The 2018 Box Score for Magazines is Here!

Every year, it is with bated breath that we await the latest box score report, letting us know who is up, and what magazines are really making it happen at retail. Click here for the 2018 report.

MBR Canada Event Brings Together Industry Experts

Magazines and Books at Retail (MBR) hosted another stellar day of learning, providing some interesting insights about what’s happening at retail, and online, at the Marriott in Markham, Ontario, on October 21st. As always, this event was packed with value.

The meeting began with round table meetings in the morning, where retailers, representatives from retail, consultants and magazine publishers were able to discuss what’s new and exciting, and to also take care of a little business. The presentations kicked off over lunch, with our own Craig Sweetman announcing the winners of the 2018 IAG Retailer Awards. Retailers who support the magazine category and whose sales surpassed those of the industry were presented their awards this summer. Click here to see this year’s winners.

I, then chatted about how the industry members could get involved in the promotion of the magazine category, by providing content for our blog, this blog. So many positive stories are going on out there from new title launches, to hot covers and titles that continue to grow month after month, and year after year. These are the stories the industry should be hearing more of, and we encourage, no, we would love guest contributors to our blog. Reach out and become a contributor.

Melanie Rutledge of Magazines Canada then joined the podium with the exciting launch of an upcoming research study to be conducted focusing on the area of Click and Collect for publications. Together with Phil Scrutton of Brandspark International and Craig Sweetman of CRS Media, they reviewed the still relevant findings of 2016 research and introduced this vital new research project that is funded through Heritage Canada. Click here to have a look at the presentation.

What’s hot, what’s not… Scott Gosse, Metro 360 gave the latest box score that surprised some of us with the magazine stats. Click here to view.

Amar Singh, Senior Analyst at Kantar Retail IQ put together a program specifically for the Canadian magazine and book retail audience ~ eCommerce in Canada. Always insightful and entertaining, he talked to key omnichannel retailer strategies: Loblaws, Sobeys, and Walmart. Not only did he provide what is happening in the marketplace and with consumers, he brought forth implications and opportunity for books and magazines. Click here to view. 

The jam-packed day concluded with impressions of the day from industry experts: Annie Gabriellian, St. Joseph Media, Carm Alfano, TNG Canada, Craig Sweetman, CRS Media, and Dean Waldron, Metro 360.

Special thanks goes out to Jerry Lynch, MBR President and to Jose Cancio for organizing such an important industry event.

Summer Reading – Had Me At Relax

The long days of summer have us in search of and enjoying a variety of experiences. Music festivals, action-packed movies, summer cuisine, fun fashion and various other outdoor activities and yes, road trips. Holidays provide more leisure time for these activities and magazines are a great resource for our passions, providing inspiration, information and ideas.

While there is no doubt that we’re consuming media differently today than we did even five years ago, there remains the tactile love of something you can roll up and throw into a beach-bag and not worry about whether it’s going to survive the sand and water. As we travel into the dog days of summer, here’s a look at some of the best reading for relaxation.

What does that mean for magazines at retail? Like most things, and magazines in particular, they need to be seen to be sold. With all of the varied interests and options for magazines, it is difficult at times to give all of them front and center exposure. Exposure necessary to sell copies. Often magazines that may not be as well known, or may not appeal to the person displaying them, may get relegated to the back. Lucky for some of these magazines, however, they have a loyal following and fans will seek out the new issue.

Merchandising magazines at your store? Shaking up your magazine merchandising at times and changing up the display to include a slightly different variety of titles at the front of any rack, while still keeping within category, could spark shopper interest. Typically, when changing the display, the old magazine will come out and its replacement is merchandised in the exact same spot. Visual change and interest suffers with this practice, however. By changing up what your shoppers see on the mainline may attract them and spark a new interest. It is just smart practice, therefore, to take out the older magazine within any category, move back remaining magazines that still have a few weeks on sale and place the new magazines in the front. You will gain more exposure for each title, create some new fans and likely gain more sales as a result.

 

Magazines Media Trends and What They Mean for Your Business

“Print is regaining its prestige. Every year FIPP finds innovations in the print space. Print offers strong journalism unavailable online. Private Eye, the UK satire magazine, is growing because it never embraced digital. Publications are creating new packaging for enhanced reader value. Brands are exploring higher quality premium products.” is a snippet from the recent Act 9 Experience conference discussing important trends in Magazine Media. Read the whole article by clicking here.  

Meredith Corporation Launches “Happy Paws” Magazine

April showers bring May flowers, but this April also sees the launch of a new print magazine!

It’s been no secret that many people are still naysayers of the physical magazine, but when a major publisher launches a new magazine, you know they are doing it with a lot of planning and forethought. They back winning products and this new magazine will be that also. Meredith magazines are some of the best-known home & lifestyle magazines at your store checkouts and mainlines everywhere. This newest publication “Happy Paws” will catch loads of eyes with its 100-page, high-quality first keepsake issue . Produced by Fear Free, a veterinarian-led organization, it is sure to have not only access to adorable animals, but the opportunity to publish articles that may be more fact-finding, and research driven as opposed to humanitarian short stories. As for Meredith’s decision to partner on the launch, Mortimer says that “We know that pet content is one of the best-selling categories in our Special Interest Media Group. We also know that pet coverage across our Meredith brands from People and Real Simple to Southern Living and Family Circle is extremely popular.” 1

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Magazine Media Tells and Sells

Great new article from Linda Thomas Brooks, President and CEO, MPA – The Association of Magazine Media… The Facts: “Magazine Media Tells and Sells” that has been posted on Magazines Canada website. Click here to view.

She was also interviewed by Mr. Magazine recently. Click here to read the interview. 

Showcasing Success in Magazine Media

The ‘Showcasing Success in Magazine Media’ event on November 6th was not  a ‘newsstand’ magazine event, with discussion about  attracting eyeballs, sales and display opportunities. This was an event where creatives talked about their craft. Here was a group of young individuals that had huge passion for magazines.  So engaging!

Click here for the recap on the Magazines Canada website. 

Magazines and Books at Retail (MBR) Conference Canada Takeaways

…”one of the best yet!”
… “valuable shopper insights”… “

These are just a few of the comments that came out of the recent Magazine and Books at Retail (MBR) conference in Toronto on October 23. The conference packed in some powerhouse speakers who had real value to offer.

Dr. Dave Williams, astronaut, aquanaut, pilot, surgeon, CEO and author of Defying Limits: Lessons from the Edge of the Universe, was so inspiring with the message that we all want to make a difference and we just need to step up to do it. Jeff McNulty, Vice President at Presse Commerce spoke passionately about how magazines continue to take a central role at their retail stores and how they are important to consumers. Amar Sing from Kantar Retail provided some valuable insights into the Canadian retail landscape.
So many nuggets of information and value provided that we could write a book. (or at least a lengthy paper). However, we know people are busy, so here are the Industry Action Group’s Top 5:

Magazines are still very important to retail
It was great to see that magazines are still very important and relevant to retailers in Canada. This was evident in listening to Jeff McNulty of Presse Commerce and looking at the pictures of the winners of the IAG Retailer of the Year Awards. Retailers appreciate recognition of their efforts. The category responds when there is a supportive supply chain and engaged retailer. And yes, category has legs but it requires attention. We as an industry have a publicity issue. Magazines and books, must find a way to celebrate and publicize their successes.

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