2019 Print Forecast: Tight Paper Market Will Continue Squeezing Publishers
August 13, 2018 at 1:29 pm

At the beginning of next year, magazine publishers will be paying about 25% more for paper than they did just 18 months earlier -- assuming they can find any paper to buy. There are no signs that the scarce supply and rising prices afflicting all U.S. buyers of publication papers will abate in 2019. Magazine-quality…

To Grow Print Revenue, Give Advertisers What They Want: Data-Driven Targeting
July 16, 2018 at 10:47 am

There’s an old saying that, “If the only tool you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail.” I goofed. I’ve been advocating the use of a “hammer” to help magazines reverse a decade-long advertising slump. I should have been talking about what we need to build. What the magazine industry needs to focus…

Do You Have an “Ugly Baby” in Your Magazine Lineup?
March 30, 2018 at 8:00 am

In episode 85 of the popular sitcom The Seinfeld Show, Jerry and Elaine have a conversation about ugly babies. In it, they agree that some babies are simply not that attractive, but they also agree that no one ever talks about it. It is an unwritten rule that you don’t point out the ugly babies.…

What’s The Frequency, Kenneth? Reconsidering Newsstand Cadence
February 16, 2018 at 1:34 pm

“Kenneth, what is the frequency?!” In 1994 R.E.M. wrote a song about this non sequitur that was repeated by a disturbed man as he beat TV news anchor Dan Rather on the streets of New York City. The story goes that the man thought television networks were sending signals into his brain and was imploring…

USPS Bail Out Could Hike Postal Rates 41% in Next Five Years
December 5, 2017 at 2:41 pm

The Postal Regulatory Commission is proposing that publishers’ postal rates increase by an estimated average of 34% to 41% over the next five years. The postage increases would be lower than average for magazines that use co-mail and higher than average for less efficient mailers. The PRC announced its proposal to bail out the U.S.…

At DigiPub, MPA Offered a New Message & Printers Showcased Innovative Digital Print
November 20, 2017 at 1:21 pm

Last week I went to a NAPCO conference in New York City called DigiPub. Its advertised mission statement was "Harnessing the Power of Data-Driven Print." The overarching question after a decade or more of collecting digital data was, can the information we have gathered be intelligently and successfully applied to a printed product? To be…

6 Ways to Grow Revenue With Digitally-Printed Magazines
November 14, 2017 at 8:00 am

Magazine publishers typically develop informal rules of thumb to help speed decision making and proposal writing: Don’t go back to press with an issue unless you can justify printing at least 10,000 copies. You have to charge overseas subscribers at least three times the domestic rate because of the additional shipping and mailing costs. Never…

Publishers Have a Problem: Their Outdated Approach to Magazine Ads
October 16, 2017 at 9:00 am

“My name is Eadward, and I work in magazine publishing.” Welcome to Magazine Publishers Anonymous, a new 12-step program for people trying to overcome their addiction to the same old way of publishing magazines. I thought we’d get an influx of members a couple of weeks ago when The New York Times published “The Not-So-Glossy…

Whether Print Magazines Are Dead Or Alive Depends on Your Business Model
September 21, 2017 at 5:35 pm

Friedrich Nietzsche once said, "There are no facts, only interpretations." That comes mighty close to our understanding of the magazine industry today, at least when it comes to the various reports we constantly read on the subject. How many headlines have you seen that report that "Print is dead" or "Print is alive" or "Print…

2018 Print Forecast: Paper Prices & Postal Rates Will Rise
September 19, 2017 at 1:51 pm

Declining demand is supposed to cause lower prices, but the magazine industry’s key suppliers are likely to defy the law of supply of demand in 2018, with both paper companies and the U.S. Postal Service raising prices by a little – and perhaps by a lot. Yes, folks, it’s that most wonderful time of year,…