Hearst is launching a campaign this coming fall that aims to dispel the notion that readers are abandoning print magazines, touting Food Network as one example of a title with a fast-expanding readership. Even with free content readily available, readers have still shelled out around $13 billion a year on magazines. And, according to GfK MRI’s latest audience survey, magazine readership has risen nearly 1 percent this spring when compared with spring 2009.
While Hearst took the initiative to commission a study on magazines’ readership, the company says the campaign will not focus solely on Hearst titles.
Mediaweek observes quite astutely that the issues facing the newspaper industry — which “are more at risk of losing print readers to online news sources” — may have caused many to ignore or overlook the recent rise in numbers among magazine readers as they move out of the recession. One solution to this, say industry experts, is to do exactly as Hearst is doing: sing one’s own praises loudly enough for advertisers, reporters and readers alike to hear.