iPad ads now account for nearly 37 percent of magazine ad units, an increase of 24.5 percent from the previous year.
Updated information released by the Association of Magazine Media provides a snapshot of the state of magazine ads during the first half of 2013. As indicated by the rise in combined ad pages on iPads, mobile technology is driving growth in an industry that has endured well-documented struggles.
The first category of the study is limited to publications that only report print ad sales and revenue, and it reveals that the number of ad page sales is down 4.9 percent year-over-year. Ad dollars at magazines are actually up — albeit a slight 0.4 percent.
The good news for mobile advertisers comes from the section of the report that focuses on the 58 publications that measure both print and iPad advertising. Overall ad sales growth for these is 7 percent, spurred by iPad sales units. Perhaps the study’s most compelling finding is that those magazines that measure iPad ad sales also report fewer declines in their print counterparts. Print ad sales in those 58 publications declined only 1 percent from January to July.
Although the study doesn’t look into the cause of the increases or declines, it is clear that mobile ads are driving success in magazines. And more notable, those magazines that focus on digital properties also see improvements in their print sectors.
In line with increased sales of iPad ads, tablet readership increased 72.9 percent during the first half of the year compared to the same time period in 2012. Print readership is also up, though by a modest 2 percent. During the first half of 2012, print readership had declined by about the same amount.
Many factors affect increases in print readership, but the report clearly states that, like most other industries, mobile magazine marketers should create strategies aimed at new digital consumers even as they court traditional customers. Catering to the entire consumer experience is a sensible solution — and in this case it means not losing sight of those who still buy print magazines.
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