising is big, and getting bigger. It accounts for $15 billion of $58 billion in digital advertising this year, and 55 percent of the money spent.
• Mobile is huge, but no one is close to cracking the monetization code, and that is a serious problem as most branded media see 50 percent and more of their traffic going here.
• Ad Blocking is endemic. Twenty-eight percent of people in the U.S. who use the Internet browse the Web with ad blocking enabled, and 41 percent of millennials.
• Content Marketing is pervasive. Increasingly, brands are doing their own communication with their customers, using the proven methods of publishers. They’re now, in effect, the competition!
• Most troubling, there’s been a massive shift of ad revenue to businesses that have proven to be more adept at segmenting and targeting, especially Facebook and Google. In fact, Facebook and Google alone combined for $78 billion in ad revenue in 2014. Google and Facebook alone—two companies—have more ad revenue then the entire newspaper and magazine industries combined.
In this context, we thought it would be useful to see what the folks at the front lines are thinking—the people charged with making budgets, pleasing investors, and assuring that their employees get paid. Here, 12 leaders from across the business tell us, in their own words, about their priorities and concerns.