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Digital Brands Move to Print

As you may know, Facebook is the most recent online brand to release a printed title. Their new title, Grow, is aimed at business leaders and executives. They say “We know that business leaders have limited time for long reads at work, so we've also created a physical version with journeys in mind”. (Have Facebook been reading our social media feeds?)

Facebook follows in the footsteps of other online companies who have moved into print after creating incredibly successful brands. ASOS, who launched their printed magazine in 2007, celebrated their 100th issue this year, and Net-a-Porter who launched Porter in 2014 boasts a circulation of over 180,000 copies. Last year, Airbnb also joined this illustrious group by launching their printed magazine airbnbmag. Despite another round of disappointing ABC figures, brands including giants like Facebook continue to launch new magazines. Why are these companies bucking the ‘moving to digital’ trend by moving to print?

There has always been an instinct in the publishing industry that readers connect with printed media in a way that digital media doesn’t achieve. Terri White, editor-in-chief of Empire magazine said in a recent article, “a visceral, powerful connection is created when readers hold print in their hands. The intimacy is unrivalled. Smell a magazine right now and tell me it doesn’t give you a head rush… In this increasingly digitised world, you cannot underestimate how much people just want to feel something real.”

Mediacom and Magnetic released details of a study carried out in November 2017 which provides some insight into what in the past has merely been gut instinct. Their study, A Matter of Trust, found that 70% of magazine readers trust magazines, but only 30% of social media users trust social media. This included under 35-year olds, the so-called digital generation. The massive power of digital advertising is still being explored but ignoring the influence of print is foolhardy. Print is vital to advertisers, creating a bond with consumers that digital struggles to match.

Big online brands are choosing magazines because they work but reaching the right audience is key. Newsstand can’t deliver the readers that advertisers want. Copy placement is the preferred option for brands like Net-a-Porter as it allows publishers and advertisers to hand select their audience. Advertisers need to know before they invest who will be seeing their marketing material, where and when. Luckily these are questions we can answer for you.

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