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The impact of the pandemic on print distribution channels

When COVID hit in March 2020, nearly all our normal venues closed and brand to hand opportunities ceased, was this the end of specialist distribution such as ours?

Certainly not. We diversified quickly by switching our focus to targeting people at home for the first few months and then ensured we were aware as and when venues slowly opened up globally over the next two years.

So what’s the situ now?

Our racks in corporates, luxury apartments and Southampton cruise terminals are witnessing very high pick up rates and healthy audience engagement.

The UK airports have been accepting print for their media walls and racks for several months and now certain UK lounges have resumed taking print including Lufthansa, United and Emirates.

We have seen the same trend for the international lounges. In the US, Delta were the first to resume with all 54 of their domestic club lounges accepting magazines, providing excellent coverage for our publishers. There are two lounges currently back taking print at JFK with more set to restart in the coming weeks.

In Spain, Madrid, Palma and Malaga are all placing printed product whilst only Barcelona airport has opted to go digital.

Zurich has several lounges accepting print as does Germany, Dubai Australia, Hong Kong and Singapore. Paris currently has two with more to follow and Eurostar lounges in Paris, Brussels and London resumed taking print some time ago.

With regards to hotels, we’re pleased that most understand and appreciate the benefits of printed magazines and are happily accepting titles for their guests both in the UK and internationally. There are some hotels globally that opted for digital only media to avoid touch points in the height of the pandemic and are trialling this still. Despite being in a very tech heavy era, research has highlighted that print media thrives on credibility, providing the security that digital cannot. Magazines avoid some of the issues around unsafe advertising environments that plague digital. Readers find print information far more believable than what they get from digital counterparts with an average trust score of 82%. Print also has an unrivalled sensory quality, people value something they can see and touch which is why there will always be a special place for magazines within the travel and leisure industry.

Brand to hand has returned with a vengeance, not only around events but also in key locations including local high streets. We have recently managed successful consumer engagement campaigns for a high end fashion brand in NY and the iconic NME magazine here in the UK. Both activities were a huge hit and highlighted the public's eagerness to engage with brands again.

Regardless of the changes and challenges, we’re proud to offer our clients a comprehensive and inclusive distribution network, providing coverage to audiences all around the globe.


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