Media Releases

Targeted audiences and websites can help magazines weather the onslaught of online competition

January 15, 2014

TORONTO, ON — While print media con­tin­ue to suf­fer at the hands of their online coun­ter­parts, new research from the Uni­ver­si­ty of Toron­to Scar­bor­ough finds that print mag­a­zines with com­pan­ion web­sites are able to attract more adver­tis­ing dol­lars.

“Tar­get­ing is as impor­tant as ever,” says Ambar­ish Chan­dra, Assis­tant Pro­fes­sor at UTSC’s Depart­ment of Man­age­ment. In a study of mag­a­zines in Ger­many, Prof. Chan­dra and Prof. Ulrich Kaiser of the Uni­ver­si­ty of Zurich found that mag­a­zines offer­ing tar­get­ed adver­tis­ing both in print and on the web can charge more from adver­tis­ers.

Mag­a­zines cre­ate inter­est around a spe­cif­ic top­ic, which attracts read­ers with sim­i­lar inter­ests. The more homo­ge­neous the magazine’s audi­ence, the more attrac­tive it is to adver­tis­ers look­ing to tar­get a spe­cif­ic type of con­sumer.

And, it turns out, peo­ple who get their infor­ma­tion from more than one medi­um — “mul­ti­homers”, as Chan­dra and Kaiser call them — are par­tic­u­lar­ly appeal­ing to adver­tis­ers.

“You would think that adver­tis­ers would rather go after peo­ple who con­sume media from one source,” says Prof. Chan­dra. Such peo­ple would be eas­i­er to find and to track.

But it turns out that the “mul­ti­homers” are more like­ly to see a brand’s mes­sage more than once. “If they can reach you via print and online it’s more like­ly that they can con­vince you to buy the prod­uct,” says Prof. Chan­dra.

Mag­a­zines with web­sites will have the advan­tage over those that don’t, because they will attract a homo­ge­neous, tar­get­ed audi­ence that will also be get­ting their infor­ma­tion through more than one for­mat. Such mag­a­zines can there­fore charge more for their adver­tis­ing space.

“It’s very clear that cir­cu­la­tion of print mag­a­zines in all mar­kets has declined because of com­pe­ti­tion from the inter­net,” says Prof. Chan­dra. “Mag­a­zines have to fig­ure out how to embrace and inte­grate their print prod­ucts with dig­i­tal.”

The study will be pub­lished in an upcom­ing issue of the jour­nal Man­age­ment Sci­ence.


For more infor­ma­tion, con­tact:

Don Camp­bell
Media & Rela­tions Offi­cer
Com­mu­ni­ca­tions & Pub­lic Affairs
Uni­ver­si­ty of Toron­to Scar­bor­ough
Bladen Wing, Room BV584
1265 Mil­i­tary Trail, Toron­to, Ontario
Tel: 416–208-2938